Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The good and the bad

I'm sorry, I'm being neglectful again.  It's not that there isn't stuff to say...some days I just don't want to say it.

Like how we bought a new car this weekend...
Makes me a feel a bit like a hypocrite after my preaching about Dave Ramsey and debt, selling all my stuff and becoming a missionary.  Sometimes a pregnant girl just needs AC while she's on the road!

Or like how I hate wearing maternity pants.  They always feel like they are falling down and it makes me sad that I am already big enough.
I don't want to say that I still feel yucky either.  That I took 2 days off medicine and pretty much cried all day long.  I never want to go off my precious meds again!
Yeah, it's just been difficult to write about all those things. 

On a good note, we received our very first baby gift this weekend from Alex's sister Jacqui.
The adorable onesie is from my favorite organic store in Asheville.
And, of course, it is also a 4-day week that ends with another trip to Missouri.  This time Alex gets to go with me! 

So now I apologize if I don't blog more often.  I promise I am still alive and well.  This blog is just a reflection of life, and my life just isn't so interesting lately. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fake it till you make it!

Today me and Baby K are 15 weeks along.  For 15 long weeks this child has already begun to torture his momma.  And for those 15 weeks I let everyone know about it. 

Friendly person: "How are you feeling?"
Grumpy me: "Sucky!!"
Friendly person #2: "Are you feeling any better?"
Me: "Yeah Right!"

So that's how it's been for almost 4 months!  Wow.  Someone needs an attitude adjustment. 

This very conversation was had with a dear friend of mine yesterday.  For weeks I have been asking the question of how to embrace this life change without sarcasm, fear, anger, shock and hurt.  I am not even sure why all these emotions came cramming into my life the minute I found out I was pregnant.  But rarely am I excited or overjoyed.  My poor child will come out already thinking his momma doesn't love him. 

Clearly that will not be the case.  But how can I love this child even before he/she really is a fully formed baby?  How can I choose a better attitude for the next 25 weeks?  Why am I experiencing these emotions? 

Fake it till you make it! right?

So for the next 25 weeks you will hear nothing but pleasantries from my mouth (unless you fall under the category of Melisa, Brandy, Shannon or Elizabeth-- you're forewarned).  It may not be the truth, but I'm going to try this excitement thing on for size, and who knows...maybe once I experience it I may even believe it. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kitchen Organization Projects

Kitchen Before
Not so bad right?  Well we have such a tiny little space in our kitchen that even our little trashcan and recycling bin felt overwhelming.  What's worse is it made it impossible to get inside the cabinet to the left.  Ultimately we never stored anything in that cabinet.  So brilliant Alex came up with a new plan and after a quick trip to Lowe's yesterday our cluttered kitchen is all cleared up!

Step 1: Assemble Tools
Step 2: Build
Step 3: Look in awe and amazement at our new trash drawer!
Isn't it lovely folks?  
I'm in love.  We liked it so much we couldn't stop there.  So we turned a useless skinny cabinet that previously stored paper bags into a spacious and efficient spice drawer!

Quick and easy, custom fixes for our kitchen!  All the equipment came pre-assembled from Lowe's.  It was just a matter of screwing it into the right places.  Next to go will be those hideous teal laminate counters.  And maybe now we will need some drawer pulls.  But one step at a time folks!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Food Groove

It has been 8 long weeks since I have attempted any sort of action in the kitchen.  I lost my food groove and I have no desire for it to come back!  Help! 

If food has to be made, Alex must do it.  When it comes to deciding what to bring for fellowship, it is typical that our group asks Alex now, not me.  Last night for my work event, Alex prepared all the food.  And when all else fails and in doubt, we eat out.  And we eat out, and we eat out, and we eat out.  Story of our lives.

Last week we were spoiled with an endless supply of home cooked meals at Engage.  Now we are dropped back into our house in North Carolina, with an empty pantry and fridge.  I was at the grocery store twice yesterday and left with nothing for our own house.  While I was shopping for last night's work dinner I though frequently about grabbing a box of cereal, maybe something for lunches, preparing a dish to bring to fellowship for tonight.  But alas, my brain could not function around any of those things. 

