Friday, October 26, 2012

Without further ado...

Why the silence!?!?

I'm sorry friends for such a long lull in blogging. But there's a reason and a good reason at that.

I was all ready to plunge back into regular family news-worthy stories. An update on apartment managing, enjoying our big {and growing} girls, fall time and decorating the house, Wednesday nights with our niece Hayden and even FINALLY BUYING A VAN! --never thought I'd be writing that bit of news!

But...all of that has taken a back seat to this:

A baby! Sweet baby boy or girl number 3 for this Mehringer family! We are so thankful, thrilled and excited for this little one! We can't wait.

I've been spending a lot of time on the couch, and in the bathroom, and plugging my nose, and eating crackers...lots and lots of crackers! Bleh!

This early pregnancy morning sickness has been a doozy! Worse than both girls combined. Again, I'm thinking it's a boy. But maybe I'll be right this time.

Tomorrow I'm 9 weeks which makes June 1st our due date. 

Reese tells us regularly that she'd like a brother. Allie is just content to smile at us.

Oh ~ we've decided to not find out the gender. *BIG SMILE* So we will be extra-excited when 
Delivery Day arrives!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Looking Back: summer edition

Sigh. I have so much to catch up on. It's almost painful when I realize how much I've missed just by not blogging like I normally do. 

I use this blog as our family's journal and as I think back...I've missed some big events. Oh, I'll definitely write about them and try to recapture those important milestones. But it's the small little details I'll be foggy on and probably altogether forget. Just helps me determine in my mind not to give up on remembering. To keep on, keeping on because God is so kind to us. He has blessed our little family greatly and I want to be like the Psalmist who says:

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits." Psalm 103

Even today I've been working to Bless the Lord in my heart when the circumstances around me only make me want to complain or grumble. We're in the thick of round #2 (as in second time this summer) of super high fevers, achy bodies and sleepless nights. It's a challenge. Makes me want to rebel in my heart as I watch my girls suffer all the while it being hotter than blazes outside.

But...King David didn't say to Bless the Lord only during the good times. He didn't tell us to ascribe Glory and Honor to the Lord just when you feel like it. He instructs us to continuously Bless the Lord at all times, that His praise be on our lips. So that is what I'm preaching to myself right now. And I'm praying that the more I do that, the more I beg of the Lord to change my heart, that my first response will be to worship Him.

Wow. There's a little insight into my heart tonight. Hope you don't mind.

And since it's getting later than I had planned, I'll just leave you with one picture. It's probably my favorite of all the pictures I took this summer. And just to warn's not exactly "G" rated. But I really love it and don't plan to post it on it will only be here on my blog this one time.

See you soon!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Moved In

Note: I wrote this the night before we got on a plane to head to Alaska for 20 days. Very delayed in posting this but still a big event in our Mehringer lives and something I want to remember.

We are plum tuckered out! Like...could sleep a few days to finally feel normal again kind of tired. BUT we are moved into our home and couldn't be more thankful for this new place.

First, we had an AMAZING team of guys who moved our things in 2 hours. 2 hours!!! I couldn't believe how efficient they were and careful at the same time. It blessed me to hear them laugh, joke around and {for some} even whistle while they went to and from. My sweet friend Jen kept our girls for the morning so I could work without interruption. Her thoughtfulness allowed me to move out and back in my entire kitchen. Everything was where I wanted it when I went to pick up the girls at 1pm. Thank you Jen! Moving day would have looked a lot differently for me had it not been for you.

Next, we spent ALL day Monday getting things out of boxes, putting stuff up on the walls and turning this place into our little home. This was all possible thanks to our beloved Marmee! She picked up the girls at 8:30am and her and Papa both brought them back that night by 7:30pm. Matt and I couldn't believe how much we were able to accomplish, how easy it was to jump in the car, grab a few things at Lowes, to pick up lunch on the way back, inhale {well almost} our food and then to have 7 hours left of intense measuring, nailing, drilling, assembling and all out decorating. What a supportive hubby I have to devote a whole day to this!

 I have lots of rearranging and organizing to do. But that's the fun part. And it will come in time. I just need to be patient.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 4th

Hmmm...a simple day. 
We wore patriotic colors. We played July 4th -ish music all day long on Pandora. Amidst our packing craziness with moving only 3 days away, we stayed indoors and kept busy.
But our sweet parents aka Papa and Marmee knew we had to stop at some point and eventually we'd have to eat. So they invited us to have a 4th of July picnic at the park. And that's just what we did.

Sweet simple memories are made of this!

Happy as a clam...doing what she loves best!

Silly faces with Aunt Mollie

Blowing pinwheels...

