I have travelled ... a lot. There is a great difference between a trip and a vacation. The beauty of our trip to Germany was that it was both. And that doesn't happen often. Spending time with JB's parents was so incredibly good for my soul. My heart nearly leapt getting to watch my children with their grandparents. I have not gotten to see Dad K. spend a lot of time with my kids due to distance. To have him be able to just be with them was amazing. And Mom? She has such an amazing gift for making such normal things fun. She brought play dough and kitchen utensils and set up a little play area in a window area of our hotel in Munich for her and the boys to make a bird's nest out of play dough. She brought puzzle pieces and hid them around the hotel room. It was wonderful.
Some of my favorite pictures are the ones included below. On the Wednesday before they were to leave on Thursday, JB and I went to Dachau. Mom stayed at the hotel with Abigail. Dad took first Isaac and Elijah both to the park, and then, after a brief return for a snack and drink, took Isaac back again. (This is very normal. Elijah is much more of a homebody at this time of his life.) Elijah stayed and did play dough while Isaac hung out with Grampa.
Here are some pictures from the kiddos time with the grandparents before we would say good bye on Thursday morning.
Not a bad view, huh?
This park had bucket and shovels attached to ropes that the boys could play with. It's so neat to see all the different stuff parks have in different parts of the world. Parks outside of America are often not nearly as afraid of lawsuits and therefore much more creative!
Dad obviously asked them to hold hands. These pictures so tell a story.
This is what I mean about Mom! She puts a pillow over herself and creates a big incline for their cars and great fun ensues! Elijah especially LOVED the way Grama played with him. (Isaac is still a solo player most of the time.)
The pictures above are from Isaac's solo time with Grampa at a different park. How beautiful is that?
Like I said, Thursday morning JB got off really early and took Dad and Mom to the airport for their long flight home. What an amazing two weeks! JB came back to the hotel and we began the four hour drive back to Ramstein. We spent the night at a hotel on Base, and then took the rotator out on Friday morning. We were back in Turkey by Friday evening.
I recently emailed my friend Joia. Her husband Philip just came home from the Middle East. I told her that I felt like a coward. I feel so unable to handle deployment, that JB and I decided to take a job in Turkey so that we could "deploy as a family." Joia was so wonderful. She encouraged me. What I am doing is different but still hard. I soooo needed to hear that. I love our life. But it is so hard ... I'm tearing up right now as I write this ... to imagine not seeing JB's parents again for a year (or more.) I don't want that to be the way it is. And yet, I know that we are here because we prefer being away from extended family more than being away from JB. I have to tell myself that when the tears come as we say good bye. We are having to say good bye to grandparents because we are choosing not to say good bye to JB right now. Thank you Joia for telling me that my sacrifice is valid. I really needed that.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed these two weeks through pictures and recaps. I sure did. I love my in-laws so much. I love our family.
And the good news?! Joni (Isaac's birth grandmother, and, truly, a grandparent to all my kiddos) is coming to Turkey for a visit in just a few short weeks. I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE JONI!!!!!