we're still here.

i've realized that i'm terrible at documenting our family life. i'm not a scrapbooker. i don't take a lot of pictures, and apparently, i can't get in a rhythm with blogging. the good thing is, alex is great at getting pictures of micah. we may not have many family pictures from all of the fun things we do, but little man's life is well documented. oh, and if you have instagram you should definitely be following him :)

anyway, micah is almost 2.5 and he's amazing. he's definitely not the kid i imagined having when i was pregnant with him. he's not cuddly and i totally am. he doesn't like to read anything except Goodnight Moon, and i love so many different kids books (ive had a library of kids books in the garage since college). he loves to be outside, and i love to be inside. he's a total extrovert and needs to be around other people while i am totally content to be home alone for days on end. sigh.

i don't know what made me think that i wanted or needed a carbon copy of myself, but i did. now, i can't imagine my life any other way. i love that God gave me this little person who challenges me and pushes me outside of my comfort zone. just by being his awesome self, i am pushed and stretched in good and really healthy ways.

at nearly 2.5, micah is still a ball of energy. he is confident, and outgoing. he loves people and talks about everyone we know ALL THE TIME. oh, the talking. it's so good. i love knowing what he is thinking and helping him verbalize emotions. the whole talking thing is SO helpful. he loves to sing and dance, and he finally likes church! well, he's always liked church, he just now likes his classroom :)

my favorite thing about this age is how much his tender side comes through. he's a rough and tumble boy who has such a sweet heart. my prayer is that we can help him know how special that is and how he can use that to help and encourage others. just the other day, i was upset about something and i started crying. i was sitting on the couch and he was playing pretty close to me. when he noticed that i was crying, he said, "mama cwying...mama need nie nies (blankies)." he then went to his room and brought me all of his nie nies. way to get to my heart kid. in that moment, he saw that i was sad and tried to comfort me with what brings him comfort. just kill me, it's too good!

so that's a glimpse into our life right now. there is so much good, i am overflowing with joy. it's a great place to be and a great thing to document for once ;)


a day in the life.

my hubby is creative. i love when his creativity captures something that i just would never be able to do on my own...which is most of the time :) yesterday he dusted off the "real" camera and documented a day in the life of micah. i died when i saw it. so much of what i want to remember about this age...his sweet voice saying "good morning," the way he holds his nie nie (blankie) while he drinks his morning milk, his love of the beach, his obsession with popsicles, and so much more. i'll just let you watch...because it's wonderful.
a day in the life of micah from Alexander T. Pavone on Vimeo.


my boys.

all of these photos were taken by friends that alex met through instagram. i love that these people are now a part of our lives and that they have taken time to capture my loves.











our summer is coming to a close and while it has been super fun, i'm looking forward to more of a routine in our lives. tonight, someone asked me what time micah goes to bed, and i had to stop and think about it because it's been really hard to get him to bed on time this summer! here are some snapshots of our fun days and long summer nights...
picnic dinner in newport

micah being one of the IG guys :)

playdate at the park with his cousins

the fair with gongi and papa

another beach day with daddy

backyard silliness

another instagram beach day with daddy

chomping on some watermelon in the backyard

akex and his buddy Tim from MN...yes, they met through instagram!

micah and his sweet friend kenzie on the top of mt. roubidoux

s'mores by the fire at hume lake


so much good.

Last week was one for the record books in our little family. The kind that makes me want to use capital letters because I know that this is going to be an important post for me to remember :)

Last week was VBS. To say it was wonderful would be an understatement. We had 39 sites across orange county. Five other churches were involved either by hosting their own sites, or coming alongside one of ours. The stories coming out of last week's VBS are God sized and we are SO thankful. So that's how I spent my mornings and early afternoons...traveling from site to site collecting stories and encouraging leaders. I get to have somewhat of a bird's eye view and I love that.

VBS came off of one weekend and led straight into another so to say I was tired by the end of each day would also be an understatement. This kind of decentralized VBS leaves you a whole different kind of tired. It's hard to explain, but it's an all encompassing kind of tired. I was thankful that my parents were able to be with Micah each day and he was down for a nap each day when I got home :)

Alex had his own kind of awesome happen last week also! A group of guys called the Pilgramers came through town and were here for a couple of days. We were thankful to get the chance to meet them, and I am not exaggerating when I say that they were some of the most down to earth, humble, fun people to be around (for more info about who they are and what they do, click here). One of the guys, Tim, decided his travel time was up, and he was going to cut his trip short to head back to his family a week early. He ended up getting a flight out Sunday evening which meant that we were able to meet up with him and some new friends a few times before he left.

