2014 has brought adventure and change to our young married life. We have experienced everything from malaria in Africa and altitude sickness in Japan to swinging on a trapeze in Mexico and walking through German Christmas markets in England. Wherever we have been in our spectacular world, 2014 has brought Callie and I closer together. Take a look at some of our most memorable moments during the past year.
During the first four months of the year, Callie continued to sell real estate in Utah. Yes, she has her own Zillow page and her team was also honored with a regional award at her company’s award banquet. All her hard work has definitely helped support us in all of my expensive endeavors.
In April, after four years in Provo – six for Callie – I graduated from BYU and was able to celebrate with my family and my in-laws. A sensible person might imagine starting a reliable 9-5 job in the city where they and their spouse grew up, but I have different plans. Callie never imagined where life would take her and her future husband while growing up in Portland, Oregon.
In May, we were able to go on vacation to Ixtapa, Mexico with the Russell family. After a cancelled flight, a night in Mexico City, and lost baggage, we were able to relax on the beach. Callie enjoyed the trapeze while I enjoyed playing soccer with the resort employees. We loved spending time with family and seeing Julie dance the night away at the nightly parties. After all the fun, we couldn’t forget to take a picture with our Rip City gear.
After spending a night in Dubai, we finally arrived in Accra, Ghana. There, we worked for a company that trains small businesses in developing markets. We experienced what rain is like in Africa, long tro tro rides through bumpy, dusty roads, the largest market in West Africa, sketchy currency exchanges, mosquitos, USA vs Ghana in the World Cup, our second anniversary, and cold showers. Through it all, we met amazingly faithful and hard working people. It would be an understatement to say we were inspired over and over again.
After returning home from Ghana in July, we were back on the airplane heading to Japan with the Cornilles Family. My brother, Brennan just returned home from his mission in Taiwan, so this was our catching up time. My dad got to see a man from his mission and my parents showed us where they used to live. We climbed Mt. Fuji, swam in the Sea of Japan, visited historical sights, and took selfies with wild deer. It was amazing to experience Japanese culture and spend time with family.
In September, Callie and I stuffed our lives into our suitcases and moved to Birmingham, England so I could attend graduate school. Callie and I have made some great friends and feel at home in our new ward at church. Callie is serving the young children in the primary and I am serving the young men. We love learning new meanings behind British words and meeting people from all over the world. Living in a big city with old architecture is something we thought you only saw in movies!
Callie and I feel extremely blessed to have been able to make so many new friends and travel to so many places this last year. We are grateful to our Heavenly Father for everything we have experienced and look forward to the adventures 2015 will bring!