Sunday, July 20, 2014

The NorthWest

We arrived at Jason's parents house on Monday after an eight day road trip. As always after that type of travel it was so good to feel like we could land for a while. We hit WAY more traffic than we have ever hit on one of our road trips. Not fun with a baby in the back seat.

One of our traffic stops (literally all traffic was stopped for close to two hours) in this beautiful spot with Mt. Shasta in the distance --

Saying goodbye to my sister, Bonnie, after a great few days together. Super hard to say goodbye when we have no idea when we'll get to see each other again.

Hanging out with more family - my aunt and cousin and kiddos in Oregon.

My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Penny moved from my hometown area up to Oregon this past year and I'd thought I might never see her again, but we found ourselves 10-15 miles from her new home and had to pop in!

Hanging out with the Stagers - friends of Jason's from Spokane - and meeting their sweet new baby, Kylie.

We'd planned to visit a fellow group member from our Peace Corps experience while in Seattle - Jamie surprised us with a visit from Amanda, another volunteer from our group and my roomie for our first couple weeks of homestay in Tonga.

Here are the three of us eight years ago at a Tongan beach with some of our host-sisters.

And now, with couple kiddos on our hips in Jamie's lovely backyard in Seattle.

Our Jeep looks right at home in the northwest!

Finally in Spokane and hanging out with Jason's nieces --

We've already spent a couple days with the family over in Idaho at lake Cour d Alene. All the smoke from Washington's wildfires made everything look a little eerie.

Luke, loving the swimming pool AND eating meat like a man!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A return to island life perhaps??

This is Eliza Island, Washington (pronounced El-ee-za)

image from here

We got to interview on Monday for a caretaking position on this private 140 acre island located near Washington's San Juan Islands. We have a second interview this evening and are looking forward to seeing if we're the right fit for the position :-)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Leaving California

We are on the road again ... today we will cross into Oregon on our way to visit Jason's family in Spokane. Yet another departure is difficult, especially when we aren't sure when we will get to return. Saying goodbye does not get any easier and I'm finding that when we don't have anything close to a set return date, it makes it even harder. I'm working on reminding myself how fortunate we are to be basically on vacation right now (unemployed & homeless just doesn't have the ring to it) and how great it will be to see Jason's family. We are also incredibly blessed to have friends & family to stay with our entire trip north.

Reading grandpa's photo ad -- since I can remember, my Dad has picked up and poured over this free weekly magazine with cars for sale in the area. Luke is already on the right track!

My brother &  his wife, Ashley, joined us for a goodbye breakfast on our last morning at my parents.

Celebrating my nephew, Levi's 5th birthday with these sundae cupcakes - delicious!

Luke's big-boy cousins

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The pleasures of home

We've been hanging out at my parents house for two weeks now and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. This is the house I grew up in -- my parents have lived here for 40 years -- and it is always lovely to come for a visit. I love cuddling into their kitchen nook and sitting in all the beautiful spaces in their yard. It is peaceful, relaxing and homey.

The sun hits the grass in their pasture every evening in such a glorious way, changing it all to gold. I love it!

In spite of how much I love being here, two nights ago I finally said (& processed) the words  ... "we don't live in Guatemala anymore."  That opened the floodgates and I've been struggling to keep myself from crying over it since then. I am missing all that is Guatemala so much and most especially my friends there.  I am still struggling to adjust to being back. I made my first trip to Target last week and knew I'd be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of "stuff" available to buy, but I was completely blown away to see that there is now a refrigerated pet food section. After having been living in place with such poverty, it is hard for me to accept what this seems to imply about our priorities and makes me realize I still have a lot of re-adjusting to do.

Here's some of our re-adjustment activities :)

Enjoying the close proximity of the beach and these adorable otters!

A California volcano -- not quite like a Guatemalan one!

Camping at Shaver Lake --

 Spending LOTS and LOTS of time outside

Enjoying the fruits of the season -- apricots (my parent's trees were loaded!) -- and jam making

A delicious coffee date without Luke (thanks to my parents!)