There’s nothing quite like coming home to a clean house, especially after a long and exhausting trip. Walking in to see a clean kitchen, tidy living room, and lots of clear surfaces instantly takes away much of the stress of the journey.
Our own homecoming was nothing like this.
Our house still showed all the evidence of our pre-trip chaos. Living room floor covered in toys, piles of clothes on the couch that were rejected candidates for taking on the trip, a heap of dirty laundry in the laundry room, kitchen counters covered in our usual clutter.
We pulled into our driveway at about 1:30 last night (or this morning). In all, it was about 13 hours door to door, with barely a moment to relax. The flights went quite well, but it took a lot of energy to keep the little ones entertained (or at least contained).
But we’re home! We had a great trip. The traveling part was a challenge, as you might imagine. Even though most everything went smoothly over the 3 travel days, 3 trips through security and 4 flights. No missed or cancelled flights, no lost luggage, no run-ins with TSA. Not even any major tantrums. (Well, maybe John and I came close when a family of 8 cut us off in the security line at Houston, jumping into the gap when the family ahead of us moved through, and before John could slide our things down the table. They said we “didn’t look ready.” So we had to wait for all of them to take off shoes and coats, etc.)
We had a wonderful visit with my family in California, and it was great to see all 4 cousins together for the first time. The days were quite full of baby care and toddler-wrangling, but we did manage a few outings and festivities. Which were themselves quite full of baby care and toddler-wrangling. The visit in Texas before that was also good, we enjoyed ourselves at the wedding, and got to spend some nice time with various members of John’s family.
I also managed to submit that abstract that was due on Sunday. I was working on the project just about every “free” chunk of time I could find for the last few weeks, even to the point of coding and analyzing data with a baby attached to me. Thanks to the help and understanding of my family, I was able to hole myself up in my sister’s office for a few uninterrupted hours to make the last critical push to get the abstract revised and sent in. I also owe thanks to some of my friends who acted as subjects, under rather unusual circumstances, as I had Theo with me. And to John, who encouraged me to keep trying, when I could very easily have been convinced to give up. Thank you!
In all, my days and nights have been very full for the last few weeks.