Friday, May 29

airport drama.

wow. it's good to be home. I HOPE that I don't have to fly with an infant by myself again! but for all the craziness, Graham did WONDERFUL!
here's the rundown....
through fedex we have the option of flying stand-by on Southwest ($90) or Airtran ($150). Airtran flys out an hour away from us, Southwest - 30 minutes. So when my grandpa passed away and I was trying to get home for the funeral, obviously I wanted to go with Southwest. However, airtran had 4 flights going to Mpls. that day, Southwest had one possibility! So we decided to go with Airtran to make sure I got there. This was an important flight because if I didn't get there on friday, I would miss the funeral. However, when we went to get a ticket, Airtran had changed their procedure and it would take 3-4 days to get a ticket. So we ended up (very nervously!) going with SW. prayer #1 answered - my ticket came the next day!
So with many prayers, I woke Graham up at 5 am on friday and we headed to the airport.
These tickets are SUCH a blessing, especially in how high airfare can run, but it is STRESSFUL never knowing whether you'll get on your flight or spend the day in the airport. 2 factors - missing the funeral and doing it with an infant were giving me nightmares about what the day could bring!
Since we're #4 on the stand-by priority list, we have to wait until the last minute (if it's a full flight) to know if we can get on.
Finally...graham & I were allowed to board, bound for Chicago!! prayer #2 - answered!!! Since it was full, he had to sit on my lap for the 2 hour flight which wasn't the most comfortable for either of us, but at least we were on!!
Flight #2 - Chicago to Mpls. plenty of seats, we got right on and Graham even got his own seat where he sat in his carseat - and slept the whole flight!! prayer #3 - answered!!!
So we thankful we were able to be there for the weekend's events and graham was able to meet his MANY relatives!!

Let me stop for a minute and SING, SING, SING, Southwest's praises!! every employee was so kind, so helpful, SO great. I am a loyal customer for life and highly recommend them. AND there are still no baggage fees AND they still give you snacks on the flights! :) more on some star employees later...

So coming back became a little more interesting. Flight #1 was a little tight, but I still ended up getting on with graham getting his own seat as well. prayer #4 - answered! We were supposed to stop in Chicago, but not get off the flight. So everyone that wasn't going on, got off. After a few minutes they told us that the flight was going to be delayed and we were going to have to get off after all. BUT they said we could leave carry-on stuff on the seats and come back. So as we exited, most of the employees were already gone, except for a flight attendant and pilot. I asked about the possibility of getting my stroller that was stowed. Anyone that has held Graham, knows that carrying him around for an hour would just about kill me. :) STAR EMPLOYEE #1 - the pilot himself said he could go look for it - and he did and found it. I'm sure that's not in his job description! thank you so much Mr. Pilot. (this turned into an even more important event after the next 30 minutes!)
So we're walking around, killing time, and a guy comes up to me that is taking the same flights as me. He said there is another Baltimore flight leaving right now and if you don't get on it, you will miss your Norfolk connection. great. So I scramble to the counter - 2 problems - since I am stand-by I technically don't have a ticket to change flights, and my car seat and bag are sitting on the other airplane. The counter lady told me, the flight is leaving right now and I need about 15 minutes to get you on that plane. So I kind of thought it was over, and then she said, you go get on that plane, I'll go get your stuff off the other airplane. really??!! STAR EMPLOYEE #2!! prayer #5 - answered! She did, and I got my stuff and somehow she made the ticket thing work!! So now you see how much worse it would have been if my stroller had stayed stowed on that plane! I knew my luggage that was stowed on the plane was not going with us, but at that point I didn't care. The stroller would have been a bigger issue though!
So, we get to Baltimore, there are storms there and everything is delayed both coming and going. Our flight ended up being delayed about 45 minutes - 2 blessings here - #1 G-man had a blow-out diaper. if that would have happened on the flight, it would have been BAD! airplane bathrooms aren't exactly condusive to changing diapers. #2 I also hadn't eaten in 8 hours, so it gave me a chance to grab a quick bite. SO, we finally got on our plane and landed about 10:30 pm. home sweet, sweet home. prayer #6 - answered! Did I mention Graham should have been in bed 3 hours before this, and he was a trooper!! no screaming or meltdowns. He even had some smiles for daddy when we finally saw him!
So at Norfolk I was at the baggage office trying to determine where my bag might possibly be or end up. I got all those details taken care off and then as we were leaving the airport, there was a bag on the terminal that looked familiar...sure enough it was my bag!! I don't even know how that ended up coming with us, but wow. prayer #7 - answered!!! God answered more prayers on this trip that I could have ever imagined. It was a long day, but there are so many things that could have made the day so much worse!!
So, thank you, awesome Southwest - you're the best airline!
thank you, Graham, for being such a good traveler, despite the craziness.
(I'm so bummed I didn't get a pic of his first plane ride! too much stress swirling around!)
thank you, God, for allowing us to make all of our flights, for grace through the day, and for caring about even the small details!

Tuesday, May 19

miss you, grandpa.

I have been blessed to have several sets of grandparents and even great-grandparents as a big part of my life. I realize how lucky I am because Andrew does not have any living grandparents. Up to this point, Graham has had 5 living great-grandparents! How thankful I am for each one of them in being a part of my life.

