Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's been over a month once again and no journal entry so....
We are here in VA. We arrived after driving 2 vehicles, a guinea pig and tons of things we did not want to entrust to the movers and stayed in a lovely hotel in Maryland for 10 days while house hunting. First priority was to visit schools. There was absolutely no decision knowing which was "the right one" for us. Got the little one registered and she was so excited (yet a little anxious) to start in a new school.
Next task was to find a home near school. The commute for my husband was going to be difficult but you do what you need to do for your children to make things work. The Metro has proved to be very convenient for him. While doing all of this, my husband signed into work and I was thrilled to get to see a couple of familiar faces at the hospital! It definately made the move feel a little better although I was already terribly homesick. Saying goodbye to my oldest daughter, my grandparents, parents and then pulling out of my parents drive early that Saturday morning were the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I cried alot that day and for many days afterwards. It has become a bit easier because I know the surroundings a little better and have finally come to terms with the fact that this is home --for a while at least. Once we found a place and had our household goods delivered and I had "my things" around, I started feeling better. The Christmas tree went up, the lights went up, I had my dishes, my bed and most of all, my husband and daughter with me, things stared feeling better. I have to admit that when the sun goes down and the business of the day starts to wind down, it becomes a more difficult. Cell phones and Skype are wonderful! I am thankful (and sure my parents are also) for the mobile-to-mobile no charge feature our cell phone company has!
We have had a chance to visit some of the surrounding area. We went to the National Mall the first full day we were here for a little while (saw Newt Gingrich on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with his wife,) visited Arlington Cemetary and saw the Changing of the Guards, have experienced beltway traffic (it stinks,) went to see How the Grinch Stole Christmas Ice display at the Gaylord Hotel at the National Harbor, we went to Zoo Lights at the National Zoo and then we have visited Ft. Belvoir, Ft. Meade and some of the other nearby places. I was introduced to the Metro system last weekend. My husband felt it a necessity. We rode to DC and visited Union Station and the National Police Memorial.
I was truly dreading Thanksgiving as it would be the first away from my family. In all of my years, I have NEVER spent a Thanksgiving away from home in Alabama and my family. We ended up having a fabulous Thanksgiving! We drove to New Jersey where my husband's brother and his fiancee live. My husband showed my daughter and me the house where he was raised until moving to Arizona and that was really nice to see after hearing so many stories of his childhood! Not long after arriving in NJ on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we were taken to the train station and we rode the train to NYC! I guess one item on my bucket list, for lack of a better word, was to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade--not from the living room on TV but in person! My husband made this dream come true! It was all I thought it would be plus about 3 million people. NYC was in the progress of getting all decorated and that was absolutely something to see! The Rockefeller Center Tree was being erected and we were able to see that! The parade was really terrific and I am so happy we were able to do this but probably will spend the next Thanksgivings in the loving warmth of my home surrounded by my family! After the parade, we gathered our things and went back to the train station and rode back to NJ where we had a truly wonderful afternoon! My brother in law's fiancee and he cooked a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and went out of their way to make it special for us. I felt so blessed to have been able to be with them and her boys! We enjoyed being able to sit around the table with them, laugh, talk and it was just a wonderful day! We drove back that night and the following day, enjoyed seeing my beloved Auburn win the Iron Bowl! What a weekend!
My youngest daughter is loving school. I cannot say how blessed we are to have found this school. The first day, I picked her up after school to find out that not only had her teacher brought in a "crown" for her to wear her first day but each child written her a letter and drawn a picture for her welcoming her to her class. She has made friends and has already attended the birthday party of one of the children. She talks about her school in Columbus every single day and that she misses her teachers and friends but she also seems to be loving her new school. Each day I pick her up she has a smile on her face and is going on and on about the day's events. As a mother, who could ask for more!
The search for a church has been on-going since we arrived. I have been very discouraged because when I did not think I would ever find on I loved as much as FBC in Columbus---and I probably will not. We visited a church this past Sunday that we liked alot and will visit again. Maybe we have found our church home--maybe! I thought my heart would break the last Sunday we walked out of FBC in Columbus. We left there so many wonderful memories, good friends and such a loving and warm church family. I know that it is wrong to measure places against others but it's hard not to do so when when you leave such a sweet place. We will see.
I read a journal entry last night written by a military wife about moving and how it is so so important to try and see the purpose that God has for you in that new place. I feel that it was written just for me--although truly, she wrote it from a very recent moving experience of her own. Hmmm...I'm truly not alone in some of the feelings I have had. We have considered our family very blessed to have been in one place for such a long time--not very common. I was able to see my oldest daughter through high school graduation and all of her first year in college. I was able to see her cheer at the ballgames, take her to a military ball and so many other things I would not been able to do had we moved in the regular routine of the Army. My youngest daughter was able to "grow roots." She was able to know what is like to have a real church home, a warm, inviting school and most of all, the love of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family. I think these things helped to establish the foundation for so many new experiences!

