There's something so surreal about being back in your own space after more than two weeks away from home. Everything is familiar, but not. When we touched down at the airport yesterday evening, I was surprised by how much I missed California. Maybe not California exactly, but certainly the life my husband and I have created here. Our cozy space, our routine, our regular visits to favorite places.
I am so grateful Eisley and I had the luxury of such a long vacation with family. We were intending to keep the trip short, since Jay had to return to work after only a handful of days. But when we planned the getaway, I asked my parents if Eisley and I could stay behind for an extra week. When they said, "Why not two weeks?" I was all in. Because there was no pressing need for me to get home right away (aside from vacuuming, grocery shopping, flower watering, and husband snuggling), extending the trip was an easy choice.
Seventeen days in the beautiful Pacific Northwest? Yes, please.
We were able to fit in so much, too. Eisley met many of Jay's family members for the first time, and three of her great-grandparents on my side. We spent the Fourth of July watching a local parade, attending a lovely reunion of sorts with my husband's family, and running around in the one evening of rain we were given during the entire trip. (The rest of the time it was blazing hot, with temperatures even higher than at home!) We spent time with both my family and Jay's, which makes me so grateful for the short distance between the two at this point in life.
There were many things we intended to do during the trip, but sometimes the unplanned events outweigh the planned, and they end up being just as wonderful. An evening out with my mother-in-law and a couple sisters-in-law…soaking up the sun in my parent's back yard…helping a sister move into her new place—happily surviving a power outage by eating pizza, drinking wine and watching Clueless on her iPhone…laughter, drama, homemade meals, late-night reruns of Friends, wrangling a whole herd of cousins, losing a treasured heirloom (but then gaining an envelope of beautiful old black-and-white photographs), revisiting places from my childhood, discovering new places that will be a part of my daughter's childhood.
I always breathe a huge sigh of relief when I get home (especially once I'm able to clean the duplex and unpack our suitcases). But a part of me will always be left behind in the place I love, with the people I love. Every time I'm in Washington, it only reaffirms my belief that it is where I belong. It is where so many of—in Eisley's words—"my people" are. I love our lives here, but I will always hope and pray that some day we will have the opportunity to go back to where both my husband and I began.
In any case, the past few weeks have been quite wonderful, and as I get back into the normal routine of life I have a renewed appreciation for everything—both near and far. It makes me eager to discover what the second half of this fast-flying year will hold.