after a week at gma kitty and pop pop’s, zelda spent last week with my parents. her cousin holland came down to spend the week as well, double trouble for grandma marla. but grandma kept them busy with a baseball game, going to a play, butterfly sanctuary, dress up, crafts and visits to the park.
two weeks into her time without us, zelda has gotten a little homesick, but the change of scene on sunday to my sister’s house probably helped, especially with the addition of all the new kids she’s met today at my sister’s in-home daycare and the care package from home that should arrive today. i’ve changed my ticket to be back in the midwest to see my little z again saturday evening. i can’t wait.
that phrase has many meanings after spending the past 2.5 weeks in iowa getting our original home ready to go on the market and then coming back to alaska after a long trip.
first, our iowa home. it didn’t feel like home at first. after being empty for almost a month and needing a little love, it felt like a house. but once it got spruced up, it reminded me so much of the home zach and i had there for a couple of years before moving north to alaska. also once zach and zelda arrived, zelda was so at home there it was easy to imagine her growing up there. she loved the large space, two stair cases, running through the gardens, using the stepping stones, ringing the new doorbell. having uncle austin there to visit and some help from zach’s parents made it feel like it had been in the past. those feelings and with the house looks so good right now, it was tempting to want to stay.
then there was our short trip to my in-laws. there house is truly something to behold. every time i go there its like a calm oasis even if there’s a lot going on. it was a good couple of days spent there. we threw gma kitty a surprise 60th birthday party. filling the courtyard with friends and family was fun. everyone at such ease in a beautiful space. zelda wasn’t shy at their house either. she quickly found games to play on the stairs, enjoyed the wide open spaces to run and made herself at home.
finally, last night i arrived back in alaska. as the plane flew over the chugach mountains headed for anchorage, i was once again awestruck at the beauty of alaska, our adopted home. stepping inside our house it felt strange. it’s not really been lived in much for a little over a week. and this time we’re missing a key element, zelda. she has stayed behind in iowa to enjoy more family time and tick a few items off her summer bucket list – hear crickets, run around in shorts, run through sprinklers and possibly see fireflies. as i unpack today, cook a little food, let the chickens into the yard, check on my garden, it feels almost like home. summer smells are in the air. i have my beloved old hound dog close by ready for scratches.
i guess what i am trying to say is that the concept of home is really a dynamic thing. we spend a lot of time working on our homes whether in iowa, alaska or even in denver when we visit family there. it’s what we do, but why we do it is to create a space that is comfortable and welcoming to have our family and friends around and regardless of how delightful a space we create, its just not a home until it has the warmth of family.
i read an interview today where a mom whose kids are now in college says she doesn’t regret that her and her husband’s life revolved around the kids while the kids were at home. it was but a blink of an eye in the span of their lives. i’ve fought the idea of completely loosing myself or even my partnership with zach to being zelda’s parent, but i think her point is important. parenthood of kids who need constant attention is such a short season of life and i know for zach and i that we have a solid foundation from before becoming parents that will be there when zelda is grown; it’s the advantage to marrying your best friend. so i’m happy to be home in anchorage and have a couple of weeks to spend with just zach, but home will never be complete any longer without zelda and i finally get my mother in law’s urgency to have her kids home, especially all together, whenever possible. oh parenthood, what a ride!
it’s weird to think that we are nearly finished with the updates to our home. we’ve been at it now for 6 years and during that time our home has undergone a pretty significant transformation, actually several transformations, but i think we’ve settled into a good spot. it’s a nice feeling, not having any large projects on the immediate horizon. sure there are still updates to be done, like new windows and doors and possibly a fireplace, but those are more long term projects and ones that we hopefully won’t do ourselves.the last big project we undertook was the backroom of our home. it’s a weird space, but i think we finally figured it out. we made it a family room, a place for crafts, sewing, music, dancing, games, etc. i was resistant to the family room concept, but it just makes sense. we put down carpet tiles that can be picked back up and washed, we installed our old dining room table that i had updated and moved in a bench seat that provides us some more storage and plenty of seating for music making. our house is certainly colorful and full of do it yourself projects. i feel like it is ours 100% when i walk through the door. i think zelda and zach feel the same way about it. there are little pieces of us imprinted on this house, which is what definitely makes it our home.