Wednesday, January 1, 2014

personal // a year in review... {happy 2014!}

What did you do in 2013 that you had never done before?
well. moving to a developing country is our "easy answer"; but ALSO, Jamey saw the Rocky Mountains for the first time, Lesley traveled internationally by herself, and Jamey rode the Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion multiple times in a row (anyone who has ridden it knows that's an accomplishment!).

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
having a conversation completely in Spanish with no translator AND becoming 100% fully support raised and getting released to assignment!

What are you most happy about completing?
TWO huge moves in one year! The first was moving out of our first married home, and packing up everything that was his, hers, and ours together for the first time. But the craziest part was packing it all up to be left for four years! It's hard to know what you will and won't need between now and then. ;) The second move was mastering the art of packing everything especially crucial into just 5 bags and getting them all to another country. When we got here, we then had to do things like purchase appliances! We had never done that before even in the States!

Goodbye Warrenton, Va and Covington, VA -- HELLO Honduras!
What was your biggest failure?
We learned that Jamey can't even make baked spaghetti unsupervised when the prepared noodles, sauce, and cheese are provided for him... thus proving Jamey's need for his wife's cooking.

What song will always remind you of 2013?
Okay, let's be real. Since both of us are answering this question, there is no way we could only answer with one song. Here's the list: Songs that hit close to where we were with our faith this year: "Oceans" by: Hillsong and "Whom Shall I Fear {God of Angel Armies}" by: Chris Tomlin. The country songs that absolutely remind us of home and represented country music right this year: "We Were Us" by: Keith Urban & Miranda Lambert and "Southern Comfort Zone" by: Brad Paisley. And the fun song that we listened to more than any other song this year and still never got tired of: "Catch My Breath" by: Kelly Clarkson. (And let's just say that that song made Jamey's year.)

*disclaimer: we know that two of these songs debuted at the end of 2012, but they sure had a good run in 2013 too. :)

What was your favorite meal?
Our first time going to our new favorite restaurant in the South, TUPELO HONEY CAFE!!! Lord have mercy!

The best sweet tea, biscuits & blueberry preserves we've ever had, along with a perfect
meal of mac & cheese, asparagus, bbq pork, parmesan corn-on-the-cob and sweet potato fries! 
What was your favorite TV program?
Both of us: Friends (of course) because we've made our way through all ten seasons in the past year because Jamey got the whole set for Christmas 2012 in order to take it to Honduras with us. No gift Lesley has given him has ever paid off more. :)
Jamey's: Last Man Standing (because Jamey's dad got him hooked)
Lesley's: Castle (because Jamey's mom finally succeeded at getting her completely hooked)

What was your favorite film of this year?
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; because it was way better than the first one, because it blew our minds, because it inspired us to finally read all the books, and because we got to see it in theaters in Honduras in English!

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
If saying goodbye hurts, it just means you loved well.... AND always where shoes, even inside, in Central America. (This is something that we are not quite used to yet, but we have finally decided to comply with.)

How had you positively influenced a child this year?
Lesley taught one of her nanny kiddos, Scarlett, to read (yay!) and now is moving on to teaching this sweetie, Bryan, his first words in English because he wants to learn so badly!

Scarlett (left) with her first 50 sight words that she could spell immediately just from memory;
Bryan (right) with his first page of English words that he asked to learn.
What are you most grateful for this past year?
Getting to spend some time at home before leaving the country, and especially the time we got to spend living at Jamey's parents house. Lesley even came to love all of the family pets in her own way and cried to leave them. :)

What restaurant did you eat at most often?
Chickfila .. Jamey would make us wait to eat until he found one of them while traveling for support raising! And the we also had to hunt one down while in Colorado so Jamey could get his sweet tea fix. (Mission accomplished!)

Did you see any art shows or theatrical productions this year?
We finally had time to go see our first play as a married couple that wasn't produced by the local middle school! We saw the stage production of Steel Magnolias at one of the oldest community theatres in the country on our one year anniversary trip. It was awesome! (And Jamey liked it too.)

Did you attend any weddings or major personal events for friends and family in 2013?
Yes! Three weddings this year, and one of us participated in each one of them. First we had Jenna & Brandon's and Alex & Nicole's, that Lesley was so excited and grateful to be the wedding coordinator for! Then Jamey was one of the groomsmen in Matt & Allison's summer wedding. Also, we returned to Blacksburg to see some sweet friends graduate from the a-ma-zing Virginia Tech.

Three wonderful weddings that we LOVED being a part of!!
Did you have any surgeries this year?
Jamey had his wisdom teeth removed! And he tried to convince Lesley the whole way home that she didn't know the right way to drive us back to our apartment in Warrenton. Too funny.

What did you wear often in your closet?
Jamey: His $10 dollar  gray shorts find at TJ Maxx that he never took off again.
Lesley: She finally caved and bought her first pair of Crocs for Honduras. They are even more comfortable than walking barefoot! 

What did you really, really, really get excited about?
Lesley: launching our blog and getting a lot better at learning to do it AND a years worth of recipes recreated successfully -- there were some big triumphs in that category this year!
Jamey: our family beach vacation in July. He talked about it for months before and then when the day came to leave for the beach, we're pretty sure we could not have left early enough in the morning for Jamey's liking.
Both of us: finally making it back to Lane Stadium for a Hokie football game as alumni!

Our family vacation at the beach!
Where did you feel most connected to God this year?Just the feeling of being surrounded by other missionaries and hearing so much from the Lord at Mission Training International.

What was one memorable gift you gave this year and who was it too?
Actually successfully giving Jamey's dad a surprise retirement and 60th birthday party without him knowing about it AND creating his big present of scrapbooks of all of his newspaper clippings from over the years, all right under his nose!!

What was a fun surprise you had this year?
This is so random, but we were moving to Honduras just 5 and a half weeks before Christmas, so we weren't planning on purchasing a Christmas tree because we were going to be putting a new house together and buying so many basic necessities already. However, we were pleasantly surprised that because we bought a love-seat and two stuffed chairs for our living room area, the store here gave us a free 4 foot little Christmas tree and a gift card for a some ornaments for it. We have enjoyed it so much that we just don't want to take it (or our precious Christmas wreath) down!

Looking into 2014... what does it hold for you?
1 // Living Water International will be joining the team in Choluteca and Jamey will be working alongside them
2 // We will be "hosting" the Virginia Tech annual mission trip in March for the first time from Honduras
3 // Finishing our language and cultural studies in Choluteca, and moving to Danli, Honduras in the spring
4 // Attending our first big GCLA conference as missionaries in Honduras (during Easter!)
5 // Our second wedding anniversary! :)

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