Saturday, 12 July 2014

Our "One Day..."

My last post was a real and raw account of what we experienced at the end of last year. It took me a couple of months to put into words what happened and how I felt about it.  The amazing thing is that when I said it out loud and put it out there, I felt a peace and comfort that everything would be okay. I also had a lot of support and love come my way. Never did I imagine that we would be so blessed to be able to say that our "one day" came soon after that post.

So onto our next big adventure... a baby girl coming this November, who will be born in Malaysia. She is due two days after Jaxson's fourth birthday. We couldn't be more excited and of course I've already started dreaming up all the fun girly crafty things I can make for her. 

In other news, we've been spending precious quality time with family and friends in the states. It's been 18 months since we've seen family and we been soaking up the love, laughs and making memories since we arrived June 6th.  It has been fun to tell our friends and family in person when they see our baby bump. Now, knowing that new baby is a GIRL it is all the more sweeter.  

Of course, we had to take our opportunity to have our dear friends Rob and Grey (Shades of Grey Photography) photograph our family in this special time. Here are some of the shots from the photo shoot. I'll be posting about our summer travels when we're back in Kuala Lumpur just in time for the start of the 2014-2015 school year. As of right now we are planning on staying in KL two more years and feel very good about this decision. 

~Until Next Time~ 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

I feel ready to share this...

I know this will be a hard post to write and a hard post to read, but I think it's all part of the healing process that happens when we go through something tough.  I often wonder if I really "deal" with things. I remember the whole time we were packing, selling things and saying our goodbyes before this big journey, I felt like my heart wasn't feeling anything. It was like the world was spinning around me and I couldn't let myself feel any emotion.

Well, I feel like that now. As I sit here and type, I can calmly and with little emotion say that in December I experienced the pain that a lot of woman experience. Don't get me wrong, I definitely shed my fair share of tears and screamed out in agony during the whole ordeal, but now; right now I can say these things and my heart feels guarded. Is that a sign that I'm okay? Is that a sign that I don't "deal"? I really can't say.

For now, I want to share our story and in doing so hope to continue to grow, heal and help others.

A couple weeks, maybe even a week after Jaxson's 3rd birthday we found out I was pregnant! We couldn't have been more excited. I was told a long time ago that I would have trouble getting pregnant. I was told that I had PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and that I would probably need fertility treatments when the time came. We felt so blessed and lucky when we found out I was pregnant with Jaxson. It's always in the back of my mind that things will not be "easy" when it comes to me and pregnancy. So you can imagine that I was ecstatic in November that we were lucky enough to be having another baby. We celebrated Thanksgiving with so many good friends and thanked the Lord for the blessing of another baby.

A couple weeks passed, I felt odd. I began spotting. I tried not to panic. I tried not to worry and I did a lot of self talk. We visited a doctor at the big fancy medical center here. The doctor was very matter of fact and spouted off all the statistics on miscarriages, but never directly told me that was happening.  I knew something was wrong when I went and was only measuring 5 weeks. I should have been closer to 8 weeks, but again I tried to tell myself I miscalculated and my timing was off.

The same day, I had a wonderful night with some amazing woman that I've come to love here to celebrate my 31st birthday. The next day I began miscarrying. It was a public holiday so luckily I wasn't at work. It was physically, emotionally and spiritually draining. In the midst of it all, I came to realize even more that I have the most incredibly strong husband. He stayed with me, held me, and wiped my tears. All I could do was scream why, why, why?!

Reality hit and the pity party had to stop. Fact: This is something a lot of woman go through. A lot. More than I have every imagined and it is something that isn't really talked about. I felt so much love and support by the woman here. Most of which shared, they have gone through it as well. It is sad and it is heartbreaking, but it is something that is statistically quite normal. It's still hard to say that and I still think well maybe if I would have.... fill in the blank with a million thoughts that still run through my head at times. However, at the end of the day I know that God's timing is perfect. I feel comfort knowing that. I feel closer to Keith than I ever have. I feel like I have friends who have become family here. I now have a doctor at the not so fancy, more local medical facility that I adore. We will not be kept from our families trying to deliver a new baby in June, but instead will be able to travel home this summer to spend quality time with the people we love most.

Thank you for letting me share. Thank you for your constant prayers of love and support. Maybe that's why I feel my heart is guarded here, why I feel like I have emotional strength. I think I'm strengthened in the love and support that is constantly wrapped around me, both near and from afar. I can also only think that through all things God strengthens us, even in times of trouble and pain He is there making things beautiful. Beautiful Things by Gungor

The days when Jaxson asks about the "baby in my belly" I am able to smile with a divine peace and think to myself and say, "one day."

