Tuesday, September 26, 2017

There's Been A Good Reason...

...why I haven't been around these parts.  So many changes in our little house on our little street and even as I sit at my kitchen counter and write, the tears just can't contain themselves.

Crying...it really should burn more calories than it does.


The big things that are happening are the moves of our boys.  One local, one far away...but both, while so exciting for them, have hit me pretty hard.  I'm feeling the change of our family and if I can be honest, it scares me a bit.  I know we've raised them well and they are thriving...but suddenly our little house is so much quieter.  I'll get used to it...but it's just a bit sad.

So...boy #1.  New job, teaching at a college conservatory in Haikou, China.  Thousands and thousands of miles away.  His excitement makes it all ok and also, the 'wechat' app ROCKS...though we're all going to have to adjust to the 15 hour time difference.

 Having Matthew home this summer was a blessing - for me and for his brothers.  Cramming 5 adults into 1,200 sq ft was a challenge...lots of food, lots of showers, lots of (if I'm keeping it real) beer, lots of late nights, lots of friends in and out and lots of me asking questions while they rolled their eyes.

My role is simple.  Cook, clean, and listen.  

I fail every. single. day.

 Summer came to an end and with it, the closing of the weekend garden parties.  There will be a few more here and there but all in all, we're all back to real life.


 We discovered jackfruit and as soon as it was cut open (with a machete!), we vowed to undiscover it.  

Quite simply...ewww.   But fun nonetheless!

 Boy #2 signed a new lease yesterday and is moving this weekend to the next town over.  It's been fun having him around, too, and I will probably feel his absence more than any of the others.  With Alex comes more than Alex...there's the whole group of friends that are always in and out of our home.  

But it's time and I'm so excited for him.  He's worked so hard and has taught us so much and here I go again...waterworks.  I'm just going to miss him, that's all.

If the kitchen looks like this, then it's a Friday night.  Or a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday.  So many dishes...but so much fun.

 And hey there...it rained this summer in the middle of a sunny, humid day.  We kind of thought the world was ending but then it stopped as quickly as it started.

Insert the Twilight Zone song...

Going away party #1.

Got the basics covered.

 Our friends moved across the street and so we had a housewarming garden party to christen their new home.

Any excuse for a party.


 I'm back to work and in a new, much bigger, position.  The jury is still out on my feelings but each day, I wake up and tackle what needs to be done.  I'm settling in, slowly, and it will all be good.

My pretty desk has always been in our bedroom...it's one of my favorite pieces of furniture.  The problem is, I am now staring at it all the time and can't ever escape the work that needs to be done...but with Alex moving out this week, a little rearranging will be happening as I move my 'office' into the other room.

Kinda exciting.

 The last panforte from Italy was eaten as a way of ending the summer.

So yummy and I'm going to miss them and man oh man, I'm now crying about a fruitcake.


 That guy that I like so much ended his church job...it was just time for that chapter to close.  Such great people and he's enjoying the little bit of time that has freed up...but it's all a bit sad too because he loved doing it so much.

Sensing a pattern of God giving us all these changes at once????

 While this week is all about Alex packing up and moving, last week was all about Matthew.  Necesseties when moving to China...toothpaste, deopderant, hot sauce.  Lots and lots of hot sauce.

Trying to fit everything you need in two suitcases...especially when three trumpets needed to go along for the ride, was challenging.  Lots of weighing and moving things from one place to another.

In the end - the toilet paper stayed.  The basketball did not.

 One last OktoberFest and one last reminder of what great friends he has.  I love that about my boys....they each have surrounded themselves with incredible people.

Crying again.

Sunday night, before his 1:40am flight, one last family dinner.  We were missing Alex and Emily, but they were there in spirit. 

And then we loaded up and as we drove off, our Turkish friends threw water behind our car to wish Matthew good luck.  It was all very cool...and yep, still crying.

I held it together until it was time to say goodbye and then I just couldn't.  I'll forever be thankful for this summer and that he let us be a part of this whole expat process...it's been a journey even before the journey.  None of it was easy...or cheap, but it all worked out in the end.

I'm going to miss him...especially at Christmas.  But first, baby steps.  

This mom gig...what a trip.  Raise them up and watch them fly.  I know they'll never understand and my prayer has always been that they won't have to because they'll just always know that my love for them is constant.  Unwavering.  Unchanging.  

I think they know.

(insert more crying.  I'm giving myself a few more days before I toughen up...)


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