Babies, Graduations, Announcements, Grand Openings…All in a Month’s Time

Back in December, before I was pregnant, we decided that I would go back to the US for my youngest sisters highschool graduation, to see my brother and his wife’s first and brand new baby, and just to spend time with my family.

As the trip got closer, and we found out we were expecting, the discussion came up on ‘how do we make our baby announcement special and unique?’. Well, some members of the family, like Colton’s parents and my parents, we really didn’t have any options. We called his parents and told them over the phone. We face-timed with my parents and shared with them the ultrasound picture (with fingers crossed the internet didn’t cut out on us!).


berry flavored everything as soon as I landed in Europe for my layover. Cant get enough!

Since I wasn’t really showing yet I decided to keep it a secret from the rest of my family and make an announcement in person when I was back. I would be about 4 months along. So thats what I did.

Early May I traveled to Virginia to spend time with my sister who is at university there. I gave her a few fun gifts from Africa then a cute T-shirtย  saying ‘BAE – Best Aunt Ever’ and a picture from the ultra sound. She was so excited and in such disbelief. All she could do was express her excitement in such a loud high pitch tone that the girls from her dorm hall came over to see what the commotion was all about!


Beautiful day to finish the end of school (for my sister) + hiking in VA before heading to Tulsa


On our way home to see the rest of the family!

announcement #1: Success.

I spent a few days with her during her finals, helped pack up and move her out of the dorm, met some of her friends, visisted our cousins who live (kind of) near by, then we flew together to Tulsa to see the rest of the family.


Loved the floors of the french crepery my sister took me too in VA

The evening we arrived I announced the pregnancy in a similar way to the rest of my family. Mom had a family dinner gathering so all the siblings, spouses and grandparents were there. I had small gifts for everyone and the same T-shirts for my other 2 sisters along with ultra sound pictures. Everyone was surprised and so excited!


Sisters + baby announcement!

Announcement #2: Success.

During my time in Tulsa I was able to meet the first grand baby, and my first niece – my brother and his wife’s baby. She is so precious and it was so special that I was able to meet her at such a young age in life.


Loved getting to hold and cuddle my little niece ๐Ÿ™‚


Perfect Niece ๐Ÿ™‚

My youngest sister graduated highschool. I still cant believe it. She is such an amazing woman and I was so emotional during her graduation thinking of how proud I am of her, how beautiful she is and what an amazing bright future she has ahead of her! Again, I felt so blessed that I was able to attend and be apart of such a special and monumental time in her and my families lives.


So proud of her!


Graduation for this beauty!

My other sister and her business partner had the Grand Opening for their bakery. This is a dream come true for her and they had been working on this for a while now. The grand opening was an amazing success! I was so amazed and proud of her. Not that I expected anything less! Originally they were meant to open a month earlier but like most businesses it took a little longer than planned. Somehow it worked out that the opening happened to be during the time I was in town. Again, I was just so blessed that I was able to attend and support such a huge event and milestone in her life!


LBco – best bakery + coffee ever


LaurannaeBakingCo – Best pastries + coffee

*on a side note if I lived there I would literally go to her bakery EVERY day because it is that good! You should go now. Or at least check out their instagram @laurannaebakingco


LaurannaeBakingCo – Best pastries + coffee


Sisters (not twins though!) ๐Ÿ™‚

I was also able to meet up with 2 of my longest friends (basically since we were babies!). We haven’t lived in the same town since highschool but its always a special reunion when we are able to meet up again, even for a brief coffee or breakfast. They both have children already so it was extra special being able to share my pregnancy news with them and share in the excitement together about life and families.


Friends reunited in Tulsa from across the world! Unfortunatelyย I didn’t get a pic with my other friend, but we had just as great of a time catching up!

Just spending time with my family, going on breakfast or lunch dates, getting an ultrasound scan with my mom and shopping for maternity clothes with her, kayaking with my sisters and brother-in-law, visiting and getting advice on birth, new borns, cloth diapers, etc from my sister-in-law, numerous sibling hangout parties, hiking a ‘mountain’ with my sisters and cousin to help her train for her hike across Spain, all this is just as important and cherishable to me as all the ‘big’ events.

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Kayaking with my sisters and awesome brother-in-law!


