I struggle with referring to our house in Baton Rouge as "home" because Chicago already has that place in my heart. But for lack of a better phrase, we're home! In less than 13 hours, I might add!
We initially intended to stay in Chicago until Wednesday since I have to be at school for professional development starting Thursday, but we decided to hit the road early for a number of reasons:
1. We weren't able to spend as much quality time with our friends as we had hoped. It's hard to make plans with friends around the holidays. Relatives are in town. People are traveling. It's a busy time of year for everyone. And normally, I am totally understanding of this. Except that it was kinda frustrating this year when I'm also in town for the holidays and want to hang out with those people who don't have time for me. I know it's not because they don't care, but it was still really disappointing since I don't know when we'll be in town again.
2. We were ready to be back in our house. We're super grateful to be able to stay with my parents when we come into town, but it's not the same as being in our own space. After a week and a half, we're both happy to sleep in our (significantly larger) bed, breathe easier (I love my doggies, but we're both super allergic to them), watch whatever we want on TV (without judgement from my father haha), and all the other little things that make each home unique.
3. It's cold in Chicago. The one benefit of living in the South is the warmer winter, and darn it, we were missing it once it started getting cold and icy!
4. I have so much school stuff to do. In the grand tradition of semester breaks, this is a time of reflection and revamping. I'm literally changing everything about how my classroom operates for this next semester (more on this to come), and I'm having quite a bit of anxiety (losing sleep over it, to be honest) about all the things I need to do to prepare for this. I have tons of planning and organizing to do to get ready for when my students come back next week, and I know I'll be more productive here where I have access to my "things" and can go to my classroom if and when necessary.
We had a great trip home, and I already miss my family. (To be completely honest, I was unexpectedly reduced to tears the second I said goodbye to my dad.) The hardest part is not knowing when we'll be back, but we're holding on to our long-term goal to move back. This is just the second half of our "adventure", right Ma?