I am still blown away by the fact that we are finally "Home". In our 16 years of marriage we have lived in 11 different houses, 3 different states, and 2 countries. As an Air Force wife I quickly learned how to create a beautiful home where my family could thrive no matter what the circumstances. I also learned how to make friends quickly. Friends became everything to us, especially when we lived overseas in England. Our friends became our family... eating holiday dinners together, traveling together, watching each others kids, and being a shoulder to cry on in times of crisis. Our life has been exponentially blessed by the families we have met and the trials and adventures we have had as we have lived around the world.
But through it all I have had a little dream in the back of my head that someday we would finish with the Air Force and move back "Home".
"Home" is such an interesting concept. I have been thinking a lot about "home" lately and what that means. I have certainly loved every place we have lived. I have been happy there and embraced the culture and quirks about each new region. But there is something about THIS place. This place that I live right now... Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is HOME.
Minneapolis Sculpture Gardens
I grew up in Utah. My parents moved there before I was born. I spent my early years in Draper and lived in Sandy right through High School Graduation.
Tessie 8 months
I adore Utah. I love the mountains, the skiing, the quaking aspen in the fall, the dry air, the lack of bugs, the four seasons, and the people! But somehow, Utah just never felt like home. I know it doesn't make sense, but when it came time for college I did not apply to a single Utah school. I applied all over the country and got accepted to a bunch of different schools. I narrowed my choices down to University of Washington in Seattle and University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. I went to visit both of the colleges and as soon as I set foot on the U of M campus, I KNEW that this was home!
About to drive from Utah to Minnesota to start my Freshman Year
I felt like I belonged here in Minneapolis, like my soul had been yearning for this place for years. I looked at all the students wandering around campus and I thought, "This is where I want to be. This is my HOME!"
After starting college it didn't take long before a met a cute boy named CJ. Marriage was not in my original life plan... I thought I would get married some day... maybe when I was 30? But CJ came a long and how could I resist? He swept me off my feet and before I knew it we were married and incredibly happy.
We ended up only living in MN for a few years before CJ joined the Air Force and we moved to Washington D.C. for medical school. We continued to move around with the Air Force and in the meantime were blessed with 4 of the most amazing human beings.
As we traveled around from place to place, people would ask where "home" was? And I would always answer, "Minnesota". Unless of course they asked where I grew up? Then I would tell them the story of how I grew up in Utah, but I claim Minnesota as home :)
CJ and I both always longed to get back to Minnesota, but life seems to throw so many curve balls that we didn't know if our plans would actually pan out. And now we are here! How did this happen? I can hardly believe that my heart's desire has been fulfilled! Some day I will have to write about the countless miracles that had to happen for us to be here. So many moving parts and so many obstacles to overcome, but everything seemed to work out. Miracle after miracle! And now we are here. We are home.
It is weird to be in this stage of life. My youngest is 6 and my oldest is 14. I am slowly figuring out how to be a new kind of parent. A parent of older kids, a parent to teenagers. After so many years of always moving, we are settled. We are done with school, residency, and that terrifying "just out of training" phase. Now we have arrived. Good job, good community, a loving church family and a brand new house. Did I mention we built a house??? Yes it is more than I could have dreamed of. My cup runneth over.