Friday, May 15, 2009


Congratulations to Austin, who completed his Masters of Divinity and graduated on May 9th! I'm so proud of him working hard over the past four years (two full time, and then two part-time). After being in school for the past 21 years, I think he has earned a looong (probably forever!) break. I'm incredibly proud of him!

A lot of people have been asking us, "So, what's next?" At first, we thought the plan was going to find a full-time ministry job right away, as Austin's goal is to be a head pastor of a church one day. Things have changed a little bit though, as we've been counseled by many people that it's good for pastors to also have full-time, real world work experience. Getting that experience means he will better be able to relate to the people in his future congregation. We also love Arlington, Highrock, and our community for now, and we're not ready to leave yet! With that being said, Austin is looking for full-time jobs in the Boston area, and will continue to work part-time at our church to continue gaining ministry experience. Please pray for him as he looks for a job-- for wisdom about what type of work he wants to do, as well as finding a job with a decent salary and full benefits!

Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, March 30, 2009

New Blog Section

I know lots of my friends have links to other blogs they like to read (not necessarily their friends, but more topical blogs). Well, I'm adding another section, that will now include other blogs I like to check out.

The first one is actually a friend of mine, Joy, from church. She's an awesome cook and posts really interesting things!

The next one, well... so many good crock pot meals in one place... who can pass that up!

I'm sure I'll add more as I go along, but feel free to send me ones you enjoy too!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Licensed! And Vacation!

So soon for another post, considering it had been months since my previous one :) Austin and I spent the end of this week in Mystic, CT, at a Bed and Breakfast called Whaler's Inn, enjoying a short, but much needed vacation! Like the previous post said, this semester has been crazy busy, so it was nice to get away. We left MA Wed. night and made it to Mystic in just under two hours.
Outside our B&B, The Whaler's Inn.

Thursday morning, Austin drove to Cromwell, CT, where he was interviewed by a panel of other ECC pastors, and was officially given "two thumbs up" for continuing the ordination process! I am so proud of him, and as of Thursday, he is officially a licensed pastor for the Evangelical Covenant Church ( Basically, he can now "marry and bury" people, and perform other pastoral duties.

After his interview, we enjoyed lunch at Mystic Pizza, made famous by the Julia Roberts movie. The pizza was YUMMY! We then headed to the the Mystic Seaport, a large museum about the town of Mystic, the whaling and boating industry, and other sea-like things. It was really neat, but my favorite part was being able to board the Charles Morgan, the last wooden whaling ship that still exists. It was built in 1841, and they are now undergoing the process of restoring it. We got to walk around the deck, and the upper two levels, seeing how the whalers lived while they were out on the ocean. It was really cool to see, but sad to hear about all the whales that were killed.

The Mystic Pizza sign... I really wanted to get a t-shirt with the slogan, but Austin wouldn't let me :)

This is a view from the inside of the Morgan, overlooking the Mystic River
This is the Morgan, the ship they are restoring. I tried to make Austin look like he was holding the boat up, but it didn't work so well :)

Wed. night we went out for a fancy dinner (no pictures). REALLY good if you ever get a chance to to the Daniel Packer Inn (

Thursday morning we woke up early to head off to Groton and New London, which are nearby. We really wanted to visit those towns, because it is the place that Austin's grandparents, Jim and Eleanor Calhoun, met each other almost 70 years ago! At that time, Austin's granddad was stationed at the Groton Naval Base, and his grandmother was attending school at Connecticut College. They are literally were right across the Thames River from each other.

In Groton, we drove around the outside of the base, then checked out the US Navy Submarine Museum, which was pretty neat. We got to board the USS Nautilus, which was the first nuclear powered submarine. As with the Morgan, we got to go inside the sub, and it was really neat to see how the soldiers lived. From the outside, the sub looks huge, but it was very tight quarters inside! We then headed over the river to Connecticut College, to take some pictures for Austin's grandmother! It was a beautiful campus!
In front of the USS Nautilus.

The entrance to the US Naval Submarine base, where Austin's granddad was briefly stationed

The entrance to Connecticut College, where Austin's grandmother attended.

