Thursday, December 23, 2010

i like to pretend that people actually read this thing....:)

merry christmas to my sorely neglected blog friends out there :)
the week of Christmas this year has proved different than planned (violent virus was spread at a party here on monday, and many were wiped out yesterday with fun. i am very grateful to God to have NOT been one of those taken down, however my two bestest friends - Jenn and Tim - both were! It lasted about 10 hours and they are feeling all the way better today! Now for disinfecting e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. in sight ;)

I thought I would share our family christmas letter, and hope you are encouraged and comforted in your hearts as you celebrate the birth of Jesus and the redemption that He secured for us.

you will probably not hear from me again till's hoping to more consistent posting of photos in the new year! woohoo! (we can always hope, right? :)

happy and in love, Lindsey
Greetings from the Quann family to our loved ones around the world!

My (Lindsey) turn to write the family Christmas letter has rolled around again, and I’m so grateful for the chance to take a break from the busyness of these days and reflect on all God has done since this time last year. I think that in 2010 our family has learned more personally the truth from the bible that says “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love him.” (1Corinthians 2:9)

If you asked me to sum up the year of 2010 in the Quann home in just one word, it would be this: Unexpected. Every month has gone by, revealing an unexpected twist or turn in the story that God is writing through the lives of each one of us individually and together as a family. Unexpected joys. Unexpected sorrows. New seasons of life, new relationships, new challenges, new jobs, new direction, new ministry opportunities, new schedules, new family adventures. And yet in the midst of all of the new and unexpected, the good and the bad, the defining factor has been VERY expected, INTENSELY sought after, and FREELY given: deeper relationship with the God of sustaining grace, mercy, and love. He is the strength that held our family together through this year, just like every year before, and every year to come. Even through the most painful moments, when we might have felt like we were falling apart, God was molding us more into the image of His son Jesus, and teaching us more deeply what love really means.

Since even a summary of the events of 2010 would fill a novel, I will keep it to some highlights: Mom and Dad celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with a fabulous week together in the outer banks. (Side note: for adult kids still living at home, there are challenges for sure. But getting to see our parents grow in their love and commitment to each other through the changing seasons of life has been an unexpected gift.) Jenna and I got stretched in our girls retreat experiences this summer, as we helped put on not only our usual teen girls retreat in Virginia, but also flew to Guatemala to do a girls retreat at Hope of Life Ministries (Yes, it was in Spanish. Talk about walking by faith!) Jenna continues her job teaching GED classes in King George, and went to her first out of town work conference, which made her feel like an official grown up. She also set a personal record: attended 4 weddings, read 6 books, and took 10 trips in just a 3 month period! Charlie, the brother with many names (Aaron, Quincy, Buddy…), jumped back into school this summer at Germanna Community College. Playing guitar and writing songs has become his favorite pastime and creative outlet, during days filled with calculus, chemistry and engineering classes. (If you frequent downtown Fredericksburg in the evenings, you might even find him and Jenna sitting on the sidewalks making music with an open guitar case, collecting enough change from passersby for a slice of pizza :) I have found myself quite occupied with a very handsome man who loves Jesus, who asked me this summer if I would marry him. And I happily said yes. Thus wedding planning has ensued, and in May 2011 I will become Mrs. Tim Olson! (Side note, to all the 7 year olds out there: you never know if that kid you’re playing with might become your husband/wife 16 years later. Be nice to them :) Ariel, Matt and their 4 adorable kids (Tyler, Audrey, Connor and Karis) still live in our neighborhood and bring sunshine and MUCH laughter into our lives. This fall we accomplished one of our family goals, just in the nick of time: a trip to Niagara Falls, Canada and Buffalo, NY to visit mom’s college before anyone else got married. It was the perfect time of year to visit that area of the world. Pictures do not do it justice. We also got to visit the Republic of Texas for the first time, and celebrate our cousin’s wedding with mom’s side of the family.

Believe me, that is only the tip of the 2010 iceberg! It is our hope and prayer that our glorious Lord Jesus will make Himself known to you intimately in whatever place you find yourself this Christmas. Whether it be a season of busyness or of rest in your life, of joy or of sorrow, that you would find Him to be your ever present help and comfort. The baby in the manger over 2000 years ago is not just a story for little kids. It is the true story of the eternal God setting in motion His plan of eternal love to put our sin to death and bring us to life. It was the beginning of the story that brings us peace in the midst of chaos, and hope in the midst of pain. This Christmas, we are celebrating the birth of the One who is making all things new.
With much JOY, the Quanns

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

i heart faces: orange

It is a well known fact that orange is my favorite color. Even my 3 year old friends know that :) It was the perfect motivation to get me back into the i heart faces photo challenges after several months of slacking...and i caught it just in time, as I only have half an hour till this week's challenge closes!

