Our SE Asia Itinerary

Hi! Hi! Hi, Friends! 

Before I share anything else aren't these cloud pictures amazing?! I snapped these with my iPhone on our flight from Burma to Thailand. Which brings me to....

We are in Thailand! Yay! Our transition from Myanmar to Thailand went sooooo smoothly! Dave and I were wondering how we were going to get from our apartment and into a taxi with 3 large suitcases and 4 carry ons and lo and behold 3 people from school showed up at our door! Originally only one of them was supposed to show up to get our keys but there were 3 people there and they graciously helped us haul all our luggage downstairs, got a cab for us and they were so nice and even paid the fare for us. 

The taxi ride to the airport was a 5 mile distance but it took longer to get to the airport than to fly from Burma to Thailand. #thatsmyanmarforya  

In Thailand we were planning on taking a cab to our missionary friend's home and when we came out of customs they were there waiting for us. 

We were so thankful to have help each step of the way and I know it was God. I prayed over this trip more than any other so I know God was at work. It also reminded me that I need to pray more about everything. 

So what now? 

Well, today Dave and I are headed off to Malaysia! We are going to Penang where we will sight see and we are staying with a blogger friend of mine, Rachel. (The blogging world is awesome you guys!)

From there we are going to Kuala Lumpur and then onto Singapore. We will be back in Thailand for a week from 11/7 - 11/16 to see our friends and attend their piano recital. After Thailand we are going to Cambodia & Vietnam and then on 11/30, WE ARE COMING FOR YA AMERICA! 

Sometimes I feel weird posting about travels because I don't want to seem like I'm bragging or boasting. I am really thankful that God has given us this opportunity and we figured since we are already in this area and since traveling around here is pretty cheap we should take advantage of it and go!

Lastly, when we are on the road, I'm going off social media for this trip, like 100%. No voxing, no FB, no Instagram. I'm making a big exception to Skype with my brother and sister-in-law because they are due with baby #2 any day and I gotta see my new niece/nephew. I will be in touch for those 8-10 days that we are in Thailand so I plan on updating the blog and getting in touch with everyone then. 

My goal of this trip is to focus and enjoy time with Dave and with The Lord. I don't think it is often in life that I will get opportunities like this so I want to make the most of it. 

Thanks for being awesome and supportive of us during our year here. I don't feel like I can say thanks enough so I'll be saying it a lot for a while =)

PS - If you have any questions for us our 'ask us anything' is still open. I plan on answering some questions during our time in Thailand. 


Life Lately #31

Today you and I are going on a coffee date. Since I am still in Myanmar we would actually be going to get milk tea, which sounds gross, but it isn't because it is hot tea mixed with sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk and it is my favorite drink here in Myanmar. Sooo good!

I must warn you that I'm having a lot of mixed emotions right now so get yourself ready.

First off, I have to tell you that we finished our year here!!! Thursday was our last day at school.

Thursday morning a few of the teachers stopped by with hugs and gifts. Actually all week people have stopped by with a farewell gift and have showered us with love. I acquired a lot of new jade jewelry, some pink floral jewelry, tribal jewelry and handbags, all which I love! I had a hard time telling everyone bye. They thanked us for our year here and I was just so humbled because they are here long term and serve day in and day out and have been such a good example to Dave and I.

I thought I would be really emotional and weepy telling the kids goodbye but I wasn't. Major shocker! I did tear up a few times but I figured if I started crying really hard the kids would too so I didn't want that. I have also prepped them since August that I am leaving for good so both they and I would have time to process it.

Thursday in class we made a little memory book, did a craft, celebrated a birthday and Dave stopped by to play with the kids. We finished on a happy note and I'm really thankful for that.

I'm sad too though. I'm sad because saying goodbye to these kids is hard. I really love them and have a special bond with them and leaving is just difficult. I don't know how to put into words the sadness but I'm sure you understand.

Thursday night we went to dinner with our small group from church and had a lovely time. We had pizza and visited for a couple of hours. I'm so thankful for the support the body of Christ has been this year and our small group has been a point of strength during our time here.

