Friday, June 18, 2021

Airport Miracle

 June 19, 2021

This past week we experienced one of God's tender mercies that I wanted to write down, it really was a miracle. After a long and exhausting flight across the world, literally, we touched down in Amsterdam from Tokyo. We had both our kids and 9 checked bags and 5 more carrying ons. Everything we owned, a TON of stuff-- more than two people could carry across the airport to find our taxi van. 

At first, we couldn't find any carts to put our stuff on and when we finally found carts there was three of them and we didn't want to leave out stuff because was worried about it getting taken and Riley was trying to talk to arrival information and see if there was a service to help but there was for sure moments of dread and 'how are we ever going to do this' and get out of the airport with all our stuff. 

Out of nowhere it felt like, a workers asked if she could help and just grabbed a cart and we all did the same and started following her through the airport. We started chatting through the airport and I told her we were moving, hence the million bags. She asked where I was from and I told her we came from Japan, but originally from the US... She asked what part of the US and I told her I was from Idaho and she asked what part of Idaho, and told me she was an exchange student in Jerome, Idaho! It was so cool and random!

She then told me she knew a family that had moved her from Tokyo too but just left, in my head was thinking do you know how many people live in Tokyo! But then she recalled the name "Karissa Stone" and I knew exactly who she was talking about and she said they were Americans family in her church that also came here from Tokyo but moved a month ago to London. We overlapped with the Stone family in Tokyo and met her and actually I chatted with her on the phone just weeks before about moving here.

I then told her we are also members of the church too! She was so excited and I started getting emotional telling her she really was heaven-sent helping with our bags. She told us about the Amsterdam dutch ward and how it really is bilingual and told us to check it out Sunday. She also said she was the Relief Society President and we exchanged information. Her name is Maureen! It was SO COOL how it all worked out and honestly a miracle. I found out she wasn't even suppose to be at "arrivals" but they moved her last minute randomly, not so randomly! She had also prayed to see who she could help today. 

God is there and real, working through others to accomplish so much good. It was through Maureen's act of service that we were first able to get our bags across the airport (a truly impossible task on our own) and also we went to the dutch Amsterdam ward (we kinda thought the English ward is the one we would attend) and met lots of people and even had two play-dates this week with kids close to Luke's age and has made the transition so good here. It has almost been one whole week living in Amsterdam and has been so good! Lots of big decisions ahead figuring it all out and where to live-- but we are excited for this new chapter in life. 

Sept 2016

almost five years later.... 

We love business class!

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Moving from Japan- Final Days

Luke packing all the essentials 

Julene send me this photo below during this time and our final week in apartment. The photo is from their final week and closing the door to apartment in NYC, she is holding baby Riley. She said it was SO sad, but soon replaced by the excitement of new h0me and experiences in Georgia. It made my day, and felt relatable and is so true! It was so sad to leave, but replaced with new memories and new home. 

We just gave everything away, except for a couple suitcases per person and a christmas tree. This picture is outside our house circled all our stuff for someone to pickup. 
Nike put us up in a hotel the final week of Japan. It was really nice, with two rooms and giant king beds. We had all our moving done pretty much and out of the house, so there was little stress these final days and just eating out every meal and enjoying Japan.  Great send off. We love Japan! 

Robot Cafe! 

Riley would always joke how all he needed was a church basketball court here, and as soon as he gets the new job, the annex opens with a church basketball court, literally right before we leave 

Sushi everyday

Anna Griffin, one of my best friends here and mentor. Served in YW presidency together for years. 


Cheers to days gone by, the unknown was pretty real here. I remember exchanging looks with Riley a few time. It was pretty thick with uncertainty and a few comments this week about "Why are we leaving Japan?!"

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Japan Gems! (May-June 2021)

Just going through photos and closing up the journal on Japan memories. These photos are from May & June 2021 during our finals weeks in Japan. We left at the perfect time, right before the hot humid unbearable part of the sticky summer starts. These photos make me smile, all good memories mostly of the boys who will never remember Japan but they were such happy simple good times. 

Them giving me flowers was totally unposed. Sweetest flower pickers on the daily. 

I read somewhere that flower watching is a sport in Japan, which is true. It was hydrangea season when we left and did take too many photos of the flowers this year. But love this season. 

small close together homes

date night with Riley in Shibuya 

blueberry gang

our back window view, not much but wanna remember 

Clay always finding a place on a lap

really thrilled about this idea

playing with Andrus Family

Sushi everyday

not edible paint

A funny memory of my boys playing in the puddle and it being a spectacle for other kids :)