Sunday, January 27, 2008

DESTINATION: Raleigh, NC - Home Sweet Home!

Aside from a couple things we still need, we're just about finished putting our house together. Steve had meetings out of the house for a good part of the week, but every moment that he was home, we maximized our time putting things away, throwing things away and buying new things. Our newest purchase is this: are looking at probably the BEST scrabble playing table on the earth. We figured it would double great as a dining room table! We've managed to find some great deals here in the "furniture capitol of the world"!!

We had church tonight. I wanted to take pictures and post them, but it was hard to manage the kids and seek out photo ops at the same time! Maybe next week. It's so amazing to see and really FEEL God moving in people's lives here as we approach our launch date in August. One of my biggest...HUGEST desires is to be in peoples lives. Not to just know people...but to really live life with others in community and just be able to witness through true and trustworthy friendships. Thankfully we were welcomed in by a whole bunch of people who want to do life the same way. I can't think of one person in our small group right now who Riley won't LUNGE for...Or one person that Cameron won't ask to take him to the bathroom!

I have been busy setting up house ever since we got here, but now that we're settled, I'm anxious to get out and know some of our new friends better. This past weekend, we went with a really cool couple, Craig and Kara, to a BBQ place about an hour away from Raleigh. Let me just tell you that you ain't had a hushpuppy until you've had one here!! So good. I also have a new friend in something called Brunswick Stew. It's a soup made with butterbeans, corn and chicken! I'm going to try to make it sometime! There's no Trader Joes here, but there's a grocery store called Harris Teeter that seems comparable.

The kids got to run around outside for the first time today in about a week. It's been too cold. Today was much better. Each day I determine weather or not it's too cold to play by going outside to see if my face starts stinging!

Anyway...Steve's home from church and the kids are asleep...I think it's time to zone out on the couch with my love and watch a movie. It's so nice to feel "home"!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Faiai Contact Info

If you didn't receive an email today with our updated contact info and would like it, shoot me an email ( requesting it. Also, for more info on our move please check out earlier posts by scrolling down to the bottom and clicking the "older posts" link!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

MORE SNOW!! and Chicken Tortilla Soup

It's almost 6pm here. About an hour since my last post. Lots more snow now!

My husband thinks I'm a dork. I told him "I'm my dad's daughter!" Oh well!

And as promised...

Chicken Tortilla Soup! If you read my last post you should have known I was going to post a picture of my soup!

It's Snowing!!

We've been waiting for it all day...and it's finally here! The snow!! It literally just started, but I couldn't help myself...I just had to bundle up the kids, grab my camera and run outside!

almost starting to stick!

"If all the snowflakes were candy bars and milkshakes..."

Snow on daddy's clothes!

No one can resist the curls..not even the ELEMENTS!

In a little while I'll hopefully post lots more the meantime I'm going to make my men some nice hot chicken tortilla soup!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Monumental Day For The Faiai's

I don't think I'll EVER forget January 18th, 2008. At least I hope I don't! Today was a day of new beginnings, a day of breakthroughs and answered prayer, and a day of just being THANKFUL!

Today - January 18th, 2008 - We FINALLY received our Pods!
It's a LONG story...but they're here now. Steve made his first trip to the storage facility today to get our belongings. As we started unpacking things in the kitchen, Steve looked at me as he unwrapped our silverware and said "I've never been so thankful for a potato peeler"! Although it's kind of a goofy comment, it rung sooo true! It's amazing how many little things we take for granted...that is until we lived 2 weeks without practically anything!

Today - January 18th, 2008 - The boys received their first package!
I knew what my parents were sending, but still, I think I was just as excited as Cameron to open the box! Thanks Mom!

Today - January 18th, 2008 - First video chat with Grandpa.
Thank God for camcorders and firewire! We had some issues with cheapo webcams that I couldn't get to work. I used our firewire cable that was in our pod to hook up our camcorder to my mac and BINGO! We're in business! Cameron and his grandpa were very happy to finally see each other again since we left 2 weeks ago.

Today - January 18th, 2008 - First All Staff Meeting with Church at the Triangle
It was so refreshing to get our minds officially back in gear to plan for our church launch in August. Steve and I came away from our meeting so excited and just pumped about the road ahead!!

Today - January 18th, 2008 - The day we gained new perspective.
As Steve and I took time today to reflect on the past two weeks and all that we're thankful for, we both expressed a feeling of renewal in our relationships both with each other and with our boys. For some reason, being away from everyone we've ever known has made us more aware of how much we need each much we appreciate each other... and how incredibly important it is for our boys to see how much we love each other. I'd like to think that it wouldn't take a NORMAL couple moving across the country to experience this insight, but if that's what it had to take for us...then I'm happy SO happy we're here!

We'll probably be hanging indoors this weekend as a big storm is in the forecast. People are saying we should wake up to snow in the morning! We loaded up on groceries for the next couple of days and are anticipating snuggling on our new couch, hot chocolate, playing with blocks, and watching a good New England Patriot smackdown this weekend!

Here's the new love of my life, by the way!

