A Texas Christmas

Last post I wrote, I shared about some of the difficulties in moving and of how I was starting to miss home.

God is so good, because He’ll give us strength to carry on right when we need it, and for me He did this through bringing my sister Rachel and nephew Boe here for Christmas! πŸ™‚

It was heartbreaking thinking about not being able to be there for Boe’s second birthday, or for the first time ever not having the whole family together for Christmas.

At first, we didn’t think we’d have the money to be able to fly my sister and nephew out here from Colorado. I was ready to settle for that and try to be thankful anyways, but when I told a friend much smarter than me about the circumstances, her response was immediate: “I’ll be praying for God to provide a way so that you all can be together then!”

She was so right on, and her faith was a humbling reminder that made me go, “Oh, yeah. I should have gone to God with that. Duh.”

She prayed (I started praying), and guess what? The money we needed to get them here was miraculously provided just a few weeks before Christmas! πŸ˜€

It was so refreshing for me to have them here, and for the first time it felt “right” or “complete” somehow being in this new place with Rachel and Boe here.

Maybe it’s because I’m so family oriented, I’m not really sure.

But it was such a gift, such a fun and sweet time, and there’s not a doubt in my mind God heard the cries of my heart and answered it with a little boy’s cuddles and laughter that made a quiet house not feel so empty. πŸ™‚

And it was only a few days after his birthday, so I didn’t have to completely miss it after all!

I actually got sick on Christmas day, but having Rachel and Boe here made up for everything else completely.

I was so worried that Boe would have forgotten about me or been angry with me for leaving and that we wouldn’t have the close relationship we’d had before I left, but see if these pictures tell you anything about how good God is and the fun time we had…

 

2nd Birthday

Celebrating Boe’s Second Birthday! πŸ™‚

Baking Cookies

Baking cookies! πŸ™‚ One of my favorite holiday traditions, and the first year we got to share it with Boe!

Cookies

Shopping Day With the Girls

Kenzie was off with a friend, but it was so fun to do some last-minute Christmas shopping with (almost) all of the girls! πŸ™‚

Playing With Rocks 2

Taking Boe down to the river one day to play with his bucket! πŸ™‚ His favorite thing by far though was the train that went by.

Feeding Ducks

Feeding the ducks on another trip down to the river! I think Boe might have liked chucking handfuls of corn more than actually “feeding” the ducks though…

Sea World

Sea World! πŸ™‚ We didn’t have many opportunities growing up to go on many vacations, so to be able to go to something like this altogether as a family now was like the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for me, and I couldn’t have been anymore excited!

Sea World 2

Very impressive, very fun! πŸ™‚ I will never know how they train them so well. Favorite thing I learned: all whales have a different dialect, or way of saying things. Who knew?!

Boe With Gampie 2

Does this make your heart melt like it does mine?! πŸ™‚ So sweet and precious, Boe with his Gampie. The poor little guy was getting so worn out by this time. But he was such a trooper!

Crazy Eyes

Boe climbed up onto my lap one morning as I was getting ready and wanted to take “shelfies.” πŸ˜‰ It completely melted me! ❀

Such a Sweetie!

Would you just look at that grin?! πŸ˜‰

Another thing that kept me going when the homesickness was hard was some incredibly thoughtful gifts and cards that came in the mail from some very dear friends:

Gifts From Friends

Starbucks Card and a Christmas card from my friend Meagan, and a card all the way from Africa from my friend Erin! πŸ™‚

Katie's Gift

A card, T-shirt, and Color-in Postcards from my thoughtful writer friend Katie! πŸ™‚

 

Butterfly

Then there was this beautiful drawing from my friend Given, with a quote from a book that meant a lot to both to us. I hope it can be an encouragement to you today as well.

All-in-all, it was a wonderful first Christmas in Texas! πŸ™‚ I was sad to have it end and to say goodbye once more, but thankful all the same.

 

Christmas Party

Β At Dad’s Company Christmas Party this year. Merry late Christmas!! πŸ™‚Β 

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Missing Home

(Note to the reader: This was written a month ago, but not published until now. A lot of times if I’m feeling really emotional about something I’ll write and then let whatever I wrote sit for a bit, giving myself time so it’s not so raw and seeing how things develop first. This is one of those I think can still be published as is even without a resolution, a little later than written, to give you a snapshot into some of the journey that is moving.)

Always tough to write when you’re feeling in kind of a low spot, but I’m a firm believer in keepin’ it real and sharing the whole journey rather than just the highlights.Β So the truth is that in moving, there are good days and bad days.

Some days I love all of the new experiences, adventures, and places to explore. On others, I have to fight the temptation to want everything to go back to the way it was.

Because here’s the thing: I know God lead us here. He wants us here for some reason, and He said it was to bless us. There’s definitely a purpose for us being here, and I need to be really careful that I don’t fall into the trap of wanting what’s behind or becoming ungrateful, because God has given us so much in many miraculous ways.

But there are some really hard days where the homesickness just aches, and I think God understands those moments, too.

To be honest, those sorts of days are more common right now than the exciting days. I know those will come, but when everything is unfamiliar to you and the only person you’ve gotten to know is the lady at the DMV… it’s a tad depressing.

It’s weird things that will trigger it, too. Things you’d never think you’d miss, or maybe that you’d never realize you’d miss.

Hardest of all has been leaving my nephew Boe behind.

I used to see him at least once a week, and until now, have been there for every major milestone. I was there when he was born, there when he took his first steps towards me from his mama, and there for his first birthday. Now that his second birthday is this month and knowing that I’ll miss it… it’s really hard.

It’s things like only being gone a few days and seeing a little boy around Boe’s age with eyes just like his in a hotel breakfast room. I had to get up and leave before somebody wondered why the girl with the haggard appearance was crying over her cereal.

Or hearing an orange juice commercial that was Boe’s favorite because of the jingle in the background and having to fight the tears that suddenly come up.

Or just normal “Whoa, it’s different,” type stuff like writing a new address on an envelope or hearing the local news and doing a double-take because it isn’t Colorado. It’s kind of like the feeling of getting new clothes and being excited for them, but finding that they just don’t fit quite yet. You’ll probably grow into them, but for right now…

And oh, my gosh… if I could only tell you how many times I’ve dreamt that we were packing and having to leave our home back in Colorado, over and over again.

Basically, this place isn’t “home” yet. I have no doubt it can become that one day as we make memories and friends, but for right now, we live in what isn’t our “forever home” yet. We go to a church, but we don’t know a single person there. We’re starting to learn where a few places are, but there’s no one there to share them with, and it basically feels like one long vacation of feeling as though you’re just visiting.

You should have seen me the other day watching Inside Out, whose main character Riley also has to deal with a recent move.

The ending scene in that movie… dang it if I didn’t cry over a children’s movie!

But like Riley, I know things will eventually work out. You don’t have to worry about me, because I promise I really will be all right! πŸ™‚ As I said before, there’s just good days and bad days, and I think both are important to feel.

So for today…

I just miss home. I really miss my friends and family. It makes me a little sad.

And I look forward to the day when my definition of home can expand to two states instead of just one.