So this week I am going to focus on some dear friends of ours, whom we miss dearly, but even that is so broad because we have many friends we wish could be closer to us! I will never forget Mikayla and Jason's wonderful hospitality towards us as we prepared to move from our East Coast home, to Guam.
We had met Mikayla and Jason in our young adult couple's Sunday school class at church. It was around September 2007 when we first got back to the East coast. I had spent the time Jon was in Cuba, living with my mom across the country, but it was nice to be back to the first place we had really had to establish our home as an independent couple. I admit while I loved being home and all the familiar things where I grew up, the business and wide range of city life had grown on me. I enjoyed being in a 'mega church', which was a huge change from my small town church of maybe 100 attenders on a very good day.
I don't remember exactly the how fast it all happened, but we clicked. We had finally found friends we felt comfortable with, that were at a similar point in life. We enjoyed having Mikayla and Jason over for dinner, and we spent time at their place, or out to eat as well. In fact, they introduced us to the Wii. It was New Year's Eve, we went over to their house for dinner and ended up staying until 1 am (I don't remember if that was actually the plan). For hours we played Wii Tennis, Bowling and Boxing. I felt like I was in youth group again, at one of our regular lock-ins! I had never had so much fun on New Year's Eve before! Natalie behaved quite well, even into the lateness of the night.
Fast forward to February, Mikayla was quickly approaching the due date of their first child. We had invited them over for dinner one night, and Mikayla was complaining of back pain. Well the next morning I got a call from Jason asking what was in that dinner because Mikayla was in labor!! They asked us if we could bring our camera because they didn't have theirs, you see Mikayla had been going to her morning OB appointment and the doctor was concerned about the baby's heartbeat, so she was sent to the hospital right from the clinic. So Jon stayed home with Natalie, as I went up to the hospital. Jason's sister was supposed to be there for the birth, another person to help Mikayla and the baby, but since baby Hannah arrived a few weeks early, his sister hadn't yet flown in yet (I think she was coming within a few days). I was only too happy to help when I got the the hospital, and whether it was from so much pain, Mikayla just didn't care, or because she really did want another woman there, she let me stay to help however I could. I considered it an honor. And I guess it was a help, because I was able to take pictures of there first moments as a family together! I wish someone had been at the births of my children to snap some early photos, but it just wasn't a priority for me or my husband to be taking pictures at the time!
About 4-5 months later, as we prepared for our move to Guam, leaving Mikayla, Hannah, and Jason, they were kind enough to let us stay with them. When it comes to overseas moves with the military it can take up to 2 months for our household goods to make the long journey to us, so we wanted to send it as soon as we could. What better time then right before I would be gone myself, with Natalie (2 1/2 at the time) to visit my mom for her wedding for 3 weeks the month before our overseas journey truly began. And when I returned home our apartment lease was ended, our stuff was gone, and Natalie and I stayed with Mikayla and Jason in their brand new house (which they were remodeling at the time!). Jon stayed with another friend, Eric, from his from work (who also had a young baby born the same month as Hannah), and who lived much closer to work, and he came over during the day to help with Natalie and Hannah when he wasn't babysitting Ava as a favor to Eric. Of course, I was in my 1st trimester of pregnancy with Zachary, which meant I was often nauseous, but as much as I could during the days while Mikayla was at work, and Jason was working on the remodel I played with Hannah and Natalie. It was actually a lot of fun, though it was cramped, during these few weeks. There was no one I would've rather spent so much time with before we left Virginia.
During our few weeks there we even went all together to Busch Gardens for the 4th of July. It was Natalie's first time at an amusement park and boy did she love the rides! And would you know, of all the years we spent in Virginia, so near to Busch Gardens which we could get one free pass to each year (military special), and both time we went I was in my first trimester of pregnancy!! The other time was when my mom and sister had visited us and I was 12 weeks pregnant with Natalie, and though I begged the doctor, they said I should NOT go on ANY rides at all! With my fear of miscarrying again, I did not dare to question that as much as I wanted too, and it was the same way the second time around. So though I enjoyed the shops and shows and even fireworks Busch Gardens had to offer, the closest I got to any ride was the train that ran through the park to shuttle guests from one 'country' to another.
Another fun story from while we stayed at Mikayla and Jason's house was first discovering Natalie had inherited my fear of bugs. While I am really only particularly scared of spiders and any bees or wasps, Natalie couldn't tell the difference at this age. One day when I sent her to the room we were staying in because she was in trouble, almost as soon as the door closed I heard the most ear piercing scream. When I went inside, Natalie was climbing from her small toddler size air mattress onto the taller queen size one, as fast as she could move. When I asked her what was wrong, in her panic she cried "There's a bug!!!" And I looked to see a housefly on her pillow! I couldn't stop laughing as I tried (and still try today) to convince her that flies and ants won't hurt her!
This is a post to record my Young Adult years at