Yep, I'm gonna be "that person," right now. You all know the person I'm talking about, right? The one who gets all optimistic about the new year and the new opportunities to come, all because we move from one 24 hour period to the next and the last number at the end of the current year moves one number up in numeric order. Some people say, "It's just another day." I actually believe the exact opposite! I think as the humans beings that God made us to be, we crave that chance to start over..be forgiven....get a new outlook on life....see the end of the tunnel where the light has been shining for so long! Anyways, If this is the kind of post that annoys you, I would suggest that you stop reading now. :)
In order to move forward though, I always think it's a good idea to take a look back at the good and the bad of every year. The things that made us change and grow into the person we are today. Facebook started this new thing called "my year in review" where it compiles a lot the photos you have posted over this year and makes a collage. It is pretty cool but not very accurate. See, Facebook has no way of knowing when the picture was actually taken. So, if you choose to repost an old picture as a reflection, it was still being used in the collage. Oh well. All of this to say that, hopefully, my year in review will be accurate.
I don't even remember how I rang in the new year. Must have been pretty awesome, huh? What I do remember about Jan is, My friends Andrew and Amy welcomed baby Emma in to the world.
My grandmother passed away so my family and I all met in Oregon to say our goodbyes. While we were there, Seth, Rebekah and I had some much needed conversations. It was good.
My Caleb turned one!! Jacquelyn, my mom and I threw him a big one year party at my parent's house! We did a Disney Cars/sports theme. It was super fun and everyone, including the birthday boy, seemed to really enjoy it!
The next major event was, I was getting pretty serious about my intensions to move to Oklahoma. God had been nudging me in this direction since I went to visit in Nov of 2011. It seemed like a very likely opportunity, so I was desperately praying for some direction. By the end of the month, I had decided not to renew my lease on my current apartment (which would be ending near the last week of Feb) or look for a new apartment. My parents graciously offered me their spare bedroom, providing I would only stay for a few weeks/months.
The next big one year birthday was this month! Caleb Park (the little guy I nannied) is only a few weeks younger than Caleb Stilson. Kimberly (Caleb's mommy and my good friend) threw an amazing (as always) Circus themed party. Everyone had a blast!
During the same week as the party, I became a member at Village Bible Church. This was my home church for over 12 years. My family went there as well as most of my friends. Even though I had a strong feeling that I was going to leave soon, I felt God calling me to join the body in membership. So I did!
Other significant events were: Alleena came to visit. The decision for me to move to OK was finalized. I moved out of my apartment and in with my parents, while my life went in to storage. Discussions with IEW (Institute For Excellence In Writing) about me coming to work for them, began.
The month started out with a bang, as I was officially offered the position at IEW. This meant, not only, was my move REALLY TRULY OFFICIAL, buuuut, I had a job to start upon arrival! YAY! Talk about relief!
Next up, Conor Anthony Martinez was brought in to this world by Kristin and Jonathon Martinez. He was born on the 8th at 11:30am weighing in at 7lb even and 20 3/4 inches long. I was honored to be one of Kristin's Doulas. They did a home birth, so, it was a lot of work, but, birth is such a miracle that is was all well worth it in the end!
The same day Conor was born, Rebekah flew in from Texas to begin the saga of our 25th birthday! I say saga because a looooot of good and bad happened, but we won't go there. We celebrated that weekend at the roller rink, kickin' it 80's style! We had a ton of fun (other than me almost breaking my arm! ;)) with family and friends. Then, we went to dinner at Richardo's, which is one of our favorite mexican restaurants in So Cal.
Another baby boy entered the world on the 20th! This one being my blood nephew, who was born to Jefri Peters and my brother, Seth Tribble. His name is Kai Anson Peters Tribble and he arrived at 11:37am weighing in at 7 lbs 6 oz 21 inches. My family was thrilled to welcome the first blood grandson!
Final adventure of March was a road trip with my favorite Amber! We stopped in Fresno, where she stayed with her sister for a night and I stayed with Karl Strube (one of my adopted brothers). We went to dinner at this AWESOME Mediterranean restaurant before I headed to the Municipal airport for FLIGHT SCHOOL!!! The next morning I flew a plane. It was no big deal. ;) Ok, It was SOOO COOL! That afternoon, I grabbed Amber and we drove up to her childhood home, where her parents still live, to visit. She showed me around their little town where she grew up. It was a blast!
This was a long and emotion filled month. Amber, my mom and I threw a baby shower for Kristin and Jonathon on April 1st. We did an outside garden party theme.
My last day at Mabel Paine Elementary, was the following week. :( I'd say, 4 years was a pretty good run. That was probably the HARDEST job to leave, EVER! Katie and her family are some of my closest friends and they came out of that job. I still miss them a lot! Not to mention how much I miss my students! I also had to say goodbye to my precious Park family! I can't even begin to describe what a blessing this family was to me! Not only did we fill each others needs (them needing child care and me needing another job) but we were also the answer to each others prayers. God is pretty awesome like that! They will always be a part of my heart!
I had some special dates with people to say goodbye. Amber planned a whole day for us which involved doing everything we loved to do together (IE..go mini golfing, the dollar tree, Starbucks...etc). The Parks took me to dinner. Katie and Robbie let me take the boys on a special lunch/park/ice cream date. Finally, Ron, Susie and the kids had me over for dinner.
After the sad goobyes, came a welcome hello when I got to meet Kai and the Peters family! What a lovely bunch of people they are! They welcomed me in with open arms and allowed me to spend much needed cuddle time with Kai. I loved every single minute of getting to know them! Jefri, Kai and Jefri's family (Bailey, Lars, Kashton, Keaton and Genie) are all such a lovely addition to our extended family now! It has been so easy blending our families together thanks to their welcoming attitudes! YAY for family!
My plane landed in Orange County on the 14th at 6pm. My mom picked me up and we made a mad dash to storage to grab everything we could fit in to my car for the drive to OK. The 15th was my going away party. Finally came the ultimate goodbye as my mom and I packed up my car, said a VERY sad goodbye to my daddy and drove off in to the sunrise towards Arizona on the 16th. We stopped in the Grand Canyon for a night to see April, had to get two new tires the next day and FINALLY made it to the Walker's house in Broken Arrow on Wednesday afternoon. That was a very LONG two days of driving. The Walker family allowed me to crash with them for a few months as I began my new life in OK. My mom stayed for a few days then flew home. That was also a hard goodbye.
Then, came many more hellos, as I began working for IEW. I started attending Memorial Bible Church and building friendships there too. Rebekah came to visit me from Abilene for the first time.
Not too much happened in May. Diane and I went to a convention together and began a very lovely friendship. We were both nervous at first because we did not know each other AT ALL but of course it ended beautifully. We make a great team! :)
I also became an official OK resident when I got my drivers license and license plate.
Things started to get busier at work.
I went to visit Rebekah and my grandparents in Abilene for the first time. Shortly after that, my grandparents moved back to California.
I put a deposit down and got the keys to my first OK apartment! Rebekah came for a few hours to bring me furniture that my grandparents gave me.
I settled in to my new place.
Things got REALLY crazy at work! Katie "quit" working at the office so she could move to far off college lands!
I helped Diane coordinate her wedding. It went off with just a few hitches. But, what wedding doesn't? :)
Things got REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY crazy at work! That's pretty much all I remember.
I had a house warming party.
The weather was crazy. It was HOT!
I went on our church family retreat near Arkansas.
I also went to a Tulsa Shock Women Basketball game.
Diane, her brothers and I went on a CRAZY adventure to Arlington TX (5 hours away) to see the Angels play ball. It got rained out. hahahaha! It is still a super funny memory! We did hit up In-N-Out and Trader Joes, which made the madness worth it my opinion.
Things slowed WAY down at work. I started working for the School Division.
Went to the Tulsa State Fair.
Fall weather and foliage began!
Rebekah went home to visit and got my dogs and my stuff.
I Went to Abilene to visit my dogs and my stuff. Oh yeah, I saw my Rebekah, Seth and Kelly too. ;) Rebekah pureed a HUGE pumpkin. I met the Salmin family and fell in love with Rebekah's church before driving home.
I Filled my two Operation Christmas Child boxes.
Hit a deer and dealt with insurance.
FINALLY, the long awaited trip home come about. I was able to visit for two weeks. The day after I arrived was a Sunday so it was a blast surprising everyone at church! I met Mathia and Gen Gen for the first time as well as saw many family and friends. While I was home, I went on a Cruise with work and worked a convention. So it work/play. It was so awesome being able to celebrated Thanksgiving with both sides of the family. Jefri, Kai and Seth came to visit while I was in CA with my parents. Jefri and I had fun hanging out. I also got to see Annie's new Condo and spend much time with my Suzi in Crime (aka, my cousin Jacki). We went black friday shopping with Emily. At the end of the two VERY full weeks, I flew home on the same flights as David and Julie.
Rebekah came to visit and we found an awesome Sushi place. We (ok, she) decorated my apartment for Christmas and had a Christmas/come meet my sister party.
I got internet at my apartment and started working from home two days a week.
It started to get REALLY cold. I learned/am learning how to dress for cold weather.
I was able to go to Abilene and have A WHITE CHRISTMAS! On Christmas eve we spent time with our aunt, uncle and cousins. It was a total blast and blessing to be with family curing the holidays! On Christmas day we went to Salmins house. They are so sweet and included us right in as family. Their extended family even had little stocking stuffers for us! We felt very loved and accepted. :) To end the lovely time, I almost died while driving home. lol! I drove on ice for 300 miles on Christmas night (weather report LIED).
Last week, we had our work Christmas party.
On Saturday I went to see my friends in their choir performance followed up with Les Miserables at the local theater. It was AMAZING!! I seriously was floored!
Tonight I will ring in the new year with people from church and thus ends my year in review!
Whew! You know whenever you watch a TV series and they do a flashback show? (I am particularly thinking about Friends because they did those a lot) That is what I feel like just happened! hahaha! That was exhausting! As you noticed, I got more and more in to short hand/"bullet point" type thoughts as the months moved on. lol!
Anyways, it was so good to have to stretch my brain to remember everything that has happened because it caused me to see all of the ways God has moved in my life! Hence, the reason why I love doing this.
Looking forward, I have a feeling God has some MAJOR things in store for this next year. He always does but this year feels different. The start to my life in OK has been amazing and I know it will only get better. I seriously can't believe I have already lived here for 8 months!
It's going to be really exciting to see my parents new life take off as they move (in two weeks) to Washington State to become missionaries in a small town named Endicott. It only has 400 people in it. God provided an AMAZING opportunity for them and I am SOOO excited to see it flourish! Hopefully I will be able to visit them in March around my birthday.
I will end this here. Hopefully you all have a safe and lovely new year! Don't forget to take some time and at least think through your year in review to reflect all of the amazing things God has accomplished in your lives! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!