What's beautiful about home is that no matter how long I've been gone or how many miles I've been away, comfort, love, joy and peace resume its place in my life and my family and friends will be there, welcoming me with open arms.

After three months in Washington D.C., after four months in France and now, after six months in Korea, I now know that when I return home, I never have to worry about feeling out of place. I'm never uncomfortable or anxious. I become a daughter again. I become Sissy again. I become Liz again.

And there's something very beautiful about that.

On my first day back, when the kids got home from school, I fell asleep in my dad's La-Z-Boy chair with Mary tucked into my left side, while my mom checked her email nearby and the boys sat to her left, playing their video games. I didn't have to catch up or earn the kids' affection...it was just another day in the life.

The same goes for each friend I caught up with. There was never a moment of awkwardness. We simply picked up where we left off, laughing and goofing off as always.

The week before I was to return home, I was a little anxious. What if everyone changed while I was away? What if we had nothing in common? Nothing to talk about? Sure, it was only six months, but a lot can happen in six months. But literally within hours of being home, I knew instantly that no matter how much life changes, there's an unconditional love that I exists between me and my family and friends, which will never change nor will it ever be replaced, regardless of how long I am gone.

[Two of my favorite things: our backyard and our incredibly emotional dog Max]

[Our other dog, Koda, who is more like a rambunctious 2-year-old than a dog.]

[After calling me out one morning, I finally took Mary to get her ears pierced]

After a whirlwind week with friends, I spent the last few days with my family in Mammoth and I couldn't have asked for a better way to conclude my trip home. It was filled with lots of food, TV-watching, Scrabble-playing (and making up our own words!), skiing and Easter egg-hunting.

[They were waiting for me outside the door, snowballs in hand]

[That's a mischievous look on Robert's face...]


[They wouldn't stop...]

[But then, I retaliated...and that's Mary running for her life]

[These kids are ruthless...]

[But magically, I convinced Robert that the giant snowball
would be better to pose with than to throw at Sissy]

[Our failed attempt at a jumping picture...did Robert even try?!]

[What happens when Aunt Mary comes to Mammoth: gourmet food for breakfast, lunch and dinner; this is home-made jajangmyun, orange chicken and candied walnut shrimp ]

[Watching a Korean drama; they said it was a comedy,
but they don't look very happy...]

[Lunch break from skiing; a nice shot of Robert's food in his mouth.]

[My first steak in 6 months! DELICIOUS]



[Easter morning...where are all the eggs?]

And I even squeezed in a short but much-needed visit with Mark's mom. She even fed me an Easter dinner, which was so, so, so delicious. Thanks, Sharon!

On the flight back to Korea, rather than feeling homesick or sad, I was filled with such love and happiness. I am so blessed to have a life filled with such amazing people, who support me in all that I'm doing. I really can't ask for more. And even though it's inevitable to feel moments of homesickness as I look back at pictures from the last two weeks, more than anything, my trip home rejuvenated me for what I have to look forward to here. My time in Korea isn't permanent, so I need to do all that I can to take advantage of every experience while it lasts.

Thank you once again to everyone who made an effort to see me during the two short weeks I was back. And for those I didn't have a chance to see, I plan on being back in October, so I better see you then! Until next time, bisous xoxo...


Kaylenr said...

Liz, going home is always wondrous. I am continually delighted that you and Mark are having such similar experiences as me: living in a city, teaching, returning home, rejuvenating friendships, learning how to live with the responsibilities and joys of adulthood... These are all shared experiences that many young adults have, but I love to hear your side and your joy. I'm sure that all the leaves are on the trees by now and people are still just as excited to be outside. Enjoy the spring and take lots of pictures! Hugs, Kaylen

Susan said...

We miss you!

Sharon.Mom.Granny said...

So happy that you were able to come out to visit! You are a joy!