Yesterday Lily, Sabi, and I walked about a mile to attempt to get free grand slam breakfast at Denny's. The line was snaking out the door and down the sidewalk so we chose to have Pizza instead, but on the way to the Pizza joint Sabi complained that she was "getting sweat on her shirt." I just laughed a little and replied, "It's February! We are walking outside in short sleeves and it's warm enough to break a tiny sweat! There are blooming flowers!" She laughed too and we went on to thoughoughly enjoy another perfect february day.
Outside, new flowers are begining to bloom. There are brilliant orange poppies, purple morning glories, roses, my eternal faves-- Puffball trees (mimosas), and many others I cannot begin to identify. Lily loves picking and eating the pretty ripe lemons off the tree in the backyard and Sabrina and I contemplate ways to get the huge oranges we can't reach in the front yard tree.
The sky is that perfect blue, reserved for hot summer days in Missouri, and the mountains frame the scenery in a distant haze. Lily calls all the yellow flowers and signs ducks. We walk together and she babbles about what she sees on the way and waves to all the cars. We rode the bus last night and she happilly repeated "bus" in sign and english the whole way. Everything just seems magical.
And Lily is thriving: She has decided that objects can all have "ie" added to the end and now regularly requests and thinks about her "bookies!!" We have started fixing her hair on a daily basis, mostly because it now hangs over her eyes, and she seems to love wearing it in a pony or two (though she hates the process of getting them done). She is obsessed with ducks and calls most birds (except chickens) and anything yellow, excitedly, a duck wherever she sees them. She loves shoes and is often seen carrying ours around, putting them randomly on the coffee table, and trying them on. She now brings us any of her clothes she can find; presumably when she's ready to get dressed for the day. She plays with her stock of diapers when she needs to be changed. Lily is still an amazing extrovert-- she loves to say hello to everyone she sees, and seems to live for making other people smile (and they seem to love her too!). We wonder where she gets it from since Eric and I tend to be more reserved. Most of all, Lily is becoming very much her own person. She has her own mind and is not afraid to prove it. She is begining to have opinions on what she eats, what she plays with, what we are doing, and what she wants. When she doesn't get her way her little hands sometimes shake with frustration just before she screams to let us know she's not pleased. This is sometimes embarrassing in public but she is still amazingly well-behaved and easy to take wherever we want to go.
I don't know what Eric and I did to earn such a wonderful child, but I cannot thank life enough for blessing us with the joy and continuing amazement of Lily.
As for me-- I am also thriving in California. The sunshine through the lace curtains, the magnolia leaves accross the street, the slightly imperfect orbs of delicious orangeness that gently wave hello each morning, waking up to Eric's beautiful long eyelashes fluttering peacefully in the early glow of sunrise, hearing Lily say hi to her mousie and tell it her morning babble, seeing the deep green of healthy trees covering the mountains just beyond the city, dreaming of transforming a house into "our home," tasting the amazing freshness and crispness of food as a nonsmoking Californian, having the certainty that this is a new life and I can be whoever I choose to become, knowing the beach is only 30 minutes away from me, seeing people smile without obvious provocation.... All of this and a million other things add up to a me I never even dreamed I could become. I am so full of creativity that I find it hard to pick one idea out and work, I am so full of hope that I want to sing and dance in the street, I am so full of confidence that I can once again talk to strangers and not even think to worry that they won't like me. I am free once again; I'm so happy to be able to be this person for me and for my family.
I can't speak for Eric but he also seems to be very happy here. He has a great job that is challenging and rewarding on a daily basis. Everything is almost too beautiful and Lily becomes a greater joy every day. He is close to putting in an offer on a house (http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Jose/1260-FRUITDALE-Ave-95126/home/712990) has a much happier girlfriend and is busy resuming and making new friendships at work and all over the place.
In all, life is amazing and we know we are very lucky. We miss everyone we had to leave to come here but are happy to give you all an amazing place to visit as often as you can. We love you and hope that you are having as much of a wonderful year as we are. Keep in touch and I will try to post more pictures very soon!