Reading Crazy Love And Still Being In Crazy Love After One Month Of Marriage

crazyloveThere are a couple of quick things that I wanted to talk about today in this super-awesome blog of ours (at least we think so). One thing that I want to give you all a little information about is the fact that Stephanie and I have joined a small group Bible study-esque type of group with some of our friends that we have met from our church. The group consists 3 other married couples and one of the couples is made up of the super blogging duo Matt and Christen Buman who I talked about over here in this post after we had our first dinner date with them. This is the first meet-up-and-have-a-Bible-study-and-talk-about-God type of thing that I have ever done before and after having just 2 meetings I feel like I’m getting a ton out of the experience.

One of the things that we’re doing that’s pretty cool is we’re all reading a book called Crazy Love together and playing along a DVD that the author, Francis Chan, put together in addition to writing the book. It’s a great way to read/interact through the book and we’re only through chapter 2, but I can already tell that the group, the DVD and the book are all going to spark plenty of interesting conversations around our faith and beliefs, which I guess is the point. Not all of the conversations are easy ones either, but the great thing is that we’re all in this group and this learning experience together, so there’s nothing that’s really considered off limits. I would say that it’s a situation that is pretty rare and hard to find these days, or at least it has for me. I’ll be sure to post some updates of what all Stephanie and I learn and experience in this small group as we move along, so this probably won’t be the last time that you’ll hear about it.

Besides announcing our involvement with the small group, I also wanted to let everyone out there know that Stephanie and I have officially been married for one full month and we are still as madly in love with each other as ever. It’s crazy to think that it’s been over 30 days since we met at the alter and had the best day of our lives together (and, of course, had one of the craziest receptions that anyone who attended has ever seen). So, tonight when I got home from work we had dinner together (stuffed peppers), celebrated our first month as husband and wife and made sure to let each other know how much we still are ridiculously in love. What a great night and what an awesome month. Here’s to many, many more of these to look forward to. :)

yeah, that was a pretty awesome day…

Is Frank, the ultimate cuddler? Hup and Steph both say yes.

frankcouchIn just the past couple of days it seems like both Stephanie and I have snapped some pretty priceless ‘cuddling’ pics with our adorable, little Frank. Honestly, we could have posted many, many more due to the fact that Frank is cuddle-master supreme, but I guess that we don’t want to pump our Facebook newsfeeds with any more Frank than we already do right now (which would probably be pretty hard to do). I mean, Frank doesn’t just like to cuddle, he LOVES to and when you’re on the other end of one of his cuddlefests it’s practically impossible to say no to the little guy.

Need to get to work? Yeah, it’s going to have to wait.

Have to go pick up something to make for dinner tonight? It can be put off for a few minutes longer.

Someone just stole your TV right out of your living room? That’s just too bad because Frank isn’t done snuggling up with you just yet (man, you really liked that TV, too).

All I’m trying to say here is that until you get a taste of the infamous Frank cuddle you can’t even come close to ever possibly saying that we have gone off the deep end when it comes to getting up close and snuggling personal with Frank. Basically, don’t knock it until you try it.

To properly close off this post the only way I know how, here are a few of the latest cuddling sessions that both Stephanie and I have had with Frank the past couple of days (don’t be jealous):

Me and Frank getting our cuddle on in the morning before we head into the office.

Stephanie and Frank catching up on some weekend snuggles on the couch.

Some good, old-fashioned Saturday-on-the-window-stoop snuggles.

Yes, Stephanie and I are both Christians (now with proof!)

The past year or so I have really grown a lot spiritually while being with Stephanie and our faith has become the center and focus of our relationship with one another (which is probably why we’re so annoyingly in love). Well, as I was looking over this blog, I noticed that if you have never known anything about us and have never met us face-to-face, you would probably have no idea that we are dedicated Christians who both have put faith on the top of our priority lists. After noticing this I didn’t think that it was quite how either Stephanie or I should be representing ourselves to the public at large, so I made a few small (yet powerful) changes to our blog.

First I moved the About Us section to the top of the right side of our blog, so that it can be quickly read by anyone who visits our corner of the world wide web.

Next, I updated the About Us to let everyone know that we are in fact married and I made another addition that let’s everyone also know that we are both dedicated Christians. Like I said, not a huge change, but something that I felt was needed.

Oh, and don’t worry — we’re still going to be fun (yes, you can actually be fun and be a Christian).

Marathon training update: the big 2-0 is now behind Steph!

