We are back in Nicaragua after two and a half weeks in the US and even though the past few weeks were a whirlwind, we are so full and grateful for the time we had in the states.

I had planned to return to Oregon in June for my little brother’s high school graduation, but when Landon’s Grandpa Dave passed away on May 9th, it changed our plans dramatically. Within 24 hours we were able to buy Landon a plane ticket (thanks to a friend’s generosity) and buy a one way flight for me to return to Oregon a week earlier than intended. It was a whirlwind, since we had already had other travel plans in May, which were established in back in January, but we made it to both places and we are so glad we were there.

The first few days we were able to just relax at the coast with Landon’s parents, helping to prepare and think through the memorial service. We hiked, I took long walks, and we shared plenty of good conversations. Being in the wilderness in Oregon is soul nourishing for both of us, so I was very glad we were able to have the time to rest, if even for a couple of days.

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The Oregon coast is incredible.

Between being at the coast and the memorial service, we were able to spend a few days in Portland with my sister and brother-in-law, catching up, running errands and having the most un-baby-shower baby shower that ever was. Really, we were able to eat good food with some dear friends and family, and the conversation flowed back and forth about the baby. It was beautiful, and such a sweet time for us to get to hug so many dear ones.

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Our friend Adrienne, and her four kids, whom we hadn’t seen in years. I lived with Adrienne and her husband Berchimas (as well as the two oldest in this photo) when I was in Rwanda.

The memorial service was beautiful. Personal and intimate, with Grandpa Dave’s four brother’s performing It Is Well at the graveside in an a capella quartet arrangement. And then the service at the church was perfect. Honoring to the man Grandpa Dave was, with humor, laughter, worship and Jesus being praised. For a man who lived 91 years fully, I would say he would have been glad for the way we remembered him that day.

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Landon and his Grandma at the graveside service.

Then on Saturday my mom, sisters and sister-in-law hosted another perfectly un-baby-shower baby shower, and our hearts were full by everyone who made such an effort to be there to congratulate, encourage and bless us. We got hugs from so many sweet friends and family members, and I left the gathering feeling an overwhelming sense of gratefulness knowing that our kiddo is already loved beyond my wildest dreams.

Saturday evening we celebrated Luke’s high school graduation, and Sunday we celebrated he and Grace’s birthday 18th and 16th birthdays. It is crazy for me to think about the fact that I was going into 8th grade and my sophomore year when each of them was born, and now they are headed to college and almost done with high school. Time has flown.

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The rest of the week we spent soaking up as much of the things we miss from Eugene as possible. We ate delicious food, hung out with amazing friends and family, and drank delicious coffee. Another baby shower was hosted by my dear friend Becca, and I spent an evening visiting with some of my closest friends from our church in Eugene. It was so thoughtfully done and so sweet. Again, I left with an overwhelming sense of gratefulness for the lover our kiddo is already receiving.

And now we are back in Managua, loving working with Valor Christian High School from Denver, Colorado, as well as hanging out with all the other teams who are here right now.

Thank you for continuing to pray for us. We look forward to sharing more of the awesome stuff God is doing down here as the weeks go on this summer.

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