Emma's on her way to 3!

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Third Birthday tickers

Sunday, March 17, 2013



Now that we don't have just One Little Sumner anymore, since Emma is expecting a little brother or sister in September, it seems appropriate to document these days on our new blog:

No guarantees that I'll post more frequently there than I've posted here, but at least I'll have a little corner on the interweb when inspiration strikes. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The tradition continues


Ever since my first birthday, my dad has taken each one of us kids out for breakfast on our respective birthdays.  He's traveled to Khazakstan, Egypt, and Nevada to follow through on the tradition, and this morning was another birthday breakfast on the books.

There's been a combination of crazy (like breakfast on the 50 yard line of my high school's football field back in the day, another one at Sugar Shack in Huntington Beach when I got my surf board from a dear friend who's now passed on) and calm like this morning at Panera before the sun rose while Emma and Dan were asleep at home.

The point isn't that each one is memorable, or stands out above the last, but that they've been consistent. What I remember is that it happens each year, that our spouses were brought into the fold with their own birthday breakfasts, and that even as life gets busier my dad makes that morning a priority.  It reminds me that traditions are important...that having a couple things that are constant no matter what give us something to look forward to.  Life has taught me not to take those constants for granted, and to be grateful for things like birthdays that let us flip the page to the freshness of another year.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One more thing


As little as I post here, it might be hard to believe that I really do process things by writing.  I guess things hum along pretty well for the most part, so I tend to write when there are bigger things happening, or when so many little things have added up that they equal a big thing.

Well, the one thing I didn't mention in my recent post that's also part of our story is that the day after Dan accepted his job, I found out that I was pregnant (sad ending, don't get excited).  We were speechless.  It was July 4, twelve days before we both started new jobs, and then the awesome joy of our littlest one on the way.

We dreamt of all of the possibilities; lifetimes of potential.  We had prayed for so long, and so many great things had happened within such a short time for us, that it made sense that this would be part of the amazing story that God was writing for us.

Not a day, and barely a minute went by (and still goes by) that I didn't think, dream, picture, and pray for our baby.  

But, for reasons that only God will ever know, we'll never get to meet.  The whole reason people wait to announce a pregnancy is because the first trimester is so risky, but the reality of that is so painful.  I was only about six weeks along, but the minute I saw "pregnant" on that test I was picturing a baby in my arms.

A few weeks have passed now, and there have been so many times when I remember my own words about the positive seasons of life providing reminders in the harder times about God's faithfulness.  There are just some dreams that are forever unfulfilled because of the nature of things, and unresolved air is the hardest to breathe.  

Sweet little one,
I'll never forget the short time you spent with me, and I am changed because of the love and loss I feel for you.  You will always be part of my story and I'm grateful for your life.  I celebrated you, I miss you, I cry for wanting you so badly, but I know that God will bring healing and restore my hope.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

For 12 years from now...


Dear Emma,
There will be times in life that you will wonder if God is real.  You'll look at your circumstances or situation and think that He's not listening or that He doesn't care.  When you start to wonder, sometimes the only thing you can hold on to are the stories of His faithfulness in other people's lives, and you'll still ask why you're not feeling His presence or hearing His voice in your own life.  There have been times that I've wondered.  There have been times when I haven't seen or felt or heard God, sometimes very long stretches of time.  That's when I've had to think back on the times when I knew He was present, and remember that He's the same God now as He was then, even if I can't sense His presence.

The past few months have given our family a story that we can hold on to and remind each other of God's faithfulness.  You will have your own experiences as you grow up, but this is one that you won't remember so I'm going to tell the story now even though you won't read it for a while.

On January 15, your dad was laid off from his job.  He really wasn't happy there anyways, so we considered it a blessing and knew that God was going to provide something better.  He's spent his time off taking care of you, and loving (almost) every minute.  But, as time passed and jobs weren't popping up we started to wonder what was on the horizon.

Fast forward to two months ago (May 7, to be exact), and I had known for a while that the job I had wasn't my long term career.  I put my head on my desk and told God that I only had two months left in me because I was drained trying to put my energy into something that I knew wasn't for me.  That afternoon I got a call out of the blue from someone I used to work with telling me that a position had opened up in their HR department because of some changes in the company.  They wanted to know if I would be interested in talking about coming back, and I knew that God was hearing me.  So, I started conversations with them, but the whole time had a nagging feeling that what I really wanted was to start an HR department at a smaller company in an action sports style company.  Well, two weeks in to my talks with company #1 I got a call from another company of just over 100 people (the perfect size) in the action sports industry saying that they were looking for someone to start their HR department.  I was having conversations with both companies and setting up interviews, and at the same time your dad told me that he had actually applied for a position at company #1 as well.

We both couldn't have worked at that company because HR can't have relatives working there, but we knew that if we both ended up getting offers we would just decide amongst ourselves which would be better for our family.  I had my first interview with company #2 but found out during the interview that they have pretty expensive benefits.  I drove away thinking that the job at company #2 would be perfect if I could have the benefits of company #1.  I got home that day and found out that company #1 had called your dad to set up an interview, and that interview ended up being set for one hour before my interview with the same company on the same day.  Because the same person wasn't hiring for both positions, there was no connection at the company that we were both interviewing.  That week, between the two of us, we ended up having a total of seven interviews.  We were both exhausted physically and emotionally, but we knew that God was shaking things up for us and had a perfect plan for our family.

I ended up getting the offer I wanted from company #2, and just today your dad got the offer he wanted from company #1.  My company initially wanted me to start July 9, almost exactly two months from the day I put my head down on my desk.  I pushed the date back to July 16 so I could take a few days off before starting, and the funny part is that your dad starts his new job on the very same day.  We'll both have first days on the same day, and that means that you'll be heading back to days with friends and family, but we're trusting God for that too.

Sitting in church on Sunday, I realized that God has heard every single cry of my heart.  It reassured me that even in the times when He seems silent, He's listening.  Don't get me wrong; God is not a genie in a bottle that we can just order around and expect an immediate response.  But, when He chooses to honor our faithfulness and remind us that He's always here, it becomes easier to see Him move in other more subtle ways.

I have so many prayers for you, but one of them is that as you look back on your life you see the providence of God and the movement of His hand even in hard situations.

I love you more than I can ever put into words.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Same ol', same ol'


I wish I had something new and exciting to share, but since February things have just been going along.  Emma and Dan have been having a great time together while he's been out of work, and I've been working on things like my garden, bread baking, yogurt making, lotion making, and we'll likely be getting some chickens within the next month (I guess that's exciting, but since we don't have them yet I'll have to wait to make the official announcement).  I'm working out some name options for my hens, but I just might have to see them first. 

This is a super boring post, but things have been fairly mundane around these parts lately.  I'm just trying not to let months and months pass without an update here.