As you all might remember, I am going to be running in the San Francisco Marathon on July 26th.  It’s hard to believe that I have been training for this race since the beginning of March.  It most definitely has not been easy, and it’s not so much the running part that has been hard. Don’t get me wrong, convicing myself to wake up at 5:30 every morning before work to run is not a bit easy in the least, and running an increasing amount of mileage is no piece of cake.  But that’s not what has been the hardest part.  You see, I haven’t spent the entire 5 months training alone.  At the beginning of the training I had a partner, Ryan.  Our plan was for us to run the marathon together as a “we should try to do something really cool together before we get married” sort of thing.  If you recall we posted a video of our first “long weekend run” on our blog towards the beginning of the training.  It’s always so much easier to have a partner in any sort of training program.  Although I love running and have been running since I was just 12 years old, I often have times (like at 5:30 in the morning!) when I honestly could care less about running.  It always helped to have Ryan there to push me to get out and run with him, and to stick together on our long runs for support and encouragement.  But all did not go according to our plan and unfortunately, Ryan hurt his shoulder and has been out of the running game for about 3 months now, and will not be running the 26.2 miles by my side in a few weeks :(

Since I have not had Ryan by my side it’s been a tough road to run during these last few months, but surprisingly enough, I’ve made it to almost 3 weeks left to go and I’m feeling better than ever! This is my first marathon and I’ve been following the Hal Higdon’s training guide religiously. It’s been a great program to follow and I would highly recommend it to anyone that is trying to complete their first marathon. He also has programs for intermediate and advanced marathoners as well. As you can see from the chart, at week 15 the long run is 20 miles. That is exactly what I did yesterday, 20 miles… I still can hardly believe it. It’s funny how when you run that far it’s almost like an out of body experience. It’s truly surreal to push your body to that level, and It’s an incredibly exhilarating feelings once you’ve finished (minus some major body aches and dehydration).

I’ve never felt a “tired” like the tired I felt yesterday. I probably would not have felt so bad had I planned more accordingly and brought some money to buy water or packed some energy gels for the trip. I actually ran the entire way with only taking a few swigs from a couple water fountains that I ran past around miles 13 and 17. What I didn’t know is that Ryan and Frank had actually been searching for me with water and power gel in hand, the entire time!  Ryan decided that as soon as I left for my run he would head over to the Sports Basement to grab a couple bottles of water and some Gu to give to me while I was running.  He figured that since I was running an out and back course there would be no way that he could miss me…. well… turns out he was miserably wrong.  For some reason, we missed each other.  No matter how hard Ryan and Frank tried to find me, we somehow missed each other amongst the traffic, tourists, and farmer’s markets.  For almost 3 and a half hours those two searched for me, bless their hearts.  When I got home and nobody was there, I just figured that Ryan had walked down to pick up a couple chais at Peet’s.  Little did I know that they had been on a crazy adventure throughout San Francisco the entire morning!  I truly appreciated their efforts, and although they didn’t find me, it was almost worth it because Ryan made a great video of their trek across the city in hopes of saving me from exhaustion.  It’s the thought that counts, and I know that those two really tried to help me out :)

Now that the big 20 miles is in the dust behind me, I’ll be in the process of tapering off on mileage for the next few weeks up until the marathon.  Ahh it feels good to make progress, and I’m eagerly anticipating the day when I’ll wake up and run an entire 26.2 miles! :)

A Jam-Packed Saturday… just the way we like it.

logo_bed_bath_and_beyondTypically Ryan and I end up feeling more tired after a weekend is over than when we go into it.  We don’t like to keep things normal by utilizing the extra weekend time to catch up on some much needed rest and relaxation.  Instead I think we  see the extra two days off from work as a challenge to see how many activities we can pack into 48 hours.  We usually do a pretty good job.  Today can easily serve as example of how we like to spend our weekends.

This morning we woke up and ran 15 miles.  That’s right, 15 miles.  I don’t like to brag or anything but this time I think I will.  That’s a pretty long run and in fact, it’s the longest that Ryan and I have ever run in our entire life!  If you remember, I’m training for the San Francisco Marathon in July.  I’m following a special 18 week training program that, so far I highly recommend.  We’ll see after the race if I still recommend it, haha.  I just finished up week ten, so as you can see the weekend mileage continues to increase as the training goes on.  Ryan was supposed to run the marathon with me, but unfortunately due to his shoulder situation, he won’t be able to run :(  So far, he has been able to do most of the training with me, but that will all end on Wednesday after he has his surgery.  It’s going to be painfully hard to train on my own, so I might have to start looking for some new running partners in the city.  Out here I’m sure that wont be too hard considering the amount of runners that I’ve seen in San Francisco.  Below is a map of our run this morning, note that we basically ran all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. Talk about an amazing view!


Following our crazy long run and a major chow down fest at one of our favorite, nearby restaurants The Brickhouse, Ryan and I headed over to Bed Bath and Beyond to register for all of the super awesome wedding gifts that we hope to receive.   We had an amazing consultant lead us around the store and give us the low-down on every single item that he thought we would need after we’re married.  From pots and pans to toaster ovens and bedspreads we had a fabulous time zappin every item that we just had to have!  If you’d like to go ahead and buy us a gift ( come on, you know you’re just dying to) you can click right here and type in Stephanie Marnitz or Ryan Hupfer and our registery will pop up.  We selected a few items so take your pick… we’ll be happy with any of it!  Yay… bring on the presents, haha.

