Almost two months since posting, sorry about that. The main reason is that we are in Italy, and have been here since December 18th, and I needed every moment of free time in the days leading up to our departure to prepare for our trip - packing, cleaning, buying Christmas gifts for family in America and in Italy, preparing the house for my sister to house-sit, etc. It was a bit crazy.
I have been busy here. The kids are now officially 2.5 years old. It's a bit nuts. I'm finding myself yearning for another one, although my husband is not on board. Realistically speaking (and logically speaking), I know there are some definite negatives to having any more, but I can't help wanting it anyway.
Life here has been mostly pretty fun, with the glaring exception of the snow situation. We spent the first month without snow, in fact it was very warm (we're up in the alps, so it was very strange!). I gave up on the idea of skiing and started walking or hiking every day that I could. Then, a couple weeks ago, two big storms came through and dumped about three feet of snow between them, and suddenly the cross country trails were open and I bought a season pass and went about 4 times and was feeling ready to tackle some longer and harder trails. I felt great, and I was so excited and optimistic about the rest of our stay here.
This past week, we had three days of warm wind, and by the end of the second day, all the snow was gone. The ski season lasted 10 days. We have 2.5 weeks left to stay here, and although I am happy to stay with friends and family and have the kids absorb more Italian, I am homesick. Without the possibility of cross country skiing, I am getting ready to go home. I miss my house, my bed, my shops and stores and errands, the library. I miss ne.tfl.ix and s.po.ti.fy (which don't work here). I'm just ... ready. It's been a long trip.
The great thing is the kids are completely fluent in Italian (as much as a 2.5-year-old can be fluent in any language). I hope this has given them a great stable base that they won't lose upon our return. They speak much better than I do now. They've formed strong attachments to my husband's family, and as far as I can tell, they love being here. My husband's town is a small stone village surrounded by a fort, mountains, woods, and a nice river nestled in a beautiful Alpine valley. It is really the place of dreams to spend your childhood, and I'm so grateful that my kids will be able to spend summers and vacations here. On the other hand, the population is aging and dwindling, so I wonder what it will be like by the time they are old enough to appreciate it.
Time to sign off - I've been sick, and with my husband and in-laws in Torino today for a conference, I'm relying on extended family to help watch the kids while I try to recuperate. With that in mind, I'm going to crash on the couch with my latest crafty projects, some of which I'll try to post soon after getting back to the US. Hope all's well in your part of the web.