Tag Archives: thankful

Her maiden voyage

I am beyond thrilled to be sharing this post today! Oz has put hours and hours into building our boat and with the help of friends we have finished building, coated her in minty-fresh paint (chopped dill to be exact), attached her oar hooks, and taken her out for her first swim! Here is how the last couple of weeks wend down…via iphone pictures.

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We purchased the oars off Craigslist. This was purely for convenience. In hindsight, we probably overpaid, but it was a simple task of picking them up that attracted us to going this route…towards the end of the project we all were getting antsy to get in the water so purchasing the oars instead of making them sped up the process by a few days. ideal.

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Her she is in all her nakedness. A, Oz and I picked out the freshest mint color Home Depot had to offer. We all agreed on Behr’s Chopped Dill.IMG_4181

It was the perfect sunny day to paint a boat. Those coats dried in no time! IMG_4183

IMG_4185 IMG_4186After we minted-up the outside, Oz went straight to work finishing the decking and the seats.

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Here is J and I’s first sit in the boat! Oz had just finished the benches — here they are pre-stained. IMG_4709

Late-night photo sesh // You can’t finish a boat and NOT have an impromptu Titanic photoshoot. Its like a rite-of-passage. Its just necessary for newbie boat-owners.IMG_4746

The day before the maiden voyage, Oz and I went to get a few necessities for the big day. First things first: hat.

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Secondly, some minty-fresh pool noodles! We use three for transporting the boat on top of a car. We also purchased a 4-pack of ratchet clamps to secure the boat once on the roof. Target also provided us with a fancy Styrofoam icechest, a 24 pack of Corona and almost some boat sandals for me, but my indecisiveness got the best of me. Probably a good thing. (( Gold sparkles or classic nude?!?! Why again is BOTH not an option?))IMG_4889

Of course…I don’t know what boy can turn down a good noodle fight. No matter what age he is.IMG_4893

Success!! We’re pretty sure this boat is longer than our baby Scion. But obviously that is no problem for our little peanut of a car. The ride to the bay was quite a nervous one. I’ve never seen Oz drive to cautiously before! Something to note: If you are attaching a row boat to your car using ratchet clamps, be ready to hear a LOUD vibration that puts the rumble of a swarm of bees to shame. Those clamps sure dance in the wind and freak the crap out of you. But, now we know.IMG_4907IMG_4909I suppose I should stop calling her ‘the boat’. We had all agreed to collectively name the boat the day of her maiden voyage. With about 8 of the owners present (couples count as one), we all contributed up to three names to the suggestion board to later vote between. After three rounds of voting and an embarrassing amount of doubting, we accidentally landed on

Mint to Be

We had previously landed on Vitamint Sea (do I need to explain the play on words inspired by Vitamin C?) However, we all felt a hesitance to feel satisfied. I mean, the other options were great too! ((Mint Chocolate Ship, The Open Row’d, Abandonmint…the list literally goes on.)) But we had to accept it and just conclude that it was…Meant to be. Gasping in unison we all in one voice proclaimed: “MINT TO BE!!!”

We had a blast narrowing down the names and have all concluded that we each have terrible commitment issues. We debated changing it a 4th time to Seas the Momint; unfortunately another fabulous boat name that satisfies all our desires for puns, the sea, the color and sense of spontaneous adventure. But, we have somewhat unanimously decided that the this title will be reserved as our hashtag on instragram to document our boat adventures with Mint to Be.

But really, the boat just might have two names.

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Friends bought Oz this lovely Captain’s hat to honor all his hard work and facilitation of getting us our dream row boat!

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Pure bliss right here. Soaking it all in.

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The sweetest family on their first ride! Toddler approved!

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You can’t drink on land, but in a boat is just fine. Technically, he is still in the water…technically.

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This poor windsurfer had hardly any wind in his sail. However the masses of jellyfish below him kept his feet firmly planted on his board. Yep, that’d do it for me!

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The girls and I discovered one of two potential things:

1. Rowing is really hard and requires abnormal amounts of strength

or

2. We are very weak and need to tone.

Either way, it is great exercise.

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Oz put so much heart into the project and went above and beyond to make each owner feel special and honored. He created this incredible certificate and presented it to those present that day!

