Thursday, August 25, 2011

two posts in one day: must be guilt

To counter my not quite ready to die post of this afternoon, I offer a quick list of Summer 2011 Good Things:

1. Did not have to give up my iced mochas, but did perfect making my own iced latte using a stovetop espresso maker. Thanks Mom for showing me how.
2. Running early. OUTSIDE.
3. Villa Pizza, High Rock Cafe, and Emy J's.
4. Siblings. Siblings everywhere! And nieces and nephews. It is neat to see us older three with little ones of our own.
5. Catching up with friends. It's nice to have relationships that pick up where left off, fill in gaps quickly and just enjoy the present.
6. Justin biked. OUTSIDE.
7. Fast internet. Given what awaits us in Kuwait, I am tempted to go nuts on iTunes.
8. You go to a grocery store and it's there. It doesn't matter what it is. It is there. That is very American.
9. Eavesdropping.
10. Rain. Thunderstorms. I ran in rain and there is not much that I find more cleansing. I get very metaphorical when I run in rain.
11. Magazines and libraries and bookstores.
12. Free babysitting. Which gives me time to:
13. Write and read.
14. Dryers. We line dry in Kuwait. There have been a couple of times when we used a dryer just because we could. Warm sweatshirts, ahhh.
15. Driving. We enjoy being on the road and there isn't much road in Kuwait that is actually enjoyable so it's been fun to drive. Really. Except when someone (or two) are screaming in the backseat.
16. Thinking returning to the States wouldn't be that bad. We aren't planning it for anytime soon, but it was nice to realize that the States are okay. We could live here.  I could get used to number 8.
17. It didn't snow.
18. Hills.
19. Watching my Dad and my father-in-law be grandpas. Both are great.
20. Enjoying other people cooking for me. We've had some wonderful meals. It's been nice to be spoiled like that.
21. Justin and I have enjoyed a few dates. I keep wanting to call our dates "escapes." We get a chance to talk about what may come next and what we're in the middle of now, and to be together alone. Together alone. That's good for a couple. We've also had a growing time as a family. I think we're settling in to this Mama Papa thing.
22. Walking and biking with the little ones.
23. Big thoughts and little thank yous.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

summer home coming to a close

If I posted weekly you'd get a sense of the fun we have had all summer. But since it's the end of the adventure, I keep thinking of my brother Nate and what he said shortly after I arrived to Wisconsin with the kids. He and his family had been in the States for a bit and were gearing up for their last week or two. He said, "I am tired of traveling. I would rather be dead." He is back in Korea now, so he made it.

But I get the sentiment. The thought of going one more place makes me itch. I tallied all of our places this summer has taken us: seven. We have slept in seven different places. And switches? The back and forth? Eleven times. We have moved from here to there to there to here to there there there eleven times. Eleven times to set up beds for Claire and Grant and to see if we remembered the toothpaste. Now let me say that each of our hosts has been lovely. Really. We've enjoyed our visits.

But at one point my mother-in-law answered a question about lunch or what to do this afternoon with, "It doesn't matter. We're on vacation." She was on vacation. Me? Oh, this is not vacation. This is a diversion. It is fun. It even manages to be restful at times. But it is not a vacation. A vacation will be when everyone poops on the toilet and carries their own backpack. Perhaps it has something to do with the length of time allotted: a vacation ends after one or two weeks and then the novelty of someone else's bed dishes bathroom wears off.

So, yes, I miss Kuwait. And, yes, I know it will be hot when we get there. And I know I will hate the traffic. That's been one of the nicest parts of summer: such easy, mindless driving. Another nice part has been ther running. The green green world here. The moderate summer temperatures. Seeing family and friends. Watching my kids grow in a month. It's been a good summer.

Justin and I have been thinking about next summer. Yeah. I know. We should just stop. I think we want to talk about it while this summer is fresh. We are at the dragging end of it. We don't have a clue. Here is where I try to think of something more upbeat than, "I am tired of traveling. I would rather be dead." I wouldn't rather be dead. I would rather be home though. A few more days and we'll be there. And after a few more weeks, we won't recall the burdens of suitcases and we'll talk about next summer and say that this summer wasn't so bad. We all had a lot of fun, you know. And that's true. We have had a lot of fun.