Wednesday, August 29, 2012


What have you been up to?

At the Lake lot playground in our neighborhood.
You mean besides polishing off a half gallon of half&half in two and a half days? (That's a lot of halves, ya'll) I'm not gonna lie, we drink A LOT of coffee here. Weeeeeell, let me catch you up!

Lots and lots of swimming. Thankfully, Marmie (my mom) has been around the block a time or two with small children and decided that the pool doesn't open til 10:30am :) Much better! Both boys have made amazing strides in their confidence and ability in the water. Vrai was the first to do a flip into the water! Amazing! And unexpected. Wyatt can now dive to the bottom of the deep end and retrieve a dive stick. That kid. While we feel somewhat spoiled rotten to live in a home that has a built in pool, it comes with it's'm the new lifeguard in town, and it's just too bad if you didn't want to take up swimming as your new hobby. :) I guess I have a chance to perfect my Marco Polo game and shark attack moves.

Apparently, it's hurricane season. Rain, rain & rain! Good thing I married a man who likes long walks in the rain. 
While it takes an incredible amount of energy to pack up an entire family into two vehicles, then it takes an army to keep a single room in this house from exploding with toys, mardi gras necklaces, tiny shoes, and forbidden objects like glass jars, pet snails and waterballoons.

Toddler proofing.
Or maybe I should say toddler PROVING. Most of the things in my dear parents' home did not pass. :)
Hey Sister Hazel!
I'm proud to say that at least now the electric outlets are interesting to uncover and the cleaning product cabinets are a constant source of 1 yr. old frustration. Hazel may be tiny, but she's incredibly strong and wily! Truth is, she doesn't actually realize she's barely 20 lbs. at 17 months. She has quite the spunk (I have no idea where she gets it, right?) and is already saying/screaming things like, "I ALL DONE!" "I WANTA BIIIIITE!" Her shrieks of displeasure are heard loud and clear anytime someone gets in her way or touches something upon which she has ever laid eyes. Predictions or prophecies for her teen years? Keep it to yourself. :)

Wyatt started up classes this last weekend and simply LIGHTS UP when he's in class or whenever we talk about it. I bet he wishes we lived in a gym. That boy is a muscly, flexible, fearless gymnastics ball of fire. We'll see if Vrai takes it up soon. When asked what activity he might like to try he replied, "a dance class" even though we know he'd be perfect at professional snuggling, or stand-up comedy.
Another morning coffee time with my sweet Vrai :)

Wyatt reading the paper and drinking a mug of joe like an old man. Ha!

Let's just say that moving across country takes it outta ya. In more ways than one.
Speaking of bedhead...Did I mention that it's (VERY) humid here? Move over Lyle Lovett!

Let's see...what else...

Grieving. Celebrating.
Adapting. Resisting. Changing.
Growing. Being still. Laughing. Crying.
Holding on tight...


Saturday, August 25, 2012

How are you?

The question echos in my ears and heart at every new inquiry from loving friends far away. How am I? Good question. I'm sorry if I haven't really answered you who've asked. I've simply been trying to figure that one out for myself.
I had a little freak out session earlier this week. I felt kind of useless. The homeschool books haven't arrived yet (uh, yeah, so that's the beauty of homeschool, you can start when you want!) and the city isn't so familiar to us to be out all the time. Useless and stir crazy. Such is the sentiment of many a stay-at-home mom. You sit there, in the mundane and this anxiety hangs over you, "Do something!" (as if looking after 3 littles under 5 yrs isn't enough) There's this impetus to need to make a mark outside somewhere. I talked to a dear sister-friend today who said when that happens to her, she thinks, "Well, I guess I'll go Pin some more crap, or look online at stuff I could be doing." HA HA! I laugh because I relate.

Why do I feel the need to be busy, be creating, be fruitful?
Oh, yeah, because it's in our fabric.

I am meant to echo the heart, the image of the Creator. My sphere of influence seems to have shrunk and my soul is in a bit of a shock. Learning your way into the lives of a new community is just as hard as finding my way to the library at this point. (yup, still get lost)

I DO miss my friends, and my chosen family and that sweet circle of people who would challenge, encourage, and love me despite myself. I think that's how I'm doing...I'm feeling the weight of the space between.

We have great family and great connections through family here, but there is no replacement for time and experience. I know this intellectually. But that's like reading about childbirth and thinking you know everything there is to know about it. Clearly, not. Not until you live it. I miss knowing I had weight in someone's life and had a place I could make a difference.
Things are going well on the Nursing front. The job is relatively easy, considering a new facility and new employers, but the job isn't more demanding than we're used to and we're really thankful for the placement for our first assignment. Ask Tim for more on that to see if I'm giving an accurate portrayal :)

Now is the time to take one day at a time. To take the job on with the precious littles in front of me. To meet each job, trial, demand as it comes and to keep on the look out for others to whom I can give.
I'm out of my fences ya'll. It's a bizarre, exciting and strange land.

