Monday, November 22, 2010

All Access Pass

One of the many perks of my job is that I get to have a hand in stadium cleanup. The Salt Company (the college ministry I work for) cleans the stadium after every ISU home foothall game to raise money. As the coordinator, I play a role in how this goes down each week. This week my co-worker (that does even more stadium cleanup setup than I do) was having surgery and so Joel and I got to use the ALL ACCESS PASSES!!! BOO YAH!

Def. a highlight of my job that my husband loves... Here are some of the photos!

Check it!
Maybe a future photo on the wall!
Love this one!
ACT (clap, clap, clap)-ION, ACT-ION, Action boys Action! (Yes, that was from my cheerleading days)!

Too bad the Clones had to lose. Despite their lame-o roller-coaster season we had 7 great cleanups. As you may well know, I am BAD at taking pictures. Next year I'll have to take some pictures of 200+ people cleaning a stadium. Now that is something to see! We certainly keep Jack Trice Lookin' Nice! Thanks to everyone who helped.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Retreat Season

What in the world have the Vint's been up to? Well, since we work for one church, but two different ministries, we've been up to retreats.... well putting on retreats that is.

While we catch up on our sleep, here are a few pictures to see exactly what fun we have!
Hanna, a TSC student, and I sporting our 80's great at the TSC Retreat 80's dance!

The TSC staff. I have the best job EVER!

The TSC staff girls. LOVE THEM!

Notice the hilarious difference between a college retreat and a jr high retreat! =)

Joel, after he jumped in a pool of nasty food and (unknown to everyone at the time...someone's puke).

After the students did the dizzy bat, they had to run around a baby pool of nasty (as close as possible without falling in). Joel pushing some kid in!

How fun!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I never want to forget this... Part II

In the previous post I told you that Joel's grandfather passed away. It has been 2 weeks since his death and still my mind flashes back to that day as one that I never want to forget. I told you about the first reason. Here is the second.

The night before the funeral I sat in my mother-in-law's kitchen late into the night sipping drinks and eating peach crisp. I, accompanied by my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, my husband, and Pete.

We sat listening to the life stories of two friends.

Dean, Joel's grandfather, had a friend named Pete Lombardi.

Pete was from Brooklyn, New York. Dean grew up in small town Iowa. They met and became great friends while serving in WWII together, probably enlisting in their late teens. Pete recounted their first meeting as Dean saying, "Well, if you aren't from Brooklyn, I ain't fron Iowa." And boy was he right.

After serving together they each went their separate ways, but stayed close through the communication that they had. Each man married and started having children. Pete described it as a competition. When Dean had one child, Pete had one child. I guess this went on until each had 4 children. Pete's family would come out to see Dean's family on their farm in small town Iowa for vacation in the summer months and when Dean's family could, they went and saw Pete's family that now lived in Maryland and Florida. Pete and Dean were very different men. Pete was a business man, having many achievements and making some good money throughout his life. Dean was a farmer and painter, never having too much or an abundance of money.

Pete was schedule to come and visit Dean in the month to follow, but instead changed his ticket to attend his funeral. Pete was asked to share a tribute at the funeral and he did. He mentioned much of what I have written above, but also told us, in his east coast accent, that Dean talked to him often about Jesus. Dean emphasized the importance of family, the importance of Christ and being involved in your local church. Pete said that Dean had the largest impact on his life of anyone he knew.

These men were very different, separated by so much, but remained close friends for 65 years. Can you imagine being someone's friend for 65 years?

I never want to forget this clear picture of friendship. Through thick and then, good times and bad, they remained great friends. I don't know if I have remained friends with anyone for more than 5-6 years, let alone 65! Wow! What this means for my life, I don't know, but it remains a picture in my head. A picture of faithfulness, the joy found in knowing the in's and out's of someone else and they knowing the same about you. A picture of loving people when you don't want to and someone else loving you when it is equally as difficult. A picture of faithfulness.

I never want to forget these two reminders of faithfulness. The faithfulness of a wife and of a friend. I never want to forget these two pictures because they are rare. You don't go to every funeral and see this. These two relationships, not even kept together by the will's of two people, but of God.

Oh Lord, that I would remain faithful, for great is your faithfulness!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I never want to forget this... Part I

On Friday, September 10, 2010 Joel's grandfather, Dean Vint (age 84), passed away. We had the privilege of attending his visitation and funeral this past week.

I was slightly anxious going into the funeral. One weird part of being newly married is that you don't know your spouse's life before you entered it. That sounds weird and maybe dumb, but it is an odd reality. I haven't known Joel's grandfather like he did. I didn't grow up with him like he did. I didn't paint with him or ride in his truck. I didn't know him without oxygen assistance or without a wheelchair. I hate that. I wish I did. I really wanted to be able to grieve with and to have deep compassion, but it is hard when you don't know. You don't have the same memories and it just doesn't feel the same.

Because of the prayers of my dear friends. If a funeral can be good, this was the best funeral I have ever been to. Good for me for two main reasons. I will start with Part I.

My throat hit my stomach as I sat from a distance looking on as Melva, Joel's grandmother, stood touching the hand of her deceased man. The man who had protected her, comforted her, romanced her, wrapped her in his arms, fathered her children, laughed with her, gone through good times and bad with her, provided for her every need... her husband of 62 years. Standing there for minutes that seemed like years, she said her last goodbye.. kissing his head and hesitantly walking away with tears pounding from her eyes. At that moment I felt my own face, tears reaming from my own eyes, and my own heart ripping in half. The reality of separation.

When you giddily stand at the altar on your first day of marriage, your wedding day, you don't think about the last day, the day your marriage ends and you are desperately separated by the inevitable... death. At that moment, as a girl hardly married, I thought about that last day.

Melva is such a dear woman. The Spirit of God is incredibly evident in her life through love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. She is my real life definition of Proverbs 31. I want to be her. I want it to that faithful when my husband is sick for 10+ years. In sickness and in health, right? Isn't that what I promised on my wedding day? Yes, yes it is. For richer, for poorer? Yes, yes it is. Till' death do we part? Yes, yes it is. God, please! My marriage is awesome, but please keep it that way! Please help me to think about that daily! Remind me of Melva and Dean. I never want to forget this.

Now Joel and I have already decided that I am going to die first or that we will die together (haha... because we have so much control... right?). If Joel does die first or without me I will be one heck of a W-R-E-C-K! But what if it does happen, what if Joel does die first? I guess what else would I want... would I want to NOT be a wreck? No, I want to be a HUGE WRECK actually.

Why? Because of love, because marriage is the way the gospel is most clearly portrayed in real life. It is meant to be a representation of Christ (husband) and the church (wife). Christ died for the church. He gave his life, he sacrificed it ALL. No, Joel is not God, but besides Christ, he is the ONE and ONLY person who I have committed my life on this earth to. Committed. I have vowed. And if it isn't hard if he dies before I do and if I am not a wreck, I have not loved him like the church is to love Christ. That is what I saw in Melva. A woman who followed a man that led her well, who took her vows seriously, and who has lived a life of love.

And death, well, because of our sinfulness and our need for Christ. We are separated. I can't wait for the day described below, when the church is reunited with Christ and there is no more pain, crying, or mourning.

Revelation 21:1-4 "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Thank you Melva for your faithfulness and your great example. Thank you for being a wreck and letting me see a very real picture of marriage on the last day. I will never forget this. I love you so much!

Matt & Jessica's Wedding

Joel's brother, Matt, got married to his wonderful new bride, Jessica, on August 28.

Joel officiated the wedding and I got to help with decorating and other fun things like doing my the hair of my two nieces and sister-in-law (this is such a fun thing when you've never had a sister until recently)!

At the Groom's Supper in our finest (I REALLY do LOVE it when Joel dresses up. He has great style anyways, but I guess it is just not his normal work apparel and so I get excited)!

Joel and Carrie trying to love on Matt. I can't even imagine them as children.... I have a feeling Matt got the bad end of the stick all too often (a middle child thing right?...) too funny!

I like this picture not because it is actually a great picture but because of the meaning. I am doing exactly what my mother would do in a picture with her sisters. Sticking out her face and smiling really big! Weird! It is also fun because we are clearly having a great time. One great thing is that none of us new sisters had a sister while growing up! We have a lot to catch up on!

My beautiful nieces Sydney and Addison!

Giving the bride away. Joel got to officiate the wedding. He did such a great job!

Ever since we got married we have been horrible at taking pictures of ourselves together. So we decided to do it when we got home (notice our home in the background). Dorks!



I clearly didn't take these pictures, but LOVE them, so I thought I'd share!

The In-Laws. Enough Said! =) Haha... just kidding! I love this. The photographer took pictures of people at the reception with these frames. What a FUN idea!

Jessica had the most beautiful flowers! And notice the bling... TOO FUN!

We LOVE YOU Matt & Jessica Vint!

Visiting my brothers

Last weekend Joel and I got to go visit my brothers (and my parents). Brian was home visiting from the Navy. Together we attended Matthew's football game at his new home, Hamline University!

Joel and I with Matthew. Yes, it was quite wInDy!

Brian and Matthew.

Matthew and my parents, Brad & Sue.

Brian and my mom, Sue.

Joel and I with Brian.
Matthew, #18, standing on the sidelines.

My parents and Joel and I are now in the same life stage (no kids), they're just on the other end! I hope they pick up some new hobbies and really enjoy their time together!

Friday, September 10, 2010


Tomorrow is the big ISU v. Iowa game.

If you didn't already know, Joel and I are ISU fans (we even have a room in our house that happens to sport the clones). As a non-native Iowan, my blood doesn't bleed cardinal and gold like Joel's, but lets just say I spent a great deal of energy, time (and we all know a lot of $$$$) at our beloved institution that they've happened to convert me.

Here are some pictures from The Salt Company Tailgate. This event was a lot of fun to coordinate. Have I told you that I LOVE my job? It rocks and is such a blessing!

We had around 300-400 students attend the tailgate. SO FUN!

After the game The Salt Company does a little something called Stadium Cleanup. We do this as a fundraiser each year. We had to have broken some kind of record. 300 students cleaned the stadium in 1 hour and 40 minutes. Talk about some serious awesomeness! Oh my gosh!

Jill's daughter Jaida, learning the ropes of tailgating early. Isn't she just THE CUTEST little thing you've EVER seen? I want one!

Some of my FAVORITE PEOPLE (the girls I get to work with)! With me are (the other) Sarah, Kendra, and Jill (and some college dude goofin' in the background).

Oh we will fight, fight, fight for Iowa State and may her colors ever fly.... (ok, there is a reason I don't sing... I'll spare you the rest)!

Game on dark side (that other black and gold team)!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sweet Article about Salt Company in Iowa City

I can't wait to see what God does in Iowa City through Salt. It gave me chills reading this article below and watching the video. God used Salt Company to rescue a lost, arrogant soul like me. I can't wait to see that happen over and over again in Iowa City!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Healing Power of Our God

Yesterday Joel's brother, Matt, got married. It was absolutely beautiful! We had a wonderful time celebrating with our family, Matt, and his new wife, Jessica. I found myself throughout the day doing a lot of sitting, watching, and waiting (very unlike me, but I was supposed to be doing this). God reminded me of a lot of things while sitting. I'll mention the top two.

#1 The next time Joel and I get married (not that we're going to get unmarried, this is just hypothetical) we're going to elope.

Weddings are SO much work and SO many people get SO stressed out about them (I mean it is important, but not to the point where you can't think outside of yourself).

Note: This is not written to condemn anyone (yesterday was awesome), God just really allowed me to reflect on my own time to engagement/wedding planning.

Our wedding was 15 months ago and I think I've finally realized how stuck I got on a lot of silly things (lipstick, flowers, times, hair, my mom's dress, tablecloths, etc). Did I say how silly this was? I'm so thankful that God forgives me when I am ridiculous and lose sight of what really matters... Jesus. Not to mention the fact that I got to marry Joel... what a gift! I am SO grateful for such a WONDERFUL man! I am so thankful for His grace, even when my intentions seem good, but are thwarted by my sinfulness.

#2 The healing power of God through His Son Jesus.

When I was in high school/early college I struggled with an eating disorder. You can read the story below. Though the physical habits and most of the mental/emotional healing were finished during mid-college, the sins of comparison and jealously reared their ugly heads off and on.

Over the past 2 years (post-college) I rejoice in the grace gift of healing that Christ has given me in these ares. I can now find myself engaging in conversation with any given woman, not sizing myself up to her in beauty or character, but still feeling confident and beautiful in myself because of Christ. I can agree with another person about how great wonderful another woman's gifts, character, or accomplishments are and still love her to death, not feeling like if she is so wonderful in these areas then I must be scum. I can also realize when I am tempted to compare, be jealous, and to be insecure and to say "NO, I will NOT think such things!"

Romans 12:2. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

I don't share any of this as an accomplishment of my own, but one of Christ. I have SO much joy in the power of Christ, his hand has touched me and sin has no hold on me.

Gal. 6:14-15. "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation."

Am I still a mess in other areas of life? OH YEAH! Do I enjoy spending $30 on a haircut, painting my nails or buying a new pair of jeans just because? HECK YES! But it is NOT the same. It is not so that I can become beautiful, it is because I am His, He created me, and it brings me joy to do these things every once in a while.

God has turned this wretched sinner from ugly, hateful thoughts against other women. I, in my mind, objectified them, but He has created them as they are with souls longing for love, for healing, for a Savior! Whatever has divided me from other women has been my own sin because I've added a "plus" to the gospel. I know that I now can LOVE them with all that I am because of just the gospel. I want them to KNOW, LOVE, and FOLLOW after Christ!

1 John 4:8 "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."


My story from the "Renew" magazine our church put out.

One Pure and Holy Passion

“Everyone is obsessed with something, and I want that to be God.”

“I believed I wasn’t good enough for anyone to like me. I hated myself. I believed that if I was thin, I would be loved. I saw how people liked people with thin bodies, and I wanted that.”

These are the lies that Sarah Wood believed about herself throughout high school and her first years at Iowa State.

Sarah grew up in the church. She memorized Bible verses and went to camp each summer, but even in an environment conducive to learning and growing in Christ, she and those around her practiced a “two-faced faith.” Her eyes were fixed on earthly things, and in an attempt to somehow gain the standard of perfection set by the world, Sarah inadvertently walked down a path to destruction.

Hungry for the love and approval of others, she was starving herself.

“I began to desire to look just like these women. I lusted after their beauty because of the love they were shown, so I quit eating. I would go days without eating. I was sent to a counselor, but it didn’t change anything,” Sarah said.

But even as Sarah sought after something false, God’s sovereign hand of hope began to tug on her heart. She went to Texas to visit her brother, who was on staff at a Christian summer camp, and it was there that she realized how desperate she was for a living and loving God. She encountered true believers at the camp who “lived and breathed the life of Jesus,” and she wanted what they had.

Finally her face hit the bathroom floor as she cried out in need of a savior. Sarah received forgiveness.

She surrendered her life to Christ and began eating regularly again, but her struggle with self-image remained as a foothold for the next years of high school and her start at Iowa State.

“I knew he loved me, but I didn’t believe it enough to let it change me,” Sarah said.

