Wednesday, June 09, 2010

it's a party in the USA

hello! i wanted to let you know that if you see me tomorrow at Target or something, it's because either A. i'm just minding my own business, living my sideways, off-island life, or B. we came home. (i think those are both true.)

how do i explain why we came home? well, in a nutshell, it was school. after five months of putting in 14-hour days, every day, jamie was miserable with his school suituation and not seeing the results he wanted. i didn't see how he could work any harder. and so we spent the majority of april and may crying, and then praying, and then crying some more. and feeling kind of lost and choosing every option except coming home because as hard as it was, we really really wanted to stay. and when we finally allowed coming home as an option it was like ripping off a bandaid: absolute devastation, and then...peace.

i miss our friends, i miss the branch, i miss the island. i don't miss the incredible (INCREDIBLE) stress of school. or the cockroaches. or my frizzy hair. it's funny, though, because just as you all predicted, i do have some great memories that already hurt with their loveliness: each sunday with our sweet primary kids. our last saturday at the beach with friends, lobster diving and riding the banana boat. a visiting teaching appointment in a rough part of basseterre where we discussed oprah and john edwards' mistress. hiking mt. liamuiga with my dad. realizing that my mom had a ting addiction. seeing nevis with my parents and becky. picking mangos after church. dinners with grandma and grandpa case. exploring brimstone hill fortress. i could go on.

i am really having trouble explaining how i feel about this experience, but i do want to say that i have never for one second felt like it was a mistake to go to st. kitts, and i never will. i also don't regret coming home. i feel like we grew in ways we never knew we could in the last five months. i remember days where i literally felt bruised because it all felt so hard. and then i also had days where i couldn't believe i was living in the caribbean and sitting on the beach! some kind of dream!

when we flew into utah and were driving home, i was expecting to feel pretty excited (hello family, beautiful mountains, chik-fil-a!) but i in fact felt maybe happier than i've ever felt in my life. it was a moment of realizing how full and beautiful my life has always been. i just couldn't fully appreciate it before.