OK, I'll do my best to catch up on stuff.... The trip back from the Philippines actually went quite smoothly. Total it was about 30 hours, with 4 flights (Cebu-Manila-Hong Kong-Chicago-Minneapolis). Isaac and I were on 3 of the flights together, so that was great. We spent a week back in good old Minnesota (I have to admit...after seeing a lot of different parts of the world, and after being pretty anti-America for most of my life, now I think the U.S. is probably the most beautiful country in the world. Not to mention generally clean, diverse, well-organized, open-minded. Who knew?) and then took a road trip to Maine. We camped at beautiful places along the way (one night by these sand dunes on Lake Michigan and one night in wine country in New York) and had fun with Kara and her siblings and their speedily growing families. I loved meeting Kara's 11-month old, Sammy, for the first time :) :) On our drive back, we went through Canada and then met up with my parents to camp a couple nights on the Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
And then, to make a long story short and to get it over with--Isaac and I decided we are not in the same "place" right now and we need to do some growing on our own, and he suddenly went back to Seattle. It's still very open-ended, and we both feel a lot of peace about the decision, but it's so hard nonetheless and we still both care about each other a lot and hope that it will work out down the road. It's especially sad right now since my parents really like Isaac and we were all looking forward to hanging out in the Twin Cities this summer.
Besides a sense of peace and a new motivation to really refocus my life on God, I have a lot of things to keep me stable and busy this summer. I've been organizing and starting to pack up stuff for Spokane, looking at apartments online, and making lists of all the stuff I have to do to move. And fortunately, I still have a lot of friends in the area, and my calendar is filling up with plans.
I'm REALLY excited (and also fairly scared) to move to Spokane!! I'm finding some awesome studio apartments on Craigslist :) My tentative plan, though I am pretty drained from travel and don't relish the idea of more cars or planes, is to drive to Spokane at the beginning of August, then drive to Portland, take the train to Seattle (Martha and Austin just moved there!), fly to Maui for Maile and Kenny's wedding, fly back to Seattle, train back to Portland, and drive back to Spokane at the beginning of September. Phew.
I have a couple new photo albums:
Summer in Minnesota and Maine