Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1:3
Well, now that our trip to South Africa was about a half year ago… I’m finally finishing up posting about it! Nice, huh?
The trip home was… well, lets be honest, I can’t remember what it was like anymore. But I did have a few pictures that sparked my memory…
The airport in Johannesburg has these nifty luggage carts that are made to go up and down escalators. This was my first time seeing this. And frankly, it’s FREAKY to roll that big cart onto an escalator and stand behind it. That takes faith. Ha! Too bad it didn’t quite stay loaded properly in this instance!
Here was another first. The Egypt Air flight attendant instructed me to tuck a pillow between the belly (I was six months pregnant) and my seatbelt? Really?! He said it was safer for the baby.
Hmmnnn. There is a first time for everything. I had a nice little chuckle there in my seat with a pillow buckled in my seatbelt during take off and landing.
Indeed, baby wasn’t harmed. :)
Here we are approaching our land of sand…
And here is my little stinker, pretty happy on the airplane.
What an incredible two weeks it was.
We cheered ‘em on today, and it worked! Go Bucks! Must have been these three cute good luck charms, right?
I have to say that I can really appreciate and enjoy a good basketball game under the right conditions. You know, like… a proper television at a normal time of day on a comfy couch in a climate controlled room?
Basketball games in the past 6.5 years have traditionally been watched on a laptop streaming the game over a crappy internet connection in the middle of the night in a super hot room with the fan on so high you can’t even hear it…
Today was nice.
Also, the littlest Buckeye gave me some more grins today!
When my boy H was a wee one, I did a vocabulary lesson. Today we will review. With photos this time.
1. Milk Bomb: A baby who has a full belly of milk and isn't able to close the stomach flap (that is NOT the medical term) fully. Milk might fly at any moment... so you better watch out. Milk could exit the infant in a gurgle or with a more projectile force.
This photo cracks me up. This demonstrates the more projectile force. And yes, that is spit up in my husband’s goatee. Ha! Good one little girlie!
2. Milk Bum (not to be confused with term #1): A baby who has a full belly of milk and seems very satisfied. This state can be identified by the half-closed and glazed over eyes, the goofy crooked grin, and the drunken-like-state in which the baby is behaving. Mothers, this is a good sign.
I felt so weird today.
In the evening, after several episodes of breaking down into tears to my patient and loving husband, I think I managed to put my finger on it.
I feel injured. I am injured? It’s odd saying that. But I think it’s true. And it’s not really ‘me’ to make statements like that either. But whatever.
Soon after our arrival back to the U.S. we were talking with some friends and they were discussing loss with us. At some point in the conversation I suddenly realized that I hadn’t thought about what had happened to us in the terms of ‘loss’. It’d been well over a month at that point and I just kept chalking it all up as ‘life.’ It just happened and we’ll be sad but we’ll just get on with things in time. I never thought of it as loss. But of course it’s loss. It’s major loss. And that’s why we’re going through the grieving process.
Well, today was another realization for me.
I am injured.
Three months ago I wasn’t injured. I was doing better than ever. I fought for years, I mean YEARS to make life work in Africa.You’ve heard me say it before and you’ll hear me say it again. Blood, sweat and tears doesn’t even begin to cover it. I battled to find my place in Africa. To make it my own. To have a role. To become a leader. To learn to thrive. To have confidence. To find my place. To have something to give. I fought hard. But I had won the battle (with God’s help, of course). I had figured it out. I was thriving unlike any other time in my life. And I was praising and thanking God for that, knowing it was only His grace that had gotten me there.
And then it happened.
The rug was pulled out and it was all taken away in nine days.
My life as I knew it. Gone.
Now I’m back in the States and my not-so-distant-past-life seems like a blurry dream.
And I’ve lost my place. And I don’t feel like myself at all. And I’m no longer thriving. It’s all been taken away and now I’m sitting here wondering how do I start all over again? To fight for so long and finally make it and then it’s OVER in the blink of an eye? And I’m supposed to begin again? How do I do that?
Now don’t get me wrong. I am fine. Daily life is good and we are so blessed and there are so many good things about this new season on this side of the globe. But there are challenging moments like I had a couple times today. It’s normal, for sure.
Anyway… injured people usually heal and I’m confident I will. It just takes time, I know. Someday I’ll feel like myself again and I’ll find a new place in this new life and this injury will seem like a blurry dream in the past too. In the meantime I will remember my life in Africa (and all its ups and downs) fondly and look forward to the day when I find my place again…
I’d like to propose a toast. (Raise your water glass high).
I’d like to propose a toast to my parents.
They have done SO much for us in the past five and a half weeks. We could not have made this transition to life on this side of the globe remotely as well as we have without their help and service. UNDERSTATMENT OF THE YEAR. Honestly, they’ve just been amazing.
They came out to Colorado at the beginning of February to help us move and get settled into our new place. They hauled and painted and cleaned and unpacked and sewed and cooked and did my laundry and loved on the kids and let us go on a date and installed and shopped and hammered and mounted and drilled and concocted and taught and tore out and built and spackled and sanded and humored two little ‘helpers’ and painted MORE and organized and hung things and repaired and painted EVEN MORE and hemmed and trimmed and cooked AGAIN took the kids to school and painted MORE and picked the kids up from school and ran errands and played with the kids and fed us AGAIN and did laundry AGAIN and and and.
I think you get the idea.
They pretty much did it all.
And then I had a baby.
And they kept on doing it.
And then Mike traveled and they willingly stayed longer to help me.
And they kept on serving.
And then Mike came back but I got sick.
And they kept on doing it!
When they came to Africa two and a half years ago to spend Christmas with us I told them that them coming all the way out to experience our life there was one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. This past five weeks is another of the greatest gifts I have ever received. Our house is virtually transformed. We are completely unpacked and organized and ready to find our new normal. My kids has lots of quality time with their grandparents AND I had a baby in the midst of all of it happening and things just kept on moving full steam ahead all around me (well, not exactly at the exact TIME I was giving birth…. they left for that… ha!)
We were daily amazed at how hard they worked and how much they accomplished. Everyone around us noticed too! I do believe they are now a legacy…
So everyone, lets clink our glasses in honor of my parents, who gave of themselves non-stop for the past five weeks. We are so so grateful and forever will be.
Love you! Miss you!
One of our last days in South Africa we got to ride around and see more of the area. We drove to and around Pretoria and visited the President’s House or Parliament or something? Honestly I can’t remember right and I feel awful about it too. Tried to figure it out online and can’t. Can anyone help me? Anyway, we didn’t go in the building, we just looked at the view of Pretoria and enjoyed the gardens out front. The kids REALLY enjoyed the gardens out front, except for when they were racing and my boy got upset because he could never win. Poor lil’ guy.
Then we went to a good ol’ dairy farm and bought treats and saw cows and other animals and played in the little river and even watched Thinus shove away a goose (and almost get bit) to try to catch a fish with his bare hands. But it’s okay because he’s a vet! Ha! It was good times.
And here comes the photo dump. Enjoy. :)