Monday, April 17, 2017

Surviving and Living

Surviving. Living. Those are the two things that I am currently doing. I feel like moving strips away pretty much everything from you. At least it did me. All my defenses. And comforts. And security. I think that can happen in any move; not just a move 2000 miles away. However, it might be a tid bit worse when you move out of your community into a different state with a whole different culture. Not that I am griping about that; I am merely stating an observation.
How do I know I am merely surviving? Let me tell you why. B/c any oomph I once had has been depleted. All the extras are going by the wayside. Extra extracurricular activities are nixed. Kids don't feel well and can't go to school. Fine. Stay home. The yard looks like a weed threw up on it. Oh well. I guess I am taking the path of least resistance. And that isn't really me. Or at least it hasn't been me in the past. Maybe it is the new me. Who knows.
So, even though I am merely surviving...I feel like I am living as well. Breathing the crisp Washington air. Smelling the ocean water. Listening to the wind through the enormous trees. Meeting new people. Being involved with a new church home group. Attending Bible study regularly. Having play dates for the kids. There is evidence that I am coming up for air now and then.
I am just ready for summer and a fresh start to next year. Starting the school year off with my head screwed on and some knowledge of the workings of this new area. That is what I am wanting.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Updates

Well, I obviously haven't blogged too much since October. Life just kind of turned into this mass of chaos and emotions and wildness and a little of this and a little of that layered on top of everything. Here is a break down of our life in a nutshell:

1) We closed and moved into our new house on Bainbridge. That in itself was a bit much for this ol' gal. I guess the whirlwind of moving to Washington and unloading a truck and a half full of my life only to pack it all up again in a different truck and move it across the island was just a little overwhelming for me. It was as if I used up all of my mental and physical and emotional endurance during the first move. It took a huge pile of willpower to even get up in the morning much less unload box after box after box. After a lot of prayer and support from family and friends and even the barista at the local coffee shop, the boxes are mostly unpacked. My mother-in-law was a huge help during that time, and really helped to keep me on track and lighten the load by unpacking and cleaning and grocery shopping for us. I can't even begin to express my gratitude to her and the immense amount of love she showed us.

2) We had a revolving door of family come to visit us from the end of October to after Christmas. There is something about family staying with you for a longer period of time that is super sweet and different than living in the same area and just visiting for a couple of hours. I guess it is just shared moments in the morning when everyone has just woke up, and quiet times, and rowdy time, and cooking together. I don't know. I just really really enjoy it.
So, who came to visit. It all started with my mother-in-law who came to help us move. She got here a couple of days before Luke's birthday and stayed with us until after Thanksgiving. So so awesome. And then Marc's dad and his sister and her family came for Thanksgiving and Marc's 40th birthday. That was so great to have family here for such special events. A couple of days after that whole crew went home my sister and her family came to stay with us. Oh my goodness. I so loved having her here, and holding sweet baby Coco and seeing the cousins play together. It felt so comfortable and so much like home. My parents came a few days after my sister left and we had the best time. The day we celebrated Christmas together it even snowed. How awesome is that? It was like God was saying, "Here you go. A little snow for your sweet family time." I was so so so sad to see my mom and dad go. So sad. And then a week after my parent's left, my mother-in-law and father-in-law came back in town to celebrate Christmas with us. I will forever be grateful that they came and spent that time with us during our first ever Christmas away from family and home. It eased that heartache a bit for me to have a piece of Texas right here with us. We had such a great time with them from shopping and present opening to cooking and sledding. Our lives are all lengthened a bit due to the amount of belly laughing that goes on when PopPop is involved with things. My heart was so very sad to see them go. So sad. I got a bit down in the dumps for a bit after they left. Truth be told, I always get a bit sad at the end of a break. Just getting back into the routine and everyone going back to work and school. But this time there was that added layer of all of our family leaving to go back to Texas. I don't know. It just made it a bit tougher. But things turned around since then. I will blog about that in a later post.

3) Life has been a bit tough for my little guy. The friends he had made around his birthday didn't end up being who they had hoped they would be. We had a mini-crisis the second day back to school after Thanksgiving. I pulled into the parking lot of his school that morning, and he refused to get out of the car. He was crying and pouring out so much that had happened with these boys. I had no idea what to do. Do I make him go into the school or do I whip my car around and pull out of this parking lot? I decided to take my baby home. I called his teacher and spoke with her and the counselor, and things got a bit better. I definitely wouldn't say they were great. However, after some wonderful happenings I think we have turned a corner. More about that later. And continued prayers for my boy.

