Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What was, what is, and what is to come

I'm ready to just skip over autumn and head to Christmas. Maybe it's the comfort and familiarity that comes with Christmas tradition. Maybe it's the feeling of coziness and an excuse to not go anywhere during those cold days. Maybe it's the desserts (confession: I love fruitcake) and mulled wine. Probably it's the mulled wine.

But it's August, school hasn't even started yet, and I need to pull it together. It's been a little over a month since we left Colorado and I'm still processing what has happened and where I am. I've been sick the last couple of days, which has slowed me down and encouraged some reflection (and boredom - please kiddos, no more pretend games. I love you, but please no more.) Obviously, a lot happened this month, so I'm just going to throw down some random thoughts. I'm too scattered to fit them into a narrative, so bullet points will have to suffice.

What Was...
  • Driving from CO to MD was fantastic. The kids did very well and we enjoyed seeing various sights and just being together.
  • There is a Tim Hortons in Ohio. This made my Dad's day.
  • This summer has seen Anna become very comfortable in water. So much so that she jumped into the deep end of a hotel pool without (a) knowing how to swim, (b) her life vest, (c) someone to catch her. A lack of heating in that pool also contributed to the overall negativity of the event.
  • As expected, Kansas is very big and very flat. But it also had some of the most interesting sites (e.g., The Sternberg Museum which is super cool).
  • Biggest road trip regret: We did not stop at the Russell Stover chocolate factory.
  • Midwest churches seem to have a penchant for erecting extremely large crosses. These crosses seem to be made by the same company.

  • The St. Louis Arch is spectacular at sunset. Driving away from the arch while viewing fireworks from a just-ended baseball game is highly recommended.

  • I felt like the "Gateway to the West" really was a gateway for us. St. Louis was the midpoint of the trip, and I had a feeling of finality as we drove away.
  • Somewhere in Kansas Jon's "check engine" light came on. Turns out it was nothing, but you can guess the subsequent mood that descended.
  • Have you ever eaten dinner while surrounded by animatronic dinosaurs? You should, in Kansas City, MO.
  • The National Museum of the US Air Force is huge. You could spend days wandering around, and I was thankful to have a large air conditioned space to run my children.
  • We drove through that part of WV jutting northward. I cannot believe how beautiful it was. Took my breath away.
  • Picking peaches and apples is one of my favorite eastern things to do, so I made a point of peach picking during our first weekend in MD. Strangely, the peaches didn't taste any better than store bought. 

  • The base and pedals on Jon's electric piano busted during the move. It is now experiencing phantom-pedal syndrome, stuck on the damper.
What Is....
  • Trees are beautiful, but I miss the sky.
  • I like living in a smaller space - I think we're using each room more efficiently. Granted, about 25% of our belongings are stored in the basement, but it's nice to do more with less.
  • It's hard to clean anything with both kids home all the time.
  • We miss our friends. A lot.
  • I am thankful for central a/c.
  • I cannot overemphasize how difficult and expensive it is to register cars here.
  • Both Jon and I are saddened by the respective lack of pecans and rice cakes at the markets in this part of the world.
  • At least one kid has been ill ever since we arrived. Perhaps viruses are regional.
  • Anna has lost two baby teeth in quick succession. Bravely, she allowed Daddy to remove both. She has a cute lisp now.
  • Jon's commute is longer. We are adjusting.
What is to come....
  • I feel "meh" about Anna's school. I hope it surprises me. 
  • I am sad that the kindergarten is full day. I'm not ready for that. And neither is Isaac.
  • I pray for a good friend for Anna. A friend close in age that can keep up with her imaginative games and is a positive influence. For Isaac, I just pray that he doesn't hit anybody at preschool.
  • Disneyland in November! It will be good to have some family time.
  • I really really want to like it here. Moving is so hard. So I really want to like it here.