Sunday, June 26, 2016

Heading to Chicago and a few other things

My weekend started out with a short run. It was wonderful. I absolutely cannot wait to do a long run. That'll definitely happen when I get to Chicago!

And then I had to meet my twinnie because she had something for me. What was it, you ask?
This. Homemade blueberry cheesecake ice cream. Not only are her cakes out of this world, her ice cream is too. It was pretty amazing.

Remember how I mentioned this team that came to Honduras, from KY? They arrived a few days before I left, and they were LIFE to me?
 Well, they invited me to their church yesterday morning. They had a special presentation about their time in Honduras, and wanted me to join them. It was so great seeing them again. Even though we were only together a few days, our experiences bonded us for life.
We hardly recognized each other with makeup on and without sweat dripping down our faces! :)

After church we took my Dad out for Father's Day (a week late). Missing my other 4 siblings!

Far left is Kristin, my niece.
(I'll never get tired of seeing her smile!)
On her lap is Maia, my other niece.

Last night I finished packing for Chicago! We're driving there this afternoon. We'll be there for 2 weeks, then come home for the weekend, and so on, for the next 6 weeks.

 You better believe I will be getting some of this while I'm there! Garrett's popcorn. Absolute best popcorn I've ever had in my life. Anyone else want some??

Have a wonderful week, my friends!

Friday, June 24, 2016

My niece, weight loss update, and I'm leaving again!

Happy Friday!

 When I got back to the US, the very first thing I did was visit my sweet niece. At the time she was on her very last day at the rehab hospital! (If you missed her story, read here.)
Just to see her laughing and smiling again, indescribable. She is now back home. She's been practicing walking again, and is doing so good. She can now walk if someone is beside her. Truly a miracle.

 On Monday she, my twinnie and I will be heading to Chicago for 6 weeks. She will be starting radiation and chemo treatments, and they invited me to go along.
 I am beyond excited! I'm so glad I get to be there with both of them as they face this new challenge.

We'll be staying in a Ronald McDonald house. Which is SO cool, because they are the one's I raised funds for and ran the Chicago marathon for 4 years ago! Never could I imagine that someday my family would be needing their services.

 The house we'll be staying in is absolutely beautiful. Twinnie said they have a big freezer stocked with free ice cream for the guests. She said volunteers bring in lunch and dinner, so there is always lots of delicious food.
 This is only a problem because since March I've lost 17.5 lbs., and I still have 20 to go! I can't be gaining it all back in 6 weeks. With access to all the ice cream I want...this will be hard!!

And of course I'm excited about exploring the area, and finding places to run. We'll actually be about 30 minutes outside of Chicago, but it's just a short train ride away if we want to go downtown.

Next time you hear from me, I'll be in the Windy City!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A new nephew and it feels good to run again

Ahhh...I'm home! Oh wait, I already said that, didn't I? It just feels so good to say it.

I really didn't have any kind of culture shock or anything like that, coming home. Jeremy made sure to spoil me good. We went out for the best sushi of my life. (Of course everything tastes extra good now!)

Then, of course...

I went to get my hair done at a new (to me) salon, and I think I finally found a good hairdresser. She offered me wine, making me like her even more. And she fixed my mushroom head hair and gave me some highlights.

How cute is this salon! I love the whole area.

While I was in Honduras, I found out that I became an Aunt again! My brother and sister in law had their first baby, a son named Hank. I could not WAIT to get my hands on him!

I cannot stand how adorable he is!! Pretty sure I could stare at him all day long. I am now an Aunt to 7 precious kiddos.

I've gotten in a few short runs since being home. I can't tell you how wonderful they were!

Tell me something that's been going on with you!
Any new babies in your fam?
Eaten any delicious food lately?
Any great runs?

Monday, June 20, 2016

My last few days in Honduras

I am home! I got home Thursday night.
It is great being back on American soil again, and wonderful being back home.

