"Kindness is the essence of greatness and the fundamental characteristic of the noblest men and women I have known. Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends. It softens hearts and molds relationships that can last a lifetime." -Joseph B Wirthlin

I have been thinking about kindness a lot lately. I just got back to Okinawa a week ago and Duke has been gone for about 2 months now. It's never easy when your husband is gone. And it's definitely harder with a baby on board. However this experience has let me see the kindness of others in this world and I have been so touched.  
I flew home with Lucy and naturally was pretty worried for our long flights. The way back was about 30 hours of traveling. We also flew to utah while in the states. All this traveling made me realize how much goodness there is in the world! I had many offers from men to help me with my bags, and doors. One guy carried my 2 carryon items onto and off of a bus for me--such a small act--yet I was so touched that he offered and gladly did it. (Luckily I didn't have carryons flying internationally bc that was a giant pain!). On both long flights I sat by the kindest people who told me "let me know if you need anything and I'm happy to help". Not to mention my friend with a baby who came to pick me up at 10 pm after my flight was delayed.
 When I got home I noticed my lawn was practically a jungle in back. So I thought I better hire someone to mow it. Then I came home from church yesterday and noticed my lawn was mowed! My nicest next door neighbors had mowed it, knowing that Duke was deployed.

 I feel lucky to know such kind people and happy to know that the world is still full of kind people. I'm also grateful because it has motivated me to look for ways to go above and beyond for people. Even so much as a kind word can really make someone's day. I hope that we can all be strive to be a little more kind each day :).
 In other news Lucy, Coree and I did a little exploring today. Springtime is absolute perfection in okinawa. Beautiful sunny skies and perfect temperatures without the oppressing humidity.


Crystal Bridges Museum

My hometown is Bentonville, Arkansas. Probably never heard of it unless you work for Walmart or just really know your geography. It's a small town but headquarters of none other than Walmart! Since I have graduated and moved away (10 years ago-whhhat?!) it has been becoming really fun and artsy mostly thanks to the Walton family. They poured tons of money into making this awesome art museum called Crystal Bridges. It's right in downtown Bentonville and has tons of walking and biking trails that weave all around it. It's not as pretty in the winter so I stole the above & below picture from google. If you're ever in the area you should definitely check it out. 
I visited a temporary exhibit they have right now called Van Gogh to Rothko. It was awesome. Tons of artists the average person would recognize including Warhol, Van Gogh, O'Keeffe, Dali, Kahlo, Picasso, Lichtenstein and tons more.
 Lucy in front of a Pollock
Rothko. Lucy's getting so cultured.
 Van Gogh
The other fun part of the exhibit was the hands on area afterward. They had all these different little stations to recreate art in similar styles of the art in the exhibit. It'd make a really fun date night! I drew a "Frida Kahlo selfie". Pretty dead on if you ask me ;).

 Trying my hand at some pollock-esque painting! 


Kansas City Trip

Last weekend we traveled up to Kansas City for a quick trip. It dumped a bunch of snow on Saturday but we still did a bit of shopping and had fun. My parents and I went to the Kansas City temple Friday night and my younger sister watched Lucy for me. Saturday we went to Country Club Plaza (fun outdoor shopping area) and Cheesecake Factory and Trader Joes. Just the essentials :). The way home took 5 hours (usually takes 3) bc of the snow falling, but it wasn't too terrible and Lucy did really great in the car. Knock on wood but she is doing much better in her carseat than she used to.
Ready for the road trip!!
Lucy loves her auntie erica
Kansas City Temple is a pretty one!
stocking up on the important things :)
Lucy is very loved!
My mom took Lucy to the bathroom to change her diaper and apparently she had a blowout and my mom didn't want to walk her back to the table without a shirt on so she wrapped her scarf around her to make a makeshift shirt. It was kind of hilarious.
Driving back home!!


USA // arkansas

The beginning of February Duke left us for his first real deployment. So mid-February Lucy and I said, "we're outta here!" Actually I really love okinawa and my friends there, but it seemed like a perfect time to come home and visit. Only my mom had met Lucy and I realized I hadn't been to Arkansas for a year and a half! We had three flights to get us from okinawa to arkansas. Oki-Tokyo-Minneapolis-Arkansas. It was my first time flying with Lucy so I had no idea what to expect. Miracle of all miracles...she was an angel! Ok well she had maybe a 3-5 min fussing episode on 2 of the flights, but perfect the rest of the time. I feel like that is pretty good! We also lucked out with an empty seat next to us on each flight! We are loving our time here! And I'm loving all the help I get with Lucy. I'm actually getting some naps in!
 sleeping on the long leg over
 Meeting grandpa and Erica for the first time!
 ahhh..the luxuries of America...target and sonic drinks!
 hello adorable!
 meeting stacy!
 it's really cute to see how much my little brother loves her
 breakfast at pressroom with more friends
 lucy just making everyone laugh
chillin with her auntie
Grandma with her babies