Sunday, May 17, 2009

A lot happens in a year!

It's been exactly one year since we moved from Michigan to England for Shawn's work with Kelloggs. As you can imagine, there have been ups and downs, and lots of adventure in between. Staying within your comfort zone is always the easiest thing to do, but God puts you exactly where He wants you in order to challenge you. To make you grow in ways you could not if you stayed where life is just easy. That's not to say this is difficult - living in a beautiful country with easy access to many countries most people would love to visit. But it has had its difficult moments. And we wouldn't change it for anything.

Join me as I walk through these last 12 months. And thank you for walking with me, in essence, through blogging. You have no idea how much it has helped me when I was feeling lonely or missing my friends and family. I have met great women this way and you have lifted me up in prayer and, at times, have made me laugh. Sometimes you even made me cry because of your own story. 

May, 2008
This is one of our first trips around the dam... a place I am at daily to walk Fletcher and also to talk with the Lord.

Our first trip to a castle in Conwy, Wales

We visited the Chester Zoo - what a great place!

Each year, the American Expats of Northwest England have a huge 4th of July party. It was our first holiday that we spent away from home. And, yes, I cried. What a great event it was to be a part of. All of our kids were happy that day.

We traveled north up to Edinburgh, Scotland and saw the Edinburgh castle. What a beautiful city to visit.

We missed home so much (and the sun!) and had the opportunity to head back after being in England for 3 months. We saw my cousin Anna get married to Tucker in Decatur, IN.

We visited our friends in Michigan.
(Jamie, Laura, Lizzy, and Sarah)

Cooper, Austin, and Kreigh enjoying being around each other again.

The girls had fun just blowing bubbles while playing with their cousin, Nicki.

We went to Lake Garda, Italy.

Then to Venice

And then to Paris

Fletcher took the long journey from Michigan to London and then to Lymm to be reunited with us. We had been separated for 6 months!

We headed back to the U.S. to celebrate Thanksgiving and also because Shawn missed out on the August trip. 
(Shawn, Carol, Lizzy, and Mike)

New Jersey was our first stop before Michigan. 
(Annette, Carol, Mayra, Celia, and Natasha)

Another shot of us minus Natasha. 

My nieces and nephews in NJ.

While in Indiana, my nephew, Trent, won the State Championship in football.
We had the opportunity to be there and cheer him on. What a game!

Shawn was home for a week around Christmas. We were having fun playing twister.

Our first Christmas in England.

January, 2009
Celebrating Braaten's 11 birthday.

Pastor Ralph and Dianne came to visit us. We took them to Chester which is such a quaint town.

Spending time together as we go for a walk.

Our friend, Sarah and Sydney, came to visit and we took them to Liverpool.

We just celebrated Shawn's birthday. He was actually in Michigan on his birthday so we celebrated 2 days later when he returned.

It truly has been a blessing to be here. Thanks for celebrating the last year with me and for putting up with all the pictures I post. :-)

Blessings to you and your family.



momstheword said...

I loved all the pictures! My hubby would be thrilled to visit England.

He would love to tour Europe someday but I told him he'd have to sedate me before I would set foot in an airplane that long. Ugggh.....I get airsick and can't stand flying.

Rachel said...

What a great recap!!! It will definitely be a season of life that your kids will remember FOREVER.

How long are y'all staying? Or is it indefinite?

Joyce said...

That was a great post! Loved your pics and seeing it all in a capsule like that.

Hope your week is going well...I had a nice day with my girls and am enjoying time with my sister too.

McCrakensx4 said...

What a great walk through of your year. What does he do for Kellog? I remember taking the tour there when I was much fun! Sounds like he isn't home much...does he travel a lot? Congrats on your year!

He And Me + 3 said...

Those pictures were all awesome. Isn't it amazing how quick the year flies by? Alot does happen in a year. Your family is so cute and I love the picture of the kids by the water on the beach. Gorgeous.

fullertribe said...

I hope that you know how much you encourage so many people. I'm so glad that God made you with the heart to bless so many people. I miss you terribly but have be so happy to see your journey!

Five Moms & A Blog said...

Oh my gosh, yes, ya gotta get a pedicure for that! I really do think toes look awesome for the summer all perky and pink (or red as I had mine done).

I forgot to tell you in my comment yesterday that the twister game looked like fun. Haven't played that in years!

~ Nan

E @ Scottsville said...

Wow, what a great "overview" of the year! At first I was thinking you're not in enough pictures, but once I got towards the bottom, there you were. Such a pretty gal!!!

Wow, the photo-ops over there must be amazing!!!