The people we met are all people that Alex knows from Instagram. It was crazy. So many new friends, and a community that is strong, Jesus loving, and super creative. I love it! I may or may not have mocked alex about Instagram in the past, but believe me when I say that won't be happening anymore. Online friends have become real life friends. Our families are connecting, and most importantly, my hubby is finding a place where he feels like he belongs and has so much to offer and learn all at the same time.

With all that good last week, we entered this week tired, but full. Life is good.



jumping is right up there with cars/driving on micah's list of favorites. We have been having fun with it while trying to keep him in one piece. thankfully he shows a little (teeny tiny) bit of caution when jumping....probably because he already has had a couple of injuries. Here are some shots from our phones (do people still use real cameras??) of micah jumping. oh, and jump in micah language is "momp!"




this past saturday, micah turned two. TWO. i can hardly believe it. to say that micah brings joy to our lives would be an understatement! this kid is crazy funny, and crazy cute.

he's definitely two. there are tantrums, and the yelling and hitting are super fun too. in the midst though, there are more laughs than screams, and more good times than time out times.

at two, there is nothing this kid loves more than driving. he would sit in the front seat of anybody's car pretending to drive rather than anything else...and yes, we have put that to the test...he chooses to stay in the car instead of going to the park! go figure...
He also can identify everyone's cars...mama, daddy, du-du (my brother rudy), bebe, nonni, papa, yaya, matt, stacy, and D (our friend doug)....it's kind of crazy to watch him do it...it doesn't even have to be the correct model, just the  logo matching is enough for him.

at two, he has an incredible eye for detail. he knows when something isn't as it should be, and he even notices when i change a decoration...if i add something new, he says, "mama, wooooow!" it melts my heart. he notices when i change the color of nail polish i'm wearing or if my shoes are different from earlier in the day. it's fun to see how observant he is.

micah is crazy in love with his daddy. they are pals, and alex includes him in almost everything he does. it's a joy for me to watch my two guys together.

He's talking up a storm, and i'm a pretty good translator :) he's also huge...he's super long and skinny. i'm interested in his stats at his two year old appointment...oh yeah, i should probably make him a two year old appointment!

   you are my little love, and i do love you something fierce. you make your mama and daddy so happy every single day. i love watching you climb and figure out new things. you are getting so big, yet you still love to "rock rock" with us before bed. you are adventurous and fun loving and it is my prayer that those characteristics would be used to put Jesus on display to our world. You make friends wherever you go, and the people who get to know you absolutely love you. we loved celebrating you with some of your favorite people in the world!  happy day day little man! we LOVE you.



this easter was unbelievable. not only our kids program, but the whole easter at the fairgrounds. there are two videos i would love to share with you. one is the RH arts production. it is the big God story. it is beautiful and creative and i am in awe of our creative director and the ways God has gifted him...just click the link...you won't be disappointed :: Cataclysm

the second video is a recap of the whole OC easter event. recap

i am unbelievably proud to be on this staff, and a part of this church. i am continually humbled by the fact that God chose me for this role at this time. 


that's me! i got baptized a week ago wednesday. i have believed in Jesus my whole life, converted from Catholicism almost 11 years ago, and i had only been baptized as an infant. i always knew that i wanted to, but there were always expectations i put on the experience, and then there were always excuses. on easter, i felt like i needed to do it, but again, an excuse :: work. a few days later at staff meeting, a coworker was sharing his story about why he chose to get baptized on easter and i knew that i wanted to do it, but didn't say anything...then i read an email saying that another guy that we work with wanted to get baptized and everyone was heading to Pirate's Cove for him to get baptized. That was it. it was my time. we all dropped what we were doing and drove to the beach. after being prayed over, i was baptized in the freezing cold ocean! after our staff spent some time worshipping on the beach, and honestly it was an amazing moment. almost our entire office cleared out for it. tons of work to be done, but the work of the Spirit was more important. i am so thankful to be a part of a staff who does that. i don't know many other large church staffs who would be so willing. i love it.

