Sneak Peak…

Sneak Peak...

As soon as I’ve persuaded my husband and sister-in-law to hand over their photos, I’ll put up a photo journal of our trip to Pinetop, Arizona.

New Year, New Beginnings

For almost exactly six years, I was a member of Emmanuel Covenant Church in Glendale, Arizona. I became a member on my husband’s birthday, December 31, 2006. The church completed its final worship service on the 30th of December, 2012. We missed that service, as we were on a family vacation in the mountains, but we did mark our final service with a photo taken in the same place where I became a member, where we were married in 2007, and where our children were baptized in 2008 and 2010. Being somewhat sentimental, I even wore the same dress that I had worn to our wedding rehearsal years ago. (I stopped short at replicating the outfit entirely, but even that took restraint.)

Final Sunday at Emmanuel

As you can see, we even smile Russian style.

As an army brat, I have never lived in one place long enough to worship there for six years. Emmanuel was my church home far longer than any other church has been, and it is sad to leave. Our new church home will be King of Kings PCA, and in many ways it represents a great continuity. In fact, our former church has merged with King of Kings, and many of the same voices will sing praises with us each Sunday. Still, I can’t help but think of the families who have chosen another church home, and how we will miss them.

Reunited and it feels so good.


We didn’t take toys on our trip, for fear of leaving or losing them. Luckily, there were plenty of toys at the cabin and everyone was properly diverted in between trips to go “snowing.” Nevertheless, on the drive home, the boys began to ask about their new Steiff chimpanzee and gorilla … and were delighted to find them still here, waiting for them.

The Blank Page

2013 is a book yet to be written, and I have always been paralyzed by the blank page. Thankfully, it is easier to continue living day by day than to continue writing through a block… but still I wish I could sneak a peek ahead and read the outline.

We returned today from a lovely family celebration of the New Year (and my husband’s birthday) in the mountains of Arizona. The boys enjoyed the idea of snow far more than the experience of being cold. I can’t blame them – they are, after all, little desert scorpions. Those of us who knew snowy winters as children relished the experience. My mother-in-law, who lived much of her life in Moscow, particularly loved to go for walks, multiple times a day. She told me that she was imagining her mind contained a little camera that could capture these moments and play them back to her. I could have whipped out my iPhone at any time and “captured the moment,” but it’s never quite the same as experiencing life first-hand, unedited and raw.

After a blissfully uneventful trip home, we discovered that our boys are battling right and proper little man colds. Sigh… and so it begins. Welcome, 2013. Take off your shoes and stay a while.