I love surprises! Jesse does too, and he’s so good at surprising me! I hardly ever get any clues out of him, and half the time don’t even know he’s planning anything! This time, we got to surprise some of our closest family and friends, and I don’t think any of them even knew there was a surprise coming! Heehee!
We have been so blessed with such an amazing group of friends and family, and friends we consider family because we are so close with them. Much of this has been a result of building our business through AdvoCare. There are just incredible people who have come in to our lives through that amazing vehicle!
Not only has our business given us the opportunity to form life-long relationships with a lot of servant-hearted, courageous, encouraging, friends who are such blessings in our lives, but it has also given us the opportunity to both retire from our past teaching jobs. This was originally why we started a part-time business – to replace one or both of our incomes so we could spend more time together and raise a family, together, from home. In God’s goodness, the fullness of that dream is going to happen this November, even though both of us have been fully retired for over 18 months now.
After we both retired, we needed some bigger goals, so we started focusing on getting to the highest leadership level in our company, Diamond. I won’t go into all the boring details, but we knew to get there, it would require us to help a lot more people! So we did. And February of this year, we made it!
To celebrate this big TEAM achievement, we had a big dinner followed by a big conference on March 31st. At that time, I was 9 weeks pregnant. We had also had our 2nd ultrasound that morning. (One of the “perks” of IVF is you get more ultrasounds during your first trimester…)
If you’ve ever been pregnant before, you know that one of the scariest/most nervous/highest risk periods is your first 13 weeks because it’s when the risk of miscarriage is highest. I debated back and forth and back and forth with myself (and Jesse) about whether or not I was ready to tell all our closest friends and family we were pregnant at only 9 weeks. I know some women share the news as soon as they see a plus on the home pregnancy test, but this was such a big deal for me. I don’t think I could have handled it if we told everyone, and then… And then the unthinkable happened and I’d have to tell people we weren’t pregnant anymore.
But here’s the ultimate truth that I kept circling…God is so faithful. He had already performed one miracle in my womb (of whom we’d already heard and seen the sweet heartbeat twice) and ultimately I had to give up my own rights to my sweet child. I trusted God that He would continue to grow this sweet blessing He had given us. But even if He decided to take it away, the child was his anyway. I gave up my will for His and just trusted him. And we decided to tell all 200ish people the great news
That night, we had a more intimate dinner at Bahama Breeze of about 50 friends and family. (This was the only picture I got of the group. I wish I would have taken more pictures of the whole room to show you!) We had a sweet friend, Kristi Campbell, taking pictures of the dinner, and she made us such a beautiful photo-book with so many great photos of the evening. It’s something we’ll always treasure.
Annnnnnnd, as we were telling everyone that we were so thankful they were all there to celebrate our big accomplishment and that we could only attribute it to all the amazing people there and the Lord’s provision, we paused, and looked at each other…
Such joy! That was so fun! And so many sweet friends were happy/overjoyed/crying with us! We were so grateful Jesse’s family could also be there to hear the announcement too!!
About an hour later, Jesse got to repeat the announcement to 200+ people at our business meeting. It was such a special night! Here are some pictures I took of my stud hubby (isn’t he handsome??) and our dear friends at the meeting.
This last picture is a beautiful frame our friends Chana and Jose Saavedra made for us, filled with memories of times we have spent with other Jacksonville leaders. We have a great picture of last 4th of July’s party at Joshua Delp’s family condo on the beach. There’s a sweet picture of us volunteering with a group to pick citrus for the Florida foodband, Second Harvest. So many wonderful memories, so many amazing people.
All in all, it was an incredible night. We were able to celebrate with and for so many people that we hold dear to our hearts. Thank you to all the amazing people who took time out of their busy Monday and joined us. A special thank you to some of our guests that drove in from out of town to celebrate with us that night (and I apologize if I miss a few…)
Kim, Z, Aliya, Asad, & Amira Buttar
Mike & Sarah Ferro
Tim & Debbie Hancock
George & Marsha Reynolds
Kari & Barri Boatner