Now! I have to admit to you that I'm really excited to leave Myanmar. I mean a roach crawled on my hand this week and a big large mouse was running on the sidewalk where I was walking so that really made me ready. I'm so grateful for our time here but I am also just so so ready! I'm ready to be somewhere quiet. To see wide open spaced. To see my family.

We don't actually fly out of Myanmar until Saturday evening so Friday we are going to eat at our our favorite Shan noodle restaurant one last time and then we will finish packing. Side note - packing is a travelers nightmare!

Saturday at 5:30pm (6am central USA time) we fly to Thailand! We will spend 2 days there and then are going to travel SE Asia. More about that trip will be coming your way on Monday.

Lastly, I want to say thank you. You and so many others have prayed us through this year. You have sent us cards, e-mails, have sent us packages, supplies and have lifted us up to The Father and that is a huge deal. Our year here in Myanmar is just as much yours as it is ours because it takes a whole team to send people out. I'm positive that you will have rewards in heaven for doing kingdom work here in Myanmar.

I still plan to share more on Myanmar over the next couple of months because I will have the time and internet.

In the mean time our ask us anything form is still up and running. You can ask a question by clicking on the button on the picture below. I thought people might have some more questions for us as our time here is closing. So, if you have a question ask away! I'll be reading them and answering them over the next few weeks.

Powered by Typeform

How have you been? 
How is the fall weather where you are at right now? 

I'm linking this post up with sweet Jenna's coffee date linkup.


On Friendship: Having A Core Group

This post has been drafted in my heads for probably two months now and when Kiki and Sarah shared that this month's theme for The Circle Linkup was how you take care of yourself I knew I finally had to put my thoughts into writing.

If you are stopping by the blog today first off, welcome! Secondly, my husband and I are about to finish up a year long in Myanmar (Burma). We teach at a Christian school targeting Buddhist children and my husband also runs a medical clinic at school. This post is a little heart to heart about how friendships have been vital for me this year while living in a 3rd world country. 

Before we moved to Myanmar I somehow got in touch with a blogger who sent me an article about having a 'core group'. Sadly, I don't remember that sweet blogger's name nor can I find the article but I do remember what it said and apparently The Lord knew I needed it this year.

The article talked about how when you move abroad you need a core support group back at home. It talked about having friends that you can really open up with and share how you are really doing abroad. One thing I thought was really good was that the article spoke about having a friend who knew you and your spouse really well. It talked about how sometimes people who have known you as a married couple before marriage, during the dating stage and the current stage are good supporters because they can help give you some well-rounded marriage advice. It isn't that people in the country you currently live in can't offer godly wisdom but they haven't known you for the past 10+ years. Your friends from waaaaay back when know all the history and can help see the overall bigger picture.

Living abroad in Myanmar this year has been good but I'll be honest and tell you it hasn't all been good. It has also been down right super hard. We are far away from everything familiar and had to jump into life here and try to figure it all out. It's a 3rd world country and everything logic of how a country should run is done the opposite here. I don't say that to complain or be mean it is just how it is.

Also, this is the first place I have lived where I don't have at least one of my closest long term friends around and that has been a new, sometimes hard, thing for me. Yes, I have friends here and I'm so thankful for them. Yes, I have Dave and our marriage is stronger than it ever has been but sometimes you just need one of your girlfriends to say "OH MY WORD! A ROOOOACCCCH!" and have them scream right there with you.

So, how did I make it this year? I'll tell you! I got my core group and stayed connected. Now, technology here is absolutely backwards too so Skype isn't a thing but I'll tell you the two tools I use to stay in touch - voxer (an app that works like a walkie talkie) and FB Messenger. Funny, right?

I'm telling you what though - I firmly believe God gave me those tools because He knew I would need them. I talk to my core group about 3 -5 times a week. I usually listen to their messages in the morning and then respond on my walk to school. It really blesses my heart to wake up and see that I have messages to listen to from friends. We share anything from normal life to telling them I'm having a super hard time here and needing prayer, to telling them that Dave and I need prayer, etc. etc.

So today I'm going to share who my core group is because it is a variety of people. Also, if my core group is reading this I want them to know how much I love and appreciate them. 

*side note - I'm not listing all my family on here...that's another post coming*

Steph & Holly - These are my 2 sisters. We vox a lot and share everything sisters could ever share.