Tulsa Mayfest


Mother’s Day brunch


Farmers market with the family


My brother and his famers market booth


Sisters + brother + sister-in-law

Family is forever and I am so thankful for mine and the although-not-too-often yet quality time I am able to spend and soak up with them.


Sisters + Dad (in the background) at something called Rooster Day…who knew that existed? haha!

More pictures from my trip!

Coming Soon!

Most people should know by now, but in case you haven’t heard…we are pregnant!

The newest addition to our little family is due to arrive the beginning of October. We couldn’t be more excited!

We are so thankful for the blessing of being able to have children and so excited to start this next chapter in life.


Our precious baby at its 20 week scan


Having a baby abroad, and in Africa, is full of challenges.ย Just the prep work I need to do in order to make sure we have everything in place before the birth takes months!

When I say ‘prep work’, I don’t mean painting and shopping for a baby room, or going to Target to make sure we have all the right baby clothes and are stocked up on diapers, blankets, pacifiers, and whatever else social media claims is a ‘Must-have’, or having monthly, or weekly meetings and checkups with a favorite doctor/midwife, or going to prenatal classes to make sure we are prepared for a baby.

Non of this standard ‘prep’ work is even possible for us if we wanted to.

The type of prep work I am talking about is not quite as ‘fun’, although in some ways more important!


Enjoying a day at the pool at 26 weeks pregnant on our way up to visit and meet the doctor

What I am talking about is cleaning out the house/getting rid of unnecessary junk before we add more ‘stuff’. Writing friends and acquaintances across the entire country who might have a contact for a reliable doctor and/or midwife. Writing the same friends/acquaintances across the entire country to see if anyone is selling baby stuff we can buy second hand (because you cant buy most things here). Contacting a doctor and midwife overย 900 miles away and in another country, and scheduling appointments with them. Traveling (via car) over 900 miles one way to another country to meet the doctor and midwife who will deliver our baby, get a checkup and necessary tests done, hope everything is healthy and good before driving all the way back.


On the 900 mile (one way) road trip to visit doctors, midwives, and hospitals

Doing necessary research on getting a birth certificate, certified US citizenship for our baby, and passport. Making sure I have multiple copies of all applications and supporting documents to prove our baby is eligible for US citizenship and can then get a passport so we can leave the country and return home. Contacting more ‘friends-of-a-friend’ in the country we are going to give birth in to make sure we have a safe and comfortable place to stay for 2 months while we wait for the baby to arrive. Helping organize travel dates for my amazing parents who are coming all the way out here for the birth. Reorganizing our bedroom to make sure we have space for the baby and its crib/accessories – which we wont get until after the baby is born and will have to set up when we return. And lastly, making sure all the above is done and organized 3 months before the birth, PLUS having EVERYTHING packed that I will need for the hospital, last month of pregnancy, post-partum, new born baby, ALL documents that I will need before and after birth.

Oh right, I have just left our home in the bush and am staying in a small apartment next to Colton’s parents. It is the beginning of August and the baby is due beginning of October. I wont return to our home until November. Thats crazy.


30 Weeks along in Iringa

The reason I am here is because we live so remote that if any complication were to arise we would be totally alone. No doctors. No midwives. No (clean and reliable) hospitals. No emergency flights. Nothing.

I will be living here until we travel to Kenya for the birth at the beginning of September. Where I am staying now is next door to a friend of ours we met the beginning of the year and happens to be a Danish midwife who just had her fourth kid. She is amazing and can do regular check-ups for me until we go to Kenya.

*Side note: I am also taking a 4 week Swahili language course while I am here to help keep my brain active, as well as to help me speak the language. This is somewhat challenging when pregnancy brain kicks in! I haven’t experienced it too much thankfully but it did happen the other day where my brain literally just turned off and all I could do was stare at the Swahili word (that I already knew) that my teacher was asking me to translate. haha.


Last day at our house before I left for 3 months – 29 weeks

So, not your typical ‘prep’ work for a baby. But we are making it work. We know and have faith that everything will work out and all we can do is our best to be as prepared as possible for when the time comes.

