After Okinawa

Monday, March 31, 2014


We knew the time to leave Okinawa would come fast, that three years would fly by, and oh my goodness, have they ever. These years have been so good I could not put them into words, as hard as I may try. They will stay with us for the rest of our lives.  We found out this past week that we are leaving this beautiful island in one month. One month! Things are still a bit in flux but as of right now... we are moving to Monterey, California for study and language school and then to Amman, Jordan!!

My incredible husband was also selected as an alternate for another program (the one that we've talked about since we were dating, with our hearts set on Europe) that could potentially send us to an entirely different region of the world.  We don't know yet and may not until school starts for him in Monterey in June. With our families, we have been praying for the past year during this whole process about what and where we're going next. There is not a doubt in our minds that God is in control; is going to bless us; that His will is infinitely better (and clearly more exciting!) than our own; that what's happening has very little to do with us and everything to do with Him. We feel right now like we are wrapped up in His arms, as all of this has been unfolding, and we could not be more excited for what He has ahead. We stay up late at night talking and imagining... and belly laughing, because we are so excited.

Thank you for letting me share all of this and for sticking it out with us through this blog over the past three years. We are so thankful for you, this time on Okinawa, for the adventures ahead as a family, for everything!

85 comments:

  1. Wow - can't believe you'll be leaving life in Japan so soon... it certainly seems you both made the very very best of your time there :) Oh... and if you end up in Amman, I'm definitely coming to visit you!

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  2. I think Jordan would be an amazing spot to be for a year. I know how tough the times of uncertainty and upheaval can be but in the end, you'll end up where you're meant to be. Thinking of you as you relish your last month on Okinawa!

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    1. Thank you, Jay. It's actually really great that we are so busy this month with everything we have to get done to leave- no time to sit around and think about what we don't know! ;)

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  3. Wow, what exciting news! I totally understand what you mean by how fast time flies. We just recently PCSed from Germany to America and it felt like 3 years flew by. We're moving again in 6 months, so I am really hoping for an exciting assignment! I wouldn't mind another stint abroad. I can't wait to read about your new adventures! :)

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    1. Then I hope you get another! :) Sometimes life in the military is so frustrating and hard, but there are such amazing opportunities, too! Hope everything works out for you guys!

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  4. It's crazy to think that you've been in Okinawa for 3 years already, time sure flies when you're having fun! I have a feeling that your next adventure will be incredible no matter where it is. I've heard really cool things about Jordan, you might love it! That being said, it sounds like you're hoping that the second choice comes through so I'll keep my fingers crossed that it does. Wishing you all the best and am so happy to hear that you'll continue blogging!

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    1. Thank you, Lottie! I am definitely going to continue blogging :)

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  5. Wow that is amazing, and I'm so impressed with how you deal with change. I would have such a hard time leaving the beautiful beach you are surrounded by now. Moving around and being away from family is not always easy but you seem to do it with such grace and I admire you for that. Cannot wait to follow along on your new journeys on here. So glad you are continuing to blog. Best wishes!

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    1. Thank you so much! And thank you for reading! :)

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  6. Cool! Can't wait to see more of your adventures!

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  7. Exciting times! It is always nice to know where you are going, even if it isn't what you expected. We just finished two years in Monterey, it is a very special place and I think you will enjoy it! Let me know if you have any questions about housing or the area! It will also be a bit of a shock when you get there because the summers are the worst weather of the year- cold and foggy for two months. Make sure you buy those jackets and pants for John Shea before you get there. There are plenty of places to escape to the sun, but I definitely had a hard time the first summer. The fall and winter are gorgeous though!

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  8. PS Here is my post recapping some of our favorite Monterey trips/activites: http://daffoldilshope.blogspot.com/2013/05/what-weve-done.html

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    1. Kate! Ahh thank you for sending this - I've actually been searching through your blog the last couple of days going back through all your Monterey posts. This makes it much easier :) Really appreciate it! May email you before we get there with some questions :)

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  9. Enjoy your last month in Okinawa! But I'm sure life will be good, no matter if you're in Europe, the US or a complete different part of the world! We may not always see directly why we are walking down the path we are walking down, but God's plan always becomes apparent in the end! :) I'm looking forward to following you and your family wherever you're going next! :)

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    1. Thank you, Melanie. Perfectly said, and perfectly true! Thanks for the encouragement!

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  10. Woow, reading this post after following you for the past 3 years made me smile from ear to ear:) I live in Montreal, Canada but I'm originally from Amman,Jordan. I'm certain that you will enjoy it to the max...there's so much to do there(hiking, canyoning, duning...etc.) It's definitley going to be very different from Japan or the States but I'm sure you will enjoy it:) all the best

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    1. Rand, hooooray!!! You just made me even more excited. It'll be fun to post photos from your home (if that is where we end up going!) and see what you think :) Thank you!

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  11. I was thinking that this news would be sometime soon! And oh my gosh, congrats!! I can't believe it is finally time for your next adventure. You guys have so much to look forward to, and I am happy that you guys will be going to another beautiful place(s). John Shea is going to have quite the baby book :) Yay for continuing to blog! I can't believe I've been reading yours for so long now!

