bits and pieces of a holiday weekend

my easter sunday looked like this: 
after watching church streamed online from back home, i made my way next door to the trusty, always open, always tasty, starbucks. i set up camp and made progress on some homework as i feasted (easter dinner-style) on a panini cl√°sico and a java chip frappuccino. i had just skyped with my family and grandma who were finishing up with our traditional easter dinner and egg hunt, and while skyping is normally the highlight of my day, it left me feeling a little lonely and glum on this particular holiday.. more-so than i had anticipated. it forced me to face the reality of a painfully true emotion whose presence i've been ignoring and tossing on the back burner in a feeble attempt to pretend like it doesn't exist: i miss my family. a lot. and knowing they were all together, eating, laughing, carrying on tradition without me was hard to hear and think about, especially when i was alone, eating an over-priced sandwich at a starbucks in a foreign country. on easter to boot! a tear or two may have been shed and an "i wish i were home..." was grumbled (but not in starbucks! this was taken care of and cleaned up before i stepped into the public eye! i wasn't that pathetic!)
and then
shoot, God works in the most mysterious of ways, you know? he has carefully placed some of the greatest people - greater than i ever could have imagined or hoped for - in my life at this time to experience this journey abroad with me. and a couple of those really rad people called me up, "interrupting" my lame attempt at studying and finding company in an empty restaurant, and drug (and by drug i mean mentioned the words "burger king" and "ice cream" i was packed up and on my way in a flash) me to burger king for ice cream, fries, and our weekly "bk session," as they've come to be called. they're the ones where you go in for ice cream and come out three hours later with a head full of new gossip, a goofy, satisfied grin on your face, and a heart exploding with happiness and pure joy, because, yum, you just had ice cream and wow, you have cool friends. it's where we giggle and have heart-to-hearts and get away from it all. this little afternoon outing made me quickly realize that even thousands of miles away from my family, friends, and home, i am always surrounded by people who love and care for me as if they were my family, and i will never truly be alone. ever.
this realization is a comforting one. 
and i'm so grateful for these people.
and for those of you wondering (you weren't, i just want a reason to brag) my family will be here in four weeks! four! eep!

how was your easter? did you follow through on long-lived traditions? or make any new ones? i'd love to hear how you celebrate.

-- rachel

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