Wednesday, December 19, 2012

'tis the season

for holiday cheer.
and besides "singing loud for all to hear,"
what is better than a good Ugly Sweater party to get the cheer going...
the Hubs and I enjoyed getting into the spirit of things.
by the way, his ensemble was all on his own.  
I was totally digging it.

Scrooge showed up.
we tried to get him into the spirit of things.
he was a tough sell at first.

but when his cute elf wife and reindeer son were in the picture,
he was all smiles.
 we had some other fun family portraits going on:
and then we busted out the XBox Kinect


there was javelin throwing, long jumping, running, and then....
then there was spousal boxing.
it was awesome.
and guess who WON?!
oh yeah, I have a killer upper cut.

by the end of the night, people were stripping down.
oh look! Scrooge is smiling!
and sweating :) 
as the pictures show,
it was a really good time.
and a great way to kick off my week off from work.
Thanks, Brokenicky's, for hosting!!
I still have a lot to get done to get ready for all the company coming our way.
the hubby is officially on break, so we plan to check lots of things off our list tomorrow :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Happy 3rd Birthday, Mackoy Matthew. 
I sure love being your auntie. 
You love people and have a special gift for making people feel loved and wanted. 
You have a facial expression for every emotion-they are the absolute best. 
You radiate JOY and live to get the most out of every moment. 
You can be the sweetest little boy, with the kindest spirit.
you can also be strong-willed and ornery...which I also love :)

I pray that you will know Jesus-his love for you and his plans for you life.
I pray that you grow into a man that loves others well. 
I pray that your kindness continues to grow, 
and that you continue to be full of joy. 

I also pray that you always know how much you are loved.
your Aunt Erica and Uncle Rob think you are the coolest.
you and your sister make this move to Kansas worth it :)
(okay, and all you other cool Kansas people, too!)

Friday, December 14, 2012


a recap of the last couple of weeks
via pics from my phone. 

we got our tree up and decorated one evening after we got back from the ranch. 
sitting in my chair next to tree is my favorite place in the mornings and evenings. 
and I still love these Christmas mugs that were a wedding gifts from a dear friend.

two Fridays in a row we have gone to watch my cousin Karli play high school basketball. 
which has meant three weekends in a row of snuggling this little lady. 
it's my favorite. 
we love to sandwhich moments of snuggling in between lots of dancing and singing. 
pep bands are perfect for dancing along to, ya know. 

being in Wichita also meant that I got to snuggle with this guy:
cousin love. 

Students finished up the semester and headed home for Christmas break,
which has left things pretty quiet around the office. 
I took the time to look into getting my Kansas LPC license. 
gross. it just made me anxious. 
so much for being easy-peasy.
I'll keep you posted on how that unfolds.

tis the season of festivities. 
this past weekend the fam-bam got all bundled finally felt like winter in Kansas...
and went to Botanica Gardens Illuminations
it was beautiful. 
haven let me hold her and she was mesmerized by the lights and music. 
she eventually fell asleep staring at a light display. 
afterwards we loaded up in the SUV
stopped for some hot cocoa
and went to look at more lights.

the next evening we went to a concert with my mom and the waldrons
(should have taken more pictures!)
 the concert was manneheim steamroller. 
and it was amazing. 
definitely worth seeing. 

this week was the tabor faculty/staff christmas party. 
we ate a really yummy meal, watched a funny christmas skit, 
and sang some carols together as a tabor community.

I've been rather emotional all week, 
so it probably wasn't the best idea for me to spend the evening 
catching up on episodes of parenthood. 

did anyone else watch this week?!?!
i was a mess.

I finally wrapped some gifts last night!
I am proud to say that I only have ONE gift left to buy,
and that there are gifts under our tree. 

it was really hard for me to get into the gift-buying mood this year,
but I tried to be intentional and personal with my selections,
and I am excited for what we are giving this year. 
should be fun. 

so that's a quick recap. 
it's good for me to do these recap posts. 
makes me realize that we are blessed. 
have much to be thankful for. 
and really are trying to live life to the fullest. :) 
Happy Friday, ya'll!

linking up with jeanett.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

mary and elizabeth

I've been thinking a lot about babies lately.
We are definitely in that "season,"
both in life and in the year,
where the focus is on babies, birth, and new life.
we are getting ready to celebrate the most incredible birth story ever told, ya know.:)
that was in case you had forgotten it was Christmastime.

It seems that at least once a month we have a friend announce a pregnancy or a birth.
Which is really, really fun.
I am always REALLY excited for our friends when they announce these things.
I love holding new babies.
Having a sleeping, snuggling baby in my arms is seriously one of my very favorite things.

But if I'm going to be honest, this season has been really hard, too.
because I really want a baby of our own right now.
I hold two things in tension--joy and sadness. 
and because of the rawness of my own emotion,
the Christmas story has taken on a new dimension for me this year.

Mary and her cousin Elizabeth were both pregnant at the same time.
Did you know that? Well, now you do.
Mary was pregnant before she wanted to be.
Elizabeth was pregnant after years and years of not being able to get pregnant.
Mary wasn't married yet--so there was probably some shame and embarrassment surrounding here pregnancy.
Elizabeth was "well along in years" and passed the child-bearing stage of life--so there was probably a lot of confusion and gossip surrounding her pregnancy, too.
I'm sure people had opinions and "concerns"--I'm quite certain that somethings about humanity never change.

So here are two women. both pregnant. both carrying men who would literally change the course of humanity.
and yet their roads to becoming pregnant were very different. VERY.

and that reality still exists today.
women who get pregnant before they are "ready" to be mothers.
women who pray and beg God for a baby until they are "well along in years."
women who long to be married so that they can have a family some day. 

I don't know what our journey will look like.
I believe that God knows the desire of my heart.
I believe that He is good, and that He loves me deeply and fully.
I believe that we will be parents. someday. somehow.

as I walk this journey, I will continue to hold joy and sorrow in tension.
I will continue to take both of those to God and allow him to change me.
use me.
mold me.
my story is not my own.
my story is His. 

I have gone back and forth on whether to share this out here in blog-o-sphere.
I'm not necessarily a really private person--if you sit with me over a cup of coffee, I'm likely to tell you what's on my heart--
but I'm not big on public broadcasts.
however, in this case, I'm hoping that it can be an encouragement to others.
my prayer is that if there are other women who, like me, are dreaming and waiting, that they would know they are not alone.
and that there is HOPE.
at Christmas, and all through the year.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Memory Lane

In honor of it being the last day of finals around here, 
and me completing my first semester BACK at Tabor, 
I thought I would post a few of my favorite pictures from my time as a student. 
(there a million more at home that I need to dig out of boxes!)

enjoy this little trip down memory lane.

Happy Christmas Break, Ya'll!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Advent Conspiracy

For whatever reason, this holiday season I have really been thinking about what I want Christmas to be about.

What do I want Christmas to look like? sound like? feel like?

I want Christmas to look hopeful. to sound joyful. and to feel peaceful. 


I don't know about you, but I have only been able to TRULY find these things through Jesus.
The world promises me security (false hope), happiness (temporary joy), and peace (in a cup of coffee)... but I have found that none of this lasts. Not really. Not for long.

My soul is only satisfied by Jesus.

So, if I want Christmas to be full of hope, joy and peace, 
then I need Christmas to be about JESUS.

(you're thinking. Well, duh, Erica!)

but hold up.
stop the bus.
HOW do we make Christmas about Jesus?

Well, I think the people behind  Advent Conspiracy are on to something.
Click the link.
Watch the video.
Tell me what you think.

How are you going to invite Jesus to be the center of your Christmas?
I'm going to try to post some ideas and ways that Rob and I are going to GIVE this Christmas.
Maybe you'll join us.

Leave a comment about what you are up to this Christmas.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Advent lessons from a little cowboy.

we were at "Papa's Ranch" for Thanksgiving.
Mackoy LOVES his Papa Kirk.
My mom and I flew with the kids (Mackoy and Haven) to Louisiana the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Mackoy knows no stranger and he told nearly each person we met, including the TSA people and our flight attendants, "My name is Mackoy Matthew (Maffew) Hemmert. I"m gonna be three (free) after my next birfday. I'm going to see my Papa Kirk on the ranch."
When we finally arrived at the Monroe airport after a long day of traveling, Mackoy could barely contain his excitment. "Where's my Papa Kirk?!? We gonna go see him?!" 
And then there was the moment when he saw his papa...
we were about 40 yards away and were coming down a ramp to where everyone was waiting on their loved ones to arrive. He was holding my hand and we started running. He was laughing and yelling, "My Papa Kirk! My Papa Kirk!"
at one point, he let go of my hand just kept on running. I teared up. But I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one. It was seriously the sweetest thing.
My dad scooped him up and that was it. For the next 7 days they were pretty much inseparable. Except when my dad got the flu. At which time, Mackoy simply asked us all a million times, "Is my Papa Kirk okay? He gonna get better?" Such a tender little heart.
As I watched my dad and Makcoy's reunion, I couldn't help but think of how much my Heavenly Father loves me and how much he longs for this type of reunion with me.
Would I RUN to Him, laughing and sqealing with delight?
Would I yell his name over and over again until he scooped me in His arms?

literal pictures often feel a little strange...
but it definitely got me thinking..

and with the beginning of Advent this weekend,
I have been reflecting on the approaching holiday
and how to prepare my heart for what we are celebrating.

Advent literally means WAITING.
We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Christmas.

It is so easy to get lost in the chaos of it all.
but I refuse to let that happen. because the chaos can be a kill-joy.
and I do not want to miss out on the JOY of this season.

So, I want to learn from this little cowboy in my sweet nephew...
I want to RUN to Jesus, with adoration and joy!
I want His love for me to cause me to become undignified like a three year old who sees his beloved papa!

Jesus came to earth.
To dwell with us.
because he LOVES us.
Yes, YOU.
and me.

that is awesome. that is totally worth celebrating.



JOY to the WORLD. 
Let earth receive her KING! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I have a tendency to get ahead of myself sometimes.

I jump all in.