Becky comes to visit in two weeks!! :-) Then 2 of Steve's nieces will stay with us for the month of February! I can't wait to show our guests our new life in Raleigh!! Until then...I'm so thankful for January 18th, 2008!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another Day at the Park

This time with a few more layers! This week we're trying to visit 1 new park each day to try to get familiar with our neighborhood.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Southern barbeque is great...but...

Nothing beats Steve's soy sauce chicken and rice!!

Our first REAL home cooked meal! We finally bought a couple pots and pans from our nearby WM superstore to get us by until our belongings arrive in the next few days.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Just another day!

The REAL reason we moved to the South!

MMMM! Happy Boys!

Yep...even Bob the Builder brushes his teeth!

Brier Creek

The boys and I took a walk to the strip mall across the street from our house. I took some pictures along the way.

Here are pictures of our apartment complex.

And of course the play area.

Needless to say, the boys are happy campers!

I've been trying so hard to get a picture of the goofy face Riley started making a week ago. I finally captured it yesterday! He likes to do this when I'm disciplining him. He gets a sure laugh out of me every time!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I’m sure you’d assume the lack of posts and delay of updates is due to the MASS chaos that comes with moving our family of four clear across country this week. Although we are busy, and still settling in, our week has been one of not so much chaos, but more…lack of internet access. We’ll get our cable and Wifi up next week. So until then, I’ll be typing my posts in word docs at 3:30AM when I have time away from my boys, and then I’ll post them whenever I can get to a hot spot (Breugger’s) to throw it up live.

The Flight:
Awesome. The boys were SOOO good. Riley got stir crazy for about 10 minutes of the first leg of our flight, but other than that, it was a GREAT experience. I was most worried about getting through security. I seriously HATE going through airport security. I always feel like some sort of terrorist as I unload my carryon on to the conveyer belt. Almost every time I’ve flown out of San Diego I’ve been searched or questioned at the security checkpoint. I have NO idea why. I hardly ever bring ANYTHING on the plane. I really believe it’s because they sense my anxiety or something. Anyway…this time I was way more nervous than ever because not only did I have my two boys to worry about, but because I had to carry on all of their medications from their recent bouts with pneumonia. I had to carry icepacks to keep the amoxicillin cold, breathing tube things for their inhalers, benadryl and Riley’s eardrops. I was very thankful when I passed through the metal detector without any alarms going off. I gathered my boys and my belongings and started heading to the gate. I was completely amazed that NO ONE stopped me or my backpack. I even turned around and looked at one of the “officials” to make sure I was ok to proceed…and I was! Sweet! Cameron was really excited about the plane. I thought he’d be nervous, he wasn’t. AT ALL. He acted like he knew about exactly everything that would happen. If you ask him, he’ll tell you that his FAVORITE part of the flight was “snack time”! What a surprise…I know. My mom’s luggage wasn’t at baggage claim, but thankfully it came on a later flight and was delivered to our apartment at 3:30AM the next morning.

Arriving in Raleigh:
When I packed my bag last week, I was kind of stressing that I didn’t have warmer clothes. I had plenty for the kids. I even carried on their big jackets just in case it was unbearably cold on the short walk from baggage claim to the car. I guess I should have been paying more attention to the weather before we came. I should have brought flip flops instead of ski boots. It hasn’t been colder than 70 degrees since we got here on Monday. It’s totally sunny and warm. We’re told that the climate changes fast, so all that to say, there’s colder weather to come, but for now I’m thankful that God is gently weaning me from my San Diego sun. Steve picked us up from the airport at about 6:00PM and we drove straight to our new apartment. We LOVE it. It doesn’t feel like an apartment at all. It looks and feels more like some kind of resort. We’re walking distance from a HUGE, beautiful new strip mall that reminds me of the new mall in Otay Ranch by Kara’s house. Steve did a GREAT job finding us a place to live. We originally talked about wanting a house, but for now, this is perfect and the location is STELLAR! Cameron and Riley LOVE their new house. Cameron keeps telling us how much he loves it. We’ll see how much he loves it after Grandma leaves on Thursday. He’s in heaven right now, having his all week sleepover with my mom! There was a glitch in paperwork with our “pod” storage unit thing. It was supposed to meet Steve here on Saturday, but we found out the day before we left that we wouldn’t see our belongings until the 17th of this month. This leaves us each with about 2 sets of clothes, one pair of shoes and a toothbrush. Everything else, including furniture and the boys clothes, will not get here for another week and a half. Right away, our small group here, who we haven’t even met, got together and managed to scramble up a bed for us, a bed for the kids, a dining room table, bedding, and a TV that we’ll be able to use until we get our own stuff. What better way to dive into community than to borrow other people’s furniture?! My mom and the boys were able to meet the Towns family the night we arrived. They greeted us at our front door with a basket of cool things and loved on the kids. I think it’s easy to get along with anyone in Raleigh, but the Towns are EXTRA amazing people. I haven’t known them for very long, but already I can tell you that Lee, Carla, Ashlee and Carlee are 4 of the most selfless people that I’ll ever meet. They are a true blessing to anyone they come into contact with, and I am so excited to do church and life with them!

