The van is in the driveway, the crumbs of many Happy Meals and the sand of Lake Michigan ground deeply into its carpeted floors.
The oil is long overdue for a change.
The entry way of the house is piled high in suitcases, duffel bags, discarded flip flops and portable baby beds.
There is a two week backlog of mail precariously perched on the dining table, a tangle of important bills and comically colored advertisements.
A mound of laundry rests by the door to the laundry room.
And there's this guy in the family room, reclining on the couch, listening to the stories his children are telling him of their road trip adventures. He is attentively soaking up all of their words, asking questions at the right time, laughing at their funny narratives.
I have missed him.
So I'll be back to tell you more of our 3000 mile stories. I'll tell you of my nephew's befuddlement at the communication styles of women. I'll tell you of a purchase that 5 of 8 just had to make. I'll tell you that on one of my stops, I discovered that I will be having a new niece or nephew come winter...and I'll tell you how a bag of baby carrots alerted me to those good tidings.
But for now, I'm going to go sit on the couch with that guy listening to the kids. Because I missed him. And 3000 miles and 11 days is a long way and a long time to be away from such a man. So I'm going to go watch him watch our kids.
It's good to be home.