All in all, those are the big events that occurred during the past few months.  Obviously there are a lot of little things in between, but overall I feel like we are finding our way. A new friend told me that she feels like there is no such thing as "settled" when someone moves. It is more a process of "settling" and different phases of that whole thing. So, we are settling, one day at a time.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

No More Fingers

Dearest Luke,
Happy 11th Birthday my big guy. I am a little sad this year because I can't capture my picture of you holding the age you are with your fingers:( We have definitely turned a new page. 11. Wow. I have been a mom for 11 years. Seems almost surreal. But here we are.
You are such an awesome kid Luke. You have this huge sense of what is right and what is wrong - always exercising that moral code out of the house but not so much in the house. I guess that is the norm for kids though. You have been begging for a dog for over a year now...and maybe just maybe we will give in to your request soon. Shhhh....don't tell your dad. You are such a protective big brother; only allowing yourself to be the one that torments your sisters. You have such a soft heart, always comforting those that are sad or anxious. You have been such a trooper with this huge move to Washington - absolutely brave in my opinion. You have decided to give flag football a go, and I have really enjoyed watching you enjoy a sport of your choosing. You have even taken up watching some Cowboys with your dad (I know dad has been waiting, patiently I might add, for probably over 11 years). You seem to enjoy exploring the island with your dad - checking out trails and tide pools and beaches. Your fave home cooked meal continues to be chicken pot pie, and you could eat almost anything if a restaurant is involved (especially calamari). You are not a fan of breakfast before school, but if it's the weekend you can eat some food. You are wearing a size 8 1/2 shoe, an adult small in most everything clothing related.
I think the toughest thing about being 11 so far is school. 5th grade at an intermediate school has been a big adjustment for you. It is basically like middle school. I am frequently reminding myself that I was in normal elementary for 5th and 6th grade, and there are many more expectations scholastically of students at this new school. I am hopeful that you will find the place that you fit and friends that are amazing. That is my prayer.
We love you so much Luke. I am so thankful to you for making me a mom 11 years ago. Please know that no matter how big and old you get you are always always always going to be my little boy.
Happy Birthday!
I love you to the moon and back to infinity and beyond.
Love,
Momma

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Adventures of The Davies 5 #9

Finding a house to buy has been less than stellar. It has been down right crazy. After the housing crash in 07/08, Seattle recovered fairly quickly I would say. Especially with all the big name companies located right here in the heart of it all - Costco, Microsoft, Amazon, Google to name but a few. So, not only do these companies and their constant influx of employees keep the housing market booming, so does the general draw of the PNW. Namely the amazing weather for a good portion of the year, the abundance of outdoor activities (anyone want to surf and snow ski in the same day? If so, this is your place.), and the coffee. Well, maybe that was a stretch, but the coffee gets a point for me.
We obviously were familiar with the DFW housing market, and figured it would be similar with a bit of crazy added on top. Well, it wasn't even close. For example, we found a house that we were super interested in a couple of weeks after we moved here. It was adorable. Built in 1978 on a little under an acre of land, partially updated in a great neighborhood here on Bainbridge in our price range. So, we decide to put an offer on it. Our realtor told us the scoop. The home was a local real estate agent's home who was relocating over to the Seattle side of things. And he knew how to play the game. And boy, let me tell you he sure did. He listed the house low on purpose, hoping to cause a bidding war with what they call the "escalation clause" here. The escalation clause is basically an amount that the buyer is willing to go over asking in whatever increments they wish in order to beat out another buyer. Furthermore, the seller has the option to have a review date added to their sell meaning they will not look at any offers until the date of their choosing. On that date, they review all offers and pick one. Additionally, sellers pick the most appealing offer meaning financing and inspection contingencies don't make the team. Crazy, right? We were not comfortable putting an offer on a home with no inspection. So, in that case, Realtors suggest potential buyers request a pre-inspection to see what they are up against. We went ahead and did that. And going into the buy with our eyes wide open caused us to not budge when our Realtor called to tell us if we wanted to make our escalation even higher, we could potentially beat out the forerunner. Well, knowing the maintenance the house needed, we decided to let that house go to the highest bidder. And that was not us.
So, we continued to look. I had my filter set for our price range and only would peek at higher priced listings here and there. I noticed this super cute red farm house, and just loved it. Unfortunately, it was over our budget. And with escalations we definitely could not afford to look at barely anything in our budget much less over it. So, I continued to look. And one day, the cute little red farm house appeared in my filter. The seller had lowered the price. Our Realtor called to tell us she thought we would like it, so we went to have a peek. The house was so super cute with a lot of potential over the years for us to make our mark on the property. Furthermore, it was the end of the selling season and the seller really needed to sell it to finish off a house she was building. There was no review date, no need for an escalation, and we could ask for an inspection after the offer was accepted. Praise the Lord.  And further praise when the seller accepted our offer with no counter offer.
Truth be told, I was a little (meaning A LOT) nervous on what would come of our rental. I had never broken a lease before and was freaking out on what that meant. Marc was afraid that if we continued to wait the market was going to continue to be fast and furious next summer when our lease was up, and we would end up having to resign. I guess God was in on that too because literally the same day the rental was listed, they found someone to lease it. Praise the Lord again, and good thing I am not in control. He is.
So, we are in a roll. We are in the final leg of the inspection fun. The appraisal has been ordered, and we have requested a close date of ASAP due to the fact that we need to be out of our rental on the afternoon of the 31st. No rush or anything. But let's go.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Adventures of the Davies 5 #8