Can you imagine having to basically be 100% organized and ready to bring home a new born baby, and then leaving your home where you wont return for 3 months, and when you do you will have a new baby? Its even hard for me to imagine! But thats what we have to do. Im sure next time around (if we are still here) we wont have to do so much ‘prepping’, but since its our first and we live in the middle of nowhere, we are taking extra precautions.


How in the world are you supposed to choose?!

It still blows my mind that the closest reliable US/European standard doctors and facilities are over 900 miles away from us….in another country. Talk about crazy!

In addition to all this traveling, prepping, language learning, organizing, etc. Colton and I will be apart for around a total of 4-6 weeks. In a dream life my husband would be able to take off the full 3 months from work…but who in this life has that luxury?! haha. I am just thankful that he is as supporting, loving, caring and excited about our baby as anyone could be. He makes this new journey easy and I couldn’t do it without him!ย He will be the best dad ever and I am so excited to see him with our little baby.


On our visit to Kenya to meet the doctors we were able to attend Colton’s highschool Alumni weekend at RVA. Couldn’t imagine life without him!

All the above might sound like complaining, but its not. Im just trying to paint a picture of the process and experience that might be hard to imagine. The truth is I really cant complain too much.

I am 31 weeks pregnant and it honestly has been pretty easy so far. The morning sickness was barely noticeable and for only about 2 weeks. I am staying fit and healthy (as much as possible), the baby is strong and healthy, measuring in on schedule and SO active. We have family and friends who are so supportive, generous and welcoming as we go through this phase of not really knowing what we are doing. We have family who are willing to spend the time and money to travel all the way to Kenya just to be with us, see the new baby, help and support, and just spend time together.

We truly have been so blessed throughout this entire journey. Although its not over yet we know there is a great future ahead of us!


Baby R due October 5th, 2018


When I was a kid, we had themed birthday parties every year. My mom made the cake while my dad always did the decorating. Im pretty sure I get my baking skills from my mom and artistic side from my dad. His cakes were fabulous. From pirate ships, to an actual barbie doll with the cake made around her to be her dress. They were always perfect.

Well, we don’t do themed parties anymore (but Im sure we’ll start them up again with our own kids one day!),ย but we always take the time to make it special, no matter where we are, or who we are with.

This year, Colton surprised me with a weekend getaway to Lake Tanganyika. He is always one for cute surprises, but he’s not exactly the best at being discreet. However, this time he totally surprised me!


Friday morning we woke up, I went to get the coffee started, got dressed for the (home) gym, and came back in the room to grab something. After a few seconds I turned around to see Colton laying out clothes on the bed…this never happens. I asked what he was doing and he casually said he was packing for Tanganyika. haha! What?! I asked when we were going and he said that morning. Surprise! He totally got me and it was perfect.


The weather was beautiful, especially since we’ve had nothing but rain for the past few months! We were the only guests so it was veryย quiet, peaceful and romantic.IMG_6851

Our last night there we went on a sunset cruise. Their neighbors, an older Dutch couple, joined us. This was our first time cruising on Lake Tanganyika and it was absolutely beautiful. We had drinks and appetizers whilst cruising around the islands on the lake. Such a raw, untouched beauty.


Just before the final sunset we parked the boat behind one of the islands. The Dutch couple, who we had just met while boarding the boat, had brought a Chinese lantern with them from Holland. They gave it to me as a birthday treat. What was supposed to be an easy 1-2 person job of lighting the lantern turned into an entire group effort from everyone on the boat! It took about 15 minutes to light it due to the wind and when we finally let it go it drifted up momentarily beforeย slowly plunging into the lake! So it didn’t work out so well for us, but the memories are unforgettable. We were all laughing so hard and had such a wonderful time!


Back on shore, when it came time for dessert, the staff lowered the lights and came out singing ‘Happy birthday’ to me, complete with a sparkler on top the ice cream! It was so special and sweet. I didn’t expect to be so spoiled and celebrated, at least by anyone other than my husband. It was perfect.


The birthday weekend was fabulous. My husband wins the award for best husband of the year!



On my actual birthday (a Monday) Colton had to work – of course – we are grown adults now. But for dinner we made pizzas and cooked them in our clay oven outside and watched The Proposal ๐Ÿ™‚


After we ate, Colton had me stay in the room while he went the kitchen to prepare something. He came out singing happy birthday and holding a bowl full of chocolate banana bread (I had made the day before) and ice cream with chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and a candle ๐Ÿ™‚ He is the best. I was surprised to see the ice cream because it usually doesn’t exist in our part of the country. Now, its not the best quality or most amazing ice cream, but it was ice cream nonetheless. It was so special!


Needless to say this years birthday was perfect. Full of surprises, new friends, sunny days, candles, and blessings. Year 28 is off to a great start and I have a feeling it will only get better ๐Ÿ˜‰



7 Travel Tips for London

Recently, my husband and I traveled to London for the first time. I did as much research as possible before hand so I would be familiar with the trains, travel cards, what to see and what not to see, etc. Maybe its the OCD in me, but I have to have some kind of a plan/schedule before traveling anywhere…even if the plan changes once there! I felt pretty good about what we would do while in London.
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We had such a great trip to London. I think we were able to see and do everything that we had wanted to do. Looking back, I cant think of anything that we felt we missed out on or forgot about. The only thing we would do differently next time we go is to spend more time outside of London, touring the country side of England. But, we knew before going that wasn’t feasible for us this last trip.
*Read about our trip to London in my last post here:ย London Calling
So, here are my tips after spending a week in London. If you are going for the first time hopefully these tips will help you have a more organized and stress-free visit!

1. Know what you want, and where you are going!

Meaning, do your research before you go on the trip. And I don’t mean a quick Wikipedia read the day before. There is so much to see and do in London. A lot of things are free, but there are also a lot that cost a bit extra money. What helped me have a more stress-free visit was researching all the ‘Main Tourist Attractions’ or ‘London Must-see’s’ (there are a million blogs and websites for tourists with a long list of these attractions).
Make a list of the most important places for you to see or the places you would regret not visiting. Then, either make a secondary list of places that aren’t as important, but if you have time you might see them, or forget about the rest and just focus on your ‘Must-See’s’.
Once you have this list, see what the cost for each attraction is you plan on seeing. This should be very easy to find on almost all tourist websites. This is important to do if you are trying to budget your trip. You can purchase a London Pass which will cover entry for all the main attractions. Their website will give you a list of everything it covers. If you plan on visiting mostย the places it covers than its worth it and is actually cheaper in the long run that buying tickets at each place.



We opted to not buy a London Pass. For us, there were plenty of places we had to see, but wasn’t necessary for us to tour the place. The only places we paid to tour was Westminster Abbey (definitely worth it!) and the Tower of London. The Tower of London was the most expensive, and was a last minute decision for us. It was very interesting, butย I think my husband enjoyed it more than I did ๐Ÿ˜‰
We would have spent almost $400 on a London pass for both of us for the time we were there (that doesn’t include travel in London), but, instead we only spent a little over $100 for the sight seeing we did. Thats quite a big difference, especially budget travellers!
So, do your research and know what you want, and where you are going, before you go.

2. Oyster Card

This is a must. We arrived with high hopes of being ‘tough’ and just walking everywhere.ย Although we did do a lot of walking, we also had Oyster Cards. They really saved us time and money. Its a preloaded card depending on how much you want to spendย (their website recommends how much to to start with for a week visit). This card allows you to use the Underground, Overground, and Busses through all of London. The convenience of being able to just hop on a bus to get us to the next location was so nice. Plus, they are very nice and comfortable busses!
*If you decide to purchase the London Pass, there is an option that includes an Oyster Card…so you don’t have to purchase them separately.

3. Make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes!

I brought comfortable walking shoes. However, one day I opted to wear a pair of boots that are really cute, and generally pretty comfortable. But…we ended up doing a lot more walking that day than we originally planned and my feet were so sore that night!

4. Forget About ‘London Bridge’

This might sound strange, but believe me, its not worth it! What is typically thought of around the world (even to some older British friends of ours) as the iconic ‘London Bridge’, is actually the Tower Bridge, located just outside the Tower of London.
The actual London Bridge is just a modern cement bridge thats not worth noting. We were very shocked when we came around the corner to the suspected London Bridge to find just a normal bridge. The plus side is that its right next to Borough Market – which is a must!

