From the day we moved, I started counting down the days until our trip home. And it finally came.
The trip home was originally planned so Kevin and I could run the Maine Marathon relay, but due to horrible weather, we bailed at the last second. We just couldn't justify having the kids outside in cold, wind driven rain while we ran. And let's be real, while I may "like" to run, I don't "like" to run in the rain. So, we didn't run. I'd lie if I said I wasn't disappointed in myself, but some things cannot be avoided.
On Thursday (Sept30) we loaded up the car and set off for a 505 mile drive to my parents house with four children, two dogs and a car packed. The kids did absolutely amazing. We stopped three times, two of them being short stops. The big girls did awesome. Clara did shockingly well. There were just a few times she yelled "out", but she was easily distracted. Callum did amazing, too. He slept and was very content.
The first day we were there was absolutely beautiful. We set off for the beach and some ice cream to kick off our vacation. The kids were in heaven and so were the dogs. Hell, who am I joking!? I was in heaven, too. It felt so good to be home.
On Saturday, we just hung out. My brother and his family came over and I made homemade pizza. The next morning we set out for a quick overnight trip to Maine to visit with friends. That evening we met several other families out at Flatbread pizza for some fun. It felt so good to reconnect with everyone. Mairead was in heaven and wouldn't stop hugging her good friend, Julia.
Monday we woke up and enjoyed the morning with some friends. It was like I never left, and I liked that. We then set out to visit our friends at Our School, Mairead's old preschool. After our visit, we went out to lunch with a good friend. It felt so amazing to be home again. Catching up with friends. Driving around our neighborhood. It sparked so many amazing memories of our three short years there.
After lunch, we headed back to my parents house. My parents live across the street from another Coast Guard family who have three children the same ages as the girls. The kids play great together! That night, the kids went to bed and at 6am, we were awoken by a screaming Mairead. She was screaming that her right leg (groin area) hurt and she couldn't walk. I had never seen her so upset before. It was scary. Over the last few weeks, she had mentioned that the same leg was bothering her. I was really nervous. Once we all got dressed and ready, I took Mairead to the emergency room. Yep, what would a trip away from home be without a trip to the emergency room? They did X-RAY's, bloodwork and we waited. Mairead couldn't walk and had to be carried everywhere. We waited some more. And some more. The X-RAY was normal, and we got reassuring news that her bloodwork was normal, too. We left the hospital without any real answers. The next morning, we had a follow-up appointment with an orthopedic doctor. He diagnosed her with toxic synovitis, which made sense because the kids all had a viral fever a few weeks back. Thankfully there are no longterm implications and she was fine....oh, and could walk, just fine, too!
That afternoon, my mom took the big girls to their very first movie theatre experience to see The Lion King 3D. While they were there, I took Callum to visit a dear friend ( an old co-worker) who was diagnosed with leukemia over the summer. I brought her and her husband lunch and spent a few hours with her. It was a nice afternoon with her. She has helped me so much with any breastfeeding questions I have had, so the least I could do was bring them lunch. That evening we had dinner with some friends of ours and their three children. It was great to catch up with them!
On Thursday, we had plans with some more Maine friends - the activity never stops!!! We headed up there for the day and hung out with friends. Once again, the girls were in heaven playing all day long. Being home makes me so homesick. I never thought I'd miss that place as much as I do. I think it was also hard to see the girls so happy. They just had smiles of joy on their face for the entire day and comments such as "Mommy! I am having so much fun!" or "Mommy! I love playing with all of my friends."
Friday we went apple picking. It was a gorgeous day! We all had some fresh baked apple cider donuts and then headed out into the orchards. The girls ate countless apples. Clara had some two year old troubles, but thankfully, she quickly snapped out of it and had a great time. After apple picking, we headed to our favorite sandwich restaurant for some lunch. Mmmmmm! That evening we headed to my brother's house to celebrate the birthdays of Clara, my mom, Kevin, and my cousin Sean. It was great to see everyone.
Saturday we took an impromptu trip to the Topsfield fair with my parents. When we got there, we had a massively flat tire. My dad and Kevin changed it and when we got home, we had to buy new tires. Ugh. I hate cars. We all had a great time at the fair. It was HOT outside, almost too hot for a fair, but overall, we all had a great time, and it was a perfect way to spend the last day of our vacation. When we got home, my parents neighbors came over, the kids all played, we drank a few drinks and ordered pizza. The perfect way to end our vacation and to spend a Saturday night. God, I miss this place.
Our ride home was thankfully uneventful. The kids did just as awesome on the way home as they did on the way to New England. We had such a great time and I cannot wait to go back home again to see everyone. The girls are already asking when we are going back, too.