7 from the previous 7 {2006}

2006 began with a lingering, but not unwanted, stay in California since your aircraft kept cracking. I didn’t complain being that we were living in a ‘perfect’ place. I remember you walking down to the high school where I was taking my pottery class so I wouldn’t have to walk home alone. I learned that white sheets blend in when laid in the sand by a runway. I really began to learn to cook full meals…not just single-girl-standing-in-the-kitchen-eating-random-things meals. I began to love shopping at the commissary but always needed cash to tip the baggers. We learned that bagged bean/soup mixes are horrible. To this day I think that’s the only night you said you couldn’t finish your food. Lesson learned.

This was the year you took me to the 50m pool to swim and I was dying after barely swimming 50m. I think I maybe finished 300m in 45 minutes. I was not the stellar swimmer like you, but this began the long process of you patiently teaching me to swim. I am very thankful you graciously worked with me and taught me to do something I love and will love the rest of my life. Just don’t drop our kids in the deep end of the 50m pool when you’re working with them…ease into that one.

You entertained all my craft projects (since I had no real job) and helped me make built the headboard in our room. Remember the great chair I got from the estate sale and rebuilt? And then we lost it to mold later that year…

March came and we packed out our house and hoped it would make it to Guam. We sold the ‘midlife-crisis Solara’ which was actually such a great car, and did our last shopping spree since we knew there would be little, to no, shopping in Guam.

Our delayed honeymoon in Hawaii was not a disappointment…glad we had that time to rest before jumping into life on Guam. Thankful you were a good swimmer that morning and drug me back to shore after the tide swept us out…

Funny I don’t remember too much of this trip since we were anxious to get to our true home and settle in. Ahh, Guam. You were such a gem to us.

You hit the ground running and found your place on Guam. In the helicopter, shooting deer, or chasing them in your helicopter. Though there were some bumps in the road, what a great place to start your career.

Saturday mornings were a lot of this. Thank you for not making me be miserable hunting with you tramp through the jungle and learn to call the deer and be the most amazing hunter’s wife. I did buy you a crossbow…I think that still makes me the perfect wife. (Right, R. Schaub?)

I’m glad you had friends in high places that let us tour the B-2 since we lived on the base of that black bird. (You live on Guam and you live in Texas or Oklahoma…).

I think we won the Halloween costume contest since no one knew who we were at first. Isn’t this scary how ligit we look? Looking at the maternity romper makes me sad I didn’t pull those out for either pregnancy. And your cigarette burns and ketchup/mustard stain on your shirt. Lovely, honey, just lovely.

And it was around this time that the rainy season was in full swing. It was very wet, very humid, and we had never experienced this before. Unfortunately we didn’t know it wasn’t normal that our house was damp, yet cool. Unfortunately our AC had tons of water in it and was spraying moisture right into our house. Unfortunately we later learned that mold grows from the inside out (in your furniture) and all our furniture had to go. Remember when I pulled a wooden spoon out of the drawer in the kitchen and it was green with mold? Awesomeness.

You were great about helping fight the ‘system’ in trying to get our stuff replaced…but we learned i’s the big dogs (or their wives) that can make things happen fast. The mold and moving 1/2 our household to a new house was only the first challenge.

Soon after that news we went to Haputo with Peanut (our crazy loving first child). The car was broken into and my wallet was stolen….right before we were to leave on vacation to Thailand. Awesomeness. The second challenge.

But we got to leave the island for two weeks and spend Thanksgiving and part of December in Vietnam and Thailand. It was such a treat to take you back to my stomping grounds of Southeast Asia. Vietnam proved to be quite delightful and we somehow ended up with a free backpacking trip. Who knew you’d be back in Sapa six years later with a church group from Corpus Christi?

The night stay, the most amazing food ever (when you’re hungry its even better), rice wine, crazy Spaniards, and our 12 year old guide. Loved it. I loved going to the orphanage and getting to have dinner with a Viet Cong vet. What an amazing time to sit across from someone that used to be an enemy…and yet he was so kind and open in talking about his war experience.

The orphanage was a sweet time solidifying in us that this is part of God’s story for our lives. While we still don’t know when or where, part of our family will not necessarily look like us…but will one day be part of us. This was such an exciting time dreaming and learning more.

Thailand brought more challenges than we expected. Conflict since I knew some Thai, lived there for a year, and knew how to get around and you couldn’t be in control…glad we finally talked and got that figured out. Whew. Thanks for letting me help you figure stuff out and let go of being in charge (though I normally love for you to lead and take charge). Hiking and getting scammed by the monkey farm people was awesome…until I heard a pop in my foot. Who knew I would end up walking all over Bangkok on a swollen (broken) foot? Good to have established in the first year to not question me when I’m really in pain. smile.

Thankful we were staying next door to P’Nok so he could take us to the ER in the middle of the night. When you get sick, you get sick. $25 later and a bag of medicine…we headed to the airport to fly back to Guam looking like quite the pair. Me hobbling behind you. You looking like death. That was good time.

We came home from our crazy vacation and moved to a new house on base on December 24. What a Christmas, eh? Glad we had great neighbors that let us celebrate with them.

That fall we met some great people…and I got a job. Thanks to the Stinnette’s, your bored-stay-at-home wife found something to do with herself. Little did we know how much the job would change both of our lives. And the briefing at Harold’s house? I think you still might be failing at being a ‘good husband.’

This was the year that we began learning together that through all our struggles, it was just stuff we lost. Not each other, our family, our health, or our faith. Yes, we lost some great furniture (all of it) and that was sad. But this truth became more real to us:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21 ESV)

Oh Tarague Beach…such a pretty place.

While this year ended with struggle, it was a good year…we transitioned into base housing, we had the cops called for our crazy barking dog, you became a fan of Thai and Indian food, we got involved in a great bible study at the Goepner’s, we were both working in jobs we enjoyed (mostly), and we learned more about choosing to love each other when it’s not fun.

I’m glad you talked me into getting Peanut, the Micronesian sporting hound. And I’m glad our trips to GAIN ceased after that.

And here’s a bonus picture from Thailand since much of that trip was hard, but this was such a fun day.

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