Another pretty busy weekend in the books and now we’re suddenly just over a week from school starting. Yikes!

C went to King’s Island amusement park with a friend on Friday. L had two birthday parties over the weekend. M had two friends over Sunday night. We took them all to Top Golf, they slept over, and we made a pool run Monday afternoon. And we hosted a gathering of three families on Saturday night. Like I said, pretty busy few days.

I noticed something funny over the last couple days, when adults stopped by to drop off kids or pick up kickball supplies: they all stopped as soon as they stepped into our house, took a deep breath, and said something to the effect of “Ahhhh, new house smell!” Which I laughed about because I kind of don’t notice the new house smells anymore. We’ve lived amongst the fresh paint, wood, and carpet for six weeks now. I don’t know if I’m just immune to them now, or six weeks of cooking and cleaning, having guests over, etc have masked them. Apparently it’s more me getting used to them if our guests are still noticing the new house smell the moment they walk in. Or maybe they’re just being nice…

That made me notice how the overall newness of the house has worn off a little, too. We still have a long way to go to get it exactly how we want it. If we count the outside, where the yard is going to take at least two seasons to shape up, it’s going to be a long, long time before everything is perfect. But we’ve also knocked out so many projects that we planned for with eagerness in June that we’re kind of in a lull as we figure out what to do next. Fall will bring another big shipment of furniture – we have couches, tables, a big cabinet, and more scheduled to arrive in late September/early October – and the change of seasons will mean we do different things in the house.

But where our first 5–6 weeks were built around long lists of tasks that needed to be checked off, suddenly things are much slower. Which means we should start settling into some normal routines, like naturally remembering to clean the bathrooms, do laundry, etc without having to write it down. Or even developing normal living routines where we spend mornings in this room, evenings in that room, and so on. I still kind of wander aimlessly when I have free time, unsure of where to hang out. I’m sure all of this will get worked out quickly, although the girls going to school next week will hit the reset button.

One very underrated thing about our new house I’m just beginning to appreciate is being able to see the TV from the kitchen. At our old house it was impossible to do so. Thus for many years we had gotten out of the habit of watching either the local news or Sportscenter during meal prep times. I kind of enjoy being able to see if it’s going to rain around cross country practice time while also getting dinner ready. I still don’t actually watch the news much – there are already too many political ads that make me race for the mute button – and I’ll only casually watch Sportscenter since it is about 85% NFL talk. But I like having the option.