Settling In.. sort of

So we’ve been in Texas now for one month! It’s crazy really. In some ways, nothing has changed and it others everything is completely different!

We’re still adjusting to daily schedules. Hubby is working on getting settled at school and hopefully he’ll be starting his AmeriCorp stuff soon. He’s a little annoyed at the lack of info he’s getting but he has a meeting tomorrow that should shed some light on things! He has 2 full days of class and then nothing the rest of the week so he’s anxious to be busier! Finally got his desk all set up in our bedroom and the homework has started to eat up his time in the evenings. So, typical student living. Something we’re used to!

Theo is doing good at school – and we’re very proud! The school has a color chart for behavior and Theo has been at Green or above for the most part. He’s only had 2 yellow days. We’re hoping that he keeps it up! Tomorrow night there is a meeting for Cub Scouts and we’re planning to attend. Hubby and I think it would be a good thing for him – help him make new friends and get out of the house doing fun things! Not to mention learning new skills. He tells me he has new friends at school but he can’t remember their names… lol. Goofy kid.

Adeline has a cold. After only 5 days in public school Theo started with a very runny nose. And now the baby and I have it! Yea for school! So in addition to being super crabby because of teething, she’s congested and has a runny nose too. So much fun. In better news, she has shown some signs of walking! The other day she took about 6 steps all on her own without any encouragement. When we try to get her to walk tho she just sits down. Stubborn child. Always wants to do everything at her own pace! I have a feeling that she’ll be off running soon though. And then we’ll have our hands full. We’re also working on talking. She’s a tad behind there but we’re not concerned. She babbles nonstop so its only a matter of time before she starts using words.

I am still looking for work. It’s becoming a bit of a stressor for us. Paying bills when there isn’t any money coming in can be depressing. We’re still avoiding the credit card for as long as possible. Hopefully I’ll get a call soon from one of the dozens of jobs I’ve applied to. In the meantime, I’m looking at opportunities to make money from home. If anyone wants to share some lucrative ventures please feel free! And please say a prayer for us that our financial situation turns around soon. We should start getting the stipend from AmeriCorp next month so that will help a little. But its only once a month and not very much. (Apparently enough to disqualify daddy and mommy for medicaid tho… health insurance is expensive!)

You’d think with all this free time I’d have finished all the unpacking but alas it is a slow process. With the crabby 1 year old who is refusing naps longer than 45 minutes I’ve been busy! But I do plan to put some extra effort into it. I want to get the pictures hung up and my room unpacked. I am missing my things being easily accessible. We had hoped to purchase a few additional items for the house but currently its just not feasible. So I’m trying to organize our storage as neatly as possible, without any of the needed shelving. The garage is a nightmare. Definitely needs sorted quickly. Soon. I hope.

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Texas Roadtrip

Well ladies and gents, it is official – we have a house!

Last week, hubby and I climbed into our minivan and drove a very long 13 hours down to Abilene, TX. It’s technically only a 12 hour drive but we stopped a few times. It was very interesting watching all the scenery change as we got closer to our destination. Definitely going to have to get used to somethings – like a lack of speed limit signs.. and road signs in general. Except the ice signs. Plenty of those, warning that bridges may ice over in cold weather. This is something we live with in Iowa but apparently its not common in Texas. And wow do they drive fast down there!Β The fields were different too. I’m used to my corn and soybean fields but not in TX. It’s cotton and shrubbery, everywhere! They have these shrubs that look like trees but are small. Kind of weird. All sorts of changes for us to adapt to!

The town is definitely smaller than what we’re used to but it did have the majority of stores that we shop at. Walmart, Target, BB&B, BestBuy, a decent mall, and a few movie theaters.. No Aldi though and that’s my main grocery store so that’s a bummer. We’ll have to make some adjustments but we should be okay. Food selection is a lot more limited. Lots of Mexican, BBQ and steak.. not so much on the variety. I’ve been told there is one good Chinese place but we didn’t try it out so not sure how good it is. We tried a Tex Mex place and I gotta admit, it wasn’t as good as what I’ve had in Iowa! Next time I’ll try authentic instead. Or maybe a classier joint? One steak house we drove by had a sign out front – they deliver! Steak delivery, only in Texas. On another sad note, there is no Panera. I’m very disappointed about that one. I love Panera – awesome sandwiches and soups and omg those bagels! I guess I’ll have to get my fill before we go. And every time we come back to visit. And anytime we go to Fort Worth or Dallas. Lol.

We spent about an hour our first morning looking at houses. We saw 5 altogether and ended up getting our 2nd choice (the first got rented before we made up our mind – they move quick down there!). We’re pretty excited about it – its bigger than our current place and the master has its own bath and huge walk in closet. Theo and Addy will have their own rooms with lots of space and also big closets. There’s a bonus room in the garage – perfect for Daddy’s workout equipment! We were super disappointed about losing our favorite house but this one is actually saving us money with cheaper rent and its right down the street from the elementary school. So really, its a great house. And the backyard is huge – and flat! Hubby has been mowing the hill in our current yard for two years, he’s thrilled that he won’t be doing it anymore! Our new landlord agreed to us getting a temporary style above ground pool too – can’t wait for that one! The yard has a nice privacy fence so it’ll be a great addition for us and the kids with the nice warm Texas weather. Did I mention it’s hot in Texas??