It reads: To all Rowers wherever ye may be, and to all swabs, land-lubbers, square-knot admirals, gun deckers and all other assorted scavengers of the seven seas: Greetings: and be it known: By all ye earthly mortals and others who be blessed and honored by their presence that ___________ is an honored owner and crew member of the first and most illustrious otter’s point dory gloriously entitled: (Mint to Be)

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Maybe one of Oz’s FAVORITE things about the past two months occurred last night. He has been up late late late trying to figure out the perfect pulley system to get his boat up in the car port. And  after three evenings of trial and error he tasted success! I could not be more proud of him for all his determination not only in the pulley system arena but throughout this whole process. He has not only accomplished so many personal goals and crossed off some bucket list items, but he has persevered and worked hard which has brought so many people joy! We all get to enjoy the fruits of his labor and we all are looking forward to a perfect summer of boat parties!

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Cheers to a summer on the water.

-Bee

((A rower and scavenger of the sea))

[[See more of our adventure through the eyes of the other owners on instragram at #seasthemomint]]

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Flashback F r i d a y

We have been home for 8 months. C h i n a still feels like yesterday, but at the same time feels like a dream from years ago. In honor of Flashback Friday, here are some snaps from our last days in the beautiful country.

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We had a sweet lunch with these two beauties. It was a bitter-sweet meal knowing that it was our last one together.

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Duo Duo. This silly girl brought us so much laughter. She was a sweet blessing to adopt for the summer. She still has a piece of our hearts. ❤

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All packed and ready to train to Beijing. This is the last shot I took of Oz in our room.

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The overnight train was something like 12 hours. I was so happy to have gotten the bottom bunk this time…those beds stack three high!

IMG_2005Our last meal in Beijing with our buddy. This dish is T H E best food in the whole world. My mouth is literally watering right now.

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Travel in China just wouldn’t be complete without a little mafan. Oz’s bag was “randomly selected” to be searched. Later we were told it had something suspicious in it. There was nothing random about their selection. This is Oz’s expression in response to the love/hate relationship with mafan. [[suspicious item? the camera tripod.]]

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At our gate! Ready to fly to Japan! Behind me is the vending machine full of water and beer. Something we knew we would not be seeing in the States any time soon.

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Our bird. We sat in the wing seats and tried to realize that this was it. Homeward bound. That was a weird day. Lots of excitement to look forward to. Lots of sorrow of leaving our home we grew to love and belong to. Here‘s a flashback to before we left and one here for the first update being home. I can’t begin to tell you how much is still hidden in between the two.

On this flashback Friday I’m grateful for our many memories and thousands of pictures from three months in China. Perhaps I’m ready to start unloading the stories I’ve been keeping in my treasure box. There are so many gems to unpack. Even though its a bit daunting of a task, I feel so honored to have the gems in the first place. We have a lifetime of stories and experiences that I will cherish over and over and over again. It would be wrong to keep them locked away. Hmm…time to figure out where to start?!

Grateful,

Bee

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I’m on a boat and it’s going fast and…

Oz has wanted to build a boat for y e a r s. This year, with a group of friends his dreams are finally coming to life! But its been way cooler than either of us could have ever predicted. Instead of just having a boat for us, this has been something that has knitted our community together in a rad way. With a little help from AlliJo, we have rounded up 8 co-owners who have helped fund the project. Now, with 8 owners (some singles, some couples) not only can we enjoy the fruits of his labor, but so can some of our best friends! Now, to clarify, we totally would have lent the boat out no questions asked…but this way, the whole 8 of us can play a part in funding, building and owning the boat! Who doesn’t want to have the option of saying, Why yes, I do happen to own 1/8 of a boat!

It has been such a fun way to share dreams with friends rather than keep them small in our own imaginations. I love that this little boat will be shared among some of our greatest buddies. It just knits the community together in a fresh, unique and exciting way.

