So, we've moved now as you probably know. We're scheduled to get our truck-load of things tomorrow, which we are ready for as we keep feeling about half-settled with so many things still in transit. We had a rather unorthodox moving experience, at least to my knowledge. We had a company drop off a big semi trailer, which we packed and squeezed (because we paid by the linear foot), we strapped everything down and they came to pick it up and add freight to the rest of the trailer for the ride across the country. It was cheaper than UHaul and we didn't have to drive it. However, it was a little stressful trying to squeeze everthing and make sure it wasn't going to shift too much during transit. I guess we get to see tomorrow whether any belongings are ruined. Thank you to everyone who helped. We had about 20 people who helped pack, load or entertain Bridger during the two days we had the truck.


Graduation Festivities

As we have decompressed a few notches here after the move, it's time to reflect on what actually happened to us in the last couple of weeks. Ryan has officially graduated Westminster Theological Seminary with an MDiv degree. He finished in three years, though the program really is designed to take four (and WTS has no summer classes so he just squeezed it all in the semesters). Although Ryan has a tendency to downplay his accomplishments, this really is a big deal and I am proud of him. The Lord was definitely with us from the beginning, giving Ryan the strength and stamina--as we look back we realize this truth even more.
Last Wednesday night WTS had a banquet for their graduates at The Presidential, which was really more upscale than we were thinking it was going to be. We arrived not dressed in formal attire, as we were supposed to. We looked nice, but not exactly suit and tie. Truth be told, we lost the invitation months ago, but regardless all of our clothes were already packed on the truck and there was nothing we could have done anyway. All the graduates were able to take the podium and say a few words about where they had been and where they were going. Ryan was able to artfully explain his attire as only a trained public speaker could, I guess. The picture is of us and the Cryders at the event.

Graduation was Thursday afternoon. Two hours before the ceremony Ryan was caked in dirt from finishing up loading the truck and all our belongings were packed away behind straps and a bulkhead. The speakers were fabulous and the ceremony was very poingent for me, though I'm not sure it hit either of us that it was really true. Here are a few pics of the graduation.


We made it!

Just a quick post to let everyone know that we made it safely to South Dakota. The flight was fine and no one bothered me about being 35 weeks pregnant. Ryan traveled with Mark for half of the first day and then on his own for the next 18 hours or so (over two days) and we're all here safely--thanks for your prayers. I promise there is more to come about our last week in philly...


This is probably the last time in a week or two that I'll have a chance to blog. We're packing up our computer soon and I wouldn't have time anyway, I suppose. Saying goodbye is getting difficult and we're looking forward to a momentous week of even more goodbyes, graduation and watching Philadelphia go out the airplane window. This weekend was such a sweet time as we saw many friends who we will miss dearly. I can barely clear my thoughts to write about how all this is affecting us yet, but I know I tear up everytime I hear Bridger say to one of his friends "we're moving far, far away and I won't see you for a couple of days".


Moving update!

After a gloriously successful yard sale last Saturday, the apartment is actually starting to look like it's being vacated. This brings me to the reality that we're leaving in 10 days. We want to see everyone we know around here in that time so we can say goodbye! Here's our schedule:

Saturday, May 20th: Ryan will be done with finals and we'll be packing up the house--stop by!

Sunday, May 21st: Going-away open house at New Life Church in Glenside from 3-5. All are welcome.

Monday, May 22nd: More packing at the apartment--come by and see us.

Tuesday, May 23rd: More packing during the day and loading up the truck in the evening--if anyone can help please let me know.

Wednesday, May 24th: More loading of the truck--still needing help and open to any visitors.

Thursday, May 25th: Ryan's graduation at 2:00 at Calvary church of Souderton. All are welcome at the commencement.

Friday, May 26th: Flying/driving out of here--we hope we didn't miss you, but keep checking the blog for family updates.


I trust in God's unfailing love.

I have been to the women's retreat 5 times now, which seems crazy to me. This one will probably be my last, though I'm still hoping for a mother's day flight out some year to rejoin my friends (hint hint, Ryan). This year was the best one I have been to. I should start out by saying that my first year was a disaster where I didn't know anyone and somehow erroneously thought that the retreat was a time to meet people--this is not the case--the retreat is a time to deepen relationships with people you already know. Anyway, this year was a great group of women--some new friends and some old, but we all clicked very well. Plus, I got to spend time with friends I never see and might never get a chance to have a long conversation with again. The weather was beautiful--the first time in five years when it's been sunny and warm. Most of all, Andree (the speaker) was really tapping into what I needed to hear. How do we trust in God when circumstances make us freak out? This was so timely because of Bridger's illness the week before (it was so bad they were testing him for mono, liver damage and leukemia). I only hope this message will continue to penetrate my heart. Thanks to all my girlfriends who made my time at the retreat--and my time here in Philadelphia--such a blessing.


The last few weeks

The last few weeks seem like a whirlwind of activity and I guess blogging has been pushed to the back burner. Here's what's been going on:

April 25-29--Ryan and Bridger fly to Denver for a presbytery meeting (Ryan) and hanging out with the grandparents (Bridger). The picture above is from his time there with nana and papa. I stayed home and finished a quilt, cleaned out the entire basement, priced a thousand items for our garage sale, and managed a little hanging with friends and sleeping too. I didn't really want to blog about this during this time because I'm always a little scared in the apartment alone and somehow I feel safer if less people know.

April 29-May 5th--Bridger returns extremely sick and we hit the ER and doctor's office four times this week. He ended up having a strep infection that necessitated steriods, antibiotics, and a week's worth of rest to kick. I took the week off and layed on the couch with Bridger and forced him to eat popcicles. Good news is he is back to his old self now and had a doctor's appointment yesterday where they pronounced him a perfectly healthy 2 1/2-year-old in the 50th percentile (we Sutherlands are usually pretty average).

May 5th-7th--Women's retreat (I'll blog more about this)

And this week has been getting back to work, packing, selling stuff on craig's list (fabulous site, by the way) and starting to get sad about all the goodbyes.