Virginia is for Lovers

On the road to see the Alleys, two great moments.

  1. Justin: Whenever I listen to Radiohead, I always think about... what's that movie... you know the book... Edward...Bella...Vampires...?
    Holly: Twilight
    Justin: Wow. Now I feel like I've packed so much stuff into my head that I'm shoving out simple, obvious things like Twilight.

  2. A car approaches quickly from behind. The driver is noticeably agitated...perhaps because I (Justin) am just not going quickly enough for him. He swerves around and passes...while holding his New York Yankee (blinged out) hat for us Red Sox fans to see.
    Justin and Holly: (laughing out loud)
    Holly: That's never happened before.
    Justin: For some reason, it's just funny.
    Driver of little white car with blinged out Yankee hat: (bursting with pride) Yeah, yeah, yeah...I passed you! And Yankees rule. Take that you ****** Sox fans.
Favorite moment of the night (so far): Reading Cat in the Hat and What Smurfs Do All Day to Owen.

6 months

I'm a little late in posting, but she did just have her 6 month well-check today. So even though it's not her actual 6-month birthday, we're close enough. The doc says she looks great. She's the size of a 9-month old! Just under 19 lbs and just over 27 inches long. Every night my shoulders are sore and I think I've realized it's from lifting her all day long.

As for new fun stuff, she loves her jumper. She is so tall, we've had to creatively figure out how to raise it higher so she doesn't spring herself out of it. She can scoot herself backwards and in semi-circles on her tummy. She babbles all the time. Mostly "da da"s (yay Justin!). Only once has she said, "ma." She loves to watch Montana and Neela. As soon as she hears the click of their nails on the floor, she starts looking. One day we were on a stroll through the neighborhood and she started laughing at Montana walking beside her. She's eating more foods...rice cereal, oatmeal, sweet potato, avocado, peas, and bananas have been added to the mix. I'm trying my hand at making my own baby food. It's pretty simple really. Just throw it in the food processor and go. Thanks Anne for the Super Baby Food book. It's great!

Here are her 6-month pics. It was fun taking these because this is the first time she's noticed the bear sitting beside her.

My new job

It isn’t any surprise that I (Justin) have been waiting for the first post-seminary job for 6+ months.  I joke with folks that I (along with other graduating seminary students) carried a hefty amount of naivety when it came to job expectations…perhaps in part due to optimism, perhaps the rest in ignorance.  This economy has placed question marks on many graduates’ resumes and the applicant pools have been tougher – being filled with so many talented men and women. 

We set off for Winston-Salem this past December in faith not knowing where “home” would actually turn out to be.  Boxes were left unpacked and pictures remained unhung.  When Tessa came, we needed her home to warm and complete, but we could never really bring ourselves to settle and re-establish roots. Our church, however, family stepped up -- brought meals, dropped by…called.  And they prayed for God to open doors.

Having spent hours upon hours reading job descriptions, meeting with churches and pastors, I became further relegated to my basement office and doing odd jobs for folks around Winston-Salem.  It should also be no surprise that the work I’ve been doing (volunteer/part-time) has been with college students and young adults.  My heart and passion has increasingly grown more excited and committed to this generation and I have longed to pastor these groups. 

Well, I am pleased to announce that as of July 1, 2009, I am the new Associate for College and Young Adult ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem.  By God’s great grace I get to continue and grow deeper in my ministry role(s).  And I get to do this at a place we now call “home”.  (Yes, pictures might finally appear on walls now.)

These next couple of months are going to be wonderful and challenging; I look forward to carrying the torch of both Joe Farrell and Andy Hamer – honoring their work and legacies, particularly in their work with Emmaus.  And I look forward to seeing how God might use my gifts to shine a new, unique light on these ministries. 

Pray for the days ahead; for clarity and the right pace.  For now, enjoy the following announcement in today’s church bulletin: