I LOVE being pregnant!

Two weeks ago we had our ultrasound appointment. We saw the tiny toes and knees, the elbows and little fingers, the spine, stomach, umbilical cord, eye, pointy little nose and smiling mouth (Yes "fefe" really was smiling)


Every little movement I feel, or movement we get to watch together, we are just amazed at what is happening inside. It's a little baby, OUR little baby.

We can't wait til Dec 1st (or earlier possibly as the ultrasound shows) to find out whether our little miracle is a boy or a girl. LOVE BIG SURPRISES!!!

Here I am today, just about to start my 25th week!! ALmost mid-way through Month #6!


a mini catch you up...

Wow...it's been awhile.

We have been busy moving out of our Gualo Rai house and into a new house up by NMC College. It is ALOT closer to the school for Jake. Once December 1st comes/BABY VAN DAM I will no longer be working at Gold's Gym but will instead stay home with my baby!

Today, as I write this brief update, I am officially starting my 23rd week of pregnancy and feeling GREAT and very healthy!

Jake is gearing up for school to start on Monday with the new school year. There are 4 new teachers for the school year and Jake is very happy and excited to be going back to work and a job that he loves.

His sister Beth will be moving out here sometime later in August to work at a public school close to the new house, AND she will also be living with us. We are both very happy and excited to have some blood family here with us! It'll make home even a bit more like home!


God is good!


the Van Dams


Baby Van Dam

As many of you may already know, Jake and I are expecting our very first baby in December.
We are so excited and can't wait to be parents.
I know Jake is going to be make an awesome, loving, fun and protective Father and cannot wait til baby is here to watch!
So far I am in the middle of my 16th week. We have had several ultrasounds and appointments and we are in the clear, everything looks good!

Here I am on Sunday, 16 weeks preggo!

Outfit #1

Out fit #2 - Felt much better in this outfit!

Bali 2011

In May, Jake and I went on vacation for about 10 days to Bali, Indonesia. We left with another couple, some of our closest friends here in Saipan. We spent 9 days in Bali and the rest of the time travelling. It was an unforgettable, most amazing trip we have ever taken. Loved every minute of it and the pictures will tell...



It's officially Easter weekend and yet it doesn't feel like Easter at all for some reason.

Jake walked up Mt. Topachau yesterday with some good friends. I didn't go because I wasn't feeling well and also very tired, maybe that's part of it. We have early morning sunrise service tomorrow for Easter Sunday and then several invites for Easter Sunday dinners.

Maybe it's because I've been working all week and Saturday and am used to taking that time off.

Maybe it's because I know family will be getting together for Easter dinner and that's another one to miss out on.

hmmm...maybe it's because I feel like I'm not living in reality right now. There are some unreal things happening to us.

Jake and I are are going to have a baby. WOW.

It's crazy. We are super excited! and super scared - but who isn't really?!!? It's not like it's some little thing -IT'S HUGE!!! A baby?!?! Come December 1st?!!??

WOW - I have no words really - I'm ecstatic, thrilled, shaking, haven't fully realized it yet, because all it feels like so far is I got the stomach flu and am tired.


Anyways, we wanted to share our exciting news...we are finishing up on Month #2! Going on 3!!! Only alot more to go!! HAHA :)
Jake and I are feeling pretty good. Things will change a bit for us, luckily our house is perfect with an extra room and yard - so we're happy about that.


Happy Easter!
Love you all!

Love & Blessings,

Jake and Jackie


life lately

Gorgeous George is about 5 weeks old in the picture on the left, and about 8 weeks old in the picture on the right. He's growing like crazy!

George again at 8 weeks old in these two pictures. Him and Bella get along great and spend most of their time together play fighting or having a tug-o-war over a toy.

On to other Van Dam family members.
Tim and Jana are set to arrive in Saipan late this Friday night/early this Saturday morning. They'll get to see Jackie and I team up to complete the Xterra race on Saturday morning. We'll all hang around together on Saipan till Monday morning when they leave for Australia for a week. Pretty exciting stuff. I think dad has wanted to go to Australia for quite a while now. Then they'll be back on Saipan for a few more days before heading back to the states.
Pray for safety for mom and dad as they travel and that we'll have a good time together here in Saipan. Also, both Jackie and I had pretty bad crashes during the race last year, and we would definitely appreciate a prayer for safety in this year's race.

