Thursday, June 21, 2012

NOT on Home Leave Anymore

We arrived at Oakwood last weekend. I'm digging the renovations, especially the washer/dryer unit in my  closet. Coming to Oakwood has been great, it was like coming home, and was the first time I'd felt like I was really in my own space since we left Costa Rica in April.

So far I've worked on unpacking the suitcases we dragged across 17 states. The day after I got a good handle on that, the UAB came. I've been dragging my feet with that, but I hope to get a lot accomplished today (while I keep the kids inside because it's going to be almost 100 degrees with 90% humidity). The worst is the clothing. I feel a need to wash every item, and it's not a small amount.

I'm a stay at home mom to three for the first time, and let me tell's not easy. Luckily we're at Oakwood where they have a playground, and a tennis/basketball court, and a sand volleyball court, and a pool.

Home leave was...well...interesting. I guess I could say that overall it was good. I liked seeing family and friends, and the food was amazing (up 10-ish lbs amazing), but home leave wasn't easy. It's hard to have a family of five sharing a house with a family of four. It's hard to leave the place you call home and realize that you're not going back. It was hard on the kids to leave their friends, school, nanny, and house (Simon had a very hard time with this one). It was an adjustment to John and I to not have a nanny for the kids. We didn't go out as much as we're used to because there was no ease of asking the nanny to work a bit of overtime.

The best part of home leave was our road trip. We started in MN, spent two nights in Chicago seeing the sights and some friends, we spent a night in Cleveland and ate at an Iron Chef's restaurant (which I highly recommend. It's called B Spot and is a Michael Symon burger joint. super tasty), we did a night in Niagara falls and stayed in a hotel with a view of the falls, we did two nights in NYC and saw The Book of Mormon (hil-a-ri-ous) as well as doing a bus tour with the kids, and I caught up with a friend, we did two nights in Philly and saw the bell, went to the Please Touch Museum, and had Phillly Cheese Steaks, twice. We ended it here in Virginia, at what we're calling home.

After buying the car in Dallas, driving it to MN, and then VA and all the driving where we stayed going to see people and things, we put over 5,000 miles on the car. It was all worth it. Coen might not agree though - he's not a huge fan of road tripping.

The pictures from Home Leave are still on the card, but maybe after I finish unpacking the UAB I'll be able to work on those. We have some great pictures to share.

A month from now we'll have wheels up and we'll begin our journey in The Philippines. I can't wait to be settled in a place for a little while. The prospect of new work, new friends, a new house, and all the other great benefits of getting to post are all exciting.