God has been working in me in some huge ways and i am excited to see what this next chapter hold for me. 


easter 2012

Easter was amazing. AH-MAZE-ING. the end. just kidding :) if you happened to be quick on your google reader yesterday, then you might have caught the first draft of this post which ended up being way more soul bearing that i was ready for so i took it down. it was long and drawn out and was like a journal entry that wasn't meant for anyone but me and God, and so that's where it'll stay...in my journal :) BUT, the good news is, i'm still going to wrap up our amazing easter...remember, AH-MAZE-ING. i'll try to be quick and more concise this time ::

the top picture in the collage is in the easter Playhouse. it was a labor of love and collaboration which was SO fun. i am thankful for the people that God brought to inspire the vision, and actually make it happen (i do mean you, doug and heather!). God taught be a lot about working in team, letting go, and the responsibility that comes with being creative...this is where my last post went all journally, so i'll stop here.

the bottom left pic is of one of our kiddos. he's a wild child, full of energy, but on sunday, i got to witness a Holy moment between him and God. i listened as he prayed fervently for someone. i couldn't hear all of his words (there were 100 other kids in there at the same time), but i could tell that he was serious and he was in the zone...the nobody interrupt me i am in the presence of the Lord zone. yeah, he was fierce. i later emailed his mom that photo and she wrote back saying that she had asked him what he was praying for and he told her that he was praying for his cousin and two friends to also love Jesus. he's 5. amazeballs.  

the bottom right pic is of a very crowded pacific amphitheater. i'm pretty sure that was my favorite easter service to date. the opening was incredible, the message was great, worship was unbelievable, and the baptisms get me every.single.time. LOVE me some baptisms. people came to know Jesus and be baptized. there's nothing better. 

to sum it up, easter 2012 was incredible. definitely one to remember and definitely once that has changed me. we had a great morning! the afternoon? well, micah had a massive meltdown due to the lack of sleep and then we all slept for 3 hours :)

we hope you had a wondeful easter!


CPC wrapup

i have been completely overwhelmed by the awesomeness of both CPC orlando and san diego.

it was amazing to be at both this year. double the conversations. double the awesome.

i guess the thing that sticks out the most every time we're talking Tru and spiritual parenting is the fact that we are not alone. there is a tribe. my tribe. my people who speak the same language and dream the same dreams.

we are hilarious. hil. ar. i. ous. seriously i can't tell you how many times i laughed so hard i cried. this picture only has a few of the many. there are so many more...many who will be coming to RH in May. i cannot wait. so much awesome in one place.

it was also amazing to meet new people with questions and stories and more questions. we were laughing at how a few years ago some of these things that we now speak freely about...spiritual formation for kids, worship as response, 10 environments, etc...were once SO hard to wrap our minds around, but now...now, we live it and breath it and share it well.

here's the thing...this curriculum, and this philosophy hasn't only changed our kids and parents. it's changed us in some profound ways. i am a different person than when we started this journey years ago. it's affected my volunteers and their friends and families. the reach is far and honestly, overwhelming sometimes.

so as i returned home and started missing my tribe like i always do...i started looking forward to the gathering in May, when we'll all be together and can share more stories of what God is doing! and laugh, of course we will laugh! 

micah these days.

micah is a crazy fun kid. exhausting, but fun. we are able to do so many more things with him now and he is communicating up a storm. he gets new words daily, and is starting to string them together. he'll say, "please, mama." he'll also suprise us and start saying a bunch of words that actually seem like a sentence...of course it's a sentence of all nouns :) his latest and greatest was "mama, nie nie, car, bye bye, play." to which of course i said, "oh, you want mama to get your blankie and take you in the car to go to play at the park?" he said yeah.  ha! what a fun time it is to be his mama.

he's still napping and sleeping great. eats any non-kid food...the kiddy stuff doesn't exactly do it for him. he loves to be outside and has been asking to go on walks a lot. he's FINALLY interested in books which makes this mama's heart happy.

things are good around here despite the lack of posts. micah is growing and learning and being awesomer than awesome :) i like to make up words. 


new friends.

we've been MIA for a little while now...okay, a long while, but that doesn't mean a lot hasn't been happening. i've been super busy at work which usually means some things (like blogging) just don't get done because i am exhausted when i get home ;)

The  things that have really stuck out for me personally in the last couple of weeks have been the Playhouse makeover and CPC Orlando and San Diego. All of these things have shown me that even though i'm just one girl running a very large ministry (with my awesome Heather of course), God has given me amazing people to come alongside me, support me, and be in this with me. see that picture of the Playhouse up there? that's our large group room for preschool. that is where preschoolers worship, hear from the Big God Story and respond to God. it's an important room and to be honest, it's been a little neglected. we just haven't had the time to do anything in there...including just maintaining. SO that's where new friends come in. RH has a team of incredible volunteers who create the look for the Centre (the main gathering room). This team also implements vision for big events like Christmas and Easter...among other things i'm sure. Well, this team took our vision for StudioK and the blessings room and created beautiful spaces for us. It was great, but the Playhouse had to wait...until now :) They worked over a couple of weeks to literally make my dreams come true in this space.

