happy birthday kiji!

Yep, it's kiji's birthday- time to share with the internet and all the world the things I love about my other little sis...

-the way she will jump into water at any chance (pools, lakes, oceans, rivers)

-her running tab of reserved books at the library

-her passion for laying out

-the way she throws her heart into all sorts of save-the-world causes like recycling and saving dogs from being put down at shelters

-speaking of dogs- her passion for koda, chance, cider, and any stray that she might come upon

-her sense of adventure

-that she loves Jesus

-the advice that she gives... she is wise beyond her years

-the way she balances out our family

-that she will stay up late playing majong with me

-that she is one of the coolest people I know... I mean, I know she's my sister and everything, but she is seriously fabulous!


a whole year

Happy first anniversary Kiji and Patty T!


celebrating jord!

There are so many things to celebrate about Jordi on her birthday... a few of my favorite things about her:
-the way she wants to make sure things are "just right" and will stay up till the wee hours of the night (many nights in a row if need be) to make that happen
-her selfless devotion to the people around her
-her heart for the nations
-her awesome haircuts growing up (if only I could find some pictures)
-her free spirit
-her consistency as a mom
-her sense of adventure
-the way she can explain things to me without making me feel stupid
-her commitment to simplicity and being a good steward of the resources God has given her
-the way she takes on every challenge that comes her way with a deep trust in the Lord and a cheerful attitude
-the days of baton twirling, bug collecting, and rock polishing... she's a quirky one
-the way she points the people around her towards Christ
Happy birthday kiddo!


celebration chaos

this is the only wedding picture I could find on my computer... you get the jist :)

This is the week of celebrations in the Ludwig family... Jord and Kiji's birthdays are both this week, as well as our anniversary and Kiji and Patrick's anniversary. And now Aji and Trish are joining the chaos (I mean fun) by getting married on August 2nd!
Since I want to celebrate Jordi on her birthday tomorrow, I thought I'd tell the world how thankful I am for my husband today, a day before our 6th anniversary. Though there are definitely challenges that come with sharing your life with one person (including, but not limited to, very grouchy days, conflicting priorities, just selfishness in general), marriage has been one of the greatest blessings God has given me. I am thankful that I have someone to celebrate with when something FANTASTIC happens, someone to talk through things with when I'm confused, someone who will forgive me when I screw up (over and over again), someone to cry with when things are rough, someone to dance around the house with, someone who can explain things like mutual funds and the lyrics of rap music to me, someone who can try to figure out this parenting stuff with me... I don't know what my life would be like without Adam, but I know it wouldn't be this good.



Guess who slept from 11:30 to 6:30 last night (yep, the pediatrician said we can quit waking him up every couple hours- hooray!)???


near miss

the beginning of our hike

totally soaked 20 minutes later

the scene outside 5 minutes after we got home


2 months old!

Can you believe it?


people pleaser

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God. John 12:42-43

A couple Sundays ago, we visited Jord and Drew's church, Redeemer, in Lubbock. Out of the several key points that Dusty touched on, I was so convicted by his teaching on the verses above... See, I am a people pleaser to the greatest degree and care far too much about the opinions of people. It seems easier to me to blend in, to hold my tongue (even about things that really matter), to not say things that are controversial, even if they're true. However, the challenge that Sunday was that really, our lives should stand out... We shouldn't blend in so much with the world that there is nothing that sets us apart. After that initial sermon a couple weeks ago, it seems like I keep running into this same theme in the things that I read and listen to.
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:18-19

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
My prayers are that Adam and I would be so grounded in Truth that there wouldn't be any fuzzy lines about when we should speak, or live differently, or change our habits... and also that we would have the boldness to do those things- say what is true, not be conformed to the world, and not be afraid of having a different lifestyle or set of priorities than what we see around us. That stuff is really, really hard for me. Maybe y'all will join me in praying that I would care less and less about pleasing people and more and more about my first love?
ps- If you'd like to hear Dusty's sermon, Private Faith?, it's online here.



I was tagged by Jordi (and share many of her answers!)... so here is some random kirstin info.

