So, we have news.   Pretty big news.   It's weird to write it out because it makes it so real.   I don't know that I'm ready for it to be real yet, but I'm already on this roller coaster and there is no stopping it now.   I may be nervous, but in the end, my bet is it will be worth it.  (I hope).

In July of this year, we will be leaving Fiji.    We will be leaving a place that has been so amazingly positive for our family in every way.   Fiji has become a part of our hearts and a major piece of the girls' childhood.   But, this adventure has a time limit and while we could be here and happy for a long time, we could also have an extra adventure.  We can also enrich our lives even further and possibly fall in love with another part of the world.   

In August we will move to Madagascar.    Just writing this makes my heart skip a beat with excitement and my stomach drop with sadness.   Such mixed feelings.   Who know's what's ahead?  I do know that this is a great career move for Warren.  I do know that we have an opportunity to be humbled by another culture and another way of life.    I know that our adventure continues.  I know our family will be stronger for it.  

We've broken the news to our families, the girls, our colleagues, and many friends.   Every time it makes it more real.  The girls are VERY excited.   They want more adventure and seem excited about the possibilities of a new place.  They are used to people around them moving every 2-3 years, so it only seemed natural to them we would do the same.  Andie is mostly focused on decorating her new room.   It's funny what matters most to everyone.  

One reason I'm a little hesitant to share the news with the world is I've seen so many reactions to people leaving.  I even saw it when we left Atlanta.  People either try as hard as they can to spend as much time as possible with you or they withdraw.   They start pushing away before you've even left.  I even have to fight this habit in myself when I know I'm getting ready to say goodbye to a close friend.   There's just a part of me that wants to protect my heart, but the other part that wants to jump in 100% just to get in the time.   As parents, we sometimes want to protect our children when we know their friend is leaving.  I remember telling Andie she should maybe branch out from Lainie so that when she left she wouldn't be so alone.  Andie looked at me as if I was a crazy person and said, "Why would I spend less time with her when she's leaving so soon?  I'll figure it out when she goes."   She was right.   She hasn't found another Lainie, but she's doing just fine and will never regret that time spent with her bestie.  

But, it's very common in the expat world to ask people how long they will be around.  It's like asking, "How much energy do I put into this relationship?"  If the person is leaving soon, people check out.   It's understandable.....but I hate it.   I'm SO impressed with the two women who made me feel most comfortable here when I first arrived, Kristen and Michelle.  Both of them were leaving within months of meeting me, yet they spent so much time helping me feel comfortable.   That will always leave an impression upon me.   

I guess we will see how it goes in the next six months.   For me, I'm going to "lean in" to Fiji as hard as I can.  I am going to get all of the bucket list done.  I'm going to soak it all in and enjoy it!  (Sorry if my blog posts get annoyingly optimistic as I am going to be looking at the bright side!)  I'm going to relish it here while I also move forward with great anticipation  for our next life adventure.