World Help and the Children of the World

He is Risen!… He is Risen indeed.  Happy Easter everyone! :)

What an amazing day we had to celebrate  our living Savior.  Ryan and I headed to church this morning and besides the wonderful fact that it was Easter I was also very excited to see the Children of the World choir perform.  I had seen the children perform a few years ago at my Alma mater, Cedarville University back in Ohio, and was blown away by their amazing performance and story behind their ministry.  I couldn’t wait to see their performance today and I was eager to show Ryan what the ministry was all about.  When we arrived at church we visited the various World Hope tables set up to promote the Children of the World Choir ministry.  They have a great team of volunteers that work to promote the focus of the ministry and helped to introduce us to what the ministry is all about. Check out one of the Children of the World Choir’s performances below or over here on YouTube.

The focus of the World Hope is to “fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment through partnering, training, helping, and serving, especially in the unreached areas of the world.”.  One specific outreach that this ministry focuses on is Children of Hope.  Through this ministry, a team of children is taken out of a lifestyle of poverty and devastation due to being orphaned at a young age.  The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa is a critical issue during these times.  Some 42 million men, women, and children are living with HIV/AIDS in Africa at this time, and of those 42 million, nearly 70 percent live within sub- Sarahan Africa.  The vision of the World Help, Children of the World campaign is to give one million children impacted by the HIV/AIDS crisis a better life through support and provision while instilling the all sustaining love of Jesus Christ in their hearts.

There are basically two ways in which anyone can help to support this cause.  You can help by supporting the building of a Village of Hope or through sponsoring a hurting child.  It’s such an easy thing for us to do, and it takes so little to make an impact.  It’s a challenge for us all…Check out the World Help website and see what you think.  They’re already making an incredible impact in the lives of Children within a hurting nation.

All this to say, Ryan and I were, of course, intrigued by this ministry.  After talking with a few of the volunteers we met a wonderful couple, Mike and Christa Hahn.  They are basically the “parents” of the 15 children in the west coast, traveling choir team.  For 10 months they travel with the childrens’ choir and guide and direct the little ones while they are embarking on their fantastic mission.  It’s an amazing opportunity to have an impact for Christ in the life of a child, and they have been doing just that for 4 years now.  After talking with them briefly and sharing our passion for missions and desires to reach the world for Christ, we decided that this is another opportunity that we need to seek more fervently.  Ryan and I would love to be “part-time parents” for awhile and travel the country in order to support a ministry such as this.  What an amazing adventure and powerful ministry to impact the country for Christ and support children in need who are so desperate for our help and the love of our Savior.

It’s something that will definitely be prevalent in our prayers through the next up-coming months and we’re asking you to pray for us as well as we continue in this endeavor.  I recently read a great quote, “Missions isn’t waiting until God says GO, its GOING until God says stop.”.   That’s a powerful statement, and it gives me butterflies when I think of it. :)

So here we go, let’s see what happens!

The first long run of our San Francisco Marathon training

This has been our first official week of training for the San Francisco Marathon that we’re running on July 26, which also means that today (Saturday) was the first ‘long run’ that Stephanie and I had to knock out together. You see, when you’re training for a marathon you pretty much run some lighter, high-speed runs during the week (we ran all 3-milers this week) and you then put your legs to the test and get them prepped for some serious pavement pounding by running the higher distance ‘long runs’ on Saturdays. You then finish up the week with an hour of cross-training on Sunday, which means that you get some type of workout in that’s not running. These workouts are usually something like riding a bike, playing basketball or even walking.

This week seemed to go pretty smooth as we were both already running on a regular basis, but just like our training program says, “This might seem easy now, but enjoy your rest now because you’ll be wishing you had it in a few weeks“. I guess that I should take their advice and just be happy with the fact that I’m not really killing myself yet and get mentally prepared for the week where we’re supposed to run 40 miles. Whoa.

Today we knocked out a 6 mile run (see the route above or here online) pretty easily and even though I have a little faster pace than Stephanie, we have decided that we’re both going to do this entire San Francisco Marathon (both training and the marathon itself) together. I’ll tell you what, it’s pretty awesome that I have an amazing fiancee’ like Stephanie that enjoys fitness, being healthy and staying competitive. It really makes me happy to know that we’re going to run this whole thing together and I have a feeling that this is just going to be just the first of many marathons and other races that we ‘re going to be running together. Yeah, that makes me really, really happy.

