5 months is such a short time. 5 months feels like forever. We have been in our new state, new home for 5 months now. Long enough for the excitement to wane and the honeymoon period to end, yet not long enough to feel like we are truly home.
So I thought I would take a few moments to update everyone, and write mainly so I can remember just how our adjustment is going. Like my previous post, when we were just weeks into the big move, we still love it here. We love your home, neighborhood, church, and school. They are all challenging adjustments at times, but, while I do not like to go by "feel", each place just feels right for our family, even if intellectually it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
The kids are doing well over all. They all take turns having a hard time with adjustment, and thankfully there are no more than two kids having a tough time at the same time.
We didn't join the parish I thought we would join, but I really love our parish. It is a vibrant, active community with great priests. I am still getting used to seeing a church full of Packers clothing on game day Sundays, and I can never seem to remember that confessions are not before the Saturday evening vigil, but other than that we are settling into our church community.
If there is one area that is probably the hardest for me, it is school. I LOVE our school. I love the classical, authentically Catholic approach. Yet, I miss my boys who are in school. While, homeschooling was challenging, I truly miss them at home and all of my kids being together. My three oldest have always been close, and I can tell they miss each other too. I struggle with what we have lost having the boys in school. Yet, they are gaining so much being in school. I have come to recognize, even more so, that there is no perfect or right choice when it comes to schooling. And the right choice for a family may change year to year, and place to place. There are days I have to remind myself of that, over and over (and over) again when I idealize what homeschooling all my kiddos was like, and idealize others' current experiences of homeschooling.
One thing living in Wisconsin is teaching me, is to live more fully each day and maybe that is the biggest and best lesson I am learning thus far. Embrace each day. Find beauty in each day. It has been pretty cold here lately. Like, not-even-above-freezing-for-a-week cold. We came from Maryland, where we stayed inside when it got that cold. We didn’t really leave the comfort of our heated home. Yet, here, we head outside. We walk through the Reforestation Camp, walk the local bike trails, and walk our neighborhood. The other day it was in the 20s and I looked at the kids and said, "We are going for a walk!" The kids got on their snow gear and we headed for a walk through the neighborhood. And you know what? We ran into several neighbors. They were out walking and working in driveways. We stopped and chatted with several. My neighbors are teaching me a lot about not letting a little thing like weather stop you from living. Embrace the beauty of where you are. With that in mind, our oldest has joined a cross country ski team, and the rest of us will be taking cross country ski lessons this winter. I honestly cannot wait to get on skis!
Other than that, little by little, we are forming community here. We are having people over for dinner, chatting with other families at pick up at school, laughing with neighbors, rejoicing with families who are welcoming their newest addition and making them meals, and mourning with families who have lost little ones even before they can wrap him in their arms, or lost another family member too soon. A month ago a neighbor brought me gas on the side of the road when I ran out of gas and Pete was out of town for work (yep, it really happened). When I reflected on all of this over the last week, I realized something. This is community. Our roots are starting to reach into the ground a little here before it freezes for the winter. And, when spring rolls around, those small roots will grow a little bit stonger and grow a little bit deeper. When spring comes, our family may just be blooming here. I am hopeful for spring.