Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I wish I had pictures. I know I couldn't have done the trip justice though so maybe it's for the best. In some ways this has been my favorite trip to Pittsburgh that we've taken.

Every trip to Pittsburgh is bittersweet. We look forward so much to a community of people that we feel very much a part of in ways but rarely get to see. An 8 hour drive between us really forces us to make fewer trips than we'd like and we can't ever stay as long as we'd like to. Pittsburgh in some ways feels like home. I found myself the last couple trips wishing we had our own place here to invite people in and cook and share meals. I think Aaron and I both really like hosting people more than we feel comfortable being extended-stay-visitors. At the start of the trip I always hope that Aaron and I will love the friends we're with successfully. I worry that in a place that he has many experiences with out me, that I won't remember that we're together, on the same team and that he'll feel supported and know that I'm proud of him. It's hard for me to keep my things from spreading out over someone else's home while I'm visiting. It gets harder put our bed away every day when, at home, it's a place that I love to escape to for moments on occasional days.  ........ All of that being said, we are made to feel so welcome. We have people's homes and safe havens opened to us. We've been cooked for and provided for every time we've come. We've been prayed for and prayed with. We've been not only let in, but welcomed into our friend's lives, told their excitements and struggles, seen their projects and hopes. I love the way each trip to Pittsburgh reveals new depths to the people that I so easily and immediately grew to love when I met them. I love that each time I go home I know more specific ways to pray for these people.

Heaslips were in town and it was so good seeing them and their Sailor. I really felt at home with them. And Aaron couldn't get enough time with their sweet little girl.

Sunday we were thrown a surprise baby shower! I'm not sure it could have been much nicer. Good food was prepared, (tacos, my favorite), sweet onesies were decorated by our friends, baby goods were given to us. It meant so much to us that this time was set aside to celebrate the coming of our sweet babe. I loved sharing all of it with our Pittsburgh friends. It's hard to be content with having seen them so little this past year. Missing out on so much that happens in their lives. We want to live life with them, eat with them, struggle with them, rejoice with them... it's a lot like a long distance dating relationship. We see each other in such small dosages that it's hard to say goodbye.

Every time we leave Pittsburgh, the trip home is such a time of preparing to enter back into our world. We reflect on the week, we hope that the things we're learning will help us love our friends in PA and NC better. I try to tell myself to stop asking for more and appreciate the time we were given. We do dread returning to our schedules that can seem monotonous but I think, we always come back challenged and with a new wind in our sails. This trip, in some ways felt the least like we were visitors. In a way we felt more like roommates, and locals. There was a lot more down time than usual, quiet conversations. Less planning and roaming. It was settling and strange. It was really good. I guess the next time we visit we'll have our third family member with us and it'll be a whole different kind of new and familiar.

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