FLORIDA & Goodbyes

Lesson of the day: don’t ever edit WordPress posts on an iPad. I had posted about our last two weeks in Florida, and the content was deleted. 😥

But life goes on.

The past two weeks were so busy and I barely had time to edit photos or write, but the days are getting jumbled together so I better get on this blogging thing.

Prepare yourselves. This might be a long one.

Okay. It will be a long one.

Week 1: 

On Saturday Caleb and I went to a Trump rally and saw this dancing hippy man.

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 10.00.21 PM

We are by no means Trump supporters, but wanted to see what a rally would be like. The line to get into the arena was wrapped around the building, and as we made our way to the front, we passed by a barrage of protestors. Once Trump started speaking, more protestors came out of the woodworks and were promptly sent out of the building.

On Monday, Caleb went to a Rubio rally, and I saw two old friends from college, Valerie & Meredith.

It was so nice to spend a little bit of time with them before I leave for two years!

On Tuesday, we went to a Rays Spring Training game with Caleb’s dad. Our seats were in the danger zone, and a man sitting behind us got hit in the shoulder with a foul ball. It was exhilarating to say the least:


Wednesday morning (or was it Thursday??) we woke up at 4 a.m. and drove to Miami. Our first stop in Miami was a Cruz rally. We were able to hear both Ted Cruz & Carly Fiorina speak, and at the end of the rally I was able to get blurry pictures (!!!!!) with both of them as well as their autographs. It was one of the coolest moments in my life thus far.


Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.59.06 AM

We were also interviewed by WINK News. Click here to listen to our super-short answers to the question, “Why did you come to this rally?”

Our second stop in Miami was the Japanese Consulate to hand in our Visa paperwork. The whole experience was a bit stressful & I hope to write a separate post about it later this week. Overall, we’re both glad that it’s over & done with.

Friday was spent at another Cruz rally, this time in Orlando:


On Saturday, I went to Celebration, FL to take pictures for a family friend. I had such a nice time chasing two of the sweetest boys around with my camera and a soccer ball.

Celebration Lights (1 of 1)

Week 2:

We had originally planned on leaving for the Everglades on Monday morning, but due to some unforeseen dentist appointments, we left for the Everglades on Wednesday morning and came back to Orlando on Friday night.

Our first night in the Everglades was spent in a hotel (yay for two Queen beds!), and the second was spent tent camping & hiding from mosquitos. In true Anderson fashion, we walked every trail, did a ton of bird watching, went fishing by our campsite, caught a couple of ugly brown crabs, and kayaked 14 miles round trip. We stopped at a place called the Gator Grill for some gator bites, and discovered the most delicious Key Lime Milkshake at a fruit stand called Robert Is Here. Robert Is Here was described by a local newspaper as the Disney World of fruit stands, and whether or not that is true, the milkshake itself was definitely magical.

We have a lot of pictures from the Everglades, so I’ll just post a few of my favorites:




The rest of the week was spent soaking up every moment we could with Caleb’s family.

On Tuesday morning, we flew out of Orlando to Columbus, OH for our first week of training/orientation. I’m going to be honest & transparent and say that I wasn’t very excited. In fact, it was the first time in a while where my heart felt very heavy.

This visit with Caleb’s family was our best one yet. I’ve always had a good relationship with Caleb’s parents, but during this visit, I felt like there was a major shift. During these past two weeks I felt less like a daughter in-law and more like a daughter. The love my in-laws have for me is deep, and I felt it each and every day we were there.

Some of my favorite moments of our time in Florida were sitting at the breakfast table with Grandma & Grandpa, drinking our coffee and watching Family Feud. I cherished the times when it was just Reba and I; drinking cups of tea, eating green tea mochi, and talking about life. All I can say about Caleb’s dad is that he’s a trouble maker. 😉 In all seriousness, I am blessed beyond measure.

As we boarded the plane to come to Ohio, I began to feel really anxious and a little bit agitated. I wasn’t looking forward to orientation because I didn’t know what to expect, and that worried me a little bit.

But then I read Psalm 22, and verse 5 jumped right out at me:

To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed.

I realized that my heart needed serious changing. I am always wanting to jump to the next step – impatience is a virtue I definitely possess. Why can’t we just go straight to Japan? We’ve been waiting for so long!

If we can trust the Lord with our Visas, we can definitely trust Him with our time in Ohio. And as soon as we got off the plane, we were not disappointed.

The past two days have been spent with a team of people that we quickly connected with, and we have begun to form the genuine friendships that we have been praying about for a whole entire year. If these few days are any indication of what the next two years will be like, we have nothing to fear.

If you are reading this sentence, congratulations! You made it!

Please continue to pray for us as we spend the next week and a half in Mansfield, OH. We are currently getting to know the other new teachers on the team, but are also going through cultural and language training.

So far, we have learned about self-introductions, as well as how to enter and exit an office.

One thing we definitely ask is that you pray for protection. When we left the airport to go to the home where we are staying, the van with the team’s luggage blew a tire out. Thankfully everyone & everything is okay, but pray that things go smoothly moving forward.

Thank you to those of you that are supporting us through prayer – your prayers ARE EFFECTIVE, and we feel them every single day.

Finally, I want to give a HUGE shout out & thank-you to Caleb’s grandparent’s who let us stay at their house for two weeks. We love you & are thankful for you. ❤


3 thoughts on “FLORIDA & Goodbyes

  1. Kelly, I felt like I could hear you speaking reading this. I don’t get to read them often because I’m not on FB to see them regularly so I’m adding my email to the list. I cried reading your Florida goodbye post mostly because of the love you sensed and expressed, but also because I was so thankful for the beautiful wife you are to Caleb. Bring your best to Japan. They’re awaiting team Anderson to leave a mark on their hearts and lives because you were there. The Lord bless and keep you both in His watchful care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dawn, thank you so, so much for your kind words and your encouragement. We have been so blessed by you & your family, and can rest in knowing that you are supporting us all the way in Florida! I have to check and see how to add people to the email list…when I do, I’ll add you! ❤ ❤


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