I’m back from an extended weekend “up north” visiting family and friends in northern Minnesota (see my last blog post about WHY I LOOOOOOVE Duluth) and I have to be honest, I have a home hangover.  Bahhhh!!!!!!!

I knew it would happen.  I even tried to prepare myself for it.  I told Chad when we were still living in the hotel over a month ago that the biggest reason I didn’t want to visit home is because I was scared of coming back here.  Maryland doesn’t exactly have my heart, but I’ve never lived so far away from family, so anywhere I live that is away from them was going to be a challenge.

I got so much love when we were home… Time with friends and even more time with family.  Running around the park with my nephews, chasing them and watching them play.  Nightly fires with cold beers (GOOD beers!) and adventures that included a midnight trip to Ely Lake, fireworks and s’mores, and lengthy catching up.  That midnight trip to Ely Lake will be a favorite memory for a long time to come!  Sarah got to practice some starry photography resulting in some amazing, breathtaking shots of the blanket of Milky Way and some faint Northern Lights.  Chad and Johnny got extra-adventurous and ended up kayaking through the stars’ reflection on the lake at two o’clock in the morning (definitely not after a few beers either… definitely not).  When you have such limited time with friends, the time is much more quality-driven and we did not take that for granted.

I got to relax.  I got to breathe.  Laugh.  Smile.  Cry.  Yes, cry… happy and sad tears.  One of my best friends had to make the gut wrenching decisions to close his business at the end of this month due to health complications.  Such a best friend that we could be 35 years apart in age, but he inspires me to have the young heart to enjoy adventures.  Is that what I’m missing in Maryland?  Inspiration and a reminder to enjoy this adventure?  It was the last time I’d get to step foot into his business.  His couch was gone, the guitar was gone… his spirit will always be there, but even that showed signs of cracking.  My adventurous friend who has taught so much, has lived more lives than anyone I know, and has been let down by his body far too early.  Those are sad tears.

I got to watch another good friend run a sub-8 minute mile on the 8-week anniversary of having open heart surgery.  Triple bypass before he’s even 40 years old.  In the same race, we had the honor of cheering on Leah Karlon through the finish line.  I’m unsure of the specifics behind her condition, but her 34-minute mile was hands down the biggest inspiration I’ve seen in a while… The smile across her face when she broke the finish line tape was unforgettable, as was the crowd chanting her name bringing her in the last block to the finish line.  Those are happy tears!

So here I am… after all of that goodness, back to the east side… Back to finding my pace.  Finding a balance.  Everyone keeps saying it’s just going to take time… And that home is where your heart is.  For now, my heart is torn for the familiarity, family and friends at home, and the love for my son and husband here, and his opportunity in this place.

Anyway, until I figure all of that stuff out– the cure for any hangover, I’ve heard, is bacon…

Check out these sweet pictures from the weekend:






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