We just got back from a nine day (plus an unexpected two days -- thanks, snowstorm!) stay in Michigan. I took a break from blogging while out of town because I needed to. Life was hitting us hard and heavy prior to leaving and my increasingly declining moods indicated I needed some time to sign off, refresh, and soak in all the time I could with the people who I've missed so dearly over the past couple years.
The trip was everything we needed, wanted, and more. We caught up with many loved ones over dinners and lunches and made sure to carve out some time spent with just the 4 of us. And it felt like home. With so much time having passed and so much change having occurred since we were last in town, I didn't really know what to expect. Would it be weird being a mom around my childhood friends? Would relationships be different? Would we have been forgotten? A near three year chunk is in no way a lifetime, but it's just enough time to question if we would still be a part of that community we left as newlyweds. Thankfully and unsurprisingly, Detroit delivered. The love we were showered with almost made me uncomfortable and left me feeling like I couldn't say "thank you" enough.
And introducing Ella and Archer to everyone? Forget about it. To see your loved ones gush over your children is a precious site and one I didn't take for granted. You get to witness the joy that only tiny humans are capable of spreading and it kinda makes you fall in love with your kiddos all over again.
To be a part of a community - a village - is a priceless gift. I once ached to get away from it (because - yeah - the village can get annoying) but now it's something I long to go back to. I'm not sure if we'll ever find a similar community elsewhere and I'm not sure I want to. Its one-of-kindness is what makes it so great. We're now separated once again by a timezone or two, but I know that the wonderful, full of Midwestern generosity village that is Southeastern Michigan hasn't changed a bit. It's only doubled in size and grown in love and for that I'm counting down the days until we get to go back.