Shenel - I've known Shenel since I was 15. Her husband Jeremy and Dave have been friends since they were practically babies. Shenel is my go to person if I need prayer about marriage. She is also understanding but extremely sarcastic and somehow that makes our friendship really fun.

Alisha - Alisha and I lived abroad in Korea together so she understands life abroad. She usually gets the message of "A roach is near me!" ha ha! We also share prayer requests and we even help each other stay accountable to memorize verses.

Kirsten - We are work spouses from the Hyatt. Kirsten is my runner friend and has a fun sense of humor. More than that though she always takes the time to really ask me how I am and sometimes I just need that.

Elicia - Elicia is my newest friend but we hit it off right away. We met through blogging and have only actually met once in real life. However, we both live in a 3rd world country, are married and are somewhat emotional twins so we stay in touch a lot. 

Those ladies right there are my core! I'm so so thankful for them and I love that God gave me a variety of friends. 

I share all that about friendship for two reasons. First - be that kind of friend to someone! The Bible says you are more blessed by giving than receiving and giving of yourself in the form of friendship is a true gift. 

Secondly, I encourage you to find a group of friends that could be your core group.  I'm so grateful for my core group of friends, it brings tears to my eyes thinking how blessed I am and I hope to be that kind of friend to them. 

Do you have a group of core friends? 
If you have any other questions about this for me please feel free to comment or e-mail me. 


Lastly, if you want to join in the linkup and meet some amazing ladies just click on the button below. 


The Rooftop Tour

This evening (your morning in America) Dave and I went up to the rooftop of our apartment. It isn't fancy but we do get a big 360 view of the area. I've actually only been up there one other time but two is plenty for me. 

This is real life Burma you guys! Get ready. 

First off, to get to the roof, Dave told me that we had to crawl through a door to get there. He tried to take me last night to see the city at night but one word came to mind: roaches. So we went today to watch the sunset. 

Below is a picture of the door and the opening to crawl through. ha ha! Thankfully someone had left a key so we just unlocked and pried the door open. 

This is kind of behind where our apartment unit is - more buildings in progress (probably apartments). 

I love the skies! Also, do you see the smoke from the fire? We have no idea what was burning but we often either hear the fire trucks or see the smoke.

If my sister lived in Burma this would be her house. There were 10 cats (that we counted) in this house area. 

These are our "yay we are leaving in 10 days" faces!

This picture below is what every day Yangon looks like for a lot of people. Dave and I walk through that every day to get to school. 

This is off topic but kind of on topic ... I think sometimes travel bloggers, myself included, like to show the best pictures, the best places, the best food but they don't show things like the picture below but this is real life below! 

Here are a few pictures of the traffic before it gets super busy.

The water tank! Have I told you about water in Burma?

When the power is on they pump water into these big tanks and then it filters down into the apartments. I think we pay a monthly fee of around $1 for someone to come and turn on the switch to pump water every day. 

Also featured right across the entry door is a mat for sleeping with an abandoned satellite dish. weird.

I admit this next picture is gross but again, it's real life here.

People often just throw their trash, and I mean all their trash out their back window into the alley. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the grossest) this is probably a 5 compared to some of the other alleys I've seen.

These are the elevator cranks! There are three and only two of them actually works. I don't even know how those two work because these things look ancient. Plus they were popping and making funny sounds when we were in there. 

And this picture! There is a little airplane right in the middle. Can you see it?

Lord willing, that will be us in 10 days!

There you have it friends! A rooftop tour.
Does this surprise anyone? Is it shocking/normal? 


Reflections: On Staying Fit in Myanmar

This picture above is everything Myanmar is not: clean sidewalks, clean shoes, clean legs and our dog. Even the air looks clean to me in the picture above ;)

I had high hopes for staying fit this year but that just wasn't real life for me this year. And that's okay! 

Let me do a bit of explaining of what I have and haven't done this year: 


1. Walked
We walk all over. Our daily commute is 1.5 miles so I am at least walking a bit each day. Usually on weekends we walk from our church to down town which is around 2 miles. If I walk back home, which I've been doing latley (yay!), it ends up being around 6 miles. 

Usually when we buy groceries I walk home with those so that's a workout too! 

