Happiness Highlights: Homesick Edition

Last week was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for us. We said goodbye to friends in Pittsburgh, discovered the hidden beauty of Hocking Hills, Ohio, met up with family in central Indiana, then said goodbye to family through lots of tears.

Sunday morning found me questioning if we’d made the right decision – are making the right decision – to live so far away from our families in Iowa.

I often say that I think it’s important that parents don’t put their lives on hold for their children, but as I held my little girl while she sobbed about having to leave her grandma, nothing in the world seemed more important than making her happy again. My own homesickness mixed with her sadness and it took a phone call to my own mom to stop me from turning the RV towards Iowa for good.

Jared and I spent the drive to Louisville, Kentucky on Sunday talking about our choices – the sacrifices we’ve made and what we might be gaining in exchange. We talked about why we choose to spend so much of our time and money traveling right now, even though that means giving up time with loved ones and the easy comfort that comes from living in your hometown. It was reassuring to be able to go through all of the decisions we’ve made over the last few years and confirm that we’d make the same ones again. It was nice to hear Jared lay out the benefits he sees of us living the way we do right now.

Are we all a little homesick right now? Yeah, we are. But I’m also incredibly grateful to have had both of these pictures taken in the same week:

Skipping rocks with cousins in Indiana

Safely on the ground after scenic air tour of Hocking Hills

And I’m lucky, too.

Because my kids were happy in both photos.

What made you happy this week?

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  1. OHmommy says:

    I’m happy and thankful that, even though my family is spread around the US, I’m in India with my mother and sister. I treasure the time we have together. Being in India is just a bonus. :)

    • Miss Britt says:

      An AWESOME bonus.

      You bring up a good point though that is easy to forget – I am SO thankful for the time I get with Jared and the kids now, time that wouldn’t be possible if we weren’t living this particular lifestyle right now.

  2. Suebob says:

    There’s a sweet Mexican song about this “Que lejos estoy del suelo donde he nacido” – how far am I from the land where I was born. Here’s one version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYzre1MbjUk

    I think this grand adventure is something your kids will cherish for the rest of their lives. And you and Jared, too. It seems like you’re growing and learning so much.

  3. Sugar Jones says:

    One day, when you guys are all settled back at some home somewhere, you’ll only be able to remember the happy times.

  4. Nanna says:

    Oh my baby, what is that line in “Love, Pray, Eat”? (Or whatever that HORRIBLE movie was called) “How can I miss you if you don’t go away?”

    It’s otay. It’s otaaaaaayyyyyyy.

  5. Nicole says:

    Ah, the timeliness of your post is appropriate. At dinner, just an hour ago, I shared with my husband how homesick I am right now. It happens every fall- my favorite time of year. Your beautiful aerial photo brought tears to my cheeks, too. I’m grateful for a peek through your eyes, don’t get me wrong, but I’m so homesick right now. I miss the smells of fall, the chilly air, the laughter with friends as we drink hot cider after a hike, bonfires, and the general sense of cheer that fall always brought me. This is my fourth fall away and, though not necessarily easier, I know how to manage my homesickness when it hits. I let myself feel it, wallow in it, practically drown in it for a little bit and then I have to move on and see how good our choices have been. So, though I miss my old life and the people I shared it with during September and October, it’s okay. This week in particular brought with it a deeper friendship and also the next step in another friendship. For that, I am grateful.

    Sorry about the extra babble in this response. It was just too timely and apparently I needed to hear that I’m not alone out there. :)

    • Miss Britt says:

      You know, I get like this every fall too. Have since we left Iowa. And I know my girlfriend from Canada got like this every fall when she lived in Florida, too. I wonder if it’s because the slew of holidays is coming?

