With the passing of my 45th year I find myself reflecting on life on the Homestead.

When MLW asked me if I wanted to go out somewhere for a birthday dinner I gave it a bit of thought and said "no - I'm thinking pizza, in". While I enjoy a nice meal out, frankly few things seemed more attractive than spending a relaxing evening at home.

This was the thought when we first made the decision to buy the homestead - that it would be our vacation proxy, our place to relax and get away from the world. Still, the opportunity presented itself at an inconvenient time - LB was deep into competitive gymnastics, and we hadn't really had an the time to set aside the type of nest egg we would have preferred before taking on this type of project. In fact, in the year or so before the opportunity presented itself, we - or perhaps I - had actually reconciled to the idea that we'd be staying for the long-term in the little 1950's era pre-fab home we had in the suburbs of Rockford.

Moving was a romantic notion and, frankly, didn't make a lot of logistical sense. We were still heavily connected to Rockford with my work and LB's gymnastics. And for a while, early on, with the economic downturn making things hard on everyone, all around, including us, it wasn't clear that it would work out.

But it did.

Looking back, reflecting on those times, we almost didn't take the chance, take the risk. MLW fought for it, serving as she so often does to help me look past the practical to the magic of what can be. As I delight in taking refuge in our little Homestead I'm glad she did.