Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Live Your Love Loud

I keep starting this post over and over, trying to find just the right words to say. I think I've finally settled on an approach that is just simple. Short and sweet. Here goes:

We live in a broken, depraved, tragic world. Things happen that are beyond our control. Sad, horrible things.

I have had the honor and privilege of meeting a woman who has seen the face of tragedy and decided to truly make beauty from ashes. I am so humbled by her grace and courage and I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with her on this amazing project.

Today we are launching a non-profit in honor of her husband, CW3 Frank Buoniconti. I never had the chance to meet Frank in this world, but he must have been on AMAZING man from the stories that I have heard. Frank had a heart for those who were hurting and broken. Especially for the fatherless. How ironic that his own children would soon be the very ones that he had such a passion for.

Please, please take a moment to check out this website. I am honored to be working with Kryste Buoniconti as her Assistant Director for Live Your Love Loud. She is determined to "take back the 12th" and turn tragedy into triumph.

I think the website speaks for itself in explaining what LYLL is all about, and if you have a moment (and a box of tissues) click on the link to Kryste's blog and read all about her amazing story. And if you are compelled to give we would really appreciate it. Kryste (and I) want to bless the socks off some amazing military families who are adopting.

Live Your Love Loud

This isn't about a sad story, it's about hope. It's about continuing a legacy that Frank left behind.

Please keep this sweet family in your prayers as they go through another difficult day and another difficult holiday season.

Love you all,


Thursday, December 6, 2012


It has been a busy few weeks since Ben has arrived home. Some of the craziness was expected, some was not. Before I tell you about some of that I first want to say how AMAZING it has been to have Ben back home. Seriously, I am so blessed to have such an incredible husband who is also the world's best daddy! I'm pretty sure that we are all guilty of taking our spouses for granted sometimes but doing life alone for an extended period will certainly remind you of how much you need him/her! Hunter has been beyond thrilled to have his daddy back and all of the reintegration couldn't have gone any smoother. So grateful for that!!! It has been one whole month that he has been home and we have been relishing every moment.

Within a week of Ben arriving back here we received a phone call from our agency about a 6 year old boy who needed a home. We agreed that we would certainly consider taking him if he was legally free. Unfortunately he was not and it was quite a messy situation as he was born and raised in Mexico, brought to WA and then his parents were deported and now he was stuck here in the U.S. as a citizen. I'm telling you, this system is SUCH a mess!!! Anyway, we had to say no since we knew that we would probably be leaving WA before he would be legally free and that would be a lot of trouble for all of us. Little did we know...

The Monday before Thanksgiving Ben got a call from his branch manager. He offered Ben his choice of two positions teaching ROTC (one in Missouri, the other in Arkansas) because he knew that we were really hoping for this particular job. Ben and I talked about it right away and we both agreed that Missouri would be great! So he called and accepted the job. God had other plans for us though and Tuesday we found out that he wasn't going to get that position but the Arkansas one was still available. The ROTC Battalion operates out of University of Central Arkansas which is in Conway, AR and we researched the area and decided that Conway looked wonderful! So we said YES! The paperwork got started and we continued doing research on the area. After a day or so we realized that not only was UCA involved in this ROTC Battalion, but there were three other schools as well. One in Russellville and two in Arkadelphia. We immediately looked at both towns and thought "I sure hope we don't have to go to Arkadelphia." God has such a sense of humor though! And so we are heading to Arkadelphia, Arkansas!

Here's the REALLY crazy part... we are leaving in less than two weeks! Because of the Thanksgiving holiday it took a little while to get Ben's orders and he needs to start the new job in January. We realized that it would actually make the most sense if we just drove home for Christmas on our way to AR so that's what we are doing. It's crazy here. Seriously crazy! We are cleaning, organizing, getting Ben's stuff together so that he can clear post here (i.e. sorting through piles and piles of camo stuff to turn in), tons of paperwork, figuring out how to turn off all the utilities, hold our mail, Christmas shop... the list is endless.

So, we are celebrating Christmas this Saturday, trying to soak up as much time with as many friends as we can and just muddle through this chaos. The packers are scheduled to come on December 17, the truck should hopefully be loaded on the 18th (happy anniversary to us!) and then we will start the LONG drive to Illinois as soon as we can. It is going to be quite the adventure.

I really wish I could write so much more about how all this craziness came to be and some of the incredible connections we have already made in Arkadoo but for right now I need to focus on all the stuff that needs to get done around here. I am so so sad to be leaving behind some of the most amazing friends here in WA, but we are also so excited to see what God has in store for us in AR!

Okay, I'm off to get some stuff done. I will try to post more soon, but no promises!

Love you all, please be praying for us as we get through the next few weeks and the many, many hours of travel that we have coming up. It's going to be a crazy ride and we have never moved before without having a house ahead of time so it's going to be interesting. We are trusting that God will be in all the details, He certainly has been so far!


B, E & H

P.S. I guess I didn't really mention what we are doing in Arkadelphia, AR! Ben will be an instructor for the ROTC program there teaching level 4 military science to cadets. We are super excited about this job as it's something that he has been wanting to do for a while now. He will also be recruiting for the ROTC program from the local high schools. It's going to be a huge change for us since it's not a military town and we will be living a pretty "civilian" lifestyle, but we are certainly looking forward to it!