January 22 – February 6
It’s hard for me to totally describe how wonderful and refreshing the time with the Moore family was for us. It was so well timed – scheduled for the same week we began the process of repairing our trailer, and exactly during the time our small home needed to be in the shop for 2-3 weeks. So we were experiencing the relief of movement toward resolution on the damage, and it was the perfect opportunity to leave Stumbo behind for repair.
The 10 days we spent as one big happy family of 8 were punctuated with naps, desserts, and laughter. We visited Nature Centers, watched the Super Bowl, and spent hours coloring in an adult coloring book. We talked about all of the everythings and nothings that a few long distance phone calls each year just can’t capture, and occasionally our sweet children accidentally cuddled with the wrong parents. We attended a Bible class where Alicia was teaching about parables, and we explored the original Bass Pro Shop. We went on runs around the neighborhood and we ate delicious family dinners like lamb burgers, Mexican beef stew, sushi, and spicy shrimp tacos. We drank coffee and smiled knowingly at how similar our children are. We ate Andy’s Frozen Custard and laughed out loud about how similar our spouses are. We played board games, watched movies, and stayed up too late every night. The girls played together on playgrounds, fought over toys, and shared clothes. When the Moore family members were gone to work/school all day, the FitzFam went to museums, used tons of free wi-fi, and drove to Kansas just to say we did. We took Lyra & Sylvia bowling for the first time and there was much jumping on the trampoline in the backyard.
Something about doing dishes and tidying up in someone else’s house, especially when they are providing you with a wonderfully comfortable, free place to stay for more than a week, just isn’t as much of a drag as cleaning up your own house. So we made ourselves at home and felt very much like part of the family by the time our visit was through. They truly feel like a mirror family to ours – with Alicia & I being so similar, Brad & Josh so similar, and our oldest & youngest children seem parallel to ours as well. Even though their oldest Lyra is closer in age to Coral, she and Sunny “were like magnets to each other” from Coral’s point of view. One day Sunny told me, “Lyra and I were just talking about how we are built to be friends because we both like to argue. And Coral & Sylvia were built to be friends because they both like to be silly.”
The fact that after we were gone, Sylvia asked “When are Sunny & Coral going to come back home?” felt like a sweet testament to the fun that we all had during our time together.