January 05, 2015

2014 has come to an End…One Adventure Complete and Plenty More to Come

This year has been a year of change (I guess we all could say that). We have lived in two different houses, been to 6 countries, 25+ flights, thousands of miles, we have enjoyed the Atlantic Ocean, Marmara Sea, and the Black Sea. We have slept in apartments, caves, hotels, castles and cottages--places with views, places in the middle nowhere, places with history.

We have had moments of unexpected changes, we have laughed until we had tears, we cried when we had to say goodbye or make hard decisions, and we, most of all, enjoyed our Lucky Dragon and his fun personality.

In this year we have watched him crawl, then walk, then run. He has gone from being satisfied with a cheap elephant rattle to being able to copy what we do, including sweep the floor, vacuum, and get his own bath ready. He loves to laugh, hug and kiss. He is beginning to say more words and neigh like a horse or roar like a dragon. Some of his favorite phrases are “What’s that?” “I didn’t do that!” and of course, “No!” He loves to dance to any music that he can find—he may dance like his dad (poor guy) but he loves every minute of it.

We have been so blessed in so many ways. Here are some highlights of our year:

We enjoyed our little guy turning into a toddler. He is happy as ever. Some of our favorite memories were working on projects with our Activity Day Girls at Church.

We continued to watch our little guy grow up. Lady Hiva started to make homemade baby food. He starts to cry and raises his head like a Dragon, hence our little Lucky Dragon. We also kept enjoying the amazing museums in DC.

We celebrated Lady Hiva’s birthday! A Turkish woman we metat Church decided to be baptized.

DC in the Springtime is AMAZING! We loved exploring the Cherry Blossom Festival and areas around DC. Including the day in ShenandoahValley. Dustin passed his Turkish test! We also made one of our most difficult decisions ever.

We made our big move across the Atlantic Ocean to Istanbul, Turkey. It rained for the first several weeks here. We learned how to push hundreds of pounds of groceries up steep hills in a stroller. (It was a great calf work out). We also found being tourists in such a historical place. There is great food, great sites and amazing experiences.

Dustin’s second book, COUNTING CANDLES was released! We learned to love traditional Turkish Breakfasts and to appreciate Turkish rugs. We also learned to love the fresh fruits and vegetables from the bazaars every week.

We spent the weekend on the beach of the Black Sea, toured more of this fabulously historical city. The best part of July was havingfamily here—the Millers! Our Lucky Dragon turned 1! He keeps getting bigger and bigger!  We celebrated that birthday in England! We traveled through London (we loved the city, it loved all our money!). We went through the amazing quaint countryside and saw castles, dungeons and Stonehenge.

We explored more of Istanbul’s food life. Then we made a mad dash to Italy to celebrate our wedding anniversary and Dustin’s birthday. It was amazing food, amazing scenery, and some wonderful people. We saw Rome, Tuscany, Verona, Florence, and Venice. We loved it.

We continued to enjoy Istanbul and then made a surprise tripto Utah. Not only did the trip change our time change clocks, but it changed our lives for the future. Who knows where this next road of adventure leaves. Tau’aho loved seeing the animals and fun experiences in Beaver.

We found a few new places in Istanbul to shop! Then we put that to use and threw a Halloween party for our friends at Church. Lady Hiva loves Halloween so this was a favorite experience of the year.

The Christmas tree (well one of them at least) went up! YAY! We had a visit from the Bidens and Dustin was busy with that. We had a true Thanksgiving dinner with some amazing friends—with homemade pies and all!

We rounded up the year with a surprise trip to Germany and then a second one to Cappadocia. Both were cold trips but we had so much fun. Of course there was Christmas and we had so much fun making gifts and treats to pass out to friends. It was also fun to see Tau’aho have his first Christmas.

So here is to seeing what 2015 brings—it is bound to be full of more changes and adventures.

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