Settling in.

Hi. Remember me? I'm Jamie and, uh, I used to blog here.

I haven't been around because I was super busy... y'know, settling in.

I'm not really sure how long it lasts, this “settling in” thing. All I know is that when people ask us how we're doing, that's what we say.

“We're settling in.”

Two months ago we made a big, fat, international trek from the suburbs of Costa Rica to the suburbs of California, and since then we've just been busy, busy, busy – settling in.

At home, “settling in” meant finding an affordable everything. It meant collecting beds and sheets and dishes and towels and all the stuff to keep all that other stuff clean and put away. It meant taking care of the basics. (That's code for 'buying a toilet plunger'. Trust me. You aren't settled in if you don't own a plunger.) Fortunately, we took care of the basics right away, because then “settling in” meant spending our last dime on a new air conditioner. Which sucks! But when you're trying to “settle in” during a triple digit heat wave in August, having air conditioning trumps having lamps/dressers/hand soap/bandaids/muffin tins aaaaand just about anything else you can think of.

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of Air Conditioning. For its sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain [fresh smelling armpits and a good night's sleep].”
~ See? It's, like, practically in the Bible

For me, “settling in” at home means creating a space that my family loves to be in. Honestly, I'm still working on it. There's still a lot of scrubbing to be done, repairs to be made, walls to be painted, and I've got this ugly-ass white laminate 90's kitchen just longing for a super-cheap-but-awesome facelift. But my biggest priority has been my kid's rooms. More than anything, I want them to feel “settled in”. I want them to feel at home here. I want this house to be where they come to retreat, rest, and redeem these inevitably hard days. I want my boys to have a place to invite their new friends, a place to organize their newly homework-driven lives, a place for them to be comfortable in their own skin while they adjust to being comfortable in a new community. So (instead of blogging), I've been doing all kinds of domestic arts and crafts and junk. ….

I decoupaged a bunk bed, people. A BUNK BED.

At work, “settling in” for El Chupacabra meant setting a schedule and learning to abide by it. He's now honoring his day off, which I like a whole lot. It meant hiring an admin (Woohoo! We love you, Kim!) And it meant jumping in with both feet, getting in way over his head, and drowning in work, meetings, budget, and vision – only to come out on top and do a kickass job - because he's El Chupacabra - that's just what he does. Eight weeks in, and everywhere I go I'm reminded by others that I married an amazing guy and I get to confirm that, yes, he really is a man after God's heart. What a privilege that I'm able to see this life unfold, day by day, and have for 18 years...

Sorry, ladies. That beard is aaaaalll mine.

So that's where we're at... still “settling in”.

Our house feels more and more like ours; the chaos and conflict of daily life is returning. We yell about dumb stuff, our kids bicker like know-it-all-jerks, we act like slobs, and I burn dinner, give it a fancy name, and serve it like it's supposed to be black. “Oh, this?...This... is... Crusty Smoked Blackened Tri-tip a la Flambe Brulee. Enjoy!” Then they eat it, cuz they're cool like that.

And my heart settles in, all the more.

I lay down at night, my beloved air conditioning whirs around me, and I breath it all in. I close my eyes and thank God for this place, this church, this community. And there, in the quiet of night, I can feel my Soul, Oh, my Soul, it settles in at the foot of the cross; the very place it found Peace so long ago.

And then I remember the thing that's so easy to forget when one is busy settling in...

...I'm already home.  

....     ....     ....

So, it's been awhile, friends. How have you been?