Last week I did something I never thought I’d do – I drove to Washington with my 4 kids, 34 weeks pregnant, without Mark. I was missing a good friend, and the time away sounded like exactly what I needed before this baby makes his appearance.
The trip was fantastic – the kids were content during the drive and I managed to stay awake with the help of my friend Red Bull.
We spent the majority of our week at our friends’ home in the country. For 5 days, we had no internet, no cell phone, and no TV. But what we did have was priceless: the kids enjoyed being with friends they’ve known all their lives – with 5 acres to explore and play, the river to splash in, mud to muck around in, tepee-building, dog-chasing, and snake-holding. Inside, I was in heaven with the wood-burning fireplace in constant crackle, good food always cooking, yarn to crochet, books to read, and of course, wonderful conversations with my dear friend.
When we arrived home Sunday evening, I was unpacking the car, trying to hold my emotions in check. When I got to a pile of blankets that smelled strongly of wood smoke, I broke. I missed my friend, and I missed the peaceful, serene setting of their home. I missed the simplicity of our lives for that short week. My kids did too. They asked multiple times about moving there, wondering what it would take.
I spent yesterday unpacking our things and re-aclimating myself to our home. I spent a lot of time thinking about what made our friends’ home so special (other than the presence of our friends, of course!). The biggest thing that stuck out to me was the simplicity of their lives. There weren’t buckets of toys, but the toys they had encouraged creative play. No matter how hard I try, I feel like our home us taken over by toys! The kids were outside a lot, and dirt was embraced. That’s something I need to work on! Food was simple, but healthy and full of flavor! Mmm… I will dream about that steamed artichoke with roasted garlic goat cheese for weeks to come, I’m sure! And the flow of their days allowed so much freedom to be together and truly enjoy each other.
So, my goal these next few weeks is to harness my nesting urge that’s kicking in, and use it to simplify our lives a bit. How can I declutter our things and our time? How can I rearrange our home life a bit to make my priorities the priority again?
What about you? Any plans for simplifying your life a bit this spring? What are you thinking of removing or rearranging?
Here are a few more pics from the trip!