We are into our new (old) home in the New Hampshire countryside and, though bare, it is finally fairly functional: we can eat, sleep, clean ourselves, and (glory be!) get online in comfort. The newness of country living is also settling in (although I was informed by a 17-year-old resident of nearby Concord, population 45,000, that I do not live in the country, but an urban rural area - I scratched my head as I had seen less than two dozen people that day, but I guess everything is relative, no?). First up: figuring out how to not live in my car but instead enjoy my village and home - perhaps a subscription to Amazon Prime is the ticket??
But before I delve into country living, it is time to properly say goodbye to London. While passing through recently on a work trip, I took the time to really say goodbye to many of my favorite haunts, pictured below. For regular readers of this blog, you'll know that repatriation has been hard, mostly because I didn't properly say goodbye before leaving, not knowing for certain that we would not return. However, the opportunity to say goodbye to some of my favorite places has certainly helped with the transition - perhaps a parallel to how interacting with a deceased loved one helps with closure in grieving them. I recommend it for anyone coming home soon.
|Goodbye London buses and Green Park along Piccadilly|
|Goodbye Shepherd's Market, where we used to live.|
|Goodbye Landsdowne Club, where we worked out every morning while living in Mayfair.|
|Goodbye 18th century architecture of Berkeley Square|
|Goodbye Berkeley Square, with its ever-changing statuary.|
|Goodbye hanging pots and Mount Street with its fab shops and even better hidden park.|
|Goodbye Camden Vintage, where I got my first Burberry rain slicker (215 GBP rather than 2,000!)|
|Goodbye delicious food of Camden markets, where we spent so many Saturdays getting lunch in the rain.|
|Goodbye Camden Locks.|
|Goodbye Gloucester Avenue, the street where we used to live, with its bakery, fishmonger, pubs, and quaint market.|
|Goodbye Triyoga, where many baby massage, baby yoga, and normal yoga and pilates classes were enjoyed.|
|Goodbye Primrose Hill High Street, where I bumped into friends in your quaint independent shops regularly and parked my bike with the kiddos in it almost every day to run errands.|
Goodbye, London! You will never be replaced. I will miss you affectionately rather than terribly - it's easier that way.
Small Wonders (apologies - been a while since I've had proper internet - this post will be huge!):
* Gideon's language has taken off - full sentences, and commentary on what he thinks and feels: he'll say when he is frustrated, when he cried, when he feels the Spirit, and when something is fun. He will also suggest/demand things he would like to do: "I go to Old McDonald's!" "Maybe some chips?"
* Apparently specific jokes are hereditary - Lance and I have this thing when we will look ascant - at the floor, ceiling, slightly at each other - when there is awkward silence between us. Gideon has never seen us do this, but he did it to me when he had nothing to say the other day.
* We've been reading the Book of Mormon together as a family in the morning. Gideon "reads" by repeating us for a verse or two. The other morning he came up to read and said, without any prompting: "And it came to pass" (a frequent beginning to many verses in the Book of Mormon, which spans 1,000 years.)
* Esther can now wave, clap, point, and understands and responds to "kiss," "you do it" (to hold her bottle, etc.), "switch" to change hands," "stinker!" (queue to antagonize more), her name, and baby. Her favorite activity of late is to climb stairs and practice coming down, an essential here in the new house.
* After waking every night at least once if not twice or more since moving, Esther is finally sleeping through the night - more food, a little discipline and adding protein powder to her coconut milk did the trick. It's nice to get good sleep again, and right in time for work deadlines!
|In the old apartment.|
|Trains at Bedford Library, aka "the temple"|
|Cheekily staking claim to her brother's sleep tent.|
|Packing in the Manchester apartment|
|Gideon became besties with Olie, a manager at our old supermarket in Manchester. She will be missed!|
|Checking out the new digs.|
|So excited to be in the new home!|
|packing his cars|
|Exploring in the new house.|
|Dinner and elephants at new friends.|
|Whenever we go anywhere, Gideon will take off his hat and shoes. I found them this way while he was playing with toys in a store.|
|Ollie of PriceRite gave G some cars, which he takes everywhere and then does this.|
|Moving into a new home, however great, has its downsides.|
|Already for our morning turkey trot. We survived our backyard woods!|
|Back of the new house.|
|Table set for Thanksgiving at the Swets, where we were invited to spend the afternoon.|
|Sunset in Bow after Thanksgiving dinner.|
|Bring on Black Friday!|
|The lighting of the Joseph Smith Memorial was a first Christmas tradition. Kids loved everything about it - live nativity, lights, cider, cider donuts, and the snow globes.|
|Bathtime and bedtime shenanigans.|
|We now have lots of empty space - our shipment gets here Jan. 2, and then we'll still need to go shopping!|
|Carol singing and tree lighting in our new town. Gideon is pictured with our new neighbor whom he's taken a shine to.|
|Hopkinton Covered bridge.|