Well, I am back. We're back!
It was good to be away and leave the cleaning, cooking, entertaining children, etc. to someone else! (My mom's the best!!) I got two days off. One day I milled around the little town, found a lovely artsy, handmade, inspirational, chic store (totally spoke to me!). I also found a yarn store where I spend several hours feeling the yarn! :D My second day I did a bit of "thrifting" and found some great finds!! (Bread machine, storage unit/shelf thing for the boy, little cute girly purses for the girls, a few crafting tools/kits) That same day, my mother taught me to crochet and this time I got it! Last time I was focused on learning to knit so all the crochet one, one and a half, triple, etc. just didn't stick! I made a scarf in less than four hours. So much faster than knitting!
All in all, our time away was needed and I do feel refreshed! Ready to start Spring Cleaning and getting things in order for "The Big Move" back South!
The kids got to wash dishes, bake oatmeal-raisin cookies and cinnamon buns, make and create with paper and crayons, play softball, hang out with their Uncle Fun, be totally spoiled by their grandmother, attend a cousin's birthday party, listen to several books on tape, Skype (for the first time) with their daddy, stay up late, visit a science museum and zoo, had other people read to them, play at a park, get individual baths each night, visit a local private school to "see" what other children get to do all day (more on that later), and play, play, play! It was a win, win, WIN! :D
Today has been filled with unpacking, checking email, meal planning and starting on my To Do List. I've clean out the "office/storage" room. Got most things out before the folk came to pick up trash and recycling. I am determined to stay ahead of this move. I do not want to take any thing back with us that we don't need!! I've pulled together three bags (so far) of things to take to Goodwill. I'm downsizing our book collections so have two boxes full of books to give away as well. Since I'm starting this early (we aren't planning to actually move until mid-June) I think I'll offer them first on Freecycle and then take them to Goodwill if they're not picked up.
I also am making plans to get together with our family and friends who live nearby. We are definitely getting back down to the DC area to do the National Museums and Zoo. I'd like to see a few things in Philly too. I got to see one of my cousins while I was away. She said, "You always blossom wherever you are." Initially, I was about to contradict her on that statement, but as I thought about it, it's true. Although this time has been tough (emotionally speaking) for me, I've done my best to take advantage of this time and "get out there" and see what we can see; do what we can do! The children are already asking me if we'll be able to go to the creek again and pick apples--all the things you've seen here. Many of the things we will be able to do before doing. But some things we won't. Boy am I glad I got out there and did them.
I'm also in the process of looking for housing and putting things into place for restarting our lives there. I'm so exciting about going 'home.' But with my excitement, I'm also feeling a bit of apprehension. A few of my very dear friends have lost people dear to them during our time away (who were dear to me, too). I will have to really face their grief and loss--the pain I've been able to keep at bay because I'm not in the day to day routine of things. I am also feeling this way about my homeschool group. It has grown by leaps and bounds. Two of my good friends have been leading out in my absence. There are definitely people I know but many more that I do not. Just wondering how being in person will go. (I know, I should worry about that. We'll be fine!) :D
My dh often talks about parting well--coming to the end of things and leaving them in a good place. He's normally speaking about parting ways with regards to a job/employment. We've had too many experiences in which things have ended badly. He believes this is mainly because people aren't taught how to say goodbye well. Things come to an end. We don't have to leave hating one another. Makes sense, right? Well, I've been thinking about this with regards to the friends and family we'll be leaving here. It's important to me to make time to enjoy the fact that we're so close. I'm already dealing with a little bit of a "I-don't-want-you-to-go-but-don't-know-how-to-say-that-so-I'm-going-to-stop- communicating-with-you" attitude. I am not surprised. I understand those feelings. Very well. I am doing what I can to continue to reach out and connect so that this time isn't lost in anticipation of what's to come. The morning we left my mother's house the boy came in her room and said, "I'm not going to marry you!" in the meanest little voice he could muster. I said, "Are you having a hard time saying good bye?" He looked at me with a "how did you know?" look. So we, too, have the opportunity to practice saying goodbye well!
The kids have been re-discovering the house and their things. They've been playing games and reading books. I'm liking that. I made some bread early this morning with the bread machine I found for $5.45 (yeah, it was a find!! had the manual and everything!) The house has smelled wonderful. Now I'm off to find some healthier recipes for some of the things we love to eat!
[DH and I watched Food, Inc and No Impact Man before we left on our trip. We decided then that we would be officially changing how we eat! The children are vegetarians. I am most of the year--then there's Thanksgiving and Christmas. DH isn't at all. Food Inc made me really rethink the whole organic, soy, etc. food that I've been serving the kids. I'm all for local, local, local!! I'm reading more about it and looking for ways to make this change so we won't all be complaining. (weak smile). No, seriously, I've rather excited about this as well. More so because he's open to it in a way he hasn't been.]
I hope that each of you and your family has been well. I'll be catching up with those of you who blog over the next few days. I've missed reading blogs but the time away from the computer has been good. I'm going to do better about this now that I'm home. There are definitely more things I can get done if I'm not sitting here typing or reading or researching albeit for a good cause!
If you don't blog, please leave a comment letting me know how you've been!! Thanks.
Have a great evening!
p.s. If you haven't seen Food, Inc or No Impact Man, I highly recommend them!!