YoungLife Thailand

We have become good friends with the Vechprasit family in the last couple of years. They also happen to be the folks heading up YoungLife Thailand. And they’re our neighbors, too! How random, right 😉 Well, in acknowledging just how too well things have aligned themselves for us to be more intentional in the relationships we make while here, our family has entered this new (school) year with the commitment to be as supportive and involved as possible with the literally down-the-street YL crew.

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What does that mean? It means as much as we are trying to assimilate to life abroad we are also more fully embracing being native-English speakers and engaging with the youth in this language area they themselves are learning at school and in anticipation of their future work opportunities. It means baking monthly birthday cakes. It means baking cookies in this humidity and heat. It means going on camps and day trips. It means really trying to learn who we are as individuals, as a couple and as a family — and using both the strengths and weaknesses tools for love and generosity and hospitality. It means stepping out of our respective comfort zones and being challenged to grow in ways we could have never concocted ourselves. It’s been tiring and beautiful and always always always worth it.

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Recently Dan went on a one-day trip to Ratchaburi with a looooooot of high school students who he has never met before from a school he has never stepped foot in and proudly wore the awkward badge of farang. To say I was and am proud of this man of mine is quite the understatement.

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And, really, if you know my more introverted people-watching better half who prefers not being in the limelight on a personal level, you can definitely understand just how outside of his comfort zone this trip was. But you can also probably imagine how much he rose to the occasion and gave it all he got. What a guy!

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We just celebrated our four year anniversary…and where we are now versus where we were all those years ago when we were in the “technically not dating but kind of seeing each other but are just friends and maybe more but not that but yeah maybe that and I don’t know” stage is so much better. We really have no idea what we are doing 68% of the time, but it’s so much nicer being bewildered and still committed to whatever may come together.

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Coming to America: Louis + Kozickis/Van Wyks

Oh this is terribly late. BUT I definitely want/need to finish the postings from our October visit (when Lou was 6 months old) before we head back over the ocean for summer vacation (when Lou will be over a year old). We stayed with Leslie’s sister, and it’s funny how we don’t have as many pictures with them as you would think since most of our time was spent with them. But maybe it’s because we were just content to just be together? That’s the excuse I’m sticking to…

(For any and all subscribers…you’re about to get way too many emails. Sorry, but hope you enjoy the pictures!)

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Coming to America: Louis + Anna

We also got to spend time with friends from Dan’s days in Redmond. It was great getting to reconnect and just hang out with them in that comfortable way that is unique to rooted friendships. We had gone out on a late dinner in Seattle a few nights prior to this particular get-together, but the lighting was dark and the wine glasses too full to take pictures. But then we had a classic game’s on the TV, there’s too much food but they are all so tasty, what do you wanna drink kind of party, where no photos of adults were taken but lots were snapped of the two littlest ones in our midst.

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Coming to America: Louis + Weyers & Jepsens

Family is a beautiful thing. And in the heartache and brokenness and dysfunction of life, the goodness of family gets clouded. But we have both been given opportunities upon opportunities to see, embrace and revel in the love we have experienced in all the families we get to call ours. We are thankful that our tribe is so big and that Lou will get to learn from so many. He is already loved by them afar, and it’s going to be great when it’ll all be “in person” one day.

Dinner time with the Weyers and Jepsens was so good. Just so so so good. Plus, Hank playing with Louis like he was a puppy? ADORABLE.

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Coming to America: Louis + the Lao Family

There are too many last names to list out on my side of the family, plus they’re all pretty long. So “the Lao Family” will have to suffice for this post title! My mom comes from a family of 10 siblings, so you can imagine the large community of people waiting to welcome this latest addition. An open house style party is necessary for such a gathering — here’s the ridiculous invite we sent out:

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And here’s just a snippet for all the loving that happened in the throes of his jet lag (Lou was a trooper):

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Cousin Tina was out of town for that weekend, so we got to meet up with the gorgeous gal a few days later to have lunch so she could finally squish the little man!

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Coming to America: Louis + Miller/Umlauf Family

Yay for family! Louis got to hang out with his daddy-o’s family at a get together, during which so much exciting and fun news was shared 🙂 Loved seeing him with cousins and uncles and aunts. During this visit, we also learned that Louis is not afraid of dogs but that maybe dogs should be afraid of him. Grabby baby hands can be dangerous things to the shaggy tailed and floppy eared…sorry, Parker.

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(We somehow missed getting a picture of Lou with Haley — boo!) We also go to meet up with Lindsey and Able the following day since they were unable to make it to the family get together.

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Coming to America: Louis + Ai Thomas

Oh, Thomas James. It took a couple days for TJ to be completely on board with Louis being the star of the show. He was a wee bit jealous and confused that he could not have the full attention of Uncle Dan and Sao at first. But once we made sure to give him one-on-one time, TJ was ready to play with his baby cousin Woo-is 😉

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Thomas even let Louis play with his plastic sword. This was a big deal, people.

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