So here you have it folks: one of my favorite little boys in my favorite color :) This kid is captivating. I can stare at those gorgeous eyes all day and never get tired. And he also has an amazing mama who has a fabulous blog of her own:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

i am alive. really i am. and i'm turning 23.

so i realized its been...ohhh...maybe 100 years since i last blogged. i honestly don't even know if anyone reads this, and i wouldn't blame them for not reading it with how infrequently i write anything :) i'm turning 23 tomorrow (or today if you want to be picky....yes its just about midnight). I figured that was good enough reason to update.

i DO plan to get back into my I <3 faces challenges as soon as I get a handle on the rest of my life (no telling when that will be ;)

the last few months have been a cross between a tornado and a roller coaster. they have held moments of tragedy and heartache, and moments of crazy joy and sheer bliss. the common factor being God's hand of steadfast love in all of the moments. i am learning mucho. learning about myself. learning about God. learning about others. learning about love. learning about understanding men. learning about marriage. learning about the sin in my heart. learning about humility. learning about repentance. learning about forgiveness. learning about fighting the lies of the enemy with truth. learning about waiting. learning about investing in others. learning about trusting God. learning about giving burdens to God. learning about asking God for the things I need. learning about how God provides for my needs in ways i don't expect.

wanna know whats been keeping me so busy (and mostly keeping me out of trouble)?
- helping in Ms Higgens' kindergarten class at Potomac elementary
- a plethora of house cleaning/babysitting/photography jobs
- spontaneous family trip to Niagara Fall, Canada (driving: 10 hours each way. left friday, came back sunday. so much fun.)
- weekend family excursion to Texas for our cousin Joe's wedding (flying: first time we ever flew as a family IN the country. usually we're headed to mexico when we're all on a plane together)
- weekend with the four fabulous Littlejohn kids: Katie (7), Julia (5), Lucy (3), Anderson (1). i gotta say, we packed a lot of fun into one weekend :)
- girls weekend trip to the Outer Banks with Mom, Aunt Deb and Jenn: perfect weather. and I didn't take a single picture the whole time. i still don't know whether to be glad or sad about that :)
- my amazing, wonderful, handsome, sweet, STRONG, intense, tender, encouraging, and muy guapo fiance, TIM....who is the best lover i could ever ask for :) he is working SO hard on school right now, that we don't get a whole lot of time together. But the time God has given has been sweet indeed.
- w.e.d.d.i.n.g. planning <3 this has been lots of fun. i LOVE planning things. its like the biggest party of my life :)

so. with all that said.....i hope to catch up on pictures soon, find some sort of regular weekly schedule that will allow time for taking MORE pictures and posting pictures for the I <3 faces challenges again...and also for posting pictures of this wonderful crazy life God has given me.

happy november.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

[guatemala love ♥ ]

Something tells me there are a few of you out there still not quite sure what all went down in the whirlwind adventures of this past week of my life. Let me try to put together the pieces for you.

On Friday July 9th, I flew with a group of girls to put on a girls retreat in Zacapa, Guatemala. It was an amazing week seeing God at work in our hearts and in the hearts of the girls and women we were there to serve. We were challenged, encouraged, and experienced God's grace and provision every day. Lots of laughs...lots of silliness....lots of praying...and i mean LOTS of praying...and lots of eating gooooood guatemalan food :)

On Friday July 16th, we left Hope of Life Ministries, and took a 4 hour bus ride to the cobblestoned city of Antigua. I fell asleep half way through and woke up as we pulled up to the Hotel Posada Don Valentino. In my sleepy-headed glory, I got off the bus and began the adventure of getting our bajillion suitcases into the hotel. I had just dropped my bags in the lobby, and was turning around to go back for more, when I heard someone say "Tim". I didn't actually think it was MY Tim, but I turned around anyways to head out the door. Only I stopped. Because it WAS MY TIM. So a very confused but happy Lindsey walked over and gave Tim a hug and said something very romantic like "wa...wa...hey what are you doing here?" :) He was smiling and all I remember him saying is "Come with me..." as he put his arm around me and led me out the door of the hotel and around the corner....into a pretty little corridor-ish place with green stuff :)

He took both my hands, took a deep breath, and dropped to one knee. Looking deep into my eyes, he said lots of beautiful things, including (but not limited to) "You are the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. Lindsey, will you marry me?"

