Oh how I love China. It is rich in culture, has a melodious language, and is beautiful in its complexity...it is also the birthplace of my children, and therefore is "home."
But even more than China, I love our home...
When we pulled up around 11:30 that night I was flat exhausted. So was Ian. But guess who had slept for much of the flight times home. That would be five people all under age eight. So we drew upon that last bit of reserve strength and did the "welcome to your new home tour."
It included checking out her bedroom complete with bunkbeds,
|she was in awe of kylie's ease on the stairs|
|a bit timid at first, but no tears|
Finally around 1:30 there was a lull in the action with the kids and before they caught a third wind we managed to coax them into their beds. And no, Natalie did not test out her lower bunk that night...for the first few nights back home her biggest brother was the favored one, so she slept at the foot of his bed. We knew it wasn't going to be permanent, so we decided to roll with it.
That night I got a refreshing four hours of sleep because I showered and crashed at 2, but heard foot steps and giggling right at 6am sharp. Can't express how thankful I was for the thoughtful gift of bagels and cream cheese from Panera that one of our friends brought to the airport. I brewed a pot of coffee ~ the first of several that day ~ and watched my youngest daughter explore the downstairs of her new home in a little more depth.
Eventually everyone else got up and Ian and I developed a strategy for the day...no naps. Yeah, it's a tough stance, but we've seen jet lag play out in our kids several times now and this time a return to school was looming for the bigger set. So we embraced the amazingly beautiful day and spent it outside.
Someone was pretty excited to head to the swing set in our backyard...
We introduced Natalie to Chick-fil-A (my mom paid for and my sister graciously went to pick up lunch for 13) and she ate her nuggets like nobody's business.
With full bellies when the early afternoon weariness hit, we switched locations and went to our neighborhood park.
|she timidly allowed me to be her safety net as she tried each slide|
|my mom's seven grandkids|
|two girls who will walk many medical treatments together|
|hi...my name is daredevil|
|my oldest and my neice...two peas in a pod|
|cousins and very best friends|
Our return home from the park was delicious...my brother-in-law Adam made us his famous Asian burgers. Can't express how good something from the grill tasted that night.
After all the fun of the day, we found the time for our extended family to head back down the road coming all too soon. We sadly waved our goodbyes sprinkled with promises of seeing them soon.
And then, there we were, for the very first time, a family of seven at our house, ready to start the next chapter in our lives...
**saturday, september 14**