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Gong Xi Fa Cai ~ Happy New Year

It's been almost a year since our last post. This makes me feel mixed emotions. I am mad that we did not stay on top of posting while our adventures were fresh in our mind, but I am also appreciative of the busy, somewhat stressful year we made it through. Now having been through the last year and reflecting back, I am thinking that our perspective may be different and that is not always a bad thing. We've grown, we've been challenged and we are different than we were a year ago. The last couple of months have been rough to say the least, but more on that later. I am feeling more revived, more motivated and positive this "new year" than I did on 1-1-14. So, maybe I was just celebrating the wrong New Year this year, luckily it's never too late. So, for this Chinese New Year and for a pivotal moment in my life this morning I want to be better about sharing our life... the good, the bad, the ugly and the beauty that we embrace each day. Thank you for your continued love and support through it all.

Read more here... It's a "New" Year

It's a "NEW" Year

A friend and co-worker from the past, gave me one of the highest compliments today. She said, “I was on her list of most favorite people and I inspired her to be fearless.”  It really resonated with me and was one of those moments I had to make time standstill. I wanted to savor that my choices, my words of encouragement and my advice had an impact. We very rarely are fortunate enough to know if we are actually making a difference in someone’s life or will have an effect on the path they will take. You hope, especially as a teacher, that you are truly impacting little lives. Today I realized we all have the power and potential to impact any life around us.

So with that said, it’s time to get back to sharing about our adventure.  I want to be fearless in what I share. I want to be raw, real and I want to be completely honest… even when it’s scary. We struggle a lot here, but all in ways that are growing us into better versions of ourselves. Sometimes we fear letting people know that it isn’t always this amazing adventure; that real life still happens.

We have had hurts and heartbreak. We’ve been taken advantage of and we feel guilt about being so far away daily. However, amidst all of this we truly know that we are supposed to be here. We know that we are choosing a path much different than anyone in our family. This is scary, but also exciting. If we so choose, each day can be an adventure. It can be a test of our patience, our ability to effectively communicate and deal when things will never work out the way you think they should.  We can easily go out and find “culture” and can seek out opportunities to learn new things or meet people who are completely different than ourselves. 

I am energized. I am inspired to continue to share our story, not necessarily for others, but for ourselves. We need to be constantly reflecting on how we’ve grown,  on the experiences both good and bad that are shaping us. We need to appreciate every bit of it. Each photograph, each memory and each interaction capture the beauty of what we are doing. It is also important that one day Jaxson will be able to read our about journey and realize a big part of this move was for him.  We want him to have an expanded worldview as he grows up, have friends from all over the world, never see skin color and grow up just loving people. Because after all that is what we are here to do… to love God, love ourselves and love people.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Taipei, Taiwan

Unfortunately, we (i.e. Keith) procrastinated a little too long on this post and I am eager to post about our Bali trip while it is still fresh in my mind. We still need to write about our three week whirlwind adventure back to the states, including a quick rendezvous with my brother and sister-in-law to Singapore during their honeymoon. Oh, how life loves to get in the way. In any case, I will do my best to recap our Chinese New Year holiday spent in Taipei. I have to say that we LOVED Taipei and as you read I think you'll see why... 

This was our "first" trip out of Malaysia since completing our time in tax jail except, of course, flying back home in December. We were so lucky that our friends invited us along. It made for a less stressful and more enjoyable time. We had a few hiccups at the airport with visas and booking errors, but alas we were finally on our way...



Nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby with her mama

... to Taipei! 

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Ubud, Indonesia ~ Part 2

We arrived in Ubud. Ubud had a completely different feel than the trendy surfer beaches in the southern part of Bali. Ubud has a historical, serene energy that you feel as soon as you step onto the streets. I loved it! 



Our Little Piece of Heaven

We stayed at the Mansion Resort in Ubud. I would stay there again in a heartbeat. You felt as if you were on a Bollywood movie set and tucked away in every corner were small delights and surprises. It was a true unexpected escape like walking in a cross between the Secret Garden and Alice in Wonderland. 





We had just as much fun exploring the hotel grounds as we did in downtown Ubud! 

Monkey Forest 




Lunch and wifi at Clear Cafe


The second day in Ubud, we hired a driver to take us around on a "temple tour." I know I certainly will not remember the names of these, but each was lovely and unique. 


I think this was the Elephant Temple.




Another temple...

and another temple...


We had a wonderful local lunch overlooking the rice terraces and stopped off at a spice garden.


Not sure what day we are up to now, but our last full day in Ubud was spent on a bike tour with Eco Bali Bike Tours. I would recommend the company, but NOT our guide (Win). He was quite physical and slapped me across the arm twice. 

After the van picked us up...

we started with breakfast looking out at the volcano Mount Batur.



 Ready to ride! 

Next we stopped at a Tea and Coffee Plantation where the boys tried the infamous Luwak coffee. (a.ka. poop coffee)



Tour of a traditional Balinese compound and rice fields...


We ended our Bali trip with a fancy, but worth every penny, dinner at Bridges restaurant in Ubud and a shopping trip in the Ubud market. 




I love this piece! It perfectly captures my feelings on Bali.




On onto the last day... so sad to leave! 


I really have loved all of our travels and every place is special, but Bali will always hold a place in my heart. 

Beautiful, beautiful Bali.