wow, this is hard.  we are grieving.  actively (you can see the tear stains on my cheeks and on ben's).  a good friend said, it is good to go through your house and weep; to say good bye.  and our girls don't realize what we're really leaving.  and every thought of what we'll miss out on by not being here has be acknowledged and cried over.  here we are in the final day(s) in this place.  i don't want to see ahead and be excited and optimistic   i just want to cry for the now and what will be the loss of the future here.  my baby will not take her first steps here.  ben will not dance another dance with sophie here while she is in her tiny child form.  and we don't know if we'll return.  we hope so.  but we don't know.  so we are grieving.  we are letting ourselves bleed with emotion knowing that for some odd reason, that will help heal from the hurt of leaving.  and so on wednesday we depart.  we will be on our way.  tears and all.