I had to frame it somehow, just so I could survive the crazy. With boxing up our house, packing up our family for a two week trip to Puerto Rico, moving to a rental house, packing up a van for a two week trip to Colorado and then finally, moving into a new home after 12 years, I needed to gear up for an Adventure. My other option was dubbing it The Summer from Hell, but I thought that might be a bit much for the kids (and myself) to handle. So I went with the former.
For a family who thrives on structure, familiar and predictable, this summer was a bit of a stretch for us. Although every part of the summer was positive and some may say an opportunity of a lifetime, it was still much like the rapids in the picture. Around every turn there were bumps, bruises and rocks to be dodged. But we all managed to stay in the boat (both on the trip down the Poudre and throughout the summer.)
The kids did great. They had a blast in Puerto Rico. While we were there mainly for work (33 college athletes were on the summer project that we helped to staff) we also had a great opportunity to explore and experience the Puerto Rican culture and the beauty of the Island. The kids adapted well and loved almost everything (minus the mosquitoes and the sand fleas). We built some strong relationships with Puerto Rican students as well as other Americans on the trip. What a privilege to have our entire family minister together!
Thankfully, some very dear friends of ours just flipped the house right next door to them and will begin to rent it out as a VRBO. We got to be their "Guinea pigs." We were their first renters while we waited to close on our old house and several weeks later, close on our current house. It couldn't have been any more perfect for our situation. We were right next door to Olivia's best friend at school (there were more sleepovers in that stretch than I can remember) and only a 5 min drive to our new house (perfect for moving day.) It was a 2 bedroom and was cozy and perfect for our needs.
The trip to Colorado was for our every-other-year Cru Staff Conference. It involves much work for Steve but also provides great connection with co-workers from all over the country whom we rarely get to see. We heard from amazing speakers and were encouraged and challenged deeply. The kids were in a special 10 day kids camp. They made some great friends and had a blast. In fact, the night before we hit the road to come back home, 2/3 kids sobbed at the thought of leaving their new friends.
We high-tailed it home so that we could get the keys to our new house and start the move-in process. Thankfully, since there was a little bit of work to be done in the house (painting etc) and since the furniture was not able to be delivered for several days post our return, we were able to stay in the rental house another 4 nights. Steve's parents joined us as we painted and repaired some things for the big move in, which helped us more than words can say. Sometimes, you just need the "little helpers" to be entertained while you put in 10 hour work days! Thanks, Gramma and Papa!
One of those 4 nights at the rental house, Turner couldn't fall asleep. The other 2 were out like a light and T came out of their shared bedroom crying. Steve went to lay down with him and help him figure out what was going on. As they lay in Turner's bed and he shed tears, he finally said, "Dad, I just want to go home." After several more questions, Steve concluded it wasn't so much that T wanted to go back to the old house (although, for him that was the only home he as ever known) it was more the sense of stability and familiarity he was longing for. I can totally relate!
The Adventure Summer was a good one. There were many grand moments, exciting things and lasting memories. But most of the time, our hearts cried out for "home." For knowing what comes next, where our stuff is, routine. We are slowly getting there. Our home is *mostly* set up. (We can find our dishes, our towels, our shoes and toys.) School began last week. We are back to soccer practice, gymnastics practice and making dinner and eating around our table. It is starting to feel like home. I think that as I wander through life and it continues to unfold, there are days/seasons I lay in bed and cry for "home." I wonder if its my heart, crying for the stability and consistency of heaven that I was created for? Yet, at the same time, I'm deeply thankful for the seasons of Adventure that help me appreciate Home even more.