Our Alaskan Tour is almost up. Tomorrow is our last day before we fly to Seattle to meet up with The Big Blue Bus. I’m filled with mixed emotions. We’ve been here just shy of 4 weeks. That’s much more than we had originally anticipated. But I’m so glad it’s worked out that way. The time we’ve had with my family has been priceless. My children love their cousins and this month with them has been serendipitous.
I have some regrets for friends we didn’t get to see and places we didn’t get to go, but what we were able to do has been pretty phenomenal! It won’t be long, I’m sure, until we end up back in Alaska. It’s home and it always calls us to return.
It’s almost midnight as I type this and I can hear the rain falling steadily outside. I hope it rains tomorrow. It will make it easier to say goodbye to this amazing land.
We’ve been able to accomplish what we needed to while we were here. My scheduled photo sessions are complete (YAY!!), I taught my workshops and met incredible people, the bus interior is finished, our household goods are in storage. We toured Alaska, visited with friends, and hung out with family. It’s been more than I could have hoped for!
Jacob received his mission call – did you hear? He’ll be serving in the Czech/Slovak Mission for 24 months as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He’ll preach the gospel in the Czech language and reports to the Missionary Training Center in Provo on February 5, 2014.
That feels a little surreal. I can’t quite wrap my mind around it yet. He’s spent much of his free time the last week studying up on all things Czech Republic. I’m so thankful we have this time with him before he leaves.
My mind has been processing what needs to be done tomorrow before we leave. There’s a few odds and end errands that need to be run, and then we need to do laundry and get our bags packed. It’s time to say goodbye and the thought is killing me – much more than I thought it would.
We’ve been staying with Megan and her husband Ben and their 4 kiddos. Miss B adores her cousins. They have spent hours playing together every day. She is going to be broken hearted when she has to say goodbye. Sam-a-lam has practically had a month long sleep-over with his cousin Kaden who is 6 months older than him. The two of them are peas in a pod and best friends. I don’t know how Sam is going to deal with our departure. That’s not true. I do know. He’s going to hate it. He hates goodbyes. His tender heart breaks every time.
And now I’m going to cry. Because I had hoped that we would jump up here to Alaska, have a whirlwind trip, and be gone before we had a chance to have our hearts touched. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. And my mother’s heart wants to stay. If only so my children can grow up with their cousins, because cousins are a special kind of friend.
Cousins are often better than siblings. They are closer to your own age. They humor you and your crazy ideas. They are willing to try anything. You can stay up late chatting, get up early and pick up right where you left off. You can spend an entire month with them and not be bored one bit.
Moments like this I wonder if we’re doing the right thing. Packing up a bus and moving away from what is most comfortable? Our home and family and friends? Are we crazy? Are we making a mistake?
I should know better than to ponder too much at midnight when I should be sleeping. I’m sure it will all look better in the morning. I hope.
The last few days I was able to capture some pretty incredible images of my children with their cousins and their grandma and grandpa. What a treasure!
I just love this image of my mom and dad with 19 of their 37 grandchildren. I say 37 even though there are only 35 living. There are two grand-babies who were lost too soon, but still make the count.