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    1. I know, likewise!! Everytime you have a new Scarlett post I almost fall out of my chair at how big she is! Time goes too fast.

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  12. I don't know that I've ever left a comment here but I've really come to love checking in on your blog, and I can't wait to see what comes next for you! And on the name, my vote is don't change it! I've considered changing mine many times (it's such a mouthful), but I've read that it can be damaging to your brand, and I've always found it a little awkward when people do it.

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    1. Thanks for the the advice, Katie. I really want the name to reflect more of cooking and our future vineyard... but I'll think too about keeping it as is! :)

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  13. My vote is to keep the blog name the same- I think its great! Looking forward to continuing to follow your new adventures and awesome recipes. Best of luck!

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  14. So excited you are coming to Northern California! Monterey is gorgeous! Much different than Okinawa though. Say goodbye to the sun. There's lots of grey days in the bay but it's still gorgeous.

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    1. Haha, so I've heard. I'm from Santa Barbara so I know all about June gloom, but hear Monterey is like that the majority of the time... but we don't really care, just thankful we get to live there for a little while! :)

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  15. Eek! I would be so so excited for you (and a bit jealous) if you do end up in Amman. I spent a short week there 6 years ago while I was living in Jerusalem and completely fell in love with the country of Jordan. My father grew up in the Middle East (Baghdad and Beirut), so I've always had an innate love for the Middle East region and would jump at the possibility to be able to live there someday. With your personality and sense of understanding and humanity, I just know you would completely fall in love with the Arab people and culture. Keep us posted!!

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    1. Oh thank you so much, Catherine. Cam's background is in Arabic and the ME and I tried studying it for a little while when we lived in DC and fell in love with the culture. We are so excited if that is where we get to go. Will keep you posted and thank you! :)

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  16. How exciting! Would have loved to have you in Europe though!

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    1. Would have loved to meet up with you there!

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  17. What an exciting time in your lives :) Sending hugs and love and prayers your way! XO

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    1. Thank you so much, Kait!

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  18. Aw, what fun adventures lie ahead! We are currently in Monterey, with my husband studying a language - and we love it here! He is almost done with his course, and we are waiting to find out where we'll be stationed next!. Good luck with everything - if you have any questions about the area, let me know :)

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    1. Thank you, Kaylee!! Have been looking through your blog today and am getting even more excited! I hope you guys get a wonderful assignment.

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  19. So excited for your next adventure. Your faith is so beautiful to me. I'm going to read your statement about being wrapped up in God's arms over and over when I get nervous. :)

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  20. I am so excited for you three!! What an amazing journey you've had on Okinawa and another journey is beginning so very soon! I look up to you in so many ways but your faith and love for each other is definitely one of them. Whenever I feel discouraged that I'm not doing what I'm "supposed" to be doing with my life etc. I think of the sweet email you sent me a few years ago with yours and Cam's story and it gives me hope and strength. :) Maybe once I graduate, and you three are maybe still in Monterey, we can get coffee sometime.

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    1. I still have those emails saved :) Allie, I would love that. Let's plan on it!!

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  21. SO excited for you dear friend!!! Yes, GOd is in control and He has his BESt for your sweet family!! love ya! xoxo Katie

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    1. Thanks girl. Can't wait to see you!!!!!!!!

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  22. I have been to Amman and it is gorgeous there as well. The culture will take a little getting used to but you've adapted great there so no doubt you'll do fine :)

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    1. Thank you, Melissa. We keep hearing the most incredible things about it. Very very excited.

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  23. WOW! Even-though I have never been in Okinawa and certainly looks like a dream place! I used to live in Monterey and is just plain Gorgeous! You will love it! Your Husband will have a great time at DLI and you as well! God bless you all and that sweet little boy of yours!

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    1. Aw thank you!! We are so thankful to get to go to Monterey!

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  24. Congrats, Amanda!! How exciting. We NEED to get our little Johns together while you are in Monterey. :) Safe travels and cannot wait to follow in your journey. xx

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    1. JULES! Yes, absolutely. Can't wait for that playdate/winedate!! See you soon, pretty!

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  25. Jordan, wow!! I love that your family is one that strengthens through adventure and change. Best of luck in the following weeks!

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    1. Thank you so much, Caroline.

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  26. Congrats! Went to college in Monterey and it was very beautiful. Your little one is going to love the aquarium there :)

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  27. Best of luck with the move, Marshalls! I hope you enjoy your time in Monterey, however short it may be - I lived there for a few years growing up while my dad worked at the naval school, and it was really great. Make sure you take little John to the aquarium :)

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    1. Thanks, Kaity! So glad to hear you loved Monterey. We've heard nothing but great things about it.

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  28. Wow, Jordan would be incredible :) I hope everything works out well for you guys :)

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  29. Wow Jordan! So excited to see where God takes y'all on this next adventure. Enjoy your last month in Oki!

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    1. Thank you sweet Sarah!

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  30. Jordan, wow! That is so exciting! I'm glad you're going to keep blogging-- I cannot wait to see the adventures (culinary & otherwise!) you share with us next. Praying for you all during this time of transition & excitement.

