Hello from the USA!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


my beautiful sister-in-law Linde


and the alpacas that live down the street :)


Hi from the USA!!! We've been back now for a week, spending quality time with Cam's side of our family in Colorado. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind, so I'll rewind...

The last night that Cam, John Shea and I spent in our Okinawan home was a memorable one. The first set of movers had taken almost everything we owned, except for John's crib, his books and toys, and our bedding, that was to be packed in the small shipment the following day. Cam and I pushed open those beautiful, wide, sliding glass doors leading out to our deck, made a bed on the floor in the middle of our empty living room infront of them and fell asleep, exhausted, to the crashing waves of the East China Sea, one last time. We woke up early to the singing tropical birds, that I always joked were there to dress me for the day. 

Before we had gone to bed that night, we heard the doorbell ring. We opened it and who was there, but our favorite yakitori restaurant owner, who came to say another goodbye, with Okinawa gifts in hand! She doesn't speak any English, and we only understand a tiny bit of Japanese, but that didn't hinder our friendship with her and her family in the slightest! She brought a friend with her to translate, and with no furniture in our house, we sat on the floor, Japanese style, chatting and laughing with her one last time. Her friend told us that Kinuko-san had intended to write us many notes before we left Japan, but because we found out only weeks prior to our move, she only had time to write us one with translation. She promised to write through snail mail and begged that we do the same. I teared when I read her words, "Your sweet smiling faces are always in our hearts. The saddest part is that we can't speak English, but we are so happy to be friends with you. We cannot wait to see John-kun growing up and being a cute little man." I cried after they left. In a joyous, bittersweet way. What a gift to be friends with such precious people. After three years living in Okinawa, we had significant roots {I get so attached!} and it was hard to say goodbye. The easiest way to live our gypsy-like lifestyle would be to not dive into relationships or fall in love with the places we live, but I don't think that's right at all. I want us to always keep our hearts as wide open as possible, everywhere we go.

We got to spend our last nights in Mere and Hunter's amazing home (miss and love you!!) before we snuck out at 2am to get to the airport terminal. It took over 24 hours of travel to get to Seattle and I am not joking, John Shea probably cried for about 20 of those. The 250 other Marines and Airmen on the flight were so lucky, haha! He's had a rough time adjusting to the time change and has been wanting extra love and affection. He is such a tender soul. His sweet little world has been turned upside down, but he's getting loved on by his wonderful Grandparents, had an absolute blast meeting four of his nine cousins, and Cam and I loved the time we got to spend with John and Lin at their beautiful new farmhouse in Grand Junction, which is where all the photos are from. Love you, Marshalls!

Also, culture shock! We've been out of the country for three years so we forgot some things. I think the biggest for us has been the shopping centers and consumerism that seem to be on every corner in the suburbs ... we got used to ordering almost everything online and having to wait 2-3 weeks for it to arrive to our PO Box, so excited when it finally did. Everything I can think of is now at our finger tips. It's wild. I'm sure that as soon as I walk through Pottery Barn and Anthro with a coffee in hand, I won't think it's weird at all anymore ;) I still haven't driven yet...When Cam was driving us to Grand Junction, he kept looking over at me in the passenger seat, asking if I was ok. Finally, I laughed outloud and confessed that I was scared. We were going 80MPH on the right side of the road!! We've spent the past years driving on the left side with a top speed limit of 46.

We are so very thankful to be back and with our family. We fly to my parents on Friday before heading to California. Can't wait to see you! It is so great to be here.

41 comments:

  1. I just love you and am so glad you are back in the USA!! See you soon sweet friend:) xoxo

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    1. See you in California, beautiful!! Can't wait!!

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    2. I wish I could fly to California and meet up with the two of you too :)

      Amanda, I totally get where you're coming from. When we moved from Graz to Salzburg (it's not THAT far) I cried so so much. People do make up homes and we had the best kind of family living in Graz. But I'm sure you'll make wonderful new friends where you're headed next! Thinking of you.

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    3. Ahhh how great would that be!!

      Thank you... I hope so, too!

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  2. That white llama had me in stitches! Such beautiful pictures of your family too :)
    Here's to a new adventure for you lovely Marshalls, hope you love it just as much as the last
    Grace x
    theartofwandering.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. OMG! i confess i totally teared up when i read what Kinuko-san wrote you!! Okinawans have the sweetest hearts, and i love that even though they don't understand you they give it their all to share their love! I know you will cherish that friendship forever! :) Good Luck in your 'Merica adventures!

