Wordless Wednesday – redwoods
In theory, one of the perks of our move to California is that it should be relatively easy to get home for visits. We’ve lived really far from home, and during that time, it would have been nice to be able to go home for special occasions, or the not so special occasions. California is close. It’s not the one flight that I would like it to be, but we live near two major airports and Willy has a pile of frequent flyer points from his many, many trips back and forth over the last two years. It makes it very easy to plan a trip and go.
To test this out, I am heading home this weekend for a quick trip. I booked the trip weeks ago, a getaway with my book club. We are going to sit around and eat too much, drink too much, play cards, and read nothing on the first day. On the second day we will get on a school bus with a bunch of strangers and visit wineries where we will sing for a taste of this year’s harvest, while still reading nothing. I plan for it to be glorious (save for the singing part).
Of course, as my departure date gets closer, I realize that it is not that simple. My flight leaves on Thurday, which is US Thanksgiving. While it may not be the busiest travel day, I am sure it is up there. I’m booked out of San Fran because the flights are more direct, but it means that I have to leave here before 4:00am to catch my 7:00am flight. I can’t drive there myself, because Willy needs the car, so I am trying some random shuttle service that I found on the internet. Hope they come and get me!
As anxious as I am now, I know it is going to be a great weekend once I get there. In addition to the shenanigans, I am going to squeeze in some family time, extra friend visits, and a giant shopping trip so that I can bring home all the Canadian treats that we have been missing. I’ll even get to visit with our bunny for a bit. It’s a completely frivolous trip, but I can’t wait to get there!
Great at eight
This morning you woke up with a spring in your step and a smile on your face. While this is the norm these days, this was extra special, for today you are eight!! It’s is a big day, the start of another new year. Today is also all about you!
I have loved watching you grow over the last year. You are truly a wonderful person and you continue to be a bright light of joy in all of our lives. Your kind heart and compassion lead you, your easy laughter is contagious, and the passion that you put into everything you do is inspiring. This drive has served you well in all the projects that you undertake. You continue to love to learn, and have recently shown a strong preference for math, which secretly pleases your mathie parents.
While you continued to dabble in a few sports, you have discovered your true passion for Karate, and made a commitment to train hard and do your best all the time. This year you moved up four belts, started sparring, and committed to competing in the 2024 Olympics. Most importantly, you always started and ended your training with a huge smile on your face.
As your seventh year came to a close, we threw a new challenge at you; a move to a new city in a new country, far from friends and family. You have handled it so well, and we are so very proud of you. You are brave and confident, and have accepted all of the challenges that have been thrown at you. Now that we are settled in, you have made new friends, fit right in in your class, become an excellent swimmer. You are thriving.
I love you so much, big girl, and I look forward to what the next year brings.
All my love,
Wordless Wednesday – Catching up
Every now and then, I stop and just take a deep breath. The thoughts racing around in my head fade a little and I relax a bit. It’s hard for me to believe that, less than three months ago, we were in Ottawa. Then, we knew that moving to California was a possibility, but I had all but given up on it in reality. The lils were ready to go back to school, and we had a full slate of activities lined up for them for the fall and winter. I figured that we would keep going on as we had been for a while yet. Things changed quickly in late August.
The one thing that I asked Willy for when we started to consider a move to California was time. Our last assignment was rushed; we barely had two months from the day that we were approved to the day we arrived in India. This was worse. With the pressure on to get the lils into their new school fast, Willy still away, and the whole house needing to be packed, we gave ourselves three weeks. We could have done it, but I would have lost my mind. It took a little over four weeks, and my sanity is still in question.
In a perfect world, settling in would have been a smooth process, but it hasn’t quite been. Nothing we have faced has proven to be crushing, just challenging in some way. The lils go to two different schools, because there isn’t room for them both at the same school. We still need to get furniture, but I guess Goose can store her clothes on her bottom bunk for a few more weeks. Our property manager is ignoring us, but I am good at escalating. We still don’t have any new friends, but we are trying. The election… the challenges from that result aren’t unique to us, nor do they affect us as severely as many others.
We are, for the most part, content. The lils are happy in their schools, and have adjusted better than we thought possible. We have dinner as a family almost every day, because Willy is travelling a lot less than he has for years. The lils have become AMAZING swimmers, and are in the pool and hot tub almost every day. They miss their home and friends terribly, but can appreciate all that California has to offer us. We’ve started adventuring, and have many more planned. Some of them even include the fun kind of roller coaster.