Monday, April 16, 2012

Reflections at the end of yet another season.

The regular season has officially come and gone with play-offs just around the corner. Kaleb and I leave for the States this week. And with that... I am pretty much an emotional wreck.

A dear friend of ours watched Kaleb for us last night so John and I could go on a date. The first in months and probably the last in months too. The anticipation of this past weekend kept my thoughts of heading home at bay for a bit. But when we got home after a special evening together, everything hit all at once and I couldn't fight back the tears. I cried again tonight as I put Kaleb to bed. I have tears as I write this.

I remember one of John's teammates telling me our first year out that he just didn't get close to anyone because it made the good-byes easier. I thought, "what a sad way to live." And so, every year I put my heart out there, knowing that my time with the people I meet over here will be short but sweet. It isn't easy, saying so many "see you laters." In fact, it hurts. But I wouldn't trade the friendships I have made over the years for anything. I often wonder if people truly know just how much they mean to us. If they will ever know just how much we appreciate their support being so far away from family and friends back at home. If they know how much I would love to build an idyllic little city and make them all my neighbors.

So, dear friends around the world that may be reading this... thank you. Thank you for being part of our lives, for loving us and accepting us. Thank you for welcoming us into your homes, for supporting us in hard times and celebrating with us in the good times. Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for laughing with us. Thank you for each and every memory that was made because of you. We treasure you more than words will ever be able to express.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A near perfect morning.

If there was actually such a thing as a "perfect" morning, we had one the other day. The sun was shining and so we headed down to the beach to just "be." No agenda, just stale bread to feed the birds, mommy (plus itty bitty baby), daddy, and son.

Kaleb loved feeding the "birdies." He chased them around, giggling and doing this funny little solider kick with his right leg. I was just waiting for one of them to relieve themselves on our heads... thankfully, they were kind to us.

Get those birds, buddy.

We walked along and collected shells to take home as a little souvenir to put in Kaleb's room. Every time I look at them, I will remember this morning outing as a family, full of smiles and giggles.

Collecting shells.

Lots of little ones to choose from.

We were there early enough to watch the fishing boats come back to land with their morning catches. They literally pull the boat onto shore and then take the fish up to a little strip of shops where they sell fresh fish from the sea.

Watching the fishermen come back from sea with their morning catch.

We then found a little cafe with seating outside by the beach where we ordered some fresh squeezed orange juice, tea, and a polish version of cheesecake. Kaleb was loving life playing on the pony merry-go-round, and almost threw a fit upon leaving until we found a motorcycle to distract him with. Upon returning to our apartment my heart was so full of joy and happiness.

The next morning we woke up and I found myself even more thankful that we had taken advantage of the sun as we sat indoors watching a springlike version of a blizzard whirl around in the courtyard outside.

Lovely spring weather.

Was my first instinct to complain? Absolutely. And then I decided I had two options: complain or embrace. So, Kaleb and I lit candles, made coffee, snuggled up and spent an extra long amount of time in a warm bath. It kind of felt like Christmas.... in April.