August 01, 2012

Farewell to furlough

People ask me all the time, "What is the hardest part about living overseas?"  I am rarely completely honest, for two reasons:  no one wants me to start crying right there in the middle of the farmers' market, or the play area at the mall, or wherever, and I don't want to deter anyone from doing what we do.


If I were to level with them, I would not answer, "Learning a challenging language," though that is certainly difficult, nor would I answer, "Raising the funds," nor, "Poor healthcare for the kids," nor, "Inconvenient grocery shopping," nor, "Spiritual warfare," nor, "Culture stress," nor, "Burnout."


I would answer, "Coming back to the States on Furlough."  Emphatically.

What!?  How can American food and time with family and friends be the hardest part?  Because, every 2-3 years we uproot our entire lives, travel 36 hours each way with tiny kids, battle jet-lag, lose our boundaries and our structure, and carry a burden to do as much, and see as many people, and make as many lasting memories as we can with the time we have.  Essentially, we feel the need to cram years of lost time into 12 head-spinning weeks, only to find ourselves on "E" at the end, with no one, including ourselves, satisfied with how it all went.

Am I OK?  Should you be worried about me?  Oh, I'm fine.  I'm just on my blog for the first time in a while and I'm being vulnerable here.  I have enjoyed this summer ever so much, to be sure.  I just wish there were a neat and tidy way to do furlough. Alas...

So, now it is time for the photo recap.  With less than two weeks before embarking on our long return journey, we are wrapping things up.  The ride is almost over.

The boys learned to swim!  Bright can swim 25 meters before getting too tired.  So proud!
Brave turned three!  At Chick-Fil-A! 
The big boys went up in a Cessna, with daddy flying part of the way.  Zion looks about how I felt about it...;)
Jubilee had her first 4th of July as an American, on the beach!  
The kids learned one of my FAVORITE pass-times, fishing!!
Rekindling cousin relationships.  Can you spot the white city kids??
We picked blueberries galore, and ate them all summer long.
The kids developed stronger bonds with their grandparents!

And Jubilee turned 3!  On our camping trip!

Those, of course, were just a few of the highlights.  Farewell, furlough.  Until next time.