Another Blissful Year Flies By : Celebrating Our Three-Year Anniversary

Today marks our third year of sweet marriage.

And what an amazing year it has been!

Every year that passes, we look back and realize that God continues to carry us through an even crazier journey than the year before. 

Here's a look into the adventures of Jitney's Journeys Year III:

Spent our first major trip away from each other

Regardless of how long you have been married or the circumstances, 24 days is a really long time to be apart from one another. We wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Then we had to do it again

a few months later


In totality, survived being apart from another for at least six weeks

Took photos at the film location of

Jurassic Park

in Hawaii

Experienced the first


either of us have ever seen or heard

Competed together in our first 

Warrior Dash 


Ran through the course alongside amazing friends and family

Took a road trip from Germany through the Swiss Alps into Italy

First trip to


Attained new

leather working skills

, which is super fitting because the traditional third year anniversary gift is leather

Served beside one another on our first international mission trip

And finally...

Looked for a new house

and found one!

This house is our first true home, or nest, if you will.

We can finally decorate, paint, tear down and build up, as we please. 

We promise to show you photos soon but everything is still in turbo-move mode.

The plan was to stay the first night in our new home last Thursday but we had some plumbing issues plus immaculate windows without curtains, so we kept putting off the big first night's stay.

Then we decided that the best anniversary gift we could give one another is to spend our first night at our new home on our anniversary. 

Here's to a great night's rest in our new nest! 

Cruisin' through the Swiss Alps to Italy...

Happy Tuesday everybody! This past November, we embarked on yet another lovely trip to Germany for one of JD's business trips.  Friends often ask us where we love to travel to most...

Our Top 3 List goes a little something like this:

1. Germany

2. Hawaii

3. Israel

Why does Germany rank as numero uno on our list? These photos should answer that....

This was a part of the scenic ride from Germany through the Swiss Alps to Milano, Italy. Is it not absolutely exhilarating?! JD was able to take two days off so we booked a hotel in Italy and embarked on an adventurous 8-hour road trip. Not gonna lie... I got a tad -way- sick as JD took the curves of the Alps like a pro.

As I sprawled out across the backseat with an excruciating headache and nausea, JD stopped at this amazing lake and woke me up.

"Whit, I know you're not feeling well at all but I had to pull over here for you to see this. I couldn't drive by it without waking you up."

JD ran down this little paved road to see if anything else was down the way worth seeing. I, on the other hand, grabbed a couple of courtesy doggie bags and stuffed them into the glove compartment. 

A gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do.

And then we saw this lonely park bench and decided that it needed a couple of newlyweds to keep it company...

After taking in the glorious views, we drove a little further south.

The magnificent mountain tops and mustard colored trees paired with the deep evergreens were certainly a sight to behold in contrast to this quaint little town. 

And yet, the views became more immaculate...

I can't even begin to explain the surprise and mystery of this waterfall.

It appeared out of nowhere. We took a turn and -BOOM- waterfall. There it is. 

In the middle of a super tiny town.




JD knows that my heart bursts anytime a waterfall is in view. Memories rush into my mind from childhood when my dad would play his 12-string guitar and sing about getting lost while playing in the waterfalls with my brother. 

Not to mention, "Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls" by TLC holds a pretty big place in my heart, as it was the first song I learned how to play on the guitar (second grade). 

JD and I haven't experienced any waterfalls such as this on any other trip (Oahu doesn't have very big waterfalls). So when we

just happened to

drive along a windy road only to see this amazing wonder, we had no other choice but to make another pit stop, take photos and breathe in the fresh autumn air.

We will probably never be able to remember which road we were driving down (except that there was a restaurant somewhere along the road called "Pink Panther Pizza") or how far away we were from our destination...

but that's the entire point of this blog.

As cliche as it sounds, it's not about the destination - it's about the journey. 

So stop every once in a while to breathe in the fresh air;

to drive a little further south and search for the small wonders of nature God has hidden especially for you to find;

and most importantly, to enjoy the journey with someone you love. 

Germany : Heidelberg Christmas Markets

It's cold in Germany.

