It's been 10 months since Ohio was officially our home. It's been 10 months since we've been making our home in Houston. In 2011 we traveled between Houston and Cleveland 7 times. This year it will be 4 times. We hadn't been here since New Years and this trip felt different than our past visits. I'm not entirely sure why but I do know that people change, places change and time changes everything.
For me, the biggest change, was that Ohio didn't really feel like home and we were officially visitors. This leaves me in a bit of a conundrum because Houston doesn't really feel like home either. For a few days I felt a little off, not knowing exactly where home is. And I'll be honest, I think I'll always refer to traveling back to Ohio as "going home," but this trip and I'm sure trips to come, my status will be as a visitor.
It hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized why being home felt a little different than before... this visitor status unhinged me a bit. Shopping in Giant Eagle, not having a discount card and missing my HEB samples made me realize it was no longer my grocery store. Walking into church, their were greeters I didn't recognize and having people welcome me to my church, my home church, felt awkward. But enough people didn't recognize us and welcomed us formally, that I felt like a visitor. Calling, emailing and confirming plans felt so formal when a year ago most of our plans were made a last minute and we flew by the seats of our pants a little more often.
It wasn't until Wednesday night, sitting at my nephews soccer practice that I realized what home was. For me, for right now, I'm finding home is in moments more than actual places. Now granted, wherever Matt, Gabe and I are together is home but that could be in Ohio, Texas or the moon! But I also felt at home sitting around the table watching Ethan run drills, talking to Annie and mom and listening to Gabe squeal in delight as the soccer ball hit the wall. Just an hour later the moment was right again as my mom walked off holding Gabriel and my brother Matt gave me a sweaty hug after his game.
Moments like watching Gabe play trains with his cousins, whispering in the movie theater with Sondra, sitting at the dinner table with Natalie, Charlie, Wyatt and Kiera eating, talking and laughing at the craziness our 2 little boys create. Moments like staying up late talking to my dad, reading with Gabe cuddled in a bed, walking through the market, park and zoo with great friends. Teaching Jake how to tie his shoe, watching my nephews sleep, spending time with my 'sisters, loving on my 'niece,' laughing until it hurts... for me these moments I find home. I feel like I'm home.
I'm learning (slowly) that home is less about a place or where your roots are planted but where your love is. While my ultimate home is in heaven, I'm going to make these moments of home on earth count. When I don't feel like I'm at home, when I'm lonely in Texas or anxious in Ohio, I'll know that this is not my final destination. And I'll take these moments in time where I feel at home and hold on to them, letting go of everything else knowing the best is yet to come.