Homecoming {happy}

Homecoming {happy} 1Tim got in at about 1am on Sunday. I opened the door in my nightgown, my hair pulled into a messy bun. He walked in and kissed me, first thing.

He had just traveled for two days straight and I was sleepy from a long day with the girls so we mostly just held each other in the dimly lit kitchen, our bare feet on the tile floor. I'm certain my eyes were sparkling (and so were his).

Eventually, we tumble into each other, breathless. Tim showers and begins unpacking, more awake than I am (after all, it's midday in Ukraine).

"Did you have fun? Are you glad you went?" I ask. He answers seriously, "Yes, but I wish you were there. Everything is better with you there."

Homecoming {happy} 2Our 3-year-old hears the commotion and calls, "Daddy?" from her bedroom (she had been sleeping fitfully...awaiting his arrival). "Should we let her get up?," he asks, eagerly. "I don't mind," I say. As soon as we invite her, she comes sprinting out, catapulting into his arms. He pulls out the souvenirs - a Russian hat (that he tries on), Russian candy (that my 3-year-old requests; "Tomorrow," we say), little dolls, picture books, and a handmade tea set.

We all climb into bed. Happy. 100%. And, for the first time in 2 weeks, I sleep deeply.

In the morning, my 1-year-old wakes up beside me. "Daddy's home," I whisper in her ear and then change her diaper. As soon as she sees him, she kicks her legs excitedly and practically leaps into his arms. And she plants a kiss on his nose.

Everything feels right. All of us together again. As it should be.

Homecoming {happy} 3 Homecoming {happy} 4 Homecoming {happy} 5 Homecoming {happy} 6

Have you traveled internationally in the past 1-3 years? If so, where did you go (and did you take your kids)? Would you ever want to live abroad?

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47 comments on “Homecoming {happy}”

  1. That is so sweet! I'm glad Tim made it home safely :)

    I haven't been overseas anywhere lately, unless you count Mexico (I don't because it is so close) but when Nason and I were in Prescott last month it was like being away from each other. While we still saw each other, our focus was on our students, and so we missed out on each other that whole week. It was so nice when we got home!

  2. I traveled with my first baby to Russia. it was an 11 hour trip plus a 5 hour plus an hor plane trip. I have lived in Germany and Russia before. It is really fun living in other countries. And how educational!

  3. The last time I traveled internationally our trip was totally ruined when the basque separatist set off a bomb in the Madrid airport. My husband was injured and didn't work again through 2 1/2 years of recovery. He's working again now and flying internationally to London and Tokyo. I haven't had the desire to go since Madrid although London has been calling my name. I only hope in a friendly way. ;)

  4. So heartwarming! This was very sweet to read!

    I haven't traveled far since my son was born -- just locations within driving distance. I think if the opportunity arose where we were able to travel abroad, I'd like to bring him along. I dream of visiting Ireland again someday, but with my family this time.

  5. So glad he is home! I am sure all of you are over the moon to be together again! We traveled to Canada when Analise was 6 months old, but I wouldn't necessarily count Canada as international...even though they are. BUT...in just four weeks we are headed to Austria for a family reunion for Markus' side of the family! Oye yoi yoi! I have to start getting my airplane 'bag of tricks' together for the kiddos!

    I have lived overseas, in New Zealand for about three years. That is where I met Markus and we actually got married there on the beach! We thought about starting our life together there, but we decided to start here in the U.S. NZ is AMAZING, but it is far away...it isn't too easy to just hop on a plane to come home for a wedding, birth, etc. However we definitely want to go back some day and bring our kiddos!

    1. I can't wait to hear all about your trip to Austria, Nini! You're going to be a pro at traveling w/ kids after that experience. :)

  6. My husband goes to Europe a few times a year for work and to finally have him back home is heaven. Oh, I know how you feel...

  7. I never spent any time in Donetsk. I lived in Kiev and Odessa as a missionary. It was amazing and I am dying to go back. Hopefully one day. Ukraine doesn't offer great tourist attractions for little kids.

    We took Jade to Germany 3 years ago and she is dying to go back and this time we'll take Ivy. We're planning a trip for my husband's 40th birthday. We'd much rather do European vacations than Caribbean. And we'd prefer to do them with our girls.

    1. Tim visited Kiev too. When he got back from his trip, I asked, "Would you want to travel with our family there?" And he said, "No, there are so many other places that I'd rather go." I think I agree. :)

  8. When children are old enough (which really depends on your child!),I think international travel is a wonderful thing to do with them. It teaches them so much about the world they live in, and it usually makes them appreciate the great nation we live in. I have traveled to South America with my older boys a couple of times, and it has been a very positive experience. When our younger two are a little older, we hope to take the whole family. I grew up in South America (Chile) and LOVED it! It really made me who I am today. I love to travel, and would be more than willing to live abroad again. I guess I have lived abroad enough to be considered a "third culture kid"...don't fit in completely here or there, but, like I said, it has defined me and I wouldn't trade it for the world! I would love for my children to have that unique worldview that only living abroad for awhile can create. For me, at least, it was a very positive experience!