Here’s a glimpse of his days the past month via our iPhone documentation:

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^^first things first: The strongback^^

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^^Good-looking ribs and keelson in place^^

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^^Doing my part…working for my “I own a boat” quotes^^

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^^Brothers and buddies getting in on the action^^

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^^she’s looking like a boat^^

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^^Fiberglassing is finished and we’re almost ready to flip it!^^

Our next fun steps are quickly approaching! We’ll have a boat flipping party with all the boat owners and discuss the important things like naming the boat and when we’ll all take her out for her first swim. I’m so proud of Oz for all his dedication and his mad skills…That boy and wood…a dynamic duo.

Happy Thursday!

Bee

P.S. Do I even have to tell you which song has been in my head everyday? A little T-pain and a little Lonley Island? Yep. Errday.

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The Run or Dye Gremlins

Let me start by saying, I am not a runner. I was the girl who always seemed to have ‘that time of the month’ every time we had to run the mile in high school P.E. class. It’s a miracle they didn’t recommend I see a doctor. Actually, I’m a little offended they didn’t. Now, if you say I can run a 5K without it being timed (pressures off) while getting to throw colorful powder on my friend and myself, that takes the lame and most of the pain out of it and I say…Let’s do this.

Here’s the story via my iPhone pics…

My friend AlliJo is one of the most fun people you will ever meet. When I rallied people to run with me a good two months before the race, she was ALL IN! I knew the race would be that much better with this girl as my side-kick. Or me as hers? Anyhow, we started off in all black. You may notice that most/practically all of the other runners wore white. This would seem like the best decision until your friend of a friend tells you other wise and you do a last minute/night before the race wardrobe change.. Black is the canvas you want. The stars don’t shine against a white sky, folks, and neither does colorful powder. Go black or go back (home).

Without color on your person, life is just dull and you can’t seem to find joy or satisfaction, as shown in these photos below.

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The Run or Dye kit provided us with two super rad tattoos. Obviously, one had to be applied to a cheek. Just a word of wisdom, these tattoos are not your average Fruit Stripe tattoos…they will resist a good scrub down which is not ideal when you have a wedding two days later and there are still bits of mangled color specs on your face and bicep. Thanks hindsight, a little late with the FYI.

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Before the race began we were already covered in dye. We thought we were so cool “covered” in color. Little did we know how little covered we actually were…If you’re planning on running this race, brush up on your bartering skills…Scope out who has colors you don’t have and learn to sell your color because chances are, you are a little too hot pink and you need cobalt blue and golden yellow!

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You’ll notice below there are two other Black canvases…they were the o n l y two other black canvases and this created a bond between the four of us. Minorities stick together, they just get each other. Every time we ran past each other someone would yell, “Black canvas!” Support.

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I LOVE the atmosphere of this race. Everyone is there for a fun time that is also great for your health physically and mentally and emotionally. We somehow started morphing  into gremlins during the race, that should say something about the level of fun we were having. Or the seriousness of our insanity. Note, the claws above?

After the race, groups of friends were taking fun photos. AlliJo and I started asking strangers to take our pics too, because that’s what you have to do.

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Then, we had a brilliant idea.

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PHOTOBOMBING GREMLINS!

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I spy a black canvas in the below pic…can you find her?IMG_3773

Gremlin attack below!IMG_3774

Tribal Rival:IMG_3775

Even I got bombed!

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On the way back to the car we had prime opportunity to take our Gremlinhood to the streets. Vulernable runners stuck in a single lane exit with their windows down were just asking for it. This squat is my landing of a giant gremlin jump and scream to spook the passengers…I’m so glad their reflex was to laugh and not to punch.

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Gremlin stalking:

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All in good fun.

As you can see below, being covered in color is way more fun than not being covered in color. We were stained for days, but it was well-worth it. Three weeks later and I am still Q-tipping red out of my left ear.

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The powder will definitely highlight where you sweat…embrace it.

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So here is the link to the Run or Dye website that will tell you when it comes to your city. I highly recommend signing up (A-Jo and I bought a Groupon and only had to pay half the price!) and invite your best buds to join too. I guarantee this race will find a special place in your heart. And/or your ear.

