Thursday, January 19, 2012

Our New Adventure

So...now that we have covered my reasons for NOT blogging...let's cover the reasons that I am jumping back into it now...

Simply put, we are moving to Japan!

Japan!

I don't know if you caught that...but we are moving to Japan! In less than three months! My little family is going to be living on the other side of the WORLD! Who does that? Who just up and leaves their lives and moves to Japan?

Apparently...we do!

So, let me elaborate. (Please remember that I write this more for my own record, not for anyone else, so if I am boring you...feel free to skeedaddle!)

A little over two years ago, we were driving across the country on our way home to South Carolina from spending Christmas in Colorado. David and I started talking about our options for our next tour. We had both been thinking about it and both had felt led to consider Japan as an option. I remember how excited we felt when we settled on the idea and decided that we would try to go. We didn't have to decide right then but we knew the time would quickly approach and we should at least start thinking about it!

Months went by and we didn't really have any need to talk about it. Nobody would talk to David about where he wanted to go that early and, to be honest, we didn't want to bring it up too early because we were enjoying shore duty! Another year passed by and we were finally able to start talking to the detailer last spring. Our request to go to Japan was immediately shot down. He told us there was no way we could go. It would cost them too much to get our family over there and they would rather take someone with fewer children. We were pretty bummed. So, we waited. We waited for something else of interest to open up. We soon found out that we would be going back to Virginia and would be stationed on the same ship my sister is currently stationed on. While it wasn't our first choice, we chose to believe that it was where God wanted us and took comfort in knowing that we were going to have friends when we moved there, my sister would be nearby, we were familiar with the area, etc. We had even started to look for houses to purchase in the area. We found a home near some of our dearest friends and fell in love with the idea of living across the street from them and our kids growing up together!

So, imagine my surprise when David called and asked me my thoughts on moving to Japan. All I could think was, "I don't know if you remember or not, but they told us NO! We are moving to Virginia!" He proceeded to explain to me that our orders had been "given away" and we were now going to Japan.

All I can tell you is that I literally felt the room spinning. I was so confused. Was he joking? Why would we be going to Japan? We just found a house in Virginia. We were going to live near my sister. We were going to have friends there! People speak English there!

I remember shaking. I hung up with David and started dialing my phone. I needed to talk to someone. I needed to share this with someone. I was scared. I was confused. I was lost. I finally reached one of my best girlfriends and shared the news with her. Coincidentally, she was the same friend that we were trying to live across the street from. Needless to say, neither of us were very happy at the moment. She promised me she would be praying and I promised her I would be keeping her posted on what I heard.

And then, because I didn't know what else to do, I laid down on the middle of my living room rug, face down and started kicking and screaming and yelling at God. I was throwing a tantrum better than any of my kids EVER had! (Thankfully Isaac was napping and the big kids were at school). I told Him how wrong this was and how He had messed up. I told him how I had plans and He wasn't listening to me. I told him that this wasn't fair.

And then I took a deep breath.

I then had one of those moments that I wish I could have every day. A moment in which I literally felt the peace of God rush over me and through me. And suddenly I was calm. Suddenly, as if HE was whispering in my ear, I started remembering that WE really wanted to go to Japan and we had been told "no" and now He had made a way. Scriptures started flooding my mind. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future! (Jer 29:11) Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Philippians 4:6).


I must have laid there for an hour. I just had to take it all in. I needed to process. But when I stood up, I felt better. I knew that no matter what, we were going to make it! We were going to figure this crazy thing out. Now I could feel excitement, anticipation, thankfulness. God had heard our hearts. He saw fit to take us to Japan. And can I just tell you...I am ready for this adventure! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Shore Duty

I am not going to lie. It is one of my excuses for not updating the blog...

We have been on shore duty for the last 3.5 years! If you aren't a Navy family...I know you don't really get it. It's okay.

When David and I got married we were in the "nuclear pipeline" being trained to operate the reactors on the ships. This meant long hours in school and, for me, even longer hours studying. It did NOT come naturally to me. We spent lots of late nights together and any time on the weekend that we could find.

When I got out of the Navy, David was working shift work. He worked a crazy rotating schedule and we had a new baby at home. We still made the most of it because it was really all we knew. When we could be together we just wanted to enjoy our time together.

By the time Isabelle was born a couple years later, we were on sea duty. I suddenly found myself to be a "single mom" of sorts as the ship was often gone or requiring long hours. When the ship was home, we spent every little bit of time together that we could! We were apart more than we were together so our time together was precious. Life revolved around the next time that we would get to spend time as a family.

Since moving to Charleston, we have lived a very different life. David is home almost every night for dinner. He has shared in the responsibilities around the house. We spend weekends as a family. I get to sit next to my husband at church. David has gotten to be a part of art fairs at school, Christmas programs and all sorts of activities. He has been home to experience Isaac's first steps, first words and fed him his first solids. He has taught the kids to ride bikes and scooters, gone camping, built catapults, read books, watched movies and just taken time to BE with us.

So, without realizing some of the things we weren't doing (like writing a blog) we were just taking time to Be. To Be a family. To Be together.

This is shore duty.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Fresh Start

Where do I even start?

I began writing this blog several years ago as a way for my family and friends to keep up with us as we live so far away from many of them. I used to be pretty consistent about updating. And then I stopped. It just happened.

