Bless their hearts. We've been dressed and on time and back to it all. School's in full swing with homework and the whole nine. They gleefully report sibling sightings at the dinner table and the Mister and I are tickled to hear those usually result in hugging! I'm hoping to decamp to the pool all weekend to celebrate.
More likely we'll split our time between the pool, a seemingly endless review of MLS listings and open houses. We're in the throes of house hunting. Did I tell you that our oddly timed lease (we're out of the house in February) means we need new digs soon? Don't worry - we're planning for some sort of guest space when purchasing in Music City. And I'm still gunning for an all kids' bunk room to make use of any spare family space we can. You heard it here first! We gave ourselves the summer off from house hunting and are now in the thick of it.
Kind of like naming babies with a full belly, house hunting is really only terrifically fun when the pressure is off. But I'm grateful that the Mister and I have always been on the same page in our many homes (7 at last count!) in our 15 years. We've always come to a decision unanimously. So there's that.
Varied housing styles (townhouse, apartments, construction new and old and a beloved American Four Square) throughout the years have taught us about what we value in our space. Altho we're not campers, I feel sure that we could pretty much get by with a hot pot (speaks to my culinary skills, too) and a few rollaway beds. And surely we only need one full bath as that's all we seem to use (with maybe a spare for guests). The year we don't have baby toys or Johnson's baby wash in our shower will likely be when Baby Sister has flown the nest. Until then, we tend to happily live on top of each other, no matter how big the house.
Outdoor space matters now, too. Even though we absolutely loved our flat in London and some of us long to be city folk again, in Nashville we've found that we adore wide open spaces. (Cue the Dixie Chicks.) I remember crying a bit on a trip to Scotland being struck by how much the kids loved (and needed) to just open the door and run outside.
This is our first time looking for a home while living in the same town. While house hunting is something that happens to us every other year or so, that's new. It is a great luxury to be able to see a listing pop up and drive by a few minutes later. Even if it means the peanut gallery chimes in from the backseat about what they "would even consider!" Never before have the kids had a chance to see the places we're considering in person.
Which also means that they're learning some of the heartache that comes with house hunting. Just this week, Biggest Brother and I got way out in front of a love affair with a property with a small house and very big yard (he was creating mountain bike trails and I was decorating for Christmas). But we've bought a house that came and went three times before it was ours, and I'm trying to impart to them the confidence that the right place will be obvious when it is right for us.
As a testament to his goodness, while I was licking my wounds and replaying a kazillion "what ifs" about the house that I felt sure should have been, at bedtime prayers last night, Biggest Brother prayed for the people who got that house. Bless that guy's heart. I should be so loving and kind.
In summary, we're back to it all. Even house hunting.