2018 | Our Year in Pictures
On January 1st of this year, we boarded a plane from Tulum back to California. We landed in Los Angeles and began the 3 hour drive back to our apartment in Lemoore at 12am. We arrived to some of the worst air quality we had seen yet. Lemoore’s air is notoriously bad but this was a different level. There were no clouds but the moon was blurry and yellow in the sky, blocked by the haze and pollution in the valley. Josh was still in training and we had no idea where we would go once he finished but we were desperate to get out of Lemoore and we had our sights set on Japan.
After a lot of delays, cancellations, and a government shut down, Josh finally finished at the boat in February and we found out that we would be moving to Japan shortly after. It was exactly what we wanted but it was still overwhelming to find out. Josh joined up with his new squadron in Fallon for a month while I prepped for the move and began my nightmare of an overseas screening which was required before the Navy would give me permission to go with Josh. The doctor who did mine told me for the last one she did, the girl didn’t pass and her husband moved overseas while she had to stay behind so I was totally calm about the whole thing. The Navy finally decided I would be allowed to go to Japan with Josh and we moved out of our apartment at the end of March to begin our trek across the Pacific Ocean. Our first stop was San Francisco.
After San Francisco, we said our goodbyes and flew to Hawaii for a week of vacation. We bought our own flights to Japan instead of having the military fly us so we could make this trip happen. Worth it!
After an amazing week relaxing in the sun we flew into Oaska just in time to see the cherry blossoms!
Our first few days in Japan were amazing and exhausting. Between waking up at 2 or 3am every day because of jet lag and adventuring all over Osaka, we were pretty worn out by the time we got to Iwakuni a few days later. We lived in a hotel for another week and then got to move into our new home.
We spent April adventuring all over Japan and soaking up our last moments together before deployment.
We had Friendship Day on base in May. The base was open to civilians and all the aircraft were on display. It was such a fun day!
Deployment got pushed back by a couple weeks so we ended up getting some bonus time together. We spent it doing as much as we could around Iwakuni. Miyajima Island was one of the first things we did. The island has a ton of deer that will come right up to you (and eat your food/napkins when you aren’t looking).
We also visited an island populated by bunnies and we brought a bunch of vegetables to feed them. They were so cute!
And we found this great bamboo forest near our home.
Josh left for deployment on the first of June and the first few weeks being alone in Japan were pretty difficult. Josh had been around so much in the past few years because flight school was so slow so it was weird to be apart. I suddenly had so much time and I didn’t know what to do with it.
I started my photography business to keep busy. I thought I would maybe do a few shoots this year but I ended up doing about 50. You can read a blog of all my favorite client images from this year here. After a month apart I got to visit Josh in the Philippines for a few days. It was kind of a rough trip. Out of the 4 nights I spent there, Josh was only with me for 2 of them. It was crazy hot and humid and the Navy wouldn’t let us travel around because it’s dangerous but despite all that it was worth it to be able to see him for a few days.
Josh got to come home in August for a couple weeks. He passed the French fluency exam after working hard on the boat to get up to working proficiency. Even though it was a million degrees outside, we got out and explored as much as we could. You can read about our disastrous Kyoto trip here and our trip to Onomichi here.
In September I got to visit Josh in Guam and we had the best time! You can read more about that port stop here.
Two weeks later the boat pulled into South Korea and we spent a weekend together in Jeju! This was one of the coolest places we have ever been.
One more port stop happened over Thanksgiving and we spent a few days together in Hong Kong.
In December, Josh finally came home after 6 months of deployment. We spent a few weeks together at home exploring Hiroshima and relaxing together.
Then we headed up to Kyoto for Christmas!
2018 has been without a doubt our most amazing and difficult year yet. The lessons have been hard but we have grown so much individually and as a couple and I am thankful for that. Our biggest dream over the last few years was to make it to Japan and when I stop and think about the fact that today that’s exactly what we are doing, I feel really grateful. Even though its been challenging, we get to live one of our dreams out here and that’s a pretty amazing thing.
We have so many goals and dreams for the new year so I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings us!