There's so much to enjoy about being away from home - to take a break...step away...shed some responsibilities briefly...venture out of what's comfortable and mundane and renew the mind, body, and spirit.

But the best part hands down is the coming home.

To miss the ones who my life wouldn't be complete without is knowing I'm blessed. Counting the minutes until I'll see them again, "I miss you!"'s, the sound of the phone dropping to the floor because Parker tried to grasp it when he heard my voice, and finding exactly what he asked me to bring him back from "the airplane" are the ultimate highs of every second I'm gone. The extra toothy grin (extra as in he got two more in three days), chubby, baby-soft legs bouncing with extra energy the minute he lays eyes on me, and holding his hand on the way to our car when I pick him up from school and anticipating the look on his face when he sees the new dinosaur I added to his collection are just a few of the moments I lived for for four solid days.

It (being away from home) lets me know all over again that there's something extra special about a size 4T number 12 crimson and white jersey, drool from the lips of a teething eight month old, and the feel of my husband next to me as I fall asleep.

I'm loving that today I'm at home. I'm loving the testosterone-dominated family I call mine and the over-filled garage that looks like a bomb went off in it because we're in the process of moving.

And on the tenth anniversary of a day no one will ever forget, I'm loving freedom, and I'm super, super proud and thankful to be a part of this United States of America.

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