Well, our first term of medical school is officially in the books! We nailed it! And with the amount of blood, sweat and tears that we all put into it, I have no issues basking in this well earned glory. We had our moments. Oh trust me … there were PLENTY of them. The, “What did we do?” … “I want to go home.” … “I’m going to fail.” … “Life here sucks,” … moments. I’m not afraid to tell you that we all cried more in that 6 months then we have in our lifetime as a family. Some days were great and some days were really, really bad. But, do you know what? We survived! And not only did we survive, but we succeeded in our mission, and Chris ROCKED first term.
After the term, we had three full weeks as a family to reconnect before heading to the states for summer. We took FULL advantage of our break. I stopped doing school with the kids and instead we took Chris to all of the amazing places we have here on our little island. The kids were THRILLED to take him everywhere and teach him all of the wonderful things that he’d missed. The entire drive to the rainforest they were helping him perfect his monkey call and teaching him how to hold bananas. Maybe we should have been home teaching addition and subtraction, but how many 5 and 7 year olds get the chance to visit a rainforest and feed Mona Monkeys?? I’d like to think they learned more in our adventures together then they could every learn at a school in three weeks.
Before we knew it, we were on a plane back to the states. What an awesome feeling! At that moment it felt like the past 6 months had literally flown by. With our first term badge of success on our chests, we took the opportunity to enjoy … wait ‘enjoy’ is not nearly strong enough … we took the opportunity to FRICKING LOVE our time together, and with our amazingly supportive families.
I’ve never been more thankful for so many things than I was this summer. I savored the bite of every strawberry; sipped my Starbucks MUCH more slowly; we rode our bikes at every opportunity; stood a few seconds longer in my HOT shower just soaking it in; ate WAY more hamburgers then I normally would. I literally cried the first time I went to the grocery store … I could go on all night long. But, you get my point, we missed a few things and we took full advantage of our short opportunity to have all of them again.
On the 4th of July, we rode our bikes to the parade. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a emotional holiday! I was choked up all day long. Our kids were decked out in their stars and stripes and as I took their picture, Lee Greenwood’s, ‘Proud to be an American,’ was playing in the background. What a profound moment? Every American should have to go and live somewhere else for at least 6 months. It truly changes your appreciation for what we have. Given our opportunity to experience something different, I vow right now to never complain about anything EVER again. I hope that I can forever remember this feeling.
So, besides our splurges and our memorable 4th of July, we also got to spent tons of time with our families. Man, they love us. I absolutely knew that we loved them … I always knew it. But coming home made me really see how much they love us. There is no reason to elaborate, other than to say we were WELL taken care of. This was another one of those awesome moments that we never would have had, had we not moved to a rock in the middle of the ocean.
So, I guess I should conclude all of these random thoughts. We had the summer of a lifetime. We did it all and we lived every single day to its absolute fullest … I can’t even count the number of nights we were carrying sleeping babies into our house at 10pm. We loved it.