My heart is so conflicted.
Sunday morning we started our day with a Skype call to a pair of our fellow Becker siblings and their two gorgeous girls. Seeing them made me miss them- made me miss living near family. It makes my heart ache. When I saw how my nieces were growing up so quickly and I realized that I had never even met the youngest in person I thought to myself, for the 1 billionth time, "This is not how it's supposed to be." Add to that the fact that they had the fireplace going and were drinking Yuengling- a brew that began in Pennsylvania- and my heart hurt by the time we hung up.
And I started chanting my mantra that has been on repeat for the past two weeks "Seven and a half months. Seven and a half months. Seven and a half months. You can do this."
But then I made myself stop for a minute the way I do every time I start up the familiar chant and let my brain follow the reality. Here's what that means: yes, in 7.5 months we will be headed to Virginia and the things that life there has to offer make it hard for me to breathe, I get so giddy. But Hawaii is where Jerr and I really got to be married. During our years in Cali, he was deployed or away for training for over half of our time there. HAWAII is where we got to really be. married. Hawaii is where we became a family- where we met not one but two precious boys who have rocked our world for the better. Hawaii is where I have some of the best, highest quality friends I have ever had- and more of those treasured friends in one spot than ever before! Hawaii is where I've learned some really hard lessons about myself. And I won't be leaving the same person I arrived.
And whether I think I like it or not, I am willing to bet I've become more accustomed to this constant warm weather than I expect. And sometimes... in the quiet corners of my mind... I wonder in whispers if I'll like winter as much as I used to. I recognize that my life will include new challenges- like having to dress kids in layers before taking them outside, buying wardrobes for the changing seasons even if they haven't outgrown them yet...and how DOES one wash a very large bulldog when it's cold outside?? It sure won't be with a hose, towel, and bottle of soap in the front yard like it is every weekend now.
And I thought about the things I love about it.....
The outdoor shopping.
The way it holds a special part of our nation's history.
The natural, stop-you-in-your-tracks beauty.
The weather that always puts a smile on my face.
And as I realized that both places are special to my heart, I told myself to slow down.
Seven and a half months left to enjoy the place that gave me family, shaped me into who I am, taught me more about God, and gave me so many blessings isn't a place I should wish away. All, of course, with the promise to try to fully appreciate each step of the next chapter as it comes. Because living closer to family and friends, enjoying four seasons, and getting to buy a house as we settle into the first place we've actually chosen to live deserves an excited heart.
One day at a time.
One step at a time.
One husband kiss, one chocolate-smeared toddler grin, and one baby snuggle at a time.
What a precious life I have. xoxo