Tuesday, November 6, 2012

We Made It!

Well, it has been quite a while since the last time I wrote a post.  This is due in part to the fact that we don’t have internet service at home yet.  But, mostly it is just because moving is hard work and I'm still recovering!
It has been a little over a month now since we packed up, pulled out of the drive and began our journey.  I should begin by saying a BIG THANK YOU to all those who were able to come over and help us out by packing, cleaning or watching the kids (while we packed and cleaned).  We really appreciated all of the help!  A special note of thanks goes to R.S. – who shall henceforth be known as “Master Packer”.  We would have had to leave a lot more things behind if it hadn’t been for your amazing skill in packing the moving truck!  And of course I can’t leave out our families, who were a big help and support to us during this time of transition also.

We spent a long day packing the truck and cleaning the house on a Saturday in late September.  Sunday was a hard day, spent saying our good-byes to family and friends.  Sunday night we slept on the floor in our empty house.  (And it was finally starting to feel like, “Yes, this IS really happening…”).  When we got up on Monday morning we ate breakfast, did a little touch-up cleaning and packed the last-minute stuff in the van and the cab of the truck.  Hubby’s grandparents met us there at the house.  (They had called us a week or two before we were planning to leave and offered to drive out with us.  We couldn’t turn them down!)  We rolled out a little later than we had planned, but with four long days of travel ahead of us I doubt that hour really made much difference.  :)  There were a couple last minute stops at the bank, post office and grocery store before we could finally hit the highway, and then… we were off!

We pulled out in a minivan and a 20-foot moving truck towing a car hauler trailer with our SUV on it.  Four adults, two kids and a dog.  Four days on the road.  We have never taken that long to drive that distance before, and by day three it was starting to feel like we were never going to get there…  Every time we stopped it seemed to take so long.  A "simple" gas-and-potty stop could take over a half an hour till it was all said and done, and meals were worse.  

All in all, though, I cannot complain.  Everything went so smoothly.  We had no mishaps or mechanical issues with any of the vehicles.  (Well, one tiny mishap when the mirror of the moving truck brushed into one of those tall orange pylons they put up at construction areas… but that’s it.)  Thanks to all of those who had our trip covered in prayer!

Now, while we were driving, we still did not know exactly where we were going.  Of course we knew the town we were going to, but we had still not found a place to live.  On our way out, we found out about the possibility of a house that a friend of ours had coming open for rent.  It wasn’t ideal, but we figured it would work temporarily, so we made plans that way.  It wasn’t available until over two weeks after we arrived, so some other friends of ours offered for us to move in with them for the time being.  We also made a call to a friend of ours who has some warehouse space, to see if we could store our things there for a couple weeks (and that worked out as well).  The house we would be renting was 25 miles away from Hubby’s job, it was small (2 bedroom) and it was for sale (so we would really need to be ready to move at a moment’s notice if they got an offer on it).

After we got to C-Town we moved our things off the truck and into the warehouse.  We returned the truck (thankfully the broken mirror was covered by our insurance).  We got settled in at our friends place.  We took Hubby’s grandparents to the airport after they had a day to do some sightseeing.  Then we all got colds and the dog stuck her nose in a wasp nest.  Hmph.

A day or two later, after further consideration, we decided to call our friend and back out of the house deal.  We did the calculations and found that it was going to cost us far too much in fuel for Hubby to travel that distance back and forth to work every day.  So, we started searching for something else much closer to Hubby’s work.  We ended up finding a reasonably priced three bedroom apartment just a few doors down from Hubby’s work.  After we applied for it, it took about a week and a half before we were approved and could move in.    

