My girls and my husband and I board one of 3 planes tomorrow headed to our home. Our last couple weeks here have been busy but also restful, exciting but full of tears, and now with one day until we take off I can say we are ready to return to our little island a world away. It has been great to be “home” and share space and time with dear friends and family. We have also lived it up (as anyone can see by our expanding waistlines:) and gotten our fill of all things excess, convenient, and fast. Oh, how we will miss everything in a few short months. Mostly though my stomach hurts when I think how much we will miss family. The Engstrom family had a sendoff for us last weekend and then we had to say goodbye to my brother and sister and grandparents and tomorrow my mom and dad. We have been talking about it a lot with Annikah and for the most part she is really excited about going back but it also breaks my heart to see her struggle when we say goodbye. She hasn’t cried but we can tell she has turmoil about leaving as I have found her by herself in another room when the adults are tearing up and hugging. She is dealing with it all in her own way and we are trying to allow room for whatever she feels. It is hard but we are in it together. There have been many tears and there are sure to be more. Saying goodbye is so hard knowing how big the cousins we be the next time we see everyone, that babies will be born while we are gone, the wedding of a dear friend and sister I will miss, just that we will miss doing life on a daily basis with everyone here, that Evy will be running around and talking the next time we hit US soil.
Africa is where we are supposed to be and we are doing what we are supposed to be doing now. I am certain. I feel it deep within me so even though it guts me we go. Together and ready for the challenges and blessings. Our 11 suitcases are ready to go (we get a great deal on BA and only have to pay for one extra bag) 🙂 and our carry-ons are ready to be jammed full of stuff tomorrow morning. Everything sits downstairs stacked high in my Mom’s living room…. full of clothes for us and the girls, some swim & sand toys, seeds, cooking supplies, lots of books and supplies for Anni’s school, many gifties for friends and neighbors I cannot wait to give away, enough princess toys to probably double the amount on the continent, and some dirty pleasures for J and me like a new coffee maker. Yep, we are ready to go. Thanks to everyone who has made our time here so amazing. We love you and we will miss you dearly.
saying goodbye to some of my girls
Anni said goodbye to friends too!
dinner with my grandparents
4 generations of girls
Farewell party with J’s family
J & Jorie and the smallest cousins as of right now
Engstrom clan send off
my “push present” from J was a pedicure and I finally used it today
(well done J & thanks Bibi for babysitting)! Bring on the flip flops 🙂