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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Home Sweet Home.

It flew by, but today marks one week since we've been in College Station. In that time I've experienced - or should I say re-experienced all sorts of firsts with my home town. 

1) People here are just NICE. Like really nice! I've had so many sweet ladies tell me how precious my kids are and that they'd keep them if I ever needed it - ha! If someone told me that in Dallas I would've called the cops. But that's the thing, nobody really did because they knew you'd call the cops. Sheesh! Loosen up people and tell a stressed out mom her babies are cute! Sometimes that's all she's got to hold on to because they drive her batty crazy! 

2) I love my house. God picked the best house for us. We thank him everyday for how he worked this out. We had it painted top to bottom before we moved in and let me tell you that made all the difference. It's so fresh, our stuff fit right in and looks great and we have more room but not an overwhelming amount of room, just enough room to grow. We love that one of the cutest parks in town in just four houses down from us. We go nearly everyday! Our neighbors are so nice and there's lots of kids in the neighborhood - praise GOD because that means there's lots of moms who are nice to chat with as well. 

3) My HEB is amazing. It's got lots of Central Market pretty and the HEB prices and it's a rock throw from my house AND since I went at 8:30 a.m. the sweet gal who bagged my groceries offered to help me out. I was hauling Lydie around because Jack was smooshing her when she was in the basket so I gladly accepted. By the time I'd finished buckling both kids, she'd finished unloading my groceries and had waved goodbye! Thank you ma'am!

4) Cool stuff happens here. Just last night I sat right smack in the middle of a crowd of well over 1,500 people to listen to Dr. Ben Carson speak on the beauty, complexity and gift of life. My dad happens to be on the board of Hope Pregnancy Center which happens to be the philanthropy of Aggie Sisters for Christ who sponsored the fundraising event. Did you know this community can say that one year ago we HAD a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic? But through "peaceful and prayerful means" (thank you Dr. Haywood Robinson for that description) it SHUT. DOWN. Not before providing 8,000 life ending (for the baby) and life altering (for the mother) abortions though - but no more. Now we have agencies like HOPE that new parents can go to for healing, hope and help. Thank you B/CS, Dr. Robinson and Dr. Carson for renewing my zeal for the importance and sacredness of LIFE. Jesus truly does heal all hurts.

5) My family is here. And it's awesome. Patrick's parents babysat for us last night so we could hear Dr. Carson's talk. My cousin's wife and sons came over for a playdate today - we've NEVER done that! And my mom and dad, two brothers and two grandmothers and all my aunts and uncles but one are here. Patrick's parents, brother and sister and her family are all here and many of his aunts and uncles and cousins. Mom is going to be keeping Lydie one day a week for me while I work and Jack goes to MDO! My MOM is going to keep my daughter... that just boggles my mind. Mostly because I know how awesome my mom is and also because she doesn't charge me - I won't hemorrhage money to sitters anymore! Maybe a little but not nearly as much. 

6) We love our church. I grew up at Grace Bible Church on Anderson. BUT we tried Grace's Southwood campus which is over near A&M Consol and absolutely loved it! We knew people, loved the worship time, Blake Jennings the preacher did an awesome job, both kids did GREAT at Sunday School and the couple who did our marriage counseling just happened to sit catty corner from us during the service so we got to reconnect with them after all these 12 years. So special. 

So while we are still adjusting, with every box that is unpacked and every normal activity that comes and goes, it really does feel like home sweet home. I often wonder what my grandfathers would've thought, what Patrick's grandfathers, and one in particular (Jack) would've thought. Sometimes I get the feeling they know, they just have to. There really is no place like home. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Settling In - Life and Work

Wednesday the trucks came and unloaded all of our stuff. It went so fast and thanks to the helping hands of my Aunt Julie, cousin Kay and Patrick's dad Wayne (even though it was his birthday!) we made an incredible amount of progress. Mom and Dad kept the kiddos all day so we could work and worked we did. We went back to my mom's for another night there after a quick family bday dinner for Wayne at the Koenning house. Patrick and I worked another three hours or so that night and landed in bed around midnight. Thursday we did a little more but were ready to get our family in one spot and after mom helped me get my china cabinet put up Patrick brought the kids over. 

Jack's room was set up so cute and even had a little "Jack's Room" sign on the door which he LOVES. He really loves his room. He was so excited about it. We have a little room/closet under the stairs which we've named the "clubhouse." It's basically a toy room that is perfect toddler size and Jack and Lydie have enjoyed playing in there and dragging toys out to the living room and I just put them back and shut the door after bedtime! 

