Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes

Recently, Sister and I were talking about our favorite things to do in autumn.

Hers: jump in leaf piles. Mine: drink warm beverages and watch her jump in leaf piles.

Our discussion lead to reminiscing about last Thanksgiving. J. deployed just a few weeks before so we were still in a bit of a fog. I call it the "Survival Fog". Just do what you have to do to make it through the day in one piece.

We were so thankful when his Mom and older sister said they would like to come and celebrate Thanksgiving with us.

Despite the fact that we missed him terribly, last Thanksgiving will always be one of my favorites. We jumped in the leaves for hours at a time, played Bananagrams until the wee hours, ate amazing food and just spent time loving on each other. Having them there made me feel less alone for my favorite holiday.

(Come on....a holiday where you basically eat and hang out with your favorites all day while watching TV? Why isn't this everyone's favorite?)

My sister in law even ate fried alligator. When in Louisiana....

Last Thanksgiving, we were pretty sure we knew what the next year held. At least the gist of it. We'd be in LA for another year. We'd live in the same house, on the same street and attend the same school. We would get to love on our church friends for another year, watching their children grow and play with ours.

J. got home at the very end of May and we took an extended road trip. Back home in late June, he had another couple of weeks off before going back to work after Independence Day. A couple of days before he went back to work, he got a phone call that changed all of those things we thought we were sure of for another year.

We were moving. To England. Very Soon.

There was so much to be done in such a short time. This was the beginning of July and we needed to be there by late August. None of us had current passports. We would need Visas. We would need to seriously downsize because the house we would be moving into was almost half the size of the one we were currently living in. The one we were sure we'd be in for another year.

I hope to share soon about how God so perfectly worked out every single detail for this move and how He blew our minds with how the timing was more perfect than we knew possible.

The job was one that J. had worked been preparing for since the beginning of his career and this was a chance of a lifetime! Not to mention, he was getting to do it in ENGLAND!

Castles, palaces, accents, CS Lewis, royalty, history.....ENGLAND.

If I'd been trying to plan this, I would have messed it up beyond repair. We'd all be sitting in an airport in LA wondering where we went wrong. Thankfully, we have been here for three months and have almost settled into our (tiny) house.

When we were told it was impossible to get passports and visas for five people in less than six weeks, God did it. When we didn't know how official paperwork would get filed, furniture would be sold, kids would get enrolled from across the ocean and we would say goodbye to a place we truly loved, God did it.
The life I'm living this year is not even in the same hemisphere as I was sure it would be. A year later, I look back and laugh (and sometimes cry) at how little I knew.

What a difference a year makes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Coming Back

I left my blog hanging rather abruptly last fall just after we found out that Big Daddy was deploying again. Sorry about that. To be honest, I felt like I was juggling a thousand balls that had set on fire and the thought of just one more thing to keep up with was overwhelming.

So, I walked away.

It wasn't a conscious decision so much as a "no time to blog today" followed by a "gosh, I'm just so tired, I'll do it tomorrow" which led to opening up my blog and not knowing how to begin again with so much time between us.

Like an old friend you haven't seen in ages, this blog was never far from my mind and heart. So often, I'd compose a post in my head but couldn't move past the awkward stage to make it real. I'm praying that just like that old friend, I can jump back in here as if no time has passed and catch up on all the things I've missed while I was away. SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED, you guys! Small things, big things. The updates are coming very soon. I'm determined not to let this space go to waste.