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Since August…

Hi Friends and Family,

Sorry you haven’t heard anything but radio static from us on here since August. We think it has been a combination of busyness and being in a constant state of transition that has kept us from updating, because we haven’t really been able to process much. Anyway, we apologize and hope to update much more often from here on out.

When we first moved, we were both working at an Olive Garden down here, which was a frustrating and (thankfully) shortlived phase. Allan was working with a non-profit in Dallas called the Vogel Alcove Childcare Center for the Homeless as the focus of his research for his masters project. In November, as Allan finished his masters degree from Mizzou, he received a job offer from NBC5 in Fort Worth. We were totally excited, except for the fact that he was assigned the overnight shift which we have found challenging on multiple levels. However, we were both relieved to not have to work at Olive Garden anymore and excited for the new opportunity. Patty continued working with Allan’s dad’s company, learning the world of branding and marketing. She also works random shifts at a nearby flower shop, which she enjoys immensely.

We had planned on running our second half marathon in November, but we had no idea when we signed up for it that November was going to be so ridiculously crazy, or that it would be too hot to train 75% of time in the 3 months leading up to the race. We were bummed to make the call 2 days ahead of time to not run it, but we knew we had other responsibilities that needed to come first.

We spent Christmas in Peoria, Illinois with Patty’s side of the family, which was snowy, fun, and unfortunately short.

In January we threw a launch party for One:Eight Productions, to announce to close friends and family members that our plan in life is to pursue the vision God gave Allan in 2007 to tell stories that matter through documentaries.

In February we were able to go to Napa, California with Allan’s parents to film his dad giving a speech at the annual Society of Psychologists in Management conference. Even though it was coldish and rainy, the scenery put Texas to shame.

In the first week of March, we found out Patty was accepted to TCU’s master of communication studies program with a full tuition waiver and an offer for a paid teaching assistantship. Needless to say, we are really excited! In the next couple of months, we will be moving to the Fort Worth side of the metroplex so that Patty can be closer to school and so we can be in a more “towny” area. Irving, the area we are living now, is mostly highways, industrial parks, and chain restaurants. For a while, we were considering trying to buy a house, but decided to wait and make sure we like the area and stabilize ourselves a bit before we commit to staying for 5-10 years.

I think that covers most of the big things we’ve encountered/experienced in the last eight months. Thanks for reading and we hope to see you soon!

Love,

Allan and Patty

Hello Friends!

We successfully made it to Texas this past Sunday, after a 12 hour drive from Missouri. Gus thoroughly enjoyed the view from the moving truck window, riding shotgun next to Allan all day, while Patty drove behind in the focus. We were pretty pooped when we got here, but excited to move into our new place and get started with our jobs/internships. Monday morning we went to our apartment complex and got all the paperwork finished for our lease and started moving in. It was 11 o’clock, and already over 100 degrees outside. We had been unloading for about an hour when one of our downstairs neighbors came home and offered to help us unload the truck. He just so happened to be approximately 10 feet tall and super strong, and did more work in 30 minutes than we could have done in 3 hours. We are baking brownies for him and his family as we write this :). So now begins the long task of getting unpacked, but at least we can do that in the air conditioning.

So that’s the 30 second synopsis of our first couple days in Texas.

We thought our Missourian friends would appreciate some pictures of our apartment, even though we have a long way to go getting settled in…

the view from our kitchen window

Patty in our kitchen

living room from the doorway

dining room/area

the hallway, complete with rubbermaid tubs.

our room!

our sad excuse for a bathroom counter... it will get better.

a texas sunset... 6 water towers visible from our window

Hope you enjoyed the pictures! We’ll post more once we get settled in and it actually looks like a home. Lots of love!

Allan and Patty

Hello Blog World!

Sorry we have been slackers lately about updating you on our lives. Lots of fun stuff has happened since the last time we wrote a post. We bought our first car, because Patty’s car needed more repairs than it was worth spending on it. It was the most money either of us had ever spent on anything before, so naturally, we were a bit scared signing all the paperwork. But we feel confident that we bought the right car for our needs and we are super happy with it.

The new car. We're still taking name ideas...

We then decided to take our new(ish) car for a road trip and went out to visit Allan’s family in Phoenix, Arizona. It was a great trip and we got lots of good quality family time, but we decided next time we would save up and fly, because 22 hours each way is a LONG time to spend in the car. On our way back from Arizona we made a detour to West Plains, MO for our dear roommate Cait’s wedding, which we were honored to photograph for them.

Cait & David on their wedding day

We celebrated our one year wedding anniversary by riding our bikes out to the winery in Rocheport, MO, which is about 13 miles away from Columbia. We ate lunch at the winery, rode back to Columbia, and went to dinner at CC’s city broiler, using a gift card we had gotten as a wedding gift but hadn’t used yet. It was a great way to celebrate an awesome year, and get excited about all the years to come.

For anyone who doesn’t know already, we are planning to move to Texas on August 1st. It is exciting and scary and happy and sad for us all at the same time. We’re excited to start a new chapter in our lives and try our hands at starting a production company, but we’re sad about being so far away from our family and friends in Missouri. Patty will be doing an internship with Leadership Worth Following (Allan’s dad’s company), and Allan will be working with the Vogel Alcove, a free preschool for children of homeless parents as part of his grad school research project. In a nutshell, that’s what has been going on in our lives. As always, we hope this post finds you well, and that you’ve enjoyed catching up on the goings on of the Thompson family.

All our love,

Allan and Patty

Today, Patty and I had the joy of witnessing the power of community first hand.  We got up early this morning to go to breakfast with a few of our friends.  The reason we would get up so early on a Saturday is important.  Our friend Andrew celebrates his fifth year of sobriety today and we were blessed that he wanted to include us in his celebration.

As breakfast was winding down the conversation turned a bit more serious.  Andrew told us that, on his sobriety birthdays, he will call the people who have been important to him over the last year and thank them for helping him in his journey; a truly beautiful tradition of acknowledging the most important people in his life.  Since we were at breakfast with him, he decided to tell the group there rather than calling us.  Andrew proceeded to thank everyone present for the encouragement given him over the past year. He told us how much we had meant to him and how everyone there had, in one way or another, encouraged him to become a better person.  As Andrew went on, all of us proceeded to tear up and some even began to cry because we all knew how special of a moment it truly was. It was one of those rare moments in life where you get to see the true fruits of a friendship.

As he talked, I thought to myself, “community is an unbelievably powerful thing.”  Just like Andrew could not maintain his health without a strong community around him, none of us can become better people without people around us to pick us up and encourage us when we are down, or celebrate with us when we are up.  I wonder if more marriages would survive, more children would realize their dreams, more people would take care each other, and more conflicts could be avoided if we focused on the importance of our communities over the desires of our individual selves?  I wonder if that is not where the true redemptive power of the cross lies.  People were meant to live in communities and it was proven to us today.

To Andrew: Thank you for letting us celebrate with you today. I hope you know how proud of you Patty and I are and how honored and humbled we are that we were able to contribute to your success in any way.  You have proven a true friend and here is to many more years of your health and dreams.  Celebrate like there is no tomorrow! You’ve earned it!

We woke up at 5:00 this morning with excited jitters in our tummies in anticipation of reaching the goal we set for ourselves and have been training for for the last three months. We dressed in our running gear (complete with number bibs and shoe chips) for our first half marathon. We ate oatmeal and toast that Patty’s mom was kind enough to wake up and cook for us. We headed out at about 5:50 for downtown St. Louis, not really sure where to park, or even exactly where the start line was. But with 16,000 participants and even more spectators all headed to the same place we were, it wasn’t too hard to find.

Us at 5:30 am before we left for the race.

The beginning of the race was unlike anything either of us had ever experienced. They had designated areas for people planning to run at certain paces, with the really competitive folks in the front and the walkers in the back. The race officially started at 7:00 am, with the sun about to peak over the Arch. As we saw people starting to take off from the middle of the humongous crowd, it was like a beautiful sea of rainbow t-shirts headed up over the very first hill. It took us about 10 minutes to actually cross the starting line, because there were literally that many people lined up. Once we actually got started with the race, we were both amazed by how energizing it is to run with so many other people. The first 6 miles of the run went out to the Anheuser Busch brewery and back (we were bummed that they don’t keep any Clydesdale’s there).

We then went up Olive st. past SLU, over to Forest Park Blvd, and turned around at WashU’s medical building. We both felt fine through about mile 10, but having only run up to 10 miles in training, we were in new territory after that. On mile 11, we heard a bull horn behind us yelling for people to clear the way for the first full marathoner who was on his way back on his mile 24 (at about a 5:50 mile pace…ridiculous). He came with his own ambulance leading the way followed by a brand new black camaro with a digital clock on top driving in front of him so that he could see his time. We were both pretty moved that all of the half marathoners he was passing, though exhausted themselves, cheered and clapped for him as he passed us all like we were standing still. The next two miles were pretty torturous for us, but we kept going because we knew we were almost done and we had worked really hard for it since January. It seemed like the mile markers kept getting farther and farther apart. But we came around the last corner where the finish line was, and about 100-200 yards from the finish line, Patty couldn’t hold it in anymore and spewed up what was left of her breakfast. After about a 30 second puke break, we finished the rest of the race feeling pretty good about ourselves :).

We’re both really glad we decided to sign up for our race, and look forward to maybe signing up for another one sometime in the near future. We hope you enjoyed reading a play by play of our day, and we also hope this finds you having a great day yourself! Thanks for reading!

The Thompsons

This morning we got to experience one of the greatest joys in the world…. waking up at the lake!! There’s nothing quite like waking up, going out on the deck and watching the waves. Unfortunately it was too windy to take the boat or jetski out. The waves were HUGE! So we decided to play it safe and make huckleberry pancakes, sit in the sun room and talk theology :).

Huckleberry Pancake Breakfast

Then we sat in the hot tub for an hour and a half and kept catching up on life. We spotted a road runner, pelicans, and a bunch of other big birds flying overhead. We got dressed and went over to the Griffin’s (friends of Dale and Vicki) 3,500 acre ranch. We got to drive around in their gator and see some of their amazing land and cows hanging out enjoying the sunshine.

Trees here are blooming!!

happy calf sitting in the sunshine

a house on their property built in the 1890's

Needless to say it was pretty awesome! It was a great day to spend outside, especially since everything in Texas is already green. Hopefully the rest of our week here is just as refreshing. More to come later…

Patty and Allan

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