Jake and Jackie


Jake here

So I don't know if anyone reads this anymore. If not I can't say that I blame you. (if I truly believed that no one reads it anymore I guess I wouldn't have written that sentence... or this one) I honestly wasn't even sure if Jackie still updated. I guess we're both more facebookers than bloggers.
In any case, I need to post this just to say that my sisters are amazing people. There are a number of reasons for this sentiment, most of which I'm going to keep to myself. But the thing that convinces me most of their amazing-ness has to do with the people they've become.
Why didn't I already know that they are amazing people? you might ask. Let me explain.
First of all, I think I have only just discovered who my sisters are. Again, that might sound a bit peculiar. My sisters and I did grow up together. What I mean is that I don't think I had any idea the type of people that my sisters have grown up to be until the past 6sih months. I clearly remember my/our childhood and I regret that much of it was spent arguing, fighting, teasing, and basically just not getting along. Many friends of my sisters and I were similarly aged and got along famously. Not so for the Van Dam kids. To be honest, it was mostly... ok ok I'll actually be honest here, it was all my fault. Any fighting we did can be traced directly to me. I can't say for certain what my problem was back then. I think I was very envious of the relationship my sisters had with each other. But I don't know why that would cause me to instigate so much discord. My behavior and jealously prevented me from getting to know my sisters and who they actually were.
Second, I have been apart from my sisters for the majority of the time since they were 16 and 13. Having been away at college and now even further away in Saipan has robbed me of being near to my sisters when the person they have become was being molded. I definitely didn't and still don't make near enough effort to stay in touch with them while being away. Again, my fault.
Now for the reason why I think they are amazing.
Beth and Becca, you have become your own person. I don't mean in a congratulations type of way. That might infer that I have become my own person, which I'm not sure that I have. I mean like, Holy crap! My sisters are really stinking awesome people and I had no idea till now! I love people who are their own person. These people are who they are. They don't apologize for it. They don't try to hide in a crowd or put on an act. You both are all of these things and so much more. You both are unique and wonderful people.
I have to admit that I'm still jealous. Not as much for the relationship that you have with each other. (Though I'm still a little jealous about that) I'm more jealous of the people that get to be your friends, that get to spend time with you, that get to see you often. Those are the things I want. I'm sorry for not realizing all of this earlier. Please know that I'm a big fan of you both.



a few pictures to share...check out more on Facebook!

Jake's new look with a much nicer, trimmer goatee
Jake and I at the local MMA fights

Amanda and I at halloween

Me with HeeJae, Amy and Mel (my girls)

playing ultimate frisbee in our tournament!!

Marriage Encounter Weekend in October that Jake and I coordinated

Me with my Chamarro sisters: Carol, Linda and Juanette

Jake with his Chamarro bros: John and Jun

November already...

Sometimes I think no one reads this...that it is just for me to babble and brag about our fabulous life here in Saipan...
then I don't post anything for long periods of time because I'm busy, stressed with work, struggling with living so far away from family and just have nothing fabulous to say...so why post?
I don't want it to be full of complaints...

This new job at Gold's has really just changed out lives. We now live in a house (a fabulous house actually) but there are stresses that come with that...like how busy we are that we never really are home to even enjoy our house. Jake is finished by 3pm in the afternoon and I'm not til 7 some nights. That's another major difference for us. We have a crazy dog...whom Jake loves a little more than I do. I want a baby and so does Jake (somedays) but then I just started this new job, we don't have that much money, we're still paying off tons of loans, the economy is shit everywhere...
I'm going to be 25 on Friday.
I feel grown-up. I don't want to feel grown-up. I want to be 5 again and my only decision is what to wear to school and who to play with at recess.

ahhhh life....

I spent time this morning before work with my adorable little best friend (who is six) Jennah.
She has no school today so we spent the morning going shopping, baking brownies and watching some of Ice Age. She's so wonderful. I love having a six year old best friend. Adds a little perspective back into life...
my complaining/ranting/whatever you wanna call it up above...means nothing. It's meaningless. It's life and that's the way it is.
At least that is what Jennah told me today when I asked her why she had two different socks on this morning..."Duhhh jackie...it's life, that's the way it is sometimes..."

We have the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the challenges and the success, the joys and sorrow...it's all life, the way it is...

