I can’t believe how much our lives changed in 2015. Just 12 months ago we were a family of 2 living and both working in Idaho Falls. We were anxiously waiting and wondering when the opportunity for the foreign service would become a reality. Everything was still kind of up in the air. But once January hit life came at us fast! Now 12 months later we are a family of 3 living in Kingston, Jamaica.
January started off pregnant and ended with a baby! You can read All about Allie’s birth here.
Our greatest adventure of 2015 joined us January 26th and she was pretty darn cute.
I don’t remember the exact date but during the first week or two of February Scott received notice that he was offered a spot for the upcoming training class for the foreign service. I cried, hard. Even though I knew it was coming at some point but I was a postpartum, hormonal, MESS! We quickly arranged our move and housing in DC.
At the tail end of February the movers came and packed up our home in Idaho Falls. We left for Utah to spend a week with family before the big move.
Allie was blessed on March 1st. A few days later we packed our car to it’s capacity and drove from Utah to our new home in Arlington, Virginia. We arrived on a Sunday and Scott started the next morning.
Living in DC was a blast! Allie and I got out a few times a week to check out something new. Scott enjoyed his training while Allie and I explored our new city. It was a strange time because we really had no idea how long we would be in DC!
April brought flag day which was quite an event. We found out we would be heading to Kingston, Jamaica! April also brought Allie’s first Easter and a whole lot of visitors. I became well versed in navigating the metro with a stroller.
Scott continued his training while Allie and I continued to hang around DC. We spent a lot of time strollering around the Pentagon City mall and walking up and down the hill between our apartment and the Rosslyn metro station. For Mother’s Day Allie and I took a trip to Utah!
We spent our last month DC spending all of our money at Costco. We stocked up on sunscreen, bug spray, brown sugar, diapers, beach towels, and much, much, more! The movers came to pack up our things a few weeks before we left DC. Allie also hit a sleep regression that I thought would be the end of me.
The last thing to go was our car! Thankfully, DC is such an easy place to live without a car.
Allie got sick for the first time. She would sleep on me in our baby wrap and she would get so sweaty from having a fever. It was so sad 😦 In July, we left DC for Kingston. We had a few days in Miami. Scott had some training at the airport there. Our one-way flight to Jamaica was pretty surreal – this was it! We were actually moving!!
We didn’t have a car for the first long while once we arrived. I am so grateful for wonderful, welcoming friends who volunteered to cart us around town to the grocery store and show us all about life in Jamaica.
We didn’t have our car for much of August so it was hard to get out and explore. This was probably the hardest time. At the beginning of the month we didn’t have our stuff, we didn’t have a car, we didn’t know anybody, I was alone with Allie all day. I definitely thought a few times what are we doing here? But thankfully, we started to feel more comfortable. Our stuff arrived and it started to feel more like home!
Our car finally arrived which really allowed me to feel more independent. September brought a lot of firsts; my first time driving on the “wrong” side of the road, our first trip to the coast, our first visitor (Thanks for coming Grandma!!), Allie’s first tastes of food!
I was diagnosed and started my long episode of iritis. That’s definitely the thing I want to forget most about 2015!
October was a highlight. I feel like October is really when I fell into a groove here in Kingston. I finally felt like it was natural to live here and the inconveniences just slipped into everyday life. We celebrated our first Utah State homecoming from afar. We were able to take a really great vacation to Panama with some really great friends. We LOVED Panama!
We celebrated Allie’s first halloween and it was so much fun dressing her up. I’m pretty sure she makes the most perfect baby Snow White!
Because we knew we wouldn’t be going home for the holidays Allie and I spent 2 weeks at the beginning of November in Utah. Even though I got my wisdom teeth pulled it was such a great 2 weeks. We packed in a lot of family and a lot of food! Surprisingly, leaving wasn’t as hard as I had imagined it would be. After our trip to Utah we spent Thanksgiving with some great friends and felt really grateful for everything that we have been blessed with.
I thought December and Christmas were going to be devastatingly hard but it turns out we had a great time. Putting up the Christmas decorations was so bizarre. We had our Christmas tree by the window so I could see the tree and then look out over the Caribbean landscape with the sun shining bright. We went to a Christmas party held outside (where Allie met Santa) and I was sweating! I don’t think I will get used to the climate. On Christmas Eve we hosted the LDS missionaries for dinner and on Christmas Day we went to a great lunch buffet at a local hotel.
Even though Allie had no clue what was going on it was still so fun to have Christmas with a child. I can’t wait for years to come when she runs out to the tree to see it Christmas morning. Allie got her first baby doll, lots of books, and a rider/walker elephant. She was very pleased with her gifts.
Overall 2015 was a pretty great year! I can’t believe how much has changed and how far we have come. I’m so grateful to our supportive families and for great friends who have made every transition easier. We are so blessed. Each day that I drive through Kingston I realize more and more just how abundantly fortunate I am.
I’m really proud of us. We’ve taken so many steps into the unknown and have remained positive and figured it out together. I still find myself feeling homesick and missing our families a lot. But if this crazy year has taught me anything it’s that we are RESILIENT. And I think that’s a pretty awesome thing to be.