Today we've been missing home a lot. So I'm writing this blog update for any fellow expats that might be reading along now--or in the future--as I'm thankful for some helpful advice from former expats on what to expect when you get a case of the homesickness blues. It's been about three months since our plane wheels left the ground of the Lone Star State. There are certain things we've come to appreciate about the Scots and life in Aberdeen, but for every single we thing we like there are at least two or three things we miss about home. Right now, as I type, we're blaring some Texas Country from my laptop and savouring the cozy blue jean quilt (handmade by my mom) that we forced the movers to find room for in the last box.
When you first arrive in a new country, you're completely distracted by the newness, the excitement and the fun. After a couple weeks go by, you still feel like it's a vacation and that it's probably about time to end. A few more weeks pass and then it finally dawns on you that you're there to stay, and you get mixed emotions thinking about home but begin to become comfortable in your new surroundings. Not long after that, you really start to miss things. A lot. But then you become preoccupied again with visitors and traveling. And so the cycle continues!
The fact that Mike and I have each other helps a lot. And it's important for us to stay busy enough to keep our minds from thinking about home too much. We have been so grateful for every day we get to experience in Scotland--and surrounding countries--and are thrilled that we were blessed with this opportunity! It would be silly for us not to miss home, so we're focused on making the most of our year abroad.
We miss our doggies terribly (any time I mention them is an excuse to post a photo!) and are very thankful that Mike's parents are keeping them for us. Shiner has been busy with the hunting season, and Jersey keeps Shiner in line when he's home, making sure he doesn't nap too long in between play spells. They have been attached at the hip since we brought Jersey home with us nearly a year ago... we absolutely love our dogs.
And we miss having two furball arounds the house, especially since we've had them both for more than a decade. My cousin Sarah and her husband, Scott, are lifesavers for taking in my two cats, July and Snowball. Sarah tells me the kitties have made themselves quite at home in Alabama and are doing well. (These are recent photos she sent.)
We're beyond appreciative of our family and friends who have been so thoughtful in sending us letters and care packages with things we miss from home, like lemonade and butter popcorn to our coveted velveeta and rotel for queso. (Mike made queso at work last week so the guys could try it out. They'd never even seen block cheese before and gorged themselves on the dip, some of them felt sick afterward!)
So here's to country music, fajitas on a stove top grill, the occasional rarely-found Bud Light, visitors and letters from home. They make all the difference!