There have been so many changes for us and so much blank space here.
We are in Seattle now, for almost ten months already (!!!!!), and we love it. Like, absolutely love it, with a capital L. It's been great having a house with a little space to stretch out instead of our apartment. Not just space to stretch out but space to share and host and play and work. And the yard, oh the yard! And the lack of neighborly noises through the walls, along with the neighborly smells. It's just an incomparable lifestyle!
Our kids' school has beyond exceeded our expectations and every day they come home happy and the teachers send us nice notes about how much they love the kids. The emotions are hard to explain and I'm generally not an overly emotional person, but there have been so many times where I find myself lightly tearing up when I think about the drastic change in schooling for these two little humans. There is a sense of family and belonging from the very first second when you walk into the school building and each and every staff member embodies that in the way they treat the kids and parents! Let's put it this way, if I was a tattoo type of person, I'd be ready to make my love known in a permanent way on my arm.
Being a part of a community has been an interesting adjustment for us, in a very good way. Benny turned two right before we started at Iowa State. For the years we were there, every holiday we celebrated and every time we wanted a normal shabbat experience, it involved travel. Sometimes it was as little as a 40 minute drive, sometimes it was as much as a five hour drive! But travel was needed so travel we did. Now, we can see the shul from our front lawn and get to watch a majority of the community walking to shul each week. It's a different world for us here. We have a Succah for the first time since Benny was one. For Bella, this is actually the first Succah she's not a guest in! We made decorations, which I laminated and hung up quickly, and the kids love looking at each adorable drawing they have hanging out there, knowing they will be up next year as well and hopefully with more additions!
I may sound repetitive but there's not really a better way to convey the drastic change in lifestyle we have experienced since graduation! As a family, we are just in a better place, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. That's the moral of the story here.
On another note, I took our first few months here (the second half of the kids' school year) as a slight sabbatical before looking for work. It was a long trek making it through school, whether or not I was the one actually sitting in classes. I needed time to breathe and figure out who Chani Meyer is when I'm not the entire women's section of the community, when it's not me and the kids alone for nights on end. I was able to get some manicures and girls' nights and quiet time all to myself. It was bliss and so what the doctor would have prescribed if I would have asked!
The summer was a different story. For some reason, I felt like I could take on the world with my little ones in tow. I said to hell with the camp that we couldn't really afford anyway and told myself we would utilize the millions of memberships we have around town. What I learned was that as much as they really do love each other, my kids just couldn't handle being the main source of entertainment for each other. No need to go in to detail about me retreating into my shell and just going into survival mode. Let's just say when school started back up at the end of August, we were there BRIGHT AND EARLY on that first day!
I think a huge milestone for us during back to school season was the fact that we didn't have to pick up and move back to the midwest. We had our summer here (in whatever capacity our summer played out) and just smoothly transitioned back into the school year without much ado. It was amazing, but it definitely threw the kids a little. Those kinks have since worked themselves out, thankfully!
Now, back to my regularly programmed self of having the kids in school and the husband at work, I made some changes in the 'Me' chapter.
I'm working again, still in training officially so getting a slow start but within the next week or two, that will be full time. Which is huge. Like, haven't worked full time since having Benny in July of 2008 huge. Like, wow I really need cleaning help now huge. But I'm loving it!
I also am now sporting a darker hair color, which was not 100% by choice (thanks to a hair stylist appointment gone wrong, with follow ups gone even wronger). But I'm actually loving it and can't imagine going back to my lighter brown!
And the biggest gift to myself, something I've dreamed of for years, was making an appointment for a Lasik consultation. There was an appointment for later that week or the end of December. I jumped in, holding my breath and squeezing my eyes shut, and **poof** it's been three weeks and I HAVE 20/20 VISION!!!!!!!!! If you knew me growing up, you probably have absolutely no memories of me before my glasses wearing began. If you met me in my teenage years, you mostly saw me in contacts but may have occasionally gotten a glimpse of the good old coke bottles on my face. If you met me since having Bella, you've probably only seen me in glasses. If you met me in the last three weeks, I'm standing taller (as tall as one can at 5'1"), smiling bigger, and sporting my glasses-free face, framed with darker hair. It's a total Chani makeover and I freaking love it!!!
And with that massive dose of rambling, I'm off to get some more laundry done. I missed this blog and have been waiting for a good time to blow a revival breathe it's way!