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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Year in Review, Part 1

For obvious reasons this year has been quite memorable for me. Oh, and I had a baby. Well, technically not me but you get the idea. I can vividly recall the March morning that Melissa woke me up with a positive pregnancy test in my face. After making her take 3 more tests (I kid you not) it started to become a reality. We were having a baby! Fast forward 10 months and here he is. To say that Tate has been an incredible blessing would be an understatement. We are both so thankful for the little guy. Each day that he grows, changes, and develops (even when he poops) we are further reminded of God's grace and love. The outpouring of love from friends and family throughout the pregnancy and in the aftermath (a word generally associated with post-disaster jargon) has been overwhelming - in a good way. We are so grateful for everyone that has prayed for us, helped us, fed us, or shown us love. Tate says thank you too.

Melissa is in her 4th year of teaching and 3rd school. If she would stop cussing out her principals she might be able to stay at the same school for more than one year! I'm kidding. She enjoys what she is doing but motherhood seems to be her vocation of choice at this point and it fits her like mom jeans on a mom. She is yet another example of God's grace to me. Her humility and love has never been more evident to me than in the past 10 months or so. Another aspect of her character that has been especially noteworthy this year is her studliness (a word generally associated with men but in said context refers to the gentle grace of a warrior who, though pregnant, is probably far more apt than you or I to endure such conditions as the Arizona Mission Trip and, well, pregnancy). I was so impressed by the fact that she willingly (used loosely in this context) went to the Navajo Reservation while she was 5 months pregnant. I realized on that trip (though I knew this already, which I suppose makes "realized" a poor word choice - my bad) how unique of a woman that she is. Tate grew chest hair on that trip in the womb due to his mother's brazen act of studly femininity. She is a fun person to be married to.

In April I had the opportunity to go to Hungary and Ukraine. This trip was life-changing in many ways. For several years I had wanted to go to Africa because I felt that the need for help was so immense there. I wanted to do something to make a difference. In February Pastor Bodi (a pastor from Hungary that our church supports) came and spoke at our church and something was sparked inside of me. I had to go there. In April, I did. I got to spend time in Ukraine and Hungary alongside Gary Darnell and Chris Cline. It was an amazingly difficult, yet beautiful trip. You can read more about it here. I hope to go back there soon. Melissa and I would love to spend a summer there. Tate said he is in too. Working at the church continues to be rewarding and challenging all at the same time. The ministry has grown a lot and I have been blessed to serve alongside such a great leadership team. It has been a lot of fun and I hope and I can continue to do it for a while. I am almost done with school and after 20 consecutive years of formalized education the end is looking pretty sweet (I want a break but wouldn't mind going back someday). I will have my Master's in Education in May and my English teaching credential for Secondary Education. Less impressive than it sounds I assure you.

Needless to say the year has been been good to so. Moreso, God has been good to us. Thank you for reading this blog and more importantly, thank you for taking part in our lives. It sounds like I am dying. I don't think I am?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tate(red) & More

I bought this stylish outfit at Gap before Tate's much heralded arrival. Since it was too small for me I gave it to him. Tate had his 2 month checkup the other day. You will find his results below.
Visible child.Tate is 22 inches long (75th percentile).Tate weighs 12 pounds, 13 ounces (95th percentile).Tate's head has a 16 cm. circumference (90th percentile).

In short, Tate is a big boy. Nicole and Allison came and visited him the other night and shamelessly requested that I post some pictures from their visit.

Nicole-E.Allison really does have red hair.

Here is a list of the top 10 concerts that I went to this year:

10. Leeland @ Cornerstone
9. Family Force 5/the Secret Handshake/Jonezetta @ Slim's
8. Mae/As Tall As Lions/Dear and the Headlights @ Bottom of the Hill
7. Shane & Shane/Phil Wickham in Oaktown
6. mewithoutYou/Thrice/Brand New @ San Jose Civic Auditorium
5. Anberlin/Bayside/Meg & Dia/Jonezetta @ Slim's
4. Rocky Votolato @ Bottom of the Hill
3. mewithoutYou/Manchester Orchestra/Piebald @ Slim's
2. Jimmy Eat World @ The Catalyst
1. Switchfoot/Copeland @ Slim's (Valentine's Day)

This was a really difficult list to make as I went to many amazing concerts this year. The Jimmy show was incredible due to the intimate setting and Santa Cruzian ambience. Both mewithoutYou shows were incredible as they quickly became one of my favorite bands this year and I got to see them with some amazing other bands. Seeing Rocky blew my mind. Anberlin was fun. Family Force was ridiculous. However, seeing Switchfoot in that small of a venue with Mel on Valentine's day was by far the best show I have seen (this year or any).

