31 March 2014

Pea Sea Ess (Military Speak for Permanent Change of Station)


Orders are in...


In the fall, we will be getting our things in ship-shape and moving to the Pacific island of Guam. I know... I didn't know where or what it is, either--but it's worth a Google and a Wiki! 

To all who were aware of these big decisions, thanks for the thoughts and prayers! We're humbled and blessed to be given this opportunity and look forward to sharing our stories from abroad!

I'll be stationed as a Staff Psychologist at Naval Hospital Guam for three years, working with the Active Duty Sailors and Marines within the Pacific Fleet, as well as the Chamorro people. I'm very hopeful Lance will open a Starbucks so the Chamorros can get a taste of the Frappuccino... but in reality, he's hoping to finish a degree there at the university. So proud!

To all who were aware of these big decisions, thanks for the thoughts and prayers! We're humbled and blessed to be given this opportunity and look forward to sharing our stories from abroad!

Hafa A'dai, y'all!

16 March 2014

The Beginning of the Beginning


Our family is at its very beginnings. So why not do what normal people do--start a blog to document our adventures!

I say 'the beginning,' but things have been in motion for quite some time. Here's a little recap:

We met and began "casually dating" in September 2012 as Kyle was a doctoral student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville (East Tennessee) and Lance was a security guard at a Tennessee Valley Authority Dam in Western North Carolina. Skype dates were the best! In January 2013, as Kyle interviewed at Clinical Psychology Internship sites, Lance accompanied him on a weekend visit to one of the sites Kyle was unlikely to select for his internship and residency--Walter Reed National Military Medical Center--Bethesda, near Washington, D.C. Little did either of them know that this visit would be so impressive to both Kyle's career and their relationship together. Kyle selected this site as his number one preferred internship and, in February 2013, was selected to commission as a Lieutenant in the US Navy Medical Service Corps, move to the DC area, and become a Clinical Psychology Resident at Walter Reed-Bethesda. In June, Kyle wrapped up his studies at UT and prepared for Navy life. In August, he attended "doctor boot camp" (US Navy Officer Development School) in Newport, Rhode Island while Lance readied their things to be shipped to the DC area. While Kyle was busy doing push-ups, folding 45 degree corners in his bed sheets, and reciting the sailor's creed, Lance worked with the Department of Defense moving crew to ship and unpack our belongings in our apartment that would be our home for the next year in Rockville, Maryland. Lance quickly got a job at Starbucks, which he enjoys greatly, and has been busy serving up coffee and working as an independent photographer on the side. Kyle began his work at Walter Reed-Bethesda and has learned so much about the military and putting to work his training as a psychologist. Several weeks ago, we submitted our list of preferences for Kyle's next duty station. We could be sent anywhere in the world and we are anxiously awaiting to hear what Naval Station and hospital we are going to be sent to next!

This leads us to today. For the past year, God has been working in my life personally and our relationship together. We have committed ourselves to one another and, as we begin to consider where we will be sent next and what that will mean for our relationship--it's time to make things public. Today, I bought the rings and am planning the proposal! Man, I hope Lance doesn't find this...

I am hoping to propose to Lance soon after finding out about our next duty station. I decided several weeks ago to go ring shopping when Lance was at work. We've both talked about what we each like and I have been working out in my head how to get his ring size and pick out the metals. This week, Lance ordered a necklace on Etsy and, when it was shipped to us, it came with a Cracker Jack-like bonus ring that could be pinched on and off. I used it to playfully measure both of our fingers and took this as a sign to get off my butt and get the rings ordered already!

I felt spiritually led to shop at the mall (how often does one get to say that?) and even a particular corner of the mall. What I found when I arrived there at Montgomery County Westfield Shopping Center was a new jewelry store owned by Ingrid Robinson. She was a very sweet and outgoing German lady and, with my family's German heritage and both Lance's and my love for German culture and language, I knew this was another sign as soon as I heard her accent. Not only that, but the store dealt exclusively in custom made German-designed rings that were exactly what I was looking for. Ingrid said she knew when she saw me walk in the kind of thing that I was looking for. She was right!

I brought in two rings of mine that I wanted included as part of the new designs: my True Love Waits ring from 1998 (throwback!) and a ring given to me by a very dear friend of mine. The story contains some confidential patient information, so I can't go past that. Sorry, psychologists have to protect information sometimes! Suffice it to say, the ring means a great deal to me and my work with people. While I couldn't wear the ring in its original form, I wanted to have a piece of it--and the blessing I have of being trusted with people's lives--with me on a daily basis. Ingrid will have the gold from the two rings melted out and included in the new rings. I was so thrilled with the outcome of the design and with Ingrid's encouragement, that I came home and started a blog about it!

I truly am blessed beyond words to have Lance in my life and to be beginning this journey into forever with him. I am just as blessed to have friends and family for support and, if you'd like to continue reading as the days/months/years roll on, we'd love to have you on board with us. Now, to the future!