For Our Mothers

Holidays like Mother’s Day are always difficult from the other side of the world.  For the past few years, I have been extra thankful for the series of photos that were taken of my mom and Ryan’s mom helping to lace up my dress for my wedding.  Because they live in different states, our mothers haven’t had a lot of time together which makes this moment before our wedding even more special.  They worked together to bless us on that beautiful February day.Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 1.56.51 PM.pngHowever, that’s just one event out of too many to remember or even count over the course of both our lives.  But that’s in my mind what motherhood is about in so many ways.  All the moments, big and small that add up to raising a child.  And even though we’re on the other side of the world, we still recognize that our mothers have done (and still do!) amazing things to love and support us.  So thank you mom and Ryan’s mom too!

I thought this article posted by a friend, A Tribute to Mothers Who Send Their Children Into Mission, is an appropriate tribute for Mother’s Day.  We love you both!

Lemon Meringue Pie

Typically I stick to easy baking, like lemon bars, but when a friend says that lemon meringue pie is her favorite and she wants to help me bake, I jump at the opportunity.  It’s so much easier to make this pie with an extra set of hands!  Especially with someone who is patient enough to wait until the lemon filling is actually thick enough to set.  When I was growing up, I remember my dad helping my mom bake these pies for friends and family.  Back then, I only liked the meringue part but now I appreciate the whole delicious pie.
Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 8.48.53 PM.pngSo today, my friend and I used my mother’s blue ribbon recipe and although it was missing my mother’s touch, it still turned out great.  Maybe I’ll have to get Ryan in on this and we can learn to bake lemon meringue pies together in the future.  Baking is always a fun afternoon activity and the pie tasted even better than it looked.  Thanks Mom for passing on this yummy tradition!

Happy Anniversary!

4 years ago yesterday Ryan and I met for the first time after finding each other on OkCupid.  After that first (5 hour!) date, we both knew there was the potential of something more but had no idea where this relationship would take us.  Now we’re celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary in our new home in Perth, Australia after traveling around the US and around the world too.

3 years ago today, Ryan and I got married in Santa Barbara, California at beautiful Franceschi Park.  If you missed the wedding because we’re new friends or you want to re-watch our wonderful ceremony, you can check it out on our webpage: Ryan and Joy’s Wedding or directly on Youtube: Ryan and Joy’s Wedding.

Happy Anniversary to my favorite husband!  You drive me crazy but I wouldn’t change this life with you.  I’m looking forward to many more years and many more memories together.

Flooding in Two Places

We can easily compared the weather here in Perth to the weather in Sacramento.  Although the patterns may be a bit different, the average highs and lows are pretty similar and both areas are also known for their droughts.  The only major difference is that, on average, Sacramento gets two more inches of rainfall a year.  It’s currently winter in California and Summer in Perth but there has been an unusual amount of rainfall in both places which has lead to widespread flooding.  Although it needs to be mentioned that despite some unseasonably cool days, the rain here has been accompanied by warm and muggy weather so it’s definitely not winter here.

In Australia there has been enough water to create a waterfall on Wave Rock where Ryan and I visited on our trip in 2014.  It’s probably amazing to see in person but possibly dangerous to get to currently because the flooding has been along both the Swan River and the Avon river.  Here are a couple news articles if you’re interested: WA Towns Flooded and Heavy Rain Wreaks Havoc. The Swan River runs right in front of our apartment in Perth but the flooding hasn’t been in our area and we checked out the swollen Avon river while we were out in Brookton this weekend.  Some of the bridges to the north of Brookton are close to being covered and some of the places mentioned in these news articles are names we recognize because it’s an area where we could potentially work in the future.

As for Sacramento, my parents are a couple feet away from flooding which isn’t uncommon but if you can see in the picture of us, we’re standing on the deck and the grass below us is typically completely dry.  For a good number of years, the Sacramento river hasn’t even flooded it’s banks.  But now thanks to a very wet winter, not only is the drought in Northern California mostly over, some of the dams are reaching capacity and causing potential problems.  Evidently there is a spillway near Oroville (Thousands in California Told to Evacuate) that could possibly break sending water down the Feather River which feeds into the Sacramento River above my parent’s home.  My parents don’t need to evacuate yet but they have a plan and places to stay if needed.