It was so fun to see 4 years of dreams come to fruition! and the best part was that i didn't do it. not because i didn't want to...it actually made me sick a little that i didn't think to go in and help at all. i don't like missing out on process, especially in my spaces. (note to self: when we redo the Playhouse in 10 years, make sure to help out) anyway, it was amazing to feel supported by a team that is not my own...not only because stuff got done, but because i have a lot of new friends. sometimes being in a big church can make it tough to be connected...i don't usually feel that because i know my volunteers, and families and kids and the staff, but outside of that  i don't usually meet new people. now, i not only met new people, but have new friends. new faces to look out for in the crowd...people that sacrificed their time to work on something near and dear to my heart, and for THAT i am incredibly thankful.


God is Real.

this past weekend at RH Central was so unreal that it confirmed that God is Real. Does that make any sense? No, I haven't been doubting that God is Real, but sometimes it's easy to forget that He's not only real, but he's working all. of. the. time.

My Saturday started early. 8am. Child Dedications at Central are an event all their own. We host a brunch as families are surrounded by their faith community praying blessings over their little ones. There is a short message, but the real heart of the morning is to be praying for those little ones and their mamas and daddies. This was my second dedication in my new role, and for some reason, it was much more powerful for me than the first. The parents were so real and vulnerable as they shared about their kids and the reasons why they wanted to dedicate their kids. The prayers moved me to tears almost immediately as one dad was literally praying the exact thing I had prayed for the night before. Family, Friends and Life Groups surrounded all these little people and covered their lives in prayers to the Lord. Wow. what a service....and then we did it again a couple of hours later! And, the second service didn't disappoint!

Sunday morning, we had a special guest visiting us from David C Cook. Of course we wanted to morning to go smooth, but we had no idea what we were in store for. Tommy wrote an email trying to explain the awesome, and i'm just going to quote him

I just wanted to take a minute to highlight an amazing weekend at RH.  We have great weekends and then we have unexplainably great weekends and that's what just took place.
Stories started pouring in from all age groups pretty quickly into each service and I honestly felt/feel so encouraged and moved by what the Holy Spirit was doing in the lives of our RH kids/students that I felt it necessary to share.

Initially, I started hearing stories out of small group time in Preschool.  How one little 4 year old shared how she loves "feeling the heartbeat inside her that God created" - as if to say it's how she feels close to him!  Then, stories started pouring out of Elementary:  one was from a volunteer who leads the 5th grade classroom.  She shared how these 5th graders began sharing and suddenly the whole direction shifted by one side comment one of the kids made:  "I bet that would be a lot harder for kids who lived in another country...like, say, India"  From there, the kids (without the prompting from a leader) decided to stop their conversation and immediately pray for kids in India.

At the 11am, I headed over to Middle School and saw 60 kids on their feet worshiping in a way that I haven't seen in a while and being bold enough to leave their seats and head to the back of the room to be prayed over by peers and leaders.  Again, something that in our own strength as staff/leaders is just impossible - to even attempt to force something like that would be a massive failure on our part but to see it happen so naturally can only be explained by the Spirit moving in new ways for our youth.

Lastly, I spent the last half of the service in High School and came in as Connor was heading into leading response.  It was just Connor w/his keyboard and a background singer. That's it.  Nothing else.  No other band support.  And again, something incredible happened.  Kids and leaders began worshipping in ways that have been absent from that ministry for a while and I found myself starting to get choked up by what I was witnessing.  Bachman had set the table for Connor in giving a message (in a nutshell) that focused on bad things happening to good people and there was Ben Robinson - standing to his feet with his arm around one of his leaders - praising God in the middle of "his bad."  And a kid that just 2 years ago was so broken and "thrown away"  - standing in the back, arms extended, singing at the top of his lungs.  It was honestly a beautiful scene.