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    1. Thank you so, so much! I have been reading amazing things about their cuisine. Excited for so many reasons :)

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  31. We are continuing to pray! Know you have loved Oki- but so excited for new chapter of Marshall Family's crazy wonderful life!!!
    LOVE YOU!!
    lanneybear

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  32. How exciting! Although, I feel sad for you that you have to leave a place you have loved so much! My husband and I will be getting sent somewhere new too coming up later this year. He's been overseas for the last year, but I have been staying where he was last stationed (and near home) in fabulous St. Pete! I love it here and it makes me so sad to leave. We were praying for somewhere great to go to next....we got Fort Polk. Not at all what I prayed for...the exact opposite, as I actually asked God to PLEASE not give us that lol. But I know he has a plan and at the end of the day, I will finally get to fall asleep next to my husband again :) Anyways, all the long info to say, Ill be praying for yall and your upcoming adventures!

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    1. Haha - I know how you feel. I was praying praying that we would not be sent to the Middle East... and what do you know!? That's exactly where the Lord is opening my heart to. I couldn't be more excited for you to be with your husband -- that time is going to be so precious. Thanks for the prayers, Brooke, will be praying for you too!!

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  33. How exciting!!!! That photo completely took my breath away! I can only imagine how hard it must be to leave.

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    1. It is hard to leave! But I'm thankful for that - means we've had an amazing time here! Thanks for always leaving such sweet comments, Andi! :)

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  34. Wow. Will keep you guys in my thoughts and prayers for open minds and hearts....and maybe a trip to that dream location in Europe somewhere too :)

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  35. Wow! I have loved reading about your time in Okinawa and can't wait to follow along with whatever is next. So exciting!

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  36. What exciting news! I've grown up doing day trips to Monterey and have friends that have attended the language school. I hope you enjoy your time before moving. Praying for the transitions and continued direction.

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    1. Thank you so much for the prayers... !

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  37. Exciting, exciting!! Although, I'm sad to hear you won't be any closer to us. :( But Jordan sounds pretty darn cool. I hope your transition goes smoothly, my friend! I'll be praying for you guys! And if you ever need a little Disney vacation with your little fella…I know a pretty cool couple who's moving to FL and has spare bedrooms!! ;)

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    1. California is waaaay closer to FL than Japan is! Thanks, Case. Hahaha we might actually take you up on that!!

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  38. What a neat new adventure!! From someone who's lived outside Monterey, I'll say, avoid Salinas at every cost possible. It's the worst for gangs (said someone who used to work in the prison over there and knows) and is a very gritty area. The mall is a must at avoiding, and sadly if you ever go into Salinas, the only place I recommend (that I enjoyed) was the movie theater in downtown, in the afternoon. But why go there when you're in Monterey, right?? ;) That's my "Salinas" warning. ;) I think it is so amazing your end goal is Jordan. What an experience!!

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    1. Ohhhhh thank you for the warning. My Mom told me the very same and I haven't looked at a single house for rent in that area! Thanks, friend.

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  39. oh my gosh!!!! i'm so sad i won't be getting to see these amazing photos of okinawa, but so excited for Monterey! I'll come visit you!! :) and really really really crossing my fingers for you for Europe!! I'll come visit you there too :) Enjoy every minute of this last month!

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    1. YESSSSS!!!!! Please come visit us!!!!!!

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  40. Wonderful, exciting adventures ahead! Look forward to reading all about it. I'm sure wherever you end up you will love it!

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  41. I just saw this post and can't believe I missed it! That is SO exciting!! I lived in Monterey and it is beautiful and peaceful and you will love it (very quiet most of the time). Enjoy the rest of your time!!

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    1. Oh so glad to hear you loved Monterey, too!
      Thank you, Cara!!

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  42. Wow! I live in Santa Cruz which is quick 45 min drive from Monterey. You will have so many fun adventures in that city and exploring the other nearby areas too (Carmel, Big Sur, Santa Cruz, the list goes on!) I've loved reading your blog after finding you on Pinterest for some recipes, and it will be really fun to see what you find in your travels to gorgeous CA. For a fun afternoon head down the coast to Nepenthe in Big Sur, the views are incredible, and so is the wine and cheese! Via con Dios~

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    1. Thank you very much, Nicola! A friend of mine took a photo from Nepenthe and ever since I've been dying to go - that's one of the first places we plan to go when we get there! :)

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    2. I just read today's post and it sounds like you made it out to Nepenthe - what did you think?! Hope you enjoy your time on the central coast. Come visit us all in Santa Cruz sometime!

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  43. Monterey is absolutely beautiful. My husband and I go there every year in Jan. for our anniversary because we live about 1.5 hours up north in the bay area and we just can't get enough of the beauty of that coast line. You absolutely have to make a trip to Big Sur when you are there. I can't wait to see your updates from the next steps in your journey. So exciting!

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  44. So exciting! You will LOVE Monterey and all the adventures near by. And food!! I'm in Santa Cruz, just north on the bay so if you're ever in the area I'd love to meet you and your cute little man!

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