J returned home on Sunday evening after spending 12 days in Ethiopia. The organization he works for is working on a documentary about the inspiring stories they have come across in their rehabilitative work with street children in the slums of northeast Africa. It's pretty exciting, so I'll post more as the project progresses. You can check out their blog in the meantime.
Nevertheless, we made it through the 12 days! But, J did not come home a moment too soon! We have our many visitors to thank for preserving my sanity: Tara (see previous post), as well as my brother, mom, and dad, all came and provided much entertainment and many fun memories for us all! We went to Hermosa Beach, Crystal Cove Beach, and Santa Monica State Pier, among other activities (so I guess we like the coast a bit!) You can check out some of the pics throughout this post. Here we are with Grandpa.
Overall, this trip made me certain of a few things:
1. I love my husband. I don't like it when he is away. But, I am more grateful for and proud of him than ever!
2. I have a great family and friends. I don't know what I'd do without them.
3. Our move back to Arizona is imperative for J's line of work and our family's survival.
This brings me to the next topic. As you may or may not have heard, our family will be moving back to AZ in September. This was a really bittersweet decision for us to make as we have so enjoyed our time in CA. We have grown in so many ways as a family, spiritually, and so on. However, it seems to make sense on a lot of levels as our next step in our family's journey. J will keep his current job and work remotely, but I will now have lots more help when he travels and it will be a lot less expensive to live which makes sense when you work for a non-profit. And, he and I just might get to go on a date without a little boy and girl in tow! Imagine that! As I have been working through all of our emotions about leaving I have come up with a list of things I will miss and things I most certainly won't.
What I'll Miss:
The precious friends we have made
Christian Assembly (the church we have been attending since we arrived here 2 years ago)
Our fun playdates
Exploring all of the great LA attractions (we just checked out the Natural History Museum on free day - what a blast!)
Trees (yeah, there are trees in AZ, but they aren't the same)
The beach, again
Our own little family adventure
Having things within walking distance
Things I won't miss:
Paying a large sum of money to rent an apartment each month
Communal Laundry (apparently if you forget you left it in there, people get irritated. Or so I've heard :)
Having a miniature water heater that doesn't allow me to finish dishes before running out of hot water
Having to drive, sort, and collect our recycling
Not having a yard to run, play, paint, make mud in...
Traffic and Parking
Dreading J's travel
Overall Cost of Living
Not having any time for ourselves
Not having anytime together or with each child one-on-one
Only having little time with family and AZ friends
Having to load my kids into the stroller before I could get them into the car (yay for a garage!)
So, the good news is, we will still be able to come back and visit quite often as J will still need to make trips to this office. That eases a bit of our sadness, and I know we will make sure to have unlimited long distance in AZ so I can still talk with all of our friends in Cali. These two years have been so formative and beautiful for our family. We are excited for the adventures still to come! The AZ play date circuit and toddler attractions better watch out for us come this fall....