Goodbye Shalimar. Goodbye to the best home we’ve ever had. The couch that sinks in the middle. The sand that cakes the floors. The stairs that have never been vacuumed and the bed we laid on the floor. The cockroaches. The pack n’ play that Addie sleeps in and the high chair we found in the trash. Goodbye to the first TV and cable we’ve had in years. I’ll miss those mid-day Kardashian marathons and the Broncos every Sunday. Goodbye dance party kitchen and baby shark songs. I’ll miss the awful pillows and freezing blankets and excessive closet space. Goodbye to the days where all four of us would get in the shower laughing and kissing and rinsing down babies after a long day at the beach. Goodbye sand collected near the drain. Goodbye toys scattered on the floor. Goodbye Josh’s room that always smelt like ass because of the poopy diaper hidden under the bed. Goodbye new house.
Goodbye Gulf of Mexico. I will lay awake at night and dream of your warm water and white beaches. I will long for my pink bikini days and baby life jackets and sun screen and towels and sand all up in my goodies. I will miss your waves and your dolphins and your constant reminder of my Creator. Goodbye boats and sunglasses and salt. Goodbye Chipotle on the beach. Goodbye pier and fisherman and holding hands and thinking about who will jump in after Josh if he falls. We will be back for you.
Goodbye Niceville. Goodbye Café Liquid and Turkey Creek and Chick-fil-a and Lincoln Park and Kaylee’s house. You were, in every way, the town we actually did all of our living in, even if you were 17 minutes away. Goodbye Little House on the Bayou. The Miehes will come back and sleep in your bed and kiss on your dock and swing on your deck and bring some friends with us.
Goodbye two and a half year old Joshua. I wish I could keep you with the dolphins and the sharks and the big wa-wa forever. You will always be a skinny, tiny, baby version of yourself in a diaper and nothing else. You will always be chasing your daddy and your “risbee” and laughing and crashing into each wave until we have to pull your out of the sand and into your car seat. Goodbye to the boy who moved to a big kid bed and stopped taking bottles, who coughed all night and kept us up, who ran into his sister Agoo’s room when she woke up from her nap. Goodbye to sleeping in bed with you, reading Put me in the Zoo and Little Blue Truck, saying our prayers and dreaming of the Jump Place. I will miss the little one who lived in so much awe and wonder, who hit and kicked and tore up books, who sang more words than he spoke, who made every moment of Florida life a true adventure. Goodbye baby Josh.
Goodbye Addalynn Joy. Goodbye Sister Agoo. Goodbye to the first year of your life, rapidly coming to a close. Goodbye to the crawling and scooting and the standing that you learned here. Goodbye to the monster that lives inside your belly and can consume an entire Lumberjack Breakfast at Denny’s. I will miss my short haired bathing beauty who flipped out of the tub and crawled up the stairs and stole pacifiers and adored her brother with every part of her soul. I will miss your clapping and your high fives and your two perfect teeth. Goodbye to the 6 month clothes we will leave behind and your mama’s dress that you wore a time or two. Goodbye to the crib and the nursery you never had. I hope the love and the ocean and the adventure were a good enough alternative.
Goodbye man-bunned Nicholas John. Goodbye to my love warrior/adventure partner. Goodbye to the only other human who knows me and understands my heart and also thinks selling everything and moving across the country is a fun idea. Goodbye to the swimsuit you never owned. Goodbye to the three hour work days and making love during nap time. Goodbye Bitmojis and Stranger Things marathons and reading books and watching Andy and things-getting-weird-with-Andy. I will miss the afternoons you spent snorkeling through the waves and finding a dollar that you put on our fridge and buying a net to catch fish. I will miss the way you look when you chase our babies across the park and how you run 8 minute miles with that shitty double stroller and how you cook every meal with such passionate dedication. I will miss your codependence and your giant Harry Potter heart and your sweet desire to drive into hurricanes. Thank you for making space for me to create here. Thank you for crying as your read each blog and begging me for more. Year four has been the best yet. Let’s make just one more baby… one more.
Goodbye Kaylee. The hardest goodbye of all. I get to take my babies and my sweetie with me to my next adventure on the sea. But you, I will never get you again. Not like I have you now. I will miss the way you cross your toes because it’s comfortable. I will miss your meal planning and excellent hosting. I will miss your coca cola and your short hair. I will miss spending most mornings with you, not saying much, not needing to. I will miss the walk to your park and the dogs pooping in the same places every day. I will miss admiring you up close and listening to you process parenthood and babydom and Jesus. Goodbye to yoga, to peanut butter and honey at the high chair, to your intense love of a good corn bread. Goodbye to the mama and wife and student and teacher I will always want to be. Goodbye batman, the most beautiful superhero. Goodbye to your green carpet and two woof woofs and Spotify and toys dumped and scattered across the living room floor. Goodbye to your Dove chocolate and Blue Bell and sound advice. No more Uncle walks, no more Barbaran, no more Thomas Tent. In my heart I will always be curled up in your laundry room, cold brew in hand, whispering about our dreams and pain, praising Jesus that all three babies are sleeping at the same time.I will never take off the clothes you gave me or the words you’ve spoken over me. Moving to be closer to you and your family and your love and your friendship and your wisdom and your plans and your dinner table is the single best thing the Miehes have done. We leave you healthier and kinder and braver versions of ourselves and we are ridiculously, profoundly, grateful. Thank you.
Thank you Florida,
We love you.
P.S If I get a dog and name her Kaylee Jenai, is that offensive?
P.P.S I love you