I recently started making photo albums again, you know the kind that actually get printed out. The kind that you can hold in your hands and flip through. The kind that make you go aww, and that spark memories of other things. The kind that start conversations, and spark memories and other stories. I haven’t gotten anything printed since before we had kids, and since they seem to be growing up so quickly I figured it was about time I did! Looking back through five plus years of family pictures, and over three years of pictures since Ellie joined us, has made me even more grateful for this expat adventure we are on.
This one ☝️ right here is one of the few pictures I found of all four of us that predates our expat adventure. This was taken on mother’s day 2015 after I got off work. Yep I worked on Mother’s Day welcome to the land of retail management, where your schedule is different every week and you frequently work holidays. I won’t go off on my tangent about how under valued the average retail worker is because that would take ages, but think about it the next time you’re out shopping on a holiday ok? Those people have families they want to spend time with too.
Ok anyway back to my real point, in total I found eight pictures featuring all four of us together. Eight pictures in the two and a half years we were a family of four before we started expating. Now you might say that’s pretty good, but when you take out weddings and the one vacation we managed to take, we’re down to four pictures. Four times in two and a half years that we had time to do something fun (and that we remembered to snap a pic) together. Yes there were other times we were all together that didn’t get photographed, but this rings true to me of our pre-expat lives in a lot of ways. Our schedules were so opposite, and our lives so busy that we rarely had any quality time together as a family.
The number of pictures we have taken of the four of us together in the last ten months? Over twenty including this gem from about a month ago featuring Ellie’s favorite camera ready face. They might not all be worthy of being framed and hung on the wall, but to me they all tell the tale of a year full of fun, adventure, and most importantly of time spent together. Our expat adventure has given us more than than I ever imagined it would, and I’m so grateful that we did it. This year has taught me so much about the value of time spent together.
We are counting down the days till our departure for a summer full of fun together (29 in case you were wondering), and I’m looking forward to new pictures and more time spent together. So I guess what I’m getting at here, is that in the last year I have really come to value the amount of time we have been able to spend together. It’s something we really struggled with about our lives in the states, and I hope to keep these thoughts in the forefront of my mind as we continue to “do life” as a family.