My grandpa Kenny has been battling cancer for several years now, and today that battle ended. We are very sad and will miss him very much!

these pics were taken a year and a half ago when his cancer was in remission and they were able to come visit us at the beach!

my grandma has tirelessly cared for my grandpa through this entire period.
grandma - I love you very much. You are a rock for so many people.
We trust God's sovereignty.

How deep is Your love,
how high and how wide is Your mercy.
how deep is Your grace,
my heart overflows with praise to You. (SG)

Friday, May 15

the next chapter

So the big question has been...what's next for the Hughes family?

This has been a burden on our hearts for the past year. We have been praying, seeking counsel, and thinking through a lot of options.

Basically 2 opportunities had presented themselves:
#1 stay at our current church (which we absolutely love!) and serve there or
#2 move to Pittsburgh and help with a church plant that our church sent out last summer.
After a lot of praying regarding both these ministries, we felt like we had no clear direction. We just love our church and the thought of leaving is heart-breaking. However, we also love the new ministry in Pittsburgh and those who are involved there. We had visited in July and were excited to consider moving there, but as soon as we came home, we were thrilled to be back among our church family.
A few weeks ago, we visited Pittsburgh again, and this time, we felt, God truly "connected the dots" for us! So many desires that we had regarding future ministry, truly fell into place for the first time. We felt, after that weekend, that God was truly leading us to move there! There are so many details I could share, but would probably turn this into a long rambling post...! If you have specific questions, you can post them in the comments and I will try to answer.

There is currently a team of 3 families that moved from our current church to start this one.
We are excited to soon be a part of Redeemer Community Church - website here.

This is who we will be serving with in Pitt!
Dan Valentine - Adam & Adrianne Thomas (who also have Owen & Claire - playmates for Graham!)

the Joyce family - Jeff, Thresa, Noah & Marshall
(they are also our current landlords!)

Right now we are still working on securing a place to live and Andrew is diligently job-searching. (Being a new church, there are no paid positions yet! All the pastors are currently working other jobs). Nothing is solidified yet, and so we would greatly appreciate your prayers for God to clearly open some doors. We hope to be there by July 1st, but depending on how housing/job pan out, could be sooner or later... Starting to get a little anxious as things we thought were going to work have fallen through. But we trust that God's sovereign hand has a perfect plan for us.

We are excited to get there and can't wait to see how God is going to use the Gospel in this city! We welcome anyone who wants to come visit!

I think I took a pretty good pic, huh? :~)

You’re the God of this city, You’re the King of these people, You’re the Lord of this nation, You are…
You’re the Light in this darkness, You’re the Hope to the hopeless, You’re the peace to the restless, You are…
there is no one like our God, there is no one like our God…
greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city, greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done here.

Monday, May 11

My first Mother's Day

Andrew was on vacation last week, so we got to head down to his parents in NC for a few extra days. We had a great few days and thoroughly enjoyed our time!
they have lots of fun toys!
Graham enjoyed his first ride in a swing!
first he read the paper with Papa Hughes...
then he had breakfast with daddy!
Saturday night was perfect weather for an outside dinner.

my son does not have love handles...he has barrel rolls. :)

you know mom's gotten really lazy when
she only bothers to snap 1 out of 3 on a onesie. :)

this sweet lady use to take care of Andrew when he was little. She LOVED g-man!
I got SO spoiled because Mama Hughes couldn't put me down! but I LOVED it. :)

I also loved her fun little yellow tub!
We had a party because Andrew's dad was finally able to complete the sale of his medical practice!!

And now...Mother's Day...
as cliche' as it is, the BEST present in the world is my little sweet golden Graham. I love him so much and thank God for giving him to us. It's hard to believe he has only been in our lives for 3 months, seems like we've known him forever! We couldn't imagine our lives without him!

the Hughes moms with their baby boys!

this is the life!

I had a WONDERFUL first Mother's Day!
this is for the family members who haven't heard Graham "talk" yet! he genuinely sounds concerned about something. :) (scroll to the bottom of blog to pause music in order to hear!)

Tuesday, May 5

now it's official!

We had a PACKED graduation weekend, but what a great weekend it was! I will probably make several posts to show so many different events that took place! We had things going morning & evening for 3 straight days and in between that we were trying to squeeze in some time with Andrew's family members who had been able to come for the weekend!

We are SO proud of Andrew!

He graduated Summa Cum Laude and I KNOW how hard he has worked these past few years. It was exciting to see how that has paid off.

Friday evening we attended the Baccalaurate Service with Andrew's parents and brother and sister-in-law.

We were excited to have a night out - Childless!! my camera was on the wrong setting, so these pics didn't turn out great. boo.


one of Andrew's favorite professors (am I allowed to say that?!) who is leaving after this year.
us with Dr. Jack & Cathy - we will miss you guys!

graham did so great through all craziness of the weekend!
wasn't a huge fan of the hat though. :)

Some of Andrew's buddies
(Jordan graduated last year)
look at all those cords....smarties....but they've also worked really hard!!
congrats guys.
now splitting to head to Portland, Vancouver, & Pittsburgh.
Stephen, Jordan, Rob, & Andrew
and the wives...also great friends!
All of us are pianists and 3 of us have taught piano these last 4 years to help put our hubbies through seminary.
Sue & I had babies 5 weeks apart, and Sarah & Julie are expecting!
Andrew & his sweet mom