30 June 2008

Coming Home!

I just booked my flights!! :) I'll be coming home for a month this fall, and can't wait to see everyone!! If I don't get to see you this go around... Gabe and I will be back next year!! :)

I'll be visiting DC, Destin, and Jacksonville (and maybe Birmingham).... so let me know where you'll be, and hopefully we'll get to catch up!!

We love and miss everyone!!!

27 June 2008

Fellowship and Lessons Learned

Oh how I've missed Christian fellowship. Being in Germany makes you incredibly thankful for the little things in life, as well as the things you never realized you truly need. Christian fellowship is something that I've taken advantage of over the years, not realizing the necessity that it is. I need fellowship. Every part of me, to my core, needs to be fed and spurred on by fellowship.

This evening one of the ladies of our chapel invited the "4 Polish gals" (2 of us are married with deployed spouses and don't plan on kids any time soon; 2 are single soldiers who graduated from college the same year as me) over for dinner. We all headed over there around 1800 (6 p.m.) and only left at 2230 due to work tomorrow morning. We discussed everything from movies with Christian and atheist undertones, to books, the mission field, and culture. Overall it was a lively discussion that challenged each of our ways of thinking. We all come from different backgrounds, are in different places in our Christian walks, and have studied different things along the way. It was so much fun to be a part of those discussions again! It got me reminiscing about college and going out to Barnes & Noble, grabbing coffee and a pile of books, and just talking with Eady or any one in the Jax crew. This is where I'm supposed to be. I know it!

I tried so hard to make things work and truly make each of the ladies in our FRG my friends and maintain fellowship with them. There was a hard lesson learned there. Fellowship belongs among Christians; it's to encourage and challenge us in our walk and our faith. You can't have fellowship, true Christian fellowship, with non-Christians. It's just not possible. So, I will always be there to listen and encourage them, to be a friend, but my home is at the chapel. My heart is with the Christian body. My love is for Christ.

25 June 2008

Our travels...

I posted about my travels, and since I started it while Vicki was here, it posted as if I finished it that day...... so look at the post under the Pictures!

24 June 2008


So, I just figured out how to share all my Facebook photo albums with ya'll!! Hopefully everyone will be able to see the pictures!!!



Paris with Vicki: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2094682&l=d150b&id=25104255

Polish Mission Trip: 2 albums...


FRG trip to Garmisch: Skiing in the ALPS!

Strassburg/Cologne: http://www.facebook.com/album.phpaid=2093218&l=40b44&id=25104255

R&R Travels: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2093216&l=69893&id=25104255

Gabe in Afghanistan: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2090994&l=da3a3&id=25104255

Thanksgiving in Paris: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2073144&l=7d6ac&id=25104255

Traveling Europe with my family, birthday trip: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2067922&l=af9fb&id=25104255

Belgium: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2065766&l=216f9&id=25104255

EOD promotion and ball: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2061911&l=10bfc&id=25104255

Neuswanstein castle with Gabe: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2061910&l=df1b0&id=25104255

Paris with Gabe: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2060665&l=c5a6b&id=25104255

Roy & Eady's wedding: 2 albums



OUR HONEYMOON: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2037175&l=6b003&id=25104255




Kat & John's Wedding: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2019127&l=3d828&id=25104255

... College photos...

My football bridal shower: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2016191&l=7133c&id=25104255

Spring Break: New Orleans: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2013725&l=e45a9&id=25104255

Hiking in SC: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2013165&l=111b6&id=25104255

SuperBowl Footall: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2010953&l=3cf72&id=25104255

JCL LifeGroup: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2006360&l=64e74&id=25104255

18 June 2008

Traveling with Vicki...

Vicki and I had an amazing time in Paris! Even though this was round 3 for me, we experienced and saw so many unique things that set this trip apart.

Paris was amazing!! We walked the entire city over, and soaked in atmosphere! Let's see... we spent hours in the Louvre, walked Champs-Elysse, saw the Arc de Triomphe, went to the top of the Eiffel tower, went to Versailles, the Catacombes, Saint Cruix, Notre Dame ... even experienced mass there! Took pictures with French guards, listened to 3 men on bikes singing opera, enjoyed fire blower up on Montmarte, found little gardens hidden around Paris, SAW PRESIDENT BUSH!, learned a few French words :) , ... we walked the whole city over, and experienced everything that we possibly could in 3 days time. Even took a side trip and found Juvisy....... that was not planned; granted neither was sprinting around the city the last 2-3 hours because we were late catching the train/plane! :) We did make our flight with 10 minutes to spare only for it to be delayed after we got through security ... :) Ahh, life!

