Well, folks, the tiny humans and I have officially arrived in my home state, West Virginia.

My children have reached the age now where they are extremely observant — far more observant than they were in past trips taken to the East. They have been most stimulated by the landscape out here. In West Virginia, there are trees everywhere and the roads wind around mountains like a snake, which have my kids claiming they see monkeys and crocodiles every time we go on a ride in the car.

“We’re in the jungle!” Landon yelled right about the time we crept into the Appalachian region.

Landon is also convinced the mountains are following us because he can’t seem to escape their close watch. “Those mountains are following us, Mommy!” he yelled from the backseat as we navigated our way through Richwood, West Virginia on an adventure to see some extended family.

Jessilynn is convinced there are monkeys hiding in the trees, so any time she is outside she can’t help but make monkey noises in an attempt to make contact with these mysterious, perhaps imaginary creatures.

The kids’ backseat driving has intensified here in the country. The other night I was driving through western Greenbrier County headed back to my parents’ house and Landon just about couldn’t take it. He was convinced mommy was going to drive the car into the side of the mountains.

“How are we going to tell Daddy you wrecked the car, Mommy?” he asked.

“Mommy is not going to wreck the car,” I promised him.

My babies are not used to the curvy roads, but thankfully they don’t seem to have any carsickness issues. For that, I am grateful. For the most part, they’re just questioning their mother’s driving abilities in such an unfamiliar environment.

We have only been here for a little under a week, but the tiny humans have made themselves at home and are even starting to pick up a little draw in some of their vowels. By the time we come back to Nebraska, they may have full blown Appalachian accents.

It is good to be home again. I had forgotten how good that mountain air feels in my lungs. My parents live on top of a mountain, which means there really isn’t a bad view. Oh, how I have missed living in the country.

It is wild to me how exciting West Virginia is for my midwestern kids. They’re fascinated with all the things that I grew up knowing as being normal parts of life. Of course, the pool in my parents’ backyard and the endless amounts of cousin playmates is definitely increasing the appeal as well. So far, my kiddos have had a new set of playmates each day we have been here.

Needless to say the kids are developing some new expectations. My dad has my daughter eating ice cream directly from the tub and my mom’s rather large pantry of unlimited snacks has them eating every hour. Transitioning back to the real life is going to be a tough one, but for now I think I’ll relax on the back deck poolside and dive into a new book.

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