This summer seems like it has been an endless flurry of road trips and flights, visits and meals, all in an attempt to see everyone I can before leaving.
Here's an attempt to hit the highlights (mostly in pictures)... enjoy! :)
The first week in June I had the chance to spend a few days in Nashville visiting my grandmother and aunt, a friend from home, and lastly a day at the ShowHope office. While at ShowHope I had the chance to spend a few hours with Kathy processing through grant applications. It really gave me a small glimpse into the magnitude of how many families ShowHope helps. Being with the staff, as in my previous visit, made me all the more ready to be at Maria's.
I spent a week in Jacksonville visiting with friends, followed by a week in Orlando with my cousin and his family. During my visit to Jacksonville, my sweet best friends hosted a "dang" (that's party in Chinese)...
At the happiest place on earth, with some of the sweetest "littles" on earth...
Leaving Jacksonville was hard. The reality of saying goodbye hit for the first time. During my drive to Orlando, for a brief moment, I remember asking myself, "What in the world am I doing? Am I crazy?"
"Be anxious for nothing..." Phil 4:6
And a little trip down memory lane on the way back to Alabama... go Gators!
I got to spend the first few weeks in July with family in Minnesota and more of my favorite "littles". One of the highlights of my time there was getting to share with Brady and McKayla, my 6 and 7 year old cousins (aka "littles") about Maria's Big House of Hope and the children there. We spent about an hour one morning watching videos on the ShowHope blog (www.showhope.org). That night when we got home, Brady asked, "Hey Bec, could we watch some more of those 'hope shows'" :) McK spent several days on a 5-page picture of MBHOH for me to put up in my new classroom. She wanted it to be just right, right down to the slides on the playground and the kids playing. It was priceless.
After I returned from Minnesota, packing began... overwhelmingly. I don't think one realizes how much stuff you have until you have to put it into confined spaces, whether its a box or a suitcase, or just a pile until you decide where it needs to go. During this time I also made sure I spent time with as many people as I could, and was intentional about starting to say goodbye to people...much to my surprise, I would see many of them again! Some of my sweet friends conspired with my parents (who came to help me pack and move) to get me to a friend's "birthday dinner," which wasnt really a birthday dinner after all...