I wasn't able to blog much my last few days because the wifi was in and out a lot. So I decided to wait until I get back home to recap my last few days there.

Sunday evening a mission team came in to spend the week. They were also from KY, and we knew some of the same people- small world!
 It was a group of 8 women, and 1 man. This group was absolute life to me. They welcomed me into their group, loved me, always wanted me to hang out with them, and said I was now an honorary member. :)
 I have no doubt that God brought them to me, just when I needed them most. I love these ladies and they will always have a special place in my heart.

Monday we went to 3 different places. First we went to a special needs girls home. I'm guessing there were maybe 50 girls there, their needs were all different.
 It was wonderful getting to love on them, give them hugs, braid their hair, play ball with them, etc. It seems like every place I went, there was always just one girl I really connected with.
 At the girls home, this one particular girl gave me the longest hug as I was saying goodbye. It felt like she didn't want to let me go. It was so, so hard to break away.

Singing with the girls

This girl is 12 years old, and blind. Sweetheart.

Then we went to a men's rehab center, and then to Los Bordos, the slums of Honduras, in San Pedro Sula. (Oh, how awful to say you live in the slums.)

A very expensive high rise behind the slums
There was a precious little girl there that I really connected with, named Jolena. She was probably around 10, not real sure. I wanted to take her home with me more than any baby. I adored her. She just laughed and laughed at the Snapchat filters. Hearing her laugh made my day.

On my last day there we went shopping. That was fun, and a very interesting experience. Again, it's just amazing how different our cultures are.

These are the 2 Honduran girls who work in the home. We weren't able to go out after all, so that was disappointing. But I just loved them to pieces. Before I left I gave one of them a little bit of money (the other girl wasn't there, so I left some for her too), she just started crying, and was so thankful. A little bit of money to us, is a whole lot to them.

Thursday I said my goodbye's and headed to the airport.
You'll never guess what happened as I was sitting there, waiting on the plane.
Yep, the electricity went out. No lights, no computers, nothing. I laughed out loud. Seriously. What a perfect ending to my trip! Haha!

Goodbye, Honduras!

One thing I realized during my time in Honduras: I absolutely, 100% want to foster a child.
 I'd always said I couldn't foster because it would be too hard to give the child back, I just couldn't do it.
 But seeing the impact R & E are having on their 4 babies, seeing how those babies lives are changed forever because this couple wanted to make a difference; makes me want to do the same.
 Seeing how A and her husband rescued their 3 kids from the streets, and now they have love that they never would've known, makes me want to do the same.
 I would love to foster to adopt, but no matter the time I would get with them, I know I could make a difference in his or her life. My eyes were opened.

 Thank you all for your kind words, and your encouragement through the tough times, these past 2.5 weeks. I love y'all!!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Things I will never take for granted again!

Since I've been in Honduras, I've been realizing some things I will never again take for granted.
Here's my list:

What more can I say? I truly cannot live without it, and I will always be grateful for it from now on.

2. Coffee
I can't tell you how much I miss my morning coffee. They do have coffee here, but it's just way too hot for me to drink it.

3. Diet Pepsi
Oh, how I miss you! My sweet new friend, A., brought me a diet pepsi and a diet coke, because she couldn't remember which one was my favorite. (Diet pepsi)
I think my huge hug scared her a little.

4. Exercise
There is nowhere to run here, and it is WAY too hot to run outside even if there was. I miss going for a run, I miss spin class, I miss being able to do any kind of exercise. I will never take that ability for granted again!

5. Regular toilets
No toilet paper in the toilet, it has to go in the trashcan (gross). The schools basically have port a pottys.
6. Fixing my hair
Weird, right? In Honduras, everyone just pulls their hair back, including me. I haven't fixed my hair in 2.5 weeks and I miss doing that!

