I didn’t realize it until mom called – today marks one year since we left the U.S. A year ago today we were saying our goodbyes completely unsure of what lay ahead. I remember trying really hard not to cry and Josi telling me not to make her cry. Saying goodbye was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

I look back at this year and I can’t believe all we’ve been through. Eight months in Costa Rica, capsule experiencing things I’d never dreamed I’d get to do, two short but memorable trips to Nicaragua and finally landing in Colombia where we had worked so hard and for so long to arrive. This year has been amazing, difficult, emotional, exciting, triumphant, fulfilling…I think I could list every emotion in existence here. It’s such a bittersweet feeling to look back on this last year. Language school was tough, but we made incredible friends. Our experiences here have been incredible, but we’re sad to have missed new babies and weddings of dear friends. This year took me away from my sister during her most trying time, making it one of the biggest challenges of my commitment to this ministry I have ever faced. God helped us get through it.

I asked the kids what their favorite memory of this year was and what they missed most from the States. Alex said his favorite memory was getting to spend time with is friend, Taylor, an MK to Mexico who was our neighbor in Costa Rica. He said he really missed the snow in Michigan. Maggie’s favorite memory this year was meeting and making really good friends with Natalie, an MK to Nicaragua who was in her class in Costa Rica. She missed Sebastian the most (my mom’s dog, which if you know Maggie well you’ll know that anything besides an animal would be shocking.) Corey couldn’t think of an answer, but said that his favorite thing about this year was that our marriage proved to be stronger than ever. It’s a funny thought, but he was nervous knowing that we’d be together pretty much 24/7, but we’ve found that we are absolutely perfect for each other and even after a year of being together nearly every minute of every day we find that we are still madly in love!

I expect this year will be more settled, but you never know what’s in store!
~Tona