    1. I agree. International travel can be a great "teacher." We hope to take our children on many adventures abroad, but probably not until our youngest is 4 or older. :)

  9. I haven't traveled outside of the country since I got married. My husband went to Moldova for 10 days last fall. Those were the longest 10 days of my life!! I only got 1 phone call and 1 email the whole time :( Our kids (2 & 9 months at the time) we so happy to see daddy when he got home!!!

    We would love to spend some time in another country as a family, but we just want to be where God want us!

  10. So glad he is home safe and sound. I can only imagine how much he missed his girls! My hubby travels a lot for work, but not internationally and only for a few days. 2 weeks is a long time! (But what an amazing experience for him.)

    I traveled internationally before kids for my job...that was about 5 years ago. I went to Germany three times and Italy once, and I loved every trip. Jeff was able to come to Italy with me, which was a dream come true for me. Hopefully we can go back again some day.

    We have a photo of Venice hanging in our home, and Emma has already told me she is coming with us when we go back to "the place that floats on the water." Maybe some day, but for now, I'm not sure my mama tolerance includes international travel. ;)

  11. I've traveled to Spain, but it was 5 years ago before having a child. My husband and I are teachers and he wants to teach abroad. He lived in Thailand for a few years as a kid and went to the International school. I think it would be a great experience and wonderful for our son, but I worry about being homesick. We'll see. =) I'm glad your husband is home again. I hate when mine leaves us.

  12. That picture of Tim & the girls is so sweet. My husband & I used to travel throughout Mexico doing work with churches our friends had there, it was one reason why we both chose teaching professions so we could have our summers open. But with young kids, now we just do work with the border pastors & churches, since I'm too chicken to travel internationally with babies. When the girls are older though, I want to travel everywhere! Plus, I'm pretty sure the girls will share my disdain for Phoenix summers as they get older, so off we'll go, probably visiting every cold climate possible!

  13. I traveled to Malaysia with one of my daughters who was 3, almost 4 at the time. My dad was sent there for his work and my parents offered to pay a certain amount for the family to fly out. My husband couldn't go (darn work), my youngest was too young to want to fly with her, and so that left me and the oldest girl. It was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had. I blogged about every day I spent there and I'm so glad I did. It's fun to look back on all the memories. Here's a link to the very first blog about my trip. If you want, just click on 'newer posts' after reading this and it should take you to the other posts about the trip.


  14. Yay! He's home! I remember when Brian went to China in 2005 for three weeks - it was so hard! (Well, not only were we apart but that was the same 3 weeks when SARS broke out and the Iraq war began - and he was unreachable because of his work in the underground church there at the time!). Anyway. Yay!

    We would love to travel more. I did live "internationally" for a while - in the USA! But came home to Canada, of course. We've contemplated some time in the UK but that likely won't happen until the babies are raised. We want to be close to family for that.

  15. Yay, Daddy's home! I can feel the love you and the girls have for Tim. It's beautiful.


  16. I'm definitely a lover of our beautiful country! Just thinking about traveling abroad makes me anxious! My sister was actually just in India for a month traveling around with her friend.
    The beautiful picture you painted in words of your husband's homecoming makes me smile. I couldn't imagine my husband traveling abroad and staying home by myself with our daughter. His help is invaluable to me!

  17. Hi Stephanie, Thanks for visiting my blog. We have not traveled outside the country since before we got married. We did take a trip to Hawaii while I was pregnant, but no flying vacations since Addy was born. She is such a good baby but I am nervous about taking her on a plane. I can identify with not sleeping well when your husband is not home. Mine sometimes works nights and even 24 hour shifts and I always have a hard time going to bed when he is gone. Our daughter wakes up more during the night too. Everything is out of balance when Daddy isn't here!

  18. Audrey has a couple of Russian dolls a friend gave to her...such a great toddler toy!!!

    I agree, the best place to live is here in the US! We don't travel much...hopefully one day we will. I have gone to El Salvador (where I was born) and learn so much and appreciate how lucky I am to live here every time I go.

    I would love to see that tea set!!!

  19. I am so happy for you that your husband is back! You must have slept so soundly. I cant sleep unless my husband is home from work and he frequently has to work long hours. I havent spent many nights away from my daughter and havent traveled far from her. I once went to Boston for 4 days when she was an infant and felt sick the whole time. Thank you for sharing your story-it was so heartwarming-and I love your pictures-your girls are adorable and so sweet. http://lifeofjunecleaver.blogspot.com/

  20. Awwww! That is so cool. I love the "welcome home daddy" your 3 year old made.

    I have travelled to Toronto, Canada/England/Nigeria/Germany and I am going to Italy next summer!