So that's it. We are here. We are mostly unpacked, well, I guess that's not entirely true. I have 3 levels in this home and the bottom level still has all of the unpacked boxes. I have learned that you really don't have to kill herself trying to unpack everything in one day! I have also learned that it's OK to play in the snow and not worry about what "needs to be done." It will ALL be there the next day!
I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 1 of packing..

So they are here---4 of them each in one room of my house. We have the things we will take in my van situated in a certain area of our house. The packers are very nice. They have been very polite, asking about individual items and what we would like done with them. I stole a few minutes away to write this, write a letter of recommendation for a friend who is working on his Master's degree and eat a little lunch. It's odd watching everything you have being packed in boxes, labeled and placed away in a nice orderly fashion for pick up later in the week. So that's it. I have always heard that when the Army moves you it's not as much work on you but amazingly I feel just as tired as when we moved in the house 4 years ago. I find it coincidental that we moved into our beautiful home 4 years ago just after it was completed being built. I unpacked our things and along with them, unpacked our Christmas decorations. It appears that I will be doing the same in Virginia. First order of business however is to find a school for our baby. We have 2 lined up to see the first work day after we arrive and I am hopeful one of them will fit us. They are both Christian private schools so I'm excited that we found them. I know every place has it's faults including private schools but I just feel very strongly that keeping her in that environment is a good thing. One of the schools even gives you a "sponsor family." Sorta like the Army designated a sponsor to service members--this school has a family that assumes sponsorship of you. This includes a "buddy" for your child out of his or her class. This "buddy" sits with them at lunch, introduces them and so forth. I like that! Yesterday we went on a class Cross Country Fun Run at Idol Hour Park locally and had a great time. Tomorrow is another field trip to a Science Center in Newnan, GA. I am excited that my little one will get those opportunities. My oldest daughter will stay in Auburn which is killing me. She's doing well and her changing schools was out of the question. My grandmother is coming home from the hospital (thank God) and so hopefully things will be alot better for my parents. It has broken my heart thinking about leaving my grandmother in the hospital so I am thankful she is coming home :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

New Beginnings...

I had a journal that I very seldom updated and decided that it was time to let it go. It was primarily started when I began sewing again several years ago and when time did not allow time for sewing, it became a blog about just stuff. My posts became few and far in between. I find myself at a crossroads in life and decided that it may be time to start this journal up again if nothing else to save my sanity.
So my husband graduated RN school, went to OBC and is back home now. He received his commission after 19 years in the Army as an enlisted soldier and life is beginning but down a bit of a different road. The Army has a program where the newly commissioned, newly graduated Army nurses start at one of the Army's major medical centers. We knew a move would be in our future upon his completing school and completing OBC. There are only a handful of medical centers within the Army which surprised me. I am not sure why it surprised me but it did. So back in March, I go on a work related trip of my own to Washington, DC and came home telling my husband that I thought it might be nice to be stationed up there b/c it was just so pretty. Keep in mind, back in March, there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground and the scenary with snow was breathtaking. That is not something we often see here in the South. He reminded me quickly that perhaps I should be careful what I wish for because sometimes you just might get it. And I did. Surprise! A month or so after that rolled off my tongue, the email came. Later came the "official" orders. Can we say shocked??!! I am not sure where I thought we'd be going but I guess I really had not thought about it too much. At any rate, we decided to pray about where we went and this is what we got so here we go.
New opportunities, new atmosphere and just new everything. It has been a bittersweet week. Husband came home from San Antonio but at the same time my grandmother became very ill. She's been feeling very poorly since the beginning of Oct when she had a hip replacement at 88 years old but alas, the past 3 weeks found her in much worse shape. We were not sure what prognosis she may have. It's been hard to say the least. I have spent alot of time on the road going to Alabama to see her and try to spend all of the time I could with her. I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd see my grandmother in the shape she is in but thank God, today she is doing somewhat better--again, thank God! I cleared post and work yesterday and cleaned out the locker I have had for 8 1/2 years. Tomorrow is the last day Sunday at our sweet church here and I know that will be very hard.
So another journal. Like I said, if nothing else, it's here to save my sanity. I cannot believe that for the next 2 years we will be living in Virginia!