Tower of London & Tower Bridge (NOT the London Bridge)

5. Borough Market


Borough Market

This is such a fun and bustling place. Its basically a giant food market with all kinds of vendors from cheese and wine, deli meats, and bakeries, to oysters and clams, hot soups, fresh juice, and waffles. There are so many options it can be slightly overwhelming, but worth it!

6. Don’t Eat out Every Meal


London is expensive. period. But, there are ways around spending too much money if you don’t have too. When booking your accommodation, try to find a place with access to a kitchen. Buy a few essential groceries, coffee or snacks. We had breakfast and coffee at our apartment we stayed at every morning. This didn’t keep us from buying more coffee once we were out and about –ย it was so cold! For lunches, usually we just bought a pre-made baguette or sandwich from a local coffee shop or cafe. We were usually on the go anyways so it worked great for us. We ate out a few nights at different pubs and even a pizza place. But, there is no need to eat at a pub every night. We had a few nights where we just made a simple dinner back at the apartment.

7. Taxi’s are Expensive

If you have an Oyster Card, there most likely wont be any need for a taxi or Uber. But, on the rare chance you might need one, just be aware they are expensive. Its important to note as well that the taxi’s in London are cash only, and don’t allow food or drink in them. We found this out the hard way. Coming back from our friends wedding late at night a taxi was the only option. We barely had enough cash. The reception was serving midnight hor’devours and we had just grabbed a few to snack on when the taxi arrived. As we were getting in his car he had to tell us we cant bring food with us. It was kind of awkward. However,ย after a rough introduction with the taxi, it was a very pleasant drive and we had a great conversation with the driver ๐Ÿ™‚



Those are my basic travel tips for first-time Londoners! This is only based on our personal trip and what worked best for us. Everyone’s travel needs and expectations are different but hopefully this can help a bit!

London Calling

Last month we had the opportunity to attend a friend’s wedding…in London. How could we say no?? I had never been and Colton had gone once when he was about 10 years old…which doesn’t really count.

We decided to arrive the the week before the wedding to do all our touristy sight-seeing stuff and end our time in London with the wedding.

Before packing, I made sure to check the weather in London so we would be properly prepared. This is something my husband always teases me about…I guess its an unheard of thing for MK’s (missionary kids), or maybe its just unheard of in Tanzania? Either way, his whole family shares the same view…why in the world would you check the weather? Well…growing up in Oklahoma we ALWAYS checked the weather. We weren’t paranoid. But, being in the mid-west, Oklahoma is prone to tornados, rain, sleet, snow, severe storms, microbursts, hail…and this could happen within one a days time!

Anyways….I checked the weather. I was so glad I did because the week that we were arriving in London the ‘Beast from the East’ was also arriving. A massive cold front and winter storm. I packed my warmest clothes (which isn’t saying too much). Colton insisted on only a light jacket for himself despite me trying to persuade him otherwise.


The British Museum

When we finally emerged through the cloud coverage over London, we were surprised to see a blanket of white on the ground. I was so giddy and excited to see snow again. Although I prefer warmer weather in general, over 5 years of only warm weather and no snow makes me miss it sometimes. Colton, on the other-hand, was not as amused to see the snow.


Flying into London…amazed by the snow in late March!

We managed to navigate our way pretty seamlessly to the Underground and map out our train stops to our destination. We were quite proud of ourselves for navigating the system without getting lost. While waiting for our last overground train, in the freezing cold, it actually started snowing. I was so excited. Our friend met us at a coffee shop when we got off our last train and took us promptly (after getting a hot chocolate for myself – it was way too cold for a cold drink!) to a pub just up the street. The pub was quite crowded but very cozy.


Waiting for our next train



Started snowing while waiting for our last train! Literally just off the plane from Tanzania

Our lodging for the week was about a 15 min walk from the pub. Our friend (the groom)’s friend generously opened his apartment to us for the week while he was away on holiday. It was such a nice apartment and a great location for getting around!

On our first day in London, we woke up in the coziness of a plush bed, carpeted floors, heated rooms, a view (although distant) of the City of London, and light snow dusting the balcony and rooftops. It was magical. I felt like I was on a luxury getaway….but maybe Ive just been in Africa too long ๐Ÿ˜‰


First morning coffee taking in the view and snow ๐Ÿ™‚ I had to use the British mug I found in the cabinet to properly represent ๐Ÿ˜‰ haha


View from our apartment

You would think the first thing we would do in London is all the touristy things. Now, this was definitely our plan, but first things first. We had to go the mall. This might sound petty or ridiculous, but it was necessary and part of our plan!


