Monday, September 24, 2012

weekend recap

This weekend was busy, but refreshing. We didn't wake up this morning feeling exhausted, rather, we woke up feeling full and thankful. We got to spend the whole weekend with our people. Our family. From all over. That drove to Charlotte just to see us and celebrate us and hug us one last time before we leave. We took about a million and 1 pictures this weekend because we don't want to forget a single moment of our last couple of weeks in America.

Both of our sets of parents offered to throw us a little family shindig, so that we could see everyone all together. See, Brian and I both have huge families and it would be nearly impossible to see every person 1 by 1. So seeing everyone together was the perfect solution. With Brian's family we got to have a little Welcome Home Kirk/Goodbye Brian and McKenzie combo party at a nearby park. And with my family, we had a Saturday evening cookout with family.

Literally, there are about 150 pictures we took. And they are all of Brian and I with different sets of people. These will be the pictures that we pull out when we are feeling homesick and need a little reminder that even if we feel lonely, we aren't alone. I'll share all those pictures later this week, but for now.. just a few.

Brian's family.
 My family.
 Oh yeah, and we got to go to a Panther's game. That's a sad, sad story for another day. But it was fun!
 A downtown, Panther's stadium sunset.

 And our friend Perry came to visit and say goodbye! 

It was a great weekend, spent with great people. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

the last of Lejeune

Yesterday, we said goodbye to Camp Lejeune and to dear friends we have made over the past 3 months there. It was a little sad for sure, but we are READY for what is ahead. Japan! 

Out biggest prayer throughout our Brian's time in the Marine Corps has consistently been for community. We just want to be in community with people growing and learning and getting to share the good news of Christ. We are absolutely blown away by how God has answered our prayer each place we have been. See, we were moved to Lejeune for 3 months. 3 months is such an awkward time and we felt certain that it would simply be a place of transition, no where to put down any roots. But man, God had a different plan. We made some of the deepest and most sincere friendships of our life during these past 3 months and were reminded that our God is not constrained by time. He works when He works. And oh, how thankful we are for that. 

Some friends of ours prayed for Brian and I on our last night in Jacksonville and spoke these two specific scriptures over our lives, 

"May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples."  Genesis 28:3

"I will give you every place where you set your foot.. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous." 
Joshua 1:3-6

So this is what we are believing for our time in Japan-- that God would provide community, that he would give us favor with the people that we meet, and that He would be with us through every step.


Now we are back home in Charlotte, trying to make the most of the next two weeks-- seeing every friend and family member possible one last time before we head out on this adventure. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

weekend recap

Our last weekend in Jacksonville. That was a quick 3 months. 

We spent a good part of this weekend saying good bye to good friends that we wont see for the next three years. It's sad, but also exciting! Everyone is setting out on new adventures and ready for change. 

We also got to eat Saudi Arabian food prepared for us by the wife of an international officer in Brian's supply school. I wish I had pictures of this night. It was an experience. Fun. But an experience. As in, the men and women don't eat together so I ate with 4 other women who only spoke Arabic. But somehow we figured out a way to talk about Jesus, so it was all worth it. 

Somewhere in between the goodbyes and the Saudi Arabian food, Brian and I snuck a little time for a couples massage. We had been given a gift certificate by the family I nannied for in Virginia and had been itching to use it ever since we got to NC. This weekend was the perfect time. And it was glorious. Worth the wait. 

And now I sit here watching a random man in my hotel room pack up my things. Kind of awkward.
 Whadaya gunna do? 

This is a boring post. Sorry bout that. I reward you with subpar pictures.


We packed (made a complete mess) of our things. And ate cupcakes. Twice. 

Said goodbye to friends that have become so dear to us. 

Got a massage. And looked really tired afterwards. How is it that the laziest things make me the most tired ever?

Brian made lists for me. And this random guy packed up our hotel. Like that is my view right now. As I type. And no, I don't know why I took a picture of him. And I hope he never finds my blog. 

