five things, the 'I'm back baby' edition

 Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower, seen through the Lensbaby

Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower, seen through the Lensbaby

1. I think  I've been spending a lot of the time since we've been back (in between loads of laundry and grocery store trips [and I say "trips" because you can't make potato salad without potatoes, Lauren.] thinking a lot about how to write about our trip. How do I break down all of the lovely things we did and saw? How do I categorize all of the photos I took? These are the things that keep me up at night. (wink) I know if I sit with it long enough, a pattern will lay itself out for me (and one that doesn't take the form of boring you guys with endless travel posts!). I'll be back to regular posting next week with a full recap. I've missed you guys.

2. I think  we never could have made this trip with out the help of our dear friends/neighbors/pet & house sitters. My friend Catherine helped out with the dogs, giving Violet extra cuddles and doing some general clean up. She and her husband also took us and picked us up from the airport AND made us dinner the night we got home. Our neighbor, who is Cal's bestie and our regular pet sitter/house watcher, Brian is just the best of young men. He's the kind of kid who will tell you that watching your dogs is a pleasure in a way that makes you believe it. Watching our dogs this time could not have been a pleasure. Honestly? We never in a million years dreamed that Violet would still be with us. Her care isn't difficult, but it can get complicated (read: messy), and when we came back she seems perkier than ever! How great is that? We took Brian out for wings Wednesday as part of his thank you, and I have a thank you planned for Catherine too.

And what would I have done without the dear friends who tended this space as well? Fauzi, Angela and Rooth wrote such moving posts, didn't they? I hope you enjoyed them. What would we do without dear friends?

3. I think  the Lensbaby was a great purchase. Both lenses actually. I never even took out my 50mm, and I could totally see how it would be too tight in a lot of the situations I would have used it for. So the 35mm stayed on the camera 80% of the time and the Lensbaby came out for fun. There's still an incredible learning curve with that one, but I'm going to continue to have fun with it for sure.

4. I think  the key to this trip for us was flexibility. Isn't that always the case? Did you notice that there weren't any photos of Normandy in my Instagram feed? I'll explain it all next week. Sometimes I think I'm not a great traveler. I put too much pressure on myself to have such! a! great! time! And especially to see! everything! But then I try to remember that if we want, we can get back. It's not the trip of a lifetime, it's one of our many wonderful trips. Going back. Now doesn't that sound delightful?

5. I think it's fascinating how travel focuses your mind about your day-to-day life. I always come back from trips refreshed (well sort of) and thinking about changes (both little and big) that I want to make. For me, it always turns to simplify, downsize, and perhaps more cups of tea.