We are in the US for a month on our first "furlough." Our first stop was California which is home for us. It was the first time our kids had been back since we moved a year and a half ago. I was very nervous about how they would do seeing their friends for the first time in such a long time, but everything was perfect. We all soaked up the community and laughed and played like we hadn't in a long time.
We took a redeye from Lima to LAX, so this is us hanging out at the airport at midnight. Thankfully the kids slept most of the nine hour flight.
And we got to go to her 2nd birthday party that night!
Then Blake went to Orange County with the kids while I got back on a plane. This time headed for Texas to be at the wedding of one of my closest friends, Bree. I'm so thankful that I got to be a part of their beautiful day.
After the wedding reception, I got on a redeye back to LAX and made it home in time to go to church with everyone. It was really special to be at our home church again as a family. Blake said it was the highlight of the trip for him. I can't decide what my highlight was. Way too much to choose from.
After church, Riley and I headed to San Diego for a HUGE surprise. As an early birthday present, I took Riley to see Wicked! We listen to the soundtrack all of the time in the car, so Riley was out of her mind to finally see the play.
While Riley and I were at Wicked, Blake and the other kids spent time with some of our favorite people, the Thrashes. I also got to hang out with them later in the week, but forgot to take pictures. Jamie and I even got to go out to dinner one night with my friend Jenn and NO kids.
One of our days was spent in our old neighborhood seeing Riley's best friends who lived on our cul-de-sac and all of our school friends. It was so surreal to be standing next to our old house hanging out with everyone. I kept looking at our house wondering why the garage door wasn't up like it always used to be.
We were showered with love by these girls. Alexa, Katie, and Raya had dances and puppet shows prepared to welcome us. Apparently they had been practicing for weeks. It was the sweetest thing and Riley could not stop smiling the entire time we were with them.
And we got to stay with some of our dearest and closest friends, the Halliburtons, while we were there. Riley and Madeline had always had a special friendship, but on this trip Ford really grew attached to Grant. Ford just wanted to be by Grant's side the entire trip. I can't even begin to explain how much that family means to us. Our time with them was precious and life giving. I was seriously trying to think of ways to just stay with them forever.
And finally one of the biggest gifts for our kids was that they got to go to VBS at our church!