Get ready to explore

Today was about exploring. Exploring new places. Exploring childhood memories. Exploring renewed relationships. Just exploring. Granted most of the physical exploring today was done by car, which, because I was squeezed in the middle of the back seat between two often demanding children, I was glad to see the end of. But I was glad we ventured out all the same.

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Now the landscape of Illinois isn’t quite as dynamic as Arizona. In fact, some might call it boring. And in deed, I did sleep through a fair amount of it, but the parts I did see were…homey. I love the mountains of Arizona, but this midwest girl also misses whole forests of trees spotted with gold, orange, and red. And I miss looking out across a field and literally being able to see towns miles and miles away. I’ve been away long enough that I forgot about that. Of course, there was also the moment that upon seeing fields of corn and oats for the first time, my Phoenix born daughter shouted, “Sand!” *hits hand on forehead* What have I done?

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Illinois’ beautiful “sandy” landscape.

But even before we hit the road, we explored deep down into the long lost territory of….our crawlspace. And oh the treasures we found! It was so amazing to pull out so many of my old toys and to share them now with Charlotte. It made me grateful that my mom has always been something of a hoarder (sorry, mom), and has saved so many of them for us. It was such a pleasure to sit and play with toys that I once loved and cherished with a daughter who can love and appreciate them now.

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Paula and I spent HOURS of our childhood setting up this house. The “people” that live in it are actually the most adorable little forest creatures. Charlotte loves them, but doesn’t want any of them to be dressed. I guess she just prefers that they be au naturel even if they do insist upon living in a fancy house.

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Tea anyone? 

But all of these new toys required a new playmate. Enter Jacob. Charlotte adores him. He is like a giant huggable, moveable, teddy bear. She climbs on him, sits by him, and requests his presence during all play times. It’s a relationship that couldn’t be sweeter. I am so glad we have the opportunity to come up and see our family, and for Charlotte and Britton to get to know their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I only wish we could do it more frequently.

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Charlotte and her favorite teddy boy, Jacob.

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Goodnight Kisses for all.

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