No, sweet John Shea did not decorate the steps up to our rental house. But he did pick out all of these pumpkins and then carried them for me upstairs! And then swiftly moved them to his dump truck, ha.
We are still in our temporary rental while we try to find the right house to buy, but the kids call it “home.” I’ve thought a lot about making a house a home over our past seven years in the Marine Corps, moving from Washington, D.C. to Okinawa, Okinawa to California, California to Croatia, and now Croatia to North Carolina. This one has been our longest transition, so I am SO thankful that our babies feel at home while we house hunt and we live without all of our stuff. More than anything, I am SO thankful that our family is together! There’s a few super simple, practical things that make a difference for us when first moving in to a new place. I wanted to share for anyone else in the same season right now…
1. The first one for me is always flowers (but of course!!). Picking some from the side of the road (I pulled over for this one after getting the kids donuts!) and having even just a water glass with a bloom in it is a joy to see and smell. My kids always notice when we have even just one flower on the table or kitchen and I know something as small as that is a cheer to them, like it is for me.
2. Photos. I always mean to be better about packing some loose photos in my carry-on when PCS season comes around, and I completely forgot this time. Thankfully I had a couple in my journal that I discovered and put up on the fridge. Within a minute, Gracie came running over, excitedly shouting, “John! ME! Bebe Georgia!” There’s power in something so simple as a few family photos and favorite memories.
3. Decorating for holidays. I haven’t done anything other than concede to buying a wagon-full of pumpkins (ha! how could I say no!?) but I’ll tell you what, coming back after being gone for the morning or day and seeing them all lined up on the stairs where the kids last put them (and seeing them in the dump truck) really does make us feel like we’re home!
4. Keeping up little traditions. So while we were living in Zagreb, Cam made breakfast of palačinke, eggs and bacon almost every morning. Gosh I miss him home and coming down to coffee and yummy smells and those extra minutes of sleep so much, ha!! I’ve been keeping that tradition alive. That first morning we were back on our own here in our rental, sans Daddy, we were all out of sorts and not on the time zone. I set John Shea’s palačinke in front of him and he looked so relieved and happy, he grabbed my face with his little hands and kissed me right on the lips! Traditions are huge, always, but I think especially when moving somewhere new.
I know none of these are earth-shattering… they are all small and inexpensive, but to me, doing special things like lighting a candle or having a cup of flowers are important because home is so special.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!