2. Sweated
I have never sweated more in my life! Burma is hot. Burma is humid. That combo = a major sweaty mess all the time.

3. Taught
If you are a teacher you will nod your head in agreement but I'm telling you, teaching is hard hard work! Teaching 4 year old ESL kids is probably the hardest job I've ever had. To be honest, at the end of the day sometimes I just don't have it in me to work out. I'm pooped until I wake up the next morning.  

4. Lived in a 3rd World Country
I wish I could properly convey what living like is here but there is no way I can do that through the blog. If you visited here you know what I'm talking about. Living here is spiritual, mental, emotional and physical and sometimes living takes priority over being super fit. 

5. Eaten Better
I cook a lot at home and overall it's pretty healthy. I think the biggest thing here are that portions are much smaller. We also have all the fresh fruits around here so that has been really good too. 


1. Ran
Me and running haven't been friends this year. 

I know at the end of the day it is my choice to run or not to run but life here isn't the same as in the states. Dave has a full post coming this week about running in Myanmar but side walks with holes, spit, people peeing and masses of people is what running often looked like this year. And frankly after teaching kids all day and walking through the crowds I didn't have it in my to get out side again for a run. 

Around June, I finally decided to suck it up and decided to run one day and a torrential downpour happened while I was out. It was kind of funny but I didn't run again .. until 2 weeks ago. 

Lately though! They finished constructing the sidewalks near our apartment and I've gone for 2 whopping runs so far. It's been nice and it feels so good to run again, even if it is a short distance. 

Seeing things while running is emotional sometimes too. I know this sounds weird but I'm running in my $80 shoes, fancy shorts, work out tank top, Garmin, iPod and headphones and then at the bridge I look over and see a poor lady sitting there with her half naked baby. I have a hard time processing things like that. 

I want to be grateful that God has abundantly blessed me with the material possessions I have but at the same time my heart hurts for the poor here. 

2. Stairs
Okay, I have taken the stairs some but not as much as I hoped too. 

Why? Well, see the tired and sweaty scenarios from above. I have been better about it these past few months except when I went to run down the stairs and a big 3" roach was there. There was no way I was going around that giant. Not happening! Do you know how fast those are? And they fly! It could kill me (as in I would faint and then tumble down the stairs and then die.....) <--Dave thinks I'm extreme with that scenario but I'm not being extreme at all....

So some days I take those stairs and some days I just don't.


When I think about fitness in general this year, part of me feels like a big fat failure, but I know that's the flesh speaking. I have to give myself grace and realize that exercise and being fit isn't everything in life. To be honest, I think we as Americans place way too much emphasis on fitness that we sometimes miss out on the better parts of life. That's a whole different post so I digress.

I try to tell myself that my body is the temple of the Lord and I need to take care of it. Secondly, the Bible is also true when it says bodily exercise profits little. I can take care of my temple without being in the gym all the time.

Our year here in Burma has a focus of ministry and living in a 3rd world country and sometimes intense fitness has to be set aside.

Now! When I get home you better believe I'm getting with my girlfriends and am gonna hit the gym! I mean, how can I not be excited to sweat in an air conditioned building where the power won't go out? ha ha! Plus, after the gym I'm sure we will have bagels and coffee so it is a win win!

If you have any other questions about fitness here feel free to comment or shoot me an e-mail. I'm happy to answer.

How is fitness for you? Do you go through different seasons like I do? If you do what do you do to help you through it mentally? 


A Mini Field Trip with the K4 Kids

A few weeks back Pam showed me a play center in one of the malls here in Yangon. For Americans, it isn't anything super fancy but over here it is a huge hit!

The center had a mini trampoline, plastic ball house place (what is the formal name for those called?), some slides, etc. Really it was a place where the kids could just run and scream and have fun!

Why is this a big deal? Because here in Yangon most families live in (small) apartments. They have no yard, no apartment amenities with pools and parks are hard to come by here. So going to this place was big huge deal for them.

It was a lot of fun to watch the kids just run wild and have so much fun!

I wish I would have gotten better pictures with more of the kids in it but they were just so excited that pictures weren't a priority. I finally just put my camera away and ran wild with them. It was a lot of fun you guys!

