We have been here for a year now. No longer can I think, "This time last year I was in New Mexico" because that's no longer true. I find myself yearning for that beautiful place less and less and embracing where I am right now more and more. It doesn't mean that I love New Mexico any less. I would still move back there when the kids are grown and if not live there year round at least part of the year. But I am realizing more and more that our family won't be here forever (something I was able to grasp quite early on in New Mexico) and I am trying to enjoy the goodness and beauty the Pacific Northwest has to offer while I am still here. I don't have any regrets about living in New Mexico. I felt that our family made the most of the time that we had there. I don't want to have regrets about what I didn't do while I lived here down the road when this place is nothing more than a memory to our family.
I have definitely learned this past year that different parts of the country speak differently to me. I would venture to guess that this is true for most of us. I naively thought that every place I went would touch me deeply and as easily as New Mexico did. I now know this is not true. Some places you have to work harder to fall in love with while other places you love at first sight. But it truly is all about perspective and the life that I am willing to build. There are good people to be had no matter where I go. I am good at bringing people together who might otherwise never meet up. This just means that I have the ability to create an eclectic group of people that make up my tribe. This diversity means the world to me as I travel about this country learning more and more about the landscape both physical and societal. There is also beauty to be had no matter where I go. Some beauty is a bit harder to see, but it just makes it all the more beautiful when have to work to see it. Sometimes seeing beauty is a choice.
Each of the kids is finding their way here.
Sarah has the Bell Academy and the people she has met through there. She is participating in a horse camp in two weeks that will group her up with 10 other kids around her age. She is also taking a weekly 90 minute horse lesson at ranch geared towards children who have been dealt a hard hand in life whether it be due to abuse, sickness, etc...On top of this she is still plugging away at the violin. I am hoping the she will get involved with Girl Scouts again as it will bring her together with a group of girls her age on a regular basis. Maybe I am totally off base on this logic, but I think that the older the girls get the "mean girls" or the "cool girls" (the ones who would be aholes to Sarah) would drop out of activities like Girl Scouts leaving the girls who care less about being cool and more about being kind and accepting left. I think if Sarah was worried about being made fun of or feeling left out or different then she would open up a bit more than she currently does.
Elizabeth has found a new soccer team. She played on one this last spring that wasn't a very good fit, but put us in touch with another team that is going to be a great fit. She loves soccer and is good at it. She is finally at the age where I love watching her play. She is a great teammate too. Now that we have moved into a different townhome in the neighborhood Elizabeth has a couple of friends that the plays with pretty regularly. They are both really good kids.
Joshua has both high school soccer and club soccer to look forward to. (He did text me recently though that he wants to move back to Ohio, so we'll see how he does once he comes back home.) This club team is a good one and I am so glad that he sat out a year and just played rec ball (which was his choice) because he found an amazing team that he would not have found had he not waited. Just like in Ohio and New Mexico his closest friends will be those he makes on this team. I am excited about the parents that I will meet.
Andy is also going to start playing high school ball. He is hesitant about it because he has been out of soccer for a year and he does not love it like Josh does, but Bob and I both feel that he needs the schedule of practices and being around kids his age. (He says he doesn't like kids his age because most of them are jerks, but I try to tell him that he is a good kid and therefore there have to be other good kids his age too. Even if they are few and far between.) With Intel being 10 minutes away I am going to look into any kind of programs they might have for kids like him looking to make their way in the technology sector. I think that would help him as well.
I know I have said it before, but I really, really like our new home. It is amazing how important the space is that I reside in. I need it to feel a certain way in order for me to function at my best. This home speaks volumes to me. It is small, but not too small. It is located close to the middle of the complex, but not in the middle of the complex. It is peaceful here, but yet bustling with activity. This house has made me feel better about being here. (I know that sounds weird, but it has.)
It has been cloudy for the past week or so. I was afraid when I saw the forecast because this past winter was brutal on us all mentally. But somehow the cloudiness has seemed bearable. Maybe it's because on the weekends we head out to either the ocean, Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, or Hood River in search of the sun which is usually in one of those locations when it is not here, so I am still getting my vitamin D. Or maybe it's our new home. Or maybe it's just knowing that we could be transferred at any time now and that this may be the last summer, fall, winter, spring that we are here and even though the cloudiness is hard this too shall pass.
I don't know what it is, but it just seems like it is all coming together for everyone here. It has taken a long time for this feeling to take effect, but I have learned a lot from this past year. Even though it didn't go anywhere near how I imagined it to go there are lessons that I am taking away from the past 12 months that I will apply to the next move which will make all of the hardship of this past year worth it.
For now, I am just going to enjoy this life I have right here in goodness and in hardship because this is only a stage in our life and before I know it it will be over. I don't want to have regret and doubt that I didn't make the most of being here.