I've been absent for a while, for the simple reason that our move is still "underway," and I am not skilled at blogging from my phone!
We started the trek east in late June, and somehow it's already August. With four littles, a dog, and two vehicles packed with travel supplies and oddments left over from the move (they won't pack liquids, batteries, light bulbs, etc, and we knew we'd need air mattresses and other supplies), it was hardly a "vacation." But after six days of driving, we finally reached Florida.
While neither my husband nor I consider ourselves Floridians anymore, it was home for many years (and still is to our nearest and dearest) -- and coming home felt good after years spent out west. The humidity was a bit of an adjustment, to be sure! And we managed to arrive during a particularly rainy/stormy season; I think we have been officially "rehydrated" after our desert sojourn...
|This little guy was hanging out on my parents' steps one morning|
But by far, the best part of our trip was spending time with both sides of our family -- that time is so precious, and we truly had the best time just being together (and eating lots of good food!). Rosa got to visit her first tea shop with her aunt and grandmother, and it was such a sweet memory.
The rainy weather made it difficult to keep the littles occupied, and they were quite energetic after spending nearly a week in the van -- but we found some activities, and squeezed in as many beach and pool visits as we could between storms.
I also got to try out the maternity/nursing swimsuit I made shortly before we moved! It's made up of skirted leggings and a sleeveless top; eventually it will get its own post, but that will probably be a while... I think it will work well for nursing, and I'm hoping it transitions well to postpartum.
|This was 28 weeks -- finally in the third trimester!|
It was time for the final leg of our journey, back to Virginia -- sadly, our last tenants left our beloved house in a bit more disrepair than we'd anticipated. Apparently they didn't understand the concept of supervising the use of art supplies, because virtually every wall, door, set of blinds, etc, was "decorated" with a variety of mediums...crayon, pencil, marker, pen, paint, you name it. Even my go-to magic erasers couldn't remove the marks. And we didn't find out the AC had been broken for a week until the day we arrived (no surprise when we saw the air filter, ugh!), which meant a quick change of plans and an overnight stay in a local hotel. We're still flabbergasted by how much damage was done in less than a year; two solid wood interior doors and the front door were damaged beyond repair, and the three year old refrigerator had to be replaced! There are splatters on the ceilings (?!), and the wood floors were so filthy that our children's bare feet were black after walking on them. I had to use lots of hot water, cleaner, and scour pads to get them remotely clean.
To top it all off, the move company contracted by the military was/is running far behind schedule. We had even delayed our arrival in Virginia for nearly a week, but as it turns out our household goods still haven't arrived, and will be a month late. The silver lining is that we've had plenty of time to make needed repairs, as well as some upgrades that we never got around to the last time we lived here. Nearly every wall and ceiling will be freshly painted (in a more cohesive palette), which I'm quite excited about. Even if I'm a bit tired of painting at this point. After three years of renting bland military housing, it's nice to be able to personalize our own home! Some board and batten here, a new light fixture there...with a baby on the way, lots of time on our hands, and a mostly-empty house, there's no time like the present.
Speaking of baby, I can't believe how quickly the second trimester flew by! And the third trimester seems to be following the same trend. Little Kit is doing well, and I am enjoying his squirms and wiggles -- always one of my favorite parts of pregnancy, but this time it seems near miraculous to feel life stirring within me again. Scout got to feel some hiccups the other day, which made us both smile! We're down to single digit weeks until his arrival, Lord willing, and the excitement is tangible.
I'm still stitching away at Kit's baby blanket, and it's growing at a satisfying pace. Over 40,000 stitches so far, and I'm averaging 1,200 per day. I'd love to finish it before our household goods arrive; not only will we have our hands full with unpacking for a while, but it would be nice to be ready to start on one of my remaining projects as soon as my craft supplies are unpacked.
Much as I miss the west, I'm so happy to be back on the east coast! So many trees and flowers, and water. I thought the wisteria would be long gone, but a visit to a favorite park yesterday proved me wrong; there were a few blossoms holding on, just enough to savor their beauty and heady scent.
Between renovations and the heat wave/storms, we haven't had many outings (besides the hardware and grocery stores!), but once our house is in order and the weather has cooled a bit, I'm hoping to revisit our favorite haunts.
I'm so struck by how God has orchestrated all of our circumstances -- His timing is truly best, even though it has been challenging at times to surrender our own plans in that regard! While we've faced hurdles that we neither desired or anticipated during the past two months, I've been able to see so many evidences of how He has faithfully cared for and guided us. His grace is enough, always.
Even though we're not "settled" yet, it feels like we're home, and I'm grateful.