Sheeeeesh, it's been a busy couple of months. We've only been back in Albuquerque for 11 weeks, but it seems like we've been running since the moment we arrived. It's all been great though! I have no complaints at all. I sort of feel like I've come out into the sun after a couple of years in the shade. It's wonderful to see things clearly again, and to be back in my comfort zone. Plus, it's actually sunny here, so a literal interpretation works too. I still say "I'm so happy to be home" at least once a day.
We arrived at the house late on Monday, July 2. We figured that would give us one business day to deal with anything we might need to do before the holiday. Unfortunately, the lady who was assigned to be our rental manager the last 6 months of our time away was not a very competent replacement for our original guy. She didn't come by to bring us our keys until July 5, and we were dismayed to discover that she hadn't done any sort of exit inspection when our tenant vacated in June. By the time she appeared, we had already scrounged up a key to get into the house and started making repairs. I was NOT HAPPY about the situation. David's cooler head prevailed in the end, however, and we just let it go.
Although we were unhappy to with the condition of our house, the situation seems to have been a bit of a blessing in disguise. It was upsetting to find BBs in the walls and ceilings, broken doors and blinds and faucets, windows that won't open, burns and stains on the bedroom carpets, and two year's worth of wear and tear that we didn't cause ourselves. But it has felt really good to roll up our sleeves and work together to make everything nice again. I really do mean that. Plus, tackling all of these things at once put us into a do-it-right mindset that we might not have had if we'd done the same projects slowly over time. It's been really fun to put our house back together again. We're not completely finished yet, so I'll wait to post a house tour until later.
Anyway, back to the story of our summer. We've been working hard on the house, but it hasn't been all work every minute of every day! We've reconnected with lots of friends, eaten at all of our favorite restaurants, and visited some of our favorite local spots. The boys only had a six week summer because of the different school schedules, but we've packs a lot of lovely things into those six weeks.
The first restaurant we had to go to when we arrived back in Albuquerque was Weck's for breakfast. Chile! Finally!
We took time away from painting to set off some small fireworks (legal ones) on July 4th. It's was very surreal to be sitting comfortably in our own yard again on a cool, dry summer night.
It took a couple of weeks for the movers to deliver our furniture. We slept on inflatable beds while we waited. At least they were easy to move around as we moved our painting efforts from room to room.
We had some house guests very soon after our furniture and household goods were delivered. We hadn't unpacked very much yet, but it was so nice to spend some time with this lovely friend and her fantastic kids. It was a highlight of our summer.
We haven't done a lot of sightseeing this summer. I think we were kind of saturated with culture and historical sites after two years of active tourism on the East coast. We did visit a few favorite places when we needed a break from home projects and painting...
But even picking up bagels early on a Saturday morning can provide a beautiful sky full of balloons here. I guess it's ok for us to just do homey things for one summer.
Reconnecting with our friends was one of the best things about our summer. It's been so great to see everyone again! Charlie and Tommy both picked up where they left off with their many besties, and I've been having lunch or coffee with a different person about twice a week since we returned. I very much appreciate all these wonderful people in our lives.
(I don't have photos of everyone, so please don't feel left out if you're not pictured! Also, I don't have any photos of Tommy and David with their friends, because their lives are more independent from mine.)
Speaking of Tommy, he spent the last two and a half weeks of the summer doing Band Camp at the high school. It's a whole new world for us. It was from 8 am to 6 pm every day, and he handled it like a champ. I was very proud of his efforts, and he was very happy to get involved with a fabulous set of friends.
Both boys were happy and confident and had settled in with a few good friends by the time the first day of school rolled around. It was the most stress-free first week of school that we've ever had, and that's amazing to me. Starting high school and middle school is a big deal, but the boys were totally cool about it. I guess they can handle a lot after the traumatic start at their new schools in Virginia two years ago. I know this is true for me!