We Made It, Oklahoma
Do you ever look at a single solitary photograph and say to yourself, "I don't know how we made it, but we did."
That's where I was above. No make-up, sick as a dog, running on a few hours of sleep, but I looked around me to catch one last glimpse of this Oklahoma land and thought, "We made it." Before Steven hopped into the moving truck with his coffee and me in our car with the kids, I looked over and kissed that man. I kissed him for all the hard and the good. The happy and sad. The beautiful and the ugly. I kissed him for all the memories we made, the laughter and the tears, and all the Grey's Anatomy episodes we watched in bed together over popcorn and five different rental houses. I kissed him for pushing our family outside of our comfort zone in moving us here in the first place and for being all around brave in the midst of a lot of nay sayers. And my smile in the photograph above is the big kind where it doesn't matter which angle you're at, it never looks good, but it sure feels good on the inside.
And I'd rather have hundreds of those kinds of moments documented in my life, than the flattering kind. For happiness is irreplaceable. That I've learned.
So our chapter as a family in Oklahoma closes and a new one begins in South Carolina. It took us two days of driving, but we had beautiful weather the first day and the kids were amazing. I always brace myself for the worst, and they always show me up. Every time. My favorite part of the trip (other than the those gas station Starbucks drinks) was seeing the south through the schooners' eyes. As we crossed into Alabama, Shiloh became obsessed with looking out the window and studying the terrain...the rolling fields, the lush green, the blossoming trees, and the "deep forest", which she swore was the jungle and that it had monkeys swinging it it. Apparently, she had forgotten what trees were and that things do in fact turn green in the spring. And it made me glad we would live here for a season and give them the gift of this land.
We stopped at the Atlanta Ikea on our way and picked up a couple of pieces of furniture I had been saving for. We whittled our belongings down by 50% when we originally moved to Oklahoma, and have lived without chairs in our living room or other nice (but not necessary) things like organization for the kids' toys, a refrigerator, or a table for our deck. It feels good to finally have the things I've been waiting for, but as covetousness creeps into my heart when I read blogs or Instagram accounts, I try to remind myself things are just things. They are not eternal or necessary for my happiness. Just nice to have. :) I laugh at all the readers who wanted to see more photos of the rental houses we lived in, because to me, they were just spaces. Not personal. Not an extension of me or our family. And that was freeing, in a way. To live in a place, but not feel personally responsible for it other than its' care and wellbeing. Much like the days I want to treat parenting sometimes. For caring and feeding young children is not what drains you, it is the act of pouring yourself into them and fashioning their character.
That's the hard part.
I do plan on showing this house on the blog. I hope you're as excited as I am to dig into some reno work! We spent a solid year and a half in 2009 making this SC house livable and like a home. And then we left for Oklahoma. It feels weird to come back to it 5 years later and see it through fresh eyes. All the things that used to bother me, don't bother me as much anymore and all I see is a huge yard with blooming trees, a big deck for my summer plans, double windows over the kitchen sink, and lots and lots of space to work with and make my own. 26-year-old-eyes are different, but mine are still full of hope and the promise of potential.
Oklahoma, you and I made it. Thanks for being apart of our life for awhile. South Carolina, we're glad to be back. :)