Old vs new

{Mom, Crystal…if you’re reading this you might want to grab some tissues. I needed them as I wrote this post}

Last night I saw a picture of our old Florida house and it felt…weird. It just looked so foreign. In some ways it seems like we’ve been in Michigan forever and in other ways it seems like just yesterday.

Leading up to the move, I really wasn’t all that emotional about leaving our house. Honestly, I was OK with it. I knew we were supposed to move, and to be honest the whole being separated from Ken thing was getting really old and I was ready to move on. I had counted on being weepy and crying about leaving my children’s childhood home. After all, I was leaving the house that sheltered us as newlyweds. I have so many memories in that house:
countless movie nights with family
dinner with friends
Christmas breakfast with my family
Christmas decorations
10:00 coffee with my mom
evening wine with my mom and dad
bringing home our boys for the first time
first steps for those boys
Ethan making friends with birds in the front yard
writing with chalk on the sidewalk
sleepovers
first days of school
homework at the dining room table
home group Bible studies
additions to the house
remodel of the kitchen
laughter
tears
good times
hard times
Our times.

But I think I was almost more emotional about the house last night than I was when we left in July.

On the day we left, my mom took this picture of us saying goodbye to our house. (Mind you, I had been living as a single mom for almost 5 months and we were on water restrictions and neither of those bode well for a yard.) 

As much as I miss that place and the memories it holds, I had to remind my self that it’s just a house. I had to remind myself that we will experience new memories in our new home. We signed a three year lease so by the time our lease is up we will:
have one in high school
and one in middle school
host dinner with friends
do homework at the dining room table
eat dinner outside on the deck
watch deer from our backyard
listen to the faint sound of the train downtown
have sleepovers
celebrate Christmases
and Thanksgiving dinners with my Florida family (cannot wait until they come in November)
see first snow
take summer vacations
and who knows what else.

Our current house will never hold the same spot in my heart as the one in Florida does but that’s expected, right? That little yellow house held a mountain of Firsts. But our current house will also host its own lists of Firsts. Do I regret moving to Michigan? Nope. Do I wish I could have my family (and friends) with me and hear my nieces’ little footsteps in my house? You bet your life. For now, I can anticipate and prepare for everyone coming to visit in November. We’ll have 10 of us in our little house. I’m so excited, I can’t stand it.

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Our wacky jackie

I had a few minutes with Jackson the other day and I thought I’d take advantage of the sunny day and his good mood. Plus it’s been a while since I’ve shot some photos of my kids. Ethan is next (you’ve been warned). They’re both part of the reason this blog is called Freckles and Fences.

You might think he looks mad/sad/angry but he isn’t. We’ve come to call this the “Jackson face”. He’s a well rounded, happy kid. I promise. Every kid has a fake smile, right? This is Jackson’s.Why, oh why, do boys always seem to get the lashes?He’s not always serious. See? Well rounded…

OK, enough of the “proud mom showing her kid’s photos to those that aren’t really interested” for now. 

Cummingston Park

The other day I decided I wanted to walk on the dirt. I wanted dirt instead of a concrete sidewalk. Not that I hate concrete (lest it get its feelings hurt) but sometimes it’s nice to be in and on nature. After some quick googling, I came up with Cummingston Park. It’s about 10 minutes from my house so it was nice that I didn’t have to drive an hour.

As I entered the park, I said a quick prayer. I wanted to
a) walk out alive (it was quite hidden and secluded) and
b) see some wildlife other than 
squirrels

And here’s what I saw! Hello there, cutie.There were three of them. They would look up at me every once in a while and then continue eating. I was probably there for about 5 minutes when they decided to cross the path in front of me.Much better than a squirrel, right? It was a delightful little trail and I hear they have a “fall walk” in the (you guessed it) fall. I can’t imagine the colors! I will be going back, that’s for sure!

Handprints

Because every kid should do this at least once in their life…

It’s a shame we had to wait for the workers to leave and the concrete was almost too dry. But if you look real close, you can see two faint handprints of my two favorite boys. Even if our family is only here for a little while, the proof will be here forever (or until they need to replace this part of the sidewalk again). 

Fall festival time!

With the weather being so nice, I want to spend every waking hour outside. If you know me, then you know this strange for me. But it’s just so beautiful outside. Plus a little part of me knows that in a couple of months, it’ll be snowing (or in two weeks, as a friend joked the other day).

I warned Ken a while ago that I want to attend every fall festival, celebration, parade that we can find. Every.single.one. We started last weekend with the Plymouth Fall Festival. It was different than I had expected. All the fall festivals we ever attended in Florida were heavy with arts and crafts. And I loved that. I loved getting new fall decorations. This one was different: only a few arts and crafts tables (and less than a few unless you consider Tupperware and Pampered Chef arts and/or crafts) and there were carnival rides and games. And of course there was a classic car competition.

It was a beautiful day. I seem to recall people telling me it was gray in Michigan. So far, this hasn’t been the case. (Yes, I know…we haven’t hit winter yet – give it a couple weeks.)

I swear that no one believes me when I tell them how goofy Ken really is. Maybe having proof will help:

I have fall festivals lined up for the next two weekends! And we’ll also be visiting a cider mill. I have no idea what to expect there but I’m sure it’ll be fun! Everyone tells us that we need to go; I’m just trying to be an obedient member of society. 

Back to school

Just stopping in to let my family know that we’re still alive. The boys started school this week and so far, it’s going great. They were starting to get bored and I was ready for some quiet time around the house. Ethan actually wasn’t feeling well on the first day of school so he stayed home and Jackson went alone. By day two, Ethan was back to his normal self so off to school he went. Both boys have made friends already and seem to be enjoying their first week in a new school. In fact, Jackson actually thanked us for letting him go to his school. That made my heart smile. Lots of prayer went into what city we decided to live and one of the biggest factors was schools. 

Pardon the obligatory back to school photo. I hate taking these picture. There’s never enough time to get a “good” photo, we’re always rushing, and they never want to cooperate. So, I’ve decided I’ll take some better portraits soon. It’s been a while since I’ve tortured them used them as my subjects. Can’t you just see the excitement in their eyes? 

In other news, some of the trees have already started changing colors. Fall is just around the corner, though the weather hasn’t gotten the memo yet. Here are a couple snaps from my instagram feed:

I cannot wait to see these colors all over town. Our street is full of mature trees and the thought of all those colors welcoming me home makes me almost giddy. As well as the thought of hot chocolate, hot tea, soup, blankets, scarves, sweaters and the smell that fall brings. Everyone tells me that the smell in the fall air is amazing.

So how was your back-to-school week? Is it fall in your neck of the woods? What sort of fall things are you looking forward to?