7 from the previous 7 {2009}

We rung in the new year of 2009 on our way to New Zealand. Sleeping in the Cairns airport was not your idea of fun…but we were so cheap and we did it. After a day in Wellington and then another few days at the batch of Geraldine’s family, we were getting well acquainted with New Zealand. I still laugh thinking about sitting in Geraldine’s parents house not having a clue what they were saying even though it was English…the thick thick accent. Cloudy Bay was rather tasty and of course, we loved seeing the local, rural side of New Zealand.

I’m not sure what we were thinking when we signed up for our 11 day hike. 80 miles in 11 days, no less. Our comrades were awesome…Henry and Richard will never be forgotten (you lazy b…). I still think we need to name our next dog, Kaz. This trip down the western coast of the South Island was incredible. There are other posts to talk about it, even though we never truly documented it on our blog. Punakaiki and Okarita was some of the best camping ever. My horrible knee pain was not the best ever. Thanks for making me take my pack off and take care of myself. I guess Thailand hiking taught you a few things.

The wine packed in inside empty water bottles and some of the best trail food we’ve ever had. Crossing rivers, kayaking, walking on glaciers, laughing at each other in the van, hearing Richard and Henry’s stories, and getting our own room to sleep in at the batch. Learning gypsy entertainment from Kaz and singing to Coldplay in the van. I sure hope we can take a trip like this with our kids one day…it was awesome to say the least (yes, I think I’ve forgotten the pain). I’m glad we didn’t know how difficult it was going to be, or we would’ve never done it. Bugger.

New Zealand was perfect, except for the sand flies. Not sure what God was doing when he made those…guess he didn’t want everyone to live in NZ. I’m thankful we passed Australia but still came home with the aboriginal art.

Three weeks was a great amount of time to leave Guam only to come back and really hit the traveling, packing, and researching hard in the last few months we had. I was thick into my thesis research and made one last, very memorable, trip to PIBC Tol campus in Chuuk. Praise Jesus, Evelyn went with me. The pregnancy hormones had kicked in full speed and I was feeling it. Tired and very nauseated. I still look back at the incredibly rough boat ride back to the main island thinking it would be a miracle if I (and our baby) made it back alive. But we did.

The movers came (and somehow some of our stuff never made it to Corpus) and then you left for Corpus while I stayed another month to finish my research. I can remember living at Amy and Ben’s…wanting to be looking at houses with you…feeling so horrible…and needing to get stuff done. Somehow the thesis got written after I met up with you in Corpus. You did a great job picking out a house for us…it’s perfect and I would completely trust you to do it again.

That April was a significant time in your life. Encounter was a turning point as you experienced healing and forgiveness. JR and Lisa were such a significant part of lives here and I’m still so thankful for their relationship. JR was the kind of friend you hadn’t ever had and was immediate provision for you. I’m sad your ‘boyfriend’ doesn’t live here so we can experience life with them. Oso was a good place for us at that time in our lives. We started to meet the great people that would live life with us here. Again…God was faithful and went above our expectations.

We ventured out to Cali for my graduation with many stops…the Inn at 410 to actually enjoy it this time, Grand Canyon, San Diego, Disneyland, and lots of dinners with people in LA. This was the icing on the cake when you got to meet my world that knew almost everything about you. Introducing you to Dr. Hayward, Dr. Campbell, Debi, and the Getz’s was a gift.

I loved that you wore your summer whites to my graduation and looked like ‘a monkey’ but you looked so hot. I’m sad I don’t have a picture of us together with you all dressed up too. That was a fun time with our family…I think we had the biggest cheering section.

The summer came and the renovations on the house began. I experienced ‘While you were out’ after going to NYC for a weekend and coming back to new bathrooms and kitchen. So thankful your parents came down to help so much…and that you got to learn/watch your dad fix stuff up. He’s crazy good with that kind of stuff.

I also, with your encouragement, started Fed by Bread…not knowing how it would do here in Corpus. But in response to the vision God gave us, we launched something great and it was fun to contribute my skills toward something that fueled my passion. I still believe there is a lot to come in this part of our lives when the time is right.

My pregnancy was really great and this was picture was one month before my due date. This little babe was in no rush coming out…though we tried everything to get the labor a goin’.

My due date came and went and finally one week later, Dr. N said it was time to set a date. My body decided to go into labor but failed to progress. Those 76 hours were obviously the longest three days of my life. Thanks for being right beside me the entire time as we welcomed this big boy into the world.

{I definitely was not one of those ‘put together with my make up on for my birth experience’ kind of girls. Obviously.} There were many surprises and disappointments in the post-partum journey for me. Sam was a sweet baby and actually learned to sleep well early on. The nursing…not so much. After three months of working hard to get him to eat right, you calmly and graciously told me it was time to give it up. I did…but then God gave it back to me…healed me and Sam figured it out. All in a matter of days. I still look back at that and was grateful to learn how hard being a mom can really be. There are times we have to choose what is best for us, as a family, versus what we think is best for one of our children. We’ve learned a lot…but still so much more God has for us.

That fall was very very blurry and I honestly don’t remember much of it. I’m glad we have tons of cute picts of Sambo and not many of me crying or hanging out with Cheryl. ha. After Sambo came, you were the one that served and took care of us better than anyone else. You knew what we needed…we sat for hours on end with me while I sat nursing Sam…you did dishes, cleaned, and cooked…and you gave up doing your favorite things to be with us when we needed it. It was awesome to watch you become a daddy…you’ve been so hands-on and engaged with our kids from the moment they appeared. You’ve become and are becoming a better dad than I could’ve asked for.

You also saw when I needed a break…and this picture reminds me of that. Taking me to dinner and then to the symphony for Christmas. You did a great job setting up the surprise and executing it.

This year was full, like every year. We laughed a lot. We I cried a lot. We grew and were challenged. I graduated with my masters. You loved flying and teaching. We healed. I entered motherhood being humbled and learned to be gracious to others. We became parents. We fell more in love. Grateful for this year. Thankful Jesus journeyed right with us.


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