one year ago today…

summary of the year/our new year’s letter that will hopefully be sent soon..?

One year ago today I would have never dared to imagine that today I’d be married and due to have a baby in a couple months. Life has a way of surprising you and God has amazing ways of leading us in his plan. I am in awe.

Last January 4th, I was on a plane flying to Santiago, Chile for a semester of studying Spanish. The semester was a good thing. I learned Spanish, how to live in a different culture, and how to make friends with unexpected people. It was a growing experience.

I spent January – April in Chile. God surprised me and in the middle of January Israel and I made plans to get married over his spring break in Chile. It was an amazing time. Some family came and we were very glad to have that week together in the middle of my time out of the country. Every little detail worked out exactly and we are blessed. Israel returned to Boise after a week in Chile and I returned to Boise a month after him at the end of April. It was a long month apart and coming home was very sweet.

May and June were our months of travelling with some work thrown in as possible. We spent a week at the end of May with my family on the Oregon coast in an interesting old house they rented. A week after we got back we went to Waxhaw, North Carolina for a Wycliffe Bible Translator’s information session TOTAL It Up – a Taste of Translation and Linguistics. I had signed up for it back in December because of an interest I’ve had in it for a while. It was quite informative and it will be interesting to see if God ever has us do anything in that direction. For now we feel like we are where we’re supposed to be though.  After Waxhaw, we spent a couple days in NC and then travelled to Atlanta and Birmingham to visit with Israel’s mom, sister, brother, sister-in-law and nieces before coming back to Idaho. We ended our months of travelling with a few days at my church’s family camp.

The rest of the summer was spent working. Israel worked almost non-stop. He had a wedding or two to photograph each weekend and weekdays were devoted to working part-time for a media group in Boise as a computer programmer. I worked about 30 hours a week lifeguarding and teaching swimming lessons in Nampa.

One accomplishment of the summer that I am quite proud of is the fact that I learned how to drive a manual transmission. It became necessary when my little neon decided it needed some money pumped into it. I had about a two-hour lesson with Israel and his Subaru and then had to drive myself to work the next day at 4AM. It was entertaining to say the least, but I did it.

This fall I started my last year at BSU, Israel went full-time with Motive Media, and we announced that we were expecting a baby. Zechariah Ranger Shirk is coming in the middle of February.

I am very excited to start my last semester studying Spanish and Linguistics in a couple weeks. I am glad that I will be able to graduate soon after our baby comes. Our lives will be a little hectic while we learn to juggle Israel’s work, my schooling and taking care of a newborn, but it will be a time of making memories.

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