Clearly I'm really terrible at keeping up with this. I intended this to be a place where I could keep family and friends up to date on our Pacific Northwest adventures and that just hasn't happened.

I'm happy (but kind of sad too) to say that we'll be leaving this place in about a month.  I feel sad right this moment thinking about the leaving part.  We've built a life and a home for ourselves here.  We've met people we literally never would've met otherwise.  We've discovered things about ourselves and each other we never would have uncovered.  We've grown tremendously in our marriage and spiritual lives in ways we never would have experienced.  Our goals have changed. Our perspective has changed. Actually, there are very few areas of our lives that are the same as they were in August 2012 when we came here.  

I'm sad to leave the people, church, jobs, and community that have impacted us and changed us forever.  I'm sad to leave our church that is so good at loving people as they come and who teaches the Truth.  I'm sad to leave our small group whom we've grown to love. I'm sad to leave Neal's coworkers and my coworkers, not knowing if we'll ever see them again.  I'm sad to leave the beauty of this place (don't believe the lies about the rain, it really doesn't rain that much).  I'm sad to leave apartment 105 and all the memories held there from our first year and a half of marriage.

But I've also come to know that our lives have a season, and this season has been long enough for us.  This season in Washington has allowed us to build our marriage upon the foundation that we see fit.  This season has allowed us to really know each other and spend time together without the pressure of attending every single church or family event.  This season has forced us to lean on one another instead of running to Mom and Dad when things get tough.  This season has allowed us to travel to places we never would've gone otherwise.  This season has changed us and the trajectory of our lives forever.

While I am sad about this season ending, my heart is also overflowing with the happy things to come.  I'm so happy to be moving closer to family.  I'm happy that Neal will be working only 40 hours a week, at least long enough for us to catch our breath.  I'm happy to be moving somewhere familiar.   I'm happy to have the opportunity to move 3000 miles and still have the security of Neal's job.  I'm happy to be able to go "home" and experience that place in a completely different way.  

The bottom line is, we're really happy, and we're really sad to be moving.  We made the choice, so we're mostly happy. But leaving a place where SUCH big things have happened in your lives is hard.  Oh, and I almost forgot one of the most exciting parts :) Instead of flying home, we're taking this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we're driving home.  So far our route is about 4600 miles and we're basically taking the longest way around so we can see people we rarely get the chance to see.  So far this is our route:


Arizona (stopping to visit family and friends)
New Mexico
Texas (Neal wants to see something cool here. Suggestions?)
Louisiana (New Orleans)
Mississippi (visiting friends)
Indiana (visiting family)
West Virginia

So that'll be ~4600 miles and 14 states in 9ish days. Pray for us. Haha. Oh, I forgot to mention. We'll be doing this drive with Cooper (our 2 year old beagle). So, seriously, pray for us.


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