home again

Matt, Miranda, and I returned home last night from our trip to Wisconsin. I think it’s actually a lot harder for us to transition back into time at home than it is to enjoy our time away. When we leave to go somewhere, there’s excitement and adrenaline, coupled with thoughtfulness about what our time away will look like and what we should bring. When we return home, though, there’s an expectation that we’re going to take care of all of our normal tasks, plus all that we’ve fallen behind on while we were away…plus there’s no food in the refrigerator (well, no good food – there may or may not have been some leftover Thai take-out, moldy cheese, and milk that expired two weeks ago waiting for us in our refrigerator when we arrived home last night), there are what feels like a million bags to unpack (including bags of new Christmas presents now needing to find places on the shelves), and our toddler is not her normal, joyful self after 10 days of being out of her routines and taking significantly shorter-than-usual naps. Last night we felt exhausted and discouraged.

Today, though, has been a good day 🙂 Miranda and I tackled grocery shopping this morning, and while we were away, Matt put together Miranda’s big Christmas present – a joint gift from my dad and Matt and me – an adorable kitchen set. She was absolutely thrilled – and I think a little overwhelmed. The combination of the new kitchen set + the aforementioned lack of normal naps recently resulted in our toddler dissolving into tears in her high chair and confirming that yes, she did want to go to sleep instead of having lunch. That was definitely the low point of the day, but things got better for all of us after that 🙂

Miranda took a pretty good nap, which also meant that I was able to put in some good work time, which I appreciated, as I’m rather behind on hours because of Christmas and all of our traveling. And then, as Matt and I were discussing where exactly to put Miranda’s new kitchen set, we decided our living room might benefit from a total rearrangement….and once we had that complete realized our dining room also had much potential to be improved. We successfully rearranged both rooms with our toddler underfoot, which was quite an undertaking. She generally wanted to be exactly in our paths…except when I was vacuuming, in which case she ran to Matt as quickly as possible. We are thrilled with the results, though – we feel like we have much more space now! No pictures are available yet – you know how sometimes you rearrange a room and know that it has a million times more potential than your old set-up, but in the process of rearranging, you tore everything apart and have not quite managed to get it all back to a presentable level yet? Well, that’s where we’re at. Plus, you’ll note that nowhere in today’s list of activities thus far have I mentioned unpacking…there’s still quite a bit of that to be done, so no room in our house is really photo-worthy at the moment! Maybe in a few days 🙂

Speaking of photos, though, if you’ve been to my house in the last few months, you’ll know that I’ve had multiple empty frames hanging on a wall in my living room. I knew I wanted to hang up new photos, but I kept putting off ordering prints, because I wasn’t sure how many frames I had or where I wanted to put them, and I was putting off hanging up the frames, because I didn’t have the right pictures in them. Finally I decided to figure out where the frames should go, then order pictures once I had the frames ready…but it took me about 3 months to get from step one to step two. Oops. Before we left for Wisconsin, though, I ordered some photos, and now every frame on the wall in my living room is filled with a photo – yay! It’s little things like that that feel like huge accomplishments to me – particularly as we’re approaching the date when we can begin our adoption homestudy, so I now measure my home against my idea of what a social worker’s standard might be! I kind of thing picture frames full of pictures of our friends and family might make a more favorable impression than empty frames just hanging on the wall 🙂

This evening we also enjoyed smoothies and dinner together as a family and watched an episode of StarTrek TNG. Miranda and I are in agreement that Data is by far the coolest character – throughout the episode, she’d look up and say, “Data coming! Data coming!” Here’s a photo of Miranda and me snuggled on the couch, at least, in my otherwise photo-empty post 🙂

Tonight Matt went out to see a former student who is in town for a visit, and Miranda went to bed, and I was able to do my Bible study, get caught up on the day’s dishes, catch up on a bit of online adoption reading, and work for a little bit more time – phew! It’s been a very full day, but ultimately, I feel so much better when I’m able to have a day that is both productive and full of good times with my family. Here’s hoping tomorrow can be another day like that 🙂

And now I’m off to get ready for bed and do some more adoption reading. I have a lot of adoption-related thoughts swirling around in my head right now – perhaps I’ll share some of them next time I write 🙂

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