In these moments I am overwhelmed by what God is doing at RH.  I think that I was just struck this weekend with an obvious reality that God is leading this church and that when we simply set the table, the Holy Spirit moves and changes people even at the youngest of ages.
I just had to share...telling stories is so important, and this week marked something big for our ministries...can't wait for next weekend!


christmas day.

christmas day was started off bright and early for alex and i. we woke up, exchanged our presents, then woke up little man to open his "big present."we ate a quick breakfast, grabbed the last of our stuff (the car was packed the night before), and got on the road to alex's parents' house. unfortunately, we stopped when we were already a ways from home when we realized that we had left micah's insulated cooler. you know, the one with his antibiotics in it :( oh alex was SO sad when we realized. he doesn't like getting to his parents late, and we were already behind schedule. micah had already taken his morning dose and didn't need another until 8pm, so i offered to drive back home during naptime so we wouldn't lose any more time. no one liked the idea of it, but it was what needed to be done to make alex happy, and keep micah healthy, so off we went....

after that little snafu, the morning was awesome. a fun (and crazy) time opening gifts and just being together. the afternoon was mellow...and the drive wasn't too bad. after an eventful evening and morning, being alone in a car for 3 hours singing worshipful christmas songs was actually wonderful! no complaining here...okay a little complaining...so much traffic on the way to OC!

we had a lovely dinner together, and my christmas ended with me staying in our room with micah and falling asleep with him. the kid does not like to sleep anywhere but his crib, and it took a lot of work to get him to sleep at night. for some reason, daytime is easier with him. i think the rest of the adults watched a movie. i fell asleep nice and early snuggling my little man...not bad ;)

we hope you had a wondeful christmas filled with love and joy!

update :: i removed the video because it kept starting on it's own...to see it, go here.

christmas eve.

christmas eve is my favorite day of the entire year. i love it. i love that i start the day with the families of RH. i love having a birthday party for Jesus with hundreds of kiddos. i love being with the amazing volunteers that give of their time on what can be a pretty busy day. love it.

what i also love, is being with my family. it's one of the few times a year that we are all together. all of my siblings. all of my neices and nephews. my parents. everyone together. it's always SUCH a fun night filled with laughter, food, and of course presents! we just did personalized gifts for the kids, rudy (because he doesn't have kids), and my parents. we did a white elephant gift exchange for everyone else. the night has a lot of excitement...and not just for the kids ;) i just love it! and to be honest....it's really nice that there are older cousins to help with the micah ;)

update :: i had to remove the video because it kept playing automatically. to see the christmas eve recap, go here.

the big present.

micahs christmas present. half store built...half custom by dad.
alex and i were so excited to start brainstorming micah's christmas present this year. i had seen a pin on pinterest that i wanted to recreate for micah. it has a lot of little hardware on it for kids to try to figure out. i knew micah would love it, but i also knew that i would love something double sided so we waited on it, not knowing exactly how we were going to make it happen. then, the day after thanksgiving, i went shopping like normal, and i walked into the first store (jcpenny) to find a wooden tool bench 60% off! there were only two left...and it was only 4am! i knew that alex could do something with it, and micah would love it, so i bought it!

fastforward to 3 days before Christmas...we still didn't have the hardware to add to the toolbench, and i REALLY wanted this to be micah's first "ohmygoshiloveit" Christmas present, so we hired a babysitter, finished the shopping, and alex built the final product. it's incredible! micah was SO excited to play with it Christmas morning and every day since!

when we were shopping for the hardware, i told alex that i felt like we were speaking micah's love language ;) it's cheesy. he's only 1.5. i know these things, but this gift held so much anticipation for me, and to see him love it as much or more than i had hoped it such a gift! so, that was micah's first "big" present! 


christmas eve eve.

On Christmas eve eve, I had a total mommy meltdown. Micah had gotten an ear infection and started antibiotics the week before Christmas. The week before that, I was sick. A total bummer for all of our festive plans...I had a lot that I wanted to do with Micah, but it all got brushed aside due to illness. I just felt so sad that we weren't doing anything but laying around. Alex was awesome and suggested that we make our gingerbread house and take Micah to see the lights right down the street. It was the perfect way to celebrate Christmas eve eve!

We may not have done all that I wanted to, but i felt so much better getting in a couple of christmasy activities!