Our yard still looks like that. It's cool, though. We just hang out in the front yard (except on days the bees are stinging for no known reason). There's no grass and a ton of pine needles, but it smells nice, and nothing draws blood. The girls are kind of making friends from the front yard, too, so it works out. I say "kind of" because it mostly goes like this.
Girls Across the Street (GAS): Hi!
Grace: HI! HI! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? HI! IS THAT YOUR BIKE? MY YOUR TIRE SWING LOOKS MIGHTY FUN. WHAT ARE YOU EATING?
GAS: Do you want to come play?
Grace and Emmy: Yes!
I wouldn't really call that "making friends" so much as "hinting desperately until someone caves," but whatever. She doesn't hide behind me and scream when we go in public anymore, so I don't care.
Also, we have spiders. So many spiders. The Pit of Despair (our "basement," which is like calling a torture dungeon a "cellar") back in Wisconsin had spiders like this, too, but I didn't know Utah had spiders like this, unless you were out in the desert and maybe also already bitten by a rattlesnake. All different kinds of spiders, too, so it's not just one nest hidden somewhere clever.
No, we have the round fat-bodied spiders and the flat, quick-legged spiders and everything terrifying in between. It's become a sort of dreadful joke around here. My old physics book is my weapon of choice (they GATHER in the girls' bathroom, probably waiting for fat child's toes to bite; this is not some kind, furry spider catching flies in a corner somewhere). Three days in a row last week, Jeremy came home and had to clean off the book and the tub/floor. I check under desks and tables before I sit down. I shake out anything I pick up off the floor. I'm hallucinating spiders in my sleep again. I'm hallucinating spiders when I'm NOT asleep. It's been fun.
The last couple of months have been very busy. For me, I mean. For a normal person not completely overwhelmed by anything outside strict routine, it would only be moderately busy. But I'm learning to accept my limitations.
First, my parents came to visit. It was good. Except for the afternoon the power went out, which was also the day I'd invited a friend over for dinner, and we ended up carting everything to her house. After that we came home, and the power was STILL out, and it was eighty-seven thousand degrees in the house until 11:30pm. Other than that, it was good. The girls still call the guest room "Grandma and Grandpa's room," which is both sweet and a little heartbreaking.
Then we all went out to the Black Hills and spent another week in the same cabin with my parents. And get this: no one killed anyone else. Truthfully, I would have killed US if I were my parents, but I guess when you get really old you grow patience.
And then we got back, and now that I have friends who live nearby I feel like I'm always doing things all the time. Don't misunderstand; it's good for me, and I love it, and I never want to give this up, but my tiny robot brain doesn't do well with disruptions to the norm, and I end up flaking out or double-booking, or forgetting things at home like, oh, thawing food for dinner. Idiot. Sometimes I feel like a high-functioning ADD person. Or maybe a high-functioning comatose person.
And finally, I got strep. Which was the worst I've ever had it, and this makes the third time in less than two years. The doctor suggested that someone in the family might be a carrier, and my money is on Emmy because she's just into everything all the time and probably picked it up by accidentally falling in a trash can. She falls a lot. In church on Sunday, she fell out of her chair into the aisle. Just from sitting. I don't know what happened. It happens at least once a day (and the other day she ran nose-first into one of our dining room chairs, and I honestly thought she'd broken it for a minute). She is a mess of accidents, and it's completely hilarious (once she's done crying).
Grace, as usual, is the opposite. She rarely falls and rarely runs into anything (but when she does, she doesn't know how to handle it and completely loses it). If she weren't destined by genetics to be so tall, I think she would make a fantastic ballerina. She is also teaching herself to read. We can no longer spell things in front of her.
Me: Hon, we should get the girls some I-C-E-C-R-E-A-M tonight.
Grace: What are you saying?
Grace: Haha, Mom. You said "ice cream."
I was hoping to postpone this inconvenient milestone for a while longer by confusing her and telling her that everything spells "spinach," but it's not working anymore.
So that's our life right now. Despite all the spiders, I love our new house. It is practically perfect for us. Life has been very good this summer.