I’m sure you’re not too surprised…but with me and my family, that’s an understatement. When I wrote my last blog over six months ago, we were enjoying the sights and sounds of Hollywood. It’s the middle of the night here in Metro Manila and we’re watching old movies on HBO. Brian accepted a job that is based here in the Philippines and we’ve started our next adventure! We’re in a nice (but small) two bedroom, furnished condo near the Mall of Asia. People here are very friendly and we’re growing accustomed to working overnight (US east coast hours.)
September and October included fun Hollywood themes and lazy days. Mitch and I made a quick trip to Mom & Dad’s in Tucson before he moved back to Ohio. I had the opportunity to watch Kathy Bates get her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Jonae, Justice & Juliet returned to California for DeeDee’s wedding and we took a day to enjoy Universal Studios together. Kennen started college in Riverside. The middle of October we had a family trip to Laughlin to celebrate my sister-in-law’s 40th birthday. A great time was had by all!
In November, heaven welcomed my sweet mother-in-law Mary, when she lost her fight to cancer. Brian was able to spend a few weeks with the family in Ohio. She loved Jesus and shared His love and compassion with everyone lucky enough to spend time with her. I was able to travel to Honduras for our annual Revive conference. I go with the intention of blessing others, but God expresses His ultimate love for me every time I’m in the presence of these ladies. Words can’t express how much I needed this trip and it didn’t disappoint. Thanksgiving was one of my favorite yet – we did pot luck at my friend Katie’s. She invited her friends and people from her apartment building and we dined with a bunch of “kids” looking to get into the motion picture industry. Very non-traditional Hollywood Thanksgiving; loved it.
By December we knew we were getting ready for the big move (Brian’s first trip to the Philippines was scheduled for January 2), and our weekends were full. I met Pam and Michelle the beginning of the month in Irvine and introduced them to Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. They are now hooked and I suspect it will become a tradition for us moving forward! We all traveled to Cleveland the second weekend in December to celebrate Whitney & Elliott’s wedding. It was an amazing, whirlwind couple of days and it was wonderful to have the family together. (The honeymooners have since relocated to Virginia Beach and are enjoying the winter away from Cleveland!) Brian and I attended a Christmas show at the Pantages Theater and saw an A cappella group at the Dolby Theater. We also took a Christmas light boat tour in Newport Beach and attended Christmas Eve services at Saddleback Church. Christmas Day was at my sister’s and New Year’s Eve was quiet at home.
While Brian was away in January, I spent the month sorting, packing, shipping and selling the apartment full of possessions we gathered during our time in California. I had several visitors during the month and got to go see the Dr Phil show, Griffith Observatory and Santa Monica Pier. I used my season pass at Universal Studios a few more times and watched Amy Adams get her star on the Walk of Fame. A few days before I left, I received a call from the Pantages Theater asking if I was still interested in a part-time usher job. Good to know I had options!
The first week of February, Jonae, Juliet, Naomi and I drove from California to Jonae’s home in Southaven, Mississippi. God protected us the entire trip! The only car trouble was before I had anyone else with me (needed a new battery) and the only rain on the very last day (no ice or snow at all!) We spent two nights with my parents in Tucson and two nights traveling across Texas. We enjoyed a fun Saturday morning at Magnolia Market in Waco, TX (HGTV’s Fixer Upper town.) I was blessed to spend almost two weeks in Southaven before traveling to Myrtle Beach to meet up with Erica and the girls for our annual beach trip. Spent a few days in Ohio (saw Erica’s beautiful new house!) before Brian arrived and we flew to Manila together. (Naomi my pup is adjusting well to her new home with Jonae and her family!)
Now you’re all caught up. First two weeks here in the Philippines have been good to me. I’m falling into a routine and found new workout videos I like. We attended a church service here today and I was overwhelmed with God’s grace and goodness. It’s so beautiful that you can find people like us that love Jesus across the world. I will be in the US for the month of April. Thanks for reading – Lord willing, next update will be shorter & sooner! Happy Spring!!! God Bless You!