St Maarten, London, and all over the States!
We may have changed our blog address but don't worry, we've moved all our old posts here! Search for posts by location, archives, or the search box.

05 June 2019

Revitalzing the blog!

Well here we are in June 2019 and we really haven't updated this in nearly 3 years. With our upcoming move and more free time, I will try to backfill a bit and keep it a little more current. Here's a picture from our Christmas card this past year. Look for more updates later this summer!

18 September 2017

Hurricane Irma & St Maarten

Hi Everyone,

I don't know how many people still follow this blog, considering I've slacked and not updated it in a year. I intend to backlog the last year with picture highlights. However, I felt very strongly that I needed to do a special post regarding Hurricane Irma and our beloved St Maarten.

As I'm sure many of you know, through the news or seeing my constant posting on Facebook, our beloved island home has been completely devastated by Hurricane Irma. St Maarten took a direct hit from Irma, which had sustained winds of 185mph with gusts over 220mph! The pictures and videos of all the places we spent so much time are just heartbreaking. Fortunately, we have heard that our friends on the island are all safe, praise the Lord! Some sustained minimal damage, some tremendous damage, but all are alive! We know the island will rebuild and the reasons we love it will remain. The island is filled with great people and a great spirit of resilience, so please don't just believe that it is all bad based on the terrible actions of some. I will share some pictures here, but please look on my Facebook for more (all are borrowed off local island FB pages, so I will not take any credit). I will also include a list of reputable organizations to donate to, for the long recovery and rebuilding process that will take place.

Some people may be wondering why this has affected us (especially me) so profoundly. The first few days, it was all about getting word that friends were safe. Communication was incredibly limited and it took several days to hear about everyone. In addition to worrying about friends, it has been heartbreaking to see a place we lived for 2 years destroyed. We actually first visited St Maarten on our honeymoon cruise. I bought a ring there that I have worn everyday for 8 years. We moved to the island just before our first anniversary. We've celebrated anniversaries, birthdays, Thanksgivings, and many other events there. We had friends and family visit. I see pictures of where we spent our first anniversary dinner and it's gone. I see pictures of friends apartments, gone. Pictures of places we shopped, dined out weekly, watched movies, all gone or severely damaged. Our favorite dive company, destroyed (thankfully not the boats!). We made friends with many local people, many of whom I do not have contact with anymore but enjoyed seeing so much when we returned for graduation; we have no way of knowing if they are ok. We returned for 3+ weeks for Owen's medical school graduation, and it was just like coming home! I feel like we grew so much during these years, as individuals and a couple. This is where I did my first 5k, first triathlon, and gained a love of competing in races! This is where we learned to scuba dive and helped our friends occasionally with their dive company. This is where we were on the radio every Friday morning with our fellow Nutmeggar and good friend, Doctor Soc (whom we gave that honorary doctor of "radio-ology" to). This is where Owen began his calling to pursue medicine. This is where I was baptized, in the waters of our favorite beach/our backyard. The island was the inspiration for our puppy's name, Kona, meaning leeward wind in Hawaiian, St Maarten being a Leeward island. St Maarten is the place we've lived the longest in our entire marriage, and still feels like home. This is where we made new friends, both with other student couples and locals, as a couple, away from home and bonded over the challenges and beauties of living on a tiny Caribbean island.

This was our life, our home, and we loved it. To see it this way and especially to be here, not able to help, is just so hard. I hope to get down there when it is safe and they allow relief workers in, to help rebuild our beloved island. For now, I leave you with a request to keep the people of St Maarten in your prayers. This will be a very long and difficult recovery process, but we know the people of St Maarten are strong and will rebuild stronger and better than ever! Here are some ways to help:

Samaritan's Purse (call 828.262.1980, hopefully you'll be able to direct it specifically to St Maarten, not just Irma in general)

Team Golden Dog (helping local animals, shelters, and vets)

Rotary Club SXM (Shelter Box)

22 August 2016

Louisiana Floods

I realize that I am very much behind on our blog and pictures. I will work on a few updates to cover the last 6 months soon. However, in the meantime, I wanted to address the historic and catastrophic flooding in south central Louisiana last week. As you know, we have lived in Louisiana just over a year. We have come to love our adopted home state. While we have recently moved to Bogalusa, we called Baton Rouge home for the last year. Fortunately most of our friends remained dry in the floods, but a few friends and former coworkers have lost their homes, cars, etc. Bogalusa was also spared of most flooding this time, though they were hit hard back in March. It is devastating and heartbreaking, but there are many examples of how the Lord in moving in Baton Rouge right now. Just one month ago the area was full of tensions following the police shootings, today people are coming together to help each other, no matter their differences.

