Today we celebrate 6 years of marriage in New Zealand. When I married Josh 6 years ago I had literally no idea where life would take us. If you would have told me I'd move to New Zealand in five years I probably would have started crying and worrying myself sick right then. Yes believe it or not, but big overseas adventures don't come quite as naturally to me as my world travelling little sister! But I am so grateful that our journey has brought us here... through joy and sorrow, decisions and degrees, moves, lack of money and just enough money, jobs and no jobs, way too much sleep and often not enough, laughter to the point of peeing my pants, stupid fights over about the absolute dumbest things ever, and conversation and prayer that challenges and changes me.
So anyway, today we celebrated Kiwi style: Lamb burgers with salad (that means salad in the burger), Flat Whites (a deliciously velvety espresso and milk coffee drink) and chips and sweet chili sauce (that means potato wedges and sweet chili sauce. OK, stop right there. Americans, you really need to consider this combination of potato wedge things with sweet chili sauce. Just "have a go" as the kiwis say. Just try it). We also went to the Otago Museum and visited the Maori history section and the Canterbury Quakes exhibit. I didn't quite realize the scope of the damage done from those quakes and enjoyed learning more about it and seeing the devastation that many New Zealanders have endured as a result of living in Christchurch during that time.
Josh and I talked over coffee today about how we love living here. That doesn't mean we don't miss things about the states. I would actually give three or four fingers to visit Costco and get heaps of cheap healthy food and then get me some good ol' Mexican food. On the more serious side I feel a pang of sadness when I think about my grandparents, parents, and even my younger siblings living their lives and growing older and that I'm not there to experience this part of life with them. For now, I'm very grateful that everyone's healthy and when I see them next it will be all the more richer. Oh how having coffee with my mom once a week when we lived in Washington takes on a massively new perspective when I would give 5 fingers (yep 5, so a whole hand) to have coffee with her just once this year.
Back to the present in New Zealand. We love having the ocean next door and our little deck with a view of the harbour. We love Kiwi accents that now sound more familiar than American ones. We love our church and the Christian culture here. We love our new friends from all over the world and hearing the perspectives of non-Americans. We love learning here - for me it's New Zealand Sign Language and for Josh, well let's just call it the process of writing a book! In short, we are so happy to be here for the time we are. It probably took me about 5 months of adjusting and settling in to be able to say this, but when the time comes for us to leave I know I will leave part of my heart here on the Otago coast.
Well, to top of the day, Josh is on the couch loudly singing some '80s Living Colour song while listening to a video lecture of a theology professor somewhere in the states. Never a dull moment in the Hurd house!