What is, What isn't

What is: Tel Aviv, Israel. A second tour, back-to-back with Stockholm. Late this summer. For two years.
What isn't: USA. Kitchen sink disposals. Taco Bell. Target. English. Family. Friends. Home.

When I think about what is, I am mostly happy and excited.
One, I can hardly wait to be in a sub-tropical climate with beautiful, warm, surfable beaches. Not a soul in Sweden doesn't have at least a whiff of envy over that.
Two, there will be fascinating differences in culture that will be interesting and educating to experience.
Three, I will learn at least some Hebrew and that will be fun. I'm already working on the Hebrew alphabet and it's good brain food for a full time mom. I am not overly ambitious about this goal though, so we'll see how far I actually get.
Four, warm beaches.
Five, middle eastern food is oooh-so-good. Shawarmas, baby! Shawarma is the new taco.
Six, warm beaches.
Seven, a vast array of ancient historical sites nearby to visit. Jerusalem, for starters, is just an hour's drive.
Eight, warm beaches.
Nine, Rob has promised me some hired help. This feels a bit against my nature, but I think I'm going to force myself to try it. Just, you know, to have that part of the experience of life abroad, and not to deprive myself of the joy of any housekeeping.
Ten, warm beaches.

That is a nice little list I might need to tape to the fridge to look at when my mind starts to wander over to what isn't. I was just starting to make a big "what isn't" list, but that is no good. The only difference between the things that would be on my list and winning the lottery is simply that I never expected to win the lottery. But, winning the lottery, having a taco in my hands right....*now*, and coming back home to live, are all equally pointless to ache over. Even so, I've been expecting for the last three years to be moving back to the US this summer, and so rewiring my brain isn't instantaneous no matter how philosophical I get. (The unexpectedness of going to Israel this summer involves the greatest misunderstanding of my life....) I like what is. I like what we are moving on to. But, the tragedy of expectation! What isn't keeps muddying the waters.

Anyway, we have a couple months left before leaving Sweden - the birthplace of our two children and totally "home" for our family. Then on to a month or two of vacation in the States in July and August. And then on to Israel. My head is spinning.

Russ  – (4:32 PM)  

Mmmmm, shawarma! I wonder if they have Doritos Locos Shawarma. :) Sad you guys won't be able to come back to the states for the summer. But very exciting!

AJ Candrian  – (4:35 PM)  

I promise to come visit at least once.

Lorena  – (5:03 PM)  

Russell - we WILL be back this summer, and I better see you! But just for a vacation, not to live.

Andrea J  – (6:48 PM)  

You're so great. I understand some of what you are saying and think that you're wise to give yourself some time to wrestle with this change. Best of luck buddy! Also, I'll be in Utah most all of July, I hope I get to see you.

Amy Lovell  – (7:51 PM)  

Oh, take advantage of that hired help. Do you know how many peoples houses I'd go to in Africa totally thinking the diplomatic lifestyle was the way to go. Hired cooks, maids, gardeners, you name it, they had it, and it was kind of awesome. Plus, think of it this way, you're helping someone out who needs a job...and it's dirt cheap! :)

I'm excited for your new adventure but sad you won't be in the states longer.

KellySummer  – (1:23 AM)  

Lo! Israel?!? crazy! We are thinking of movie to Chile for a year in about a year. Apparently Adobe has offices down there and would pay sunny his same salary to live in a way cheaper place and give us an adventure. but i am a loser and i'm afraid of bugs and food (but i think i'm going to force myself to get over it cause it sounds pretty awesome too). its scary to be away from good food and the variety you can get in the US. especially when you love food like i do.

KellySummer  – (1:24 AM)  

and yay for you and dre both being in utah in July!!! lets all play! lots! i'm sad we didn't play more in the winter. i was distracted with Henny. But now i am back.

Brittany  – (10:42 AM)  

You're going to have to expand on this "hired help" thing. Are you getting a nanny, a cook, or a maid? All three in one? I'm jealous. If at the end of the day someone could come do my dishes and just clear the cluttery mess James has made, I would be in heaven.

I'm excited for your move but also sad you won't be a 7 hour drive away. I was so looking forward to that and I think James was, too. I really want to visit but that may be a monetary stretch for us (since Sweden already was), so we'll have to see what I can scrounge up.

Love you guys!

Laura Koch  – (9:05 PM)  

Wow! Once you get over the "What?!!" factor, Tel Aviv sounds awesome!

d  – (3:20 PM)  

I am glad you are vacationing back here in the summer. Stop doing such a damn good job and you could come home!!! I know the build up to America has been on your mind and heart. With some reality tho- I know you would want to travel again and right now is an awesome time to do it when your babies are still young and not hooked to school full time.

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