The Tension: Scrapbooks of Home…

Little orange packages

My dining room has a credenza filled with scrapbooks. I started scrapbooking shortly after our wedding. My MIL is a scrapbooker and I thought it would be something we could share. I started with our dating book and then the engagement book and the wedding book. I made one book for our three years in Georgia but since then, I have done a book a year. Which starts with the school year, in August. Because teachers.

Let’s be honest. That’s a little bit crazy.

Nothing says incredible geek like an entire piece of furniture for scrapbook storage. And that I get sort of giddy about these little orange packages coming to my door.

Although, let’s not forget I was a cross-stitcher in college. Basically, I’ve been forty my whole life.

I AM SO COOL.

What those scrapbooks say (apart from “mean girl prey”), so much life lived.

Scrapbook holder

We have lived in four states, four apartments, and six houses. Attended two universities earning four degrees (only one of which is mine). A small town, a mid-size city, a large metroplex.

We’ve lived where the local Wal-mart served as the town’s social center. Fell hard in love with a city rebuilding and revitalizing after horrible tragedy. And have moved from center to south to north or west and back to the south in one of the nation’s largest cities.

Home is My People…

All those places and all those scrapbooks tell the story of the enormous gift of people we received in each.

For sure, our family in Alabama holds our hearts. They are our roots and where my mom is, that is home. She and Dad could move to any city anywhere and that would become my home.

Over the years and places and nests, friends have grown to be our extended family. Become our home away from home. Or, I guess, another home. And a part of my heart remains with them.

My children have “aunts” all over. Women who have laughed and prayed and celebrated and cried and encouraged and fed and loved us so well. These are the people in our lives I would get on a plane to be with and I know they would do the same for us. When we get the chance to visit with them, my heart and soul fill up.

We Are a Home…

The tension my soul feels?

As much as my parents and our friends have become our home, we are home to our children.

I am both a daughter and a mother.

So when we pull back into Texas and I feel that familiar sense of un-leveling, my children experience the calm and comfort of returning to their only home.  Our family.

My soul longs to travel, to hug the necks of my people in locations all over, to stay up way too late eating queso and solving approximately zero of the world’s problems.

My children want all of me to be focused on all of them. They need to know when they sit in my lap for snuggles, my attention is fully on their needs.

And most of the time, they get all of me.

But occasionally, when I am feeling used up, my heart wanders to all those places and I can’t help but feel the tension between wanting to be home to my children and at home with my people.

Scrapbooks on display

Those scrapbooks hold the tension. They are the story of our family, our friends who are our extended family, and my children’s family. Of all the places and nests we’ve built and nurtured.

And the blessing of that tension? I get to take them with me wherever we go.

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