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Familia de Navidad es muy bueno en el Canyon de los Estado Unidos

Christmas time was splendid as usual. It has been great having Melissa home from work (she doesn't want to go back). We have gotten to spend a ton of time together and with our families. On Christmas eve my parents and Mel's, the Mayerson's, and White's came out to the Perry's for dinner after the church service. It was a lot of fun. Josh even made home made egg nog. It was a yule tide jubilee (not sure what that means). Tate was passed around quite a bit and seemed to enjoy it. On Christmas day we woke up and opened gifts at our house and then headed to Mel's parents for breakfast and gifts. After that we went to my parents and then headed home for a bit. We went to my mom's parents (DeGrano's) for my grandpa's famous spaghetti and then back to the Conley's to see Mel's grandparents. It was a busy day and Tate was rather tuckered out by the end of it. He got home, had some of Josh's nog and watched his favorite Christmas show, Deal or No Deal. Here are some pieces of photo documentation of the week's festivities:
Spit up on Grandpa.
Christmas in the Canyon.
Watching Grandpa open his presents.
Seniors love the Wii.
Un festive familia.
Great Grandparents.
Uncle Chris.
"It's a Christmas miracle." - Dwight Shrute
Tate loves his mom.
Ready for some nog and bed.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Teight Weeks Old

Tate turned 8 weeks old this week. We had a good week of father-son bonding. This morning I let Mel sleep in and I got up with Tate and we talked about life, sports, girls, God, and punk rock. He had a lot of important thoughts and insight. Here are some pictures from the past couple days:
We love to match.
He loves the Superman hold.
Hanging out this morning.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The MSM Room Redux

Painting is not my favorite chore. It ranks somewhere in between picking up dog poop and ironing. Over the past couple weeks I have been working on the MSM room. Though at times I have gone it alone, I have had a lot of help as of late. The top right picture is a "before shot." Notice the putrid neon blue, splattered neon green, and unfortunate cat pee-laden recliner. It's all gone now. Last night we put some of the finishing touches on the paint and, if all goes as planned, the room should be ready to go at the beginning of the new year. I found out that I am going to be student teaching at Cal High (my alum) beginning January 14t. I met with my master teacher and he was a really nice guy. I am going to be teaching to freshman English classes and one junior English class. Should be interesting. Christmas is quickly approaching at that means it's time for me to post some pictures Justin took of Tate getting a bath. Santa would've wanted it that way.
First bath at grandma's.
He likes bathing. He doesn't like people watching him bathe.
His father.

Top 10 songs of the year:
10. "What Makes a Man a Man "- Emery
9. "Never Let Go" - David Crowder*Band
8. "The Unwinding Cable Car" - Anberlin
7. "Big Casino" - Jimmy Eat World
6. "A Whisper and A Clamor" - Anberlin
5. "An Epiphany" - The Send
4. "Thrash Unreal" - "Against Me!
3. "Do You Feel" - The Rocket Summer
2. "Amazing, Because It Is" - The Almost
1. "Deathbed" - Relient K (Feat. Jon Foreman)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Top 10 Records of 2007

Top 10 lists are fun. Before the end of the year I will post several of my own. Here is my top 10 favorite records that came out this year.
10. Against Me! - "New Wave"
9. Relient K "Five Score and Seven Years Ago"

8. The Rocket Summer - "Do You Feel"
7. The Almost - "Southern Weather"
6. Phil Wickham - "Cannons"
5. Dustin Kensrue - "Please Come Home"
4. Jimmy Eat World - "Chase This Light"
3. Manchester Orchestra - "I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child"
2. Emery - "I'm Only a Man"
1. Anberlin - "Cities"