Monday, December 30, 2013

The Year in Review - Part 1

It was around this time last year that I was really dreading the New Year.  I knew that as soon as I turned the calendar to January the countdown to our departure from Russia would start.  There were also so many unknowns regarding our future.......I knew 2013 would be a test of my faith.

I thought it would be fun to recap the year month by month.

Happy New Year of course. 

January is a festive month for Russians. Russians take the first 10 days of January off to celebrate the New Year. In the above picture the boys and I headed to Kuibashev Square to enjoy all the New Year decorations and ice sculptures. It was really cold this day and I remember my toes felt like they were going to fall off.


Women's Conference

The biggest highlight of this month was the women's conference with Pam Hardy. So many months of preparation went into these two days. The first day of the conference also happened to be my birthday! I turned 39.........the last year of me being in the 30s!!!


What a difficult month this was. Our days in Samara were getting shorter. This is the month where a lot of the good-byes began. The times we spent with friends were sweeter and we hung on a little longer to the minutes. 
This good-bye to our teammate came a lot sooner than we ever thought it would.

The play dates were longer and more often.

Saying good-bye to our teammate and friend at our wives' group.

The days were getting more and more stressful as we started selling our furniture, giving things away, and packing. And the good-byes still hurt as I write this.

Our neighbors, teammates, and friends.

One last evening with the men from the program.

Our dearest friends since the very beginning.

And these ladies......well words will never express how much they mean to me.

The remaining teammates who were not only friends but also family.

Back in California and the unknowns begin. We were grateful to be back in California but there were truly so many unknowns at this time. At this point we really just needed time to think, relax, and take in all that has transpired the last 8 1/2 years of our lives.  I really wasn't myself this month. I had so many emotions going through my mind. I missed my friends in Samara, I missed our way of life in Samara, I felt guilty, I felt bad for leaving, I was happy to be back at church, I was excited to be with family, and I was also so worried about our future. I was a wreck but by God's grace and strength I was able to get out of bed every day and still praise Him.

My niece graduated from Heritage High School

So fun being with family once again.

This happened more than once.


A much need family trip to San Diego.

To be continued.................

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