Dream big.
Make plans.
I love dreaming and planning and all that good stuff. 

It is also really important to me that I live intentionally.
To make things count.
To be wise and discerning.

sometimes I struggle to make those two align.
anybody else out there struggle with that?

this is a picture of my journal from February 2007. 
I was living in Canada. Preparing for a 3 month mission trip to Mexico.
We had a guest speaker come--who was a very discerning, wise listener. 
She spent some time praying with me and for me. 
This is what I wrote down about those prayers. 
She prayed that I would:

"be someone who doesn't move until I hear God's voice."

fast forward one year.
I come back from Mexico.
Decide to marry the hubs.
Move to Denver.

I'm in graduate school at Denver Seminary.
They make give all students the opportunity to take the MMPI and a battery of other tests. then we meet with a spiritual director guru. besides the MMPI being ridiculously long, it really was a very positive experience. during my 1on1 meeting the guy says: "You're probably someone who has always longed to have one clear direction for your life--for God to just tell you that he was calling you to something specific.

I'm leaning forward. nodding. yes. thinking, this is the moment...

this is what he says next.

"You are going to be someone who is always asking,  "What do You have for me now?

Really? Okay.
Well, not what I was expecting.
But in that moment I began to feel so much FREEDOM.

Someone finally gave me the freedom to stop pursuing that ONE big calling and told me to just keep asking. keep seeking. keeping journeying.

If God had given me one very specific calling I would have just gone for it. full tilt.
and it would have been a disaster.
He knew that I would get ahead of myself.
and what good is being "on mission" in life if I am not connected to the Source of all life.

He knew that I would need to slow down from time to time.

Listen. Dialogue. Meditate. Ask. Hear.

and I feel like I am at that place again.
asking "What do you have for me now?"

some of who (whoever you are....those mysterious readers out there....) just read those words and thought, "What the H*#@ is she talking about? She just moved. Started a new job. Bought a house. Isn't that enough?!?!?!"

And the answer is Yes. and No.

Yes, I have had A LOT of change in the last few months. a lot. trust me. no one feels that to quite the same degree as me. I'm not necessarily asking for something new or different. I'm not asking for another project or job or opportunity. I'm not.

What I am asking is,"Lord, what do You want from me in this season?" 
We were so focused on getting here. and now we are here.
and I'm still unpacking what that looks like.
to be here. in this town. in this job. in this season of life.

but I never want to stop listening.
I want to HEAR from my Jesus.
I want to walk in obedience and not get swept away in the busyness that is all around me.

My struggle is being still.
Honestly, I'm just not very good at it.
And one thing I've learned when working with my clients is:
If you are not intentional and focused when they are talking, you'll miss what they are really saying.

I don't want to miss what is being said to me.
So I'm really working on being still. so that I can listen.

I'll let you know how it goes....:)

Friday, November 9, 2012


Linking up with Jeannett this week.
taking a look back at the week with pics from my phone.

last Friday evening I was busy finishing up details for the engagement party
and sara jo was working on details for a baby shower. 
lydia jane-never one to be left out-was busy typing a message. 
here she's saying "I text you."
(ps. those boots. seriously cute, right?!)

my lovely and charming cousin came to stay the night friday.
after 13 years of being the only girl cousin, she was finally born.
I am still excited she was born. 
she's pretty cool.
we made a little midnight ice cream run.
wendy's frosty are the best.
 the next morning Karli helped me bake 6 loaves of pumpkin bread. 
our house smelled soooooo delicious. 
and the bread turned out beautifully.

the weekend was crazy busy. 
seriously. cray-cray.
confession: we skipped church. 
I just needed to be alone. and in silence.
after a few hours of sitting in silence
I had to get all fancied up for the Presidential Leadership Scholars dinner. 
(ignore the spotted/dirty mirror please. ew)
we had 43 high school seniors on campus sunday/monday.
they were competing for a scholarship and a chance to be a Presidential Scholar.
big time stuff happening over here. :)
the weekend went really well and I actually had a lot of fun. 
even if I did have to put on a pencil skirt instead of sweats for my Sunday evening attire. 

even after the busyness that was our weekend, 
we found motivation to complete a house project on Monday evening. 
window coverings!!!!!
 these beauts are from west elm. 
it feels so nice to feel our bedroom start to come together again.

my husband. 
he cracks me up. 
so random.
when I got home he was still set on working out.
I talked him into doing Hip Hop Abs with me. 
("I've got moves you've never seen"--Name that movie. Anyone?)

 "tilt. tuck. tighten."
"this is Shaun T. I'm here for you."
ohmy. that guy.
the workout is entertaining. 
and you actually get a decent ab workout.

after our workout.
we headed to the Tabor caf to eat with friends 
and then watched the volleyball game. 
I got to hold this little guy. 
perfect way to end the day. 

also while at the volleyball game, 
I was asked to announce the women's basketball game on Wednesday night. 
they were desperate. 
i was nervous. 
but it actually went well and I had fun. 
and the girls won!

It was a great week. 
I'm thankful for people to share these moments with. 
and I'm looking forward to another really great weekend.