I have lost my food groove!

This morning's breakfast consisted of half a container of Greek yogurt (yes, I know that isn't vegan).  I'm not even sure where the first half of the container went or when I opened it.  I also ate half a PB&J.  At least I know when it was made and where the other half went.  Alex made the sandwich on Sunday for airport food and it didn't get eaten.  So I ate the first half as a snack yesterday...and ate the 2 day old second half for breakfast this morning!  I accompanied my breakfast with 2 leftover pieces of watermelon from last night's dinner and half a Luna Bar. 

Sorry, when I lost my food groove I lost my ability to remember to take photos of food before I ate it!  Here are the remnants of this morning's hodge podge breakfast!

Clearly we will not last for long like this.  Where to begin again?  How do I find the ability to meal plan and grocery shop and cook?  I may be a lost cause!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Red Light, Yellow Light, Green Light

We're sitting at the airport, minutes from departing.  It has been such a long weekend but such a wonderful and fulfilling experience.  We said from day one, no matter what happened we were coming home changed people and that is exactly how I feel.

The big question is how did the interview, and the subsequent decision go?  Well in short it went fantastic!  We left today with a thumbs up from Christian Associates and we couldn't be more excited.  They see in us a potential to step out on the mission field and work with them. 

While I feel like it has been a long journey to this point, it is true that the journey has just begun.  From here we begin training and placement discernment.  Also, our "light" didn't come without conditions.  Alex and I have only had one significant international experience before so we have much to learn.

This week we have had the pleasure of meeting some really incredible people and today it was so difficult to say good-bye.  We lived in tight quarters so our group became quite tight-knit early on.
Today is bittersweet.  I am so excited for our future, scared that life is really going to change, anxious because it is still a very long process, sad to leave our new friends and above all grateful and amazed that God would choose to use me. 

Happy Sunday friends!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 2

Engage is officially underway!  We spent yesterday on the back porch of the house learning all about Christian Associates, how they progress in church planting and the role of missionaries within Christian Associates.  We had challenging discussions, amongst which we debated the difference between a missional theology and a theology of mission.  If you are curious, a missional theology is one which God is the center and is already at work, and we as sent ones act incarnationally to spread the Gospel.  While a theology of mission can look like many different things, ultimately I imagine it to be a "doing" process rather than a "being" process.  Ok, maybe you just had to be part of the conversation!

What I have learned in our short time with CA is that I truly respect their theology, and their methodology of spreading the Gospel.  We are enjoying all of the staff and other Engage participants and feel like we are at home with this small group of people. 

Last night I was very exhausted and went to bed straight after dinner and now we are up and at 'em again!  Ready to start another day of learning and discerning.  The more I learn, the more I want to be a part of this group.  Each day is more exciting than the last and therefore each day makes me more and more nervous.  This could be the start of the rest of our lives! 

*Keep praying*

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Good morning! Here in Denver it is just 7:30am.  Back home is 9:30, which explains why I was up at quarter to six this morning (Denver time).  We arrived yesterday afternoon to a warm welcoming.  The flight was quick and easy...non-stop.  That is the pregnant-way to fly!
That would be the umpteenth-million photo of the two of us in an airport!

In the short amount of time we have spent with the members of CA and the other Engage attendees we have already become a small family.  Last night after our welcome dinner we sat around the living room and shared our stories and how we learned about Christian Associates and why this organization resignates with each of us.  Alex and I were able to share our story and despite revealing details about our lives, I felt so comfortable with everyone around us!

Today starts much of the interview and discernment process.  I wasn't nervous coming into this, but I am beginning to feel a little bit anxious.  This is an amazing organization and I can't imagine belonging anywhere else.  It feels right.  It feels great.  I am so excited to be here and learn even more about CA. 

Please continue to keep us in your prayers and I am going to try to update you as much as possible through this journey.  I don't want to miss a step! 

One very cool thing I learned yesterday was that two of the Engage attendees actually learned about this organization through a missionary's blog.  It just goes to show how valuable and relevant blogs can be.  Check out Megan's blog if you are interested in her story of Christian Associates.  (Her daughter also participates in Girls on the Run which is so very cool!) 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I haven't talked much about mission work lately.  Honestly it feels like it has been on the back burner while dealing with morning sickness.  For me, it has been all but forgotten.  For Alex, he is as passionate as ever.  Thankfully, in a safe and loving marriage relationship we can carry each other on our backs and through the dark when things get tough.  It would be an understatement to say he is carrying me on this one.

Tomorrow we leave for Denver to meet with Christian Associates.  Back when I was still sane, Alex and I had a Skype conference as well as a meet and greet here in Charlotte with leaders in the organization.  We were excited and pumped for this journey.  We truly felt God was leading us. 

For several weeks I quit life, so to speak.  I couldn't find energy to pray, to worship, to be a friend or a wife.  I saw a quote somewhere that said, "Dear God, please give me the patience to deal with my blessings."  It said exactly what I was feeling.  Being pregnant is a blessing.  But I felt like I couldn't deal with it! 

Luckily I am feeling much, much better and more like myself everyday.  Slowly I am re-grounding myself in faith and love and happiness.  When I read the Word, pray, or worship, I find myself reminded of my passion to serve and I am more excited than ever to become a missionary!  Our Denver trip to visit Christian Associates couldn't come at a better time now.  So tomorrow we fly out, excited and nervous for what the weekend will hold.  Here is the letter Alex sent to the church this morning, and I include it here so you can share in this journey and pray for us as well!

Dear friends,

After careful consideration and much prayer we are ready to step out in faith, allowing God to lead us.  It seems we continue to come back to this idea of changing our lives to become international missionaries.

We are preparing for several years in the mission field and our first step will be to visit with Christian Associates at an ENGAGEevent May 16-20.  During this time we will have the opportunity to better acquaint ourselves with their mission and vision and assess whether this organization is a fit for us (and we them) all in the scope of God’s will and calling.

Our path from here is quite scary but we trust in God’s provision and timing.  Please cover us in prayer during this time of discernment and be joyful with us that we are able to listen to God’s will for our lives!

We love you all so much and thank you in advance for your prayers and support!

Yours in Christ,

Alex and Tanya Kummerow

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekend Festivities

Can it truly be Monday already?  What a whirlwind of a weekend! 
(photo by my friend Michelle)

Friday evening was consumed with preparing for our Girls on the Run 5k!  After a late night and a very early wake-up call on Saturday we were ready to go!  Approximately 1000 runners came out for our Spring 5k.

If I didn't believe in "pregnancy brain" before, I certainly do now.  All morning long I received a succession of questions that were followed by my response that went something like this "Uuummm."  All joking aside, I really felt less prepared for this event than years past.  It was hard to handle my own disappointment but as everyone has assured me, the crowds didn't realize the small fires that were put out all morning long! 

The weather was great, we were overwhelmed with amazing volunteers, and the girls all achieved their goal of finishing the 5k!  Congratulations to all of the girls and women, men and boys who ran on Saturday!  And thank you to all the coaches and volunteers who helped out!
(Photo borrowed from Brittany)

Directly after clean-up from the 5k, Alex and I dashed off to the mountains for a fun family reunion.  About 35 members of the Cole family (my mom's side) met up on Lake Nantahala for the weekend.  I got to spend time with my grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even my little brother and sister!  I feel so blessed to spend so much time with my family, especially my brother and sisters this spring.  Already two visits in two weeks, and one more coming up in just a few more weeks!  I am so lucky!
I was up so late on Saturday, and then up pretty early on Sunday so after breakfast with the fam, Alex and I hit the road and I slept the whole way home.  The sleeping continued once we got home, and I managed to sleep away my very first (almost) Mother's Day.  My friends made me feel so special with cards and texts all day long!  I cannot believe I will be a mom soon.  The reality of my situation has yet to sink in. 

