I’ve never been so happy to be back home. Nor as exhausted.
We got to spend two weeks home in Oregon for Christmas and New Years this year. Since we’re leaving for the next 3-6+ years, we wanted to do more than the three or four day trips the last couple of years have had.
I felt, more than any other time in my life, so thankful for my family and nostalgic visiting the place I grew up in. I’ve never quite appreciated the Pacific Northwest until not living there. Virginia feels like home for the time being, but only because I know it’s temporary.
Being “home” is such a relative term for me now. Home will always be where my family is and where I was raised. But “home” is also becoming anywhere Nic, Thom, and I rest our heads. It’s a strange feeling.
I caught myself many times just soaking in the moment. Walking the balcony outside my grandparents’ house at Teckelwood (another “home” of mine), I let visions wash over me. I sat with my giant family/extended family around the living room on Christmas Eve, singing carols to the sky, and let the memories seep into my skin as they were being made. I got to connect and reconnect with family I haven’t had a chance to, recently or ever. Visiting old hangouts, restaurants, and friends, I reminisced and re-lived familiar times over. I felt very sappy and sentimental.
It meant so much for my Oma and Grandad to meet Baby Thom. I couldn’t hold back the tears when I saw them for the first time and joined together two completely different generations. Watching them interact are moments I will always remember and cherish.
My family (extended included) is comprised of some of the warmest and most genuine people I know. I’m so very blessed to be related to such kind souls.
I don’t know how long we will be out of the country and I can’t explain how excited I am for this next chapter in our lives. But I will say it was bittersweet saying goodbye to my siblings since the future is so unsure and I don’t know when it’ll work out to see them again.
It was already a full trip, but we were surprised by a couple of bonus days in Oregon since there were blizzards here on the East Coast, so we flew back on the red-eye flight after suffering through extra time with family 😉
Things didn’t go as smoothly as the way there with the baby. I was already bitter about coming back to Virginia, so it was a bonus when we were welcomed back on our second flight by the plane not having any cold air. We sat in the 90+ degree heat, soaking in sweat, after already being bumped from Economy Plus seats with extra leg room to squeezing into one of the last rows of the flight.
“We’ll laugh about this later,” Nic said. Unfortunately, I was in no mood to be optimistic.
We sat in the stinky, moist air for an extra 30 minutes after we landed and ended up having to take the stairs out of the plane since there were issues with the jet bridge due to the frigid temperature outside. Thom had lost his patience long before we had to wait another half hour for our bags and couldn’t find our way to the stupid parking garage.
Needless to say, any “home” I had was sounding pretty good right about then.
Our belongings are already on their way to Germany, so we arrived back to an empty house. We’re making the most of this bachelor lifestyle before we leave – sleeping on the floor, eating from paper plates, etc. The next few months are going to be packed with other adventures and I’m sure this is only the beginning.
Here’s to finding our new “home” in Europe soon!