We moved into our apartment in early to mid October.  It is pretty nice – ground floor, three bedrooms, 1000 sq.ft., big windows, clean.  There is enough space for us, but we do still have quite a few things in storage (mostly all stuff that we would ordinarily store in a garage or shed).  Our son was insistent that he wanted to share a room with his sister, which we agreed to.  The third bedroom is a large room, and is now part office, part storage room and part guest bedroom (anyone wanna come visit?).  This arrangement is actually working out really well, and it makes it feel like we have a lot more space.  I am still not used to apartment living.  It still unnerves me to hear someone walking around upstairs, although I am slowly getting used to it.  It sure is an adjustment to get used to hearing other people at all hours of the day and night.  Our building only has three other apartments in it, so it is not a lot of noise.  We mostly just hear the guy upstairs.  It is just interesting… usually if you get up to use the bathroom at 4am, you don’t have to think about waking your neighbors up – but there has been more than once that I have found myself awake in the middle of the night because I heard some noise from upstairs.  I guess eventually I’ll stop hearing it.  Although today he was vacuuming and it was so loud you would have thought he was IN our apartment!  Also, something about it makes me feel like I’m living in a hotel.  I’m sure going to be eager to move into a house whenever that time comes!  As far as location goes, we are in a nice spot.  Hubby walks to work every day.  We have two nice parks where the kids can play outside within a short walk from our door.  There is also easy access to two different sets of hiking/walking trails right in our neighborhood, and we are within walking distance of downtown.  And, of course, we have some pretty nice mountain views right outside our door.  

Perhaps the biggest downside to our place is the fact that it is “no pets”.  As I mentioned before, we did bring our dog with us.  We’ve had her for six years now, and we were just sure that we’d be able to find a place where we could keep her.  We really tried.  There is really not much at all available here that is pet-friendly.  Our son was really sad that we were going to be moving into a place where we couldn’t keep her with us (like, tears-sad), which made us feel even worse about it.  We have some good friends who are allowing us to keep her at their place (in their outdoor kennel) for the time being.  We’ll have to see what happens with that.  We don’t look forward to moving again anytime soon, but if we were able to find a place that is dog-friendly after our lease is up on this place….  If we end up staying here for much over a year, though, we will probably try to find her a new home.

Hubby started his job just a few days after we arrived and it has been going great.  He is enjoying his job and he likes the people that he works with.  We are going to need some additional income to be able to meet budget, though, so please be praying for that. 

We are attending the same church that we worked with after we first got married.  We have enjoyed catching up with old friends and making new ones.  Hubby has preached twice so far, filling in for the pastor while he’s out of town.  At this point, we do not have any official position at the church.  Hubby just helps out as requested with prayer, communion, preaching, etc.  He has also started playing on the worship team.

One exciting thing that happened recently was a (very) unplanned visit from my brother and sister-in-law.  They were actually out doing a tour of the southwest (Arizona and Utah, mostly) for a vacation.  Then Hurricane Sandy hit and they ended up stuck in Las Vegas when their flight was cancelled.  The next flight they got wasn’t until almost a week later.  We offered that they could come and stay with us, but it was a long drive and they were considering going out to California to see Yosemite, so we were quite surprised when they called on Monday morning and said they were headed our way!  They arrived very late on Monday night and stayed for two days before leaving on Thursday morning.  We were very happy to have them!  We all really enjoyed having them here and were sad to see them go.  We hope their next visit can be a little longer! 

Hubby’s parents are planning to come out in mid-December, and his sister wants to come in January or February.  So we are eagerly anticipating their visits!

Well, what can I say to sum this post up?  I guess I’ll just say this:  It is good to be here.  That doesn’t mean that it is always easy to be away from our family and friends back East (it isn’t).  That doesn’t mean that we don’t have any difficulties in our lives right now (we do).  It certainly doesn’t mean that things are perfect here (they aren’t).  It is good to be here because we know this is where we are supposed to be.  This feels like home.  God led us here and He isn’t going to let us down.  We will do our best to walk forward with courage, to stand tall, and to be faithful in what God has called us to.  And as always, we appreciate your prayer support.

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it - he will be blessed in what he does."
-James 1: 22-25

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