Thursday, January 9, 2014

Our 2013...the craziness and the blessings!

This year was monumental for the Ekk family! It was the most roller coaster year that we have had. The one thing that I say with upmost confidence is that God led, provided and carried us in the biggest ways this year. When I think of where we were at this time last year: Jason was studying 10 hours a day for every day for the BAR...neither of us were employed and Ally was very sick with kidney issues and eating problems. It seems like a billion years ago, and it's amazing all that happened this past year.

A little back tracking: Law school was hard. The one thing that God had to keep reminding me over and over throughout our time at law school was to 'trust God and trust Jason.' Jason was so sure throughout the whole time that we had made a good decision...I wasn't so sure...I was scared. Trust doesn't come easy for me....I have had a past of many let downs and extreme disappointments.  In high school I had decided that I wasn't going to rely on anyone, that I was strong and I could achieve my dreams on my own. And I was pretty successful at it...after high school I worked full time at Hume Lake and saved up enough to buy myself my first car, first computer, and also paid for my first year at Fresno Pacific University (I also had scholarships). Then in college, I worked 2 jobs every year to get myself through school. I knew that I only had myself to rely on and it worked well for me. I sought Jesus in everything I did and looked to Him for guidance and He always provided. When I got married, things wasn't just me and Jesus anymore....I had this other person who was now a part of my life. And as much as I love Jason, I have been hurt so much in the past that I was sure that he was going to hurt me too or at least let me down in a big way. It was really hard for me when I didn't know how things were going to work out and I had this huge fear that we had made a poor decision about going to law school.

Fast forward now to this past year: last December Jason graduated law school (a semester early at that!). We are living with my brother in law in Dinuba...not the ideal situation, but a definite blessing for the time that we were in. Jason studied for the BAR and took the BAR...then we had to wait 2 and half whole months to find out if he passed. That was AWFUL!!! Jason was interviewing and job searching like crazy, but it was hard because law firms wouldn't really look at him without BAR results. I was scared...we had 2 small kids, no jobs, no home of our own, and an extremely small pool of money that was quickly running out. The recurring message kept coming to me; "Trust God and trust Jason," during many, many sleepless nights (thanks to both worry and Ally). During a night of extreme anxiety and worrying about what we were going to do, Jason decided to talk to our brother in law Josh about doing some work for him. After talking to him, Josh graciously brought Jason on as a law clerk in his firm in Bakersfield for 20 hours a week. Thankfully we had some money coming in.

Then...that long and crazy 2.5 months of waiting, we finally found out that Jason PASSED the BAR! Praise the LORD!! Jason was still working for Josh and I had started a little business venture of my own with selling Norwex (super fun, I can still be home with the kids, and Jason would watch them when I had my parties=love it!). As Jason continued to interview at firms for a full time position, he kept hearing that they were hiring lawyers with at least 3-5 years experience. Agh! So, then there was this position at FPU that he had heard about but wasn't sure if it was a good fit. He talked to a few people and decided to interview for the job. He was joyfully hired, and it was an extremely great fit as it is the Director of the Criminology program for FPU, and they want him to continue to practice law part time...which he is able to do with Darling and Wilson in Bakersfield. Really...I could go into all the details, but this is already becoming a super long post...but this job is truly a better fit for both Jason and us as a family than we could've ever dreamed of. Plus, before we knew about this job, we had felt a tug that we were supposed to be in Visalia. We have been a part of Neighborhood Church there and have LOVED it! We had even started praying that God would lead us to Visalia. So, since the FPU job is based in all three campuses; Fresno, Bakersfield and Visalia....Visalia is the central place where he would do the least amount of commuting. So, after a ton of house hunting, we started building a home in an amazing community that we are so excited to be apart of.

So, this super long story does have a blessed 'ending.' God provided for us in incredible ways...and has shown me once again not only how faithful He is, and that His plan is always better than anything we can ever imagine. Jason is an incredible man after God's own heart, and I cannot be more proud of him and thankful that God has brought us together, and that God is showing me that I can trust again. I love our little life and all that we have together. Our children are the sweetest gifts of love and I am so thankful to be their momma. So, here's to 2014: to Jason's new adventure, our life in Visalia, loving Jesus, each other and any one else God brings into our lives. What a gift life is, and to be able to spend it with these people is the greatest joy on earth!

Our 2013 Family Pictures: 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas 2013

Seriously...Christmas just keeps getting better and better having little's just pure magic! And since one of my main love languages is gift giving, it makes it extra sweet for me! We truly had a wonderful Christmas this year...sweet and simple, which is how I like it! :) On Christmas Eve we had Nana and Pa and Jessica over for dinner and gifts. We are so blessed to have them and how they love on our are some shots from Christmas Eve: 

love their expressions here...and I LOVE how every gift is so amazing to them...this one is a planes blanket! 

Nana giving Ally her gift

Well...the girls were posed well! :) We love Nana and Pa!!! 

Ally got the sweetest little baby cradle...she LOVES it and has to put her babies asleep daily! 

It's tradition on Christmas Eve in the Ekk house to open new Christmas pj's...they were more interested in wrestling than taking a pic...but I'll take it! :) 

picking out the perfect cookies to leave out for Santa! 

so proud of his plate for Santa and his reindeer! 

And now on to Christmas Day: 

Christmas morning

Ally was the first to wake up at 6am...and was super excited about her new play kitchen...she kept cooking away for a solid hour of play! 

excuse my morning-ness...

Ryan's face was priceless when he saw the big boy bike...
Then we had breakfast and read Luke 2 together! PS...this was the first year we also did all 4 weeks of advent together as a was super kid friendly and fun! Looking forward to that again next year! 

We had to go out to give it a 7am! 

opening stockings...


so much fun...they were pros at taking turns and it was so fun to enjoy the gifts that we were blessed to be able to give! 

After a play filled morning, Ally and I enjoyed a sweet snuggle and movie time in the afternoon! 

Then in the later afternoon, my family came over! Here's Uncle Chris! 

more gifts...whew! 
We had such a wonderful time celebrating love and the gift that Christ gave us this Christmas! What a beautiful day! So thankful for family and celebrations!