Turns out I was right after all.
Coming here – visiting Josh, meeting his family – it was exactly what I needed. And I think what Stefan needed too.
I was totally planning on writing more these past couple of weeks, but every day has been so long, so tiring… And so incredible, too.
I loved meeting Josh’s kids, but it’s still kind of crazy to wrap my head around it. For so long it was just me and Stefan. Mama and Papa having Clara was such a surprise, but a good one (Most of the time. I love her to death, but she still drives me up a wall sometimes!). I know my parents were never planning on more than just Clara… So finding out Stefan and I have FOUR more siblings was definitely a shock.
Sofia’s just a few years younger than me and Stefan, so she was probably the easiest to talk to. She’s a really nice girl – and talented too. Really big into DJing. We were talking about it, and I really think she’d love the music scene back in Windenburg. Hopefully she’ll come visit soon – I can already think of a few clubs I’d love to take her to.
Owen and Stefan seemed to hit it off really well – they’re both into all that geeky stuff Papa likes. Sci Fi movies, video games… Luckily for me, he also really likes sports, so we were able to find some common ground too. He seems like a really great kid.
Josh’s youngest, Liana, is just a year older than the twins and Clara. So naturally we hit it off right away. What can I say? I love kids. And Liana’s so smart and sweet… A lot like my Jocelyne. And spending all this time with her, well… it kinda reminds me just how much I miss my kids back home.
And then there’s Cora. We’ve barely seen her the entire time we’ve been here. She just hides in her room and pouts all day. And when Josh does convince her to come out, well… We might as well be invisible. Guess she doesn’t like the idea of us being here… I mean, this whole thing has got to be a lot for a kid to handle, so I get it. I just really would have liked to get to know her a little better. Maybe next time.
The rest of his family was great though. His wife’s so kind, and we met his mother and step-father too. They were great, though Hadley wouldn’t stop reminding us that we need to bring the kids next time. It was sweet.
We got to see Nora, of course, and meet her son Caleb too. And… God, it feels like we met so many people! Let’s see… Josh’s half-siblings Nathan and Theresa, his cousin Luc, and his… step-aunt, I guess? Alison. (Though from what Josh has told us, that whole relationship is kind of… complicated).
Anyway, the point is that his family was so kind, and so welcoming too (except for Cora… but Josh warned us about that before we came). They really tried hard to make us feel at home. And that really meant a lot, y’know?
It was really interesting to see where he lives too. Willow Creek is so different from Windenburg. Like a completely different world or something. So quiet. So small. So, well… boring, to be honest. It’s nice to visit, but I don’t think I could ever stand living in a place like this.
When we drove out to visit Newcrest a few days ago, it was a little better. Still so much smaller and quieter than back home. But a bit livelier than Willow Creek for sure. More modern too. And going there was probably one of the highlights of the trip.
We went to Willow Creek to learn more about our new family – Josh’s family. We went to Newcrest to learn more about our old one.
It was so… surreal, almost.
We visited the library, which was re-named a few years ago for our great-great-great grandmother, Becca Ainsworth.
We stopped by our great-grandmother Krystina’s art gallery. It was sold a long time ago, but some of her paintings are still on display.
We ate lunch at our great-great-grandfather Lucas’ restaurant. Everything on the menu still follows his original recipes – and they were delicious.
We even stopped by the cemetery before we headed back to Willow Creek. I can’t wait to tell grandpa all about it when we get home.
This whole trip has been so much fun, and I’m so happy Stefan and I decided to come here. It really helped me feel more connected to Josh and his family, y’know? And I can’t wait until we come back again.
But honestly, I can’t wait to be back in Windenburg either. I miss my wife. My kids. My parents. My grandparents. My little sister. I miss home.
It’s like that old movie always says, right?
There’s no place like it.