Friday, November 18, 2011

Things I forgot to enjoy...

Well, we have officially been Birminghamians (Birminghamites?) for one week.  We are over the stomach bug - phew! - have all the boxes stored or unpacked, and have moved stuff around in our kitchen 3 times.  Busy week!  As we have been running to the store (I have been to Wal-Mart 5 times in 7 days!), trying out the library, and exploring our house and neighborhood, I've been reminded of some things I forgot to enjoy while I had them...
1. Not-white kitchen and bathroom floors.  Seriously folks... who in the world ever thought that textured white linoleum in the kitchen was a good idea???  I am going to have to mop these things every day!

2. A quiet house.  I kinda thought our home in Pensacola was noisy.  NOPE!  Yesterday A woke up early from a nap.  In order to get her to go back to sleep I had to be completely silent: no drying my hair, starting dinner, watching TV, talking to the phone, or anything.  I didn't really appreciate how nice a quiet, non- squeaky-floor, -creaky-doors, well insulated house was!

3. A quiet corner lot.  I love, love the location of this rental.  We can literally walk one block to a pharmacy, coffee shop, ice cream shop, pizza place, Mexican food, BBQ, and shops!  It's so close to everything!  However, that means lots of traffic.  When the near-by middle school lets out, we get lots of kids in our front yard!  Poor Rosco is going to have blood pressure issues from barking!  The teacher in me almost came out yesterday when this chubby kid was walking back from the ice cream parlor and came within two feet of our front steps.  He almost walked right into A!  I considered giving him a "talkin-to," but thought better of it.

4. Play dates on rainy days.  I mean, I enjoyed these things every time we met with our friends.  This week it rained for two days straight... A and I thought we would go crazy!  We missed friends nearby we could meet to take up a few hours with.
Here are a few snaps from our last play date before leaving town:

 So I miss all the things I forgot to enjoy in Pensacola, and hope we find some of them again when we find a place of our own here in town.  In the mean time, we're coming up with a new schedule, which today involved keeping A up a little past her naptime.  She let me know when she was tired, though.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Or, as Addie would say "gobble gobble"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Downsizing Stinks!

Downsizing stinks!  Not for the obvious reasons - that you have less space.  I have no problem with a smaller living area, fewer rooms, and zero counter space.  I can function (barely) in a kitchen about 1/4 of the size of my kitchen in Pensacola.  I can deal with one bathroom, and even smaller closet space than before.  Brad and I are both organized and we can both be minimalists.  (Brad would probably disagree with this; my version of "minimal" is just not the same is his.)The reason I say "downsizing stinks" is because we don't have easy access to our stuff!  Some examples: We cannot find the lids to any of my pots and pans.  My favorite hurricane to use on our dining table is missing in action.  Brad's favorite coffee mug is stored somewhere.  I won't be doing a lot of Christmas decorating, to avoid getting all of it out.

We talked all of this out before leaving town, and I labeled as many things as possible for the movers: the china cabinet and bookshelves were marked "storage;" we moved anything we wanted access to out of the guest bedroom and let them store everything in there; etc.  The movers were great to mark things appropriately, but I think that things like lids and small pyrex dishes were put into boxes with other items to take up space... now I can't find them.  Poor Brad had our storage area organized so well until I made him take it all down to help me hunt for these silly lids!  We never found them, but Missy lent us a couple of hers to borrow.

I forgot how much I love the location of this street, though.  We can walk around the corner to wonderful restaurants and a coffee shop.  We are less than a mile from a great park and library and more shops and food.  Everything is so convenient.  We are considering rethinking where we want to buy when it comes time for that!

Other things to note: the dreaded Stomach Bug attacked on our way out of town.  Literally as the movers were loading our truck, Addison threw up.  Later that day, as I was driving up here, I felt worse and worse, and wanted to die by the time I was in Birmingham.  (You would to if you came that close to barfing in a stall in Wal-Mart on Lakeshore Drive... not exactly the cleanest toilet to be crouched over, if you know what I mean.)  Brad and Bob have thankfully avoided it, but the Bug still plagues Missy in Pensacola and me here in Birmingham.  A is getting acclimated to her new room and our home... the rainy weather today has forced that a little.  She suddenly says "gank oo" (or Thank you, in English) any time you hand her something - so sweet!  She and I tried out story time at the Homewood Library... she made it through one story, but is a little rambunctious for more than that.

Brad is ready to start work tomorrow!  He is excited to get re acclimated to Dawson and the Rec Center.  A and I are looking for some pre-Thanksgiving projects to keep us busy in our new little home!  Any ideas???