If you are looking for a way to serve or contribute to the Louisiana flood relief efforts, please consider Samaritan's Purse. Owen and I served with them in Monroe, and I will be serving with them again over the coming weeks in Baton Rouge. Not only do they provide physical clean up from disaster, but spiritual support to homeowners. This is a tangible way to be the hands and feet of Christ to the community during a great time of need and grief.

Here are just a few pictures and links gathered from various Facebook and News pages to show the magnitude of the flooding (none of these are my photos, tried to credit where possible, many shared from numerous people on Facebook). Conservative numbers suggest 40,000 homes damaged in the floods. This will be a marathon recovery, not a sprint. Please continue praying for Louisiana, our loved and "adopted" home state. Probably the best compilation video of the flooding.

 (photo from The Advocate

The park down the street from where we lived, about 1 mile from our BR house (no flooding at the house)

A personal favorite
(AP Photo/Max Becherer) Perfect photo to represent summer 2016 in Baton Rouge
Denham Springs
Woman's Hospital (I worked at this location 1 day a week)

Cajun Navy heading in to help with rescue efforts
(Shared FB photo from Casey Parker)

(Shared on FB by Nicholas Persac)

01 May 2016

Springtime in South Louisiana

These are the last of the highlights from the springtime in Baton Rouge. This catches me up to about May 2016, which I will get to posting soon. We got to visit with some friends and we had some family come to visit us! We did the St Patrick's Day parade in Baton Rouge. Went to a country trivia night at Owen's work. Went to Abita Springs to tour the brewery. Enjoyed the beautiful weather and sightseeing in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Had several crawfish boils. Did lots and lots of cycling, including a 100 mile ride!! We made sure to find time for lots of fun activities during our days off from work, knowing that once residency was to start in the summer, free time would be very limited. Here are some photos of our springtime adventures in south Louisiana!
Visit with Alie and Sean during Owen's interview in Shreveport

Lots and lots of cycling with Clint!
Houma House in the back
100 mile ride!! No pictures, severe sunburn, but we did it!
Sunny days in Baton Rouge
Old Capital Building in BR

Abita Brewhouse

Spring rains (not the ones that caused the serious flooding this summer), Owen rode his bike through the flooded path

St Patrick's Day celebrations
Trivia night fundraiser at Owen's work, country themed!

Mark came to visit, so of course we had to have some crawfish!
Riding on the levee
Perfect day in New Orleans

Tore and Tony came to visit!

Swamp tour (I had to work, but Owen, Tore and Tony had a great time and saw this huge alligator!)
Owen and Tore climbing at the park down the street
just one of the many crawfish boils we went good!

15 April 2016

Match Week Celebrations!

After a long year and a second round of residency match cycle, we finally made it to match week 2016! Praise the Lord the news was much better this time! We found out that Monday that Owen matched into a Family Medicine residency, though we did not find out where until Friday, since that's how the match process works. We decided that Monday was really the big celebration for us, since just having a position was what was most important, so we went out for a really fancy dinner at Juban's in Baton Rouge. Owen had talked about making that our match celebration dinner since the year before! We got the hallelujah crab and it was awesome! It was such a nice evening together, we dressed up, even had drinks and dessert with our crab, it was great. Owen also surprised me with a beautiful new necklace, to celebrate and thank me for my support through this whole process, it was such a sweet gesture. I am so proud of all that he has accomplished and we feel so blessed that he is in a great residency!

That Friday of match week we found out that he matched into the Rural FM program in Bogalusa, Louisiana!! We were so excited to be staying in Louisiana and less than 2 hours from Baton Rouge! We celebrated with Clint, Paula, Barron, and Allison by having a crawfish dinner at the house. Here's some pictures from our celebrations! Thank you to all our family and friends who have supported us along this crazy journey! SO happy to share this great news with you!

Crawfish boil to celebrate staying in Louisiana!
With our Hallelujah crab at Juban's

Beautiful black pearl necklace Owen gave me