With that in mind, I'd love to tell you about my summer.
It's been lovely. I've had taimi 'ifo (delicious, wonderful time) with family and friends, and been rejuvenated and recharged in a myriad of ways. Leaving Maui, as predicted, was HARD. BUT I have a strong feeling that I will be back, that it is my home, and I hope someday I can share it with YOU, when you finally come visit me. :)
The summer has been a whirlwind of travel and adventure. I arrived back to immediately attend a cousins HS graduation, then a family reunion, and got to spend a couple of relaxing weeks with my fam while freezing in the forever-dawdling Idaho spring (see previous post).
The middle of June brought me a much anticipated gift: an aptly named "Rocking Roommate Reunion Roadtrip" from UT to Seattle with three of my closest and much-beloved friends.
These girls light up my life and are continuously teaching and inspiring me. Not to mention making me laugh. Love you R, N, and L.
Portland was next, with another week with a favorite aunt, uncle, and cousins. I grew up during my high school summers with them, and love and miss them a lot. My dear aunty decided she wanted to go back to being a farmer, and she has enough chickens, goats, rabbits, horses, cats, etc. to prove herself one. I had a wonderful time going back to my roots and milking goats, bottle feeding the kids, and collecting eggs from the chickens. Aunty K is a master food preserver and professor of self-sufficiency, and I learned how to properly butcher both chickens and rabbits. Living in a Tongan world for so long has desensitized me to such experiences, though I'm not anxious to repeat them. I just don't like taking the life of another creature. :(
Following up that week was a visit to another aunt and uncles house, fun time with more cousins (I am decidedly biased, but I really like my family and think they're the best in the world), and finally home again for the 4th of July and preparations for our epic summer block party.
The block party was my brainchild, and something I looked forward to and planned for several months. When work was particularly tough or I was struggling, I would just think about what the party was going to be like and how much fun we would have and all the people I could cook for (cooking for people is my joy in life). And the party did not disappoint. Although we weren't able to have everyone come that I would have liked (out backyard isn't exactly big enough to fit the whole world into, and we would most definitely have run out of chicken), the important ones were there. We ate delicious barbeque and salads in my mom's perfect yard, watched a movie projected onto the house after dark, and for those whom we were related or particularly close to, slept outside on the grass that night, under the stars. The next morning delivered a beautiful sunny day in which we ate a large pancake breakfast and spent an ultra-wonderful afternoon kayaking on a subsidiary of the Snake River. So perfect. Such a gift.
Other family activities included wild berry picking and exploring some new (to us) little Idaho towns.
August came on with a fury, and I saw a cousin off at his mission farewell, finally got to see and hug my brother after 15 months apart, and added a new country when I spent a week in Mexico with some beloved extended family members doing humanitarian work at some orphanages.
My older sister went too, and we've only just arrived back home from all those adventures and time with family in Utah once again to dear-old-Idaho. Tomorrow is an overnight camping trip with little brother for his birthday, Friday is all-day packing and repacking, and Saturday it is off to Boise to fly out. I will have six more days in Maui trying to sell my car and settle my nerves, then it's off to Aoteroa for me.
Am I excited? A little bit.
Am I nervous? Maybe so.
What are my thoughts? Mostly I'm just going to miss my family a whole lot. They may not know it, but it's a lot more difficult for me to leave them than it looks. It is my one consolation to know that the Lord is there and watches out for all of us constantly, whether we are or are not together. I know He is there in your life too. I hope you can see Him today.
Ehrlich gesagt, hab' ich wirklich zur Freude groβen Grund.