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By now you know that we are planning on moving soon. We will go back to Michigan where Mike and I were born, and where most of our family lives. Back to the state we left nearly eight years ago, when we were unmarried twenty-somethings looking for adventure. I really want to move back, but I just don’t know if I will still fit in back home in the Mitten. A few things I’m concerned about…

1. The accent. I never thought I had an accent until I moved to Las Vegas and everyone started asking what part of the Midwest I came from. Now, almost eight years later, no one asks me that question. When I speak to my Michigan loved ones, I hear it loud and clear. The “A” instead of “O” sounds, the funny terminology, the slightly nasal undertone. Northern Michigan is more noticeable than downstate, but it is definitely still there, “daaller” instead of dollar. Sigh… I’ll probably end up having the accent again.

2. The Polar Vortex. This did not exist when I lived there before. Obviously, it has always been cold and snowy, and winter has always seemed never ending; but I know that there were never week long stretches of -26 degree temps and 17 feet of snow when I lived in Michigan! I will not survive. My blood is thin, I wear a coat and turn on the heat when the weather man utters 60 degrees. Please get it together before next winter guys. Get that shit together…

3. Living Close To The Fam. I LOVE LOVE LOVEY LOVE LOVE my family. And by “my family” I mean “our families,” in-laws very much included. Love them. However, in almost eight years, I haven’t lived near enough to any one for them to do anything that would make me not love them. I’m hoping all this love holds up when any number of relatives could come knocking on my door and tell me about everything I’m doing wrong in my life. I’m not at all used to anyone being in my business, and I don’t think I’ll handle it well.

4. All The Rules. In Las Vegas you can do a lot of crazy stuff. You can drink anywhere, everything stays open 24 hours a day, and you can make U-turns pretty much everywhere… in Michigan, not so much. Not that I am out drinking and U-turning at 3:00 am or anything, but it is nice to know that I could if I wanted. I mean, what if I decide to walk down the street drinking a harmless little beer one day and end up in the hoosegow? “But I’m from Vegas!” probably isn’t an acceptable excuse.

5. The Culture. We are a very, very open minded household. I think west coast (well, not really coast, but close enough!) living has definitely contributed to that mindset. The Midwest tends to be, well, a little more conservative. SO, before we come home family and friends, friends to be, and strangers alike… please prepare yourselves. I just may be the craziest, crunchiest, anything goes, everyone matters type of person you’ll ever meet. We believe in freedom and rights across the board for every single human being on the planet. If you have a racism, sexism, ageism, religious, sexual orientation problem with any group of people, that’s totally fine, and all your own business. Just don’t let me catch it come out around my family. I refuse to bring my children up around people who hate people for no reason other than their differences.

6. The Food. It has been a long time since we’ve had Coney Island at our finger tips. And really good pizza. And chicken shawarma. And baklava. And our foodie families around. I may end up gaining fifty pounds our first month back before I can rein it in and become desensitized to the delicacies.

7. The Bugs. Yes, I know that Las Vegas is teaming with cockroaches that most people back home would rather die than come face to face with. But Michigan has flying bugs that bite. Mosquitoes, deer flies, horse flies, an enormous array of bees and wasps and hornets. Then there are the moisture loving bugs like centipedes and millipedes, roly-poly bugs, fish flies and caterpillars. I think the spiders are about equal in horridness and ants are as well. Oh yeah, and ticks and fleas! Michigan may not have an automatic, unprovoked cockroach problem…but you do have June bugs. And those little bastards are almost the same thing.

8. Water. We drink a lot of water. We don’t drink much else besides water. (Not counting water with barley and hops in it, or in my case, water that has been heated and passed through coffee grounds!) There seems to be a lot of soda pop drinking in Michigan. Last time we visited and stopped at the gas station for water, there were six coolers filled with soda pop and two shelves, waaayyy down at the bottom of one cooler which was half hidden in the back of the store, housing a few dusty bottles of Aquafina. For a state that is almost completely surrounded by water, Michiganders certainly aren’t drinking a lot of it!

I’m going to miss Las Vegas. A whole lot. More than missing Las Vegas, I am going to miss the people we’ve met and grown to love here. But over all, I’m really excited to come back to Michigan. I know we will work it all out, make it our home again and as long as I am with Him and Them…well, nothing else really matters.