7. My dishwasher No dishwasher here. Washing dishes for 9+ people is a lot!

My eyes have really been opened to how blessed I am. I also now realize how strong missionary's are. They give up all of these things I take for granted every day, to live this life. To rescue children, teach them about God and show them love they otherwise would never know. They are truly selfless. My prayer is to become like that.
Today I am traveling home. It will be a long travel day (5 hour layover in Atlanta), but I'm going home!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Honduras photo dump

Here's some random pics from the past 2 weeks.

Some gorgeous flowers on the property

One of the babies first birthday!
Celebrating with a piƱata.

Riding a Moto Taxi. There were 5 of us crammed in this thing.
Pretty scary, but exciting!

A and I. She's a KY girl too!

One of the classrooms at school

My lip got sunburned. It is now blistered and swollen.
There is no smiling or laughing going on.
It's hard to even talk! Lesson learned: always wear spf chapstick

I woke up at 5 am one morning and saw the sun beginning to rise.
Hard to tell in the pic, but it was beautiful.

Coconut water from a coconut. I don't like
coconut water sold in the US, but this was really good.

We went to a nearby pool for a few hours.
So beautiful!!
Today I will be spending the day with a mission team who just came down yesterday. We're going to San Pedro Sula. I'm not real sure all we will be doing, but I do know we will visit an orphanage. I'm gonna try to sneak out one of those babies. ;)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Stories from Honduras

I really wish I had the energy to blog every night, because every day there is so much I want to tell! But after listening to 4 screaming babies for 12 hours, and many other difficult things, I can barely make it to the shower at the end of the day.
 But here's a few stories.

I know it's a little hard to see, but see the girl in the pink dress? She's probably about 4 or 5. Her mom came to the gate of our children's home, asking if she could leave her daughter, so that she could go work! By 'leave her' she meant for good!!
Our director told her no, they don't allow that. That poor little girl had to stand there and hear the whole conversation, her mom asking if she could leave her. That just breaks my heart. Knowing she's just a nuisance and her mom is trying to get rid of her. If only I could've taken her back to KY with me, I would've. It is just unreal the 'mother's' who do that sort of thing. Unreal.

One of the older boys here who was adopted into another family (there are 2 family's here, each with 3-4 adopted or foster kids), is 6 years old. When they got him off the streets a few months ago, he had over 2000 worms in his stomach!! That's what happens when you drink the water here.
 I'll spare you all the gory details, but he had to take medicine to paralyze the worms, then they all had to come out, you know how.
If you don't take the medicine to paralyze them, and you just take the medicine to kill them, they know what's happening, so they will come out any open area on your body that they can, trying to escape. So you have to paralyze them first, so that they can only come out one way.
 I'll end this story by saying they came out of this poor boy, alive.
 It's sad that the poverty is so great that when they do have money, they don't want to spend it on filtered water, they want to spend it on coke or something that will make them feel full.

A 7 year old boy here also came a few months ago. He had never brushed his teeth. They were all rotten. He was also breastfed until he was almost 7!!
His mom was on drugs, so he was addicted to drugs too, and because of that, always wanted to nurse, so she let him. Breast milk is terrible for teeth, so that, along with not brushing created a disaster.
 Thankfully his new mom and dad take him to the dentist. They don't have the laughing gas here, so they just go straight in with the big needle to numb it, which is incredibly painful.
But, pretty soon his adult teeth will come in, and they'll all be perfect.

Then their is the sweetest baby here. He is 11 months old, but looks about 4-5 months old.
He was found abandoned in a cave, with his hands and feet tied. They found his mom who had mental issues (obviously), and she said she left him there, like that, to rid him of evil spirits.
He was born premature, so she thought he was possessed.
This boy is the sweetest, happiest baby ever. Oh, I love him already. The other 3 girl babies here scream at the top of their lungs non stop, all day long. Not even kidding.
 But not this kid. He just happily plays with whatever he can find, always giving everyone a smile.

Sorry to share these sad stories, but that's life here. Everyday I hear something else that just shocks me and breaks my heart.
I'll try to find happy stories for my next post!