We bought a jungle.

I KNOW, I know. SO overdue for a post. But really, did you want to hear the cranky rants and crackling of my brain-going-back-into-gear? Re-entry into life state-side has been a load of reality-bites and a whiff of welcome-familiarity all swept into one dust pan. Now really. You would not have wanted to hear the play-by-play of us floating around the Pacific Northwest---with borrowed cars and beds---a long list of doctor appointments and soccer tryouts, forms to fill out, people to visit and houses to see... would you?

My brain has felt like someone has been giving me a constant swirly. Yeah. That.

But now that I have knocked out a bunch of errands, doctors have been visited, school schedules solidified and books purchased, soccer tryouts are well underway and yes we even made an offer on a house after-just-three-days of looking... it seems that the dust JUST might start to settle.

We bought a jungle you ask?

I like to tease. The truth is: when we took this year-abroad dream on, we knew very well that we would return with a starting-over-from scratch budget. (Fortunately James has a job; I begin my job-hunt come September). Therefore what fits our budget is: another fixer. And in this case it is a bit... overgrown. Which we really don't mind.

We looked for a home with 1. good 'bones', 2. good location, and 3. space. We wanted a home with ample land (by city standards!) so I could have my garden and cocktail parties, James and Caleb could have a 'shop', and Anthony could have his chickens (see his blog pickinachicken).

And we found one. And made an offer. And if all goes as planned, we close in the next few days... and THEN settle in. And call the storage company to deliver all of our 'stuff.' And that sounds SO SO good to us. Like nesting just before you have a child, or getting your home gussied up for the holidays. Opening our boxes and finally putting suitcases away will invoke a family-wide sigh of relief. Then I can dust off cookbooks, James can set up our home office, and we can all start digging in our very own yard. We will eat, sleep and find rhythm again as a family: in our very own home.

I said reality bites. Our re-entry has been bitter sweet---a pile of emotions. Its back to work, back to business, back to school, back to bills, tasks, obligations and the 'same old.' But you know what? There is good inside the familiar---comfort to be found. And I have started to realize that transitions are made easier if you plot a line of things-to-look-forward to. So although it is super sad to say good-bye to the year-abroad chapter of our lives... we have much, MUCH to look forward to. Like soccer teams with familiar faces. And for Anthony: high school. And for all of us: a new home full of potential. And family, cousins, friends, familiar haunts and developing careers. And in our neighborhood: a fantastic farmer's market, a nearby bike path, new restaurants and friends-who-live-close-by.

And besides, paint covers a multitude of sins. No, not rhubarb. But its a nice pic, no? I love going to farmer's markets, where I found this rhubarb---did I mention there is a farmer's market near our home? And I love the idea of growing my own garden, at my own home, with my own newly-painted walls (once we close I enter with paint brushes and gallons of paint on a whirlwind mission to cover every inch in just a few days...).

We are home---almost in our 'new home'---and even if it is a bit of a jungle (the yard is mostly dirt mixed with brush, trees and haphazard plants---bamboo included), we will be swinging from the branches in no time.


  1. I'm sure many have said it to you, but "Welcome Home!" From reading your posting, I think you are all just beginning your next Great Adventure! and that will be exciting too.

    Once again, I would really like to thank you all so much for sharing your wonderful year in Europe/Italy with the rest of us. It was so generous of you to do that and so much fun to read all about it. Now I will look forward to what is ahead for all of you.

    Thank you so much.

  2. All the very best for the next stage of life's great adventure for your family.

  3. Ah, a jungle. Sounds like that will give you plenty of opportunity to keep busy!

    I felt that same sort of thing when I returned from a semester abroad 20 years ago, which is probably why I drag my kids around the world, or country, whenever I can.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

  4. hi friend!
    so great to catch up a few weeks back! oh, how i've missed you.
    as far as the house.....where are the pictures??? i can't wait to see the Before/After of the 'jungle'. get snapping sister!
    call me, i'll come help you paint. so serious. i will.


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