Monday, July 21, 2014

Ohio has my heart.

I've been busy and tired and sick and just too emotionally on edge to put this post together.  but, it's time now.
I'm sitting in our temporary house here in Japan.  Kent is at work. I've drugged metta so she'll take a nap now and not fall asleep at 3PM only to reawake at 2AM!  the boys are busy reading their books from the Japanese library :)
and I'm sifting through pics from my last couple of weeks in dayton- trying not to be a blubbering mess. pregnancy hormones and jet lag are NOT helping the cause.

My life has always been wonderful.  and it's been made wonderful by the people who have filled it. My three short years in Dayton were some of the hardest of my life thus far- but certainly three of the very best.  I learned a lot of lessons there. I grew in so many ways. I am a better person now.

here's a grainy cell phone shot of just a few of the many superb people I call friends.  We had a giant farewell dinner and laughed and laughed and laughed.   These people are my family.  They took care of me (and my kids) when we needed it most. we spent holidays with them. birthdays. and just regular days.  we shared laughs, tears, workouts, and lots of food together!  It's amazing how important good friends become when you are so far away from family.

Several of them are friends from church. and my last Sunday was so traumatic for me.  we literally drove away from church to head out.  I cried and cried and cried. Our kids cried and cried.  It was a pretty dramatic way to leave.

 Before we left- a friend gifted me with this little yearbook of sorts.  It has pictures of all of our friends and their families.  Metta still won't put it down.  She asks to read it every day.

Our last couple of weeks in dayton were CRAZY!!  prepping to move, cleaning, packing, partying, and trying to make every last minute count!  we had so many great parties.

Our friends SAVED us those last two weeks. Well over 40 hours of volunteer time was put in helping watch our kids, clean our house, help with yard work, and clean our car.

If you know me- you know I am not the tidiest person.  If we got stranded in the mountains in our van - we could survive for two weeks off crumbs alone.

We had to clean it SPOTLESS to prep it for long term storage.  Our friends - the moellers- spent way too many hours helping us with it :)  Thanks Heather and Ryan.  You are saints for sure.

 How do people survive without great friends?!  Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! to every person that helped out!  it means more to me than you will ever know.

Metta and her best pal, cora. these two are HYSTERICAL.  the craziest little tag team you've ever seen.  I miss that little cora so so much. And I know that metta does, too.

The entire three years I spent in Dayton- I worked at the YMCA teaching spin, tabata, and boot camp classes.  The people at the YMCAs in Ohio are some of the most fabulous people you'll ever meet.  One of my very best friends from the Y- Diana- put together a giant Sayonara party for me.

Diana is one of those people who change your life!  she taught me so much as an instructor and person.  She is kind and loving and just plain fun!  and I miss her and her workouts every single day!!  thanks, diana!!

the workout ladies :)

 mary and her daughter!
 It's amazing how the people you work out alongside become such a part of your life!  you become so accustomed to their faces and smiles!  I really really miss my workout buddies!  thanks to every one of you who listened to my life as we ran alongside each other and sweat it out.  Running and venting has got to be one of my biggest stress relievers :)
 here we are after one of my favorite classes- Cardio Circuit.  hot, sweaty, and happy!

and this picture KILLS me.  Jeri is metta's other mom.  She has taken care of metta since she was BORN!  she has held her, rocked her, fed her, changed her diapers, disciplined her, taught her to speak, and LOVED her so so much.  Leaving the ymca child care for the last time was so so hard for me.  They loved my kids so much.  such wonderful people.  Mr. Trevor in the background is metta's other best pal in the childcare.  She calls him 'stinky trevor'.  These people really did love my kids like their own.

 We had a giant backyard barbecue before we left to celebrate summer.  I hope my kids' last memory of Ohio is this night!  we did sparklers, played in the water, caught fireflies, and ate and talked for hours.

 we borrowed this super amazing slide from friends.  it was a hit!
 As much as I hated the weeding and yard work- I miss our backyard already!!

 my kiddos made such good friends in ohio!  hopefully one day they can be facebook friends or college roommates or pen pals!

 every kid ought to spend summer nights catching fireflies!!

 metta loved holding them!

Pretty sad picture, huh?  metta kept crying as they loaded stuff up. "where's my bed?! where's my bed?!".  It was so cute.

I could go on and on and post pictures forever- but enough is enough.  I love you Ohio.  I love you Ohio friends.  the past seven years were wonderful!!

Driving under this sign was just another reason to cry again. ugh.  moving sucks. leaving best friends is like ripping little pieces of your heart out. Ohio still has many many pieces of my heart,


Kristi, Liezl, Quincy, Ava, Cora, and Josh said...

Ohio is not the same without you, but we will find our new normal soon and will always have the best memories!!! Thanks for being such a good friend.

yaya said...

Congrats on your pregnancy and I know you'll be making more wonderful memories in your new home (and country!) I'll look forward to the adventures!

Amber and Travis said...

I love this post! You would never guess that these were some of your hardest years! You have such a positive attitude! We sure miss you and your family! Thanks for being such a great friend and example!

Nicole Lowe said...

You and your family are simply AMAZING! May God bless you and provide you strength to continue your journey! XOXO

Kate said...

Leisy!! Reading this makes me tear up, Kristi said it best church is not the same without you guys!! You were an awesome Visiting Teacher and then later an awesome companion..tolerant of my terrible I miss you and I love you..YOU ROCK!!!

Motivated Mama said...

So many wonderful memories for you here! And now you get to go forth and make new ones in a foreign land. I know you're going to touch so many lives, just as you have here. Bless you and your beautiful family. Keep in touch!