Thursday, September 29, 2011


Today is one of those strange days where I have no doubt that God has lined up certain events to teach me more about Him.  Let me explain.  Today:
  • A friend on base went into labor, and is having her second child any minute.
  • Another friend, back in the States, will also have her baby today.  This little one, however, has some serious health issues and is not expected to live.
  • Yet another friend is going to a fertility clinic to have her embryos transferred to her uterus in the hopes that she will get pregnant. 
Three different stories. Three different friends.  But one God who is in control of it all.  In each case, He has ordained and created a life-from the most microscopic embryo to the healthiest baby.  He also has a plan for each.  Gracen, the little one who has health issues, has touched more lives before her birth than I have probably touched in my 34 years of living.  It is truly amazing how her story and her parents faith have strengthened and inspired so many, including me.

So today, I am thankful to a God-the only Creator of life, who has a plan and a purpose for each of us and holds us all, even the tiniest among us, in the palm of His hand.

**To read more about Gracen's story, please visit this blog.

**UPDATE: My friend here in Turkey had her baby.  A little boy named...wait for it.....Grayson.  How cool is that?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yeah Ryan!!

The following was a news release from Incirlik's website:

Ryan Stebbins, 39th Force Support Squadron, misses a putt during the Club Championship Sept. 24, 2011, at the Hodja Lakes Golf Course, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Thirty-one people competed in the championship. Stebbins won with a score of 154. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Clayton Lenhardt/Released) Digitaltion

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Luck of the.......Turkish?

I know, I know.  That statement should end with the word Irish.  But, based on our experience here, Turkey puts Ireland to shame in the luck department, even with no clovers in sight. 

I think I already posted about the first time we won the Club's weekly money drawing. Notice I sad the first  time.  It happened again a few weeks later. Unbelievable.  Last night we were at the golf course for dinner following the Base Championship (Ryan WON!) and our ticket was the first pulled for a raffle.  We-or rather Ryan-won a new set of irons.  As our number was called, Ryan showed me the ticket as we both looked rather embarrassed and sheepish.  It really is getting ridiculous.  And it will probably be ending.  We have taken ourselves out of contention for the money drawing.  I don't foresee many more opportunities for prizes in the near future.

But it was such fun while it lasted.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Something Magical

Ever get bogged down in the mundane details of daily living?  We all get into our routines and schedules and it feels as though we move like robots sometimes.  There is so much bad news out there.  So much negativity and cynicism.  I think we can all use a little magic injected into our lives now and then.  To be in awe of something.  To believe in something even though it is proposterous.

I give you my niece.  A little girl fully into the "princess phase"of her childhood.  Her parents took her to Disney World last week.  Here she is meeting the princesses for the first time. Can't you just see the twinkle in her eye?  Doesn't her excitement and wonder just ooze from these pictures?  This absolutely made my day.  Made me smile and remember what it was like to suspend all disbelief and cynicism for a moment and embrace something magical.  I hope it does the same for you.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

AF Gala 2011

When you live on a VERY small base smack dab in the center of Turkey, there just isn't alot going on.  We make our own fun usually.  But once a year, the base throws a formal Gala to commemorate the founding of the Air Force.  Practically the whole base turns out, and it is a lot of fun.  Ryan got into the spirit of things by rocking some "party sleeves" this year.  We had never seen them before the Gala last year, and Ryan really liked them.  They are basically a way to individualize a mess dress uniform while still keeping the uniform code of the Air Force.  I must say, he wore it well!

The debut of the party sleeves

Showing off the back of the shirt with our friend Jordan, who chose a Texas theme for his shirt. 

With my good friend Sarah, who I meant on the way over to Turkey a year ago.  She was my first Turkey friend and continues to be one of my best friends here one year later. 

Great neighborhood friends-Casey, Molly, Katie, and Logan.  Katie just returned from 6 months in Afghanistan.  We are so glad she is back safe and sound!

Sarah, Angelica, and me.  What great friends I have been blessed with here!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday Ramblings

We are getting back in the swing of things here.  W has started 2 day preschool, which has given me 2 free mornings a week.  I am so used to multi-tasking with a toddler that I find it hard to know what to do with all that free time.  So I have started working out both mornings for about an hour.

I just left a Zumba class.  One of my good friends on base is the teacher.  I am going to try to go to at least 2 classes a week.  As far as exercise goes, it is the best thing I have found-but I still hate every second.  I despise exercise-everything about it.  I know it is good for you and gives you more energy and blah blah blah....but I still hate it.  Getting sweaty and stinky, being out of breath and feeling like you want to pass out-all not cool.  And the thing is, I am actually in pretty good shape right now, or at least better shape than what is usual for me.  And it still doesn't get easier or more fun. 

I need to revisit this post-

That being said, I still hate to exercise.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


"We have learned that terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength; they are invited by the perception of weakness. And the surest way to avoid attacks on our own people is to engage the enemy where he lives and plans. We are fighting that enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan today so that we do not meet him again on our own streets, in our own cities." 
-George W. Bush
(Thank you Casey for the quote)
Thank you to Luke, Katie, Brandon, and so so many others that are out there fighting for us so that we might not experience a day like this again.  God Bless America!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We're Baaaacccckkkk.......

After a LONG-but not altogether terrible-trip, we are finally back in Turkey.  A few bullet points for your Wednesday:
  • I forgot how slow you have to drive here.  I am used to driving in America.  I nearly took out 2 joggers last night.  Must. Slow. Down.
  • Jetlag in a 3 year old is pure torture for all involved.
  • My little house feels like a cave.  The ceilings are sooo low.  This will take getting used to again.
  • Back to using old fashioned ice trays.  I would kill for an ice maker.  It's the little things, you know?
  • Our social calendar is nearly booked and we have been back 12 hours.  Love our Turkey friends!
  • Nothing says "home" like looking out of the airplane window on landing and seeing minaret after minaret and mosque after mosque.
Hopefully our readjustment period will go smoothly and sleep cycles will return quickly.  I already miss the States, but it is good to be home.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Packing up in Bama

It's a process I've become all too familiar with.  Packing, shipping, planning, preparing.  It has begun for us again.  After a fun summer back home, the time has come to get ready to go back to Turkey.  Boxes of new clothes and toys have been shipped.  Passports and residency books have been located and organized.  Suitcases are being pulled out.  Sigh. 

I know it will be different now.  We are entering the "home stretch" of this assignment.  Less than one year from now, we will be moving.  I also go back knowing fully what to expect (and not expect) from Incirlik.  I am better prepared to handle the unique challenges and opportunities that living abroad can bring.  And I am energized and refreshed by a long visit at home.  I am looking forward to reconnecting with all of my friends and watching W reunite with his.  Sure, the location is far from ideal-but it will be good to be home.

In the meantime, I have suitcases to pack.