exciting things in october

We have had an exciting month! Some great things happened...

I'll start with the least wow thing...We went to the NASCAR race in Martinsville. Not sure it's something I'll do again, but it was a fun experience for us together and of course Jon loved it! I have to admit that having the headsets to be able to listen to what the drivers were saying was pretty neat!

Even better than that... WAY better than that... Rebekah and Javier are engaged! YAY!!! We are so excited for them!!

Josh and Kami and big brother Silas welcomed Baby Joseph to their family! And Meredith and John welcomed Baby Reagan! (see their blogs for too cute pictures!)

We are planning a trip to Philadelphia over Thanksgiving Break so hopefully some nice pictures will come from that!


oct 07 update

Well... it really seems to almost be fall. The leaves are starting to change, we just had Fall Break, and it's getting colder... so much colder that we're wondering if we'll have a fall at all. It's going from highs in the 80s to lows in the 30s in a matter of 2 days! It really has been beautiful lately though.

We just got back from a long weekend in Chapin (funny to say that--- at my parent's new house) and Clemson. It was a great weekend! We were finally able to see the house and got to help with a bit of final unpacking, all very much fun!

We are surviving after Clemson's horrific loss to VT. Thankfully most folks have been kind and not made a big deal about the loss... I think this is mostly due to the fact that neither of us truly care too much, so it's hard to get us real worked up about it.

We have been doing a lot better lately with eating healthy! We met with a nutrition student a couple weeks ago who gave us some great tips. Here's my latest thing: 32oz. tub of Stonyfield Farms French Vanilla Organic Yogurt. Spoon a serving into a small tupperware container. Right before leaving for work throw in some frozen mixed berries (they sell a mixed bag at Walmart with blue, black, rasp and straw- berries). Then stick it in the fridge at work.... but lunch time the fruit is thawed but still just a bit frozen in the middle and all the melted juice is throughout the yogurt. Amazing! I don't think I'll ever buy the individual yogurt tubs again!

And of course... pictures of Finn :o) The box is a little small for him, but he manages to squeeze in... silly cat!


we have not converted... but the picture is fun!

Papa Wylie's homegoing

Earlier in the month Jon's grandfather, Papa Wylie went home to be with the Lord. After my Gran's passing this summer and other things going on in our life these burdens of grief seem to keep coming, but we continue knowing God is in control!! The memorial service was beautiful and really Christ-centered. We know Papa would have been glad that this final event in his earthly life was so God-honoring. Even though it was a sad time, it was still good to get to visit with family, especially cousins that we don't see very often.

One happy thing this past month was that we celebrated our 2 year (or 730 day) anniversary! It is hard to believe that we have been married for 2 years, in some ways it seems like a lot longer and in other ways it has really flown by.

This month we also went to Columbia for Dad's play and then to Clemson for Bethany's birthday, and over that weekend found out that Christy and Matt Knarr's baby, Haley Elizabeth was born! Congrats to the Knarr family! The following weekend we made it Raleigh and had lunch with Sarah, Jon's cousin, and then spent time with some of Jon's NCSU crew, Josh and Kami Johnson and we got to meet their adorable son Silas! We really enjoyed it and hope that it is not two years before we see them again! In other news, the Moore family is moving :o( :o) (rather bittersweet) in the coming week. So big changes there.

Next month we're planning to head to the Clemson vs. VT game in Clemson! Go Tigers!! But other than that we are staying put Lord willing!


almost done

Beginning in late July through mid-August is the mad dash, the rantic frenzy to the finish... aka the beginning of the school year. In some ways it's kind of funny that though school is just starting, we are working towards finishing the starting process... if that makes any sense at all! Jon started training in late July and move-in should finish up TODAY! Then classes start Monday and things will gradually settle into a much more normal pattern. It's hard to believe August is halfway through.

We have a great staff of guys this year who really seem to work well together and who really care about their residents... that's a great combination that will certainly make our lives a lot easier. We are very thankful for them!!

I have been working to get my class ready for the fall and have been meeting a lot with my international students who have just come to campus and were unable to come to orientation. I really love working with this population and the unique challenges they face! I've also been trying to help Jon in the evenings stay caught up on some stuff for work which also gives us a chance to hang out that we otherwise wouldn't have.
This past week we had a wonderful visit from Andrea and her boyfriend Brian. They are moving to Charlotte and stopped through for dinner. It was fantastic to see her and get to meet him. Who would have ever thought 5 years ago that we would end up living so close to each other now!

Last night we had a dessert drop-in for the RAs and some of Jon's colleagues. It was a fun break in the midst of move-in weekend and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I love it when we have folks over! It's also fun when we have the door propped open to watch the incredulous faces pass by as they wonder what in the world our apartment is doing in this residence hall. Some stop by and ask... like the new student last night and his mom who asked me to make sure and take care of her baby to her son's "none of that baby stuf mom!!" It was precious.

Here are some updated pics... Andrea's visit and ... Finn (of course!)

In front of the stadium.

Resting on top of the (clean) laundry


God's goodness

Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
But to Thy name give glory
Because of Thy lovingkindness,
because of Thy truth.
Why should the nations say,
"Where now is their God?"
But our God is in the heavens;
He does whatever He pleases.
Psalm 115:1-3

While I won't divulge the details here to the world, we've been dealing with some challenging stuff lately. And when hard things happen it makes it easy for us to jump to asking questions, wanting to know the "why, God?" behind the struggles in life. The answer to that question is always before us though... because in some way, this challenge, this trial, this grief will give God the most glory.

We heard John Piper speak once about this and he explained it in the sense of a tapestry. Here on earth we are on the underside of the tapestry and while we may see some semblance of a pattern or a design, what is most evident to us now are the strings and knots and loose ends... in other words, we see the problems and snarls of life. However, once we are on the other side of eternity, looking back at this tapestry we will see that God has used all of life's events, both good and bad, to create the most beautiful design possible, the pattern and picture that brings Himself the most glory. (at least I think this is what Piper meant by this, I don't mean to attribute something to someone if it's not what they intended to say... but that's what we got out of it at least!)

We praise God for His goodness and grace in our lives!


almost july

It is absolutely crazy how quickly this summer is passing! Hard to believe that July is just around the corner. We have had a pretty relaxing June but things are bound to step it up a notch next month. In June we....
- worked...
- had some fun dinners with folks from church
- I (emily) have stated attending a women's summer study with church
- visited Yadkinville for a few days
- took a few days off here at home just to catch up and relax

This weekend starts the transition between summer session 1 and 2... meaning... Jon has to work :o( But... the good news is that we leave Monday night for Columbia!! We are both looking forward to visiting since it was Easter the last time Jon was there, and was May at graduation since I've been. It'll be fun to see where things are on the new house and to spend some time on the lake!

Hopefully we'll have some pictures to post from that soon.


summer is really here

Summer in Blacksburg means thunderstorms, or at least the prediction of them everyday, and and with them forecast for the past week and a half... I think that means it's really summer! We are getting into the summer routine at work and are looking forward to our vacations in June and July to go visit family. Here are a few updates of what's been going on with us...
Memorial Day we spent here in Blacksburg and went for a looong walk (about 7 miles) and then to a cookout with som families from church. It was a very fun and relaxing day.
This weekend has been pretty productive, as Jon went to a men's workday at church and I got a lot of things done around the apt. Made some granola (never done that before!) and it turned out great!
Monday we're having friends from church over for dinner who will be leaving this summer for job and school related stuff. There are something like 10 families in our church moving this summer!! :o(
Now for the pictures...

Here's my handsome husband in his new bow tie. I think he pulls the look off pretty well!

And here he is with his latest hobby- classical guitar. True musicians may recognize that the guitar he is playing is in fact acoustic.... however, he's learning classical style and if things go well we may be in the market. He's doing great so far! All those years of piano and band have definitely paid off (though he just said... and I quote, "This is very difficult!"-- he's practicing right now)

And... last but not least... what you've all been waiting for-- updates on Finn. First of all the cat is a mess! During Jon's last guitar lesson he was all over the place... being so naughty... inside Jon's teacher's guitar case, on the refrigerator, running back and forth like a crazy man! It was too funny. We also just last night purchased a mat to place outside his litterbox to catch any litter that's on his paws so he won't track it in the house. Well, we were confused b/c there was still litter being tracked, so just a bit ago we heard him in the litterbox and went to see what happened. Finn finished his business and then ever so carefully stepped out to the side of the mat and walked all the way around it without touching it! He's one smart kitty!

Here is Finn sitting dutifully by the door watching Jon in the hallway of our building.

And here is Finn inside a box with packing paper in it. He loves his boxes!


girls weekend in g-ville

This past weekend I had the chance to connect with my college roomies!!! Christy, Ashley, Mollie and Meredith. It was GREAT!! I hadn't seen them in a looonnngg time but we picked up right where we left off. I also got to eat lunch at Erin L.'s house on Friday before she left for the weekend. Ash, Mollie and I stayed at Christy and Matt's Friday night and then wen to the baby shower for Meredith on Saturday. It was so refreshing to be with my girls again and catch up with what's going on in their lives!! Highlights of the weekend: seeing everyone, talking, pics of baby girl Knarr, meeting Bailey, Chase and Dakota (dogs), pics of Mollie and Chad's house renovations, rooming with Ash (just like soph year), talking more, seeing Mer and John and having time to talk before and after the shower, deciding that we have all got to do this again!!!

Me, Christy, Meredith, Ashley, Mollie

Meredith and John


4 updates

Here are some updates from our world:

1. The building is CLOSED!! All residents are moved out. Jon worked tirelessly last weekend to make this happen, but the end result is always worth it!

2. Summer school starts this weekend! This will be another busy weekend for Jon with summer school move-in, summer RA training and cooking for some of the summer RAs. To further complicate things Emily is out of town...

3. I (Emily) leave tomorrow for Greenville to spend some time with college girlfriends and to have a baby shower for Meredith! I can't wait to see Erin, Ashley, Christy, Mollie, Meredith and maybe others!!!!!

4. Rebekah graduated!! Jon had to work, but I was able to go down for the weekend, which was also mother's day. It was a really nice graduation and lunch and a fun weekend! See pictures below.

Bek and Javier
Mom and Dad with the grad (hey! that rhymes!)

YAY Bekah!!!


how do we grieve in the present time

Yesterday we had a pastor from Charlottesville visit (to sort of relieve our pastor's b/c they've been so overwhelemed recently) and he shared about Psalm 13 and how that paints a picture for us of what Christian sorrow is supposed to look like. It was so encouraging and clear.

The main thing I got from it is the idea that our sorrow exists within the context of the past and the future. We look back to God's grace and mercy in redemptive history and in our history and we see how He has worked even through tragedy. Then we look forward to the hope of heaven when all tragedy will be overcome. And between those two realities is how we understand what we're presently going through.

He compared it to playing a game with his daughter, where she'll be on the couch and he'll throw a blanket over her and she'll just start laughing. At the time her reality is dark (b/c the blanket is over her) but... she knows that when he has done this in the past he always pulls the blanket off and tickles her! And she is expecting and looking to the future that he is going to do that again... and that's what brings her laughter. I thought that was such a beautiful picture!

So even while we grieve and are sorrowful we do it within that context. The hard part is that SO MANY can't even begin to grasp that b/c they don't know Christ. And that is the piece that is really overwhelming.


update 4

Yesterday I (Emily) had the priviledge of attending the memorial service for Rachael Hill, one of the victims in Norris Hall. I traveled to Richmond with one of my colleagues for the service and am so thankful I was able to participate in this even though Rachael was not one of my advisees. This was the most God-honoring funeral/memorial I have ever attended. Rachael was an 18 year old student who was truly a woman after God's heart. As her classmates shared, many of them quoted letters and emails that Rachael herself had written. In all of them she focused on her love of Christ and His love for her, her joy in the Lord and her longing and hope in her heavenly home. After Rachael's friends shared, her parents each stood in front of hundreds of people and shared about the life of their only child, just hours after burying her. The testimony of Rachael's life was both challenging and encouraging. It was a powerful day and I look forward to seeing how the Lord will use the example of Rachael's life to reach others with the hope of Christ!!


update 3

Well... the work week is officially over and we are both home and resting. In some ways this week has flown by, in other ways it feels like the longest week we've ever had. We finally got word from VT today about plans for handling academics for the rest of the semester, so my (Emily's) schedule will start picking up more as students work to sort through their options and make big decisions about ending the semester. Tomorrow I am going with a colleague to a funeral for one of the students in University Studies, Rachael Hill. Jon spent a lot of time with res life staff folks today and is gearing up for students to start coming back. We borrowed a baby gate from some friends at church and are trying that out in the doorway as a deterrent for Finn. He can still jump over it, but it at least slows him down a bit and allows us to keep our door open more for students to drop by.


update 2

We are exhausted to say the least... I think all the emotion leads us to be tired and being tired makes it harder to work through some of that emotion... kind of a cycle.
We both worked at the convocation today, directing students and providing information about counseling services. Later we made rounds in some of the residence halls directly involved in this case trying to make sure reporters are being kept out of the buildings. They(media) keep trying to follow students into the reshalls (they are on card access right now) in order to interview students.
We were planning to go to the vigil tonight but have both been on our feet since 11:30am this morning and just couldn't make it. So instead we're hanging around our apartment with the door open (a bit of a challenge with a cat that keeps trying to run out). It's been good though as students and RAs stop by.
Again, thanks for all your prayers and concern!


We have had so many calls and emails of encouragement and support and thank all of you so much for the blessing of your prayers during this difficult time. We'll try to provide updates here of what's going on from our perspective and in our lives here at VT.

- Emily's office is near Norris Hall and was quickly locked down. She was evacuated at 12:30 and was able to make it home to Pritchard.
- Jon was in his office all day, many students and RAs were stopping by to talk, watch the news and discuss what there thoughts and plans were.
- We have certainly felt your prayers. I've talked to several of you who couldn't sleep and prayed through the night... perhaps because of that we were actually both able to get some rest last night.

- Emily is off work for the day and will go back tomorrow. She is keeping up with emails and staying in the apt. for calls/students/RAs coming by.
- Jon is currently in a meeting where he is hopefully getting more info. When he returns we'll walk the halls to try to get a feel of what's going on. Our sense is that many students are leaving campus to go home now that the university has cancelled classes for the week.

What's Going On-
- The reshalls and our side of campus have been eerily quiet this morning. It's strange to see all the action and people on the news and the busyness on the other side of campus.
- There is a convocation this afternoon at 2pm which we will attend as well as a candlelight vigil at 8pm.

In so many ways this still seems unreal. When we look at the news and think about the events of the past 24-48 hours this could be anywhere... Blacksburg is Clemson and Raleigh and every other town across this country that has a university or college campus central to it's community. We think why here... why now... and simply turn and trust in the good that we believe God can bring from a situation even as horrific as this.

We'll post more as things happen... as for now keep praying...


today's events at VT

Just wanted to post to let anyone who may be concerned know that we're both okay. Please keep our campus in your prayers as we deal with this tragedy.


finn in pants

Visualize this.... it's about 5:30 on a Wednesday evening... all is calm and quiet in the Wylie household. A pair of Jon's pants are laying on the guest room bed waiting to be washed. The waist part is on the bed, the legs are hanging over the edge. Being his usual curious self Finn takes an interest in the pants and begins to crawl inside the waist. Emily sees this and thinks it's hilarious and goes to get Jon. She gets back to the room just in time to see Finn, crawling down one of the pant legs and over the edge of the bed. Soon there is a wriggling pair of pants on the floor with a fat kitty inside trying to squeeze his way down the leg. Of course this moment has to be documented. By the time Emily gets the camera Finn's head is out but his fat little body just can't follow. After a fit of laughing Emily finally gains enough composure to help Finn out of the pants. After which he takes off and hids under the bed for about an hour, clearly traumatized by the situation!!


baby blankets galore!

Well I certainly do not have a shortage of crochet projects to work on right now! What with birthdays and 3 pregnant friends (2 roomies from Clemson!!!), I will be a busy bee at least for the next few months! It's fun to have projects going on though, and even funner to pick out yarn and come up with a pattern! I think I'm addicted...

It's Spring Break at VT right now which is sooooo nice! We hate that we didn't get to go down to MS again this year, but the time in the office without students is perfect for catching back up on a lot of work and having quiet time in the evenings. Tomorrow night we've got our home group from church coming over for a game night and then on Friday night we're hosting a Settlers of Catan game night. We're hoping to have about 2-3 games going at the same time, not sure who all is coming yet though and if that will happen. Shout out to Dad Wylie's amazing pineapple cheeseball which we will be making for the Settlers extravaganza!


been a while

So it's really been quite some time since I last posted. We have been BUSY this month! Jon has had VACURH, RA selection, GA selection, SEAHO in KY and that's not even mentioning his regular workload. We also had a chance to go to Y-ville for the day to catch up with the Jon's family. I have been busy trying to get ready for Course Request by meeting with a lot of my students. While Jon was in KY mom came up to visit for a few days which was wonderful since I hadn't seen her since Christmas. We shopped and crocheted and just had a great time hanging out together. I am so blessed to have a mom that is such a wonderful friend!

Crochet has been my big thing as of late and I'll try and post some pictures soon of things I've been working on (though some of them are birthday gifts that I'll have to wait until after birthdays to post!). I love crocheting and think I am finally improving! Sunday afternoon I think I went for about 4 hours straight while Jon watched the race, a very much-needed relaxing afternoon. I've been trying to figure out if I could crochet full-time... but i think my hands might fall off, so I'll just stick to it as a hobby for now. If you want to comission me for anything though, let me know!!

Spring Break is coming up next week here at VT which means... no fire alarms, no door opening and closing all the time, no bass coming from above when we're trying to sleep, no traffic, no parking issues, *sigh* this will be a nice break. We will still be working but Spring Break is always a good time to catch up on all that "office stuff" that so easily get's put off when classes are in session.
Guess that's as good an update as any for now.


february and fire alarms

This is turning out to be one of the craziest months we've had in a long while! Probably since move-in in August... so that's saying a lot! Jon has work every weekend from the last one in January through the whole month of February.. yikes! He's also going to a conference, and leading GA selection. I'm currently trying to see all of my students before March 20th, which means I had to start last week in order to fit them all in. 12 students in one day is a load, but it's great to actually get a chance to meet with them rather than over email. Since spring break here is the first full week of March, needless to say, we are rather excited about it! So February's not even half over and it's already been exciting!

Funny story... We went to get pizzas a DXpress. Well while they were in the pizza oven smoke started coming out of it. So someone takes a fire extinguisher and sprays it all up into the oven (there was no fire... not smart!) and the dust from the extinguisher sets the alarm off for the WHOLE dining hall! We are told no pizzas for us and decide to go pick up a sandwich at West End for dinner. As we're walking back from picking up our food there are still a ton of students outside b/c of the fire alarm. Jon laughs about how funny it is that we actually saw the whole fiasco take place and were there when it started. I correct him by saying... not only were we there... it was our pizzas that started the whole thing in the first place!! He gets a big kick out of that one. Rather ironic given all the alarms we've had in our building in the middle of the night...Ahh, campus life....


pictures- now and then

Here are some pictures of Finn today, his one year anniversary of coming to live with us!

And here is soon after we got him...

1 year

Just one year ago today we got our precious kitty Fincastle Wylie! He has been so much fun and I'm almost ready to admit he's spoiled rotten... but not quite! I'll deny it if you ask!! Here are a few highlights from Finn's first year:
- teaching him to use the people toilet
- him getting sick from trying to learn to use the toilet
- failing the toilet and going happily back to the litter box
- getting eletrocuted by chewing on the Christmas tree lights
- finally (after a looong time) proving Emily right that I do like my kitty bed
- having some fish friends move into the apartment
- learning about the dryer
- practicing walking on a leash
- getting scared by the ducks
- getting lots of squirts from the water bottle for climbing on the counter
- sleeping in the kitchen sink
- amazement that anyone would ever willingly climb into a tub of water
- playing with special friends Killer and Belle
- lots of trips in the car (most successful)
- escaping to a students room where Finn was petted, given some milk and cuddled by a roomful of students
- playing with lots of fun toys
- and of course the traditional activities of eating, sleeping and playing!

I'll try to post some pics later on...



Here are our thoughts about our favorite show on TV....
1. So glad it's back on.
2. What in the world happened last night?!?!?


things we love (in no particular order)

Sometimes it's just nice to think about happy blessings in life. Some are random others are serious, you may have to take a guess at some whether it's about Jon, Em, or both of us.

each other. family. finn. our jobs. reading. budgeting. 24. pink sparkly markers. washing dishes. virginia tech. nc state. clemson. gcpc. crochet. ultimate. settlers. smiling. jesus. home group. cooking. working out. huckleberry trail. friends. hugs. enchilada casserole. traveling. nascar. snow. sun. chacos. stratego. movies. homemade chocolate brownie frappucinos. kisses. scrapbooking. totinos pizza. fish. vacuuming. a cappella. a weekend without fire alarms. house flipping. xbox. snail mail. pictures. christmas. big candles. blogs. piper. march. july. annual leave. cream soda. shopping. chris rice. 4 door vehicles. mountains. fall. sweet tea. honesty. towels from the dryer. coffee. building things. strawberries. egg and cheese sandwiches. recycling. and there's plenty more...


promised pictures

It is so hard to find the time to post sometimes! HEre are some pics from the holidays. We are both getting back into the swing of things with work and and the students will be returning on Jan. 12th. We're looking forward to it, which is nice to be able to say!!

Finn under our tree!

Jon and Bek xboxing in Columbia.

Jon and Em in Yadkinville on Christmas Day.