Tag Archives: Things We Miss

In Case You Didn’t Know, We Miss You

There are a lot of emotions that come with moving half way across the world.  We have experienced excitement, nervousness, frustration, joy, confusion, and most recently, sadness.  I suppose sadness isn’t really the appropriate word.  We feel melancholy.  Very, very melancholy.

You see, our one year anniversary of moving here occured about a month ago.  Since that time, it has been like a switch was flipped.  The miss home like crazy switch.  Throughout our time here, we have missed things like food and driving, large grocery stores, and customer service, but those aren’t the things we are missing right now.  Those are all great things, but right now we miss people.  Friends from church, Talbot, work, Oklahoma, and Colorado consume our conversations.  God has blessed us with so many amazing friends and mentors and it has been hard to be so far away from all of them.  We miss dinner dates with our friends the Van Schoicks, brunch sunday at Grace, family night with the Klinks, praying with our small group, and so many other people and experiences.

I miss shopping with Ashley (even though we never had any money to spend!), my Esther Bible study girls, starbucks runs with Dani on breaks we weren’t supposed to take, Talbot Wives prayer groups and ALL of the amazing friends I met there, eating hot dogs and burgers on the patio with the Polks, and coffee dates with my mentor, Teri.  There are so many more people we could mention that have impacted and blessed our lives, but this is a blog, not a book (though I know some of my posts could make one think I don’t know the difference).

At the end of the day, Chick-Fil-A and real milk shakes just don’t fill the void that we feel right now.  When you miss people, everything else just kind of fades in comparison.  And when those people are your family, the comparison is even more stark.  I woke up this morning and read a facebook messge from Ben’s sister, and I just started crying.  The message was nothing more than a simple question about something, but I was just overwhelmed with sadness.

I miss my mom’s amazing chocolate fudge and the way she makes every holiday and every visit so special.  I miss my dad and all his crazy childhood stories and the constant sound of a bass that accompanies him.  I miss my brother who is always bursting with energy and drumming his fingers on every surface.  I miss his beautiful new wife Stephanie who always seeks to serve others and her love for Zach just touches my heart.  I miss Ben’s mom and her fits of giggles when she is with her sisters and the way she dotes on her beloved Oscar (her dachshund).  I miss Ben’s dad and his wonderful smile that blesses your heart because it is so sincere in its love.  I miss Ben’s sister and the way she is always itching to go on walks and just spend quality time with people.  I miss her husband Alex and his witty comments and excitement over amazing books we all equally love.  I wish I could wrap my arms around each of them right now.

It isn’t that we miss America all that much right now, beause we love it here.  We just miss connecting with people that have meant so much to us.  It feels like we are living over here in this kind of pretend world because we haven’t really gotten to share it with anyone from home (minus Cassie of course).  We have come to realize that if you can’t share your world with people, it just lacks the fullness that it would otherwise have.  This exeperience isn’t just something for me and Ben, it is something we want to share with those we love (and even those we barely know would be ok at this point!).  We want to build precious memories with friends from home even now.  We don’t want to wait two years to continue to do that.

I don’t mean for any of this to make anyone feel guilty or sad for us, but along with the exciting and new things that we encounter here, I also want to document the difficult times we face.  Right now is one of those times.  We love people.  We have spent the last six years of our marriage meeting incredible people and building the kind of friendships that just warm your soul.  You don’t leave those people and not feel the loss.  Our hearts are a little heavy right now, but just know that to all of our friends and family out there scattered across the US, we think of you all the time. We love you.  We cherish you. We miss you.  xox

 

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Grocery Store Blues

I love being here. Cambridge has been an amazing place to live and I have loved so much about it. Nevertheless, I still miss things from home. Aside from my withdrawals of Chick-Fil-A and sweet tea, it hasn’t been too bad…but there are days when cravings come upon me and I think to myself, “Is this what it will be like when I am pregnant?!” There are random things I miss from home but today more than anything else, I miss American grocery stores.

I miss Wal-Mart with all its guaranteed low prices and smiling elderly population at the door. I miss Albertson’s with all their neat and tidy aisles and perfectly shined produce (though I cringe at the thought of some grocer putting each apple up to his mouth, blowing hot air on it and shining it on his shirt…you don’t think that happens do you?!). I miss Costco and all their bulky glory! Who doesn’t love 72 ounces of chocolate chips, 4 dozen eggs, and two packs to ten packs of everything from peanut butter to toilet paper. It is aisle after aisle of fun. I am smiling just thinking about it! The thing about American grocery stores that you miss most though, above all else, is simply options.

The closest grocery store to my house is Sainsbury’s which is about a quarter to a half mile away. This place is fine if I am in a fix and need something quick, but I hate shopping there. First of all, it is the main grocery store that all the students use…so it is packed. All. The. Time. Half the time you go there it looks as though a tornado has hit it as all the shelves are missing half their items, and what is left has often been smashed, dropped, or relocated. Then, if you are lucky to find what you are looking for (which happens about 70% of the time) you have to wait in these chaotic lines. Once you make it to the front, you feel the pressure and the glares from those behind you to get it paid for as quickly as possible. Now, I am not one to dawdle anyway, but here I feel like a madwoman rushing to get my cash out before it is my turn. I quickly snap off my gloves, estimate as closely as possible to avoid looking through my purse for more money and have it ready to go when the clerk tells me the final cost. Then in one fell swoop, I grab my bag of groceries, my change, my receipt, my gloves and we are off. Once out the door I typically have to set everything down and put my change in my purse, stuff the receipt into some crevice of my wallet, put my gloves back on and then grab my bags to go. This makes me sweat just thinking about it. All this to say, I have resorted to online shopping.

Tesco is a quasi-Wal-Mart, or the closest thing to it in my opinion. We also have a store called ASDA that is very similar but I have become a Tesco fan. The unfortunate part is that Tesco is way too far to walk to and carry groceries back (the chance of rain makes this very disagreeable). So I order online as most people seem to do here. There is a delivery charge but it is absolutely worth it. I order about once every week and a half which is quite often but I can’t stock up too much as I have no freezer and my refrigerator is only a dorm size fridge. This is not an exaggeration.

In the beginning, it was extremely hard to shop online here as I had no idea what to get. Slowly but surely I am catching on. I have two basic frustrations about shopping though. First off, the size or quantity of an item is far smaller here…without much difference in price. Secondly, the options are not even close to comparable of that in the states. Typically, a single item will have the name brand option and if you are lucky they will have an off brand option…and if you are really, really, lucky then there may be a third option. This week I tried to buy a pie shell for Thanksgiving. I knew this could be difficult, but was hopeful when I found something called a sweet pastry case (which looked just like a baked pie crust). I could work with this! Then the order came. If Tesco doesn’t have the item you requested they substitute it for the closest thing possible. So guess what I got? Flaked pudding rice. Huh. Flaked pudding rice, baked pastry case…not sure what the similarities are there but ok. Thankfully my friend Stacie saved me as she found me an unbaked pie shell…at the American military base (yay for friends)!

One really great thing about shopping online though, is that I purchase far less junk food. I used to grab cookies, ice-cream, cake mixes, and baked goods because I walked by them and instantly craved them. Now I don’t see them and therefore don’t purchase them as much! Yay for our waistlines! We still buy a few sweet treats, but each purchase is more intentional and thought out. The impulse buys have decreased which makes Ben (the money watcher in the family) very happy!

Though I am happy we aren’t spending needlessly on these items, there is something about getting to wander from aisle to calm aisle just gazing at all the glorious options. So as you all head out to the grocery store this week to buy everything for your Thanksgiving Day meal, smile and relish the seemingly unlimited options.