So Sarah, still believing the same lies, gradually slipped back into overeating and compensating with excessive exercise, running at least six miles every day. But even that was not enough to satisfy the cravings of a sinful desire, so Sarah added laxatives to her routine.

Still wrapped in a life-style of bondage, she returned to Texas, and at last Sarah told someone about her struggle and was made aware of the chains she was living in. However, after the summer ended and she returned to ISU and the Salt Company, she remained a slave to sin.

“I knew that I struggled and wanted to give up, but the lust to be loved by the world was too great. I chose to sin,” Sarah said.

Having the misconception that Christian leaders don’t struggle, Sarah kept her battle a secret from those around her, allowing her fear and self-hate to continue to grow.

During Spring Break of her sophomore year of college, while running on her treadmill at home, Sarah broke down. She fell to her knees in tears. She couldn’t do it anymore.

“I was done. Exercising and purging did not love me, and the quick high of endorphins only lasted so long,” Sarah said.

She didn’t know what to do, but she knew that she was not going to waste another day of her life struggling with this sin. She hated it. Crying out to God daily, Sarah sought counsel. She was beginning to see the light, but still, she often relapsed.

It wasn’t until Sarah publicly confessed, and started to believe the truth of God’s word, that she was set free.

“I was dealing with it to some extent, but I never really took hold of it and said, ‘No! This is done.’ I wouldn’t let myself work out in a gym or look at nutrition labels. It was pretty extreme, but it had to happen,” Sarah said.

Sarah had the accountability of those closest to her and a practical application of scripture to guide her. She quit trying to win the battle on her own and gave it to God to carry, allowing him to sanctify her through and through.

“It took discipline on my part, but really, he did it,” she said.

Now Sarah has learned to eat as God designed her to. She has become passionate against the sin of a negative self-image and is currently being used to help other young women see their beauty in Christ.

Her body image is no longer her obsession. God is.

I am SO grateful for the love of Christ and where he has so graciously brought me in the past 5 years... all with so much patience.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Life is a Gift

Kyle Lake was the pastor of University Baptist Church in Waco, TX. He died, far too young, in October of 2005. Somewhere along the way I heard that they read the following excerpt from one of his final sermons at his funeral:

“Live. And Live Well. BREATHE. Breathe in and Breathe deeply. Be PRESENT. Do not be past. Do not be future. Be now. On a crystal clear, breezy 70 degree day, roll down the windows and FEEL the wind against your skin. Feel the warmth of the sun. If you run, then allow those first few breaths on a cool Autumn day to FREEZE your lungs and do not just be alarmed, be ALIVE. Get knee-deep in a novel and LOSE track of time. If you bike, pedal HARD… and if you crash then crash well. Feel the SATISFACTION of a job well done—a paper well-written, a project thoroughly completed, a play well-performed. If you must wipe the snot from your 3-year old’s nose, don’t be disgusted if the Kleenex didn’t catch it all… because soon he’ll be wiping his own. If you’ve recently experienced loss, then GRIEVE. And grieve well. At the table with friends and family, LAUGH. If you’re eating and laughing at the same time, then might as well laugh until you puke. And if you eat, then SMELL. The aromas are not impediments to your day. Steak on the grill, coffee beans freshly ground, cookies in the oven. And TASTE. Taste every ounce of flavor. Taste every ounce of friendship. Taste every ounce of Life. Because-it-is-most-definitely-a-Gift.”

Excerpt from LPM blog

A Whale

So a couple of my friends have started some photography businesses lately, which is SO fun!

I'm just gonna put this out there (to go with the previous post).

Someday if (not a guarantee) I am ever pregnant and nearly due I don't think I'll be able to handle taking maternity pictures.

I don't know why... other people are cute when they do it.

Quite possibly I'm just insecure... and clearly I've never been there.

I think I'll just feel like a whale. What woman likes taking pictures when they feel like that?

Saturday, August 21, 2010


It's a funny thing... once we got married and a lot of our friends got married... all of our friends start doing this other thing...