One of the highlights of the run today was that fact that a bird pooped on Stephanie’s shoulder literally 2 blocks from where we started our run. She freaked out a little bit when it happened, but after mile 2 or so she was pretty cool with it. Hey, if we’re going to be marathon runners we have to get used to being subjected to the elements, right? Even if the elements happen to be bird poo that lands on your shoulder. :)

If you see the bird that did this, please let us know

After we finished up running today we wanted to give a quick video update of our progress, which we are going to do at least once a week. Check out the video below or over here on YouTube to get the scoop. Also, if you’ve ever ran a marathon or plan on running one soon, feel free to leave us some tips in the comments below.

A Heart for Missions

Recently Ryan and I have had our heart strings pulled a bit by a burning desire for missions. A man at our church a few Sundays ago shared some information about a ministry with which he is involved in South Africa. When he was done speaking, Ryan and I looked at each other at the same time with the, “Could this be a more perfect opportunity for us?” look. The sports ministry that the man was involved with is called Church Sports International. The ministry was started in 1992 with a motto that states, “Reaching your community and the world for Christ through sports”

As soon as we got home from church Ryan e-mailed the guy to get some more information and to see if there were some potential needs that we could help meet for the ministry.  The basic principle of the ministry is to create an educational and sports based program for students while incorporating Christ and the gospel.  These kids would never have the opportunity be a part of a sports program were it not for the efforts of this ministry.   The man who spoke at church told us that his wife is actually a pre-shool teacher at the school that they support in South Africa and he coaches basketball, tennis, and several other sports.  Both Ryan and myself feel that God has blessed us with some incredible attributes that we could use for this ministry.  It’s an amazing opportunity to really use what we’ve been given to continue our pursuit of spreading the love of Christ.

It’s just the beginning of something that might potentially be a completely new avenue to explore in our lives.  We’re hoping and praying that there will be some way that we can work out something with the CSI ministry to help them in their efforts.  What are your thoughts on this grand adventure?  It’s a BIG step out there… but when you feel led to do something…. why not follow it? :)

The introduction of Frank

I left the office about 30 minutes early yesterday so that Stephanie and I could go visit the newest member of our family, Frank. As I made it home to our cottage and walked in the door, all of the lights were off and Stephanie was just sitting on the coach browsing Facebook. Unlike the giddy, over-the-top excited, “I’m about to go visit my baaaaby!!” Stephanie that I was expecting to greet me when I walked in, I was greeted by a very subtle “hey…” when I stepped foot into the dim-lit living room by a somewhat disappointed, “something isn’t right here” Stephanie.

“Gabe didn’t answer his phone and momma isn’t happy that she can’t go see her baby! (growl)”, is the first thing she said when I shut the door and asked her why we were all of a sudden saving electricity by not turning on the lights. Gabe is the owner of Frank’s momma, a Pug who had 6 beautiful puppies about 3 weeks ago, and he was supposed to let us stop by so that we could see what our baby was up to, but Stephanie couldn’t get a hold of him. I think that she literally left him like 6 or 7 voicemails in a matter of 15 minutes. Needless to say, momma definitely wasn’t happy.

But, Gabe did end up calling back and we took a family trip down to see Frank in San Jose around 9:30pm last night. It was the first time that I had seen Frank and Stephanie’s first time to really see him now that he’s up and moving around like a real dog. We hung out with Frank for an hour or so and got in some real solid bonding time. I took some video of the action, so feel free to see how Frank’s doing, too. I think at this stage it’s safe to say that Frank sounds like Gizmo the Gremlin, which I’m hoping he’ll eventually grow out of.

p.s. Frank’s the runt, but don’t hold that against him. It just makes us love him that much more. :)

Wedding Update: We have a Jr. Bridesmaid dress!

My mom is awesome….for realz.

This past week when she was shopping with my sister, Megan (aka BIG NASTY), she found an amazing dress for both of Stephanie’s Jr. Bridesmaids. Check out the dress below and let us know what you think. I let her explain it more a little later, but I wanted to get something posted real quick before I forgot about it.

Also, there are two other things that I want to mention before I post this thing up for all of ya’ll to see:

  1. We have had some amazing help with our wedding plans so far. I could write a whole blog post (and should) about all of our friends and family who have been helping us get our Indiana wedding ready from over here in California. If you’ve helped and you’re reading this right now — THANK YOU!!!
  2. I am officially writing on some new and improved blog software, which I’ve been meaning to do for a long, long time now. Stephanie and I are really wanting to step up our game a bit when it comes to this blog and the old, outdated stuff that we’ve been using just wasn’t cutting it. I practically spent all day today upgrading the software, changing hosting providers and moving over the domain, but I’m happy to report that it’s all gone very, very smoothly (which I am honestly amazed at). So, as long as this entry posts the way that it’s supposed to, we’re good to go.

Thanks and keep it real ‘n stuff, yo. Chat soon.

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