March 20, 2008

I believe an update is needed..., oh my, has it been a long time since I updated our blog! It's been a little hectic over the last couple of months and I've been overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the love and support of my family, my friends, strangers who have heard about what's going on in my life and are praying for us, and overwhelmed with the incredible strength the Lord is able to give us when we have to go through a trial. The Lord has been good, as He always is.

Cole and I moved into my parent's house at the end of February once our lease was up at our house over by Henry Mayo. It has been chaotic here, but it's been wonderful having my family surrounding me and Cole every step of the way. Each week has been a little easier and little less messy and we figure out how to handle everything. :)

Mike continues to live in his new apartment. There has been no change in our situation for the better that I can report. Everything has been made pretty clear to the both of us where the direction is going. I filed for legal separation a few weeks ago to establish custody of Cole and financial support, as I have not worked since Cole's birth. It's been a very emotional roller-coaster, but I feel confident in the decisions that I've made. It's amazing to see the hand of God at work in very real ways in your life. I am in awe of how the Lord can use my trial to encourage others and to strengthen their walk with the Lord as well as mine. This is truly the closest I've been with the Lord since I became a Christian. I feel His presence with me all the time and am SO grateful that I have Him...I couldn't get through this without Him! Please continue to pray for Mike and his walk...he is at a crossroads in his life that will take him down one road or another and I truly pray, EVERY day, that he chooses the godly road. Pray that the Lord will lift the hard-heartedness away from him, pray that the Lord will reveal Himself in new and fresh ways to Mike, and pray a new understanding of what it means to submit yourself to Christ.

On a lighter note, we've been able to visit some friends recently and catch-up. Here are some pictures of Cole and I visiting my best bud from elementary school, Kori, at her parent's house in Hasley Canyon. They have a beautiful property with horses and a river bed and lots of fun things for kids to check out. Kori had her beautiful daughter, Ella, there with her and Cole had a blast playing with her.

Cole riding Ella's awesome trike!

Colie just looking adorable as usual on the property
Ella cruising in her awesome car...with mama's help!

Here are a couple of pictures from Easter this year...I am so thankful that I've been involved in the Grace adult choir since January. It's been such a blessing. I sang in all 3 Passion play performances for Good Friday (and Saturday) and then for both Easter morning services. Brice, Emilie, Cole and I went up to the amphitheatre and took a few pictures after the services, then we all, with mom and dad, went out to eat at Thelma's Morning Cafe. Then we headed up to our house for a Resurrection Easter Egg fun. 12 plastic eggs filled with little representations of the death of Christ with a book to explain it all to children. It was great!

Em and I being silly in between Easter services!

Aahhh...sisters and BFF's!
The very cute!"Look mama...I found an egg!!! Yay!" says the Colester!
Learning about the Resurrection through our Easter Egg hunt!

And just this last weekend, Cole and I had the opportunity to go to San Luis Obispo and visit some of my best friends, Todd & Summer Roughton and their kids, Ashlynn & Jeremy! And bonus...Katy Fetters was visiting for her spring break, so I got to visit with her as well. We had such a blast. We arrived in the early afternoon on Thursday, went to dinner at a great place in downtown SLO called Mondeo Pronto...great salmon dish, then walked around downtown for their awesome Farmers Market. We watched "Enchanted" and then fell off into dreamland.

Jeremy & Todd at the Farmers Market!
The boys running around like crazies in the park right next to Grace Church.
The sleeping arrangements for the boys...pretty cute!

On Friday we were able to go to Montana de Oro, a beach/hiking place. We mostly went to the beach part...had great fun looking at all the beautiful rocks and climbing through "pirate" caves! We watched "The Devil Wears Prada" that night and then headed off to bed.

The kiddos eating breakfast cute!
Cole decided that he really wanted to check and see how cold the water was...with all his clothes on!
Montana de Oro...beautiful!
The entrance to our "pirate" cave we explored! SO FUN!
Cole attempting to wade through the river...again, note the clothes!

And there he least Ashlynn was right there to help him up! Love this one of Ash & Todd...a keeper!
"Look mama...I'm tryin' to catch some fish for you," Cole explains!
Artsy pic of the "beach" rocks...very pretty though.
Summer & Ash on our adventure at Montana de Oro!
Jeremy & Cole...BFF's! SO CUTE!

On Saturday, the girls headed to Pismo and I got my very first (and maybe last) tattoo!! It was a pretty rad experience and I was able to capture a few photos of it...

Aren't I crazy?! :)
The beginnings of the tattoo...the outline and some shading done...
Breathe, Renelle, breathe....
Kris, the tattoo artist, finishing it up with Cole's name...

The finished new tat!

We also hiked Bishop's Peak in SLO that afternoon and had a great time with the kids. We were able to see basically all of SLO from the top and the views were beautiful!

Todd & Ashlynn being quite adventurous!
A view from our hike...beautiful SLO!
Keep going...we're almost to the top...NOT!
From inside the "Raspberry Forest" as the kids called it!

Another beautiful view of SLO!Todd & the kids on the steep trail...
Katy & BFF's!
My feet by the end of the hike...I know, silly to wear flip-flops, but I couldn't put shoes on yet because of the tat...I still had the wrap around it with tape. The reason they look so different is that they put a solution on the tattoo when they are done, so one foot was more sticky than the other and it attracted more dust! :)

On Sunday we all headed off to Grace Church, the church where Todd pastors the high schoolers, and we listened to a great sermon in their service. I'm looking forward to being able to visit again soon! Todd & Summer...thanks for such an awesome weekend. Cole and I had a blast and I'm so very thankful for your friendship and support...I'll be up again soon. Love you guys. And Katy too!!! Thanks for riding home with me!

This coming week is Spring Break for the school districts out here in Valencia, so my family is heading down to the Palm Springs area to visit my aunt & uncle's new vaca home. I'm also going to have the opportunity to be able to visit another best friend, Kristal, and her family. I will be able to meet her new little man, Landon Shaun, who was born on March 17th! I'm so very excited!!! Thank you for your continued prayers for Mike, Cole and I and I will definitely be giving updates more often, now that things are a bit more calm! :)