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Sneaking up on the Desert at night

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Oz and I are really close. So, when we realized a year (ish) ago that our only tent was a “two-person” tent (how small do they think people are?) we didn’t mind having to shimmy into our tent feet first and spooning all night. We aren’t large people, so the tight space had always provided a cozy sleeping environment. However, this size tent wasn’t as practical for two people going camping as other tents would have been. My parents knew of our cocoon-home and last Christmas gifted us with a beautiful four-person tent with windows and everything! Deluxe!

All that to say, last weekend was our first excuse to use our new mansion and my did we enjoy it. It was glorious to have the option of standing, to walk a few paces if we so desired and to have enough room to change without being horizontal! My favorite feature? The mesh ceiling. It allowed me this experience:

This by far was my favorite part. In the middle of the night the desert chill interrupted my sleep and I couldn’t settle back into warmth, even with my bear of a husband next to me. With no sounds around me besides nature’s whisper of a breeze and the trees cracking in their own slumber, I suddenly felt so aware of the stillness around me. I bravely opened my eyes, risking not being able to fall asleep again and was taken aback by the sight. Looking straight up into the night, the stars were my mobile and I was a child mesmerized and captured by their endless glow and patient movement. Take this in, Bee. Breathe. I closed my eyes to feel my body experiencing this moment. I was so aware. The snaps of the tent walls being pushed by the wind, the dry air poking my tired yet grateful eyes and cheeks, icing my nose, the absence of voices that had muffled this beauty. The beauty of being there, being still, being an audience of the desert in the seat of each of my senses. This is when the desert is awakens. So uninterrupted by visitors and sounds. I opened my eyes one last time to see how far the Big Dipper had moved. How far I had moved. Its a new moment. I breathe in deep the cold air. It is drenched with the scent of earth; dirt and Jojoba leaves, but this is clean and fresh. I drew my head under the thin blankets and tried to find sleep again. I was rid of the bitter cold and the tense muscles that fought it. I was calm and giddy to rediscover slumber, this time with the inspiration of the desert night ready to invade my dreams.

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With enough consumption of hot dogs, whiskey’n’coke, and vegan franks to last me till next time, thank you J-Tree for showing us a good time.

Love always,

Bee

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Whad’ya mean its March?

Seriously, I know I can’t be the only one who is still writing 2012 on my checks. I am amazed at how quickly this year is flying by. It has truly been fun though. There have been lots of parties, game nights, family birthday dinners, and crafting. Oz and I are loving living blocks away from Balboa Park and the SD Zoo! If you have not been to either of those places then cross out your next vacation and reroute pronto! Here are a few snippets of our day at the Park.IMG_3127 IMG_3085IMG_1235 IMG_3094IMG_1229DSC_8748 DSC_8782 IMG_3101DSC_8669 IMG_3114 IMG_3133 IMG_3134 IMG_1230

There are so many fun things to do in Balboa. You could easily spend the whole day there exploring the Science museum, going to an IMAX movie, holding a beautiful bird (I’ve come a long way from from fear of birds…), listening to great street music and catching a fun magic show. There are amazing gardens to walk through that will not only romance your eyes but also your nose with their sweet smells. The museums are endless and they always have great attractions coming and going. Thank goodness San Diego is sunny all year long!

Next weekend we’re going to spend time camping in Joshua Tree with some friends. I predict loads of fun will be had. Update to come.

Cheers to Sunshine,

Bee

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When being wrong is better

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I thought today was Thursday instead of Wednesday. Literally all day. I based my decisions off of the “fact” that it was Thursday and yesterday was Wednesday and tomorrow is Friday. But this worked out in my favor, HA! Now, I am well-prepared for Friday’s events AND I still have Real Thursday to finish what I couldn’t finish in Fake Thursday! Bonus!

Today {Wednesday}, I picked up Oz from work early because he has been feeling sick the past couple of days. Sick enough to feel like he can’t teach his class. This is not the norm. The flu is double-gnarly this season so when he said he felt achy I cancelled my afternoon agenda, headed straight for the store and stocked up on anything fresh, filled with vitamin C, green, red and orange, along with some ginger, meds and Airborne. No flu for this house, nuh-uh!

