Category: Friends

Five Months and a New Year

In exactly five months our visa’s will expire and we will need to leave Spain as well as the entire Schengen area.  And according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary it certainly has been an adventure:  1) An exciting or dangerous experience.  2) An exciting or remarkable experience.  3) An enterprise involving financial risk. The last definition caught me a little off guard when it popped up, but it is certainly true nonetheless. Being here has been an adventure and a challenge and awe-inspiring.  I have loved seeing the history – the Roman aqueduct, castle ruins, the tomb of Christopher Columbus, the tombs of Queen Isabel and Ferdinand, restored castles, old tapestries, Islamic palaces, Catholic Cathedrals, roman mosaics, and the cities that have lived on for so many, many more years than anything we have in the U.S.  I haven’t loved the isolation, frustration and loneliness that comes from not speaking the language and having no where to go during the day.  I am awe-inspired when someone speaks Spanish to October or Scarlett and she responds back!  It’s amazing to me the fortitude of my kids.  Day after day I have dropped them off to spend five hours a day immersed with people that speak very little English (if any) and in a culture that was completely foreign to them only four months ago (both the Spanish culture and the public school culture). That part really is amazing.

We had thoughts that when our Visa’s were up we would travel around Europe.  Ireland was at the top of the list.  But as the time approaches and our homesickness grows and our wallets shrink, I think we will find ourselves on a jet plane sooner than we had anticipated.  We’ve started looking ahead to what we want our lives to look like when we return.  Almost everything is up in the air.  Jeff will return to his job but I won’t be returning to mine.  And I’ll need a new one.  Our condo is rented until the end of November so we won’t be returning there either.  We have yet to decide whether the girls will continue to be homeschooled or attend a Spanish-immersion public school or a regular neighborhood school.  The opportunities are both exciting to imagine and overwhelming to consider all at the same time.

I’ve spent a lot time thinking about what I want when I return.  Here it is: 1) To get involved.  2) Create connections and foster relationships. 3)To be physically active.  In striving to not be over-run with the busyness that can come with a job, school, working opposite schedules as your spouse, and kid activities I failed to create and foster a deeper connection with people, my community and organizations.  Usually in the way of remaining on the peripheral at school or girl scouts, not reaching out to meet for a drink or not making advance plans – so that I could be free to enjoy where ever the day took us.  And I appreciated not feeling overwhelmed by places to be or things to do.  I rarely scheduled more than one activity in a weekend.  I liked being able to head to the beach or the creek or the forest or just reading by the fire or an impromptu get together with friends, free from other commitments.  Yet at the same time, I have missed out on the sense of community that I long for. That I realize I need and I want.  So in the new year, I hope to meet with friends more often, reconnect with old friends, create a support system among other friends raising their family far from family, go on more dates with my husband, become more active with the girl scouts, host parties, volunteer in the community I end up living in, join a fitness or sport group/class, enjoy more hikes in our area, learn with my family and create lasting traditions outside my family.

 

 

 

Going Away Party

I debated for awhile on having going away party.  August seemed to be filled with social events and parties and it seemed making this circuit would allow us to say good-bye to everyone without having to plan, host or worry about a party.  I changed my mind when October asked me after one of these events if this was the last time she would see X.  Having a definite ending point, a going-away party, would be good for everyone.  It’s been long a time since we hosted a party and I’ve got to say I really miss hosting parties.  Somewhere along the long we just stopped hosting parties, sure, we’d host October’s birthday — but even that we avoided this year (Yeah, Indoor Skydiving!).  We hosted the party at a nearby park that we frequent that usually isn’t too busy and has a great circular bike path for the kids.  The weather was amazing…even hot.  The turn-out was good.  The opportunity to say good-bye was great.

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Marquette, Michigan

We hiked to the top of Sugarloaf (Mountain??) while we were in Marquette.  And it was WINDY!!

 

Summer Days

The weather here this summer has been great.  And since coming back from our road trip we’ve been very busy packing but we’ve had some time to get outside and enjoy the pool, the beach and friends!

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Friends preparring for a week at camp.
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Family photo op before camp.

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Pig Roast!

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Pig Roast hosts!

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Birthday Games!

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Birthday games!

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Why swim in the actual lake when you can make a big mud puddle??

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Post-mud puddle swim

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Good friends!

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Learning to Hula Hoop!

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Scarlett  – 0ff the diving board!

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October off the diving board!

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Homemade slip & slide!

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