Up to my eyeballs in salad

Yes it’s true. Two days away until my brother gets married and tomorrow night we’re hosting the rehearsal dinner at our house. Darren and Andrea wanted a BBQ, so a BBQ they are getting and Mom and I are making all of the salads. It’s fun, but my feet hurt after a full day of shopping with Mom.

The longer I’m away, the less fun it is to go shopping. If my husband is reading this he’ll probably be saying, “Well, it’s about time!” Seriously though. Usually when we, or I, come home I spend several days doing the “Haiti shop” where I try to remember to get everything that I was supposed to get and take back with me to Haiti. I remember the first couple times I came home and I would get really excited about being able to even go to a store, let alone find stuff I wanted, in multiples. Now, I still get excited about going to a store, but I think it’s more about the exercise in normalcy. The rest of it just feels overwhelming. Shampoo for example. I intentionally travelled light and didn’t bring much shampoo with me and planned to buy it on the way home from the airport. I walked into Walmart and found the shampoo aisle. I will be honest and admit that I narrowed my vision to three bottles of shampoo, and then decided between those three, because they were pretty and they were only $2.50/bottle. The irony is the same stuff back in Haiti is about $7-8/bottle. I couldn’t even look at the rest of the aisle. Too many choices. It’s exhausting.

People often ask what foods Chris and I miss the most, and I think that they’re a little let down when we tell them that there really isn’t anything that we miss so much we crave it. And the truth is, when you do crave it, it’s never as good in person as it is in your memory. Never. That, and when you’re away for a long time, little things change. Anyway, so what have I found myself enjoying while I’m home? My mom cooking. That’s been nice, since I don’t have to do it. I did splurge and buy some Pop Tarts, which is funny because I never bought them when I was living here before. They just looked good. I bought a case of muffins the other day and shared them through the week with the fam. I bought chocolate milk today, and out of ¬†everything that did feel like a treat because I don’t drink a ton of milk in Haiti, and I never drink chocolate milk. I bought Coca Cola, which was just a big disappointment. Ask anyone who’s drunk Coca Cola in Haiti and they will tell you it’s better. I used to think it was because it was in a glass bottle and because it was so refreshing when it’s hot. It’s all those things, but it’s also the sugar. In Haiti they use real sugar in the mix, not corn syrup like they do in many other countries, and it’s VERY noticeable.

I’ve been trying to be intentional about my time. People here have been asking me if I’ve been running around crazy busy, and the answer is no. Because I planned it that way. One of the most important things for me in coming home, aside from being here for the wedding, was that I needed to rest and take care of myself while I had the chance. I’ve planned some things, and left other days open to see what comes up. I’ve been intentional about who I’m spending my time with. I know there are many people that have wanted to see me, but for a lot of them I’ve just said no, that we’re hoping to be home this summer sometime and we’ll have more time to visit then. I have spent time with the people nearest to me and the ones that fill me up. One friend here said that she was amazed that after being gone so long she’s watched me just pick up with people like I haven’t even been away. I reminded her that the people she sees that with are the ones that I had deep friendships with and we just have this thing where we can do that. I LOVE that. It feels good. I have taken the time to go to the chiropractor every other day to get my body fixed up a bit, and that feels good. I haven’t got as much sleep as I was hoping for, but it’s not for the trying. My body just has a very set internal clock. I keep telling myself that since we’re two hours behind here I’m really sleeping in until 7:30 Haiti time, so that’s something! That, and I’m learning I have a hard time sleeping alone now. I miss that other lump in the bed (Hi Honey!).

I get to see a bunch of family this weekend, and I’m really looking forward to that. And, I get to do the flowers for the wedding. My new sister in law is really excited about it and I’m excited that I can do this for them. I picked everything up today and it’s fun to see it all there and ready to go. I’ll take pictures.

I’ve gotten to talk to Olivia and Chris almost every day which is really fun. I miss them and am already looking forward to hugging them. Olivia is fun on the phone :) Apparently she misses me a lot too and asks where I am every day. Sniff.

A lot of people have been asking how they can be praying for our family. We’re very tired right now. We’re spent emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally. The stuff we’ve had to deal with in the last year and a half has been incredible. I took some time to talk to a friend who does family care and counseling at my church. She was very encouraging and supportive and basically said, “Yeah, it’s okay to be completely exhausted. Look at what you’ve gone through.” It was good to know that under the circumstances I was doing pretty good, just needing a good break and a chance to process everything. I know it’s been good for me to get out, but it’s hard too because I know Chris can’t get that right now and he really needs it.

Please pray for our adoption. Chris went into Port Tuesday to go sign the paper before the judge that said we have met the child and are intending to adopt her. That was exciting because it means things are moving! We are feeling more and more hopeful that we will be coming home this summer for our first family holiday in 2.5 years. Please pray that things continue to move. We need the freedom to travel as a family again.

We would also like prayer for Chris sister. She has been in remission for about two years now, and just found out that her cancer was back, and very aggressively. It’s not looking hopeful. Pray for her and all of Chris’ family. This stuff is hard.

~Leslie

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

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