Something I’m learning in all of this? I love taking care of my husband. Not just because it feels good to take care of someone else, its deeper than that. There has been something in me today that has a drive to care for him and tend to his needs. I’ve been working in a gear I didn’t know I had access to. There has been a new layer of thinking to plan out what he needs tomorrow, to think to draw him a bath filled with Epsom salt, to watch what he eats, to remember when I last gave him his cold & flu pills, his airborne, to make sure he doesn’t take his NyQuil to late. And I am not exhausted from it.

I am energized and refreshed. And no, my husband is not incapable of taking care of himself. And I know I’m not the controlling type to have to do everything for him…trust me. No, today I sensed the grace of God to give me a compassion beyond my depths and ability to nurture my husband in the way he needed me today. Beyond my natural selfish ways, something clicked in me and my goal was to be available to him and go out of my way, although it was no inconvenience, to love him.  Now, my heart is full. Not as in a pat on my own back, but in the giving today, I received the blessing. I got to invest in his life in the unique way it called for today. It was also the grace of God that allowed Oz to receive it. And because of that, there has been a great, intimate and fulfilling exchange. Sometimes its hard to receive help, or care from people. But really that’s just our pride. It’s also our pride that keeps us from sacrificing for others. But we miss out. Pride cheats us of blessing. From intimacy. Relationship. Experience**. It is a stagnant and stinky place to be.

Today I thought about what it must be like to care for my children one day. How much more they need to be nurtured… And although I won’t understand the exhaustion that I hear comes with motherhood until I myself am there, I bet that same motivation and without-question kind of response to care for them will kick in by the grace of God.

Today is a great day to appreciate my husband. Without him and without our marriage, albeit difficult at times, I would definitely be missing out on some amazing revelations and blessings. God is amazing the way he works in all things. He is ever-present and always active in our lives. I suppose this post is my way of pausing to recognize Him and the sweet way he weaves through my daily little happenings in quite profound ways. His love is great, mighty and unfathomably deep.

I am so grateful for where we are in life. It is nowhere near perfect, but that is not our goal. We are where He wants us to be and He is with us. In Him there is peace, refuge and rest.

Heres to another day, my second Thursday. May it be as lively and satisfying as the first.

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Zulu.

*Oz wasn’t smoking while sick…that would be a giant no-no. Nor was I knitting tonight…although that would be acceptable. Both photos were taken at an earlier time.

**Please check out Beth Moore’s poem My Name is Pride, It has been ministering to me for years. Here is a link for you to read it for yourself.

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Tee Gee Eye Eff

Cheers to the weekend! Oz just left to his parents house to make something quite amazing for our still-bare apartment! I am so thrilled to have the new piece in our living room by next week! Pictures to come…I hear they are worth a thousand words.

This weekend we are going to celebrate two dear friends at their wedding! I love, love, love weddings. And thankfully, being a quarter of a century in age means we get to attend lots of weddings. I mean, a lot.

I’ve been getting more work lately which is such a blessing! I love working as an American Sign Language interpreter and its a bonus that I get to work with kids! Two of my greatest passions all in one job. However, today is a day off and I’ve been quite slow with getting out the door. It’s half passed three and I’m almost ready to “start” my errands. As I leave, I’m keeping the following in mind to remember what is actually important.

beauty

I am trying to cultivate a mindset that keeps things simple. I tend to over-analyze, over-think, over-decorate, save, store and hoard things I don’t need, haven’t used and won’t used. This week I am working on my closet. Having just moved, we see how much stuff we have. Clothes, shoes, bags, doilies (i know, odd…), rugs, art supplies, chotskies & other trinkets, picture frames, etc. I could honestly go on.

And on.

And on.

And on.

But by simplifying our belongings it really cleans out our thoughts and frees us from whatever hold those extras had on us, however they had it. And with all that clutter gone, my heart breathes again and I see again the many many many blessings Oz and I have in our sweet life. There is room again to appreciate the amazing gifts from our Father instead of be consumed with the unnecessary and not actually beneficial add-ons that at some point I thought I couldn’t (or shouldn’t) live without.

So here’s to an amazing weekend, glorious in all its simplicity.

 

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Sandy Eggo, the first update.

 

 

[[Oz & I visiting Lake Jennings on our way to see some puppies!]]

