Happy Friday, friends! As of yesterday afternoon, the kids and I are officially back in Washington state after a beautiful week spent with family back East in New Hampshire. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sad. We needed that time visiting family, spending days in the White Mountains, and decompressing – both mentally and physically. Since COVID and quarantine hit the fan in early March, we’ve been sort of go-go-go as a family (as many people probably have been), and we haven’t really had the time to breathe. Even now, Ryan’s still TDY, so the trip was bittersweet in and of itself. And yet, it was also much-needed, and I feel like I’m on a slightly more stable footing being back here. Even saying “until next time, New Hampshire,” though sad, felt okay…almost like it was just what we needed to pick back up and do what needs to be done here.
The kids and I were jet-lagged and sleep-deprived to the nth degree yesterday. We got up around 3:30 AM EST to get to Boston Logan airport, and we flew at 7 AM. We traveled back in time (a concept that blows the kids’ minds), and arrived back at 10 AM, and we were all dragging. Porter and Mieke both caved and napped. Spencer powered through. We’re back though, and we’re eagerly anticipating Ryan’s homecoming from his TDY pretty soon. So, in the meantime, I’m going share some of our favorite family moments from our time in New Hampshire for today’s Friday five.
1 // Precious Time with Family
Mieke was four months old the last time she saw Opa in person. My mom managed to visit quickly in February before her first knee replacement, but then we were all locked down across the country because of COVID. Any plans we’d had to visit this spring went out the window, and we relied heavily on technology to stay connected. Seeing the kids interact with my parents in person, as well as being able to hug my parents was just priceless. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Technology is such a blessing when it comes to staying connected because, even Mieke who’s rarely seen her grandparents, never missed a beat in soaking up that time together. And, I finally got to meet my baby nephew, Rhett, and he’s delicious!
2 // Precious Memories in Special Places
I wrote about it a little last week, but we were able to spend a day in Maine at the little summer place we grew up visiting. I haven’t felt that relaxed or free in a long time, and being able to make new memories in this special, beautiful place was just such an incomparable blessing. Plus, I don’t think my children were out of the water for more than 15 minutes at a time that day, so I’ll call that a win-win.
3 // Spending Time with Our Army Family
When we lived in Black River, Emily and Colby lived across the street from us with their daughter, Lindsey. Leaving them and saying “farewell” when we left Fort Drum for Fort Lewis was absolutely one of the hardest parts for us. They’ve remained family to us though, and Emily and I chat almost every day via Marco Polo. Their sweet family is embarking on their first OCONUS move to Germany, and it just so happened that our time in New Hampshire overlapped – for just a little. My mom, the kids, and I made the trip to visit them and spend a day together, and it was one of the most incredible days we’ve had in so long. These are the people with whom you can just pick up where you left off. And seeing our kids do the same? Priceless.
4 // The Blessing in Not Having a Full-Time Job Yet
Since losing my job in April, I’ve been extremely lucky to be freelancing steadily and continuing my career, albeit in a more flexible capacity. I’ve definitely been pushing for a full-time position though, and not having one yet has been a blow to the ego. BUT. I’m going to consider it a blessing because, honestly, I had more flexibility to just enjoy the time back East without restraints, and I’m so grateful for that in the midst of all the chaos of 2020.
5 // A Landmark Trip to Tide Us Over
We’ve planning to spend the holidays in New Hampshire this year, and we’re so grateful that we had the chance to get home and spend time because that’s still five+ months away. More than that though, this trip back home broke up our time at JBLM, and it gave us a little respite in an otherwise seemingly ultra-long last year here. COVID and JBLM-willing, we should be moving next year, so everything now is special. Because people have asked. No, we don’t have any definitives on where we’re going yet. Yes, we know where we want to go. No, we don’t know exactly when we’ll know. But again, the clock is ticking now as Ryan’s job marketplace begins to open and things starting ramping up. So, cheers to unknown adventures ahead!
Trips back home are always sweet, but this one was extra special for so many reasons. While I’m sad to be back at JBLM, I’m so glad we had the chance to get home when we did. I hope you all had a beautiful week and are gearing up for a fun summer weekend.
Until next time, New Hampshire. You’ve been perfect.