There are some changes coming of course, because why not add the overall theme? Keep posted...
(don't even joke about being pregnant, cause I'm not.)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Life on the Road

To say I've adjusted to life in a new land and in a new phase of life is a generous statement. We rolled into Orlando this week on Thursday around 7pm to much fanfare; long time friends, The Baileys were at my parents house and helped unload our van and black sedan in the 15 minutes it took for my mom's homemade pizza to finish cooking. It was a wild ride! We left Saturday afternoon(...yes, afternoon!) after we finally finished cleaning up our place(thank you, THANK YOU, Schmidts!), packing our two cars and finally getting to the store to buy snacks for our roadtrip. Planning a roadtrip at this point in our lives is simply going to be an afterthought. It's almost funny thinking about how much I stressed out about our road trip to California earlier over Christmas. This is our life now, people! :) Call it the new normal.
"Stoked" about her new carseat-thanks Hannah!
We rolled into Salina, KS the first night around 1am (ouch) after a few hours being stuck in a torrential down pour and INCREDIBLE lightening storm. It was a kindness and a grace from God to make sure both Tim and I each were DEFINITELY awake through the sleepiest part of the first days drive. No nodding off to that kind of insanity!
Truckin' along on the first day
The boys get settled in for the long haul
We awoke late and had a lazy start to the second day. Our goal; Dallas, TX. We made it to our dear friends, the Pitts, home around dinner time and had the pleasure of dining with Aaron as he played host since Lara and the kids were at Grandma's house. (We missed you, LARA!!!) At that point, we decided to give ourselves have a self-appointed Sabbath. We stayed at the Pitts the next day and let the boys play in the kiddie pool the whole day. It was just what we needed after weeks of having the kids live in chaos whilst we moved and packed. I think I finally started to let myself feel the weight of this kind of change in my life. It's nothing short of a trauma. A chosen trauma, albeit, but still, a trauma. I am missing home terribly. I keep reminding myself that this is something that we have been convinced we should/could do and have a peace about, but it doesn't make the human emotions any less raw and in-your-face. We are confident in where God has us merely if for the fact that we are having to CLING to Him for dear life!
Speaking of clinging for dear rack broke as soon as we put the bikes on...DUCT TAPE!!!
        Tuesday morning, we packed up and headed for Meridian, Mississippi. After crossing the Mississippi River, Wyatt exclaimed that it was his favorite! Ha! He loved how massive it was. THAT is a river folks. I couldn't help but think how much more fun it would be to float down the river on a raft Tom Sawyer style than to drive a van packed with screaming kids....but alas, I digress :)
At the Cracker Barrel!
Fitting right in with the Hill Billies :)
We had a cross cultural experience waking up in MS, eating breakfast at the hotel crammed full of a Black church group that was meeting there for the weekend. Grits, biscuits and gravy, and waffles were all served with pleasure by a super sweet grandma who treated everyone like her own grandchild. My only complaint was the Southern penchant towards powdered coffee creamer (blech-I'm a coffee snob, I admit.).
The drive through much of the south on toward my grandma's home was all under construction and through every tiny town you've never heard of. We probably averaged 40mph. Ugh.  Ashburn, GA (otherwise known as the model for the Andy Griffith Show's Mayberry) is home to my sweet Granny Maw. I was so glad to spend some time with her (and two of my uncles and cousin)and spend the night there before making the last leg of our journey to Orlando. She's one of the best ladies I know. We're not sure how much time we might get with her these days as her memory isn't what it used to be, but it is a privilege just to be with her. The night we got there, I think Tim ate about four plates full of roasted ham, butter beans, peas, creamed corn, and a jello mold with shredded carrots.  And she apologized for not making sweet tea and biscuits :) Ah, the south!

Swinging at Granny Maw's in the deep south
Me and Blanch Branch, aka best Granny Maw ever!
The last day was just a bite-the-bullet-and-get-thru-it type of day. I was in the van with the kids that day and the last hour of driving my baby girl started screaming just for fun. No kidding. She was just playing with the boys which resulted in an All Van Scream-a-thon. Felt good. :)

Well, this is getting longer than I hoped...which when you think about it, was the same way I felt about  our road trip.
Washing the dust off our feet...WE'RE HERE!!!

More later...if I can muster it in the midst of the chaos. :)
 Thanks for your prayers and messages and love. Hugs to you all!