1 Year on Okinawa / A Year To Remember

Thursday, July 19, 2012

July: We moved to beautiful Okinawa. We were blessed to find a flat with the most gorgeous view of the East China Sea. We went to Cape Zanpa & the Northern most cape of the island and explored. We befriended locals at our neighborhood sushi and yakitori restaurants. Cam got his platoon. We learned to drive on the left side of the road. I found the neighborhood farmer's market and started cooking up a storm in our tiny kitchen.
August: We survived our first typhoon. Summer festivals were everywhere.. our favorite being 10,000 Eisa Dancers. We hiked Tedake Falls and were blown away. Cam fell in love with spear fishing and turned 28.  I spent a week getting my motorcycle/scooter license.. We bought Vino!!
September: We spent Labor Day weekend on the Kerama Islands & hung out on a deserted island.. again, totally blown away.  We went deep sea fishing & stocked up our freezer with tunas. Cam was gone in the field. I saw Mt. Fuji for the first time & spent 10 days working with CRASH on mainland Japan.
October: My sweet husband surprised me with a bath caddy he built while I was on mainland. And awesome adirondack chairs! We went to Churumi Aquarium and saw the incredible whale sharks.
November: We danced the night away at two Marine Corps Balls.. I loved my Ralph Lauren dress so much I wore her twice. We flew to Kyoto for Thanksgiving week and had an absolute blast in Old World Japan. We hiked to the top of a mountain to see the Arashiyama monkeys and Kyoto lit up in Fall colors.
December: We had tea from the garden in Naha. Cam left for a few weeks so I went with two girlfriends back to Tokyo and to work with CRASH again. We put on a children's camp for the kids in the radiation zone & gave hand massages to the women. I got to see the Lord working in powerful ways. We took a hop to Alaska for Christmas and to Hawaii for New Years. 
 January: It rained and rained. We had a day of sunshine and rented paddle boards on Torii Beach. The cherry blossoms {Sakura} bloomed! We went to the festival up North & they were gorrrgeous. Cam took me to Ie Island for my birthday. 
 February: We explored more castles. Cam was in the field. We went on dates for about a week straight when he got back. (: We went whale watching off the Kerama Islands.
March: Spring came! Two girlfriends took me to the most beautiful coffee house in the world -- Cafe Doka Doka. We built frames for our maps we love so much. We got PADI certified!!
April: We went on a dive trip to the outer islands. We traveled to Hanoi & Halong Bay, Vietnam! We visited a floating fishing village and saw how they lived. My wonderful in-laws came and spent two weeks with us. We watched the Dragon Boat Races.
May/June: We camped on Ikei Island and finished our guest room. We celebrated our two year anniversary in Koh Samui, Thailand! We went elephant trekking. We went to Hong Kong and loved it.  We got stuck in the airport for two days after missing our flight. But because of it, we ended up befriending an amazing Okinawan couple who turned out to be our neighbors!
 We blinked and we've been here a year! We can't believe it. What an insanely amazing year it has been. Looking back, we're like blubbering, giddy, happy children. All we can say is that God is SO good! From blessing us with our amazing home, to travels, to daily life, we know it is all from Him.  

Our most favorite part of living abroad is how it has blessed our marriage. Most of you know we spent our first 3 years apart, seeing each other once a week for maybe a few hours, and our first year of marriage like most do - stealing time together inbetween our hectic jobs, so this has been the sweetest gift.  I adore my huz. More so than ever. He has been so good to me, so adventurous, so supportive, and has turned into a total travel bug. I love that, honey! We've had a blast together, and being so far away, have gotten to know each other on an even deeper level. We pray that the Lord blesses the future even more so. Not just for us, but for all of you as well. 

We love you guys and cannot thank you enough for reading.  !

35 comments:

  1. As always, your photos are stunning and you 2 might possibly be the cutest couple alive! Happy 1 year anniversary on Okinawa!

    (PS. Love the new look!)

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  2. I have to say how much i love your blog. Your pictures are always so amazing and it makes me really want to head over to Japan to see all of these amazing things! Sounds like you and your husband are having the adventure of a lifetime over there! I hope it continues while you are both overseas! :)

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  3. I am always taken away by how beautiful and vibrant your pictures are absolutely stunning! I love how you capture the love between you and Cam!

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  4. David, Ashley and Stella19.7.12

    Aww. I'm in love with this post. I can't believe it's already been a year! Who knew two California girls would meet and become dear friends in Japan. Thank you, Marine Corps! We're so blessed to have you two in our little life. Our cup runneth over. We love you, Marshall's! -The Cooper's.

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  5. I love this post Amanda! You are def one of my favorite blogs that I follow! I know I tell you this all the time, but you both are amazing! It's exciting to see how much you love our Lord and Savior and how he is working through the both of you. I hope one day when you make it back into the states we can meet. =) xoxo A-

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  6. What an adventurous year you both had! Your pictures are gorgeous!

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  7. It is amazing to look back over a year and see how blessed we truly are.

