Pandemic Week 26: Transition Time

This has been a week filled with anticipation and a whole lot of change. We moved back to Seattle over the weekend!

There was so much up in the air with Ben’s school last week we really weren’t sure when we’d even go back to Seattle. It felt like all of our plans and the week’s schedule were put on pause until we ultimately decided to go back on Friday afternoon.

We made the most of our last days in the mountains with a trip to the beach, hikes and a few nice meals together.

The kids loved spending a little extra time with Grammy and Papa last week in preparation for a little time apart.

Both Ben and Hannah have been getting more and more into art – painting, in particular, and have loved our regular “art on the deck” moments.

A fun activity they enjoyed with Grammy was painting some rocks they found while on a walk.

For our last evening in Leavenworth we went out to Ski Hill to have a picnic. Ben did his first mountain biking jaunt. This kid is a natural on his bike – it’s incredible to watch. He has taken off with his new, appropriately sized bike.

We left the mountain house teary-eyed on Friday afternoon after spending 5.5 months in dreamland, escaping the pandemic. It was so hard to say farewell to such a special chapter in our family’s story.

Upon arriving back in Seattle the mood picked up and we had an absolutely wonderful afternoon and evening. The kids were beside themselves with excitement to see Henry, our cat, who has been weathering the storm {under the care of our neighbors} here in Seattle.

We bumped into so many of our lovely neighbor friends over the weekend, we got ice cream from the shop in our neighborhood, we had the best pasta takeout from our favorite neighborhood spot and the kids relished in being home. We just love where we live.

That said, being back in our small house in Seattle has been filled with an array of emotions. It’s home and it feels like home. But it’s also half the size of the house we’ve been living in and there are no sight lines from one room to the next. It feels dark and closed in and a bit suffocating at times. The kids do not have easy access to just run outside and play, which has been a huge adjustment for us all these last few days.

It’s overwhelming to have toys and piles everywhere and a clingy koala bear attached to my leg, while having my kids making simultaneous demands. My biggest goal for the week is to figure out a plan to not feel overwhelmed here, or overwhelmed when we transition back here, and how to make it easier for my kids to go back and forth.

Alex and I did a major overhaul of our closet. If we’re not going to wear it in the next year, being in a pandemic, goodbye to you {with a few exceptions}. It felt so good to get rid of some of the excess and unnecessary clutter. We cleaned up our backyard quite a bit and I’ve been trying to get rid of a bunch of random things we don’t use or don’t need. It always feels so liberating to purge.

I promised Ben that before he started school I’d take him to the ocean. We headed northwest to Whidbey Island where we landed at Double Bluff Beach, a massive beach on Puget Sound.

Our beach day was extra special because of Ben’s enthusiasm and tremendous interest in marine life.

It was low-tide upon our arrival and it was really fun watching the tide roll in while we were there. The kids have never had an experience like that before.

Since it was low-tide we had the pleasure of finding all sorts of things in the sand – crabs, seashells, live sand dollars and a whole bunch of seaweed.

The kids loved building sand castles and playing in the sand, looking for seashells and Ben had so much fun splashing in the water and making seaweed necklaces. We had a fun picnic lunch and enjoyed the ocean air.

Our adventure to the beach was the perfect end-cap to our weekend on the west side of the mountains. We have no idea what the next weeks or months will look like for our family or for the world. I’m going to have to dig a little deeper to pull together some more creative voyages for us during the week, but I’ll find a way.