So we did A Thing: We moved across the country…. to California! I can’t believe we did it, but we did. It wasn’t easy–that’s for sure; and it’s not over yet! It has been stressful, both physically and emotionally.
Normalcy is right around the corner–I can feel it!
The last five weeks have been a total whirlwind! Let’s recap in bullet points, shall we?
- We packed up our house, sent our stuff to storage, and said goodbye to Florida for the first time ever.
- I drove by myself with both girls, across the state, only to have Emmalyn projectile vomit all over herself. Exorcist style. Yup. That was fun. Needless to say, we lost a very loyal car seat that day.
- This mama traded in her beloved SUV for her dream car: A Minivan.
- Note: The above car purchase was not due to the vomiting 😉
- We vacationed in Hilton Head Island, and added an extra night because, well, we deserved it!
- Because our house wasn’t ready yet, but The Hubs had to report to his next duty station, we parked ourselves in a little bungalow for three weeks. We lived out of two suitcases and a duffel bag of toys. Lord only knows how we did it! All I have to say is, thank goodness for Netflix!
- Emmalyn went to Vacation Bible School for the first time and loved it. Surprisingly enough, the Catholic church camp dug back into their Old Testament roots and she learned about Judaism, much to my parents and my amusement.
- Blake and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary! My in-laws happened to be in town so we actually got to go out to dinner sans kiddos.
- We FINALLY got to move into our new house! Have you ever rented a home “sight unseen”? Welp, we just did! You can imagine our nerves the first time we set foot in our new place! But we quickly breathed a sigh of relief when we saw that God was with us, and we made the right decision.
- We had quite a scare when we thought the movers lost an entire crate of our stuff, including our desktop computer with My Life on it!
- I signed Emmalyn up for Pre-Kindergarten. Holy goodness gracious! I can’t believe it!
- Unpacking with two littles in quite interesting. And s l o w. And requires a lot of patience.
- Thank goodness for an amazing sister-in-law, who will unpack your e n t i r e kitchen and you don’t have to worry about a thing. I seriously don’t know what I would have done without her! Oh, I know: I’d still be standing in the middle, wondering where all my shit goes.
- Also, Military Wives are the bomb dot com. No joke. Those ladies step up and make you feel like you’re right at home. They take your kids and feed them while you unpack, and they pour you a glass of wine and tell you deployment will suck, but you’ll be all right.
To say that life has been crazy around these parts lately, would be an understatement. So much has been happening, that I don’t even know where to begin.
No, I’m not pregnant.
But my baby did turn ONE YEAR OLD!
I cannot believe it. It’s silly to think that we may or may not have once been disappointed when we found out she was a girl. We had our hearts and hopes set on having a boy. But now? I cannot imagine life without her. Not! One! Single! Bit! Every piece of Adelaide was meant to be in our lives. It has been a blessing from God to watch her grow over the past year. And I cannot believe that we are still going strong on our one-boob nursing journey! It’s incredible to think that I have kept a small human alive with one single boob!
(Okay, I’ll change the subject…)
I have loved watching Emmalyn step up as Big Sister. Although, I must admit, it’s quite exhausting shouting, “Put her down!” and “Stop licking your sister!” ump-teen times a day!
At four-and-a-half, Emmalyn lives up to her “in-utero” nickname of Diva Muffin. That girl has more sass than Liberace had sequins! She keeps me on my toes–that’s for sure. But she’s also quite entertaining, with her endless imagination, and her love for making up songs and dances.
Probably the biggest news in our neck of the woods is that WE ARE MOVING! This Florida Girl is spreading her wings and seeing what else the great U.S. of A. has to offer! Blake and I have moved three times in our five years of marriage, but this is the first time either of us has moved out of Florida. I’m very excited, but tremendously sad to be leaving my friends here.
Blake and I have spent many nights pondering if we’re doing the right thing. It seriously breaks my heart, taking Emmy away from her sweet little friends. She has made some of the most amazing friendships at such a young age. But then I think about how some of my closest friends live in New York, Louisiana, and Florida. We may not see each other in person as often as we’d wish, but when we do, it’s like we never skipped a beat. And with the amazingly crazy invention of FaceTime, we’re only a click away.
Here’s to continuing our adventures!
ATTENTION: If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the latter statement. It applies to a couple different situations in my life.
