9 Years

We’re coming to the end of another year. Finishing this year will mark 9 years of teaching overseas. What started out as a desperate attempt to create a more balanced life for our family of four has simply become our normal life for our now family of 6. Teaching overseas is a weird thing-each year is marked by new people entering your life and dear people moving on. May and June are eternally the “lump in your throat” month as you think about saying goodbye as either you move on or some close to you move on. And here we are again, preparing to do those things and as I’ve said before, I’m not cut out for these things.

This year has been good-perhaps the most normal year we’ve had in awhile! No moving, no settling in, no new babies, no new jobs…this year was all about finding our feet as a family of 6. More accurately, Clara found her feet (quite literally) and the rest of us had to do the same. If she’s awake there’s not much downtime-she’s climbing, opening, running, and demanding something from any one of us. It’s been a joy to watch her personality emerge, but that joy is surely tempered by the exhaustion of raising at toddler at almost 40.

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The other kids all had great years. Noah finished up his last year of Middle School. He participated in three JV High School sports which will ease his transition to High School (hold me!) next year. Soph had a wonderful sixth grade year. I just remember feeling eternally awkward through all of Middle School, and Soph has done nothing short of handle that transition with grace and maturity. At home, she’s still a goofy adolescent, but she’s had amazing teachers this year that have affirmed who she is and given her so much confidence in that. Stella has enjoyed her last year in Lower Elementary. She had a tough start to the year as navigated some anxiety issues, but she’s come so far. Over the year she’s learned to embrace her new role as a big sister and is normally so patient and loving with Clara. She knows she remains so special to us even though her role in our family has shifted. Next year she will be in a different building from me. And while it is is still just a two minute walk away, it’s the first time in five years she hasn’t been right across the hall from me. I’m excited to watch her spread her wings a bit.

We had lots of adventures as a family. We made it to Oman, Jakarta, Bali, and Sri Lanka this year. All were amazing.

These blogs (Sao Paulo here and India here) used to be the primary way we shared our adventures with family and friends. Sometimes I wrote about more personal things. With social media I’m just not sure how relevant any of it is any more. Maybe more posts would make it more relevant? I don’t know. I’d like to think the blog is not dead, but maybe it is. Perhaps only time will tell.


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