Please pray for those being impacted by the flooding in both Western Australia and in California.

Tree Cutting 2016 – Zapp Family Tradition

One of my favorite family traditions is tree cutting up in Placerville.  I have so many amazing memories of cutting our own tree year after year, amazing Italian family meals, hanging out with cousins and being visited by Santa Claus.  It was wonderful to be able to celebrate one more time with my family before heading to Australia.screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-7-57-52-amIt’s about generations gathering together, reconnecting and making memories.screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-7-52-15-amIt wouldn’t be tree cutting if we didn’t walk over to the tree farm.  It’s just down the hill and up another hill.screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-7-51-02-amAnd you always have to find the perfect tree.  Sometimes it takes awhile but you know the right tree when you see it.screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-7-54-30-amThis is my crazy wonderful family.  I’m going to miss these special events.screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-7-52-58-amAnd the homemade raviolis.  They are amazing and delicious.  This is the Italian side of the family.screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-7-53-21-amAnd Grandma got a whoopee cushion from Santa Claus.  She’s going to be a riot in the community where she lives.screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-7-55-23-amThe average height in this group is 6’3.  We’re a tall family.Screen Shot 2016-12-19 at 7.56.00 AM.pngGo Zapp family cousins!

 

 

Good Goodbyes

Long drawn out goodbyes are one of the most difficult parts of this stage in the process.  We’ve been saying goodbye since November and it doesn’t get any easier.  I still don’t know the best way to say goodbye.  (Anyone have any tips?  I’d be happy to listen.)  Although, I do think it’s helpful to have a time when you choose to give an extra hug to someone, maybe say a word of prayer and at least remember that maybe this could be the last time you see each other for a relatively long period of time.

We had the opportunity for two wonderful goodbye parties this weekend.  Warm, cozy houses filled with lots of friends, good food, and visiting is always sweet.  And, of course, everyone always gathers in the kitchen.  I’m so thankful for these homes where Ryan and I have had so many great memories over the years.  Lord willing, there will be more memories made in these homes when we’re back for further visits.

The past two Sundays, we also had the opportunity to share our vision, say our thanks and goodbyes as well as be prayed over at the church where Ryan and I attended for our first two years of marriage.  It is very sweet to be surrounded by our church family who loves us well and we know will be praying for us as we set out to Australia.

During this process I have to remind myself that saying goodbye is challenging because we have many wonderful friends and supportive, loving families.  It’s these great relationships that are providing the foundation in support for us and our ministry.  These have been such good goodbyes.

15 Days Until Christmas Eve

Do you have your Christmas shopping done?  Ryan and I were done early because we were originally planning on being in Australia for Christmas.  But we’re thankful for the time we get to share with family and friends over the next couple of weeks.

Even though I’m typically an early shopper, there is often one or two people who make it a challenge to find just the right gift.  I know everyone has at least one hard to shop for person on their list.  And most everyone can do with a little nourishment.  I blogged about this when it first came out Nüresh- A New Way to Feed Your Mind, Soul and Spirit but I figured a little holiday reminder would be good because this would be a great gift for someone who is hard to shop for.screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-8-41-10-amFrom the description on the website: NÜRESH gives you thousands of hours of the most inspirational and informative premium spoken word content in one innovative and easy-to-use Web interface. Listen, learn and still have time to live your life.

And since it’s price had dropped recently, if you buy a subscription now, it’s only $9.99 per month for life.  So if you have a $30 shopping budget for that hard to shop for person in your life, you can give the gift of three months of listening and then if they choose to keep the subscription, it’s still affordable for them.screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-8-26-25-amRyan and I recently signed up and are excited to check out some of the speakers.  And the database of resources will just keep growing so we are looking forward to having access to the content as it increases too.  Give the gift of Nüresh this holiday season because it can nourish your mind, soul and spirit all year long!