Happy Monday Yall.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

thankful thursdays

- Fall. I mean, I don't know if we can even say fall when it's 80 degrees out but I DO know that I can wear a scarf and not sweat this week. AND I can get pumpkin in my iced coffee. And it just feels fresh and new, a welcome change. So, let's call that fall.

- Heidi, our sweet hotel housekeeping lady. I feel so lazy when I lay in our hotel recliner and watch her make our bed-- but honestly, I've never seen anyone make a bed with so much joy. Single mom, 3 kids, 1 with special needs-- and yet, so much joy. I've learned a lot from watching her. 

- My husband's hardwork and serious organizational skills. If it was up to me, we would probably end up in Russia instead of Japan. He makes lists and actually crosses things off his lists. Crazy concept. He is the brains behind this move. And he just works so dang hard for our family. And has the best attitude. 

- My wife friends that I have met through the Marine Corps. I have met some of the MOST wonderful women and it's truly an honor to do life with them. These women bless me so much. Here are a few of them: Bailey, Jordan, Shannon, Marie, Emma, Camille. (Kate, Ang, and Lauren-- THIS is why you should blog. K?)

- Finding out that GREAT friends are coming to Okinawa with us. They will be there in January. And we are so so thankful. 

- I read in 1 Peter this morning about how we have been granted an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. That is good news, guys. That is eternal. The things of this earth will grow dim and fade away, but the inheritance we gain through Jesus is imperishable. It can never fade away. It is pure, holy, perfect. And that is worth celebrating today. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

three weeks.

Man, the last couple of weeks have been crazy in the best kind of way. I feel like I've been traveling all over the great state of NC saying some goodbyes and spending time with the people I love. Brian and I have THREE weeks before we move to JAPAN-- wait, what?? 

Yes, it's true. And no, I'm not freaking out. I feel strangely at peace and at ease about things right now. When people ask "where are you living?" or "who is picking you up from the airport?" or maybe "what are you going to do when you get there?" I have brief moments of panic because I realize that I don't have answers to any of these questions. But then, peace. God has been good to us through this process, why would He quit now? That's the promise we are clinging to. 

So here is where we have been over the past few weeks in a quick picture update..

Spent a few days at the beach with my Nana, isn't she the cutest? I have such fond memories of summer vacations at her beach house with all my cousins on my mom's side of the family. About 30 of us crammed into one house. It was in no way vacation for the adults-- but us kids, we loved it.

Spent a lot of time traveling in the car alone. Well, except for these friends.. they are trusty and dependable. Always there when I need them.

Driving, driving, driving. Honestly, I don't even mind a solo roadtrip. Turn up the worship music, roll down the windows, and live your life. 

Favorite sushi with favorite girl. It was my only MUST DO before leaving for Japan.

I got to spend the day with my two besties, my maids of honor, my favorite girls in the world. I am blessed to do life with these two. They make me so much better. 

Said goodbye to this wonderful woman, my sweet friend and mentor in Durham, Jen. She was so good to me during my time in college, and I absolutely adore her family. 

This little french artist turned one while we were home. We love the Maximus.

Drove to Fayetteville to see Brian's brother, KIRK, return from Afghanistan! Oh, what a glorious day. We are SO happy he is home. 

This is step one in my Project Recreate Fall in Okinawa. Fall is my season, and I am missing it in the physical sense this year. However, I will not be missing it in spirit. If you would like to donate to the fund I am now receiving anything pumpkiny, leafy, appley, and cinnamony.

And that's where I've been. I feel like this summer has been a whirlwind, like I have been all over the place. I am truly excited to get settled down in Japan and to feel some consistency again in my life. Maybe I will be a consistent blogger then too? Ok, I won't get too crazy. 

Also, I just want to make mention that today is 9/11. Let's remember and pray for the families of the heroes that died 11 years ago today, and the ones that continue to give their lives for our freedom today.