Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A life well lived...

Philippians 1:21 says,
"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

This past week a good friend of ours, Brandon Pentz has just experienced the greatest gain a man can know. He was a son, brother, uncle and friend and this amazing man has gone to spend eternity with our heavenly Father. Although we are devastated to have lost him, we can celebrate in knowing that he was a man who loved God and lived life accordingly. He is now experiencing the presence of God in a way we can only imagine.

Brandon's sister Natalie and her husband BD are some of our best friends and Brandon was also one of my brother-in-law Taylor's best friends since childhood. So, needless to say many of the people we are close to were greatly impacted by his life. I wish I could do justice in sharing about the man Brandon was, but I am afraid of failing at such a feat. Instead, you can read about his story here and just by the comments alone you can get a glimpse of the kind of life Brandon lived.

One thing I can say for sure is that in the midst of the darkest moments in the lives of the Pentz family, they choose to praise and trust God. From the first text message Natalie sent us on their way to the hospital to the hours we spent the following days in the hospital with the family and closests friends praying for God to bring healing, to the memorial and burial... the one thing I noticed was the authenticity of their faith in Christ and the hope that He alone can bring.

My brother-in-law, Taylor, spoke at the memorial and several things he mentioned stayed with me. He said we prayed for God to bring healing to Brandon and God answered our prayers. Instead of providing the temporary healing we were all focused on, God brought complete healing to Brandon.

He also said, “If we lose the eternal perspective of our faith, our faith mocks us.”

The Bible talks about how God bring us into the fire and refine us like gold. I once learned how a goldsmith refines gold and the picture has always stayed so strong in my mind. A goldsmith will put the gold on the fire allowing the heat to burn away the impurities. He leaves the gold there watching it closely and the way he knows the gold is pure is when he can see his reflection. I believe in these past weeks, God has seen his reflection in the Pentz family.

During the worship time at Brandon’s memorial I looked over and watched how even in their devastation and in their questioning, Oran, Laura, Natalie and BD were praising their Father. It was like watching the truest form of worship I have ever seen on this earth. I was weeping as I watched this modern day Job story unfold. We sang the song, "Blessed be Your Name". One portion of the song that is taken from the book of Job is always the most heart searching part. It says, "You give and take away, You give and take away, but my heart will choose to say, Lord Blessed be Your name." It is in the moments when God has choosen to take, when the testing of our faith begins. 

I stand encouraged and amazed to continue to press on in our faith.  Our God is worthy to be praised and in our darkest moments He is the only One who brings hope.  He promises to never leave us or forsake us.  There is such comfort in knowing that, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18)

Taylor read this verse to us and it is a great representation of Brandon's life well lived:
2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

Brandon has left a legacy that will continue to impact all those whose lives he touched.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dinner and dancing to celebrate our first 5 years...

After our little trip, my parents came down to San Clemente to watch little Hud bud, so Travis and I could go out.  We dressed up and headed out to Laguna Beach for an evening to celebrate the past 5 years of marriage.  It is amazing to look back and see how much God has done in our lives over these past years and how quickly time has gone.  

We actually watched our entire wedding video the day before and it was really good to hear again what our pastor said during the wedding.  It brought back some many memories for us and it was sweet to hear our vows again.  There was also a portion of the video where we shared what we were looking forward to.  One of the things I said was that I was looking forward to being Travis' helper.  And I must say, that is one of my favorite jobs.  Whether it be taking care of the house, cooking dinner, doing laundry or whatever else the task, I love helping Travis.  

Here are a few things Travis has taught me over the years...
never let the day go without spending time with the One who matters most, never let the things of this world distract us from our goal of making Christ known, never be too busy to give a long full embrace, sometimes it is good to just let loose and not analyze everything so much, taking risks is part of life and without such risks we wouldn't get where we need to be and never stop dreaming. 

There are so many things we want to accomplish for Christ together. 
I can't wait to see what the future holds...

On our way to dinner...

I am about to share one of Orange County's best keep secrets.  I feel hesitate to share, because, well... it is just wonderful and the less people who know about it... the less people who will be there...haha.  My dad has lived in Orange County his whole life and he didn't even know about it.  Anyway, here it goes...we had dinner on the beach in the historic area of Crystal Cove at the Beachcomber.  It was wonderful!  We wanted to go to a quiet, tucked away location... and that is exactly what it is.  You can't see it from the street and you have know where you are going to even find it.  The parking is in a completely different location and you have to either walk down a long path or take a tram.  

One of my best friends from college works there and we have always wanted to go.   The food was amazing and it was literally on the sand, tucked down along the cliffs of Crystal Cove.  There are old cottages down there and it just felt like we were in another part of the country.  And they had blankets on the back of our chairs... which of course, was heavenly for me:)  Travis thought it was funny that I so quickly wrapped up in not only my blanket, but his blanket too.  And they gave us an amazing dessert on the house in celebration of our anniversary.  We will definitely be going back. 

After dinner, we went to downtown Laguna to go dancing.  We were expecting there to be a live band, but unfortunately there was only a DJ.  We didn't last long, but it was still just fun to do something we normally wouldn't do. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


For part of our 5th anniversary celebration, Travis surprised me with a little getaway trip.  He didn't tell me where we were going until it was time to pack.  He made all of the arrangements including gathering all the necessary items.  I have always wanted to go camping just the three of us, but we don't have any camping gear.  Luckily, my parents have all the necessary items.  So, Trav borrowed all of their gear and we went camping in Ventura!

It was so much fun!  We are definitely going to make camping a more regular activity throughout the year.  The drive was beautiful and allowed time for quality conversations.  We have a tradition of buying a new country CD before we head out for our vacation.  This year Lady Antebellum was the winner.  It is a silly tradition, but it is just so much fun putting the sunroof back and driving with the music blasting. 

The three of us on our way to Ventura... don't worry I took this while we were stopped in traffic:)

One of the great things about having a truck is it so easy to pack for such adventures and we were able to bring along our bikes. 

Hudson loved getting to run free and explore:

I am amazed at how even at such a young age Hudson is attracted to the typical boy activities...

I love Hud's jacket... it reminds me of the 80s :)

Hudson took off with one of the poles for the tent...haha... don't worry, we were able to recover both Hudson and the pole:

As you can see, he loved the tent...

Travis was taking pictures of Hudson as he leaned his face up against the tent screen...

Travis, of course, couldn't help but to laugh... which in turn made Hudson cry.  He still hates it when we laugh "at" him...

Which only made the situation funnier...

more exploring...

We roasted hot dogs and smores.  Then when Hudson fell asleep we put him down in the pac'n play in tent and enjoyed an evening alone by the fire with hot coffee and good conversation.  We both really enjoy being outside and listening to the sounds of nature. 

Travis made eggs, bacon, coffee, and we brought some muffins for breakfast.  Hudson and I explored the camp...

We rode bikes around the campground that actually was right next to the beach.

It seems bike rides have a way of putting Hudson to sleep and the only way to keep his head up is to tie a shirt or sweatshirt around his head :)
It really was such a wonderful trip and I am looking forward to more camping trips!

Friday, August 6, 2010


We just got back in the wee hours of the morning from a wonderful trip to visit Travis' family in Ohio.  I will be posting about our trip soon.  For now, I am going to take a nap and enjoy a relaxing day.

Because a post isn't fun without pictures...here a few of Hud bud eating spaghetti while sportin' his sweet comb-over hair...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

summertime fun

This summer we have been riding our bikes a ton.  We live 3 blocks from the beach, about 4 blocks from the pier, and about 4 blocks from downtown San Clemente.  We walk and run a lot around town and along the beach, but it has been fun to use our bikes this summer.  Lately, we have been riding to our favorite yogurt shop downtown.  Hudson loves fruit, so yogurt plus fruit is obviously a huge hit. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Today is Travis' Birthday!!!

Today, Hudson and I get to celebrate the life of our favorite person... Travis.  He is my best friend and I am so thankful for him.  We are currently in Ohio with his family and this is the first time since 2003 that we get to celebrate his birthday with his family!

Happy Birthday Travis! We love you!

Monday, August 2, 2010


We met up with some of our friends on the last day before our passes were blocked out for the summer.  We are looking forward to going back in September.

I love watching Hudson take in all the sights and sounds:

Balloons are a big hit with Hudson right now:

We got Hudson a mickey mouse and he loved it: