What have the MacMillans been up to?

Well we announced our pregnancy, then disappeared for a little while! Sorry about that.

Here’s a quick recap of the last couple months:

One thing we didn’t get to mention before was that just a couple of days before Cameron came home from his summer in Florida, he got to cross paths with Kristie, Ray and Gunnar in Jacksonville! They had just arrived for Gunnar’s 6 week proton therapy treatments.

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Kristie and Gunnar are now back at St. Jude’s in Memphis. For updates on how Gunnar is doing, visit their Facebook page.

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Cameron and I celebrated 5 years of marriage at the end of August! We took a snapshot before heading off to spend the day in Madison, where we explored the famous farmers market, the zoo, and had delicious Thai food.

We spent about a week in Michigan in early September for my not-so-baby-anymore brother’s wedding. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of the wedding, but there was plenty of tomfoolery going on during our visit.

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Also we got to meet our newest niece, Nova Jean!

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Cameron’s senior year at Nashotah House is going well so far. Still lots and lots of work, but not quite as stressful as middler year was! (I think he’s happy to have all his language classes behind him)

My pregnancy is going really well so far. I’m nearing the third trimester already! Yikes! BabyMac is very active at all times of the day and night. We can’t wait to meet him or her!

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My friend helped me sew some receiving blankets! I’m not an experienced sewer at all, but it was really fun and I’m excited to wrap the baby in a special gift that I made just for them.

And of course, the obligatory bump picture:

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Sorry for all the noise in the background, it was an impromptu mid-dinner cleanup photo shoot! But I think you can tell there’s a lot more than just a big bowl of butternut squash soup in that belly.

As we are away from home and unable to have a traditional baby shower, we created a baby registry on Amazon.com. If you feel so inclined to take a peek we would be very grateful for any help with BabyMac’s initial needs!

We have so much to be grateful for,
Hannah and Cameron

Special Announcement!

We are overjoyed to finally share the big news…

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We will be welcoming our first child in late January (or early February…?)! We like surprises so we won’t be finding out the gender before the big day.  For now we are calling our little one BabyMac.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Reunion/Vacation/Homecoming

**This update was composed in mid-July but we goofed and never actually posted it. There is some important info in it so we still wanted to get it out there, so here it is, and sorry for the delay!**

 

Friends and Family,

After 5 long weeks and a number of flight delays, Hannah and I were finally reunited for week of vacation!

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A generous soul allowed us to stay at his condo on New Smyrna Beach for 5 days, and we enjoyed every moment. We were on the top floor of the building, and had a magnificent view. Sipping coffee and watching the sunrise was my favorite.

IMG_2250We roasted in the sun each day for a few hours, and Hannah had a hard time separating me from my boogie board. If I had someone there to teach me, I would’ve been surfing (it’s high on my ‘when we move to Florida list’).

Out of the restaurants we visited, The Garlic was by far our favorite. The food, the service, the neat-o indoor/outdoor atmosphere, all of it was wonderful. If you visit New Smyrna Beach, you must try this place.

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Hannah struggles with her decision.

Our week went by all too fast, and Hannah flew home on the 12th. I’ve been back to work at Good Shepherd, helping out with confirmation classes, preparing sermons, going on some hospital visitations, and — my favorite — spending time with different church members over meals, in swimming pools, and — yes, on water skis. This has actually been one of the most invaluable “field ed” experiences I’ve had. Two months has given me enough time to really connect to the congregation I’ll be working with, and to build relationships with our future family of faith. I must say, we have really connected well. I’ll be sad to go, but am all the more anxious to be among them again.

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Okay, yes. I have been playing a bit, but I promise I’ve been working too. Here’s a picture of our confirmation class on Sunday after they were all confirmed:

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And what an amazing bunch this has been. We’ve been so excited to see the Lord at work in the lives of his children. One piece of bad news is that we didn’t get the grants we applied for to refurbish a “discipleship center” for youth, but we are already brainstorming how we are going to make this ministry happen. The teenagers at the church are really looking forward to a ministry that is geared toward them specifically, to raise them up as disciples and leaders. (Though I won’t be a “youth pastor,” youth and young adult ministry will be one piece of my time as curate.) I’m eager to start work next year and be a part of what God is doing in their lives. Please pray for this ministry as it begins to take shape.

One week left and I’m flying back to Nashotah House to settle back in for my last year. Hannah and I are eager to be back together (for more than a week this time), and I am ready to take on this last year of rigorous seminary life. We thank you for continually holding us up in prayer as the Lord leads us on this journey. We love you all.

June update

Dear Friends and Family,

I write with a brief update from sunny hot Florida. I’ve been here over two weeks now, and have stayed quite busy thus far. My first week here I was invited by a generous parishioner to join his family for a couple of days at the beach. This was just what I needed after a challenging (read: 16.5 credit hours) semester! Leisurely reading, eating, and sunburn abounded.

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My work at the parish so far has involved leading prayer services and Bible studies, attending meetings, participating in catechism classes, preparing to preach (next Sunday), observing administrative work, and writing grant proposals. Yes, grant proposals. When I begin my curacy next year, my focus will be on youth and young adult ministries. Rev. Sarah and I have been praying over this and discussing what that might look like in the future at Good Shepherd. We both feel the Lord is calling us to transform an underused space on the church campus for a community-building/discipleship/youth/young adult center (clearly, we haven’t been able to narrow down a “name” for this). The diocese is offering grants for new ministries, so I’m working hard at sketching a plan for the transformation of the building, and applying to get financial help to do this. One of my passions has always been discipleship for young people, and with a little TLC this building will become an incredible sacred space for that to take place. Exciting stuff in store!

What I’ve learned about the Orlando area so far: 1) It is hot 2) Traffic is terrible; do not drive between 8-930am and 4-630pm 3) Restaurant/pub/cafe (aka mission field) options are unlimited 4) It is culturally diverse 5) There are lakes EVERYWHERE 6) Beautiful flora and fauna abound 7) Palm trees are ubiquitous 8) AC is essential (see item 1 above) 9) Every day is sunny (a wonderful antidote to my SAD issues) 10) It’s a place I could call home.

Yes, we are looking forward to living here. It will definitely be a culture shock (and temperature shock, thanks be to God) from the Midwest, but Hannah and I are excited to set up shop here, serve the Lord and love his people, and (hopefully) grow a lot of fruit and veggies. (That last one was for Hannah).

On a wrap-up note, we are still praying for financial provision as we ended the semester with a $5,000 deficit. If you are willing and able, the simplest way to give is here at my seminarian support page. Please pray that we finish our last year at Nashotah House without debt, equipped to start the full-time ministry to which God has called us.

Summer blessings!

A personal update from your favorite seminarian

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By the end of my semester, this is how I felt. It was a long, exhausting 16.5 credit hours. But I endured. I finished the race, fought the good fight. And now that it is over, I feel more like this:

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I’m still awaiting transcript grades, but I did well on my final exams, papers, and projects. The semester was chock full of invaluable learning. My New Testament class on Jesus and the Gospels was a lot of work, but I learned more than I ever imagined possible. Greek 2 was a blast since there was only four of us (for some reason, language electives just aren’t very popular). And having taken Systematic Theology, I can now distinguish enhypostasis from anhypostasis! (I kid. The class was very helpful, especially in thinking through Trinitarian theology.)

Now that my schedule is freed up, Hannah and I have been enjoying each other’s presence, and making the best of the short time we have together before I fly to Orlando next Monday. We’ve eaten at a couple of wonderful restaurants (our favorite new spot being Simple Cafe in Milwaukee), visited a Honey Museum (!),put a puzzle together, and taken a lot of nature walks in the woods of Wisconsin.

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As mentioned, I will fly out next Monday morning and spend June and July in the Orlando area, working at our parish Church of the Good Shepherd. Rev. Sarah has plenty lined up for me — preaching, teaching, Eucharistic visitations, conferences, etc. I’m looking forward to all of it. I have a lot to learn before I hit the ground running in my curacy next year. I will say more about my future role at the parish in a future post.

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Lastly, I need to mention that we are working hard to raise money to pay off the remaining balance of this last semester. Our balance is just over $5,000 and we are praying to have this paid off during the summer. The Lord has been so faithful in getting us this far along, and we trust he will continue to bring in the support we need. One of the ways Nashotah House is helping seminarians raise money is through a new seminarian support page system. This makes giving very easy as an online transaction. Would you consider checking out my page and, if you are able, donating to this part of our ministry? Hannah and I continually thank God for your prayers and support and send our love to all of you. May the God of peace who raised our Lord Jesus from the dead continue to draw you closer to himself!

Stay tuned for a summer update from sunny Florida.

Spring at Last

Apologies for allowing our blog to languish these past few weeks. You know the drill: it’s been busy.

But we have some good news: Cameron is officially finished with his Middler year! That means only 1 year to go! (Does that make him officially a Senior?)

Things have finally been slowing down a bit for us. I’ve been finding time to actually read again. It seems that when I give myself an hour to sit and read, I am markedly less stressed overall. In fact, a couple of times this past week I had moments where I thought, “Hmm…what should I do now?” I forgot that was even something that could happen to a person. Happy to report: it does, on miraculous occasions.

Because of my new reading time, I’ve even been able to join a book club on campus. This month we are reading one of my favorites:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

As it always does, reading this book gets me very excited about food. I mean, even more excited about food than I usually am. There is a chapter on morel mushroom hunting, an activity I had completely forgotten existed, so I was determined to do some foraging in these ample woods around campus.

Cameron was happy to join me so we headed out together yesterday afternoon (his first afternoon with “nothing to do!”). After about an hour with no luck, I was ready to believe we’d be going home with an empty mesh bag (Actually, I found two vintage soda bottles half-buried in the leaves, so at least we wouldn’t be literally empty-handed). Friends had already scoured these same areas, plus it was getting late in the season. We’d never been morel hunting before so we weren’t even sure if we were doing it “right.”

But there it was…

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One lonely little mushroom poking above the leaves. I. Was. Giddy. I’m telling you, straight up little girl giddiness. I may have even let out a “squeeeee!!!” Going home with just one morel to fry up in the skillet was in my mind about as good as a morel feast. Then I turned around…

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The three in this picture were among a patch of six or seven! Eventually we found a couple more patches and after two hours of foraging we were toting almost twenty morels.

It’s the little things, really. Some women get excited about diamonds…I get giddy over wild mushrooms.

Look at those beauties!

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Almost a pound! A batch that size would sell for probably $30 at a farmers market. But we had other plans for our treasures…

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These babies were destined for a cream sauce over chicken and rice.


After dinner we cleaned up and headed to the downtown Delafield Artwalk. There were tons of people there (Cameron estimated the entire town’s population was present). The art, food and music was pretty good, but it really made me miss the Flint Artwalks back home.

One of the shops in downtown Delafield is a chocolate/ice cream store with epically bedazzled caramel apples on display. The first time we saw them shortly after moving here, Cameron vowed that someday he would splurge and buy one for a special occasion.

Middler year of seminary: complete. Special occasion: now.

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I don’t have a garden here, so I decided the next best way to get some dirt under my fingernails is potted herbs. I stuck with perennials that I will (try to) keep alive through the winter.

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Here we are starring oregano, purple sage, thyme and chives. Plants are like tattoos…you always want more (I may be the only one who has ever said that actually). I am already itching to add to this little family…who knows, maybe I’ll go all out and try potted tomatoes. gasp.


Yes this post is finally nearing its end, I just have one more thing to share:

Photo by Jess Pollock

Photo by Jess Pollock

Elin and I played at the Oconomowoc Farmers Market this morning. We got rained out a bit but Elin was quick with her magical umbrella. It was fun.


The reality of our nephew’s health condition is still heavy on our hearts, and we have been so grateful for your outpouring of prayers. You can keep up with Gunnar’s progress at St. Jude’s in Tennessee on his Facebook page at Hope 4 Gunnar. You can also continue supporting the family financially at their GoFundMe page. Please pray especially for Kristie who is alone with Gunnar, far from family. This is one reason why supporting them financially is so important, to enable Kristie’s husband Ray to visit his son and wife.

The past few weeks have been hard and heavy. Receiving the gift of this refreshing, life-giving, soul-nourishing weekend has been a much needed respite. We are grateful.

And the mushrooms didn’t poison us.