There's no place like...


I love the anticipation of traveling to new places and the excitement of exploring new territory --- packing up our bags with carefully calculated outfits, embracing the uniqueness of airport life, and making a temporary home in a cozy hotel room.  I feel a little more seasoned, a little more 'grown-up' with every new state coin I collect, and I feel blessed to have had opportunities to see some amazing pockets of God's vast creation. 

But as much I love putting new notches in my traveler's belt, there's no better feeling in the entire world than traveling back home.  It's not long before I ache for my familiar --- the comforts of the place I've built and shaped to fit just right, like that favorite pair of jeans.  Because as good as a brand new pair of jeans is to a wardrobe, there's nothing more comforting than that pair that fits just right in all the right places.        

We're back to familiar territory, where little feet can run barefoot across our driveway and dance parties can commence in our living room.  We're back to our favorite pillow, the comfort of old routines, and the sweet smell of home.

(Cruz's Beatles shirt in honor of the London games...)  


And nothing proved the quote, 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' more than seeing my son's face this morning.  After waking up at an astounding 9:30 this morning, he happily paraded around the house today admiring his things as if he was seeing them for the first time.  He seemed happy to sit in his high chair, played with his toys with newfound appreciation, and had a permanent smile on his face after reuniting with Elmo after a long week away.  He proved to be quite the traveler this week, but as resilient as he seemed amidst the plane rides, flight delays, rental cars, and altitude changes, his contentment to be home spoke loud and clear as he absorbed his familiar surroundings.

Tonight, we're home.  
Home to Iowa green and summer heat, my favorite gray blanket and a bowl of popcorn, the Olympic Opening Ceremonies and the Big Green Egg, and a walk around our familiar neighborhood in a familiar red Radio Flyer.  
Home to apple juice and instagram, diapers just where I need them, and fully charged cell phones.  Home to toys on the carpet, towels in the closet, and three suitcases packed in their places, hibernating until their next adventure away.  
Home to macaroni and cheese for supper, tomatoes from the garden, and Mumford and Sons during bathtime.  Home to drives down Greenhill during a finally-cool July night, an ice cream cone from McDonalds, and a stop by the side of the road to watch an Iowa sunset in our pajamas.

We had a glorious week away to one of the most breathtakingly beautiful landscapes I have ever seen.  Cruz was so good, and we made some unforgettable memories as a family on this little vacation of ours.  I can't wait to write, to edit and post some pictures, and etch in stone some of the unforgettable memories we made in hopes I can one day show Cruz his very first vacation.  But for now, we're relishing in our familiar place, bathing in the comforts of being back home.