Decade in Review

So, I totally stole this idea from someone else. Because that’s what good bloggers do. Here’s a little review of the life of Jennifer Yawn (then Faulk) over the past decade…


– Received a “D” in Business Calculus because I hardly ever went to class. Told my obviously agitated parents that I would likely never need Business Calculus and that “D” in this case was good enough for “Degree.” May we never speak of it again.

– Took my first airplane ride. Destination? Egypt. Figured out that my after-college plans would include becoming a Journeyman.

– My best friend and my sister both got married. Both of them had me wear a purple dress for the occasion, one with sleeves and one without sleeves.


– Wore another purple dress when my cousin got married in January. This time it was a halter style dress. (In January, y’all! Just about froze to death.)

– Wrote the script for my sorority’s Frontier Fiesta show. Was somehow wrangled into being in the show, appropriately cast as Hick Girl #1. Wanted to murder several fraternity boys before it was all over but miraculously did not.

– Graduated from the University of Houston. Left Houston, then left for Virginia two weeks later for IMB Journeyman training.

– During my last week in the US, got in my first ever automobile accident when someone ran a stop sign. I left the country with my Mustang in the shop. Sniff, sniff…

– Moved to Namibia. Freaked out the first time a baboon picked open my backpack and ate my Froot Loops on a camping trip. (Notice I said “first” time. Never learned, and some baboon always messed with my stuff every time. While I was sleeping — praise God.)

– Robbed in Harare, Zimbabwe over New Year’s Eve. Began carrying car keys in such a way that I could stab someone with them if needed. Almost stabbed a Journeyman from Lesotho later on that night for jumping out at me from the bushes, yelling “Happy New Year!”


– Heard from the University of Houston, via my mother, that I might not have graduated. (!!!) Had my mother give them my number in Namibia so that I could confirm (on their dime!) that my advisor, aka the Goat Man, had indeed told me to take Business Calculus for my upper level math. (Yes, we had to speak of it all over again!) Paperwork located, degree sent, crisis averted, graduated with (believe it or not) cum laude status. D means Degree, I tell you!

– Went on a tour of the northern region of Namibia with a group of Peace Corps workers. Finally showered at Epupa Falls in an open air freezing cold shower after a week of no running water. Thought I had died and gone to paradise.

– Went to the Swakopmund Secondary School’s matric farewell (aka, prom). Danced to Britney Spears and the ever popular South African rapper, Mendoza.

– Visited South Africa with my family for Christmas. Watched my brother-in-law swing around high-intensity traffic circles in Cape Town while my sister gave him bad directions and my mother just about had a series of heart attacks from the backseat.


– Moved back to the US. CULTURE SHOCK.

– Took a church ministry job and felt completely inadequate. (Felt this way pretty much across the board, actually.)

– Started seminary. Dropped Hebrew. Wondered if maybe I shouldn’t drop seminary altogether and move to Peru to weave baskets.

– Decided to go to Vietnam instead.

– Spent most weekends with my cousin, the only friend I felt like I had.

– Dated a couple of guys who didn’t end up being the right guys.

– Met a guy named Wes who was so obviously NOT the right guy from the moment I met him.

– Rang in the New Year in downtown Fort Worth, hanging out with two of my youth from Namibia who had flown into Texas from their au pair jobs in Massachusetts.


– Went to Vietnam. Hung out with that guy named Wes. Tried to find a non-existent Cinnabon with him in South Korea. Was only slightly annoyed that he made sure to get the seat right next to me on all of the long flights back to the US.

– Somehow ended up on a date with him once we got back to Fort Worth. Then, said yes to another date. And two months later, said yes to a marriage proposal. (Well, color me surprised!)

– Quit my job to join Wes’s church and serve alongside him. Began to LOVE the people at Handley Baptist Church.

