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!