These two kids: Joshua and Roxanna! I could hardly get one focused picture of them because they were just running and flipping and climbing the whole time. It was so much fun to see them just run wild!

Yuliana! She used to be shy until about 3 weeks ago and then a whole new little girl appeared. It's so much fun. She is talking all the time in English, is playing little jokes with us and oh my goodness this girl climbed on everything she shouldn't have at this place!

The kids called this the "jelly". ha ha! It was kind of like a water bed feature; weird but the kids loved it. 

How cute are they?! 


Puffins - A buttery sugary goodness


It's where it is at you guys! These are soooo good!

When I was in Korea my friend Chelsea shared some puffins with us and then she posted a picture on Instagram a while back and I knew I had to try them. She shared the recipe with me and I'm sharing it with you today. 

If you make these you will have to let me know what you think about them. Sometimes after living abroad for a while, anything American taste extra incredible and delicious. But seriously a muffin rolled in butter and then sugar and cinnamon? How can you go wrong? I think they sound perfect for fall. 

They are also really easy to whip together. You don't need beaters or anything like that just a couple of bowls and a pan to melt your butter in.

1 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. melter butter
1/2 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla

-Mix together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and set aside. 

-Melt the butter and stir it into the sugar. 

-Mix the dry ingredients and butter/sugar mixture together. Stir in the milk and vanilla. 

-Bake in muffin tins at 200 degrees F (100 C) for 10-15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. There is no need to oil your muffin pan because the butter in here does this for you. 

Puffin Topping

1/4 c. melted butter - set aside
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon 

-Mix together the sugars and cinnamon

-When the puffins are done baking remove them from the muffin tins, quickly roll them in the butter and then dip them in the sugar mixture. 

-Best served warm

Have you ever heard of puffins? 
What's your favorite muffin recipe? Please do share because I'll be baking a lot when I get home in a couple of months. =)


Project 12: September

This is a picture of Dave, I and my Dad and Mom all on side cars. So dangerous but a fun Myanmar experience.
Ministry Happenings:

I started managing the FB page for our church here in Yangon. I know I'll only be doing it for a short time but it is nice to help out the local church. 

Dave has started teaching Sunday School at church to the youth group. Again, it is only for 2 months but I'm glad he volunteered because they had no teachers and were going to have to close the youth group down. 

We have FOURTEEN teaching days left! I can hardly believe it. That means we have 14 days left to share the gospel, 14 days left to love on those kids. 14 you guys!!!  

Prison ministries in Thailand. We were in Thailand at the first part of this month and we were able to do prison visits. My Dad and Dave went to the men's prisons and we all went to the women's prison. I just love those women. A lady I wrote to before came and spoke with me and she never once talked about herself. She asked for prayer and wisdom on how to disciple and witness to other ladies in prison. Her life is such a testimony to me. 

Notable Events:

Our families were here in September too and I definitely will be sharing a couple of posts about that. If I added the full recap to this post it would be the longest post ever!  

The Holmes fed us sticky rice and mangos (amazing) and durian. Durian is called the 'king of fruits' but I sure don't know why because it smells like a nasty that I just don't know how to describe. I still can't bring myself to try it but Dave did and he liked it okay. 

I love Uncle Charlie's photo bomb here! 
Inle Lake for the 2nd time! I took my parents this time and we had a great time up there. 

The land! Do you remember when I shared last year how Zama and Pam were praying for land. Well, God has led them to purchase a beautiful piece of land and they took us out to see it. It is in the country and is so green and pretty. They can't start building for a while because of paper work but it is neat for me to think about that my 4 year olds will be there some day. 

Mexican feast at Pam's house! Zama went out of town so she had us over for dinner. We made masa tortillas and had a big feast. Sooo good! 

I ran! It was 1.15 miles but I did it. They finally finished constructing the sidewalks near our house and they are 'runnable' now. 

Went to the US Embassy to get pages added into our passport! It was a mini-America in there and I loved it! (Side Note for all Travelers: Starting in 2015 a passport will automatically have I think 52 pages in it! So no more adding in pages! So Awesome!) 

Kittens! Guys there is a momma kitten in the market and she had 3 baby kittens. We took Pam and Zama by to meet the owner of the cat because they want one of the kittens. The kittens just opened their eyes this week and they are just so darn cute!

