In September, Caleb and I had the opportunity to fly back to the States for a short visit. It was Caleb's first visit to the U.S. and I hadn't been back in over 3yrs! It was my first time traveling with a toddler that distance, so I was so thankful to have Noelle's Dad, Bruce, with me on the first half of the journey. Caleb did so great. I was so impressed by how resilient he was whether it be his capability to function with a lack of sleep or adjusting to new people and places. We both experienced some culture shock. I wish he could have expressed it in words, but even I don't have all the right words to express the different emotions and the way I was feeling after being away for so long. One thing I noticed right away was the amount of space available. There is so much space, everywhere. It blows my mind. Also, I loved driving there. My blood pressure stayed consistent and didn't spike to alarming levels because someone decided to quickly putt across my lane and nearly kill himself. I could spend the next several paragraphs comparing and contrasting the differences in culture, but I won't bore you with that.
What I cherished the most was spending time with family and friends. It was so rich and I was thankful that, for many of our relationships, we could pick up where we left off so easily. I visited some of my old MILL friends, my home church and of course spent gobs of time with my family and some with Noelle's family as well. I am so grateful for our families and close friends.
Since Noelle and Aaron weren't traveling home this time, Bruce (Noelle's Dad) came to visit the ten days prior. It was so nice having him here with us again. We had lots of fun - going to the zoo and visiting an ancient ruin on the way, lots of games and books with the kids, special father/daughter time and many other memorable moments. And I will say again how thankful I was that we were able to coordinate our flights so we could all fly back together. It was great having his help with Caleb.
Well, you can probably imagine that I took lots of photos during this trip, and as usual I had a hard time narrowing down which photos to include. I tried to break them down in sections so the blog doesn't seem so lengthy :). Enjoy!