Wednesday, February 3, 2016

saying goodbye

And just like that it was time to say goodbye. Goodbye to friends, guards, pools, parks, food and this new and different life we got to experience for a year. 

We had the Taylors over for one last dinner and game night. We took this photo with the timer on the camera and I am quite impressed with how it turned out, it only took us 2 tries! :) 

They would probably feel uncomfortable to hear it, but the Taylors were definitely one of our favorite things about Singapore. Catherine got me through what would have otherwise been a very lonely year, including some bumps in the road. And we loved game nights with them and babysitting swaps, you name it.

Catherine and Annabelle were leaving for England before we were headed home. So on their last day in Singapore we met up at a park for the morning. It was low key but pretty much perfect. It was like the kids knew, they got along so well! So many pictures of their last few minutes together because I just can't pick favorites, they all make me want to cry! Both of the kids, but Declan especially, will still ask if we can go places with Annabelle. :(

You think Tatum loved Annabelle a little bit? Check out the strength of that hug!
I wish I taken this picture the other way, Annabelle had a hand on both kids' shoulders, like she was getting ready to tell them something really important. Giving them some parting wisdom and advice, no doubt.
Group hug!

We had the Chipmans over for dinner one last time as well. I knew Tatum and Anna had hit it off in the blink of an eye but I didn't fully appreciate it until we came back. Tatum has played with a few other kids her age and I suddenly realize what a unique thing their little friendship was. I have never seen Tatum play so long, laugh so hard, get along so well as she did with Anna. They were kindred spirits, no doubt.
We had to snap a picture of this alphabet and number wall before we took it down. When we first moved to Singapore Tatum and I would do one of these worksheets together during Declan's nap every day and then decorate her wall with it. And we left them up all year. In our very bare apartment any form of decorating was appreciated.
We met Chunchun and his mom and grandparents at a park in our complex the night before we moved out. The kids have enjoyed sending pictures back and forth via text and speak of him often.

A few more pictures of some of favorite things and people in Singapore.

The Tampines splash pad. This one is on the rooftop of a mall one train stop away. It was closed so often I really grew to hate this place. But then when it was open and the kids loved it, all would be forgiven. Well, almost all.
McDonald's. I am pretty sure I ate at McDonald's more often in 2015 than in the rest of my life combined. I would say it was pretty close to weekly that we would stop there with Catherine and Annabelle after some sort of park or swimming outing for a cheap ice cream cone and air conditioning. The kids especially loved this McDonald's with Ronald out front.
Each-a-cup. Delicious, unhealthy smoothies that I crave every time I think about them. And fun friends to share them with.
Another park outing with the three amigos.
Don't mind Tatum's lack of pants. There might have been a bit of an accident.
The kids drew pictures and we made treats for our favorite guard. He always seemed so happy to see and wave to the kids. It didn't take them long to deem him their favorite, and ours too. We wrote him a little note, but I still often think that there is no way he knew what a difference he sometimes made in our day. Coming back from a long, sweaty day to high fives and "hi boy! hi girl!" could really turn our day around.
Nothing really to do with Singapore, but I captured this sweet moment. They were cold after a shower and I heard Tatum ask Declan if he wanted to share her blanket and she would read him a story. Love those moments.
We tried to swim as much as possible in our last few days in Singapore. Man, we miss swimming.

Moving out. Goodbye 13-32.
And building 75.

And just a few hours later, in the wee hours of the morning we were on our first of three planes home. Declan was pretty happy about the doughnut we bought him before we boarded.
2015 was the craziest year of our lives! Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined we would end up in Singapore. I can remember being filled with so much anxiety as we started this adventure a little over a year ago. The first few days were soooo hard and the first few weeks definitely weren't easy. But in no time Singapore felt like home. We hit the ground running and really feel like we took advantage of our time there, both in respects to seeing and experiencing Singapore and in traveling to nearby countries. Before 2015 I had never been out of the United States except a trip to Canada when I was quite young. And in one year I went to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Bali, and Vietnam. Not bad. ;) That being said I was certainly excited to come home. We really looked forward to it. Now that I am back I find myself missing Singapore more than I ever would have guessed. I remember the good much more readily than all the things that drove me crazy. It was a good year for our little family. I don't think any of us have ever grown so much individually or collectively as a family. I will always be grateful we chose to do this. Always.

Thanks for a great year Singapore!

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad to have you back but also so glad it was such a great experience for you! I remember all the conversations we had about whether you were going to go or not it's so nice to look back knowing you made the right decision. Let the iowa party begin and the house hunting end!