I really am happy. I'm loving life most days.
I'm down to 156 pounds...that's almost 40 pounds since I started losing weight. I feel amazing, I am in shape, fit, have muscle and feel so good. Jake has been sick lately but he is starting to get back his strength and that'll make him feel better. We have food every day for our meals and clothes to wear. We have an amazing truck that never has problems, an awesome house and comfy bed with air-con, we have money in the bank, we have friends that are like having family here, and we have family way back home that still loves us, we have this amazing monstrous ocean all around us everywhere we look which is a constant reminder of how Great and Mighty our God is.
so that's it...it's life...bad and the great...the ugly and the beautiful amazing parts.
We love you all!

J & J


Back to Life in Saipan

We have really fallen off on updating our blog.
Our trip to the States was amazing, FUN, long, exciting, tiring and just well needed. We spent all 7 weeks travling all over the States and Canada. I saw three new States, the Grand Canyon and lots of family! It was a blessing to be home and spend time on those relationships!

Here we are with our families!

Me with my sisters and brother!
with Jake's family at Glacier.

We are now back in Saipan and have been for the last month.
It is so great to be home again!
I have started working at Gold's Gym as the General Manager. It is a fun, yet challenging job. I'm learning lots about business and myself! I do miss teaching somedays and all those cute little kids!
Jake is back to school and starting his 2nd week. He is enjoying it again and the more years he teaches the better it seems to get for him!
We are busy with Marriage Encounters as we are in charge of the next upcoming October Weekend. YIKES! Lots of planning and organizing and preparing. Thank goodness we are blessed with the ME Family and have lots of help and support!
We seem to have run into a block with our money and paying off loans so keep us in your prayers as we figure out our financial situation here in Saipan.
Again, what a blessing to see you all this summer!
We love you all!



The End

Here are some reasons for the end...
school is finished and we are officially on summer vacation...
we leave in 17 hours for the States...
we will be back in the States in 18 hours (haha - with all the time changes)...
my time at Saipan Community School is over for the time being. I have taken a new job starting July 17th - as the Manager of Gold's Gym here in Saipan...
we have found a house and will be moving into that once we return to Saipan on July 13th - so no more apartment living...
Jake will still be at SCS teaching Math and Science - so no ending there...
We are so blessed. LIfe is changing and they are all exciting, awesome and very welcomed changes!
We can't wait for our trip home this summer to see family and friends...
Hopefully the next time you read this you will have seen us!
Love always,

J & J



It's already May...with only 7 days left of school!
Which means that we only have 12 days left until we leave for our States Vacation!!!!
We cannot wait to get back and see each and every one of you!
We will be in LA on May 25th.
Then we will be going to Arizona for 3-4 days.
After that we will be going to Colorado for almost a week and spending time with Jake's grandparents and aunt and uncles. We will also spend a whole day mountain biking - which neither of us can WAIT for!
Then we are off to Montana for 1.5 weeks with Jake's parents and sisters. After Montana we will head down to Minnesota and Iowa for about a week and then we will head up to Chicago for a few days!
After Chicago we will go up to Canada to spend time with my family for 1.5 weeks as well.
And after that we fly out to LA and spend another week there before we return back home to Saipan! We are so excited to be back there and visiting and seeing each of you!
Prayers for safety and blessings as we travel and visit everyone!
We can't wait!
Love always,

J & J


Japan Spring Break P.S

As you will see below (2 previous posts) I spent my spring break with my dear, amazing friend Amanda in Singapore, Malaysia and 20 hours in Japan. It was a blessing to be able to travel and see more of ASIA. Makes me appreciate and LOVE living here all the more. Here are tons of pictures and small captions to show off the trip.
I have amazing memories and stories to remember forever.
I will never forget Japan. Seeing those cherry blossom trees that only bloom in certain areas for certain days at certain times was amazing. I was there! Unbelievable beautiful creation!

Enjoy these pictures!!

my capsule for the 8 hours I slept in Japan!!
our sweet capsule pajamas!!!
At breakfast the next morning - Amanda and I!!!
my breakfast :S
amazing calligraphy in the Art Museum
beautiful painted and hand-crafted fans - such artwork!
me with the giant hookah
my Japanese-Pakistani henna
I was amazed, moved to tears because it was so beautiful!
more cherry blossoms....

P.S. Life is good. We only have 27 more days left of school (not including weekends) which means....we only have 40 more days til we are BACK IN THE STATES!!!
We can't wait to see everyone and everything!!!
Love always,