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Ahhh, the summer of 1998... I'd just graduated from high school and was getting ready to head off to Grove City College. I can't remember what my summer job was... I do remember several trips (to PA, camping with the fam in Telluride, to Albuquerque to pick up Ivania [our exchange student from Costa Rica] and send Jord off to Argentina) and lots of family time. I think the Lord used that summer to bring me back to Himself... in my mind it is a very sweet time of spending time with people I love and learning about the Lord.

Things on my To-Do List today:
finish a baby shower present
work on Burke's baby announcements
walk in the park

What are some snacks you enjoy?
blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
bell peppers with hummus
wheat thins with goat cheese
hostess 100 calories cupcakes
ice cream sandwiches
dark chocolate peanut m&m's

I definitely have a sweet tooth (to my mom's great dismay!). :)

What would you do if you were a millionaire?
Pay for Adam's dental school without taking out any student loans... Help Jord & Drew with their dream to build a guesthouse in Oman... Buy a Bentley for me, a Ferrari for Adam and a Lambo for Burke...

Name some of the places you've called home:
Denver, CO
Taos, NM
Farmington, NM
Timmins, Ontario
Grove City, PA
Colorado Springs, CO

What are some of your bad habits?
Hitting the snooze button, taking too long to write thank you notes, underestimating the time and work that it will take to complete a craft project.

What are some jobs you've held?
Baseball scorekeeper, admin at a dental office, admin at a nephrologist's office, camp counselor, interim youth pastor, correspondance assistant at Focus on the Family, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade teacher, paper & accessories company co-founder, mama.

Who are you tagging?
megan and gwen



burke in his "papa" onesie :)

Mark had his last radiation treatment today! YEAH YEAH YEAH! Join us in praying that Mark's body will heal up quickly and that he will be back to eating, talking and just generally feeling better soon.



We're back home after a week in Lubbock hanging out with Jordi, Drew and Baby K. Highlights of our trip:
-visiting Redeemer, the church plant that Jord and Drew are helping start
-awesome ribs, smoked turkey and brisket at J&D's 4th of July party
-Taco Villa and Taco Bueno- Adam's favorite fast food in the world
-the kiddos' darling 4th of July outfits (jord put burke's firecracker onesie together just an hour before their party started)
-seeing how much Keadryn loves Burke... again
-eating watermelon in the Remke's backyard and enjoying the summer weather
-crafting together (Jordi and I figured out Trish and Aji's centerpieces, programs and favors)
-meeting new people and hanging out with the lubbock crowd (we love jordi and drew's friends!)
-spending time with Jord and Drew... we are so blessed by their friendship



just hangin' out with cousins keadryn and sayla (in jordi's tummy)

burke loves sayla already! :)

I could've posted 15 pictures of keadryn kissing burke...
but this one of her mauling his face is way funnier :)

best buddies already!


moving on

Tuesday was a BIG day for us... a day we've been waiting for for almost 5 years. As of July 1st, Adam no longer has a job in the financial industry! WOOHOO!

As y'all know, the beginning of dental school in August is the result of a long and twisty and windy road through an MBA program, a couple of jobs in the financial field (which Adam has a real talent for, but hates), night classes in organic chemistry, microbiology and the like, and a conviction that God was calling us here.

There was some serious celebration in the Gentry house on Tuesday... that night, we shared our jubilation with friends and family at a little brownie-sundaes-and-homemade-pie party. Adam had been joking for the last month that he was going to wear a "Suck It" shirt on his last day of work, so I made a Suck It onesie for Burke instead (crass, I know... sorry!). We are more than thrilled to be entering this new season- YEAH!


easing in

There are people in the world (like my hubby!) that hear an alarm clock in the morning, sit up, get out of bed and are ready to start their day. And then there are people (like me and Burke) that require a more gentle transition between the cozy, comfy, glorious world of down comforters and the cold, harsh morning.
So each day, after our morning feeding, we snuggle up and have some mama-and-burke time. He smiles and coos and kicks around and puts both of us in a great mood to start off our day. If only Burke had been around to ease me into my school days these last four years- I would've been in a way better mood for my third graders!