Friday, July 16, 2010

Gosh, where have we been? Away for a Wonderful Week In Illinois!

We just returned to DC from a wonderful week in Illinois! It will be our last trip before heading overseas in October. Our niece's graduation party beckoned us, and we used it as an excuse to visit with friends and family. It was a really great trip!

My sister's family put us up for the week- our own little chalet in the basement, equipped with bedroom, bathroom, den and bar. (Sorry to our nephew who got kicked out of his room!). And Chris's parents had an extra vehicle, which we used all week - it even had a carseat. So THANKS to everyone for making it an inexpensive and great week!

Here are some highlights from the trip:

No trip to STL would be complete without a drive to the ZOO.
We spent a few hours at our favorite place and got to catch the
stingrays while they were in town.

Snippits from Samantha's Graduation Party.
My sister Sheila made it into town, and we got to catch up with a lot of family.
Our great friends Chris & Ann came by twice to see us, even brought us root beer floats (YUM).

Ceiba REALLY enjoyed playing with her cousins!

We had an ice cream cake for an early HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY!

And Mama's favorite... a quick fishing trip!
Uncle John took the day off to run us up to Carlyle lake.We SMOKED 'em!
SO much fun! He had to keep a foot on the cooler to hold them in.
Might have gone in the Guiness book, if we'd had more time!!
Even got to fry fillets up for dinner.

Our house is empty. It now smells like the materials it's built from instead of the people who lived there... us. The deer come up to the house, wasps now run the greenhouse, and owls perch on the deck, as no one's there to frighten them away. The scent of fresh linens, dinner cooking and candles burning in the house are gone. It smells lonely. I miss our land, but remind myself of the exciting future.

We have been trying very hard to stop calling Illinois "home". Occasionally, we digress, but all and all we are doing well to remap ourselves. Home is now wherever we three are living. When we pull up to our apartment, since the first day we moved in, Ceiba yells "home!". That's comforting to Chris and me... very. Who knows how many "homes" we'll have in the future, but we surely are happy to be all together, though not a day goes by that we don't miss Illinois and our loved ones.


  1. I hear you...Home Leave as well as R&R can be a blessing as well as a curse. We've frequently wished we could use the time to travel wherever our wandering feet could take us (rather than to our official Home Leave destination). But, for us, when it comes right down to it the benefit of building memories with cousins/aunts/uncles/grandparents who are seen too infrequently far outweighs the inconveniences of getting here. I, like you, can hardly wait to stop living out of a Samsonite.

  2. I have a hard time on homeleave, visiting a place where I no longer really belong but still miss so desperately. I truly believe this job has opened the world to us but sometimes i miss what we had to give up.

  3. Looks like everything that memories are made of!

  4. We loved the long visit and all the help getting ready for the grad party! Sorry there wasn't much R&R while here. Denise you are my own little catering angel :) The one person who thinks like I do and knows how to get things done...Ceiba is changing so quickly. It was a joy to have her, you and Chris too:)