First morning in London…still amazed by the snow

First, being in Tanzania there are no options for getting a good hair coloring. The last time I got my hair colored I decided to go blond, which was fun while it lasted, but I soon realized it was impossible to keep up where we are living. So to avoid it eventually turning into a disaster, I had scheduled a hair appointment for myself just down the road from our apartment. Next, we had to do some shopping. Again, there are no malls, boutique stores, or department stores in Tanzania to buy suitable clothes for a wedding, or even cold weather. We hit up H&M and a few other stores and were able to get all the clothes we needed to stay warm and for the wedding. These were the major things we needed to do, and with those checked off the list, we could now spend the rest or our time in London being tourists ๐Ÿ™‚


Waiting for the museum to open


Houses of Parliament and Big Ben (to the right covered in scaffolding) and sporting our new winter clothes…definitely necessary!

We had 4 full days of sight seeing and I think we did just about everything imaginable.


We toured Westminster Abbey, walked through Hyde park, saw Buckingham Palace, Tower of London and Tower Bridge (not to be confused with London bridge….but more on that in my next post!), saw the crown jewels, St. Pauls Cathedral, visited the British Museum, the Natural history museum, the national gallery, walked along the Houses of parliament, Big Ben was under construction so we didn’t get a good view of it, but saw it nonetheless. We went to Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, Borough Market, Selfridges, Harrods, and even went to Novello Theater to see Mama Mia!. We took one day and visited Cambridge. We went to a few pubs and lots of coffee shops.


Piccadilly Circus


Natural History Museum


Westminster Abbey


The Rosetta Stone




Novello Theater – Mama Mia!


Colton’s favorite place we visited – The Tower of London


Natural History Museum


Harrods – and just beautiful architecture

Our last day in London was the wedding. It was in a small church in South Kensington. We felt like we were in a movie, maybe the neighborhood of the family in Mary Poppins. The streets and houses were so quaint, clean, quiet and just lovely. The ceremony was beautiful. Simple and meaningful. Although we only met the bride once it was evident that these two people have something very special. We felt so honored to be a part of it.




The transport


Our ride to the reception!

From the ceremony, we were put onto 2 classic double-decker busses with glasses of champagne. There was a quiz game about the bride and groom, we met new acquaintances, and oddly enough, on our same bus only a few rows in front of us, Colton recognized someone he knew. This guy came to Tanzania a while back when we were in Arusha as part of Colton’s company. He was there with his wife. They were just as shocked to see us as we were to see them.ย Its a small world!


Double-Decker bus


Champagne on the way to the reception

The reception was at an old dock house along the Themes that has been converted into a venue. Simple. Rustic. Chic. Classy. We met so many interesting people at the wedding and had a great time eating, visiting, and dancing.


The reception…and Colton being a stud ๐Ÿ˜‰


One of my favorite pictures! Taken candidly by our friends and sent to us after the wedding ๐Ÿ™‚

We stayed as late as we could. Our flight was the following morning. Not too early, but we needed to get up a bit early to so we could walk to the train station, buy tickets and make our way to the airport. We said goodbye to the bride and groom and left with unforgettable memories.


Everything was stunningly perfect

Our time in London was so amazing. We were there for a full week and it hardly seemed like enough time, although we definitely made the most of it. We already look forward to the next time we are able to make our way back to this city. We made so many unforgettable memories its hard to have a favorite from our trip. Overall, just being able to travel and explore a new city with my husband and best friend is the best memory of the trip.


At the reception!

More pictures here!

Christmas Time is Here…Again

Actually, it ‘was’ here again! Thats what I get for being so behind on my posts! But, this is one of my New Year’s resolutions…so fingers crossed I wont be behind forever!

Christmas this year was wonderful, as always. But, it was also a little busier and faster pace than normal.

Typically, for Christmas, traveling back home to the States, or even to Europe, is out of the question. So we opt for the second best…about a week posted up on a beach on the coast of Tanzania or Zanzibar.


