Minnesota Summer Love

This summer was amazing.  As good as a summer could possibly be.  After a blissfully jet-lagged week at Steve’s family’s Lake Mattawa house, we returned home to our beloved Minnesota.  

I hadn’t been back in over a year and was a bundle of emotions.  I was so excited to see friends.  Nervous to see friends.  Happy to see friends.  Could. Not. Wait. To. See. Friends.

I was determined this summer was going to be what last summer wasn’t.  A redo - but this time I was equipped with real learnings.   I knew to limit our time away, have Steve by our side for as long as possible and create a solid home base that was ours all ours. I had favorite babysitters lined up to hang out with the boys and made plans with friends months in advance so I could fit it all in.  Oh yes, I even had a Google doc that laid it all out, which Steve was told to reference again and again as he asked - what is the plan again?

For 2.5 weeks, in that little blue Airbnb in Uptown Minneapolis, my adrenaline ran high and my heart ran full. 

It was as perfect as I had hoped.  

Every ounce of any trepidation quickly melted away.  I didn’t feel different.  I felt exactly like me.  I felt blessed that these incredible people sitting across the table from me could be called friends.  I felt like in the middle of every conversation I wanted to blurt out, “why haven’t we done this in forever?” and then remembered why.  I hugged them and they hugged me and man, I loved those hugs.  They were real hugs.  Hugs that were a year in the making and had to sustain for another year to come.  

It was a reminder that I was home and these friends are my family and my soul had never felt more chock-full.  I love these humans more than anything and it is wild that a city that I didn’t grow up in could be so solidly mine. And a country that at times I feel glad to have distance from could still be where my roots are solidly planted.

We even got to visit our old house and the lovely retired couple that bought it had us all over for cookies and lemonade. We were there quite awhile exchanging stories and truly enjoying each other’s company. It was wild seeing the boys sit on the bench in the kitchen where they had sat for years and Anders rush down to his old bedroom and know it was no longer ours. Yet, seeing their mid-century furniture, Eames chair and pottery on display made me know our home was in great hands and provided a beautiful sense of closure.

To have so much goodness condensed into such a short period of time is overwhelming, in the best way. It’s like the greatest hits of your life.  You know how they say weddings and funerals are the only times all the favorite people in your life get together?  I say add living abroad for a year to that list.  My cup runneth over.

Now I am back in Tokyo and my expat friends are starting to trickle back in.  Coming back feels exactly how it felt to return to college after a summer away.  I am missing MN tons, but am grateful to return to a place that also feels like home.  How lucky to have two worlds I am able to call mine. 

P.S. Boys - you had a pretty awesome summer too thanks to Brie, Delaney, Emma, your grandparents, your old school friends and some goats. Here’s a little highlight reel just for you…