I knew with Lydie it wasn't going to matter where we were. She's at the age that as long as she has mama and Jack (and dada can come too) she's fine, she's home. But Jack... he's still adjusting. He's even been running a smidge of fever the last 24 hours. I think so much change, a new place, today at church he had a new class of kids, it's been a lot. His preschool teacher came for a home visit on Friday and read him a book about school, it was cute and he did so well. But we think he's missing our old house, his friends, everything he knew. It makes me sad that we couldn't give him that consistency of "place" you're told as a parent is so important. But I know he'll adjust and more importantly I know it's right. We are doing what God asked of us and therefore it is what is right for Jack, even though what we had was right too. It was just time. *sigh* 

Patrick starts at Gilmore tomorrow. He's kind of getting his sea legs back for a few weeks before he jumps in. I think that's smart. We're praying for some good help to come along as they get more work and decisions regarding rebranding. It's exciting and I'm so proud of him but it's a little nerve wracking to be at the point that all of this stuff we prayed about is actually here and happening. I haven't mentioned this yet, but I'm going back to work for my first boss. Yep, my first job out of college was in marketing at David Gardner's. David and Julia have long been like family and mentors to me and I'm so honored to be able to go back and work with them part time doing what I love. Heck I even worked an event at the store Friday night! Talk about jitters! But before long I'd gotten my sea legs back and it was great. Being able to work with them really makes home seem like home. I'm so thankful. God didn't leave any stone unturned and here we are starting this new chapter. 

We miss our friends, we miss people knowing our story and not having to start from the beginning, but we are happy. And mostly, we're thankful, we praise the Lord for his continued goodness and we surrender to his calling. Months ago we said, "Here we are, what would you have of us?" and now here we are. He is faithful. He is loving and He. Is. Worth it. 

Moving Day

On Tuesday, the 19th, two moving trucks came and three guys loaded all of our stuff. At that point in the moving process I never thought it would end. It was like being 40 weeks pregnant (or as close as I've come which is 39). You hit a wall. You don't care WHAT is about to happen you just know there is NO MORE ROOM and you're ready. I was ready. Patrick was ready.

To be honest, I don't think I will ever forget that day. My neighbor who also happens to be one of my best friends, popped over at 9 a.m. to say that she and her two kiddos would be in the front yard and available to watch Jack whenever. Oh and if we needed to put Lydie down in Charlotte's crib that was fine. At 9:30 Lydie was out cold in the crib next door and Jack and Alice (Jack's BFF) were playing in the front yard. Shortly after that two more of my dearest friends and their littles showed up and we all hung out in the front yard. I'd run in to pack or organize or delegate and then come back out and plop down and pretend we weren't moving and it was just another day.

We ordered lunch. Natasha and Reed ran to pick it up, the big kids went down to Angela's house for a bit and by the time everyone got back to Emily's house Lydie was up, Charlotte was down and we were eating around the kitchen table. I was still in denial, it was just another day. The kids were playing so nicely together at one point I wasn't sure what we were doing and Patrick and I had it all worked out that we could stay... By 1 o'clock the movers started saying things like "almost there" and "it won't be long." My stomach would twist in knots and tears would threaten but then something or someone would call my attention and I was off again. At 2 the melt downs began. For some reason this brings a smile to my face and warm fuzzies in my heart. Alice hit Patrick with a baseball bat on the back, Jack was wrestling toys from whoever had what he wanted, and Lillian was wailing because Jack took the ball and Will, bless his sweet heart had gone home! We said goodbye to the Andersons shortly thereafter.

At 2:30 we started saying goodbye to Emily and Alice. I had hardly been able to look at Emily all weekend so the tears came early and still now start up sometimes. Some friends you know you were just destined to meet and the Feuilles, we couldn't have ever asked for better neighbors and friends. God is so good to us. We walked through the house together, all empty, we took pictures and said "We'll see you soon." By 3 we were packed up and Angela, Scott and Will walked in. It was the last goodbye for the day and I am so glad I got to hug her neck, we almost missed each other!

I drove home, the kids slept some, ate, fussed, sang. It was fine. I think we stopped somewhere to give Lydie some food and attention. Mom had a great meal ready and helped put kids down.

Patrick and I went over to see the house that night. It was gorgeous. We'd had it painted from top to bottom. Walls, ceilings, cabinets. It looked amazing. I was so happy with it. And then I bawled my guts out for two hours. Finally exhaustion kicked in and we slept.