2 months and happy Nevada day

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Last Thursday

Another month has gone by.

The dryer lulls in the background. It’s full of Alan’s work clothes. It’s 10:19pm to be exact. I am in bed.
Comfy jammies.
Cup of peppermint tea by my side.
Scandal on TV. (please don’t judge).

Today we woke up and the girls finished two math lessons before we dawned our costumes and headed out, fall Chex-mix in hand, for our Homeschool Halloween Party. They bobbed for donuts. They ran and played with new friends. They didn’t want to leave they were so full of joy. So, I gave in. Let them swim in the joy of being carefree with friends playing princesses, knights, and make believe. It was… perfect.

Alan arrived home from work around 3:30pm. He rested and then took both girls to Amelia’s soccer practice. I paid bills, made dinner. When they arrived back home we ate beef stew along with my mom and stepdad and I also made the girls their most requested dinner: rice and beans, Dominican style of course. We all laughed and Amelia divided up her candy from the Halloween themed soccer night. Then it was dishes, jammies, teeth brushing, stories and snuggles and bed. It was… normal.

I asked the girls last week how their hearts were doing being back in the states. Stella replied that sometimes it feels like we never lived in the Dominican. Amelia agreed and said how she enjoyed homeschool and her new friends. My heart was both sad and joyful. As a parent, it’s hard to watch your kids suffer and the last few nights in the DR before we left our “home,” were excruciating. I am grateful they seem to be doing well, but I would be telling only half a story if I didn’t admit that my sad heart still longs for life in the DR.

Although I grew up in Vegas, it’s a very different town than the one I grew up in. People have moved. People have moved on. We started attending a new church. We are surrounded by people, yet I long to be known and I am reminded of the process of developing community. I miss my people. I miss being a part of advancing the Kingdom alongside of other likeminded warriors and yet, there is a peace that transcends all understanding and I know we are exactly where we are supposed to be. While I grieve the past and long for pieces of it, I am also expectant and hopeful for the future and am learning to be content with the right now.

____________________
5 days later

2 months after our move, and it feels a little less foreign. A little less scary. A little more normal and I guess that’s a little bit better. Today is Nevada Day, aka Halloween. In the Dominican Christian culture, Halloween is an unacceptable holiday to celebrate, but as a child, it was one of my very favorite holidays. The whimsy, the fantasy, the costumes, and of course the candy. In Nevada, we also celebrate “Nevada Day” on Halloween, and we always had school off making it an extra cool holiday in my book. While we lived in the DR, we threw a few “Nevada Day” parties on October 31 and invited over fellow missionaries for some chili, games, and costume fun. I think my heart will always be torn on this Holiday as it merged a culture I loved with a little bit of my childhood magic. This was a fun walk down memory lane…

1986

Me as, you guessed it… Rainbow Bright!

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2010

We spent the girls’ first Halloween in the hospital in the DR. Stella had a painful UTI.

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2011

Our first Halloween with the girls in Las Vegas- my sweet Minnie Mice 🙂

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2012

Our 2nd trip to Las Vegas for Halloween alongside my two favorite Strawberry Shortcakes!

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2013

2013 took us to Chicago to celebrate with my best friend and her sweet boys. Meet the Twin Alice’s, the Mad Hatter, and the White Rabbit.

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2014

Back to Chicago Anna and Elsa go to meet up with Darth Vader and Olaf!

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2015

Our first “Nevada Day” Party in the DR, hosted by Dorothy, Glenda, and the Witch!

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2016

Our second “Nevada Day” Party! This time hosted by our marathon runner, artist, and crazy cat lady!

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2017

And here we are back in Vegas. We’ll be trick-or-treating with family tonight eating chili, and watching a halloween movie to top off the night. We have been enjoying all the fall festivities with my little Renaissance Queen and Mermaid Princess.

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I love how Halloween ushers in all the fall/winter holidays and traditions and for right now, I am so grateful we are here.

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