Many of you may not think it's cold, but for a couple of newlywed kiddos from the Deep South like us... it was cold. 

But Germany has Christmas Markets.

So the cold was easy to overlook.

Each town hosts at least one Christmas Market in Germany. "Amazing" cannot even describe it. Most people are cheerful, friendly and inviting. "Merry Christmas" banners hang on sides of the buildings, and guess what? People don't protest them or rip them down. In America, people try to protest nativity scenes and anything that says the word Christmas; but not in Germany. They believe in Christmas and they celebrate it like no country we've ever seen.

This particular Christmas Market was in Heidelberg, Germany. Five different markets lined the main street of the town: Kornmarkt, Markplatz, Universitatplatz, Anatomiegarten, and the Bismarckplatz. 

See the line of lights in the photo below? Those are the walkways between the Christmas markets....

Before we shopped, we had to make one crucial stop. 


Check out the Fuerwurst that I grabbed at the Christmas Market booth above.


JD got the steak with onions.

Are you a Nutella fan?

If so, go to Germany. Everything is Nutella there, including the special crepes.

Ok - so we realize that kissing pictures are cheesy and a lot of people don't think they're very cool... but how can you resist when there is a store right in front of you called Coffee & Kiss? 

I mean, you really have no other choice, right?!

Below you will see a gigantic Christmas Pyramid - life size, at that. 

I could've stood and stared at this thing until it got dark. 

And maybe we did...

(Haha - kidding, we walked back to it after we finished touring the markets and it just so happened to be all lit up.)

How beautiful is that!?

When we realized how big of a deal Christmas Pyramids were in Germany, we just had to get one for our own Todd Nest. Each tier displays a piece of the Christmas story - except Baby Jesus isn't on there. We like to think that the candles display who He is - the Light.

Have you ever seen one of these in person? It's super cool. The heat from the candles rise and spin the propellers at the top, which in turn spins each tier. It's one of our favorite Christmas decorations.

What is your favorite Christmas decoration?

Germany : Do You Put Up a Live or Fake Christmas Tree? & Ramstein-Miesenbach

It has been almost one year since we took our first trip to Germany. We have been super anxious in writing all about our ventures. However... since we went during the Christmas season


year, we felt it would be best to wait until


Christmas season to write about it.

Today, we will take you on a tour through the quaint, but lovely, town of Ramstein-Miesenbach - home to our hotel, the Ramsteiner-Hof.

I fell in love with this flower shop, especially the Christmas decorations.

Even after I greet the Germans with "Good Morning" in Deutchse ("Guten Morgen"), they respond with "Good Morning" in English. Most people can tell I'm an American and only speak English. 

Two older men, one "very" happy (probably had some early morning cheer) said "Good Mooorning" to me while hanging on for dear life around his friend's neck. Then he started speaking German to me and I just stared blankly. He circled his hand downward in a curtsy motion and said, "That means 'Good morning, m' lady!" as he trailed off in a deep, hearty laughter. 

I love this place. 

It reminds me of the first scene from Beauty and the Beast. 

Tents are set up throughout the city centers. I stopped by the one above and bought a tiny Christmas tree covered in white frost, red ribbons and red candles. 

It is officially our first "live" Christmas tree, even if it is only one foot tall. 

God has truly blessed JD and I with so many opportunities to travel together. I love finding ways to make our hotel rooms into a cozy home. This tree sitting in our windowsill was just one of those ways.

I turned the corner and crept upon a beautiful secret garden hidden between two buildings. I wanted so badly to hop that iron gate and just sit in the realm of pure magic it held (with a hot cup of tea, of course). The more I walked around, the more I realized how gardens like this are actually amongst most of the buildings.

I arrived back to the hotel with Christmas tree in hand and Frank, the mysterious-do-everything-around-here-guy, was standing outside smoking. I held up my tree proudly and said, "Look what I got! Our Christmas decoration for the hotel room!" He gave me a thumbs-up, smiled big and said, "That's very nice!" He tossed his cigarette butt and walked inside. 