Had Zama, Pam, Zak and Kyron over for dinner. There were puffins involved. #cantgetenough

Lastly - ELEPHANTS! Lots and lots of elephants this month. Full post dedicated to those wonderful animals will be coming to the blog at some point. #ineedapetelephant 

New Restaurants:

Yangon Bakehouse! 

This place was amazing! It isn't too far from our apartment (1.5 miles ish) so we walked there. The Bakehouse hires disadvantaged women, trains them at their cafe and then finds employment for them. 

The food? SO GOOD! They have American sandwiches, soups, quiche and coffee. I had a big fat piece of spinach tomato quiche, tomato soup and a mocha latte. So yummy! I'll be going back. 

This isn't a new restaurant but passion fruit is starting to be in season and I know that fruit is ugly but it is so tasty. I've been making mango passion fruit smoothies a lot and they are super tasty. 

Books Read:

-Jungle Pilot in Liberia by Abe Guenter - This man was used by God in incredible ways in Liberia. He was a missionary pilot and his stories were just phenomenal. I highly recommend it. 

-Set the Trumpet to Thy mouth by David Wilkinson - 170p. 
-Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Gray - 317p. 
-Fresh Wind Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala - 188p. 
-Death of Lincoln by Leroy Hayman - 127p. 

That's it friends! How was your month? Are you enjoying cooling weather yet? 

Project 12: August

I know! It is October and I'm just now posting about August. BUT we had guests from August 19th - September 14th so there was no way I was going to spend time blogging when family was here. 

BUT it's October you guys! How crazy is that. The days are getting shorter here but the heat is getting hotter and the power is getting slower. Anyways, here is my August recap. The pictures in this post are from Safari World in Thailand. It was epic and I love animals (even this naughty giraffe who tried to eat my hair). 

Ministry Happenings:

One of the teachers at school invited Dave to preach at a youth conference. All of the service was in Myanmar except the 20 minutes that Dave spoke. 

We are still plugging away at teaching and are trying to really share the gospel with our students for the last couple of months we have remaining.

Notable Events:

A trip to Chaungtha Beach

Pam had a guest named Denise come to Myanmar. Denise is from America but is currently teaching in China. We got to show her some sights around Yangon and Dave and I enjoy being a tour guide for others. 

Parent teacher conferences. People always seem scared by these but I loved them! It was so neat to interact with the parents. One Mom even cooked us breakfast and bought a necklace for me and my co-teacher. 

We had Kyron and Zak over to help us 'clean' for when guests come. They are trying to earn money so we figured it would be a fun way to spend time with them. We all went out to eat afterwards at a coffee shop near our house so that was fun too. 

Family came to visit us!!!!! After 38 hours of traveling, Byron and Becky arrived to Myanmar (8/19). They went to school with us and we showed them a lot of neat sights around Yangon. I'll post more about our trip with them later. BUT it was so much fun to have family come and visit!!!

On 8/26 Becky, Byron and Dave and I hopped on a plane to Thailand. We went to several big tourist destinations when they were here which was a fun experience for all of us. 

On 8/28 my parents arrived in Thailand! Wahoo!!!!!!

New Restaurants:


I can hardly believe that but it is true! We did take our family to all our favorite places so that was a lot of fun.

Who knew giraffes had such long eye lashes? 

Books Read:


To Fly Again by Gracia Burnham - SO SO good you guys! I highly recommend this book. Gracia and her husband Martin were held captive in the Philippines by an extremist Muslim group. Martin was killed but Gracia survived. This book was a quick read but was packed with such good reminders of kindness and forgiveness.

I also finished the 4 gospels and am plugging away at the rest of the NT. I hope to finish by the time I get back to the States.


-The Sword in The Tree by Clude Bulla -103 p.
-A Survey of the Incomparable Lord Jesus by Richfield a Cudal - 185 p.
-The Case for Easter by Lee Strobel - 95p.
-Traveling Light by Max Lucado - p. 220
Safe in the Shepherds Arms by Max Lucado - p. 120
When God Weeks by Joni Earcekson-Tada - p.255
Tales of the Middle Kingdom by Willis - 215p.
The Cross, The Switchblade and the Man who Believed by Greg Wilkinson - audio book