The second half of 2011 brought us back to the States.
We came back in August and moved into our new house that God provided for us through our awesome friends the Riu's! It was a hard adjustment living back in the USA. We cultured shocked pretty badly but we made it through. I can't even describe what we went through. It was just this feeling of not wanting to be here, but forcing ourselves to be. We wanted to quit our jobs and school but knew it wasn't God's timing to be overseas. It was almost a season of depression, but we fought through it so that we could be used by God no matter where we lived.
Benaiah became a part of our small family and we fell in love with him at first sight! We got him two days after we got back for Peru! Looking back, he was such a little thing when we got him even though we thought he was a giant. He's gotten so big since then and has so much more growing to do.
We started our first Perspectives class and fell in love. I won't stop talking about it until you take it. ;)
We celebrated Kendall's birthday for the first time as a married couple. Benaiah was his birthday present.
In September our sweet and dear friends Caleb and Emily Riu got married! It was such a sweet ceremony and we are so glad we could have been a part of it. We love these two dearly and are so thankful for the time we've had getting to know them and become friends. Both Riu couples became like brothers and sisters this year.
Thanks to Emily and their wedding, I got close to these girls. Logan and Raegan. We met at Mattie and Tim's wedding but over the festivities for Caleb and Emily's we grew a friendship and I pray it continues throughout 2012 and beyond. I'm so thankful for the new friends God puts in our lives over the years. Emily's dad says she was "a gather of good people" and that she gathered all these people together so that we would all be able to minister to each other. That couldn't be more true.
Aren't they beautiful?
Our friends Mandy and Aron Arceneaux also got married in September. I've known Aron almost my whole life, but he was always "way older" than me. Now that I am older, things are different and we actually hang out as friends, instead of him being my "teacher." haha. They are always hilarious to be around and hopefully 2012 hold many fun times for us together. :)
I played on the Lamar Club soccer team.
I also played on a Co-Ed team.
I made a few trips to Denton to see my friends that I miss so much. I am so glad that even through distance we are still able to keep our friendships going and stay close.
For Halloween in October, we were lumberjacks at our church's fall festival. We dressed up with our friends Caleb & Emily and Jace & Leslie. We were the couples without children who dressed their dogs up. You know those couples, that's us. :)
The first day of November started out with a bang. Literally. My car was totaled by an accident. I have yet to get a new car, praying that changes in 2012 before school starts. I have a 20 minute commute to school!
My best friend and soul sister got engaged in November. I drove six hours to surprise her and I was more than thrilled to be there for her! Her and Kip are getting married in February and I cannot wait for this beautiful ceremony to happen.
I ran the Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving.
I made another trip in December, a month later, to see my old roommate Kari and her boyfriend Jim get engaged. I got to surprise her too, it was such a sweet moment and I am so glad I got to be there. I know she was waiting for a looong time for this to happen. I told her when it did happen though it would be perfect. It was just that...perfect.
In December we said goodbye to our friend Jace as he is leaving for the Air Force to become a Pararescue Jumper! We are so proud of Jace and will be praying for him every step of the way. He actually leaves today, but his awesome wife Leslie threw him a party in December..
December was hard towards the end. We lost Emily on December 22 in a terrible car wreck. Her and Caleb were married for just 3 short months. The Lord has blessed us with wonderful friendships that have helped us get through this, including Emily's wonderful family. They have been such a testimony of the Lord's comfort and peace. I thought we would be there to minister to them during this tough time, but honestly they have ministered to us. I've lost family members before but this was the first time I've lost a close friend and I have to say it is completely different and much harder. Through it all God is still good and He has sent His comforting arms. It is hard knowing that Emily won't physically enter 2012 with us, but her memory will be forever kept alive. I could never forget her.
We celebrated our first Christmas together. It was such a bittersweet day, but I can say I treasured Kendall more than usual.
I played in my High School's Alumni game. We had a benefit game for a former player Marlee who has stage 4 throat and tongue cancer. We played the current varsity team and raised money for sweet Marlee. We lost, but I did score a goal. :)
I got to have New Years Eve lunch with some friends from Denton in my neck of the woods. :)
We ended the New Year with close friends of ours and Emily's. We brought it in with hope. Hope that
even though we lost a dear friend, she brought us together for reasons we may not know yet.
Through it all we still see that the Lord is good and he brings us comfort. I can't wait to see how he moves this year in 2012. It is going to be another busy year, but He will see us through it all....