hello from maryland

3:11 PM

It's nap time and all is quiet. As I type a family of deer, including two fresh little fawns, are munching on grass in my parent's backyard. There's a lovely breeze in the air today and when standing in the shade you can remember what fall feels like. Miles's weight on the old floorboards creak in that old familiar way and it almost feels like we never left...
It's been a while since I checked in and I'll be honest, the last few weeks have been exhausting, emotional and confusing. We initially planned on giving ourselves a full two weeks to move but unsurprisingly we started missing the kids something awful halfway into the first week and decided to just get out as fast as we could. On the one hand it meant reuniting as a family faster but on the other hand it made the move come too fast. I feel like my heart and my brain couldn't catch up with what was happening. There's something terribly emotional about leaving the first home you've ever owned, even if it was for a short while. I cried, a lot.
But this past Friday we took the last of the boxes to storage. I cleaned our rooms and vacuumed for the first time since moving in with my parents and it felt like we might actually have a "normal weekend" for the first time in a while. And we have. We saw some homes, visited Kevin's new school and had a nice lazy, family brunch in Bethesda. As I mentioned, some days it feels like we never left. Well except for the fact that we're doing a lot of the same things with verbal kids and without strollers, bottles and diaper bags.
All in all it's been good to be back. It's amazing to watch the kids bonding with my parents, already they are picking up Russian words (Teddy more than Birdie, he seems to have an aptitude for languages) and spend the majority of the afternoon watching the front door for "babushka and dedushka" to come home from work. It hasn't been easy raising our two without any help for the last three years. Teddy was a sick and difficult baby and sometimes I look back on those first fews months with bewilderment as to how I survived. I never had anyone I could call on, never got any breaks or help and I'll be honest - some weeks it almost broke me. So to know that we now have a whole host of people we could call on in case of an emergency is incredibly comforting and something I'll never take for granted.
Our parents have graciously offered us their home while we search for our "forever house," as Birdie refers to it. It took us nine months from the day we started looking to the day we closed to purchase our last home and so we are in no rush. Especially since this will be the place we call home for quite some time. So we're taking things slow and embracing this unique opportunity to be together. We feel so blessed and so nurtured being back with the ones we love. For all the comfort and enjoyment that came from our home in Georgia the fact that we all missed our family so badly could not be overlooked. So here we are, back where it all began and it is both exciting and daunting to be creating a new life for our family here.
The other day we passed a Starbucks and I told the kids that this was where "mummy and daddy first fell in love" and a knot formed in my throat. Every park, neighborhood and building brings back memories and sometimes the weight of all that nostalgia is intoxicating. It's been interesting to spent the last three or so years in a place that gives you no reference point, that is a blank slate so to speak. I find that back here I'm doing a lot of measuring, a lot of rummaging through my memories to understand who I was, who I am and who I want to be. In a way it's been clarifying to be presented with memories of our younger selves. As has been my time away from social media. I've begun to realize just how much the noise has clouded my judgement and the way I perceive myself and our life. I've been comparing myself to surface level fantasies of life instead of comparing myself to my dreams, goals and hopes that I had set out for myself years ago. In many ways I've failed but in other aspects I have begun to see how I've actually excelled and it's helping to rebuild my confidence in myself.
It's been an interesting few weeks but now that the dust has settled I'm excited about our future and the possibilities that this new school year may bring. But more than anything I'm excited about being re-aligned and reminded of the importance of being intentional with my time and thoughts. Thank you to those of you that chose to stick around and here's to soaking up these precious last few weeks of summer!

*photo is of the view from the window of one of the homes we toured, isn't it perfection?!

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