So much love!

A lot has changed in a year...
Happy 4th of July!

July 4, 2011...
Allie came 15 days after this picture

Going back to work...

Before you gasp and think, "what in the world?!?" just know that I get to do this new job from the comfort of my own home and with my one co-worker being my super amazing, all-star hubby!

We have been praying, waiting and praying some more for the opportunity to become apartment managers in our own complex for the past 2 years. We trusted that the Lord knew the best timing (and even if this would be the best situation for our family) and stepped back to see when and how He would direct us. What seemed like out of the blue...we just assumed it was looking like a "no" from the Lord...we were asked if we'd be interested in doing an interview. The same day we were offered the job! We took some time to prayerfully consider all the ways this would impact us as a family and a few days later gave our acceptance. 

Gulp! We've never managed 33 families/units before. It's a big step and the learning process can at times seem daunting and overwhelming. BUT...we're thankful for the ways God is providing for us. We're thankful for our own little "house" that's a unit all by itself within the complex. A backyard for the girls to run and play. A washer and dryer INSIDE our home (a first in our 5 1/2 years of marriage). An office to do all this management work plus a space for Matt to spread out and do his teacher planning/grading thing! The biggest blessing of all...getting to put money into savings for {Lord willing} a future downpayment on a home! 

All of this has led to packing the home we've loved for the past 3 years. I'm gonna get a little nostalgic here. ;) It's been a lot harder than I thought it would to leave #107 behind. This is the place we discovered we were going to be parents and then parents again so quickly! We've brought both our babies home here, set up their nursery, had countless nighttime feedings. Many friends and family members have stayed with us, had meals, game nights, movie watching and surprise birthdays! I guess I can start to feel that by moving away from this home I'm leaving behind all the events that happened within these walls. 
And then the other part of me pipes in with...but you're going to make so many new and wonderful memories where you're going. You will come to love it just as much (maybe even a little more) than the previous one. You will look back a few years from now and think...did I ever feel that way? And I would have to agree with this other part of my brain. Matt said the same words to me when we left our first home (the only home I'd known with him). They are right, I just tend to hold on to what I know and am comfortable with tightly.

So I step out in faith. Trusting the Lord that He is leading and guiding us in this next chapter as apartment managers. I'm so grateful for all the ways He is taking care of us and how we've never lacked for anything. He will continue to be the same Jehovah Jireh and Covenant keeping God!

I took some pictures of apt #107 so as not to forget. Enjoy!

I spy something orange! ;)

And blue!

Guest bathroom

Master Bath

Friday, June 29, 2012

11 months

I've forgotten how much I love this stage.

Showing independence yet cuddling, exploring her world, trying new things. Allie finds joy in {almost} all circumstances. She loves to have free reign of the toys when Reese is out of sight, she squeals and laughs to get our attention; throws back her head with excitement when food is coming her way. 

There is so much fun to be had when you're this big!! Here's what we've been up to:

~Pulled up for the first time 2 days after turning 11 never thought it was gonna happen

~She now stands more than sits...maybe walking isn't too far off

~Top 2 teeth FINALLY came through! That only took 3 months. :/

~Loves loves loves to swim! The pool is Allie's favorite summer pastime. When she goes down for a dunk she comes back up sputtering, gasping and smiling from ear to ear. 

~Hasn't yet learned to say a word...this is a big change for us given that Reese had about 7 by this time. Allie communicates through grunts and signing "All Done" ;)

~Got her first black eye from's so hard to see your baby suffer because of your other child (another new experience for mom)

~Has an uncanny sense of rhythm and beat. Even if it's just Reese singing "Jesus Loves Me", Allie will bob her head or rock on all fours. Gets me every time!

~Miss Personality! The nursery workers at church always have a story to tell about her entertaining them with crazy faces, laughs and antics.

~Down to 2 bottles a day...formula you're on your way out (yes!)

~Had her first Father's Day...She sure lights up when he walks into the room

~Has now been on 3 plane-ride trips in her short little life

~Baby food is a thing of the past. Even with {barely} four teeth, she loves table food and eats anything and everything we put in front of her. What a blessing good eaters are!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Vacation to Oregon pt 3 ~ Wedding Day!

It's fitting that I finish off the last of my Oregon trip posts on June 18th...Diana's birthday! Happy Birthday my sweet sister. I hope your day is truly magical...your first one as a married lady!

May 20, 2012.
The day had finally arrived. 10 months prior Stephen Terry Andersen got down on one knee to ask Diana Grace Ryan to marry him. She said yes. Many many months of planning, emails, phone calls, appointments, scheduling all lead up to this moment.

