Friday, March 27, 2015


So with Brenner being just days away from leaving and us having a hundred things to do, I thought I would stop being productive and look at pictures from our Hawaii trip.  

We decided that in the month leading up to Brenner's deployment, we were going to try to spend as much time as we could doing fun things.  
We did not want the last month to be just a countdown to the inevitable.  So of course, when we were deciding where to go and what to do, the obvious choice was back to Hawaii.
We hopped flights there and back on Air Force planes, which is fairly long and painful but free.  
This time we were able to stay with my brother and sister in law and since they are both so busy with work and school, it was great to get the extra little times with them. 
We did not pack in nearly as much travel or activities as last time which ended up being a great thing. 
Our trip went by crazy fast and was not long enough, but we are SO thankful to go and get to spend everyday at the beach, go hiking, snorkeling, eat great food and Ted's bakery pies, make dozens of sandcastles, meet Kekoa the puppy, hang out with family, visit an old friend, each the best snowcones on the planet and just relax.  

Thursday, March 26, 2015


You know what the worst part about my husband deploying?  
For me, it is not that he will not be there to help with the kids.  It is not that I will have to mow the grass.  It is not that I will not be able to run early in the morning or he will not fix my omelette for breakfast.  It is not that he will be 12 hours apart from me.  The absolute worst part is that he will not be there for me to physically touch and hold.  I will not be able to hold his hand as I fall asleep, give him a hug first thing in the morning, have his arm wrapped around me in church, sit next to me at dinner and just physically have him next to me.  I will miss that.  I am already missing that.  And the talks.  Every night, the hubs and I come together and just talk for a while, just us.  No tv or kids, just us. 

And so, for us, the most important thing for us to do before he left was to take a couple of days to have just with him.  For me to hold his hand non stop for two days without little hands demanding attention.  For us to talk about our fears and the realities of the 7 months before us without interruption.  For me to cry on his shoulder.  Just because my heart hurts that he is leaving.

And we were able to take those couple of days in Napa, California.  We rode the wine train through the vineyards, walked through one of the local wineries, slept in, watched tv and talked and talked.  It was so beautiful and definitely somewhere that we wanted to go to while we lived in the area.  

There is something so important and necessary to every marriage about spending time together.  It does not always have to be a getaway, because that rarely happens for us, or even a date.  But finding quiet time at the end of the day has become so important to us and has greatly deepened our marriage.   Making time to talk about the every day as well as the hard topics has brought us so much closer.  And especially when you have kids, finding that time can be so hard.  We are so thankful that we had time to be together.  

And while we were away, our sweet friends and fellow chaplain family kept our kids for us.  Here are a few pictures that I stole from her blog.  There are not many people that the girls will choose over me.  They usually do not like to leave their mother's side.  However, when we dropped them off at the Goecker's house, Clara Beth asked if I could leave now.  A sure sign that they were in great hands :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chap, Chap, Chaplain

So for the last 14 months, Brenner has officed out of the Med Group here on base.  The idea was for the chaplains to be where the people are as much as they can and this has allowed SO much more interaction with people than I think he would have gotten at other places.  He has loved getting to know this group on base.  At the last Commander's Call for the group, the Col. asked everyone to attend so that they could say goodbye to Brenner.  He was so touched!  He had also prepared this song for them to show his appreciation and love for his job and the people he gets to work with.

Brenner is a man of many talents :)

 photo signature_zps34cea1f1.png

Saturday, March 7, 2015

One year and off he goes

So the Campbell clan has officially been in California for a year.

Over a year, 13 1/2 months to be exact, and I meant to write this post right after we hit our one year mark but I procrastinated.  A lot.  I love to share with everyone how amazing this change has been for us, how much we have grown, how much stronger our marriage has become and how we feel like we are both being used by God in too many ways to count just because we said "yes" when He asked us to trust and follow him.  But the first year here and the second year here are going to look very, very different.

The reason for my huge procrastination in writing a family update is because Brenner is deploying in less than a month and my heart just hurts to write that.

It is not a surprise, we knew that this would be coming, and yet when we got the orders it was still a shock.  And so, here we are, reveling in all that God has taken us through in the last 13 months, grateful for the challenges of changing houses, careers, states, and time zones, amazed at the relationships formed, humbled by the love we are shown by the Air Force community and honored to given the chance by God to do such great kingdom work for full time ministry.  And now we have to gear up for another challenge, a 7 month deployment.

While my heart hurts, I mean truly aches, at the thought of sending him off for such a long time, I am also very aware that once again, this is part of God's plan for us and there are specific reasons that this deployment is not only happening, but necessary.  Every major challenge that we have faced I can look back and see so many reasons why that had to happen in order to change me in some way.  Challenge and suffering and changes in our lives should change us into people more like Christ.  So this past year, with the challenges we faced with our move to California and new AF life, has blessed us tremendously and we are so grateful for each day we are here.  I can see why I needed to relocate, I already can pinpoint areas of change in my life that are for the better and areas where I feel Christ is shining more than he was.

And I really think that this next year, even though Brenner will be gone for so much of it, will still be a great year.  My prayer for us is to grow in Christ, to have joy and contentment in our hearts, and to be used well in our full time ministries.  This is not going to be a seven month countdown of when our life can start again, this will be a seven month journey imitating Christ and treasuring the season we are in.  Be sure to remind me of that on the hard days :)

 photo signature_zps34cea1f1.png

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Life lately

Here is a little glimpse into our recent days....

Cole is reading like a champ these days and we are focusing primarily on that during school.  When it is nice outside, which it has been so much the last month, we take school outside to the treehouse, our favorite study spot

The weather has been so nice that we took the boat out and hope to do it again soon.  
Chapel family day in downtown Sacramento with some of the chapel family.
Clara Beth.  My girl that loves to hoard and carry multiple purses full of treasures like baby dolls, dried flowers and tubes of toothpaste.
One morning after breakfast we had nothing to do and nowhere to go so we crawled back in bed and read books for an hour....hello perfect morning!
Playdate with some favorite friends.
I love it when she picks her own outfit 
The girls got new bikes for their birthday and I cannot believe how big they look riding them!!

This little monkey ( Elise) can basically do the monkey bars by herself
Came out to the front yard to find Cole hacking the ground digging for treasure and with Brenner's hoe
Sweet whispers I overheard between the girls....about babies, puppies and stinky feet.  These two crack me up and melt my heart.

Loving these days with these three....

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A celebration!

A few weeks ago when the girls turned 3, Brenner's mom was able to come out and be a part of the celebration as well as stay for an entire week!
We had such a great visit and I was able to get a couple great photos with her before she left!

On their birthday, we had two chaplains and families over to dinner and celebrated with cupcakes.
Our friends spoiled them with play-doh, tiaras, and ring pops :)

The day after their birthday was Presidents Day and we headed to Nevada City with Ch. Lowe and Ed for the most beautiful weather and a great family day of exploration.