Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Following our jaunt in St. Louis we stayed in Broken Arrow, OK (near Tulsa) with our friends the Turley's. They used to attend Trinity and were (are) important folks in our lives!!! Briane Turley was the first person Brian Shope talked to about seminary when we were trying to figure out what was next, so it was quite fitting that we stayed with them as we traveled West. It was great to catch up and hear how they are doing in their new home and community!

This is a picture of Briane and Ann in front of their house (their son Christopher had already left for school). Thanks Briane, Ann, and Christopher for your warm hospitality and care for us!!!

After leaving Tulsa we traveled to Amarillo, TX where the way is flat and the waffles have character- see below. :)

Maggie wasn't too keen on the hotel we stayed in - we tried to break it to her gently that our apartment wouldn't be much bigger! ;)

Friday, September 21, 2007

The real thing

Sunday we traveled from IL through St. Louis to Tulsa, OK. We stopped to visit the St. Louis Arch and had a great time! The arch itself was amazing and the surrounding area beautiful. We wished we had more time to spend there on the riverfront.

We ended up asking someone to take a picture of all of us and a young guy came up and offered to take our pic with his fish-eye lens and send it to us on email. We were thrilled!

The trip West!

We began our great adventure traveling to Indianapolis en route to Bloomington, where our good friends, Brian and Heather Wilson and their family now reside. Brian was a groomsman at our wedding and we were so looking forward to our time together with them (as well as getting to meet all of their family- they had only one daughter, Kierra, when we were married)! We arrived in Bloomington late Friday evening and were incredibly blessed by their hospitality- they had a wonderful organic dinner waiting for us with home-made ice cream for dessert! What amazing friends we have! We spent time catching up and Saturday were able to stay most of the day to hang out with the kiddos, Kierra, Caleb, and Brogan, which was great fun! Maggie also enjoyed her time hanging out with the kids and running in their backyard. We unfortunately don't have a picture of our friends- chalk it up to sheer exhaustion. Sorry, Wilson's, we do love you!! :)

The car ride was fine- no baby problems! :) Maggie also enjoyed the futon mattress she slept on in the back seat, as you can see from this pic!

Our second night (Sat.) was spent in Vandalia, IL- hmmm- we found there wasn't much in Vandalia! We ended up staying at a Travelodge there and I had a bit more bleeding, which was concerning so we spent the evening resting and gearing up for the next leg of the trip.

These pics show me (Brian insists that I always take the pictures and am never in any of them) enjoying the Travelodge's own rendition of the St. Louis Arch. Fun.

And...we're off!

Our adventure begins...Friday morning- we plan to leave at 12pm and are out the door then...with only a few stops to make. :) Janine came over again to help with the last details- what would we do without her? She took these pics of us our last time locking up "our house". We stopped to see the shop- SO.ZO and said good-bye to our good friend, Sam. Brian was definitely in need of some good Fair Trade coffee for the drive to Indianapolis- our first stop Friday evening! :)

We also went to South Middle School to see our god-daughter Sarka and give one more hug! I cried as we got in the car- it is difficult to leave this place, but we are hoping to visit in December! Also went to see sister Dana, Sarka's Mom, at her GA position within the University. And after those most important stops, we were off!

Loading up and movin' out!

OK Friends, we are finally posting after a week of life in sunny SoCal! These pics are of the night before we left- I was in the emergency room for unexplained bleeding, yet again, and we were pretty insane! Johanna was wonderful and supported me all the way! We were so fortunate to have many people come to offer help and support on our day of loading- Kirk, Sylvia and Adam, Trina, Nathan & Becky, Johanna, Meria, Ruth, Sarka, and Janine! Thanks so much to everyone- we wouldn't have made it without you!

Brian and Janine finished loading the truck and securing the bulkhead at 3:3o am! Geez! We sat in the dining room, our favorite room in the house, and laughed about crazy times around the table, parties, and impromptu meals with friends and strangers. We have had such an amazing experience beginning our married life together in Motown- and even before- I lived there almost 10 years and Brian 7. It is bittersweet to leave- we miss you all!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Opening Pitch

Well everyone, here we are in Phoenix on the eve of our arrival in Pasadena. We're both a bit tired, and we've got more to do tonight before a 4am wake up call and 5am departure. We just set this up, and we'll be cataloging our trip west to Cali with pictures and stories over the next couple of days. Stay tuned...