On Saturday night, Eisley and I arrived home after a two-week vacation to Washington State. It was a little surreal coming home after being away for that long—I can't even remember the last time I was away for more than a week. And I don't think I've ever been away from my husband for that long.
It may sound odd, but I didn't even feel homesick until the very end of my trip (at which point Eisley seemed to have reached her wit's end and was ready to be back home). I missed Jay, of course, but I didn't feel that usual ache of wanting to back to my familiar surroundings and routine. Even though I didn't grow up in the house my parents now live in, or even the city, it still felt so right. It felt like home. Although I've been here in Southern California for nearly a decade, this trip only further convinced me my heart will always be in the Northwest.
How else could I step off a plane, breathe in the fresh air, take in the gorgeous scenery, and feel so much more like myself than I ever do here?
It's hard to explain, and I know that some will read this and view me as someone who is never completely content or happy with what she has—but that's not it at all. I just…know where I belong. And I hope that someday our little family can be there.
As for the trip itself, it was pretty fantastic. I spent the first week with one of my younger sisters, who has a daughter that is only 10 months older than Eisley. I haven't had that much one-on-one time with this sister since I was, oh, a teenager. So, the week we were able to spend together was equal parts nostalgia and bliss. By the end of the week, both our daughters were bickering like siblings, but still. It was worth every meltdown.
The second week held meet-ups with my (greatest ever) in-laws, and an entire week with my two youngest sisters and my parents. I had one-on-one time with each sister, which meant so much to me.
I saw two movies in the span of one week (a feat, truly), sat in the sun almost daily (hello, there, tan lines and knee-freckles), laughed until I cried, cried until I laughed, ate way too much food.
I introduced one of my sisters to the joys of couponing, the perfect toddler snack of frozen bananas and blueberries, and the true wonder of BB cream. She, in turn, helped me discover the deliciousness of microwaved sweet potatoes, sat by my side during a week-long Walking Dead marathon, and helped me survive many-an-early-morning with her fancy Keurig coffee machine.
Eisley was absolutely amazing the entire time (typical toddler fits aside)—from sleeping in a new place, to the plane rides there and back (Jet Blue's "Even More Space" upgrade is TOTALLY WORTH IT), to afternoon naps, to surviving two daddy-free weeks. All of it. I'm so proud of how well she did, and this little (big) vacation helped my confidence grow in a million ways.
The trip was both relaxing and very busy, but it was exactly what I needed. There are so many things we did during our time there that I hardly have time to write about them all. Just know it was the best.
I was close to ugly crying when I had to say goodbye to my parents at the end of the trip, but there's something about being a mom that makes you able to pull it together when you absolutely have to. And when you realize you are the sole caregiver of two carry-ons, a huge rolling suitcase, and a toddler at Sea-Tac airport, it is definitely one of those times.
I'm pretty sure the only downside of the trip was the fact that I had to experience it without Jay. (Of course, the seven mosquito bites I have on my right arm are probably close second. I mean, for the love.)