      • Nicole says:

        I honestly don’t think it’s the holidays for me- I found them to be extremely stressful with family dynamics and didn’t enjoy them. In fact, I LOVE the holidays out here because they’re nice and quiet. I think it’s just straight up fall and the relaxed nature of it. No expectations like holidays and just good ol’ fashioned cheer, with beautiful weather. :)

  6. Ally Bean says:

    The things that made me happy this week are all the things we did connected to making our home a better place. I don’t say this to torment you, but to encourage you. After you are finished wandering the country, you’ll know for sure where you want to live– and how you’re going to do it.

    That certainty, which we figured out after our voluntary year off from work, is priceless. Yes, things are emotionally tricky right now in the short run, but later everything you’re going through now will make sense. Really, it will.

    • Miss Britt says:

      Thanks for the encouragement. :-)

    • pocket_queen says:

      You are both so right, and timely. After going to study to Europe for 2 years, I am back home now while facing the decision to take a job and move there more permanently -or at least for a year or two.
      This just reminded me that the whole point of going there is to find that certainty.. of whether I’d like to stay there, or come back for good. I needed that, thanks! :)

  7. wish i had magic words of encouragement and comfort, but i don’t. all i know is that the opportunities that you have worked so hard to create are truly a blessing and don’t happen every day. i love watching you suck the marrow out of life, truly living instead of just existing.

    (yes, i just googled thoreau to get the exact quote: “I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die Discover that I had not lived.”)

    tremendous fall photos! thanks for sharing.

  8. KDrausin says:

    Britt, you are able to see the big picture of life. Not everyone sees this way. I think seeing the big picture helps us focus on what’s important.

    All I can offer is my own experience – I’m a bit older than you. I moved to Cape Coral because I knew it was the only time in my life I could share experiences with my grandparents. They have passed away and I’m thankful I made that decision. Also, now that my kids are teens I realize how short the time was that we have all been together. There’s still a lifetime ahead of me. Choices you make right now aren’t really for the rest of your life even though it seems that way because you are young. They are simply choices for now and one day can change. Try not to stress too much. And thank you for the beautiful pictures of fall.

  9. Megan says:

    Be happy about the homesickness too. Be happy that you have people who you love who love you and a place to go if you need a place to go. It’s a precious thing. Also? What your mom said.

  10. leanne says:

    What made me happy… playing outside with my kids and enjoying the continued warmth (though today is another story weather wise). And enjoying baked pumpkin oatmeal fresh out of the oven with my family over the weekend. Those kinds of things always make me happy.

    Beautiful photos.

  11. Caitlin FitzGordon says:

    I’d love to hear the list of benefits of living the way you do. My husband and I are thinking of doing a similar trip with our two kids and it would be helpful to me to hear what’s great about it–besides what you already share on your awesome blog. Thanks for doing it and telling us all about it!

  12. Lisa says:

    Your kids are getting such an education on this trip! In addition to all the great places to see and people to meet, they’re learning that everything comes with a price and it’s not necessarily a monetary one. I think if you asked them they’d still opt for this journey you’re on, even knowing that missing their loved ones is a part of the cost.

    My happiness this week was hard to find because it’s been a tough couple of weeks, but I spent a lovely couple of hours by the campfire Friday night with my uncle, a rare time that it was just us. We got to talk about everything and anything, and I am thankful for that time with him.

  13. martymankins says:

    Nice happy smiling faces. I would be a bit nervous in that small plane, but that’s an exciting adventure with a little bit of trepidation.

    What made me happy? That i had a good Saturday where at least some things got done without the usual distractions taking over.

  14. the muskrat says:

    Last week, I got to find out the house we want needs a new furnace and most of a new roof! That wasn’t all that happy (but will be when/if the current owner fixes them before closing, like I’ve requested). I also got to go to St Simons Island for a few days for my annual continuing legal education seminar. That was happy.

  15. Karen Ward says:

    Hi Miss Britt: Just wanted to say that it was our pleasure to escort you through the skies over the beautiful Hocking Hills! The canopy below is proudly modeling its fall clothing line…. Designs by God.
    Thank you for visiting Hocking Hills Scenic Air Tours! Sincerely wishing you all the best, Harry Sowers and Karen Ward

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