Well, we are all moved in and only had three boxes left to unpack so we did what everyone does with the last three miscellaneous boxes and put them in the attic to one day be discovered, maybe right before a garage sale and as is typical we will say "apparently we never really needed this so and so..."
Actually, I just went through those last few boxes and can officially say that as of this very moment we are 100% moved in.
The move back to the natural state was the very end of May ... so ... about four months to get every last box unpacked? Not too shabby. Of course, all of that was made possible from the help of friends and family which in turn was at the top of the list of reasons to return to the land of opportunity.
In the meantime, Eric and my parents have been digging in the yard and it is starting to really shape up. The place was very overgrown and had not seen any yardwork-love in more than 5 years.Sometimes it seems endless, but when I look back at before photos the transformation has been amazing.
Household improvements include replacing all of the bedroom/closet doors from 1970s-apartment-dark-wood-brass-lever-handled to fresh-white-brushed aluminum handled, painting over the bright pink stripes in Eli's room, trellising in under the deck to create an outdoor storage area and lovely place for gardenias, ivy, etc., installing an outdoor ceiling fan to better enjoy the deck, adding a screen door to said deck to better enclose small children, adding a dimmer to the dining room, installing pops of fresh green curtains in the kitchen and of course yard-work.
We are settling in for fall and are turning our focus to Jackson's homework (what is this first-grade common core madness!?), his twice-a-week soccer games and his hip-hop dance class (that's a whole other post!). This year, Jackson's soccer team is the Limes and Eric stepped up to be the coach. Both are learning a lot, doing a great job and enjoying it very much.
We are enjoying Eli's non-stop adorable chatter and how he loves to count: one, two three, seven, eight! Not an evening goes by that Eli doesn't request I read him a book. Not one. It is his second most favorite thing to do; going "outside to play" ranks No. 1.
But the best parts about these days is that when I look around at soccer, hip-hop, dinner - the faces I see are just too good to be true.
Can it really be that I am just casually grocery shopping with my mom? Peaches? Check. Milk? Check. My Mom? What!
Are my kids really walking the dog with my dad after dinner? Pop the baby in the stroller and let's walk over to ... meet up with my dad?!?!
Is this all really happening? Are we all just going to act like this is normal?
Is my best friend just swinging by for a quick, work-week lunch like it's just a plain, old Monday? I still have a hard time not rushing and trying to talk about everything under the sun because I am so used to only seeing these people every few months, at best.
Is this really just an ordinary Tuesday where PawPaw, Mam and Granddad are here to see Jackson play his first soccer game?
Did Pop and Dearie just drop off a tiller for Eric to prep the yard? Also, how sad is it that we are excited to have a tiller?
Seriously. Is this our "every day"? No way! For real?
Our friends and family always made a big effort to travel to see everyone as much as possible. It's not like we were all countries away from each other, but even a five-hour drive makes a big difference in your day to day. Now that we are all so close, it is hard to believe this is our new normal.
This must be how those other people lived. Those people I would see at school festivals, Christmas shopping, soccer games, doctor appointments who had miscellaneous family members sharing meals, cheering on, helping out - doing that whole "takes a village" thing. We'd always see those people who had most of their family close and feel a twinge - missing our extendeds.
So, this is what it's like.
Well, let me tell you, it is the best.
So much to enjoy, so many to enjoy it with.
So glad to be in the wonder state.