Greetings from Austin!

Wow, we almost let the entire month of July fly by without an update! What a whirlwind it has been. Most of you know, we are officially moved to Texas. On the evening of July 16th we had an incredible group of friends pack our home into a truck and we hit the road the very next day! With my parents and Ryan’s Dad driving along with us, we had plenty of cars for overflow boxes and valuables. And plenty of hands on deck with the kiddos. They did great on the drive, the kids… and Arlo! No one lost it and Ryan (driving with Arlo) still has hearing in both ears.

It’s been about a week and a half since we landed here in Austin and we are just loving it. Ryan found a perfect home for us on a short visit less than a month ago. We are in the North East part of the city, definitely suburban feeling, but also much closer to everything than we realized. Every time we google map to the grocery store, Starbucks, Target, etc. it always rides the line of about 15 minutes to get there and that’s just far enough I won’t be tempted to get out every afternoon for some iced coffee therapy but close enough that we don’t feel isolated and unable to connect to the city we will call home for the next two years.

We are already getting a good feel for the lay out of everything. We challenge ourselves to drive places without maps and have done so successfully several times. We are saving an extensive list of “places to eat” because oh my goodness, SO MUCH GOOD FOOD. Namely tacos, but plenty of others as well. Shawarmas, burgers, pizza, coffee, all of it and we haven’t had a bad meal yet. Speaking of meals, we’ve gotten back into the routine of family dinners around the table. It has always been a priority to us to have dinner around our table at home. To talk about our day, our feelings, things that make us laugh, and good memories. We want Leo and August to grow up knowing we want to hear them and be with them. We want uninterrupted time together where we share our lives very intentionally. It is easy, as most intentional things are, to let go of and lose track of. We stopped a few months ago, probably amidst nightly meetings and two jobs and dwindling energy levels. It just slipped away from us and it hurt. This time we are finding now to be together as a family is a gift to say the least. We’ve been waiting for this restful time. Eagerly counting down days to replenish our souls. And we all know one of the best ways to do that is to share a meal together.

I just want to add that it is hot here but definitely bearable. I’m sure if I had to work outside or be outside for extended periods of time I wouldn’t enjoy it but everyone we’ve met that lives here or has lived here have all said basically the same thing “You are going at a brutal time! Enjoy the heat!” I mean 108 is brutal and so is a week in the hundreds but every morning when we roll out of bed it is in the 70’s and for long enough that we are able to go on family walks and drink hot coffee and not feel crazy for doing so. The evenings are breezy and I would be out on the porch with an icy beverage if it werent for my ridiculous fear of wasps, no wait it’s not ridiculous. They are huge and red and from what I’ve heard, mean. And they are everywhere. We had our house sprayed a few days ago and are waiting for them to dwindle, then I will be outside on that porch in the sweet July heat and watching the sunset. Ryan didn’t look out the windows when he decided on this house and it just so happens to be at one of the highest points in this area, so the views are breathtaking. That just adds to the element of rest and renewal. Enjoying all the nature around here really. The views, the palm trees and succulents, the rivers and trails. Finding rest in the outings and surroundings.

And onto next week, when the program starts and we find new rhythms. Pray for Ryan as he enters into a new environment. Pray he has confidence in his abilities but open ears and eyes to soak in all of the knowledge that will be given to him. Pray he makes friends and finds mentors. Pray he is continually affirmed in the action he has taken to follow the Lord’s calling into this program. Pray for me as I will be adjusting to being a stay at home mom in a city I am still very unfamiliar with. Pray I can connect with a few good woman and begin to grow strong bonds where we support each other and our children. Pray for us both as we continue to raise support while also working, learning, and living. We have until December to raise the remaining percentage and while that is a good amount of time, it looks very different being distant from the majority of our connections. Pray we will be be given the network to continue growing our support team and that we may feel peace working on this while also diving into the residency program head first.

We so appreciate all of you who take the time to read these updates and who continue to support us emotionally, through prayer and financially. We really couldn’t do this without you.

Lauren