Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Day of Thanksgiving!

On this Thanksgiving day, I have so much to be thankful for! This past year has been a whirlwind. I remember this New Years eve we spent in a hotel in Salt Lake City on the way home from California for Christmas. It was finally the year we had been waiting for for 5 long years!

So today I am thankful for many things, first and foremost I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am who I am because of his love for me and can't imagine one minute without him. A crazy thing happened to me earlier this year and it took me weeks to realize it was God blessing my life. As some of you know, I totaled my car in January and it seemed to go from bad to worse with the incident with the test drive of the Mazda where the accelerator stuck and I really thought we were going to die. In the end we ended up making money off my totaled car, and I was able to save enough to go home in March and not have to work until we got here to Indiana. It's so crazy to think that God would bless us in a car accident, but I wasn't injured and He was blessing us financially in the end.

I am thankful for the United States Air Force. Without them, we would never have had a chance to come to Bloomington, Indiana. We didn't know what we were going to find when we got here since we moved here without stepping foot in the state. But what we found here is an amazing church, High Rock, and some loving and wonderful friends. Also, Jason is getting a great education for his Masters in Journalism at Indiana University without having to work and balance a family, work and school all at once. He is able to focus solely on his studies (and me, of course). I have been blessed with a job that is very low stress and I am able to get time off pretty easily. So, Air Force, thank you. (I probably won't be saying it too much, so soak it in haha)

I am thankful for my family. The family I have had for 25 years and the family that I have made this past year. My parents have been my rock through a lot of hard times and they have always supported me in all my adventures. I am sure they never would have imagined their little girl moving 1,000 miles away at the young age of 20 and then another 1,000 miles away a few years later. But they never once discouraged it. I am also thankful for my new family, Chuck and Conni. They are such a loving and wonderful family and I can not imagine marrying into a better family. I look forward to many years of family gatherings and holidays with my new family. This year I also became an aunt! My gorgeous niece, Zoey Ann Whitbeck was born! My sister in law, Stephanie and brother, Craig, brought Zoey into the world and our lives on April 11, 2011. She is the most precious bundle of joy and I am so thankful to have all three of these crazy Whitbeck's in my life (even if we aren't able to see them too often).

Finally, I am thankful for my husband, Jason. We started talking 6 years ago today. He was at home in Washington with his family and I was home in California with mine. The past six years have been the best of my life. Even through the touch times at USAFA and the first year together apart. We made it through the unthinkable and are still going strong! On June 25th I married my best friend. It was the day I dreamed about my entire life and nothing could have made the day better. I love him will all my heart and I can not wait to spend the rest of my life with him. We have a lot of tough times ahead of us like deployments for him, raising kids, moving around the country (or even world!). But I know with him by my side and the Lord at the center of our relationship we can handle anything!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"The riches of Your love will always be enough"

God is amazing! I think about how He has blessed me in ways I can't even imagine. On Sunday, Scott (our Pastor at High Rock) was talking about how God will show you something you want or need that you never even thought of. That happened to us this past weekend. We had a retreat with High Rock on Friday and Saturday and it was wonderful! Jason and I were looking forward to this weekend for a while. The sessions were amazing, but it was fellowship and meeting new people that stuck out to me. Jason and I are planning to spend the Holidays together here in Indiana instead of heading home to either California or Washington. I was planning to make Thanksgiving dinner for just the two of us and spend the day home. Then we met the wife of an Air Force Officer who just moved here to go to school with her husband and two young kids. It was so shocking and wonderful to meet another Air Force couple. The husband, Paul, is an Academy grad and his wife, Lisa, is a former AF officer from OTS, but got out a few years back. While we were at the retreat, Lisa turned to us and said that God was laying on her heart to invite us over for Thanksgiving. At that moment I realized that as much as I had been telling myself I was ok with it being just the two of us for the holidays, I was not. I almost started crying and had to immediately thanking God for knowing what was best for me.

All in all, the weekend was more than I could have ever expected! I got to spend time with some people who I knew but don't get to talk to very often. The camp had lots to do, but we didn't have too much free time to enjoy them. The one thing we did do it find the "jumping pillow" which was this inflatable blob that comes up from the ground. I'll post pictures below.

Jason and I are going to try and send out a Christmas card with a letter on all that is happening here (for those who don't read this... and for those who do). Our lives will be crazy while Jason is still in the Air Force so it will be hard to keep up with all the family and friends on a regular basis. We should find out where we are going next in February or March. It is going to be excited but also really sad when we have to leave our life here. It's something we have to learn to deal with being in the Air Force. It's such a blessing, rather than an inconvenience, to have such a rich life somewhere that it breaks your heart to have to leave.

Jason has been working hard in school and putting out a bunch of news stories! Here is his latest story . Yes, there is an "Occupy Bloomington" movement here at a public park downtown...

To end this pretty long blog, here are some pictures from this past weekend at the retreat :)

Bonfire! Cooking hot dogs and smores.

Before breakfast, such a gorgeous morning.

Jumping Pillow!!

Chapel where we had our sessions.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Birthday and Canoes!

I can't believe it has been almost a month since I last blogged. A whole lot has happened since my last update. My birthday was October 23rd and Jason had told me that he was going to take me out somewhere but didn't tell me where. He told me to have my bag packed on Thursday night and he would tell me what I would need. Well I got off work on Wednesday, came home and started to get ready for small group. Jason walked in from the garage and told me that he had to work this weekend and we wouldn't be able to do anything but it was going to be ok because my mom came to Indiana!! Jason had planned the entire thing, got me off of work on Friday and had her fly out for a long weekend. I was SO surprised! I have a really bad habit of figuring out surprises, but I had no clue about this one. We had an amazing weekend together, just hanging out and showing her Bloomington. The only problem was that the time was too short =/ Here are some pictures from our weekend!

Right after she showed up. We celebrated by going to Steak N Shake.

Walking around the IU campus.

School of Journalism.

Oliver Winery.

My birthday dinner at Malibu Grill

Last weekend we had an amazing time canoeing in Brown County with Michael and Bekah! I was a little worried it was going to be a cold day, but it ended up being perfect! We packed a lunch and some wine and canoed down the creek until we found a good place to stop and relax. I had never done anything like that before and it was so much fun! I want to go again before we leave Indiana next summer.

Bekah and Micheal :)

I can't believe it is already November! We aren't going to travel anywhere this Holiday season. We are staying in Indiana for our first Christmas as husband and wife. It is also going to by my first Christmas away from home, but I know we will make it work. Being in the military, I know we will have more of these in the future. Especially with babies in the future ;)

The weekend of November 11th and 12th we are headed to a retreat with our church! I don't know what to expect, but I know it will be amazing. In the short amount of time we have lived here, I have seen God work in both me and Jason in extraordinary ways! I know He won't stop now and won't stop even as we have to move away from all the wonderful people we have met here.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." - Deuteronomy 31:6