And just like that we are back to Monday!  Now I have lots of clean up to do to make up for a very fun and exciting and busy weekend!  Have a great day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


The sun is finally shining today and I am ready for my "day off."  Sure I will throw in a few errands for GOTR today...the bank, the Post Office, purchase water, etc.  But I am taking a me day today.  Although, I am not sure what I will fill my "me" day with. 

I think I am going to attempt yoga today, at that gym I pay $70 a month for and never visit.  And I know that I am going to get my nails done.  Alex tells me there is a name for this, but I want all my nails one color except for my ring fingers.  Don't ask me how Alex knows these fashion details.  I just know I want bright pink and neon green.  For the Girls on the Run race this weekend, duh!

When you spend the majority of your days curled up in bed in a dark room, sunshine and freedom sound pretty darn good right now.  Now I just need to fill up this day, without emptying my wallet.  Maybe I will find a pool to crash and give this expanding belly a nice tan. 

Today I am missing Africa, playing the details of the 5k in my head, and secretly wishing for next Wednesday when we depart for Denver.  I am anxious to see my sister and brother this weekend...and my cousins, aunts and grandma!  And I'm wanting Alex to be home from work already.  I am excited to get together with our fellowship group tonight, I can't wait summer, and right now I'm headed out for a walk. 

Have a great day!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Girls on the Run 5k

I am so unfocused...I hardly remember how to write a blog.  But since I clearly have nothing to say about food still, let's talk about my other big passion!
I am so lucky that I get to work for an organization I am so passionate about.  I am lucky that every day I wake up and my job involves things that I would do even if they didn't pay me.  (That's not a hint...I still want to receive a paycheck!)

If you have followed VeganFaith for sometime, you probably know by now that each year around this time I get terribly stressed, forget to eat right and never exercise.  This is the week before the 5k and my nerves are on end. 

In 6 days I will host an event for over 1,000 runners and 60 volunteers plus hundreds more spectators.  Together with my amazing team and board of directors we will successfully bring 400+ girls age 8-13 across the finish line to achieve an amazing goal!  They have worked for 12 weeks to bring this to fruition.  They have learned self-worth and self-confidence and on Saturday that will all culminate in our season ending 5k! 
...And you can be a part of the fun!  Our 5k is open to the public.  Race entry fees are just $15 so bring your whole family out.  Don't feel like running?  We still need volunteers!  And lots of them!  Sign up now!  Please!



Friday, May 4, 2012



Where was I? Oh right, somewhere between nursing migraines, sleeping all day, and puking when my meds wouldn't work.  Isn't it a good thing I left out all the gory details of my last 8 weeks?

Today is special.  Today I'm 12 weeks.  Today I am optimistic that I am nearing the light at the end of the tunnel.  In front of me is a beautiful oasis of energy and appetites and happiness.  Maybe even a bit of joy.

I am not a pleasant pregnant person.  That is established.  Ask my husband.  Our oven is currently residing in it's new home in the garage if that helps give you a visual.  It did not end up there during a peaceful discussion about the smell of Brussels Sprouts.  It involved Brussels Sprouts, but there was nothing peaceful about it.

So hello THIRD MONTH! And hello SECOND TRIMESTER! With you may you bring less nausea, less aversions, and more cheer!

In other celebration is Alex's birthday week!
His birthday is on Cinco De Mayo! Best birthday ever.  However, we have lots of plans on Saturday, so we had birthday dinner early.  Last night we dined at Brickhouse and it was wonderful.  I think the comment was even made that a week ago that could have never happened!  This week, things are looking up for me!  And for us!

Love you Alex!

If you compare his kid pics with mine from last week...I would say we are going to have some pretty good looking lads and lasses on our hands, eh?

Happy Weekend to you, Happy Birthday to Alex, and Happy (almost) 2nd Trimester to me!

P.S.  Thank you to my dearest Amber and for your comment earlier this week.  You brought tears to my eyes and gave me the inspiration to post today!