 Today was finally here!

I woke up with such joy and excitement in my heart. My baby sister was going to be a bride! A beautiful, gorgeous and pure bride who had waited for her groom. Those that know me know I'm a true romantic at heart. I love godly, Christ~exalting relationships that end in marriage. It thrills me when we receive an invitation in the mail to friends' weddings.

But it takes on a whole new level of wonder and bliss when it's one of my family members. When it's a Ryan wedding. And when it's my sister. 
There's nothing quite like being the oldest sister who has been there for so much of her life. Who was the meanie who pushed Diana towards the drain when we took a bath as kids because she was afraid of going down it as the water drained horrible that I wanted to see the fear on her face. {to this day...I hate that that was me!} I was the sister who picked on her endlessly or knew which buttons to push that would make her fly off the handle. Diana was the baby of the family for 9 years and she knew just how to get her sisters in trouble. Like doing crazy antics at the dinner table to get me to laugh which would invoke a stern admonishment from our parents. Diana was a spitfire back then! Or watching with eyes bugged and a gasping mouth as she'd have a meltdown at the table because she didn't want to finish her food, followed by stomping all the way up the stairs and slamming her bedroom door. But I also noticed the Lord changing her heart to tenderness as she got older, her way of being open, honest and vulnerable to me when she would struggle with things or be passionate about something. Being told that you are your sister's role model...for good or humbling and many times had me examining my heart and motives for why I do what I do. I want to be a reflection of Christ to her!
I guess all of this just shows you the extra amounts of emotion that went into this day. My sweet sister was grown up now; ready to be a wife, ready to commit herself to Stephen for all the days of her life. all brides and bridesmaids do...we took lots of time to get beautiful for such an occasion!

{pictures by Jen Howell and Amanda Bacon}

And who better to document the event than our husbands! ;)

Next, time to help the bride with her dress and take some pictures...

{picture by my sister Kelly Turnage}

Simply stunning!

My cutest little sister Elise...Diana's flower girl!

Beautiful Cathryn, Diana's matron of honor.

From here we drove to the wedding site for lots of before pictures.

{spying on them from far away 
while they took their "alone" pictures}

All of Mama's girls...

My sweet Grandmom and Great Aunt Mary...
the fact that they came from so far away really blessed Diana!

Love Stephen's smile while kissing his bride. :)

All the sisters together!

Dad and his daughters...all 5 of us!

What followed next took me completely by surprise. Up to this point things had been a flurry of events. Lots of going here and there, doing this and that and spending time with family and friends with all the celebration intermingled didn't allow for processing what was happening. So, it all hit me like a ton of bricks as I started walking down the isle. I did my best to compose my quivering chin and to smile {looking down} as I walked towards Diana's groom. Stephen was beaming ear to ear; eagerly waiting for his bride! Probably one of my favorite glances as a sister. 
I took my place next to my sisters and watched as my Dad walked a smiling, tearful bride towards the alter. Then, the water works started. And I guess I wasn't the only one. Jen captured this shot.

Diana and Stephen's ceremony exalted Jesus Christ; their personally written vows included. They poured out their hearts to one another, promised to love and cherish each other and to make Christ glorious in their lives as husband and wife. What pure joy! 

Pouring of sand, taking communion for their first act as husband and wife, a sweet kiss and then introducing Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Andersen. As much as Diana and Stephen are serious and intentional about their relationship with Christ, in the same way they love to laugh, get crazy and have fun.
Let the good times roll!!!

{dancing back down the isle}

{First Dance}

Sweet story about this next picture...Back when I was 10 and living in our old house in Alaska we moved next door to an amazing Christian family. During that time they had a baby girl and you would have thought she was mine. I loved Bekah...every day without fail I'd go over and ask if I could play with her, take her for walks or carry her all over our two yards. She was my living babydoll. I even had my first babysitting experience earning 25 cents an hour to watch her. Money or not I loved every second. Fast forward 18 years...that baby met and held my baby during the wedding and Allie loved her just as much. Really really blessed me to not only see Bekah again (they moved not long after her 1st birthday) but for her to love on my daughter too. :)

{Saying goodbye to the newly weds}

Diana and Stephen, God's richest blessings on your new life together. It is our prayer that every day you continue to love Christ more deeply and passionately. With your hearts surrendered to Him and His Word, I know that there is nothing you cannot endure or withstand. May the glories of the Cross drive you to humility and forgiveness with one another. May He be your stronghold, the Love which your love for each other comes from and the sustaining power to protect and guard your marriage. 
We love you both!!! ~ Matt, Ashley, Reese and Allie