The first one being: I like friends who challenge me to become a better person. I don’t want superficial friendships, where my conversations are merely floating on the surface. I want to sink deeper. I don’t want friends who only tell me things like, “That’s a cute outfit.” Sure, it’s nice to be complimented, and I’m not asking my friends to stop being sincere in that sense, but I want more.
If you are my friend, whether old or new, I want you to challenge me. I want you to help me be a better person. I love having conversations with people where I stop to say, “Wow! That’s so interesting… I never thought of it that way before… Thank you for teaching me that… Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me… What a gift…”
I have come to realize that sometimes I may come across as–I dunno–strong? (…overpowering, maybe??) in conversations, but that’s because I like to challenge my friends, too. Not in a Ichallengeyoutoadeathmatch sort of way, but in a I challenge you to be a better YOU sort of way.
(I’m sorry I’m not sorry.)
I’ve also come to realize that some people just aren’t ready to be challenged and make life changes; and try as you may, there’s just nothing you can do about it. Man, this really saddens me. When I see people slipping down a path that is dark and scary, I become anxious, and my passion rises.
I have been in a dark place. I know that you don’t initially think it’s a dark place, because you can only see one step in front of you. But then things start to unravel. And that’s when it’s harder to get out.
It’s like running in the mud. On the surface you see a shallow puddle and think, “This will be easy to cross. I don’t need any help.” But as soon as your feet hit the mud, you start sinking. You realize that it is a lot harder than you ever could have imagined, and you wish you would have come prepared. You wish you had a plan. You wish you had a support-system in place. You wish you had the right equipment and gear to help you through the tough spots.
Are you going through a rough time in your life? Do you want to know why things aren’t getting better? It’s because you are not making changes in your life. You’re only planning to get through a puddle, while you should be preparing for a mud run.
Yes, it is hard to make changes. There’s no doubt about that. But if you want to have a better quality of life, you have to take the first step. It’s scary. I know. I know... But I promise you it’s worth it. I cross my heart to you that it’s so worth it.
I challenge you to make the changes you need.
What is something you want to change in the near future? Do you know what changes you need to make to get there? Do you have a support system in place?
I recently asked myself: Am I evolving into a better person each day?
I hope so!
I try to learn from my mistakes and faults and to not make the same ones the following day. As a mother, there are many examples I could pull from. There are times when a phrase or remark slips out of my mouth at the speed of lightning in reaction to something Emmalyn does and I instantly regret it. For instance, just the other day she wouldn’t eat her lunch and in a sudden fit, knocked over a glass of milk, soaking my shirt and pants. Without even thinking for one second, I yelled, “Look at what you just did!”
Immediately, I regretted my reaction and choice of words. Have you ever felt this way? It made me feel about as big as a dung beetle. I was ashamed of my choice of words, but there was no taking them back, so I just continued to clean up the mess, cursing myself all the while. Obviously the day went on as it normally does: a small tantrum here and there, with lots of smiles and giggles filling in the gaps of typical three year-old frustrations.
Then at the end of the day, before I closed my eyes for the night, I replayed the milk-spilling scenario over in my head. I cringed (and still do) at the person I witnessed myself being; but then, I re-envisioned the scenario with me reacting and responding in a way I could be proud of. Revisiting and re-visualizing the scene helped me prepare for future similar situations to occur. And I know three year-olds are notorious repeat-offenders so I will have plenty of opportunities to exercise my new reaction and response–one I will feel better and unashamed about.
Now I know I’m evolving into a better person!
So tell me, how are you evolving into a better person each day?
This really seemed like it would work, but alas, she just kept getting out of her bed. Some nights she would put up a fight, and others she would simply be a little Miss Chatty Cathy.
When you know something isn’t working for your family, you have to take a step back and reevaluate the situation.
Well, through a lot of prayer & reading, I felt in my heart that it was okay to scratch the whole “sleep training” theory and just.be.mommy.
Even if I’ve had a super stressful and frustrating day, rocking my little girl brings me back to reality and puts me in a happy place. I hold her in peaceful silence, thanking God for my beautiful angel. And that’s all right.
“I can do anything.” –Madeline
That’s the mantra I went in with today as I dropped Emmalyn off at her first day of school. (so maybe we watched Madeline
a bazillion three times yesterday while it was raining) I just can’t believe my little girl started school already! & I can’t believe I’m old enough to actually have a little girl starting school.
Granted, she’s only there for an hour and a half today–but still!
For this first week, the children only go for a limited amount of time to get them acclimated to the classroom. Next week, Emmy will go two days a week, for four and a half hours at a time.
