We're home, and I am glad. Vacations are great - good for spending time together as a family, good for as much rest and relaxation as you can finagle around small children, and good to get out of the daily grind for a while.
I forgot about that just-walked-in-the-door feeling I get after being away for a while. I did my best to straighten up the house before we left, but evidence of the whirlwind of packing is all over the place. Somehow, when I'm away, it is easy to forget all the niggling chores and responsibilities that await me when I return. I have orders to make, emails and calls to return, appointments to make and shopping to do. I spent the first couple of hours home kind of orbiting .. everything seems way too familiar and completely different at the same time. The pets are beyond overjoyed to see us (even though the cat pretends he isn't). Rhino the Hamster survived (I had visions of his frozen little body playing through my head the whole time we were away) and the chickens didn't peck each other to death being shut in their coop all week. The dog is glued to our side, convinced we're just going to disappear at any moment. The cat is mad at us, but he'll get over it.
The other good thing about getting away for a while is that it makes me appreciate all I have here. My friends, my support system, my routine. I under-appreciate how important routine is for all of us. I love my little business, I love making jewelry, and it is physically and emotionally difficult for me to peel myself away from it for a week (which is exactly why I should, though). I have wonderful friends, we talk all the time, and I miss them like crazy when I can't connect with them every day. It is too easy for me to take for granted how much they help me stay afloat. I feel very, very lucky to have them in my life, because when I'm away from it for a bit I realize how special that is.
The kids miss their friends, too. A week all packed together in one house has its ups and downs - kind of a love/hate thing. They did great, they had a ball, but they are so relieved to be home. Greta wanted me to call her friends last night at 7pm for a playdate she was so desperate to see them.
I make it sound as if we were away for ages and ages - but in their little lives it feels that way. Finn asked me on the fifth day of our vacation why we were "living in this new house now". When he saw his bedroom last night he said "Oh good! Its still here!" And I knew just how he felt.