We've been "home home" for almost a week now and are starting to settle in to some old routines. It's rather nice and I could get used to it. It feels like I've never left and I think that's going to make leaving even harder at some point.
I've been to Target, to Toys R Us, the grocery store, even the liquor store... it all makes it feel even more like home. Only right now it's not. We're in limbo. We're not settled into our house, we're moving out of it for the time being. Our furniture is in the garage, at least most of it and all our worldly possessions are in boxes either in the garage, attic or basement waiting to be moved. I feel as though a lot of the time here has been spent prepping for the moving, actually moving things or really just thinking about the move.
I met our new renters the other day and they are beyond lovely - I like them a lot. So much so that we spent 3 1/2 hours just chatting away about life in Europe, transitioning back to the US, the kids, the house and life in general. I think they are going to be a great fit for our house and our neighborhood - now if I could just make our stuff magically appear in our POD, life would be good, right?
The great thing about staying in my neighborhood though is that while I'm constantly thinking about the move, I'm not overscheduling us with things to do. This trip we are very much going with the flow and seeing as many people as we can but not making appointments necessarily to see them - we're letting a lot happen spontaneously which is taking some of the chaos out of our lives and makes our trip that much more enjoyable. Things like ice cream dinner at the Ice Cream Machine or chinese food (tonight...so excited!) with our friends and spontaneous playdates are the fun things that have been sorely missed over the last year and a half.
We've been spending a lot of time with family as well. My mom and dad have been a huge help in getting the house ready for us to come back and also watching the kids so that I can pack things up. Both boys have spent a few nights with Josh's parents (Liam leaves today for his time) for some one on one time with them as well.
Liam has been the most interesting to watch this vacation so far and has shown me how much in limbo we are between our two lives - our US life and our European life. He doesn't remember where things are, including our house. We were visiting friends in the neighborhood the other night and on the way back he asked me where we lived. It kind of broke my heart a bit that he didn't know. He asks me things like "what's that noise?" to which I reply "those are birds Liam". But he's also excited by the time here and told me that he'd like to live here again. He was especially excited by Toys R Us and the HUGE selection of toys they have - he was beyond excited at that trip and has talked about it for the last several days.
It's still strange and surreal to be back, especially in our house. Most days it feels like we never left. Conversations pick up where we left off, routines continue on like putting out the trash on Thursday night and I continue to move our stuff out of the house. We were living like this before we moved as we waited for the container to come to bring some of our things to Spain. So I guess I should be used to it by now. But I look forward to the day where we are in one location for a long time again and can settle back in and not just for vacation. I miss our friends in Spain and of course, I miss Josh who is there working (sorry you can't be with us!) and so now I'm torn between two worlds that I love but love differently for different reasons. We're going to make the best of our time here over the next week and a half that we have left since we know it will be a while til we'll be back again. But it gives me peace of mind knowing that when we come back for good there will be change certainly, but that the friendships and relationships remain the same.