Wednesday, 29 June 2011

June 30

Tomorrow is June 30. My big brother would have been 31 years old. I still can't believe he is gone. I went to the cemetery today. It is so strange seeing his name and picture on a headstone. What I would give to have him back here on this earth. But I truly believe he is walking around heaven with Grandpa. I believe they are watching over us. I hope that I can always make them proud with the life that I live and the choices I make. I will never understand why God allowed my brother to die that night, but I have come a long way from when he first left us. I blamed God for a long time. For the longest time, my spiritual walk and life really suffered. I believe it is because of the way that I handled that time in my life that other things happened the way they did... but that is for another blog.

Shane was a great man. An amazing Daddy... a fantastic son and brother. If anyone asks about my siblings I always say I have an older brother and younger sister. HE will always be my brother... and I will never forget him. No one will ever take his place- who could? Shane was unique. He was quick to get angry but yet the first one to keep the peace. I love that kid!! I just pray that God keeps his hands on his three children as they walk through this life without their earthly daddy. I pray that as they get older that the influence that my family has on them flows into their spiritual life. I hope these kids have great walks with the Lord. As they grow I hope that we can continue to be good role models for them. They are just so sweet.

The kids took balloons to the cemetery today... we hung them by his headstone. They don't really understand... but then, they do. The little ones said they wish their Daddy could come back. Chloe told me that she read in the Bible that the people in heaven can see us.... and they live in the clouds! :) Sweet kids.

So today, June 30, which is supposed to be his 31st birthday, we remember him... and continue to miss and love him!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Leave

We have been having a great time on leave. We plan to be here about 7-10 more days and then head on out to Cali. It has been a great time with friends and family. I always enjoy coming home because I get to relax and just be with my family. I have a couple of friends that seek me out while I am here.. and I always make an effort to see them too. Nighttime has been a nightmare the past few nights for Noah. He is so out of whack from living in Japan, then coming back here. Bless his heart! We finally have our two cars and Nate's motorcycle. The next step is to get a house when we get to Cali. I feel so blessed that I will finally be able to stay home with Noah. Being in Japan helped us prepare for these larger purchases that we have had to make and it is allowing me to stay home with him!! I am sooo excited!

So to those of you that I have not seen yet.. if you are wanting to see me.. you know how to find me!

Misawan's.. I miss you.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Who am I?

I am Cassey. But who am I?

I am so very different than I was when I went to Japan three years ago. People that I left behind back then- they may not know who I am today. I have grown so much. I am so very different. It is sad to me that those people that I knew so well... they don't even really know me anymore. I have gone through a lot in three years. I have met some amazing people who will always be my family. I have lost my brother. I have had a baby! I have made it through two deployments. I have lived in a foreign country for three years. I am not as outspoken as I once was. I tend to be more reserved. I try not to take the days I have for granted. I am just so different.

I love my life. I love my husband. I love my son. I love my family. I love my friends. I love my dog! I am a better person today than I was three years ago. How I wish Shane could see his little sister now. I have grown and matured in ways that I never thought possible. I wish he could see this side of me. He always knew me as an AUNT, but how I wish he could see me as a Mommy. He always complimented me on how I am as a wife... man, I just wish he could see me as a mom. I wish he could meet my Noah. But he won't on this side... I wish he could see his sweet kids today. They have grown and changed so much. These sweet babies, growing up without their daddy.

Those kids are going to grow up with a life much different than we did as kids. They are going to grow up with this being their life and their normal- and they won't know how our family was before Daddy left. These kids are precious to me and I am so thankful to be part of their life... and though I am not around much, I am thankful to help mold them into who they are when I am around. I am thankful for my parents for being who they are to them! Shane would be so happy!!! He would be so proud of his little girls and boy.

I love my kid! He consumes me! He is my heart. I am so happy to stay home with him now. He is talking so much! He is soooo precious! God has been so good to me. He truly gave me one of the sweetest gifts ever during one of the hardest times of my life. Life is hard- but being Noah's mommmy makes it easier. Realizing what is important... and what to dwell on and not.. that helps!