How’s Riley?:
Great! He recovered from last week’s surgery well. So well that I forgot about the tubes in his ears and let him take a bath where he submerged himself in water about three different times. When we went to the doctor for his pneumonia, she checked his ears and said they look GREAT! Thank GOD! Although Riley was diagnosed with a permanent hearing loss in his left ear, he has really done a 180 since getting his tubes. I know he can hear better than he ever has. He’s progressed like crazy in his speech and mannerisms, just in the past 5 days. It’s pretty incredible to witness. He’s singing songs, copying sounds of the things we say and making goofy faces to make us laugh. All normal habits for his age but something he definitely WASN’T doing 2 weeks ago. He’s just extra happy! Both boys still have a little junk in their chests, but for the most part, the wheezing and coughing is over.

Our New Life:
It’s too early to judge whether or not our new life is going to be better or easier. I’m definitely going to miss family and friends and help with the boys. One thing I do know though, is that I definitely have more peace and focus today than I’ve had in a LONG time. Something about the risk, the challenge, and faith has me, us, in a good spot. I’d like to think that we’ve completely relied on God since we’ve been married. But I think it’s going to take these new surroundings and a new community of people for God to REALLY refresh us and focus our lives on what He wants us to accomplish through us for His glory and to further His kingdom.

Keep Praying:
1. For the boys continued health
2. For my parents and family – They’re going to miss the boys.
3. For my boys who will really REALLY miss my parents and family.
4. That our “pod” would arrive early.
5. That we could really be diligent with our finances as we get settled.
6. That God would be stirring hearts of the people in our community.
7. That God’s hand would continue to be all over Church at the Triangle.

Blessings all!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Destination: Raleigh, NC - Road Trip Update

Well, thankfully Steve and Jerry have had a safe drive thus far and are more than half the way to Raleigh. In the map below I drew in red a line from San Diego to the middle of Texas which is how far they drove yesterday. The orange dotted line is how far they plan on traveling today(Thursday) . They'll sleep in Tennesee tonight and drive to Raleigh tomorrow. They originally planned on getting there on Saturday, so it's pretty cool that they're making such good time! I might not even have to help unpack our storage units!! 
Thanks for praying for their safe arrival in Raleigh! 

One more thing to add to your list of things to be praying for:
Both boys are in the beginning stages of Pneumonia. The doctor did xrays and breathing treatments on both Riley and Cameron. They prescribed antibiotics and inhalers that we'll need to keep refrigerated on the plane somehow...just pray that they get better and that we won't have any issues with security when bringing their medication.

Thanks!! Hopefully I'll be floating on a pillow of clouds by the next time I post!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

DESTINATION: Raleigh, NC - On Our Way!

Our family is officially in route to Raleigh today. Steve left at 6:15 AM to go pick up Jerry, one of his best friends, who will drive four days and 2,546 miles with Steve. They're planning on driving 15 hours per day and stopping at night to sleep for about 10 hours before heading out for another 15. They'll make their first stop in Texas today. Probably El Paso. Please pray for their road trip and safety. They're both smart enough to find somewhere to rest if they get too tired to drive, so what I'm most worried about is other crazy drivers! Here's a good perspective of the route Steve's driving.

The boys and I are staying with my mom for the next few days until we fly out together on Monday. Riley will probably stay with Steve's mom until this Friday. Saying goodbye to Steve was very hard for her yesterday. All of Steve's 7 brothers and sisters along with their families all met at Steve's sisters house to say goodbye. His mom prayed for us in Samoan while everyone cried. She also said a bunch of other things that I didn't understand. I couldn't help but to break down when I heard her say Riley and Cameron's names. I knew she was praying for their safety. Later Steve translated what she shared with the group. It was mostly a blessing spoken over us. She also addressed Steve sternly in front of the group telling him to keep close to God and be the best husband and dad that God created him to be. Steve then went around and said goodbye to each of his family members. It was a little too much for me to handle emotionally! I couldn't even watch him say goodbye.

Cameron and Riley are doing well considering the big transition so far. Cameron is acting out a little bit in subtle ways this week. I'm doing what I can to love him and show him grace in the situations that get a little out of hand. I know he is sensing HUGE change right now. I really believe it's way harder for him because his brain can't completely comprehend what's going on. He's asking lots of questions and I try to answer them in ways he understands. Last night while we were crying on the way home from Steve's sisters, Cameron asked us why we were crying. It's hard to explain to a 3 year old the reason behind leaving everyone we know to go somewhere FAR FAR away. So instead of asking more questions, Cameron just said "mom, when we get out of the car I'm going to give you a really big hug." I said "ok, thanks Cameron." He then said "Mommy, I will give you my heart and daddy I will give you my heart, because my heart is happy and yours is sad. " He then said a few other things that really lightened up the rest of the car ride home.

Our pods are being picked up today. They'll be dropped off in Raleigh the day before Steve gets there.

In less than a week we'll be residents of Raleigh, North Carolina!