Well, almost two months of an OzandBee hiatus isn’t so bad right? I’ve stepped away from my previous blogs for much longer, to be honest. But I’m not back to discuss hiatus records. To keep up with being honest, I’ve actually been desiring to get back to writing again about the good and the bad and the life in between, but my procrastination mixed with the overwhelming feeling of playing “catch up” on here has been far more powerful. So today, I’m not going to worry about including every detail from our journey home till now…I’ll let them sneak in here and there as they come. Instead, I just want to keep up with this thing…I liked documenting our adventures. And even though we’re no longer traveling southern China, there are plenty of exciting trips going on in the beautiful southern California worthy of noting in the blogosphere.

It’s taken a while to feel normal again in our own state, city and community. I think the more accurate statement would be we are still trying. We don’t want to actually feel normal again…our old normal was part of the reason we ran away for three months. Old ways, old habits, old mindsets, old old, moldy and gross (to be dramatic). What we are trying to do is to learn how to walk in the new ways, new habits and new mindsets that Father helped cultivate in us while we were in LJ. We learned how to do that overseas, but to come back to such familiarity and try to function in our new dynamic is not as easy of a task as I hoped it would be. And I think with some of the things we’ve faced since being home, I’m realizing that the process our sovereign Father had us in didn’t conclude when the plane left Beijing on September 4th. He has so much more depth waiting for us to dive into. He has so much more healing and growth for us. Healing and growth that could not have happened in our beautiful, yet temporary home overseas, but can only take place in this home.

The familiar one.

The journey continues. The learning continues. And in the midst of some discouragement and struggle, my heart is genuinely relieved about it. I see that God does not wrap our amazing experiences in the best paper with the prettiest bow and set it on a shelf to glance at or simply remember…He builds on them. He widens them and deepens them. He shows us something we think is life-changing and amazing and so exciting, then says, that’s only the beginning. It’s simply  o n e piece of the incredible work of art He is designing. The difference? He sees the whole while I see only in part. And when I take my eyes off of Him, that’s when the discouragement creeps in. I’ve been looking at an unfinished product. To speak in pictures, life is more like a flowing stream than a patchy field of ponds. Thank goodness. Lets keep moving.

The places He brought me to in LJ — vulnerability, willingness and humility — are the places I know I can’t leave if I want to continue on this adventure with Him. It has been in my brokenness that He has healed and restored me. And I consider being back in SD as phase two.

The adjustments to life in SD have not all been difficult. We got to come back to an amazing community and families that love us. And although the summer weather didn’t get the memo that it’s now Fall — I can’t complain. It is truly no wonder why so many people desire vacationing here. We’ve had the chance to catch up with people we missed so dearly and have taken a couple weekend get-a-ways to ease into life here. Photo updates are bound to happen as soon as I can get to it. 🙂

Thanks to everyone who walked with us this summer. It was really encouraging to keep in touch via this blog and emails. We cherish all of your comments and the time you spent reading up on our whereabouts. So, here’s to phase two! I trust it’ll be just as exciting as the first. 😉 Our next batch of writings will most likely include the adventures of weekend trips to the mountains and (hopefully) some lakes too, my answer-to-prayer of a new job, and of course our journey through marriage and life here in SD.

Feeling less overwhelmed,

Bee

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In no particular order

So thankful for these things today

Late night/early morning singing session till someone falls asleep first

Morning Refreshment in the W o r d

E-notes from so many friends

Favorite pens and not leaving the house without them

learning new card games

Duo Duo, the pup we may sneak back to the States

Lunch dates with new friends

Live music at a cafe {I miss the melodies of SD}

A Chinese man playing Spanish guitar {right?!}

Our VPN

Our dumpling dinner together

The gorgeous sky with fluffy clouds

Little Chinese babies…need I say more?

Wannabe ‘Tart Deco’ Nail polish color

The song “Amazing One” by Rocky Green ❤ Love you friend.

Conversations about Love.

My husband. I find new reasons to be thankful for him everyday.

It feels better to fall asleep remembering all the reasons today was a great day. And it really was. I’m excited for tomorrow, but first I am going to spend quite a few hours sleeping soundly next to my Oz.

What are you thankful for today? I’d love to know.

-Bee

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