Seriously, this whole time leading up to her going to school I’ve had My Brave Face on, and truly I believed it. But, y’all, when I drove away from her school this morning, it hit me!
I cried painful sobs all the way home.
& it wasn’t even because she was crying, because she wasn’t.
I think the depth of the whole situation took me by surprise. My little girl is growing up. Sounds terribly cliche, I know… but it’s true. She baffles me everyday with her ever-growing conversations and stories, her kindness (we’ll leave out the part about her ever-growing temper), and her sense of wonder and curiosity.
You might wonder why, as a stay-at-home-mom I’d be sending my child to school? Why not soak up every.single.moment? Well, to be honest, we were getting bored with one another. It’s not like we didn’t go out and explore almost everyday (and with other kids) but I could tell that I wasn’t giving my daughter enough at home. She needed something else.
And I’m okay with that. Not an ounce of guilt.
She’s insanely curious and always getting into things. When we moved to our new town, we literally went “school shopping” until we found what we thought was the perfect fit for Emmalyn. This school focuses more on the child’s freedom to explore, discover, and select their own work. They empower independence through asking questions, puzzles, and focus on learning without having to be “spoon-fed” by the teacher. This is something we felt was important for Emmalyn based on her personality.
This whole summer I’ve been extremely excited for her new adventure! Practically every day we talked about her “First Day of School”, and Emmy would always ask, “You’ll come with me?”
Well, umm… not exactly. I feared she would cry and protest on her first day considering how attached she is to me, but Nope! She was a champ! I was so proud to see her walk confidently into her classroom with her head held high. I think that’s the pivotal moment that sent me over the edge into Cry Town… Seeing my little love take on such a brave task.
So how did she do?!
She was super! Which bring me to my next Madeline mantra: “I’d rather be super everything than super nothing.” She came out of that classroom with the world at her fingertips. Smiling. Accomplished. Happy. Ready to do it again!
And Mommy was relieved! …and glad to have my baby back!
& what made it all the more sweeter was having Daddy surprise us at pick-up. Icing on the cake to the Best First Day of School!
The first thing Emmalyn told us about her day was that she made new friends.
Can I get an Awwwww???
I’m so proud of my little love and can’t wait to see what she does next!
Self explanatory, don’t ‘ya think?? I actually had a box filled with essentials (toilet paper, wipes, etc., but didn’t know which box it was in!) Fortunately for us, the tenants before us left a couple of rolls behind. I texted her a “thank you” and she said she has moved enough times to learn her lesson!
Life works so much better with a cup of coffee. Honestly, I don’t think of myself as a coffee drinker. Maybe once a month–if that–I would drive thru Starbucks for a Frap, but while we ate breakfast with my in-laws at their hotel, I figured I’d give it a go. Let me tell you, I was wayyyy more productive than I normally am, and it felt so good. The ONE morning I didn’t drink coffee, our landlord commented on how tired a looked. Coffee it is.
Sooooo super important!! There were a few discrepancies that threw us for a curve ball… i.e., where furniture was going… where the TV remote was… & others that I have probably blocked from my mind. Next time, we will come together well in advance, and map out a plan!
I’m a natural Type A girl, but I vowed to myself that I would go with the flow for this move. But this was not the time to be all loosey-goosey. My husband kept saying, “Why didn’t you make a list? I figured you would make a list. You always make lists.” & I was all like, “Because I was trying to be relaxed!” Lesson learned.
& pack it up in the car BEFORE the movers arrive. I had a DO NOT PACK box clearly labeled, but it still got packed in the moving truck. It had all of our important bank information/checks in it! Yipes! Fortunately, it was delivered with nothing missing. Thank goodness! On the day that the movers came, we were scrambling to grab stuff so they didn’t pack it up. These guys were fast, let me tell you!
They even packed Emmy’s “port-a-potty” with PEE IN IT! Yes! You read that right. Our sitter had taken Emmy to the park for a bit, then came back for lunch. She put the potty in the bathroom, and before she could even tell us it was in there, the movers had wrapped it and placed it in a box! I’m sure glad we found which box it was in otherwise it would have made for an interesting unpacking!
Thankfully my parents kept Indy out of our feet, and our sitter took Emmalyn out of the house while the movers packed us up. We couldn’t have had such a smooth move without my in-laws entertaining Emmalyn in our new city. They took her to the zoo, the beach, a museum. I got so much accomplished without her around. (No offense Emmy!)
This was amazing! A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I couldn’t be more grateful!