This past weekend my 3 out of state siblings were able to fly in from Oklahoma! We had a great time catching up, spending time together, eating, playing at Top Golf, taking family photos, and being silly.
I want to tell you all a little about my family because all of this past month has been about me and my current life as a cancer patient, mom, wife, young professional, etc…. and I wouldn’t be who I am without them:
My sister Dani, her husband Morgan, and 3 kids [Molly (7), Jack (5), Jordan (1)] live here in Edmond, OK. They moved here a year after I did because they fell in love with Oklahoma after one visit! My sister is the most creative, 100% in, passionate women I know. I am so happy they took a leap of faith and moved here when they did, because life right now wouldn’t be the same without them. The simple fact that we didn’t have the chance to grow up near all of our wonderful cousins makes our hearts so full the Molly, Jack, and Jordan will know Bentley and Boston and their love as cousins will flourish forever. God is so good in this way.
(OUT OF STATE) My oldest brother Trevor and his wife Marie live in Murray, Utah just outside of Salt Lake City in their super cute home where they have a massive garden. And I mean massive. They are very active in the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints and have great Callings there, where they pour into their communities. They have great careers and love to spend time outdoors exploring new places and being adventurous together. Trevor rides a motorcycle. He is my “too cool” brother even though he will always be my “Star Wars Loving” brother, which to me is the opposite of cool. Sorry!
(OUT OF STATE) My middle brother Ryan lives in West Hollywood where he works on the show The Voice and plays with numerous bands (travels around the country some too!). He is one of the most talented people I know from the inside out. He is my “eligible Bachelor” brother, so ladies, look him up on my Facebook: J Ryan Kern. In addition to his incredible (and flexible) career and his good looks, he is kind, genuine, open, plays in his church band, is so fun, and has so many qualities.
My little brother Jake also currently lives in Edmond, OK with us but just recently graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma where I attended graduate school. He may be moving away soon to seek new adventures. Big sister is not too happy to lose him geographically after successfully recruiting 3/5 siblings and my parents (who moved here in January 2016). And since this is a blog I am allowed to say whatever I want.
Obviously with such great siblings, we came from somewhere (someones- and yes we are a proud blended family with his, hers, mine, ours, adopted, and all the kinds): My parents Larry and Jeannie are one of a kind both as individuals and as a couple in Christ.
They (re found) their individual relationships with Jesus a couple of years ago after joining us at our Edmond, OK church Life.Church (the worship and message were incredible as always and just allowed for the space and place for them to feel God’s love.) They hadn’t been attending any kind of church in Southern California so when they went back, they found one that fit them (there are all kinds of great churches around the world…so it’s OK that someone doesn’t like ours or yours…do what is best for you and your family!) called CenterPointe in Murrietta, CA. This church and the people there (our pastor Craig Groeschel always says: “We don’t go to church, we are the church!” YES!) changed their lives as they got plugged into community. This is what makes my heart sing- people who are broken finding NEW LIFE in JESUS and THEN COMMUNITY SHOWING THESE NEW BUT BUT STILL BROKEN PEOPLE WHAT CONTONUAL NEW LIFE IS, IN JESUS. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Sorry, I just really love love (future blog posts about Taylor Swift lyrics and Nicholas Sparks books will surely come so beware.)
I am so proud of my parents. For so many reasons.
But this past year, my mom was able to retire after being very prayerful about how she wanted to spend their rest of her life. She was able to take care of my Papa, Fred, is his last season (sunset) of life in Temecula. He passed away in January 2016. After Papa passed away (leaving me with no more living grandparents- except I have been blessed with many on Adam’s side of the family!) my mom and dad moved to Edmond to be by 3/5 of us kids and all the grand kids. Leaving Southern California for Oklahoma is not something that is taken as “oh that makes sense, have fun”…it’s usually transcribed into the follow-up question of “how could you leave California??” I still to this day get that from people and I have lived here for 4 years and lived in Tucson and Italy before that so have been away from CA a long long time! I just tell people to follow their hearts and if they want to leave OK so bad then CA has space for them…
SO, they moved to Oklahoma (another successful recruiting effort by yours truly!!!) into this beautiful neighborhood where the HOA gives our Yard of the Month awards. It’s so serene and pretty (Adam, Bentley, and I have been staying with my parents since being released from the hospital for help with the baby since I cannot be left alone with her when my leg gives out or have a mini seizure so we have been able to really reap the benefits of the beautiful green spaces here.) WELL, guess I thought that it was pretty cool God brought Nana and Papa to all their grand kids but now I think God is pretty darn cool to bless me with my Mommy and Daddy here to be BY MY SIDE for every appointment and every day in this season. I couldn’t do this without them so to fathom they could still be states away just makes me sad for anyone who is a part from their family while they go through any challenge or rough patch of sea. I pray for all of you daily. And praise Jesus that I am so blessed to have most of my family here.