I ventured out behind the main hotel building to take photos of the cross and the gazebo. Frank came running up behind me with a flashlight. I thought I was in trouble but then he said in a thick German accent, "Look! Look! I'll take you inside!" The flashlight's batteries were dead but fortunately I had my iPhone's flashlight app so we could see inside the "dungeon" - also known as the 50-year-old underground cave where people stored potatoes. We could see the roots in the ceiling from the tree above us. It was truly amazing.

And just like that, Frank let off back to the hotel. 

The colors of everything here baffle me... Even in the winter season. The contrast is powerful but makes so much sense. 

We want to know about your Christmas traditions...

Does you put up a live or fake Christmas tree every year?

Germany : Flag Your Cards, Know How to Read a Map and Stay Calm

We have finally made it to our documentation of Germany from December 2011! Here we go...

Before leaving on an international trip,

be sure to notify your credit and debit card providers

Someone... possibly by the name of Whitney {me}...

may have

forgotten this crucial step on our Germany trip. When we approached the Hertz desk, we tried our two cards only for each one to fail. 

I felt sick to my stomach. 

The Hertz employees were awesome and worked with us hand-in-hand. We are incredibly thankful for bank security BUT we couldn't reach the company we banked with

at the time

because they don't have a 24-hr access line. With our time change, we were forced to wait a few hours in the airport. So we walked upstairs with our American dollar bills and chowed down on the always internationally reliable McDonald's.

They only offered McMuffins... no biscuits but that's ok.

We finally settled the issue with the bank and Hertz, packed our bags into the new rental car for the trip, and JD turned the car on... only to find out it's a manual. 

Neither of us can drive a manual.

So we unloaded our bags and trekked back up to the Hertz desk.

No automatic cars are available for another hour.

Walk around airport.

Whew! Automatic car is now available. We add a GPS onto the package and load the new car up.

Set out in our VW Golf from the Frankfurt airport to Ramstein-Meisenbacher. 

GPS doesn't work. Fortunately, there's a map. 

A very hard-to-read map.

Four hours later (should've only taken one hour), we arrive to our destination! 

Even with the absolutely terrible luck throughout our arrival, my jaw dropped as JD drove through the lovely, quaint towns that were more beautiful than even the greatest photographer can capture. 

The Lord is gracious in even our most frustrating moments.

We've been on a number of trips but this was, by far, the most terrible way to start one out. 

And yet, it ended up being a favorite trip of ours overall.

Prepare for our greatest attempt as we send you through a journey of one of the most whimsical countries on the planet.

Have you ever had a time where things were terrible and embarrassing in the beginning but the outcome was better than you could have ever dreamed?

Happy 2012!!

Happy 2012 everyone!!

We realize that, once again, we are far far far behind in posting. It's my (Whitney) fault. You will be happy to know that posting more consistently and frequently is on my Top 5 Goals for 2012.

iMovie has had a few kinks over the past few months; thus, our videos are even further in the making than what we had hoped. I am beyond grateful for my Apple-savvy brother, Chase, for helping me fix the bugs and we will hopefully have the video production "business" up and running sometime soon... hopefully today.

We will continue posting about our trip to Hawaii throughout the next few weeks. However, we wanted to share two special photos from our most recent adventures throughout Germany and France. As always, we are super pumped about sharing our journey through these two history, castle and church-invaded countries with you.

Back to the topic of the New Year... I don't know about you, but JD and I are in awe of what God has done in our lives and our marriage during 2011. We truly cannot begin to imagine what He's going to do in 2012! He has definitely been moving steadily through our family in the recent month and has set out new pathways for Chase and Jackie, and Brandon and Theresa. We are so proud of our brothers and sisters in the new job opportunities they will be embarking on in February.

Chase will be working as a Front-end Web Developer at

and Jackie is able to transfer to the Las Vegas


with her current position of department manager.

We are excited to tell you about the task Brandon and Theresa have coming up but they still have a few people to tell before we can express it to everyone via blog. :)

Needless to say, all four opportunities are nothing less than an absolute blessing from above and we cannot wait to see what God is going to do through each of these wonderful human beings that we have the honor of calling our sisters and brothers in Christ and in our earthly family.