Thursday, August 28, 2014

Anticipating Change

The last year has been all about change. Or the possibility of change. Would we sell the house? When? For how much? Would we buy a new house? When? Which house? Where? How much do we want to spend on a house? What does a specific house mean regarding our family values?

And then once we got here, we still feel quite unsettled. Happy but unsettled. It takes TIME. It all does. It takes time to unpack. It takes time to decorate. It takes time to learn the house. And geez, it takes time to make new friends.

But we are doing it!

And all the while, the summer weeks, with their long, unstructured days, are slipping by. Last night at 9:15 I was shocked that the sun had gone down. For me, there is a great sadness that comes with the start of the school year. I both feel extremely excited for the kids and the new opportunities a new year holds and I feel a sense of loss. That they aren't little anymore. That the days of being 'home' are done with for another while. Did we do enough 'fun stuff' this summer? Enough ice cream? Enough time at the park? At the pool? On bikes? Did they grow and learn and laugh? Are they transitioning ok? Are they lonely in this new place?

We attended the new kid orientation which was awesome.  And the kids are excited! It also hit home that we are not the only 'new'  kids. Nope- far from it! There are a ton of new kids to the district.

Soon, in about 6 weeks, we'll be more settled. More will be painted. More will be decorated. A rhythm to our days will develop. And we'll have more friends.

It is just anticipating the start of school and the end of summer that makes a lump develop in my throat. The years of being home are over! Full day kindergarten begins! And third grade too! Our children, ALL of our children, are gifts to us.  These little years, the ones where as parents, we play such a vital role, are slipping behind. I try to breathe, to take it all in. To smile during the spontaneous dance parties, the hugs, the snuggles, the imaginative play.  What a true gift!

And I'm excited for the kids- with their new school supplies- and their energy! I can't wait to meet their teachers tonight during the Open Houses. And I'll take the first day of school pictures like I always do. And I'll wave excitedly, giving thumbs up and smiles as they walk into their new schools. Just like I did last year when Seren started a new school.

But like so many others, I'll definitely be one of the ones driving away. Crying.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Great Question

After I tucked Wyeth in tonight he called me up.
What buddy?
I was just wondering about something. I have a question.
I mean why did it cost so much money to put your wedding dress in a box? It is just a dress, right?
Right. Good question!

(I did explain what it meant to 'preserve' the dress but he has an excellent point!)

Where do they come up with these things? We had not discussed the dress recently at all!

The Inventor

Wyeth loves to invent things. Lots of creations are coming out of his head these days. 'Nap' still lives on at our house. Most days for about 30-60 minutes the kids have to stay in their rooms for quiet time. We do this because we all need it. The kids, due to the ages they are, and the insanity that this summer has brought, tend to bicker and fight. Not all of the time. But enough that by 2 pm, we all need some quiet.

So quiet we get.

Seren reads. She reads a ton of books. She is happiest when she has her guinea pig on her chest and a good book in her hands. She got way into the Harry Potter series this summer. She read them with Sam but not has re-read vol 1, 2, and 3 several times. She speaks in a different language now. Most of it focused on Harry Potter. But she is happy.

Wyeth invents projects. Mostly with tape. And string. During our three weeks when we all stayed with my in-laws, both kids were working on a group project and Wyeth often noted it was a highlight.

Anyway, now we are in our new home and the inventing continues. Today he created a small house out of a used tissue box. "The roof is made out of a tissue. So it is very very fragile. but see? it has a nice deck and great windows."

I asked him to pose in front of the house that he and Seren made for Webby (complete with a slide entrance, door mat, 'welcome sign' and tv antennae), his house today, his rocket blaster that he made and his home made necklace.

Wyeth also just make me laugh with his questions. He continues to be incredibly touchy. He likes to talk while touching the listener. And he 100% believes that his stuffed turtle is real and has feelings. And I love that. And it won't last much longer.  I love that too.

Monday, August 4, 2014

First Impressions

We have moved to Chelsea, MI! A small town about 14 miles from Ann Arbor. And we adore it! I have too much to post about this move. But here are some first impressions of why I love our new area!

1) There are kids in the neighborhood. Lots of them! The trick is to find out when they play outside and go play!

2) I take a commuter bus to work. This makes me insanely happy! After a typical 40-45 minute commute one way for 8 years, to jump on a 20 minute bus that someone else drives? Brilliant! Plus, I get to carry a backpack and meet other commuters from my neighborhood. Score! And since there are only two busses in the morning and two at night, some bus commuters have known eachother for years! On the first day, two women exchanged muffins!

3) I am 1.1 miles away from a farmers market in town. We visited on Saturday. It wasn't booming but it existed! And they had live music and fabulous cookies. And corn! And fresh tomatoes!

4) Everyone is friendly. I can't get over it. It is the expectation to at least wave hello to our neighbors. And at least 5-6 have come by to welcome us to the state and the neighborhood. As two of them said, 'we are very neighborly here. I hope you feel welcome.'

5) I can walk to a co-op from my office. Two blocks away!

6) Chelsea is small but has one of everything. One CVS. One grocery store. I am so used to CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, etc. But really? Do you NEED more than one?

7) My office is so different from my previous office. It is the same company. Same job. Same colleagues.  But instead of working with over 300 in the building, we have 45 here.  The kitchen is like a little home. There are forks, knives, spoons, plates. It just feels like home.

8) I can run to town from my home following little paths. I ran into town last night- 1.3 miles. Cake!

9) I adore our house! The space! The floors! The light! The AC! The closets! Oh, the closets! This is by far the biggest home I've ever lived in. I'm still anxious about how much it may cost to heat and cool it but it is so new compared to our old home. And I just love the light! Not bad for buying it sight unseen!

10) Every Thursday through the summer, Chelsea has 'Sights and Sounds' which brings in local musicians from all over the area. The kids love it and so do we! The kids were mesmerized by a female drumming circle.

It is all so much smaller, more accessible, friendlier and more intentional. I feel 'green' taking the bus as opposed to driving my gas guzzling Buick. My days feel more intentional. I feel like I can make smarter choices with my commute, my meals. It is a new start!

Now if we can just turn those friendly neighbors into new friends, we'd be all set!