Bye California




Today seemed like a long time coming. I have been waiting for the day where I could finally be with RJ. To say I have been walking around as half a person seems very accurate. I have known RJ since I was 14 years old. We grew up together, we learned a lot of things together, and we think the same. Its strange how we can be so different and so similar at the same time. I love my husband! I mean, madly in love, could spend every second of every day with him. He's just a lot of fun to be around. We just don't know how to function apart from each other. Some people might think thats pathetic, but It's the truth, and I like it!

However, I am really going to miss everyone. It breaks my heart to leave all of our family and friends. It's kind of hard to explain how much we love these people. I know everyone feels like they have the best friends in the world, but we do! I feel really blessed with amazing friendships. Honestly, I have never felt like an exceptional person, or friend for that matter, but I have had some very exceptional friendships. I could never express how much that has meant to me. I have felt really taken care of by these women. I have laughed, and cried with these women, and confided in them. I have felt the love of Christ through them. Through my brothers who have really stepped up in any way that I needed while RJ wasn't here. My in-laws who I love like my own parents. I always laughed when women would say they have awful mother in laws. I thought, aren't they all great? I love my mother in law, she's pretty wonderful. I confide in her and ask her for advice. I look up to her, and model a lot of who I am as a wife and mother after her. My father in law is pretty great too. I call them mary poppin parents, because they're wonderful.

Alright, at the risk of being completely unbearably mushy, all I can say is that I love all of the. They're all so unique and yet they work so great together. That might be what I love most about them, the way they work unto the Lord! Wether it was going to the gym or going on a trip, or just hanging out. They have made these 6 months bare able. I have learned how to love people unconditionally, how to be sacrificial and give your all to others (something I learned from both my mom and RJs grandmothers). God has given me sisters, brothers, a father, mothers, aunts, grandmothers. I have learned something different from each of them. I really can't see how I can find people as great as these. I just hope they know that as much as we have meant to them, they have meant that much and more to us. We love you guys!

I have seen biblical love in action. I'm going to stop now because i can go on but It's getting too sappy and too depressing. I'm starting to sound like a nice drunk. Everyone is great! I love you all. Haha.

Goodbye California! You're beaches are only beautiful in Orange County, your freeways are way too crowded, you are way too hot (100 in december!), you smell like pee, and you're a blue state, BUT you have some very amazing people living there!

Take heart





I can get very quickly overwhelmed by things going on in the world. I can easily feel attacked and defeated, and want to give up. This is such a sweet reminder that I need not feel that way. God has won! That is the outcome. It's like that last day of school, anything can happen because you know at the end of the day, It's over. I think the lines are drawn, the sides are chosen, and I have decided to follow Jesus. Something that is becoming harder to say in this world. I don't ever feel surprised by anything that happens, because if we as a nation can agree that killing children is okay, there is no line, really.

I try to wrap my head around what to say, and how to act, and how not to feel so desperately alone. This world and culture that just perpetually glorifies sin, seems overwhelming. I think today has been a really great wake up, that I have not been deep enough in spiritual things. I have been lulled to sleep by the things of this world, by ridiculous things that are of no eternal importance. I have slowly been giving things up, but today was just what I needed to just be done with it. I am an extremely emotional person, an all or nothing kind of girl. I get emotionally invested in people, and ideas. I really don't know how to remove myself from what is happening around me, that is just not who I am.  Normally I would be crying and sad, and just wanting to go home already, and while I have all of those feelings, I also have new feelings. I feel hopeful!

This is not all there is. The word of God is still true. Jesus Christ is still Lord. That's it! Those are the reminders I needed today. The biggest being that Jesus Christ has won. What better reminder is there than that? Whatever may come, Jesus is God. The battle is won. I just don't know how else to explain it, but it gives me all the hope I need. Seriously, you guys. This world is awful, people suck, life sucks, sucky things happen, Its the world we live in. There really is no way around that. BUT, take heart, He has overcome the world. What a verse! I almost feel like who cares? But, i don't think that's exactly the right attitude. I think the right attitude is, go tell people about Jesus! Tell them about the hope and the inexpressible joy only He can bring, and who cares if they laugh in your face, because this is not all there is. This is not our home, and as much as people say we are wrong and awful, and just plain ignorant, the truth is that every knew shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is God, and there's no way around that.

Give people the hope we have in Jesus. Love hard, be honest, and be hated. Because I can promise you that the suffering you will go through is not worth comparing with the glory that is to come.

Newport Beach




We went down to Newport beach last week and I wanted to share some pictures. It was such a blast, even though it was a gloomy day, the kids loved it!


They loved making sand castles! Well, Ava would make, and Jed would destroy!
The water was cold!!



There was even a little bit of wild life! So it was sort of an educational trip ;)

I love Newport, the beach is a lot of fun! I'm really going to miss the beach, even if I only go as deep as my knees.

Benjamin





I wasn't sure how I would be today. I had been thinking of this day all month and how much it means to us. Yet today feels like every other day. I still miss Ben, I look forward to the day where I get to hold him. But the pain is the same. It still hurts, the mere mention of his name makes me cry, but I'm okay. I'm at a place that I didn't imagine a year ago. The place where people told me I would be. I'm living with the pain. It is still painful, it is still hard for me to see a baby, and not wonder what Ben would have been like. But in all honesty, I am comforted that Ben is with Jesus. What a place to be!

As this world seems more and more perverse and just plain awful, I'm thankful that Ben will never have to experience that. He will never know pain or suffering, he only knows the comfort of his creator. As strange as it might sound, I'm thankful. I'm thankful that Ben will be spared from all that. I worry about the world that Jed will grow up in, the things he will see and experience and how difficult things will be for him. I thank God that Ben will never know that. As much as I miss him and as  much as I wish he were here and I was able to hold him, I thank God for his mercy.

I still remember every single thing about our baby, Ben. He touched our lives in the most profound way. He made heaven all the more to look forward to. Although, it was only for a moment, I am grateful everyday, for his life.

Happy Birthday, Benny.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18

NY!




So it looks like we will be moving to NY! I'm almost afraid to say it because things have changed so much. I have so many different thoughts and emotions on it that I wanted to share. The biggest being relief! I feel like the huge impeding doom cloud has lifted. I no longer feel stressed out about wether or not were going to be with RJ, or about being in another country. I just want to dance, like all the time!

The news was really unexpected. He got it sometime on his way home from Virginia, and decided to wait until he saw me at the airport. He asked me if I wanted good news or bad news first, I of course said bad news. To which he replied, you guys are not coming to Korea. I cried, and was a little devastated to say the least. He asked if I wanted the good news but I said no, I just wanted to go home. He laughed and told me that the good news is that we're going to NY. I screamed, which was probably not a good idea at the airport. I immediately felt so relieved.

The more I think about it, the more convicted I am. I felt like God totally came through. He changed a situation that seemed completely hopeless. I had given up, I was prepared for the absolute worst case scenario. But God knew, He knew all along what He was doing, and how things were going to work out. He never left us, He never forgot about us. He was with us the whole time.

People keep saying that winter is going to be brutal and to prepare for that, but I don't care. I am just so excited that we get to go with him. But honestly the thing I am most excited about is God hearing my prayers. When God answers prayers that just seem impossible, you can't help but cry. I felt so  heard, so loved. Yet, so guilty for not believing that all along. Lesson learned! I don't think I could have learned this another way. Things have been really rough these last couple of years, but I know that God has been there. I'm so, so, so thankful! Guys, God is good! Even when we don't see it. This is a small victory, but a big reminder.

See you soon, NY! The Valdivias are coming!