Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Incirlikin' Good-Bye

I have been thinking and thinking about a creative and unique way that I can wrap this little blog up.  And I got nothing.  There is no way I can adequately do justice to these 2 incredible years of my life with a single post that ties it all together.  The fact is, I think about Incirlik Air Base everyday.  I miss things about it everyday.  It is still a huge part of my life. 

And really, my time in Turkey lives on.  Through the friendships I made primarily.  And also through the lessons I learned and the perspective I gained.  So even though this blog will no longer be active, my "incirlikin' good" experience will continue to shape me moving forward.

Thank you to all of you that took the time to read these posts.  Thank you especially to those of you who prayed for us and supported us through these 2 years.  It means more than I could ever say. 

God bless you cyber-friends.  Thank you for letting me share with you.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Prayers Needed

You can take the girl out of Turkey, but Turkey is still deep in the heart of the girl.  Recently, we have heard of a rash of sickness and tragedy happening to our friends at Incirlik.  We are saddened and worried for that little base.  We know what a small, tight knit community it is.  Would you pray for the following people?

  • the family of Pat, our Community Center director.  He was diagnosed with cancer in late July and died 3 weeks later.
  • one of Ryan's co-workers, Erin.  She suffered a seizure 3 weeks after delivering her baby boy and was in a coma when she was medivaced to Germany.  Thankfully, she is doing better now.
  • Some neighbors on our street.  Pamela is experiencing very serious complications following surgery.  She has 4 children, one of which is W's age.
Thank you, blog friends.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's Here!!!

I cannot tell you the joy I felt when my eyes saw our crates sitting outside our house this morning.  My stuff.  Finally.  Truly, this is a sign that after what seems like an eternity, this crazy transition is nearing it's end.  Only a few more days of unpacking, organizing, and putting away before I can say we are "home".

I remember before we left Turkey, our friend Dan made a comment at dinner that I loved. He said that he couldn't wait for that moment when the last box was unpacked and there was nothing left on the moving checklist.  When all that's left to do is to resume your routines, to hit the "play" button on your life again.  I feel that moment getting closer and closer.  And I think, in that moment, that my smile might make my face crack.  I can't wait.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Greener Grass

Remember, not too long ago, when I was rambling on about how tough Turkey was and how ready I was to be home?  True, Turkey was tough, and true, especially towards the end, we were more than ready to go.  But I miss it.  Maybe more than I thought I would.

This could have something to do with the fact that we are STILL without any of our stuff (it is due to arrive Thursday, fingers crossed) and I still don't feel very settled here.  It could also be in part because of the long hours that Ryan is working and the effort it takes to adjust and plug into a new place.  But mostly, I think it is just the human "grass is always greener" tendency.

 Why do we so easily forget about the difficulties and remember the good things in our memories?  Labor? I can hardly remember that it was painful, but I can remember every line on my newborn's face.   When I think back to Ryan's deployment, I can't remember at all feeling lonely or sad, which I know I was.  But what I do remember vividly is seeing him walk through the airport towards me after a 6 month separation.

And Turkey?  The first things that come to mind now are the best things: afternoon walks with Sarahbee and Peter, game night Fridays at our place, trips to the Optimum, Hatice, big wheels with Isaac and Elijah....and the list could go on and on.

The bad stuff doesn't seem so bad any more.  And I am thankful for that.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Stebbins Go to Washington.....

We are here!!  After a week with family in Alabama, we made our way up the East Coast to our new home.

The last week, if I am being honest, has been really rough.  We are just trying to find our rhythm in this new place.  We don't have our shipment from Turkey yet, so our house is empty and we don't have much in the way of supplies (I need an iron badly!).  Ryan's job will also take some adjustment.  We are used to having him home much more than normal.  He will doing well to get home by 6:30 here.  The pace of life is different, and while it is wonderful, it will take some getting used to.  Each night when my head hits the air mattress (yes, we sleep on air mattresses right now), I am exhausted beyond belief.  It feels almost like the culture shock I felt in the beginning in Turkey, but in reverse.

In all of the chaos, though, there have been great blessings.  Our San Antonio best friends, the Richardsons, live about 2 miles away and have been incredibly helpful.  I don't know what I would do without them, actually.  Laura, a friend from Turkey, has also been such a blessing.  She has kept W while I worked on the house, and just provided some much needed fellowship on these long days in an empty house.  Finally, my friend Ellen was here visiting and we got to spend a fun day together.

After such a tough week, I knew I needed an outing to get me excited again about my new home.  So we planned a little day trip to downtown DC.  The metro system here is incredibly easy, safe, and clean.  We hopped on at our station and rode about 25 minutes.  Our stop was right in the middle of the National Mall.  We spent the afternoon exploring 3 museums and taking in some sights and sounds of our nation's capital.

As I emerged from the Metro tunnel and saw the Washington Monument on my left and the US Capitol on my right, I couldn't help at chuckle at the incredible journey that my life has been the past 2 years.  From life in Texas, to living as far removed from American culture as possible, to returning and being right in the very heart of it.........what a way to come full circle.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mission Accomplished

This will be my last blog entry in Turkey.  We came, we saw, we conquered.  And now it is finally our turn to say goodbye. 

Anyone that knows me well knows that I am not the most motivated person you will meet.  I think I have plenty of ability in many areas, but not much drive to do anything with it.  So I don't have a lot of experience with setting goals and then achieving them.  I usually don't set them to begin with, actually.

Turkey changed that for me.  I was forced to set a goal: make it 2 years in a tough place without falling apart, or quitting, or having a negative attitude.  Another goal?  To make these 2 years of my son's life happy and memorable...even if it would be hard to do at times.

I did it, I did it, I did it.  And I have to say, it feels good to see your goals achieved.  To know that you did what you set out to do, even if it was hard at times.

I will always have a place in my heart for this nation and it's people, who are some of the kindest and most welcoming I have ever met.  My ears will always perk up when I hear Turkey in the news.  This place will now always be a part of my story.  And for that, I am thankful.

Time to go now.  We are coming home.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dear America.......

Happy Birthday!!  See you in a few days.

The Stebbins