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    1. They really do. I miss them! I hope you enjoy your last year (two years?) there, Laura!

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  4. Ah the Pottery Barn, such a dangerous place. I think about the life you live with all of your travels and it's just ah-mazing to me. I've moved a lot in my life, but not to the extent of your adventures. ;)

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  5. so glad to have you back!!! loved reading the stories of your last days - i agree, go into a place with an open heart or dont go there at all

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  6. So glad you made it safely! Great to hear about you, and that house looks amazing!

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    1. Thank you, Betsy! I should have taken more photos - their house is incredible.

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  7. What a bittersweet post! My mom & stepdad have said before what a culture shock it is each time they return to the states -- the consumerism and more-is-more mentality. Are you making a quick Washington DC stopover before Cali?? I sure hope so -- but understand it's not exactly a quick trip from NC.
    Praying for you guys and your travels!!
    love, lanneybear

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    1. YES we are!! I'll call you once I know exactly when we're coming. I cannot wait to see you!!

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  8. it's so great that you are able to find and celebrate the beauty in each step of your adventure. i really admire that!

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  9. We left a lot of family in IN & moved to FL for my husband's General Surgery training and now we are back in IN & honestly, it has been a very rough adjustment moving back :). I am applying to St. Georges, Grenada for medical school & seeing your adventures in giving me courage to follow through.. Best wishes on your adventure.. Your pictures are amazing & is not meeting up with family after time gone the best :)?!

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    1. Thanks, Jenny. I'm sorry to hear it's been a rough adjustment. Moving isn't always easy. It's really tiring, actually! But I hope everything works out for you! And yes, being with family has been sooo great.

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  10. We had culture shock as well when we moved back to the States after living in Guam for 3 years. Glad you are able to spend quality time with family before you head to California!

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    1. It's much more apparent to us then any type of culture adjusting we did in Japan!

      Thank you!!

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  11. welcome back, love! i'm so glad to hear you had a sweet and memorable last few days in Oki, and are enjoying your time stateside. it feels good to have you back on US soil. (:

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    1. Love you :) Love that baby girl.

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  12. I remember all those crazy adjustements - good luck! That place looks so neat and how fun for John She to meet all his cousins

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    1. He loved loved loved his cousins!
      Thank you!

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  13. what a wonderful adventure you three are on!

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  14. Welcome back stateside! I've been following your blog for awhile now and I live in Denver so it's really exciting to know that you're enjoying the same state I live in when all your photos and posts have always seemed so "exotic" to me. Beautiful pictures as always.

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    1. Thank you!! Haha - Colorado is a bit exotic to ME since I grew up on the ocean, sans snow! I am still in shock that it snowed in MAY! ;)

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  15. Welcome home, friend! I totally teared up reading this. Y'all are living life the way it should be lived...throwing your whole hearts into it. Can't wait to see where God is going to lead y'all next! Enjoy this sweet time with your families!

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  16. so glad you guys are back safe! i can't imagine the immense culture shock. i had so much more culture shock coming back to ca than going to spain. plus, not waking up to that amazing sea every morning will get some getting used to . i love your neighbors and i'm so glad you were able to make such amazing friends. i love how you said you want to keep your heart open to everything and everyone even though knowing you won't be staying in one place for too long. xoxoxo

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    1. I hope I get to see your beautiful face in California my dear!!

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  17. Welcome back to the USA!!!!

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  18. Welcome back to the USA!! I am sure that the culture shock was huge! What sweet neighbors you had! Have a great time with your family!

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  19. Welcome back! Reverse culture shock is always wild - I never thought how different I'd think my home country was coming back to it!

    Great blog!

    Caity at Adventures Abroad Blog

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    1. It's like seeing your home country with fresh eyes.

      Thank you!

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  20. My parents live in Downtown Grand Junction! :) We'll be down there the end of July when my husband gets home from Officer training (or school, I'm not sure what they call it. I'm still learning, haha). If you ever get a chance use the groupon for the hotel in Telluride (it seems to always be available when we go). It's about 2 1/2 hours away from Grand Junction and it is beautiful. Ps. I've been meaning to say this when I read your blog but haven't. I love your blog - the pictures, writing, the wonderful recipes, the travel adventures - but I especially love seeing you and Cam's relationship in pictures and words. You refer to everything in a plural sense (our trip, Cam's side of our family, we) and I've always cherished that in my husband and I's relationship because to me it shows you're doing everything together with one bond. I don't see it very often nowadays so when I do it makes me happy. Random, I know, but just something I thought I'd share! Have an amazing day and Welcome Back to the States :)

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