I tell my mom it's a good thing. When time stretches out between posts she inevitably worries I'm not doing well, but it doesn't mean that at all. In fact, quite the opposite. I am most compelled to write when at my lowest, confused by my emotions, overwhelmed by my surroundings, or just downright in the dumps. I'm a complainer, by nature, so when Joel tires of hearing my gripes, I turn to the blog.
But currently I am mostly gripe-free, so I suppose this should be a surprisingly pleasant update on our life here.
Shortly after Aiden's birthday our family spent a long weekend in Prague. Joel both attended and presented at his first international conference and I fully embraced the perks of my stay-at-home mom status, tagging along with the kids as his supportive, but inevitably needy companions.
We spent some time exploring Prague on either end of our trip, but while the city held incredible aesthetic appeal in its rich architecture and beautiful, stone-inlayed streets, it was cold. In the end my fellow complainers and I wrestled Joel into the warmth of restaurants and, ultimately, back to our hotel.
But the hotel was a treasure in itself. Kids and hotels aren't usually a great mix. The small rooms, thin walls, and lack of most anything fun can create a real nightmare past the initial new place excitement. So when we decided to take this trip together, in the dead of winter, I knew we needed an exceptional hotel. We needed... The Aquapalace.
It lived up to everything the name suggests (and Trip Advisor confirmed). I loved the huge, delicious breakfast and small, attached play area where I could sip my coffee and watch the kids clobber one another in the safety of the ball pit. The boys loved the wave pool, the miniature water slides, and, always, the ice cream. Joel loved that he could focus on his conference, without worrying about us, where we were and what we were doing (I think he enjoyed the water slides a little as well).
Joel's presentation went very well. He spoke about integrating Google Apps into classroom instruction. About 20 teachers attended and from what I heard (via AISB attendees) it was a great success.
Our transition back from the States remains smooth. Moments of homesick surface now and again, but I maintain a bit more perspective than I possessed in the fall, where floods of doubt and regret accompanied the most minor of setbacks. And while life certainly is not perfect now and I've experienced my share of disappointments, I also stopped blaming Hungary. This move. (My husband.)
For the first time, in this past month, I experienced small moments of content. Where I smile on my way to bed, for no other reason than the recognition that I am happy. Truly happy, if not always, at least in that moment.
It may not seem like a monumental accomplishment, or even worth mention, but it is what I missed so much about home. Because our first five months here lacked any of those moments. Sure, I felt happy at times, but not content, not peaceful and assured and comfortable. I trusted those moments would come, but I could barely understand how. I thought those feelings were only a memory, of a happier time.
I remember, particularly in October, singing along to this song in my kitchen, knowing the truth of the words, but feeling so hopeless.
It's by Sara Groves, one of my favorite artists, and the chorus says,
From this one place I can't see very far.
In this one moment I'm square in the dark.
These are the things I will trust in my heart.
You can see something else, something else.
I am just starting to recognize glimpses of the something else. At times they are long and at times they pass by before I know what happened, but I'm glad for small glimpses.
The regrets are fewer now and I'm starting to see all we are gaining from this experience. A closer family, committed friends, strength.
It's enough to get me from day to day. When I'm feeling hopeless or anxious or lost, it's just enough. Which, really, is more than enough.