Sunday, February 17, 2013

........And We're BACK!

Hafa Adai Friends and Family of the Blogosphere! We are back!

Hello, there! We took this photo at the beginning of January.  Jealous? 

We apologize for our 2.5 month absence.  We weren't intentionally giving you the silent treatment, we swear! Where have we been you ask?

We've been very busy.  December became kinda crazy, very quickly, with the holidays becoming the center of some major celebrations.  As part of these celebrations, we went to no less than three fancy-dress events at the luxe hotels (i.e. Hyatt, Westin, and Sheraton...look at us name dropping like we're classy) in Tumon (the major tourist area). 

From L to R: Chris, David, Paul, Matt, Nick, and Amanda
Chris, David and Matt are Nick's co-clerks at the Supreme Court.
Paul is Matt's roommate.
We also had to get all our Christmas shopping for family done by like December 10, so we could get presents in the mail on time, to ensure delivery before Christmas.  

In addition to holiday madness, we also received news that our good friend, Teddy Scott, had been in the hospital for awhile, trying to become well enough to receive a second (yes, SECOND) double lung transplant. Even though Teddy had dealt with Cystic Fibrosis his entire life, he lived a super active life, participating in Ice Hockey, Broomball, and Softball (just to name a few). In college, the disease finally caught up with him, and started to slow down this dynamic and inspiring man.  About seven years ago, Teddy underwent his first double lung transplant, a great success, that led to the renewal of his active lifestyle.  

This was taken at our wedding reception in July 2011.
From L to R: Brad, Nate, Heather, Ryan, Niki, Teddy, and Scott
Needless to say, receiving the news that Teddy was in the hospital was hard enough, but a few days later Anthony and Dave Skyped us to inform us that Teddy had lost the battle against the infection and had passed away.  We were shocked and heart-broken.  Funeral and memorial services were arranged very swiftly, and we were unable to make it back to Michigan to attend, which was very hard to deal with.  We wanted nothing more than to be home with friends to mourn, and celebrate the life of this amazing man.  A few months later, and even just writing this still isn't accomplished without tears.  

R.I.P. Teddy, you are the epitome of what a friend should be and a model for how to live life to the fullest.
You will be forever remembered, eternally missed, and always an inspiration.
Add to all this, the onset of homesickness....and you have a recipe for a hot mess.  This was the first holiday in our entire lives either of us had been away from our families and the first winter for us not to experience any snow. All of this culminated one day in Amanda crying in the car, while waiting a stoplight in Hagatna (Guam's capital), during a frantic Christmas gift shopping outing, in the middle of the day, as White Christmas played on the radio (why would they play that song here anyway? seriously? that's just mean).  It was not pretty.

Thanks to EVERYONE who sent us Christmas cards and packages, you really helped to dispel our homesickness. A special big THANK YOU to Bob & Deborah who sent us this fantastic array of Better Made Chips for a little taste of home!

All of this resulted in no blog posts (or Christmas cards) in December. We apologize. We had the best of intentions. 

As many of you already know, the brightest spot in December happened for us the day after Christmas.  We found out that Nick had been chosen by the December hiring board to become a JAG in the U.S. Air Force.  

We expect life for Nick to be exactly like the TV show, except he'll be in a different uniform.
J.A.G. was a reality show, right? 
We don't know the exact numbers for the December board hiring, but to give you some idea of how competitive this position is, we can look at the May and September 2012 board meetings.  At the May board they reviewed some 700 applicants, of those 700, only 25 were hired. In September, only 5% of those who applied were accepted.  We feel very blessed, honored, and excited to have this opportunity. Nick is in the process of getting medical clearance right now, and once that is completed, he will receive his training start date, as well as the location of his first duty station. Training will be at Maxwell AFB in Alabama, and we are hoping for a late summer/early fall class date. But like we said, we don't know anything until Nick completes his medical clearance.

In addition to Officer training, and military law training,
TV has taught us to expect Nick to receive fighter pilot training,
become promoted to Colonel within 10 yrs (or faster),
 solve all of his cases through witty banter, not be reprimanded for questionable behavior,
and resolve all issues in one hour (maybe two if it is sweeps).
After all, they can't put anything on TV that isn't true, right?
With the start of the new year, January saw us attempting to get back on a normal footing, regrouping, and re-accessing. It flew by.  We honestly don't understand how it could be mid-February already, it is simply not possible.

Winter in Guam
In addition to the events listed above, since we last posted we have:  climbed Mt Lam-Lam (Guam's highest point at 1,332 ft above sea level, and some argue the world's tallest mountain if you start the measurement from the bottom of the nearby Marianas Trench); become SCUBA certified; done some more boonie stomping; walked on an old Spanish bridge; gone to numerous WW2 programs at the national park; attended a few more festivals; watched the Super Bowl in a Justice's chambers at 9 am; attended two funerals on-island; gone to our first Guam BBQ on the beach; attended a surprise 60th Birthday party for the Chief Justice of the Guam Supreme Court; gone bowling; celebrated Nick's 30th birthday; and Amanda has become a volunteer at the War in the Pacific National Park.  We hope to do more in-depth posts about some of these things at a later date.

Recent adventures include this....any guesses?
We promise to try to be more consistent with our posting, but sometimes life intervenes. We have been taking tons of pictures and we have a handful of half-started blog posts that we hope to get up soon. We're sorry we've been gone so long, and we're glad to be back.  Be sure to leave a comment so we know you haven't abandoned us, and to tell us what posts you are most looking forward to.

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