Kelly and Luke when he was 3 days old.
Kelly and I NINE years ago on my 25th birthday!
(Kell, don't be jealous of my tan!)
Kelly and I at an Praise and Worship concert in 2002. Kelly is VERY prego with Faith.
When Chris and I got married almost 10 years ago, I couldn't wait to start my life with him. My Dad had to practically hold me back from running down the isle when the big day finally came. I had become Chris's wife, something I had dreamed of from the moment I met him. But I had not only become a wife, I had become a Marine wife. We were scheduled to move to Hawaii only 5 weeks after we got married. I was so excited about the adventure of moving to a new place. I knew I would miss my family and friends and the only place I had ever know as home over the past 24 years, but I was ready to start my life with Chris.
Only 7 months after we arrived in Hawaii, Chris had to leave for his first seven month deployment. I was nervous about being on my own for 7 months and so far away from my family. Thankfully, our dear friends, Kelly and Mike moved in one street over the week before Chris was scheduled to deploy. God's timing is always so perfect.
I had met Kelly months back when Chris and Mike were in school together in Quantico. The story of how we met involves a LONG car trip on I-95 after Kelly had come to pick me up at Reagan International Airport only to find out I was at Dulles!!! On the ride home, we got lost and talked and talked and talked about life and our soon to be husbands. We hit it off and I was thrilled when we found out that they too were going to be stationed in Hawaii.
Kelly and Mike were so great to me during that first deployment. I think I must have eaten dinner with them at least 4 times a week. Kelly is the one who forced her home grown tomatoes on me and now I actually love tomatoes. She was so warm and welcoming I knew that ours would be a lifelong friendship.
We both became involved in the Women's Ministry (PWOC) along with some other great ladies. We did Bible Studies together, prayed together, and our bond became one that was centered around Jesus. Kelly has been one of the biggest mentors to me in my walk with Christ, and she shines her life for Him so bright it is almost blinding.
It broke my heart when we had to move in 2002. We were leaving for VA and Kelly and Mike still had several more months in Hawaii. We prayed that we would live close to each other again, and God blessed us in 2006 when we moved to Camp Lejeune where Kelly and Mike were stationed.
Our lives had changed quite a bit since our days in Hawaii. Kell now had 3 little ones and I had two. What a blessing to be able to share these early days of raising our babies together. We talked about sleep issues, table manners, potty training, discipline, but mostly how to raise our children to love the LORD with all of their heart, soul, and mind. The funny thing is as I was trying to find pictures of the two of us, all I could find were ones from Hawaii. I have MANY of our kids together in NC, but none of us. Oh well....
In April of 2008, Kelly and Mike began a new adventure with their crew of 4 children (now 5) to a new duty station in Korea. I miss her so very much and continue to pray that we will soon be stationed near one another again. Kelly, thanks for being such an awesome friend, mentor, and an example to me of a Proverbs 31 woman.
Maybe our next lunch date will be at ZIA's! One can dream, right? Love you!