Florence is definitely in the rankings for one of my favorite places on earth!! Pisa, on the other hand, is no where near that category. The only thing to experience and see in Pisa is the leaning tower. Once we saw that we walked the entire city trying to find other things... and came up with nothing. So, 6 a.m. the next morning we left and fell in love with Florence!! There's SOOO much to see and experience in Florence, and somehow we always managed to run upon cultural experiences that just added to our trip! As for sightseeing.... we went to the Accademia, Duomo (the museum, church, and bapistry), Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, Pitti Palace, Santa Croce, Piazza Michelangelo, San Marco, Giardino di Boboli Galleria del Costumes.... and probably much more than that. It was an overwhelming indulgence of religious art, scultures, architecture and culture. In 3 days there I took 1300 pictures and we weren't allowed to take picts. inside the museums! The pieces that we were able to see are remarkable! I stood in front of work done by Leonardo da Vinci, Dante, Rapheal, Donotello, Michelangelo... and so many others! Vicki and I enjoyed flexing our Christian knowledge as we walked through the museums. At every corner there was another puzzle... who were the saints being represented, why was it portrayed in such a way, what Biblical story are they referring to.. and so forth. Most of the time, between the two of us, we could at least figure out the story and people represented. The one saint that we just couldn't figure out, though we know how he died, is St. Sebastian. Evidently he was repeatedly shot with a bow and arrow because every single painting, without fail, portrayed him dying in such a manner. We had such a good time attempting to be a local, and yet also enjoying being a tourist! Of course, since we were walking so much, and hiking up the hills daily we opted for gelato each afternoon!! :)

Needless to say, we enjoyed the experiences...

12 June 2008

Facebook and more...

To all my friends and family on Facebook,

I just added 5+ photo albums to my profile. It's a record the traveling I've done here in Europe of my own accord. There's also an album full of pictures that Gabe! So, check it out!

To all my friends & family,

Vicki is coming into town tomorrow! She will be studying abroad this summer in Rome, and is stopping by to visit before heading down there!! We're heading to Paris and Florence this week!! I'll be back shortly after our travels to post an update and some pictures!!


11 June 2008


To all of my dear friends who have celebrated their relationships and either have gotten married, or will be in the near future. I am sorry that I am missing this big day in so many peoples lives. Know that I pray for each of you, and wish you the best!!!

So, CONGRATS to...

Andrew and Stephanie
Mike and Sarah
Bianca and Will
Kevin and Lindsay

and to Lisa and Caleb (the other half of the Fantastic 4!) for becoming parents!! Welcome Aiden!!!

It's almost the 1 year anniversary for the amazing couples who got married within the first month of my arrival here! Congrats.... Ryan and Megan... Congrats... Roy and Elizabeth!

First 5K!

In December I ran my first 5K! The Jingle Bell
Jog here in Mannheim, Germany!! As most of you know, that's a huge step for me... I am quite proud of myself for finishing, and not finishing last at that! :) Jill and Marshall, and what a blessing that was!! It was 28 degrees when the whole thing was said and done... a rather cold morning to be outside running!! It was a challenge, but a great challenge!!

Congrats to Andrew and Stephanie on their marriage... I missed their wedding due to my move (off-post to on-post), and ran this race instead! Ya'll were my encouragement...

06 June 2008


The very next weekend, after the Poland trip, Gabe came home for R&R!! Simply put, 18 days of bliss! :) We rented a cabin for a week down in Garmisch, Germany, and just enjoyed being together again! While we were there we hiked around Eibsee, at the foot of the Zugspites (highest point in Germany), in the Alps. Also, we enjoyed a bike ride around through the surrounding area.

Gabe had never seen our on-post apartment since I moved after he was already downrange. So, while he was gone I created a Notre Dame room. Painted one wall navy blue, 2 walls gold... and decorated with all sorts of fun memorabila. This apartment truly feels like our first real home. It's a small place, of course, but it works... it's enough room for us! Perfect, actually!

Since our 1st and 2nd anniversaries won't be celebrated together we celebrated our 1.5 anniversary during R&R!! We went out to Bill and Pia's (a German restaurant, if you come I'll take you)... we were actually the only ones there that night, so we enjoyed their company for a few hours!! In Germany, dinner usually takes 3-4 hours, but we stayed for close to 6! It was a delightful evening!

04 June 2008

Polish Mission Trip

After I wrote the last time, I joined a team going to Poland for a 3 day weekend mission trip. It still amazes me that our mission trip only cost $53, for all meals, rooms, everything. The missionaries stories are incredible! One lady was a US soldier, there's a mother/daughter from TN serving there... the people are just full of love, and God's amazing grace!! The whole mission is a faith-based mission; simply meaning that they don't ask for donations, they just believe that God will provide for their needs and earnestly pray and seek His will! This mission trip was unlike any other I've been on.

During this trip the men and women were separated. The men did the manual labor. Now that's okay, but what am I supposed to do?! The women were in charge of 2 things: VBS for the kids (it was a family mission trip) and sorting clothes. This doesn't seem like much, but over the weekend we helped our kids make enough items to jump start their Polish VBS (500 kids go through there each summer) and we sorted over 50 palets of clothes that were donated. We gathered the big kids and organized/hung-up all of the clothes. Our simple sorting project has led to a whole new trip... the ladies are going back to fix the floor and turn the room into a store. You see, right now there's just one open room full of clothes , but that's where the whole town comes when they are in need.