Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saying Goodbye...

This is my final blog from Okinawa. I can't believe we're leaving tomorrow! The last three years on this island have been quite the roller coaster ride. We have experienced some very difficult times including a six and a half month deployment, several shorter deployments resulting in John being away from home a total of nineteen months, missing several important family events in the US, and a disheartening loss. Through those difficult times I am so blessed to have had an incredible group of girlfriends and we have had an amazing church family. It hasn't been all bad though, I finished my Master's degree, we have had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places, and of course the joy of our favorite little souvenir, our sweet baby boy due in just a few months! Our marriage has grown stronger than ever and we know if we could get through the craziness of our time in Okinawa, we can get through anything!

Here are a few picture of our last days in Okinawa...

Our house is all packed up and our things have been shipped to Arizona.

We had to live like this for a few days before we could move into a hotel!

The first picture is of us the day we moved out of our concrete bunker!

As much as we hated literally living in a concrete home, they are able to withstand the insane weather of Okinawa! Of course we had to go out with a bang and have one last typhoon before we left. Three days before our departure, Super Typhoon Songda hit the island with winds that blew up to 156 mph! I am so thankful the Japanese know how to construct buildings that are able to withstand those winds!

Speaking of awesome forces of nature, my husband received the Navy Commendation Medal on his last day of work. Did you like that transition? I think he'll get a kick out of that! Ha ha! He is an outstanding Marine and I love when he is recognized for it!

To continue with the Marine theme, I have been very involved with the Marine Officer's Spouses Club for the last two years and served on the Executive Board this year. Here are most of the Board members at our final luncheon with a "Mad Hatter tea party" theme!

I have also been very involved in the church and the worship ministry. This is the band and some of the singers on my last Sunday.

Finally, these women have been the ultimate support system for me. We were so excited to spend our last evening together at the hospital meeting the newest member of the group, baby David Michael! He is perfect! I think I can handle this!

Thanks to all of you for your love, prayers and support through these last three years.

We are so excited to be closer to our family again, but will certainly miss the wonderful people we have met here on this island.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

For the Love of Marines

It seems as if we have had a jam-packed schedule the last month or so. We've had several Marine Corps events to attend. Sorry I have been a little behind posting these pictures!

John's unit won squadron of the year for the Marine Corps Aviation Association.

I must also add that he was nominated for the Command and Control officer of the year! Sorry if you don't speak military lingo, but it was a pretty big deal!

John and his friend Matt doing their typical pose. I have no idea where this came from, but I think they have to have a picture like this at every event!

A few weeks later his squadron hosted a Dining Out for their Marines and their spouses.

A Dining Out is basically a formal ceremony with dinner that generally has a sense of fun and is intended to promote camaraderie. There are "rules", and generally many of them are funny. If you get caught breaking a rule you run the risk of being fined and are sent to take a drink from "the grog", a fairly disgusting combination of alcohol and pickle juice, croutons and who knows what else! A few of the Marines were punished by being forced to sing songs or dance in front of everyone. A good time was had by all!

Finally, as is always the case in the Marine Corps, someone is always leaving. We attended a Change of Command for his boss' boss.

My favorite Marine was the narrator for the ceremony but I was sitting in a place where I couldn't get a good picture of him.

Afterwards there was a reception and a few of us stayed later for some karaoke. This man is a surprisingly good rapper!

Who knew?!? I'll have to show you a video one day to prove it!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Baby Franklin

We found out this past week that baby Franklin is a boy!

Seeing him on a more high tech ultrasound made it so much more real (even though half the time I had no idea what I was looking at!). He doesn't have a name yet, that is the current debate in the Franklin house. Fortunately we have a few more months to decide! They changed my due date again (sorry I forgot to tell most of you that!). Now it is September 11 because he's bigger than what they expected. I knew I was further along than they were saying!

Anyway, my wonderful friends threw me a shower in honor of this little man. Since we are leaving so soon (4 weeks), they wanted to do a little something to celebrate our little bundle of joy. So my closest friends came and brought some amazing gifts.

My Japanese friend brought him a yukata, which is a summer kimono. So cute!

I am truly blessed to have these wonderful women in my life.

It makes me so sad that I won't be near all of them once he is born. But I can't start with all of the sniffling and tears yet, I know once they start, they might not stop for a while! For now I am just so thankful to be blessed with some fabulous friends and this sweet little baby!