Our 1 Year Anniversary!

(Recent pic of our family celebrating Avinelle’s 3rd Birthday with friends at a local pool club- Her Bday was June 20, but we waited until June 30 to make it work with everyone’s schedule 😉)

Well on July 6, 2017 we arrived in Almaty, Kazakhstan, moving our family and lives half way across the world. This last Friday we just passed that date and it feels as if it has completely flown by. Now obviously we haven’t physically been here for a full year with various travels over the last year, but our “home base” as you call it has been Almaty, Kazakhstan for a year now. I have some various thoughts on this last year.

  1. I still don’t know where to find some things. And if I did, it may not be there anymore, and you gotta look somewhere else (aka natural cleaning product, bacon, plain yogurt- these are things that tend to “move around” and be available at different stores) We shop fairly consistently at a couple of stores, but there are still a couple of ones I would like to visit and find so called “unfindable” items at HAH 😏
  2. We wish we were further along in our Russian understanding/speaking/knowledge. Every foreigner I have ever talked to has ALWAYS said they wished they were better and further along than they currently were. (Unless you dedicate like language learning as your FULL TIME JOB, but we ain’t got time for that! And those of you who DO that- I am not judging you, good for you because it’s hard and intense brain work!)
  3. We are about to have a Baby! This one is a no-brainer- DUH, I am huge. Here we are a year later and about to have a 2nd kid, we are excited and with our fertility struggles over the years, we take them as they come! But we are about to have a Baby, in a FOREIGN country, at a clinic where my Dr or nurses won’t be speaking English (I’ll bring a translator but still), where we BARELY are beginning to understand the culture- people have been saying that I’m crazy to have not had this Baby in the States. But honestly we didn’t want to be gone so long (getting passport in the US for a Baby is minimum 6 weeks plus it’s not recommended to fly after 36 weeks internationally so thats at least two months being gone).
  4. We thought we would have had a different visa situation by now. But it’s okay, this is something we are continually working on and working out and will hopefully get figured out soon. But we are being flexible, and it’s an adventure- right??
  5. We haven’t started building our big greenhouse yet. We thought a year in we would have at least “broken ground” on the new greenhouse and be in the process of building. But this is something that is also okay. One thing Andrew has been processing with me about is that in the GRAND scheme of things, this is a tiny little time fragment- yes, even a year, two, three years could be a tiny bit of time and we are learning that the delay is okay. In looking back, I feel it is better we have not started the building project yet because we’ve been able to resource ourselves elsewhere.
  6. My main and final point- RELATIONSHIP! Wow, can I say that our friendships have deepened, strengthened and we HAVE gained some understanding just by being here over the last year. There are too many to count, and this, my friends, will always rule over any agenda, task, or goal, because that is what life is all about-let’s enjoy it!!!

In finality, check out mine and Andrew’s “whiteboard” meeting we had today- lots of stuff with schedule, priorities, goals, vision, etc and see where we are at and where we are headed. We didn’t intentionally write all this up at one year and headed into the next year (mostly it was my idea since we are about to have another Baby and our schedule will change JUST a bit 😉, as well as some shifts in Andrew’s involvement in different areas) So many exciting things and I’m thankful that God helps us to fit all the pieces of the “puzzle of our life” together to not just get stuff done but to be in intentional relationship with those around us. ❤

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