  21. I'm so happy that Tim is back! Chris and I started dating in 1999 and we have never been apart more than a week. He was a year ahead of me in college so I had to stay back at school to finish up while he entered the "real world." Since we've been married, we have never spent the night apart from each other.

    I would love to travel internationally as a family when our son (and hopefully more children!) are older. I want my children to know that there is a great big world out there with so much beauty. However, the thought of a plane trip over 4 hours long with a 19 month old makes me break out in hives!

    1. I hear ya! In our experience, age 1 (12-24 months) is the toughest age for travel - especially by plane. Age 3 is a different story...I'd hop on a plane w/ my 3yo any day (well, except for the fact that I wouldn't want to leave her baby sister behind). ;)

  22. Yea! So glad he's home!
    No international travel for me... unless you count Rocky Point but even that's been a while - since Lilly was little and before Zac was born!

  23. 2 weeks!!! WOW! I can't imagine being away from my husband for 2 weeks. Obviously if the opportunity came we would take it day by day. But 2 weeks seems so long. My husband is leaving next week for a work trip, but will only be gone for 3 nights. I am still dreading this trip and him being gone for those 3 nights. I really can't sleep when he is not in the bed. Not to mention all the talking, and just being together that I will miss too.

  24. Oh, it is wonderful to have family complete again! Glad you have everyone under the same roof safely.

    Let's see, in the past three years, I've been to Japan (our 10-year anniversary trip to Tokyo, just Papatini and me), Mexico (family trip with kids), and Germany (solo trip to meet my parents and my brother to celebrate my mother's 70th birthday.)

    And everytime Papatini comes home from work mentioning an expat opportunity (France, China, Mexico...) I go nuts and rush to google the location!!

  25. My husband and I have been together for 12 years. At the beginning of our relationship he decided to move back home for a few months to make some money and that was the worst few months of my life. Since then we have never been away from each other for longer than a week (and I think that was only 1 time). I have no idea what I would do if he left me with the kids and went away for 2 weeks. Well I do know, it would stink, but I would deal with it and all of the stress that it can bring and I would be super excited to see him when he came home again.

    I the blog post earlier you mentioned your giveaways. I have been reading your blog for many year and have entered many giveaways (but only giveaway that I really want to win) and to date I have not won anything yet. Oh well. I will still keep reading. I was out of town all last week and not doing any blogging, your blog was the first one I read.

    1. Me too. I love the US. For so many reasons.

      That said, I'd love to travel around the world. With my family. When our kids are older. :)

  26. The only traveling I've done in the last 3 years has been to Las Vegas and Jamaica - both were sweepstakes wins and we left our son (we only had one then) with grandma & grandpa. It was nice to spend a little time with my husband alone but I missed Reece something crazy!

  27. Is the blanket your youngest is holding in the photo from Aden & Analis? We have those same ones and they are made of either really soft cotton or muslin. We love using them for nursing and when my boys were really small for swaddling. My youngest loves them.

    Welcome Home Tim!!

    I cannot imagine not having Joe for that length of time. That must have been so hard.

    Glad you are all 100% again. I know just how you feel about not sleeping well with out your love by your side.

    1. Yes. Aden + Anais. Those are my absolute FAVORITE blankets for the newborn/infant days. They're so soft and lightweight - and they're the perfect size for wrapping and swaddling. :)

  28. So happy you guys are reunited! My husband was gone for a six-month stint while preparing to be a ranger. Ugh. It was no easy task for us.
    Let's see, we traveled to the Yucatan when my first child was one years old and haven't gone out of the states since. I miss it, but am really excited to continue our travel throughout the U.S. with the kids. Flights are so expensive when you've got a family of five!
    Sleep well. I don't ever sleep well when any of my dear ones are not under the same roof. :)

  29. No international trips for me lately. DH is supposed to go to the Philippines for work sometime soon.

    How did you help your kids understand where daddy was and how long he'd be gone?

    1. We talked about the trip quite a bit beforehand. My 3-year-old understood everything and helped me count down the days. I don't think my 1-year-old really understood, but we did show her pictures of daddy daily. :)

  30. Yay! I am so happy for you that Tim is back. Things just never feel right when hubby is out of town. I love that you let your 3 year old get up and see her daddy. I'm sure that was exciting and very special for her.

    We have not traveled outside the country since before we were married. However we will be traveling internationally with all 5 of our kids in the next year and a half. We are planning to move to South Asia. :)

    1. I didn't know that, Liz! Have you written much about it on your blog? I'd love to hear more.

      I went to SE Asia in 1997 - to Bangladesh and Pakistan. What an experience it was!

  31. awww, how sweet!!! i haven't traveled outside the country since having kids. I wouldn't be able to leave them just yet.

    as for living abroad? Probably not. There is really no place in the world as good as the US!

    1. I'm with you. I love the USA! So many freedoms. So many beautiful places. I am definitely proud to be an American (I always tear up when that song plays on the 4th of July).

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