We've been in our new home for seven weeks now, and we are all completely in love. This house is more than I ever could have imagined, it felt like home to me the minute we moved in, and every morning I wake up in awe of the fact that we get to live here. The house has turned out beautifully (and didn't require much more from us than furniture and a little paint here and there), it is the most adult house I can imagine living in. So much adulting going on here, I hope no one finds out that half the time I am bluffing at this grown-up stuff.
The other challenge we face living as a blended family is that there is not enough time in the day to get things done, or to give enough of ourselves to our children. The number of kids I have to think about/care about has tripled, and the stress of that reality combined with us working full time on opposite shifts has really weighed on both Jon and me this week. It is a major challenge to be emotionally present for six children, let alone each other, and ourselves, while working overnight, spending hours a day in the car driving everyone around, and making sure that dinner happens, the house doesn't get trashed, and the bills get paid. None of this is for the weak, that's for sure.
Some things we know are temporary. Right now we have four kids in four different schools, two of which are out of town and require driving to and from. That madness will only last one year, as RJ is graduating in the spring, and Nathan will be joining the ranks in our new town next year in middle school. So at least there is some relief coming eventually, but there will still be soccer practices, art classes, dance rehearsals, etc, to be running off to. I am currently envious of those families where both parents work when the kids are at school, and they are able to come home and have dinner together, even though for years I hated the thought of a 9-5 gig. Jon is at work five evenings a week, and I am out the door by 6:30 two nights as well, so it's a lot of crazy and not a lot of calm this month. Someday this will settle down and become a routine, but for now we just keep running in circles through the chaos.
Despite this chaos, there is a whole lot of love, and I feel overwhelmingly blessed to have found this life so quickly after coming out of years of unhappiness and mediocrity. No matter how busy and stressed out we are, I wouldn't trade it for anything.