My brother-in-law, little sister, and nephew have made their way back to California. And while our travels have been significantly lower maintenance than that, we are also trying to make our way back - to normal. It's feeling like a lengthy trip. Our last week-and-a-half was filled with lots of goodness: the members of a growing extended family contained within a room; snuggling with a new nephew; celebrating one cousin's upcoming wedding and another's nine-day-old baby. But like much goodness, the recent days have brought their own sets of challenges: obliging great uncles happy to give a toddler her first taste of soda or seventh brownie; six hours of travel by car; abandoned bedtimes and routines; babies unable to nap in unfamiliar settings; and Daddy having to cap the weekend off with an early week business trip.
We have been trying to make some pit stops in the midst of all this busyness, little things to keep us grounded at home - trips to the garden armed with empty bowls for our finds; outdoor drawing sessions, followed by photo sessions so our little artist isn't so disappointed when a much-needed rain washes her portraits away; time spent running our hands or toes through the blades of grass in our backyard, each of us stretching and growing in our own way; and yesterday, getting back into the kitchen to bake some treats and fill the house with the smell of vanilla and honey and home.
Of course, for all of our trying, it has been a bumpy transition back to normal, one that (I fear) will take several more days as Audrey seems to be alternating going to bed at her usual 8-8:30pm with 10-11pm stints. But that is what summer days are made of - long goodness-filled afternoons and sleepless, too-short nights. At least for now.