Thursday, November 10, 2016

Gonna teach 'em how to say goodbye

Blake and I love both of our families dearly. We each lucked out with our in-laws and genuinely enjoy spending time with each other's families as well. We love them so much that between Christmases, weddings, a funeral, a couple of babies, and just because, one or both of us managed to make trips to points westward (Utah, Arizona, Washington) on eleven separate occasions to be with our families over the course of four years. This does not count the trips we made in those directions before we met.

Ultimately, as much as we love our families and friends in that part of the US, we were feeling a little travel weary. We certainly didn't regret any of those trips - a lot of them really worked out at excellent times, like when my nephew was born just before my fall break. We also appreciate the efforts some of our family was able to make in visiting the East Coast as well, whether in DC, New York, or Boston.

Even before we knew about Japan, we'd started discussing cutting back on our trips out west. All of our siblings are married, the first niblings on both sides had been born, and maybe it was time to start doing Christmas on our own. Fortunately, we found out we were moving to Japan and we quickly realized making frequent trips to the United States for every little thing was going to start being even more costly and time consuming.

So, we have decided that for the foreseeable future, we're not coming back to the States. If we have time off and money, we want to travel locally, and since we know planes work really well going West, it's time to convince our families to come visit us instead. Obviously, there may be reasons we will come back in the next three years (some we hope for, some we don't), but we will just have to see.

In the meantime, we have a three bedroom home now, so lots of room for guests! Especially right now since we hardly have any furniture! Or anything at all!

Once we made that decision though, we knew it would be nice to make a twelfth and final (for now) trip to Utah and Arizona. Since we had the time, we took a week at the end of July and did just that.

Blake worked out with his niece

Chick-Fil-A Day! Free meals for those dressed as cows. 

I was honored to help paint our niece's nails.

Hiked Battlecreek Falls with my dad

I had taken Blake around BYU for the first time over Christmas, but failed to introduce him to the Creamery. We rectified that situation. 

Celebrated my dad's birthday

Enjoyed Sodalicious with some of my favorite people

Got lots of nephew cuddle time, and bought him that shirt for game days

Spread of gospel of Sodalicious to my in-laws (PS - I was already missing Sodalicious and writing this post is making it worse.)

Checked out Montezuma's Castle

Montezuma Well

Went to Sombrero Night at the Arizona Diamondbacks game with Blake's best friend and his wife, who has become one of my dearest friends. 

I love the saguaro at my in-law's new house!
We also held Sayonara (insert state here)! events at both of our parents' houses (and later at a park in Virginia) to give us a chance to bid as many friends and family members farewell as possible. We are blessed with too many people wonderful people in our lives to get to spend really good time with all of them during short trips, so we're grateful to connect with them however we can!

Other highlights of the trip include going out to a Japanese restaurant with my family, visiting with just my grandma and taking Blake to visit Grandpa's grave and both of us seeing the beautiful headstone together, a puppet show from our adorable nieces, and a lot of laughter and good food and family time all around.

Now it's everyone else's turn to come and visit us! 

1 comment:

Giggles said...

Traveling and staying put both have their advantages and seasons. We've enjoyed doing both.