    Your stunning photos definitely tell a story and what a beautiful story it is.

    May our Heavenly Father continue to bless you and Cam.

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  8. I followed you over from Sarah's blog and your blog is quickly becoming a new favorite of mine. Although my blog is personal style- I do enjoy visiting the lifestyle blogs so much more. I love your descriptions of all the places you have visited and it makes me excited for our upcoming trip to Indonesia. I have never been farther than the UK and I could not be more excited! :)

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  9. This post could alternately be titled "The year I rubbed in your face" ..... Bwahaha!!! So just kidding :) In all seriousness, each and every day I look forward to reading your blog and so glad I found it!!!! I'm just amazed at the beauty that surrounds y'all and so happy you share it with us and this season of your lives!!! xo

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  10. Wow! Each photo is just amazing! You've had quite a year! You've got such an amazing story too! So glad I've found your blog!

    xo Kayla

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  11. I can't believe y'all have already been gone a year! I am glad you go out on your own adventures when Cam is gone, it reminds me that I need to have my own too!

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  12. You guys are so friggen cute and we are all jealous all over again of the amazingly gorgeous country that you get to live in. I love seeing your pictures and living vicariously through you!

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  13. what an amazing and beautiful year it's been!

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  14. What an amazing year you have had. So glad you are taking in every moment and traveling as much as you can.

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  15. I cannot get over the beauty in these photos. What an incredible adventure!

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  16. Absolutely breathtaking photos! Looking at your photos makes me happy... I guess that is because you both look so happy :)

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  17. Truly amazing!! Wishing you another great year of adventures....you guys are blessed! :)

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  18. what a lovely year you have had! You are truly living the dream

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  19. Anonymous19.7.12

    I can't believe I have made it through an ENTIRE YEAR without my pocket full of sunshine!! It has been hard for you I know -- you have missed some ammmmmazing experiences (working late primary nights... Armand's Pizza deliveries... Bert...106 degree days without water views) I mean - I guess I'll stop so you don't get too jealous. :)

    I LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND AM SO THANKFUL FOR YOU AND CAM'S SERVICE! Really -- military life has its perks (as we can obviously see) but it has its downsides too. MISS YOU!!!!! Now grab some wine and the hubs and go have a beach picnic.
    ~lanneybear

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  20. happy first anniversary! wonderful pictures and I might steal the cute idea to look back at out first year in australia in November :) if you dont mind!! enjoy your time in japan, it surely looks amazing!

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  21. love love love. what a GREAT year darlin! love ya!

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  22. I love that you guys have truly seized every opportunity of living abroad--through travel, exploring your new home, community service, and more. What an amazing recap :)

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  23. What an amazing year!

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  24. sounds amazing. isn't halong bay just SO cool? it was one of my favorite places when i visited SE Asia (even though it's "slightly" touristy... once you get out on your house-boat-type-thing and get away from the other boats, go kayaking around the islands... (sigh) i just loved it.

    cheers to many more exciting years ahead!!

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  25. Happy Oki Anniversary! I've said it so many times before but it's always worth saying again - you guys just make me smile :) Thank you for sharing you adventures, your photos (oh man, that one of Mt. Fuji still gets me!) and for showing just how powerful a love can be when its centered on Christ!

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  26. One of my friends introduced me to your blog and I just want to say you are so inspiring! Love it all!!

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  27. i am creeping up on two years in the UK now and one year in scotland, i should really do a post like this. loved it. Its so good to reflect on all of the amazing things that have happened over the course of a year..especially as an expat! loved this. love you. and loving this new template. the end.

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  28. Hey girl! This is really an amazing post! Makes me want to do one... only we are not as adventurous! haha. The two of you have really made the most of the island! You and Cam are amazing and we are blessed to have you in our life <3 the Virags

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  29. Oh my goodness. You two are so cute. Japan looks gorgeous, that view! Oh my! Loved the bath caddy, it literally took my breath away. Beautiful pics. I am officially in love with your blog. LOL :)

    Newest GFC follower. Cannot wait to read more.

    Tami
    The Things We Find Inside

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  30. Your pictures are so beautiful! I have a few friends stationed over there right now and the culture/scenery seems amazing! We are currently stationed in Germany!

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  31. Your pictures are so beautiful! I have a few friends stationed over there right now and the culture/scenery seems amazing! We are currently stationed in Germany!

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  32. Hello! Clive and I have just got back from an amazing few days in Hong Kong, reading your blog has definitely inspired me to be more adventurous, thank you.
    Wishing you another year full of love and happiness xx

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  33. Time FLIES doesn't it?! What an incredible year you guys have had. Such a special way to strengthen your marriage and learn so much about each other. Congrats on making it through the first year! We are almost there ourselves :)

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  34. great look back at the year! WOW see you chagd the blog a bit. I like it...but then again...I liked it before too!

    xoxo from Trindad

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  35. Oh my, I just LOVE your blog! I've been reading all the way back to this point, and I just have to say that your happiness is beautiful! I'm so excited to follow you along now. :)

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