After grabbing lunch in New London, we headed back out to check out two local vineyards on the CT Wine Trail. While they were both nice, and Jonathan Edwards ( was beautiful, we really liked Stonington Vineyard and got to take a very cool tour of how they make the wine. I think in the future we're going to try to check out more vineyards on the Connecticut Wine Trail!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring is (officially) here

Spring officially arrived yesterday, but in Boston it will probably wait another month or so to actually warm up. It's been sunny though, which is nice, as well as getting darker later since Daylight Savings time. It was actually warm enough for me (Sara) to go running a few days ago wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and while that was such a treat, it will be a while before that's a regular occurrence. This has been the snowiest winter for us so far, so we are incredibly ready for warm weather!

We are winding down one of the busiest seasons of our life so far (I know life will always be busy, but we seem to have a LOT of stuff on our plates right now!) Austin is taking two classes to finish his MDIV at Gordon Conwell this semester, as well as taking a week-long class back in January to continue working towards ordination in the Evangelical Covenant Church. That week was more than slightly hectic for both of us, as I (Sara) was in car accident a few days after Austin left for Chicago for his week-long class. I ended up with a minor conc
ussion and missed a few days of work, but fully recovered. Our trusty old Subaru, however, did not fare so well, and it wasn't worth the money to fix it, as the car was a 1997. We ended up donating it to charity, as that was the easiest thing to do.

We then began the frantic search for a new (used) car since I rely on a car for work daily. Fortunately, since the Outback was old, I had been looking into what we wanted to get in case we needed a replacement. Austin and I liked the hatchback style, and quickly narrowed our search to 2006 Scion Xa. That's what we ended up getting, and I am SO impressed with it! As stressful as it wa
s to have to find a new car, we got a really good deal on it due to the state of the economy, and we're both really happy with the car. I like it more and more every time I drive it, which I feel like is a really good thing considering that it was the biggest purchase we have made in our almost four years of marriage.

This isn't ours, but looks exactly the same-- it's small, but very roomy!

In addition to classes, Austin has been busy with church stuff, and preached at another church a few weeks ago as a guest. As graduation is VERY close (May 9th!) we are in a time of upcoming transition. If you're reading this (and I'm not sure who still does!) we would love your prayers. Austin has submitted his resume to the Evangelical Covenant Church, which opens him up for positions all over the country. Due to our (young) age, and his lack of experience, we are pretty sure a full-time ministry job is not going to happen quite yet, but if it did, that would be exciting! If not, we really hope to stay in Arlington MA and he will continue to work as part-time staff at Highrock, our current church. The tricky thing with that however, is that he would also need to get a full-time job, not in ministry, in Boston. He's been applying to tons of jobs, with no luck so far. Prayers that a full time job with benefits would open up would be greatly appreciated!

Things with me are pretty much the same, as my job is stable and going well. The exciting news is that our office is about to move, and that will cut about 15 minutes off of my commute! I'm still the head nursery teacher at our church, which is a position I love as I get to spend every Sunday morning with the 0-15 month old children at our church! Austin and I also continue to lead a small group for young married couples, which is a huge blessing to us!

Since it's been so long since I've posted, I'll also add a few old pictures. We had a whirlwind holiday season, leaving Boston at the beginning of December, flying to Memphis to visit Austin's grandmother, flying with her to North Carolina for Emily and Davids wedding, then flying to Texas with my parents to spend an early Christmas in Waco with Erin, Ben, Abby and Claire! Unfortunately, because Austin and I were both in the wedding party, I didn't get to take any pictures at the wedding (okay, I'm also just really bad about bringing my camera places and then not taking pictures!) However, Emily was beautiful and the wedding was a blast! In Texas, we got to celebrate Claire's 1st Birthday!

She looks a litte suspicious in this pictures, because she did not like the cake

It was also nice weather, especially compared to Boston in December, so one sunny day we had a photo shoot with the girls outside. They are precious and I wish that we lived a lot closer!

Hopefully I will update again soon, as we have a fun mini-vacation planned for next week :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall update

With no update. Life is pretty much continuing at a regular pace for Austin and I right now. The Fall has been busy with church events, as Boston fills up with thousands of new people every fall. We have had lots of extra events for newcomers, but fortunately after a few busy months, things are slowing down.