So, almost two years later...here we are.

While I know that most people will just scan through and see the pictures and see what we are up to, I see myself using this as a format to document our adventures through life, through parenthood, through marriage, through the ups and the downs, the travels and the quiet times at home. This is our life...and I. Am. Blessed!

Welcome to our new adventure!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On the move!

video

I have been trying for days to get this video up so that you all could see how great Isaac is doing crawling! What a big boy! I will post more this week...for now, enjoy!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A New Decade

2010.



Really?



2010.



Wow!



So, be forewarned...this may get lengthy...and there are no pictures (today)...just my thoughts. So, come back another day if you were looking for pictures of the kids or our trip to CO. Today is simply a reflection. My reflection.



Yesterday I turned 30. (No, I am not upset about it and this is not going to be a depressing post!). Yes, 30! So as everyone is taking a look back at the decade that just seemed to flash before our eyes, I am seeing it with a whole other perspective. My twenties are gone and I have entered into a new time. A new decade.



I think it is funny to hear different people's reactions to getting older. Most seem to dread it. When I shared that I was turning 30, most people gasped or made some joke about being over the hill or looked like they were waiting for me to start crying. They weren't going to get that reaction from me though.



I can't help but look back at the decade that has just passed and feel amazingly blessed. A LOT has happened in the last ten years. Here is a quick recap of the last decade to give you a little insight:



2000- I joined the Navy, went to boot camp, moved away from home for the first time (to Charleston, SC), met and, most importantly, fell in love with my wonderful husband. By the end of the year we were engaged and planning our wedding!



2001- David and I got married, finished Nuclear Power School and found out we were expecting our first child! We made the decision for me to get out of the Navy in order to be an at-home mom, while David continued his Navy career.



2002- We welcomed Ian into the world and our lives would be forever changed! What an amazing joy parenthood is!



2003- We bought our first home, celebrated Ian's first birthday and got orders to move to Norfolk, VA.



2004- In January, as we settled into our home in Virginia, we found out that we were expecting our second baby! In September we welcomed Isabelle to the family!



2005- Being a military family, we knew it was inevitable that David would be deployed and 2005 was the year. We celebrated Isabelle's first birthday a week early so that David could be a part of it and then we said our tearful goodbyes. I learned that friends are truly the family that you choose for yourself as my fellow military friends became my family during David's absence.



2006- David got to come home early from deployment to attend a specialty school and we got to enjoy being a complete family unit again! While we were elated that David got to be home with us, I also experienced my first major loss as my grandfather passed away. David also reenlisted in the Navy, committing to serve until 2011.



2007- My grandmother passed away suddenly and I again faced loss. That summer I finally started the blog that I had been promising my family for so long. Ian started Kindergarten and Isabelle started preschool.



2008- We got orders to move back to Charleston, SC. We bought a home and enjoyed the perks of shore duty and having David home more often! In August we were SURPRISED to find out that we would be adding another family member to our crew!



2009- We welcomed Isaac to the family in April and our life has been a whirlwind (a delightful whirlwind, but a whirlwind nonetheless!) ever since. (Which is my excuse for not keeping up with the blog nearly as much as I previously had been!)

So, that brings us to today.

2010.

30 years old.

After looking back at the last decade, seeing how I have been blessed, how many things we have accomplished and how we have grown, I can only look forward to this next decade with anticipation for what God has in store for me and my family. With that, we are facing many big decisions in the next year. Decisions that will greatly impact our family.

Decisions to become DEBT FREE.. Choices about staying Navy or venturing into the civilian world... decisions about having more kids or not...the list goes on...

So we wait. With curiosity. With anticipation. With prayer and patience (I am working on the patience part). We wait to see what is in store for us.

I can't wait to look back on this next decade and see the adventures we have gone on, the ways that God has blessed us, the young people my children have grown into and how our family has grown as a unit.

But today?

Today I am happy.

I am blessed.

I am excited.

I am 30!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Seven Months!

I know I still have a lot of catching up to do, but I wanted you all to see my little man since he is growing up so quickly!
Six Months
Seven Months
You may be able to see that he is sitting up more steadily this month! Last month he was really just propped up on the monkey and leaned forward. It made it look like he was sitting on his own, but he wasn't really. This month he has really done well with sitting. As far as his other accomplishments...
  • He started riding in the buggy at the store (after a thorough wiping down, of course!)
  • He is sleeping a solid 10-12 hours at night most nights!
  • He is making us all giggle with his infectious smiles and laughs
  • He is attempting to crawl...but hasn't quite figured out how to make the legs and the arms work at the same time.
  • He rolls across the room to get to whatever he wants to get!
  • He is working on the sippy cup...but still nursing all the time.
  • He is trying all sorts of new yummy foods...he LOVES to eat!
  • He squeals when Daddy walks in the door at night. If he doesn't get picked up immediately, he throws a fit! He loves his Daddy and enjoys getting the first bit of attention when he gets home!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Little Engineer

(Another lost post...)
On one of the last days of school in June, Ian made a Kazoo out of wax paper and a toilet paper roll. He thought he would figure out how to play it without over exerting himself! He went to work with his Knex and made this:
My little Engineer: