Tuesday, March 27, 2007

7 weeks to go!

Seven weeks left in sunny, Southern California. May 11 is Braden's graduation day from The Master's College. After that we'll be packing up and hopefully be heading eastward around May 14th. We'll be heading to Louisville, KY where The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary awaits us. Our months here in Cali have gone by quickly, and we have definitely enjoyed our time here. The things I will miss the most are:
-The beaches and palm trees!-The Josh Rivas-Grace Community Church and our Sunday school group
-All the amazing foods and restaurants we've been introduced to...Stonefire, In and Out, BJ's,Wildfire, Buca di Beppo, Jamba Juice
-The shopping!
-Wearing flip flops all year aroundThe things I won't miss:
-TRAFFIC! It's everywhere...and the parking spaces here are tiny!
-High prices for gas, food (Braden refuses to buy soda because of the CRV tax), rent (we'll be paying half of what we pay now when we get in Louisville and for more square footage)...basically everything
-Our good friends Casey and Alicia... we won't have to miss them because they're moving with us to Southern : )
-Being 25 hours from home; instead we'll be 4-5 hours away!

The next step in our life together as a married couple is almost here. Braden is hard at work these next weeks writing papers, finishing projects, and getting ready for his last finals as an undergrad student. His diligence in his studies is paying off! I am so happy for him and am excited for him to start towards his goal of M. Div. in Biblical counseling at Southern.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Round 3

Round 3 Braden picked up the Hackmanns from Long Beach airport and we all went straight to In and Out Burger. It's a California thing...you'd have to try it to understand how great it is. haha!
Friday we did the LA tour again....Hollywood Walk of Fame where there is always something interesting to see:

The Grove:

We had lunch at the Farmer's Market in The Grove: Santa Monica Beach/Peir:
We also did some shopping in Santa Monica, then later we ate at our favorite restaurant, Stonefire Grill. Got some good Tri Tip (another one of those things that only CA has), chicken, pizza, and salad.
Saturday we hit up Zuma Beach in Malibu. We drove along the Pacific Coast Highway to get there. Everyone who lives in California says that you have to drive that highway sometime when you're out here, and I agree...it was beautiful.

Sunday we went to church and then BBQed down by the pool of our apartment complex. Casey and Alicia came over too and we made it a feast of steak, brats, asparagus, corn on the cob, and brownies. That concludes our adventures with our guests....time for some much needed rest.....

Round 1 and 2

Round 1 went very smoothly. Braden's dad (Joe) was at the Shepherd's Conference most of the time, which was the whole reason he came out. Braden and I even were able to attend one of the evening sessions that was open to the public. CJ Mahaney spoke in place of Piper (who father had just recently passed away). It was really neat to see a large number of men coming together from all over the world practically to worship, listen to good preaching, and fellowship together.

We really enjoyed having Joe stay with us. It was great to catch up and hear news from back home. He even treated us to some delicious meals, one of which was House of Blues! Braden and I, Joe, Bob, Dave, and Braden's brother Thomas all went. Afterward I talked the guys into walking the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I'm sure they appreciated it in the end! haha!

Round 2 was a little more intense. Emily and Kara came in from visiting their friend Nathan in San Diego by the train. We picked them up late Monday night in downtown LA. It was halarious when we discovered that we barely had enough room in our car for all the suitcases they brought. It was a squeeze, but we managed. They said that last time they came to California they underpack, and this time they overpacked, so maybe next time they'll get it down! haha!

The next day Braden and I played the part of tour guide/taxi and took them to see all the sites in LA...Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Santa Monica. We ate at the famous In and Out Burger:
Hollywood Walk of Fame:
3rd Street and Promenade shopping in Santa Monica:
Santa Monica Pier: By the time we got home we were pooped!

Wednesday I took a half day and us girls went to Ventura beach in Ventura, CA. It was a little chilly, but we made the most of it and did some exploring along the beach.
Here are some pictures: On the way home from Ventura, we stopped at a fruit stand along the 126 to get some fresh avacados, plums, and oranges. Yum!

Thursday I went back to work and Braden took Em and Kara to Newport Beach where they hooked up with some more friends for their next stop in their tour of CA.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Spring Break Plans

The next two weeks or so, we are going to be busy busy and we'll have lots of company in town. I'm really excited to see friends and family from home! Can't wait! Braden will officially start his much needed spring break on the 12th. So here's what we've got going on starting today:

Braden's dad and two guys from our church back at home (Dave and Bob) will be in town for the Shepherd's Conference at Grace. Braden's dad will be staying with us at our apartment.
Later this week Braden and I are going to try to go to one or two of the night sessions that are open to those not registered for the conference, John Piper speaks on Wed. night, Al Mohler on Thurs., and J. Mac on Fri.
Tonight we're all going to the House of Blues down on Sunset Strip in Hollywood. They have good food, although I don't think anyone is playing. That's fine with me though, because last time we were there was when my mom and sister Kendra were in town and a heavy metal rock band was rehearsing and it was pretty scary to say the least! Anything would be nice compared to that! ha!

My good friend Emily and her roommate Kara will be in town from back at home in STL to visit and stay with us. Yeah! Surely going to do some hardcore shopping! haha!

Our good friends, Kyle and Kim Hackmann will be in town from Chicago where they both attend school at Moody Bible Institute. We'll have alot of fun showing them around LA and Hollywood.

Hopefully our little apartment will be able to handle all the company! I'm so happy to have everyone stay with us...seems like right when I start to get really homesick either somone comes to visit or we get to go home to visit. I like how that always works out! I'm sure I'll have pictures from all our adventures soon!