Right before he popped that question, while I was looking deep into his eyes, I laughed. I laughed because I realized that this was real life. And the man of my dreams was really about to ask me to marry him. It hadn't even sunk in yet that he had flown all the way to GUATEMALA to do so. But when he did ask, I said yes. And then there was much happiness and hugging, as Sam Krieg can testify to....since he was hiding in the taxi van video taping the whole thing :) Gotta say it just feels right to have Sam's spanish/english commentary in the background of mine and Tim's engagement...he's been there since the very beginning of our friendship as 7 year olds :)

I told Tim then that I found the whole experience even more ridiculous and humorous because just the day before, I had been floating around in the pool with my friend Angela. We had been talking about how you know that someone is THE ONE you are supposed to marry. She asked me, "If Tim showed up HERE in Guatemala TOMORROW and asked you to marry him, what would you say?" And I told her "Yes. Without a doubt yes." To which she added, "Well i would like it if he did, because then I could be there."
Wish granted.

After long-hug number one, Tim took my hand and slipped on a ring he had gotten for me that week. He explained that he hadn't thought of this Guatemala plan until the day I left, so he only had a week to plan everything, and that wasn't enough time to get the engagement ring he wanted. So engagement ring numero uno is a beautiful white gold ring with a heart surrounding my orange birthstone :) Long-hug numero dos ensued.

We finally walked back out to join my team of crazy lady friends who had been clued into what was happening by our very own Mrs. Wine (who had successfully kept the secret ALL WEEK LONG, as Dr. Wine had called her very early on to get information for Tim so he could be at the right place at the right time :) They were MUCHO excited for us :)

I was pretty much speechless. (I know, I know, you didn't think it was possible for me to be lost for words. But it is. Pretty much only when it involves Tim...and love....:)

The rest of the day we spent exploring Antigua, and Crina took some "engagement-ish" photos for us so we wouldn't forget what had just happened to us :) I had spent all week wishing Tim was with me to experience Guatemala together.....and now he was :)

I have just noticed that I have used an excessive number of parenthetical smily faces in this note. Take that as just a glimpse of the kind of joy I'm feeling these days. God has been so kind and gentle with me in leading me on this path, in teaching me how to live and to love more selflessly, and helping me to open my heart to the man who has walked a thousand miles to fall down at my door (yes, thats a Proclaimers reference. Best song ever. And he may not have walked the whole way, but he's definitely gone more than 1000 miles for me in the last few years...even when I didn't know he loved me...)

So that's the short version of my love story :) Enjoy.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

i heart faces: then & now

This week's iheartfaces challenge makes me laugh every time I think about it. Seriously. To get the full idea of what this is about, you have to check out this website HERE.

So as soon as I saw this upcoming challenge....I knew exactly what photo I wanted to recreate. With the help of my mom, sister, brother and cousin...and a delicious spaghetti you have it folks. age 2 and age 22.

[please note: you cannot really tell because of the angle and my size difference, but I am actually in the same chair.]

Monday, April 26, 2010

i heart faces: smiles

Smiles. I LOVE smiles. And I also happen to LOVE my mom and dad. And they also happen to LOVE each other. Can't you tell? :)

i heart faces weekly challenge :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

i heart faces: collage

This crazy collage makes my heart happy. Because it was a crazy trip, getting to see the beautiful work of God in our hearts and lives with our familia mexicana in Mexico City.

I made the collage with Picasa. This is my first entry for an i♥faces weekly challenge.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Scratch that. We're on :)

So the iheartfaces community network (separate site) is hosting a contest for the month of April.
Theme: Laughter
You get 5 submissions.
Here are mine.

So here I am. Again.

A new blog. Again. But this one has a specific purpose.
And that purpose is not to promote my recent fascination with elephants. In case you were wondering.
The purpose of this blog is to have a place to post pictures that I enter in various weekly or monthly competitions through, a cool website and online photographer community that I've been watching for some time now (shout out to Lindsey Schub for introducing me :), and finally decided it was time to jump into.
It might be a few weeks before I get my act together and start entering photos (school is almost in the past tense....almost...:) but I am looking forward to the potential challenge of doing something photo-related regularly.
So there you have it. I would tell you that if you want to keep up with my real life, you should read my real blog, that would be misleading :) Because I have not actually written anything on that blog since....oh let me go check....June 27, 2009. Not such a great record :) Here's hoping this one doesn't die so easily....
You CAN, however, check out more of my photos HERE ---> :)
And yes, get a shout out too....for following my empty blog :) A true friend, and photographic inspiration.

High fives :)