An Entire Year

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Yesterday made one year since we moved into our Washington home and I have so many mixed emotions about that.

When we first found out we were moving back to not only my home state, but my favorite state, I was elated. I love being able to come home and raise my children in a similar diversity that I was afforded at their age. But this move came with a lot of unexpected feelings. I found myself missing our familiarity in Texas. I missed Ava's school, I missed how close Justin's office was... I just missed so much of what we had. Ironically enough, I remember my first few months in Texas were filled with dread and being completely homesick. The last three years have truly reassured me that the notion, "home is where the heart is" rings completely true. As long as my family is together, we are always okay. So the location truly doesn't matter, home is just the cherry on top. I learned a lot this year, even after five cross country military moves.

I learned that just because pictures haven't truly failed you in the past, doesn't mean you should sign a lease without someone seeing the house first. We have adapted to our home now, but when we moved in, it was not move in ready. I learned that no matter what school Ava goes to, she will not fail or fall behind. The bridge between parenting, working with her teachers, and constantly making sure the materials are available -- it makes all the difference. We have the biggest helping hand in making sure our child succeeds. That is such a huge relief for me. I learned that rural areas truly hold a special place in my heart and I enjoy the still of a foggy morning and the careful gallops of horses nearby. I have learned that a longer commute to work is not Justin's jam, but he does it so that our family can be comfortable otherwise. 

We have also been blessed with so much extended family time and exploration since we've been back in Washington. We drove out to camp and got a little taste of what that's like. The kids got their first speed boat ride, made smores along side our cousins, and they got to enjoy family in some of the same ways I did when I was their age. We've taken trips out to Mt. Rainier, both snow covered throughout and not. Hiking Paradise had been on my bucket list for quite some time. We've had joint birthday celebrations, dinners, and I finally learned how to play poker (just recently, sort of). We've been close enough to drive down the coast of California to celebrate my baby cousin at his grad party. Family has been the theme of the year and you can never go wrong with that. That's a given. 

With each passing day, where we are now, it feels normal. It also feels really good. Ava loves her school, she loves our home, and she smiles so big... it radiates. Olivia learned how to swim in this house, she'll attend preschool in this home, and this is the house she first learned to ride her bike in. Liam crawled in our home, he learned to walk in this home, and he dribbled his first basketball here, too. Justin and I adapted to having a living space on a different floor than that of the kids... wouldn't you know we actually love it?! I'm thankful things feel normal now. I'm thankful that I don't long for what I had in Texas any longer. 365 days can bring about so much clarity and time to adjust. 

I can hardly wait to see what the next year will bring our family. 

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