This afternoon I found myself sitting in a local short-order restaurant opposite my husband and older daughter with our younger daughter sleeping peacefully in her car seat beside me, munching on my delicious salmon burger and stealing a couple of fries from our daughter's kid's meal. Suddenly, I had to smile. Out of the blue, for no particular reason. Sitting there, looking at those three people that mean the world and more to me, my flowed over with happiness. My husband noticed my smile and asked me what was up, and I just told him nothing. Nothing in particular. I was simply happy.
But what was I so happy about? I suddenly became aware of all the small things that we mostly don't even notice in our day-to-day routine. I am blessed with a wonderful husband and two beautiful daughters. We're all healthy; ok, we're all having a cold right now, but nothing bad, and for the most part, we're healthy. We have friends, who are more like family than some people who are actually related to us. We have people supporting us no matter what. And we're doing fine financially. In this economy, that's a good thing. We're about to embark on an adventure to better our lives as a family, with support from so many sides. And right now, we have so much time to spend together as a family. Probably time is the major thing I am thankful for right now.
In the last two years, and maybe even before that, family time was oftentimes short. In between jobs, commuting time, and other obligations, spending time together was often not possible. Our only family vacation was a stressful trip to Germany, where we had an overfilled schedule of meeting with all the people we haven't seen in such a long time (most of my family I hadn't seen in three years). Once we returned, I was so ready for a vacation, but instead was back in my chair at the office the very next day, jet-lagged or not, I didn't have an option. The only thing we did not have during our vacation was quality time as a family. And once we move to Germany it will be a while until we can just relax and really enjoy time just us 4 together again. In between dealing with living with family, running from government agency to government agency to register our residence, applying for different services, applying for Richard's visa, looking for jobs, etc. there will be little time to relax. And once we have jobs, it will be all about looking for an apartment and moving our little family.
Right now, I am dream-planning a weekend trip for our family to this small hotel in the middle of nowhere in the Bavarian Forest. My parents used to take me and my sister there for family vacations a few time; back then, I was mostly bored, but right now I can't imagine anything better than just relaxing, taking a dip in the pool, sweating in the sauna, and enjoying walks in the forest. My goal is to realize this trip this year, which means our family will be established independently by then. We'll do our best to achieve our goal, and be able to enjoy time as a family again. But no matter what, nothing really matters as long as we four are together, and this is truly the best gift in the world!