– Spent the summer in Lebanon. Doors slammed in our faces, tea time with Hezbollah folks, and day after day of reciting a greeting in Arabic that began, interestingly enough, with the Arabic word “Ana.” There for an Israeli air raid of Beirut and the ensuing Hezbollah retaliation, and so, so glad to be gone a week later.

– Changed my degree plan from an MDiv to an MA, since it was shorter and we would soon be paying for TWO tuitions on our janitorial salaries.

– Married Wes. Could hardly keep from holding my breath all day long, thinking that I would wake up and none of this amazing dream would be real. (Or maybe my dress was just that tight.)


– Moved into the one hundred year old parsonage at Handley with my HUSBAND! (And that’s just how excited I was about the whole marriage deal.)

– Graduated from seminary. Upgraded to a secretarial job that (tada!) came with a full-tuition spouse scholarship. Encouraged Wes to take advantage of this by taking eight hundred million hours of Systematic Theology and Hebrew during the summer. He did so, and we both survived that summer. Amazing!

– Welcomed our niece, Kendall, into the world after a wild drive up from San Antonio. (Darn my sister and her short labors!)

– Found out we were pregnant. Took four tests and a blood test at the hospital, just to make sure.

– Went along with Wes as he interviewed at some crazy churches. Wondered how anyone could survive in the pastorate after hearing some horror stories of past pastors run right out of town.


– Contacted by a church in Okinawa. Began interview process. Wes accepted in March.

– Wes graduated from seminary.

– Packed up everything to move to Japan. Sold our cars.

– Gave birth to Ana Katharine on July 24th. Remember crying later that night because she wouldn’t stop crying. Then, discovering that she had wiggled out of her impossibly tiny diaper right before having the biggest poo explosion I had ever seen. (Indicative of her personality, let me tell you.)

– Cried a lot and often when I figured out that I would never again be able to get a really good night’s sleep. I was a mom.

– Moved to Japan with our eight week old bundle of sassiness. Watched her sleep from San Francisco to Taipei, shocked by how well she traveled.

– Found out, after a particularly rough day of adjusting to life with a newborn and life in a foreign country, that I was pregnant. Only took one test. Began calling her Emma within a week’s time.


– Morning sickness, homesickness…. sick, sick, sick…

– Experienced our first earthquake. Then, our second. Wes slept through them both.

– Ana rolling, Ana crawling, Ana walking…

– Survived a Category 5 typhoon while 37 weeks pregnant. Biggest one to hit Japan in over 25 years. (The typhoon, not me. Although I was huge.)

– Gave birth to Emma Ruth on July 26th. Remember being called down to the nursing room eleven times that night because, “Jennifer-san, baby hungry.” Listened to Japanese pop music and, of all things, Gwen Stefani from the nurses’ station radio while Em kept on drinking and drinking and drinking…

– Adjusted to life with two babies.

– Put our resume out after we had fulfilled our one year commitment. Heard from five churches in one week. Knew almost instantly which one was the right one.

– Said a very hard goodbye to Okinawa and moved to Oklahoma.

– Got in a car accident our first month back in the US when someone ran a stop light. (Deja vu?) Ended up taking the church van down to DFW to move our stuff back up to town. Felt really silly driving around in a fifteen passenger van.

– Bought our first home.


– Emma rolling, Emma crawling, Emma walking…

– Ana talking and talking and talking…

– Learned all about the characters on Nick Jr.

– Turned thirty. I mean, TWENTY-NINE. (For the second time.)


– First family vacation to Walt Disney World.

– Potty trained a toddler.

– Attempted to potty train the other toddler. Which didn’t work quite as well. (Ha!)

– Went to children’s camp. Then youth camp. And needed a whole lot of sleep afterwards.

– Welcomed our nephew, Connor, into the world earlier than expected. (Again, what’s the deal with the short labors?!)

– Turned twenty-nine for the third time.

– Celebrated five years of marriage. Began planning how we’ll celebrate our ten year anniversary. (Because five years goes by really fast when you’re in love. Awww…)

Can’t wait to see what’s up ahead for this decade!

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