Nearly daily Joel and I get asked when we're going to have a baby (well maybe not everyday).

I usually smile and giggle. Like anyone really knows when they are going to have a baby. Right?

I know people plan and prevent but you don't really KNOW KNOW.

It's not a good or a bad thing that people ask... they just do and they just think, oh, well you're married so the logical thing for me to think is that you're moving on to the next thing.


So for now I just smile, giggle, and tell them that I am a huge fan of babysitting and hosting baby showers and I love being married and learning about my husband and figuring this wife thing out for awhile....

AND maybe, just maybe I might be a good afraid... I mean I think adopting or having a baby is a REALLY big deal.

So I guess we'll all just wait and see... (maybe wait and see for a good lil' while).

For now the Vint family is just us... Joel and Sarah!

And I mean really? What more could one want?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vint Vaca

THE Vint's went on Vaca last week... while our entire hometown was flooding (we were fortunate not to have any water in our basement).

We went to Joel's family's friends lake cabin. It was SUPER fun! Here are a few things we enjoyed..........

The cabin! At first glance you'll see that it's a little 70's. I have a mind that thinks... "How can we change this to make it look awesome?" and Joel thinks ... "No, it's great the way it is!" I realized that it is easy for me to think this way but he has SO MANY memories associated to this cabin and so it is GREAT just the way it is! It was fun to make some more great memories there as a new family!

The kitchen. There is a table across from the kitchen, home to many Vint Family card games.

The main room (extra bed to the left).

The main bedroom.

I am standing in the kitchen/dining area.
Here you can see the other bedrooms and the fireplace.

Sadly I forgot to take some pictures of the loft bedding upstairs. =(

Frosty's... a hole-in-the-wall ice cream joint in Longville, MN (aka small town USA). Also known as the turtle racing capital of the world. Try that one on for size!

Eating ice cream!

If you know us, you know that I broke Joel's driver (golf club) on one of our first dates. We found the Black Bear Golf Course while driving around on a windy day. Luckily, after 2 years, I was able to redeem myself by hitting a few balls and getting some tips from my personal golf pro, Joel W. Vint! Super fun (except I didn't know your back would hurt the next day)! $1.50 for a small bucket of balls and $3.00 for a large. Coming to your nearest golf course: the new and improved Sarah A. Vint!

Earlier in the week we got to play Ridgewood Golf Course in Longville, MN (we meaning Joel playing and driving the golf cart, Sarah being caddy [taking the flag out of the hole] and snapping a few pics).

Your vision is not going bad, these are in fact geese! This is also me taking a picture facing the other way while Joel is trying to chip in! Ah, whoops?! The basic story of our golf outings together. I guess that is what you get when your caddy is free!

My handsome golfer!

In all my years of cooking (I mean I was an FCS teacher), I have NEVER used a gas stove... and a mini one at that! There is certainly a first time for everything.

Over the course of the week I got to experiment with some new recipes out of my newest Taste of Home and Healthy Taste of Home Magazines (I am an avid subscriber and fan).

Here Joel is chompin' on some Caribbean Jerk Baby Back Ribs slow cooker style.
They were DE-LISH!

The famous Guacamole!

Ah, the lake! We didn't get to enjoy it nearly as much as we would to have liked to due to rain, but these little guys sure did!

We were blessed to hang out on the boat with some of Joel's friends from childhood.

This gal... she DID get her hair chopped off.... but also enjoyed catching some rays!

View from my toes!

The ever-famous ISU chair. A new treasure to our souls!

Joel, making some waves! He totally ROCKS at skiing (go figure)!

My LAME attempt at being a photographer with my Sony Cybershot. Even so, isn't our creator awesome?!

We enjoyed a couple of great books, praying, and reading the word! We definitely got some GOOD R&R as we head into a year filled with ministry! Thanks to our Gracious Father and our dear friends for such a great time!

Bring on the fall baby!