Month: December 2014

A 2014 Picture Review.

Since I have yet to figure out the easiest way to send Christmas cards to everyone all over the world with a yearly review, I will take the opportunity here to give you a Parks’ 2014 Year in Review.

Before I get to the pictures (don’t worry this won’t take too long!), I feel I should give you a little emotional review of 2014. If I only had 1 word to describe 2014 it would be Waiting. Waiting for our house to sell. Waiting for important emails. Waiting to see Our Father’s purposes in this crazy journey. Waiting to see our kids be nice to one another. Waiting for understanding. Lots and Lots and Lots of Waiting. The number one question we’ve been asked by friends in the last year has been, “Anything yet?!” To which the reply is, “Not Yet.” (Except for our HOUSE!!!! YEAH!!! Which, hopefully, we will close on, on the 7th!) It has been quite an adventure and test of patience, that is for sure. And while there are many things to still be waiting on (will our kids ever get along?!), there are many many things that we have come to be thankful for in this waiting game. We are thankful that our marriage was in such a place to withstand this waiting game. We had a marriage check-up with a counselor back in November and we caught ourselves constantly saying, “Wow, we are glad we didn’t do this marriage check-up a couple of years ago. We were a MESS!” The Counselor asked if we could identify the one thing that was different between then and now, that made such a huge difference, and we both, without a beat, said Prayer. We committed to one another this year to pray with/for each other more then we ever have before in our marriage, and that has made the biggest difference. I know that probably comes across as ultra-spiritual, have it all together, but please hear me when I say that it was a hard discipline, and it did not come to us easily. But let me tell you, we would not have survived this year as a team without it. It was the balm to our souls as we cried, and asked Our Father to be true to His promises. We learned more about His promises then ever before. That Our Father is not a genie in a bottle and that He is not in the business of “If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” That’s not how it works. But if we got right down to it, that’s how a lot of our prayers sounded this year. They were prayers of desperation, and we had a lot to learn. Well, we are still learning, still waiting, still praying. No story tied up with a nice bow, but a heart that is still in waiting.

ok…Well…onto pictures!

20140118-112029.jpgLydia and I went on a surprise mommy/daughter trip to London.

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We spent a beautiful couple of days in Barcelona!


Jay did lots of climbing.


We went to the mountains to play in the snow. (These desert kids didn’t last very long, but then again, neither did their mom!)


We got to visit the Island where Jay lived before we got married.


We sat through some awesome school programs where we didn’t understand a single word!


Drank my first Starbucks in this country with my local bestie.


Cole locked his sisters in the windows. (Lots of room shenanigans!)


We ate lots of Coucous.


Celebrated another year of ballet.


We drove to Spain, and camped along the way.


Found another amazing beach when my dad came to visit.


Survived the HOT summer with lots of Spy Kids.


And lots of trips to the mountains.


Oh and Lots of popsicles!


We made new friends!

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Our Beloved JuJu came for a Hot August visit! (She’s a trooper to come at the hottest part of the year with no AC!)


We went out on a date!


We were spoiled by local friends.


We lost a lot of teeth! (7 to be exact!!)


We learned how to geo-cache!


Hannah started school! (And her teacher hasn’t stopped laughing!)


I enjoyed quiet moments for the first time in a long time.


We had our first family climbing day!


We celebrated another Eid with friends by eating lots of sheep.

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We celebrated a dear friend’s wedding by dancing the night away. (Literally, the wedding was from 9pm-5am)

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We finally got to visit a part of this amazing country we have been wanting to visit as a family. It did not disappoint!


We did A LOT of google – translating.


Jay did A LOT of climbing.


We found (and retrieved) a dead rat in our oven. (Another story, for another day. Can you see it there in the back left corner?)


We went to visit friends in the mountains for my first girl’s climbing trip.


We had an amazing Thanksgiving with 14 adults and 16 kids (under7). At one point I leaned over to Jay and said, “This is my perfect day. I’m so happy right now.” He thinks I’m officially crazy.


We made Christmas cookies (I psyched myself up all day to let my kids help me. Yes, I’m OCD)


We drank LOTS of coffee.


And we survived. In one piece. As a team. Laughing at ourselves and each other.

All By Grace.