Monday, January 5, 2015


We picked up a few souvenirs on our Christmas vacation this year: me, a nasty cough and a head full of congestion, and my daughter a gastrointestinal bug that has her clearing out her system on both ends. While I'm glad that neither of us has (yet) shared germs enough to swap bugs, it is safe to say we have our flu bases covered. Curtis, meanwhile the typical beacon of health, assures me that it is likely all viral and will pass soon enough.

I hope soon enough means tomorrow, because at ten (for me) and seven (for her) days, my hands are so dried out from the ubiquitous washing that they are cracked and scaly.

Apart from the germs we picked up in the midst of our travels, the nine days we spent with family were glorious. There was oh-so-much eating--which I enjoyed thoroughly having recently passed my requisite welcome-to-third-trimester glucose tolerance test. There was a sleigh ride under the early evening moon, and a snow cave constructed to start the new year. There was a lot of present opening and picture taking and story telling and game playing. I milked my sick and pregnant state for all the naps it was worth. We went on walks, and enjoyed the beauty of days that were slow and without a schedule, which our toddler translated to mean that getting up at 6am for a week was perfectly acceptable. We read books and caught up with details that only come out when you have days together, no television and nothing you would rather be doing. 

At the end of a trip, as sad as it is to go, there is something satisfying in returning to routine: the familiar morning with just me and my little girl: eating breakfast, getting ready, going out for whatever tasks we have that morning. As we pulled up to the toddler play time this morning, she recognized the parking lot and excitedly asked about playing with the balls, pulling her shoes off as soon as we got inside to jump in the bouncy house, and eventually transitioning with familiarity to the coloring table. I chatted with friends who were also there with their little ones, and we discussed the events going on in town this week and when we will see each other next. We caught up on pregnancy progressions, and plans for track season and post-holiday cleaning house. Later back home eating lunch, I texted my husband the basketball schedule for the tournament in town this weekend, and we talked about how well his work schedule matches up with the games.

These are the moments that make up day-to-day living: the real, non-vacation life we lead. I love going home; I love my family. I love that when I am with our people I can back off and relax a bit more, knowing that my daughter is entertained and loved by so many people far beyond what she needs and more than some people may ever experience. And I love that I have lived where we are long enough that I have people here too--who know me, and share in my life, and love my daughter as we exist in the everyday tasks that get set aside on vacation.

I am so thankful for both. 

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