There's a good and bad side to everything...

My mom left on Thursday after a week-long stint in Belgium. It was very hard to see her go. There is an unmistaken comfort in having your mom nearby, even if it's just for a short while. As you grow up you learn to have your own life, your own adventures, but you still miss your momma. You just do! It's so weird to walk into the bathroom she used while here and smell her perfume, and instantly feel safe. Mom's are a comfort. I have been blessed with an amazing mother, and I truly miss her. Of course we're normal, and we bicker and disagree. But to be fortunate enough to have a mother that has faith in me, selflessly gives and gives and GIVES for's truly a blessing from God. She's my best friend. I just hope that i fulfill her life as much as she does mine! I'm married now. And God has also blessed me with a husband that understands that bond. And he loves her just the same. And now I have a mother-in-law that I love dearly, that trusts me with her son and believes in me the same. Life is so wonderful. I can allow myself (embarrasingly too often) to sulk in the thoughts of life going on without us in the states, but what truly matters is the love of our families and matter where we are. Home is where we are together...we are here. Stephen and I are home, together. And we're going to make it.

In true Cricket fashion, we walked my mom into the ground. We visited Cologne, Monschau (Germany), Valkenburg, Maastricht (Holland), Brussels and Liege (Belgium) and were able to see all of the different Christmas Markets. We went in caves, tried on fun boots, ate waffles, tapas, and treated my mom to some good 'ole Leigeois Meatballs. I think she had a good time. I know I did just being with her (and selfishly an English speaker, ha!) AND.....GRACIE IS HERE!!!! She's already brought us so much joy in just a week. Funny how much a dog changes your life. She's so great! Although I'm excited, we still have another dog not yet on foreign pour one out for Bella in Austin. She'll get here eventually! Mom also helped us purchase our first European Christmas tree. I'm rather lazy in the "picking up pine needles" category, so it's a pre-lit fake. Guess I'm kinda lazy in lighting trees too :) We had so much fun picking out ornaments, and we all decorated the tree together. Gracie even gave moral support. Having the tree (and presents and stockings, thanks mom) helps our/my emotional state during the holiday season! Thanks mom for a wonderful trip. You made my holidays! Sometime early next year my parents will both come over, and we'll get to spend time with my dad, too. I cannot TELL you how excited I am to see his face and hear his voice in's going to be so great! What an amazing person he is, I miss my daddy :) In addition, March brings the Dotson clan over! We are going to have so much fun. We are renting a house in the French countryside. I am eagerly awaiting seeing them as well, it's been far too long! There's something to be said about being able to hug them and see them in person, not just on Skype. I completely lucked out with my in-laws. They are my family, not in-laws and a sister-in-law. They are family! So warm and caring, it will be so nice to relax and catch up with them...and long overdue! We are very blessed, and spoiled. We know!
In happier/lighter news...I got a JOB. Thanks for the prayers and support from everyone. This is truly a blessing. I have sugar-coated my personal experience here, in short because no one wants to hear someone gripe when they are in "Europe." Well kids...Europe is great, especially when fantasizing about "all the places you can go, cool things to see..." It gets old, you get cynical, the fantasy wears off. I need something of purpose. I've prayed for a long time. I need something to do with myself after I've run. I need to be busy. I now have a job. I couldn't be more excited. I'll be teaching English at a language center in the Center of Liege. The bus stop is directly in front of the building. It took me 7 minutes to bike there on Friday. I'm so blessed. God has a funny timing with things...I needed a pick me up after my mom left--I have a job. It's still setting in.

You guys are amazing for reading all of this nonsensical blabber from me...I appreciate it! My sister will be here in 10 days...she's such a breath of fresh air. Just like moms, sisters are pretty great too. I have three sister-in-laws that I adore (I got lucky, I know) and Hayley...who really is a blond extension of me. We'll definitely paint Belgium and all surrounding countries red! I can't wait...I'll need the pick-me-up after a Christmas family-less, and I can't think of another person I'd want here for my birthday and New Years. Speaking of New Years...we are going to be in Paris!!! Craig and Aimee Miller will be there we'll have some familiar faces to ring in '08! I hope all of you are doing well. We love and miss each of you! Send us an update, we'd love to hear the latest and greatest!


Anonymous said...

Cricket says GOOD JOB!