It's been a long road but we're finally feeling somewhat settled.
I'm not really one to get attached to a house but find myself missing things.
Creature of habit type things - like where the garbage is. Or the full-length mirror that I had in the perfect spot between the master bath and the walk-in closet.
I think these things take time.
Time to make the new normal comfortable.
Of all the kids, Julian is definitely taking this the hardest.
Boys are funny. They don't talk very openly - but are oh, so sensitive.
He has shed tears for what was.
He misses his old house. The old neighbourhood.
It breaks my heart.
But I also know, he will get better.
I've started to see glimpses of it already.
He is in ninth grade.
A tough year for any kid, especially one who ahem has already long ago decided that school was just not his thing.
To say it's been a challenging time is an understatement.
But I continue to try to help my boy the only way I know how.
With the most patience I can muster and with time.
He loves soccer with a passion and plays daily.
Our late bloomer.
I swear he is going to do great things one day.
And not just because he's going to get by on his good looks.
She is taking driving lessons. She has a boyfriend. And a part-time job that she is really enjoying.
She has always been intuitive - far more mature than her age. And a common sense thinker.
She is so beautiful.
I know I shouldn't say that about my own kid but it's just amazing for me to watch her transform.
The best part is she doesn't know it yet.
And then there's my little Ava. A pure joy.
A gift from God.
Sent here, likely, to save her mother.
She is my best friend. My constant sidekick. And the reason I see the light on dark days.
Although she is only in first grade, she is wise beyond her years.
Strangers tell me so all the time.
Others tell me she has been here before.
It used to freak me out but now? Now I know they're right.
As 2017 moves forward and January turns into February, I am committing to really being there for my kids and trying to squeeze in at least a little solo time with each of them.
Putting away devices and having a bath with Ava is a new ritual. And board games? Who knew how much fun they could be.
Julian and I like to leave early sometimes when I drop just him off to school - I get coffee, he gets some frozen concoction and for just a few moments, he talks to me.
For this, I will gladly lose sleep.
And Isabella? We have our Wednesday evenings. The younger two are with daddy and we get to catch up. Which usually means we eat. We shop. Or, we eat AND shop.
I feel lucky. Blessed even.
2017, bring it.