family

Not in a religious sense. Or maybe in a religious sense?

My old boss was the ultimate believer. Optimist to the extreme. Sometimes we thought he was nuts, often he was brilliant. But he believed in the things we couldn’t see yet. Sometimes things would fail, other times they’d spark, most of the time they’d lead to something new or a lesson learned or a relationship or a partnership that was worth it. But the power behind this belief is what I’m interested in.

I’ve told people that finding a role that I was excited about was a real experiment in — if you believe things will work out, they just might. I didn’t go in with an agenda, a script or an overzealous elevator pitch… I just showed up, as me.

And then I got hired.

S and I talked about houses and renting and buying and we just kept going back and forth until we wondered – if we believe things will work out, will they? If we trust in this process, will it?

We can make the most of many situations. My husband has that eternal optimist thing going on a lot.

I wonder what else I can believe in.

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When friends ask how it’s going, I have one word only: surreal.

Maybe…. dreamlike.

It feels like I’m living someone else’s life and haven’t fully grasped that this is now my reality.

I’ve always loved a challenge. Still do. And this, my friends, is a challenge. Uprooting your life and moving back towards home is a BIG change. But it also means that every day feels new, and adventurous, and challenging. It means I am constantly trying to get back to “reset” in order to be present as a mom, as a human. But this feeling of home — there’s nothing like it.

I was always skeptical of geography and how important it really could be. I have always felt the pull back east. And driving on 95 — with the music blaring — feels good. Smelling salty air while at the lobster shack — it feels good. This is where I belong.

We’ve alternated our days and hours between naptimes, beach trips, errands, unpacking, lobster rolls, and hosting visitors.

Yes, visitors.

We’ve had eight visits since moving into our house two weeks ago. That feels good.

We’re home.

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If you feel like you’re lost
Think of the backyard you came from
That way you’ll always know
The way back home

There’s a song on Lori McKenna’s new album that I’ve played on repeat for the past week. I have been a fan of Lori McKenna for a long time — one, because she’s an atypical country folk music star (in my opinion). She’s from Massachusetts. And now that I’m a mom, I appreciate her music so much more. I’d love to have a drink with her.

Anyway, “The Way Back Home” is all about your childhood home and how there’s a feeling that’s sparked when you just roll up to your front door. And that line — think of the backyard you came from — is a beautiful image for me.

Because my brother and sister had already moved out of the house for most of my childhood years, I spent a lot of time alone. This meant my home was my stage, my studio, my canvas. And the backyard was the place where I often brought out my First Sony — with the mic or without — and would just play cassette tapes over and over again. The swingset in the yard became my stage and I would sing, choreograph, jump, or just swing endlessly while listening to the Big Chill soundtrack. There are some songs that just immediately bring me back to that place. I remember fall days when we’d rake leaves (I’m sure I didn’t contribute much) — but there would be a giant pile of leaves that my parents would leave right so I could jump off the swings, and into it.

Where W roams — whatever his backyard will be — I hope it can also always leave him with that sense of home and being and wholeness that my backyard left me.

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In my nine years in Seattle, I have never experienced a Memorial Day weekend quite like this past one. You see, summer usually starts in, oh, August. We might get a week of sunshine here or there in the spring, but Memorial Day weather has never been anything remarkable. Until this past weekend. 85 degrees and sunny. EVERY DAY OF THE WEEKEND.

It was a blast. We grilled two of the three nights; had friends visiting from SF; saw pals who have a babe a week older than W; sat in the sun; went to a BBQ (Sarah’s backyard is incredible right now); and got to taste homemade pizza. 

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Got to ski on my birthday and take another little family trip. My gratitude at this point is overflowing and sometimes overwhelming… there’s just so much to be grateful for right now. And then I juxtapose that with everything in the news this week and it’s too much to take at times. Insert some sort of emoji here.

The day before we left, I was feeling a little exhausted just thinking about traveling or taking a long car ride. But I always take that back as soon as we hit the road. On weekend trips, it’s all good and easy and simple. I get to talk to Sean for an extended period of time (this time, he substituted as my business law professor and got me up to date on contracts — yeeeeah). I spend quality time with W in between his naps in the backseat. And I unplug a little bit (being in Canada helped).

Getting away really does feel like getting away from the hustle and bustle. Here are some recent pics of baby time, birthday treats, extended family, work events, and the Whistler trip.

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Our little boy is changing by the hour: new expressions, movements, and sounds. He is very observant of the world around him. And he has become quite the conversationalist — he coos back and forth with us… and we melt.

Earlier this month, we had the opportunity to spend a weekend at our friends’ cabin near Leavenworth. It was so generous of them to offer it, and we made the most of our time away: morning strolls, wine tasting, real estate hunting (why not?), German food, shopping, and lots of snuggle time with our little guy. 

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