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!
after the princess party, we opened our awesome rental home (it has a tree growing through it!) to everyone and anyone. it was quite the facebook experiment. we put out an invite on facebook and waited to see who would show in person. to say it was amazing is an understatement. we saw folks we hadn’t seen in years, including a friend who drove over from chicago to see me for the first time in probably 13 or so years. what was most satisfying about the whole get together (of about 60 friends and family) is that everyone is doing well. it’s hard to tell via facebook if people are really well or just posting only the good stuff, but in person everyone was giving off a great vibe that they seemed happy and well. que was again manning the camera doing a great job. we didn’t get a shot of the crowd, but it was crazy. what he captured instead are great moments. all of our friends and cousin’s kids playing together. nia and the princesses having a ball. bradie mugging for the camera. these are super special.this get together really reinforces to us that our family and friends are really one big happy family that we cherish. we love you all and we loved seeing everyone. hopefully another handful of years won’t have to pass before we can do it again.