Leading up to the trip I had been so excited to get back to Austin. Our family is there, my friends are there, all of our past is there and my best friend had just moved back from San Fran. So to say that I was excited is an understatement. Then the trip got here. Ella had an ear infection, Clayton had a sinus infection, and I was starting to have symptoms of the virus that caused both of the aforementioned conditions. Not the ideal start. We got to spend the first night with our favorite friends. It didn't matter that the restaurant was so loud and my ears were so congested that I couldn't hear anything or the fact that I was in a sort of cold medicine stupor. I was happy just being in the presence of these people, it felt like home.
The next day I was sick, tired, and my nose, whose sole purpose was to produce snot, was raw from constant wiping of the paper product of convenience be it toilet paper, Kleenex, or paper towel. Ella was having sleepless nights and so we all were. However, I had a big day planned and nothing would stop me from seeing a good friend’s baby (except for the baby’s mom who gave me and my raw nose the okay). So, that afternoon was spent with my friend and her adorable new baby boy who I wish so much that I could see weekly. Then, that night we had dinner with the new parents. We probably could have talked all night, except for the small fact that we are parents now. Yep, it felt like home.
The next day was chocked full of seeing more people. At this point Ella’s schedule was completely wrecked, we were losing sleep by the hour and I was all around exhausted. There was an unfamiliar feeling creeping in. I missed home. Don’t get me wrong, we love our friends and family, and my in-laws couldn't be better hosts. They babysit, they accommodate our ridiculous schedule of events while sneaking in time with us when available, and they never turn down our friends. BUT, we also enjoy this quiet little beach life that we have come to know, where we can count our friends on one hand and our only obligation is to each other. Could it really be that I am longing for that, I must be sick.
After a couple more days of seeing people that are really important to us and acknowledging that we were disappointed to not see some folks that are so close to our hearts, we headed to Houston to spend time with Clayton’s sister and her family. Ella and her cousin, Avi, are only 4 months apart and when they spent time together this summer in Florida we all had a great time. Nothing has changed. Ella and Avi played so well together and spending time with them is so effortless and fun. I think Clayton and I both started thinking, could this be home?
Now, we are back in Florida. The air is thicker and bed time is earlier. The morning has consisted of Clayton, wearing a t-shirt, boxers, and sport coat, dancing and singing to Paul Simon’s ‘Call me Al’ video, repeatedly (thanks, Rachel) while Ella screams about Elmo and Thomas the Train while chasing the cats around and I have no doubt, this is home and I couldn't be more thankful.