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The front of our new house!

We did a little shopping while we were down there. Got hubby to try on a pair of cowboy boots and a hat. Not a bad look on him if I do say so myself.

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We considered buying the boots.. but decided to wait until we’re moved and settled. Lots of expenses coming our way, not the best time for extra purchases! But I will say, I loved the boots I tried on! I’ve never thought about buying them before but they were so cute! There’s a regional fair and rodeo in September so I’ll probably be heading back to the store for those boots before then.

We drove back after only 2 days in Abilene – it was a short trip! Got back just in time to pick Addy up from Nana’s house and go home and sleep! We celebrated the 4th with family and had a really awesome weekend just relaxing. It was much needed after all that driving, trust me. Still kind of recuperating – it’s been a long week, despite only having 4 work days. I have less than 2 weeks at my job and we move in 3! Still a lot of packing to do at home and I have a lot of last minute stuff at work so these next few weeks will be stressful. But once it’s all over we can work on settling into our new life in TEXAS!

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Happy 4th of July!

Change in Scenery

For those of you who do not know, my hubby is currently a student finishing his undergrad. After 4 years of active duty in the Navy, he decided to go back to school. He will be graduating with a BA in English in May. We are all so very proud of him and what he has accomplished! And now that he’s finishing his undergrad, the time has come to prepare for the next part of our journey. Grad school!

Hubby got accepted into his top school (one of the top Christian grad schools in the country) and is beyond thrilled! While we’ve talked about it and known it was a possibility, our future plans are now a lot more solidified: we are moving to Texas. That’s right, Texas. I can’t say it was ever on my radar for places I’d like to live but we’re both really excited about this opportunity and what the future holds for our family. A lot of thought and prayer went into the decisions we’ve made and are making and we’re ready for this new adventure.

Right now, everything is planning, planning, planning. I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking at school districts and housing. Trying to figure out where I’ll be applying for jobs. I joined a Facebook group for the area to find out more info from mom’s who live there. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to plan! I’ve got an entire pinterest board dedicated to everything about our relocation. We still have 5 months or so before we’re going so plenty of time to figure things out.

The tough part about moving 13 hrs away is leaving family behind. But we are grateful for all of the love and support everyone has been giving us as we prepare. Grad school is such a big step for hubby and I know he’s excited and nervous about it. We’re so blessed to have so many encouraging people in our lives, who are sharing in our excitement! We’re going to miss everyone so much. Thank God for skype!

I’m a little nervous about the housing. No basements is a scary notion. The toy room is in our basement currently. It’s been great having a room where the kids can go play (well so far just Theo) and watch movies. Now we’re hoping for either a 2nd family room or large enough bedrooms so the bigger toy items can fit in their rooms. Obviously, there is going to be some downsizing. I am excited about the prospect of 2 bathrooms though. One is definitely not enough! And we’re hoping we can still find a place with an extra room for an office. But I have a feeling that we’ll be making some sacrifices in that area. I can’t wait until hubby is done with school and settled in a job and we can buy our own home. Ahh dreams…

So yea, exciting news for our family! Lots of changes ahead and we can’t wait!

Family Photography

I convinced hubby to get my a new DSLR camera for Mother’s Day forever ago. And I played around with it some. But now I’m happy to say its getting some real use!

First I used it to do newborn photos of Adeline. I think they turned out pretty well!

After that small success, I picked a nice afternoon and dragged the fam out to the park for more pictures. This went not so well. Adeline was not a happy camper – fussing pretty much the entire time. But I ended up with a few shots I really like.

All in all, a success! I hope to get lots of use out of this camera – and save our family lots of money on pictures! Now I just need to figure out the trick to getting the 6 year old to smile and the baby to stop crying!

Our Beautiful Baby Girl

Saturday evening I started having contractions. They were sporadic at best but fairly intense. We were scheduled for an induction on Monday but I was hoping to go naturally before then. Guess my prayers were being answered! We headed to the hospital around 8am on Sunday morning. It took awhile for the doctor and nurses to decide to admit me – I was stuck at only 3cm and not progressing but the contractions were no more than 4-5 mins apart and very intense so they knew I was in labor. Once things started moving though it all happened quickly and our baby girl was born at 3:51pm on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We named her Adeline.

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She weighs 7lbs 11oz (exactly 3 pounds more than her big brother) and was 20 1/2 inches long (2 inches longer than Theo). Labor was easy – thanks to the epidural. I went in not sure if I’d need one but once they broke my water I couldn’t stand the contractions any longer.

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Hubby was there the whole time and did a great job of being supportive. He tried not to eat in front of me and I don’t remember yelling at him once. Pretty successful labor partner πŸ˜‰ He even remembered to help me with breathing and would rub my lower back when I was having contractions.

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Theo was so excited to meet his new baby sister. He wanted to hold and hug her and kiss her. He just adores having her. I know that might change in a few years when she starts crawling and getting into his stuff so I’m going to just enjoy it for now.

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We didn’t have too many hospital visitors – something we strongly wanted to avoid. Just our parents and a few siblings. Everyone was oooing and awwing over the baby. She really is so cute. She has the biggest eyes and such long lashes! I make pretty cute kids πŸ˜‰

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We’re so happy about this newest addition to our family. Cannot wait to see her grow and change in the next few years and develop her own little personality!