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

shout out

We are leaving town tomorrow.  The packers boxed up all of our belongings today, and will load them in a truck tomorrow; Brad and I will follow them north.  Sniff sniff.  I've been in denial about how sad this is for weeks! The first time I tell Addison we are going for a walk and she asks for "Amy, Will?" I will be sad.  When I tell her we are going to meet some friends and she says "Henrah?" I may cry.  When I ask her if she wants to go to the park and she says "Emma?" and I have to tell her we're going by ourselves, it will be lonely.  The first time she asks for Brammy I will definitely cry!  Not because I think we will never have friends to play with, or will be lonely for long, but simply because I am sad to not see some sweet folks every week.

I've written over and over on here about how I have been abundantly blessed by my friends, both here in Pensacola and in the past.  It feels a little cheesy to say this, but I don't express it very often.  I have been ministered to in a profound way, especially in the last year, and I am feeling like perhaps this next season in our lives will be a chance for me to love on others in the way so many have loved on us.  So I'm taking a few moments to give a shout out to some sweet friends who I am so sorry to leave behind.  (In true obsessive-compulsive fashion, I'm listing them in alphabetical order.)

Ali - I am so glad you were never mad that you gave me your phone number!  I sort of feel like we have not stopped talking since we met.  I love how fast you talk; how you refer to "Friends" characters as if they're your close, personal pals - it allows me to do the same; how you seek to honor your husby in all things; and how you love your students and want what's best for them. I love that we share a birth- month (well, really a week), and that we both enjoy celebrating the entire time with food.  Thanks for "getting" me.  I feel like we were meant to be friends.  I love your kid.  I love that you want a bunch of kids because, let's face it - they're just going to get cuter.  Can I selfishly wish Ben would want to go to UAB for med school?

Amy - Officially you've been my friend for a long time, but I don't feel like I really took advantage of you until the last year!  How much time I have wasted!  You are such a good, sincere friend.  You always remember everything that's going on with people, and are always so careful about checking up.  (How do you do this?  I am always in awe.)  I strive to be a friend like this.  You are tireless in your quest to be a good mom: you look for the best ideas or things for Will, and share whatever you find.  You are absolutely the best researcher I know.  If I ever have a question about any issue, you either already know an answer or you look high and low to find it.  Also, I love that I have my own etiquette expert... so perfect for a gal like me who knows little of these things.  You have always been like family for Brad, and I'm so thankful for Addie's "Aunt Amy!"

Frency & Jana - Ahh, my surprise friends!  How thankful I am for our mutual friends who got us to hang out together!  The stories you share about parenting and wifery are stuffed with wisdom and humor!  Thank you for always opening up, sometimes sharing too much, and being okay with me doing the same.

Gran-Jan - With my sweet in-laws in town who do so much for us, you would think I have no need for another mom figure in my life.  I am so thankful that you forced your way into that position, though!  You are so, so thoughtful.  I want to be the kind of person who shows up with soup whenever a friend is sick.  You and Glen are role models for Brad and I, and we love all three of your kids.  I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for your family.

Kara - I love that one of my friends has girls Addison's age!  I have so enjoyed getting to know you this year.  You want to do what's best for your kiddos, and never stop asking questions to try to find out why, how, or how to find something better.  Thanks for sharing your girls with me.

Leslie & Lindsay - Neither of you had any connection with me when we moved here, but you immediately opened your arms and I felt like I had known you forever!  You are such sincere friends, always quick with a prayer or word of encouragement or phone call to check up me.  I am so, so thankful to you for being generous with your time, love, encouragement, and prayers.

Lindsey - I love your laugh.  If anything tickles you the right way, you laugh all-out.  I want to live all parts of my life like this.  You just say what you think, and ask direct questions, and I am never caught off guard because I've come to be grateful for friends who talk about all these aspects of life ("I heard you were pregant?"  Haha!).  I like to think of you as an old "double friend:" Brad's friend from high school, mine from college, and ours together now.  I love your crazy kiddos, and hope that our babies can grow to be so close.

Missy - No, I can't really say I'm leaving my mother in law "behind;" I know you'll be looking for any excuse to come to Bham.  I can't list the ladies I'm going to miss without including you, though.  I tell people all the time how thankful I am for my in-laws, but do I tell you?  Yes, you raised and prayed for the man I love, but you also took me in and have always treated me as if I was your own child.  Since moving to Pensacola you have also become my good friend, and I am so thankful for our relationship.

Stephanie - How can you ask "what are my gifts?"  What a ridiculous question!  In the brief time I have known you, I have experienced first hand several unique and beautiful gifts that you share so frequently.  Leadership - you jumped right into our Sunday school class and we all followed suit!  You lead at so many other things, lovingly and with the rare combination of good ideas and follow through.  Hospitality - you open your home so often, make others feel comfortable whenever they're around you, and are a great cook.  You are a wonderful mother.  Honesty - I believe this is a gift, and I'm blessed to have several folks around me who have this gift.  I love, love, love having a friend who I can email about something God showed or reminded me, or a crazy thing I am nervous about, or something new we should pray for or against.  I have not had that in a while, and I am so thankful that you took the initiative to get this started.  Thank you for challenging me.