We were thankful to learn that Austin only needed to take one class this semester, and it's through Gordon-Conwell's online learning program. Next semester, Austin will have two night classes during the week, but after those are completed he will graduate in May!! Austin is very much looking forward to being done with seminary! He keeps telling people he "thinks" he'll finish in May. I keep telling people if he doesn't, then he has to drop out :) He'll definitely finish though, and I'm so proud of him!

Last weekend, I flew down to Virginia for a last-minute trip (literally, I bought a ticket Thursday and flew in at 6 am Saturday morning!) I flew down to be able to attend my sister-in-law Emily's bridal shower, and was so thankful for my weekend with Austin's family! It was great to be able to spend time with them, and see how in love Emily and David are! I can't wait for their wedding in December!

Emily opening lots of fun gifts, such as these AWESOME girrafe shaped measuring spoons!

One of the shower games we played was to divide into teams and create a wedding dress from toilet paper. Emily then had to vote on which dress she would wear! While my team won the dress contest, I had to get a picture of my mother-in-law Leslie wearing her beautiful toilet paper wedding gown!

As far as other Fall events, I was disapointed that we did not make it out to any of the Mass. orchards to pick apples this fall. I did buy us pumpkins to carve for a date night, but they ended up just sitting in our windows uncarved (they still look nice though!). Our fun Halloween event was our church's annual Fun-Raiser, designed to raise funds for our church building. This year the goal was to specifically raise funds for revonations to our children's classrooms. This was especially neat for me to see as I am the lead nursery teacher and many of the families at our church are very good friends of ours.

This year, Austin and I were asked to be part of a team of young adults who all dressed up like the cast from Beauty and the Beast. Everyone's costumes were AWESOME! Left to Right: Cogsworth, Mrs. Poots, Beast, Chip, The Rose, Belle, the Feather Duster and the Lumier!

"Beauty and the Beast" doing a ballroom dance-- our camera has a "cartoon" feature that makes this image look especially neat!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Two of my loves

Abby and Claire! It was such a blessing to see them in Virginia! We last saw them when we visited my sister in Texas in April, and both girls have grown so much. Abby is talking up a storm, and learning new sounds and words every day. Claire has gained many rolls of chub since we saw her last, and still smiles almost constantly. Both girls are a joy to be near, and I am so thankful for them!

Below, Abby and Uncle Austin playing "Birthday Party." SO fun to see, especially as Abby has been a little shy/scared of Austin the past few times we've seen her :)

Abby, age 2.5

Claire, age 7 months. LOVE the chubby legs :)


Auntie Sara and Claire, the most smiley baby I've ever met!


I think my first few posts all had to do with my longing for springtime to come (it happened very late in Boston this year!) and now it's hard to believe summer is almost over!

One of my favorite parts of spring/summer in Boston are the vibrant colors the flowers bloom in.

One of the things that I was most sad about this summer was not being able to go to Virginia to visit family (we hadn't been back since last summer!). However, when we got back from India I learned I had more vacation time than I expected, so we quickly bought cheap tickets (yea for Jet Blue!) and flew down to Virginia for a long weekend. We had a great time visiting our nieces and my sister at my parents house. In Charlottesville we also got to see Chris and Cara, and their brand new house!!

The rest of our time was spent in Centreville, where we got to meet Christopher Brenon, our friends Kyle and Sarah's new baby. We spent time with Ted, and as always, went to a baseball game (Orioles) with Leslie. We also had the (pleasurable?) experience of letting Amy drive us around. She's only a few months away from getting her license, and while she's a great driver, I've already decided that Austin will teach our children to drive one day :)

The other really exciting thing about this summer was the visits of two of my girlfriends! Meredith took advantage of her school paying for her to come to a conference in Boston, and after she worked hard for a few days, she spent the weekend with us. We had a great time, and below is a picture of us in Rockport, a very cute artsy beach town.

Our other visitor for the summer was a BIG surprise to me. Austin and Catherine plotted behind my back and she flew up for a weekend visit. Apparently, Austin got the idea to have her come up as a surprise when we thought we wouldn't be able to go to Virginia this summer. HUGE thanks to both of them for loving me so well!

Austin and I in front of "Motif 1" apparently one of the most photographed/painted buildings in the US.