Sunset in Stonetown – Christmas 2016

This year, with Colton’s family settling into a new place, we spent Christmas with them.


Ceremony at our friends wedding – Arusha, TZ

We did manage to squeeze in maybe 2 days at the beach, but not before driving to Arusha for a friends wedding.


Reception at the wedding – full night of dancing and good times!

The wedding was two of our good friends from when we lived in Arusha. It was stunning. Nothing from the wedding was less than picturesque!


The bride and groom leaving the ceremony ๐Ÿ™‚

After a fabulous night of dancing and visiting with friends we headed to the coast. This was mostly to get away and have a mini vacay with just the two of one else. This is somewhat of a rarity out here, but also much needed. One part of Colton’s job is that its always with him. So, even if he spends a 10hr day at the office or in fields, when he gets home there are always people calling or knocking on the door. Its never ending and absolutely draining.


Everything about the wedding was perfect ๐Ÿ™‚

So if we can get even just 2 days alone without interruption we are stoked! (and we don’t even have kids yet!)


Colton and I on a special date night in Dar ๐Ÿ™‚

The coast was great. We got a few days at the beach. A bit of rain. Some necessary shopping, and even a night out watching the new Star Wars in the cinema.


Date night in Dar with a fabulous sunset!

We arrived at Colton’s parents house (about 9hrs drive from the coast) a few days before Christmas.

On Christmas eve we attended a midnight service. It was held in an old stable of a British dairy farm and was beautiful. Colton’s dad gave a brief message to the crowd before singing in Christmas morning with carols.


The stables for the candlelight service – Christmas Eve

Christmas day was relaxing and refreshing just being with family. No obligations or itineraries. We exchanged gifts, ate delicious food, and watched fun tv shows.


Christmas in Iringa – Tanzania

Because Colton’s company was sending some people down to our branch 2 days after Christmas, we had to leave early the day after Christmas. I know i’ve mentioned this drive in previous posts, but nothing like a 12 hour drive leaving at 4am to get you out of the holiday spirit! The relaxing was done.

Thankfully, New Years Eve was over a weekend and we were able to join some friends ‘camping’ at Lake Tanganyika. The only ‘camping’ thing about it was that we cooked our own food over a fire. The rest of it was luxury – even the shared bathrooms for the campsites!


Lake Tanganyikaย 


Old mission ruins on Lake Tanganyika


Old mission ruins on Lake Tanganyika

The holiday season was quick but still full of great memories and cherished moments ๐Ÿ™‚

“Its’ really just a interesting psychological phenomenon…”

Most families have favorite movies they quote over and over again. Eventually, these quotes gain a status within the family that can be used in any situation.

“Its’ really just a interesting psychological phenomenon…”

For my (husband’s) family, this is one of a few!

It might not sound very funny, but for anyone who has seen The God’s Must Be Crazy, you will appreciate this quote! We use this quote so frequently and has been found to come in handy in almost any situation! You will either love it or hate it. But, I say give it a try ;)

And for anyone who has spent a length of time in Africa you will really appreciate the humor in this movie!


Learning how to roast our own coffee!

The month of October was well anticipatedย for the arrival of my husbands sister and her husband from the States. It had been over 5 years since she had last been ‘home’ – here in Tanzania.


Explaining about importance of growing fruits – Rukwa Valley

The whole month was planned out from them traveling off the beaten path to our home (with the entire family), to lake Nyasa/Malawi for a mini family vacay with my husband (he had to work the remainder of their time in Africa), to exploring the winding streets of Stonetown and the white beaches of Zanzibar.


mini family vacay – Matema, Lake Nyasa/Malawi, Tanzania

After they spent a few days with the whole family at our house, and a quick camping trip, we all traveled to the lake for a couple of nights as mini family vacay (as mentioned).


Dust storm – Rukwa Valley

From there, my husband went back home and I continued with his family for the rest of the month.


Rainy days couldn’t keep us from the beautiful ocean! – Kendwa, Zanzibar

We all missed having my husband with us but that didn’t keep us from a wonderful time traveling across the country!


Waiting for the rain to stop – Kendwa, Zanzibar

More fun pics from our time with my husbands family!