I love my husband. He is so good to me. Nate and I are definitely a pair... and we are different than so many others. But 12 years later.. here we are.. :) I love him. We grow every year.... We have such a realistic relationship... we try not to have expectations for each other in our marriage. He is a great man who supports me and my son. He takes care of us. Where I am weak, he is strong. Where he is weak, I am strong. He has been there for me during all of the most exciting and the hardest times in my teen and adult life! He is who God created for me. I am proud to stand by him and make him proud.

We are very blessed. We are happy! We have dreamed and prepared for this move back home for the past three years. We are set. Praise God! I pray that God will always guide us. I hope we can find a church that we will be involved in and get fed from each week! I am so thankful for the life that God has given me. A lot of ups and downs, especially in the last year and a half. The only thing that I would change-- to have my brother back. The relationships that I have lost ... I am okay with that. I just wish I had my brother back. My family is really all that matters to me in this life! I have amazing family and inlaws! I am so truly blessed.

This is a random entry... but I was thinking about who I am.. and how people that think they know me- don't. I am SOOO very different than I was three years ago. I have learned so many things. One of the best lessons I have learned in the past three years is when to keep my mouth shut, when to smile and act like nothing is wrong, and when to talk. Thank you Lord for who you are to me and for my precious life.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Dear Misawa...

Dear Misawa,

I can not believe our time is up to leave. You have been such a great blessing in my life! :) I have enjoyed every moment of living here. I leave with ZERO regrets as I feel like I have done everything I wanted to do when we found out we were coming here. From camping to climbing Mt. Fuji to traveling to another country... We have really done the things we wanted. I am happy with the fact that I have traveled over most of this area and can find my way around pretty good. I have become successful at driving on the opposite side of the road in a car that has everything on the opposite side.. and I have gotten good at communicating with the amazing Japanese people. I leave here, tomorrow, a much better person because of my experiences here. I leave here a very different person... and I am happy about that.

We have been through a lot here. Two deployments, a terrible tragedy in our family, a new marriage in our family, a new life in my little family, a terrible earthquake and tsumani- among other things. I have so many memories of this place. I would not change anything from our time here.. except make it a little longer. Japan has been so wonderful to me. I will miss off base... shopping and eating. I am taking about 20 extra pounds with me as I leave here that I have to start working to get off. Thank you Ramen, Sushi, and New Miaki's. I am leaving a wonderful job with amazing co-workers and students. But I am so happy to be able to stay home with my monkey and strive to be a better wife because my focus will be on my boys- as it should be.

By far the hardest part about leaving here is leaving my family behind. I have so many friends here.. but there are a few that have made this time as amazing as it is. Kim, Jason, Ryan, among others... are truly my family. I am not sure how I am going to enjoy my everyday life without them. Kim.. who am I going to go to with every last thing I want to talk about? Who will I be able to call up and know that I can depend on them? Who is going to laugh with me until we are crying .. .over nothing? I am going to miss this girl so much. Jason... who am I going to be so mean to? Better yet- who on earth is going to be so mean to me? AND who is going to call my dog bad names? Ry- Will I ever meet someone that can dish it out to me as much as I do him? You are like a brother to me and so much a part of our family! We love you... and you MUST be in Cali next year. These people are seriously... my family!!! It does truly amaze me how people that are not my blood family or who have not been a part of my life forever (only three years) ARE family and will ALWAYS be family!!!

I love Japan! I will miss it. I am happy to be moving on to bigger and better things for our little family. As easy as it would be to just stay in Japan... that isn't part of our life.. We move! We embrace and enjoy the experiences wherever we move to.. always! We make the most out of wherever we are! Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers as we embark on this journey...

We will miss you, Japan!

XOXO,
The Shaw's

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Here we go..

In 2 days we will be on a flight out of Japan.. back to America.. I really can't believe that our three years is up.. I guess from now on out it will be our adventures in Cali. I really hope that we come back overseas in the future. This has been one of the best experiences ever for us! Until then...