Monday, September 28, 2009

Our Most Recent Travels!

This weekend, we hopped back on a plane again to go to North Carolina and celebrate Kirk's cousin Alexa in her marriage to Jonathan.  We had a great time being with family.  The wedding was beautiful, despite a lot of rain.   We really enjoyed the whole weekend, especially introducing Elijah to family he had not yet met!  I'm pretty bummed about how most of the pictures turned out...I think it was just too dark, but hopefully you can get a feel for the day anyway.  Also, blame my hair on the rain and humidity.

Aunt Konni holding her favorite nephew.
Elijah enjoyed meeting his Great Grandma!
The decor was very pretty.  It was all very natural colors and lots of candles and lights.
The programs.

Alexa and her dad had a LONG "aisle" to walk down.  I thought it was so cute that 2 of her little sisters held up the dress to keep it from getting muddy.
I love this one with the tree.
And they are still walking, folks.
Alexa and Jonathan had their parents stand and vow to support them and pray from them.  They then had the congregation do the same thing.  I thought that was really cool.
Exchanging rings.

Alexa and Jonthan waited until their wedding day to kiss.  I was so set on capturing the kiss and I'm totally bummed it's blury.  I think I was just so excited about it that my hands were shaking.
I love this picture of Alexa's reaction to her first kiss!
This is from left to right, Grandpa Dunkelberger, Uncle Kirk, Aunt Kerri, Mom, Aunt Kimbra, and Great Grandma Dunkelberger.
...and they just kept on kissing.
...and kissing :).
Alexa's dance with her dad.
This was one of our favorite parts of the day.  Alexa started out the dance with her dad...
...and then her older brother Jon cut in...
...and then her brother Jake jumped in (and did some cool swing moves)...
...and then her youngest brother Joe cut in at the end of the song. We thought it was so sweet that they all took a turn.
The beautiful bride herself! I like how you can see the front of the dress in this picture.  She was so happy the whole day!
Elijah hanging with Daddy.
I laugh every time I see this picture.
Elijah also got to meet his Great Grandpa Dunkelberger this weekend.  Here he is with great grandpa and Aubrey (I think, there are 11 of them...I get confused sometimes!).
Bride and groom.
Duncan siblings and Makenna.  Katie, we missed you!
We thought we should get one in there with the baby.  As you can see, he wasn't interested.
The Duncans minus Katie.
Elijah playing with Uncle Kyle on the plane.
Kyle, you were huge help to us in the airports and on the plane.  Thank you!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I love it when we're cruisin' together...

So here they are! The long awaited cruise pictures.  Kirk and I had an awesome time on our 4 day cruise to the Bahamas.  It was great to have so much time together, just the 2 of us.  And yes, we did miss our son terribly! We were fortunate to have great weather the whole time and the cruise ship kept us thoroughly entertained (and fed)!  I have to brag about my husband a little bit here: he works so hard to support this family and I feel so blessed that he was willing to spend his precious resources and vacation days on an extended time away with me.  Thanks for all you do, Kirk.  I love you.

"Hey Kirk! How excited are you about our cruise?"
"Me too!"
This is me in front of our ocean view.
One of the many towel animals they left us in our room.
At the first port, Kirk and I rented a scooter and just explored the island.  We found this beach that was absolutely beautiful and no one was on it! We seriously had the whole place to ourselves (except for the nice man that brought us chairs and offered us drinks and the nice lady that came and sold me a pretty necklace).  Wow...look at that beach.
I mean, seriously, look at these colors!
The ocean is yours, babe.
I always thought it would be nice to have my own beach for the day.
Enjoying the scooter ride.
Another shot of our ship (the one with the blue and red thing sticking out).

We went on a snorkel tour in Nassau and the boat took us right past Atlantis.  This is as close as we got. 
Kirk enjoying our complementary "fruit punch".  Let's just say it's not the kind of fruit punch you would give the kids.
We could get used to this fun in the sun!
This is on the way in from the tour.  Our ship is the one second from the right.
The cruise ship had a waterpark on it.  Kirk and I took advantage...and yes, we were the only adults there.

Kirk and I loved going out to this one deck called "Serenity".  You had to be 21 so there were no little kids running around.  Just comfortable lounge chairs...
...and a great view.
...and my contemplative husband.
These were our waiters every night, David and Dodik.
Tan and happy on our last night! Our tans are gone now :(.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Wonderful Weekend...

Kirk and Elijah and I just got home late last night from a weekend in PA to celebrate the life of my Grandma Spier.  She died a few months ago and we had her memorial service on Saturday.  It was a great tribute to her life...God was honored in all of it.  I had the opportunity to speak at the service and reflect on the memories I had with her.  If you are interested in reading it, I am copying it below:

"Hi, my name is Chrissie Duncan and I am one of Evelyn’s many grandchildren. I am grateful for the opportunity to stand here today and honor her memory and her legacy. She was truly a remarkable woman. Days after my grandmother died, I sat down with a pen and paper and tried to formulate my thoughts about her impact on my life. I can’t tell you how challenging it is to put into words what a woman like Grandma has taught me. My heart is truly sad that she is gone, but when I really stop to think about her life, I can’t help but smile.

I can’t help but smile when I think about all the fun memories we shared when I was a child. My family was blessed to have her live with us for many years and because of that, I carry countless special memories with me. I can’t help but smile when I think about Grandma taking me to Disneyworld for the first time. I can’t help but smile when I think about the fact that she somehow convinced my sister Jessica and I that washing her dishes was a fun activity for us (what a smart woman!). I can’t help but smile when I think about how faithfully she visited those in her church who were not able to get out anymore and took my sisters and I along and showed us the value of service to those less fortunate.

I can’t help but smile when I think about my Grandmother’s wit. All the way until her final days she was a joy to be around. She always had something clever to say and she certainly wasn’t afraid to poke fun at herself. I remember specifically laughing on Christmas mornings with Grandma. She would open a new outfit from my parents and say something like “Oh wait until all the men see me in this.” Or she would open up a calendar she received and would say “I’ll bet you 20 bucks you can’t guess when Kwanza starts this year!”. We would practically be on the edge of our seats just waiting to see what she would say.

I can’t help but smile when I think about how incredible my Grandma’s reunion must have been with her husband. He died when I was one, but I feel like I know him because she talked about him so much. She loved him so much and I can only imagine what their walks along the streets of gold have been like.

And even more than her reunion with my grandpa, I can’t help but smile when I think about my grandmother meeting her Savior face to face. I am confident that the Lord welcomed her into heaven as a “good and faithful servant”. Because you see, all of those things that make me smile...the memories, the servanthood, the wit, the joy, the love...I know they are all motivated by her deep love for Jesus Christ. She was constant in prayer and rich in faith.

So yes, my human heart is sad, but my spirit is filled with deep joy about the woman that she was, the impact that she had on so many lives, and at the ultimate welcome home she received from her Lord in heaven. "

Elijah loved looking out the window of the plane (he was a champ on the flights, by the way!).
All of the Spier family came over to my parents home after the service was over.  It was great to be with everyone.  I wish I would have taken more pictures though! I only took a few.  Here are my cousins Joe and Karen enjoying a good laugh (and my cousin Matt on the side).
Uncle Jim and Aunt Verna and some others.
In the afternoon Sunday we had really nice weather so we went out into my parents front yard and enjoyed the outdoors.  I love these pictures of Elijah.  Look at those eyes!
Yes, mommy?