1. Visiting with my Mimi.
I love visiting with everyone in my family, but my sweet Mimi and I have always had a special connection. This woman is the most genuinely caring and compassionate person I've ever known. She has taught me so much about giving selflessly and loving your family with every ounce of your being. Here in Hawaii, I struggle daily with the guilt that comes from being so far away from my family that I love so much, and that guilt hits really hard when I start thinking about all the precious moments I miss with Mimi. I'm so thankful that I got to see this sweet woman, sit with her, and hold her hand on my visit home. It was really a blessing.
2. Enjoying time with my whole family... plus Kent's family.
Kent and I are so blessed to have families that live 15 minutes away from each other. It makes every trip home an awesome one in which we get to see every single family member. My mom, dad, brother, sister, grandparents, his mom, his dad, his brothers, his grandparents... it's truly wonderful. I cherished each moment with all of these awesome people.
3. Being around animals again! (Aside from just dogs.)
You guys know I love animals, but this island is not the place for much more than about two dogs or cats. I miss the critters from back home. Growing up, we had just about everything... chickens, goats, a donkey, cows, horses, cats, dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, birds, you name it. Not that my brother and sister and I are older, my parents have cut it back, but it sure was nice to see (and smell) the horses! I also loved visiting with the old kitty cats. (They may not look like much in the photo, but I think they look pretty spectacular for 17 year old outdoor cats... haha)
4. The green, green grass everywhere and the pretty flowers that are different from what I see in Hawaii
Yes, Hawaii has lots of beautiful flowers and tropical plants, but I just missed what was back home. It's funny because I think of everything as being green here in Hawaii since the mountains are always so super green, but I'd forgotten just how GREEN things can be in Georgia. I think it's because the trees on the sides of the roads are so much more dense than anything you ever really see here.
It may sounds silly, but I was super duper excited to visit the places that we don't have in Hawaii. Hobby Lobby was a big one. That place is like my own personal Disney World. I was overwhelmed by all the home decor, art supplies, and yarn! Here in Hawaii, the only "arts and crafts" people seem to do are lei making and scrapbooking. Plus, few people find a need for yarn in the consistently 70-80 degree weather, so the selection is generally pretty sparse. Aside from Hobby Lobby, I thoroughly enjoyed going to Chick-fil-a (best chicken biscuits EVER), Zaxby's (another fantastic place for chicken), Applebee's, and, of course, Olive Garden. Yummy yummy! Now if only I could get those places to deliver out here for me...
That just about sums up my trip home. :) Hope you guys are having a fantastic Wednesday!