Us walking a mile to the terminal at Boston International...yes, yes we did this.

Us walking a mile to the terminal at Boston International…yes, yes we did this.

Well, we had quite the time in Portland, Oregon this past couple of weeks!  It was a non-stop ride of visiting and talking and eating and busing around children to see all of our long-lost family and friends!  It was good to be back but we just didn’t have enough time.  I didn’t get to see two-thirds of the people I’d hoped to nor did I get to have much time with my sister, but there was just too much to do.  I left more tired than when we arrived and praying we survive the trip home.  I guess it was just too much to ask to reconnect with everything in just 12 days.  BUT the boys had a blast with grandparents and cousins.  It’s always the hardest to see them with their cousins and then have to leave again…

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My sister’s son, Cooper reading to Dub during his milk time :) Precious!

Coming back from Portland has revealed much about our family.  Example: 6 hours on a plane with an 11 month old is ridiculous.  Absolute insanity.  I was inches from needing a straight jacket and a padded room.  Screaming, yelling, food throwing, coffee spilling, changing diapers, kicking, dancing, walking up and down the aisle…I’m pretty sure Dub tried to run away from us.  And if he could have spoken English out of those loud vocal chords, he would have been yelling, “help!”.  It was so bad on the flight out, the flight attendant came over to help us. She held Dub for about 40 mins.  Humbling.  I think we’ll pay for someone to take him next time we fly…

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He was a little happy after we got off the flying torture chamber.

We also learned that we like things quiet.  Ha!  I mean, we really like just being together.  In my very first post I write about how “This is Just Us.” and when writing that I really didn’t understand how much it would be Just Us.  We are alone!  But more than that, I didn’t realize how much I would truly come to love Just Us.  Moving out here to The Woods, we were basically forced into a life of solitude, but by coming to Portland and now finally being back home, Tyler and I have realized we have grown to appreciate it.  I was craving familiarity when we arrived in Portland.  Something that made me feel–well–normal, I guess.  I grew up in Portland.  I can drive around town with my eyes closed.  The smell of the air, the kaleidoscope of lush greens everywhere you turn (let me tell you, it is not green out here–not yet at least), family homes and dinners, church and friends…BUT, walking into our colonial home on a hill, with the things we’ve collected over the last 6 and half years, and the sounds of B and Cody running on the hardwood throwing paper airplanes and Dub pushing his toys through the kitchen–that was familiarity.  That is what is normal.

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An interesting lesson to learn.  My family of 5 was not the only thing I had considered as home.  I had a whole life built in Portland.  Lifelong memories and experiences, friends that are incredibly dear to me and a family that is a support system I had relied upon all my life.  That is gone now.  A lot of that was wrapped up in my own identity as well (I’ll probably touch on that more later…).  And rather than feeling like a foreigner in this New England town, we’ve actually found a home.  It’s quite surprising, to be honest.  Oh, we’re coming back to Oregon.  No doubt about that.  But I am just so thankful and blessed to know that Tyler and I, Cody, Bradley and Dub, we all just like being together, and that is what makes our family, this place, familiar.  I know there are a million cliché quotes and sayings that allude to this fact, but in all reality do we really know that?  I guess it was something I needed to know :)

Us at the Ross Farm.

Us at the Ross Farm.

We have made it just over 1/3 of the way through this Year of Training and we are learning much as we go.  Thankfulness and contentment are two biggies for me.  And I’m probably at the height of that in my life right at this moment.  Who knew?  I certainly didn’t expect it.  What a wonderful thing it is!

XOXO

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