4,124.

Yep, that’s how many miles my husband drove his family of five across the United States over the last two weeks. If I could make a little map with a moving car across it for you (aka Sleepless in Seattle, only in that case it was an airplane), I totally would.

(But wait, I actually drove some too, so really he can only take credit for 4,080 miles. So there.)

It’s also likely the number of goldfish that were eaten and smashed into the car, mixed with the same amount of trail mix and peanut butter crackers, but who’s counting? And really, it’s nothing a little vacuum cleaning won’t help when the mood strikes me (and it hasn’t yet).

We rolled into our driveway Sunday evening after a 15 day jaunt across America, and home never looked or smelled so good. The children pranced in, our cat was appropriately snuggled and loved, Luke dumped our stuff all over the porch and headed to the grocery store for staples, while I sorted through things and may or may not have sneaked into my bed for just a few minutes while the kids were hopping all over the place. (grown ups need snuggle time too)

We’ve seen forests of pine trees, hills of cedar, great wide open muddy rivers with barges, suspension bridges, a million fireflies, beaver dams, rain and lightning, waterfalls that will make your heart stop in wonder, mountain ranges that take your breath away. We explored backyards and downtowns, berry patches and botanic gardens, tasted recipes I must repeat soon. We slept on 8 different beds (or floors), and drank that many and more types of coffee (and survived). We loved on and were loved by people we don’t get to see enough, we shared germs and suffered through fevers and sore throats, a doctor’s office visit (and some lollipos), visited ice cream parlors in three different states, a tradition we definitely need to start around here.

But more than anything, after every little joy and delight of the trip, after every ooh and ahh of the scenes of nature we don’t get to see around these-here-parts, after every snuggle and drool of nephews and nieces I miss so much, as we headed back down south and weaved our way through Texas again, my eyes, heart, and breath soaked it in–the knowledge that wide open spaces, sunny blue skies filled with billowy white clouds, and a skyline that never ends, are all this girl really wants. I love my homeland.

It’s good to be home.

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  • welcome back! (and – Julia looks so grown up in that last picture!)