So, as I sit here and type, I am pretty much caught up to the current day on what has gone on with our move. I really felt and continue to feel at peace with our move. Maybe time will prove otherwise, but so far so good.
I think one of the toughest things about our move, other than missing family and friends like crazy, is the whole church situation. Our realtor turned friend, Tracey, keyed me in on the religion situation specifically with this area of the PNW. I heard her, but I don't think I really understood and processed what she was getting at. I mean, this is coming from our realtor, who I just met. Plus, I met her here in our little area of the PNW. And she even knew about our church in Texas and has been listening to Matt for over 10 years. I mean, come on. If she is like she is, and we just happened upon her...surely, there are a ton more of her out there. Well, not so fast. That is incorrect. In fact, Washington is the most "unchurched" state in the whole United States according to some websites and folks out there. Furthermore, Kitsap county, the county we are located in, is the most "unchurched" county in Washington. So, we have very few churches happening in our state and even less where we live. Yikes! That equals slim pickings for church finding. Ugh. But Tracey gave me a nice short list on what she would consider churches that are the closest to what we love about our church in Texas. Sweet. That cuts down our list of churches from like 5 to 2 contenders. Yay.
We tried out Church #1 a couple of weeks after moving here. It has a super youthful vibe, decent music, and a great youth group. I was pretty hopeful after the first service. However, I knew we would have to go to a few before I would really know if there was a connection b/c the youth group spoke at the first visit. So, visit number 2 happened the next week. Again, the pastor didn't preach. Instead, a pastor from another of their sister churches preached. He was pretty good. I was liking where we were headed. And then the third week happened. The pastor for the church was finally preaching. He was fine. Just a little light on the whole knowledge of the Bible I would say. It was pretty surface. That is TOTALLY fine for some, but for me personally I want a little more. I want to really learn about what I am reading, and how that translates to present times. This church will probably not do that for us.
So, we tried out Church #2 this past Sunday. I was a little nervous about it, however as soon as I saw Blayke's preschool teacher and then another mom from the preschool sitting in front of us I started to feel better. The music was okay; they are trying. And the pastor was wonderful. We actually broke down a book of the Bible, and delved into it. When we left, I felt like my spiritual meter was full;) That was a completely corny metaphor. Sorry:)
So, we will try Church #2 again, and hope that it is the one. I know God will lead us to the place He wants us. I am not too worried about that. And I am starting to really see that God's purpose in us being here might be bigger than we initially thought. Again, only time will tell.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Adventures of The Davies 5 #7

Our furniture is in. It is arranged. The boxes are either emptied or stacked in the garage. So what comes next? Oh, you know, that whole settling in thing. The part where Marc has to figure out his new role in his job - essentially being the new kid in school. Where we get to figure out all the ins and outs of school stuff in our new area. Where we get to find a church that speaks to us. And we get to find new friends. And a community. Just that. The whole thing that took years and years to build in Texas. Yeah, well, that is what we have to do. And we get to start ALL over from the very beginning. The only thing that doesn't make me completely crumble at the overwhelmingness of it all is the fact that this is God's will. I feel it. And I know all will be okay.
Marc started his job the day after our furniture arrived. It was good, but awkward all at the same time. I mean, he was at the same office building essentially for 18 years. He knew the workings of how everything was done and felt super comfortable with it. Every company has a different feel. And this one is no different.
The kids will all be at different schools. Dylan and Luke have always been at the same location. And honestly, I am a bit sad about that whole thing. But it is what it is. Luke will go to Sakai; an intermediate school for 5th and 6th grade. Dylan will attend Ordway in third grade. And Blayke will be at one of the only faith-based preschools on the island - Bethany Lutheran. We have that squared away.
We have visited a church, and plan on visiting another soon. It will take time, but in the meantime thank goodness for technology. We can podcast our faithful Village, and soak up the scripture weekly. Plus, of course, staying in the word on our own as well.
As far as friends, I know that will take time. And my friends in Texas are still my people even though there are many miles between us.
The settling will be a process. In time, it will all come together. Again, I have faith. And am trying my best to trust in His plan. A plan that is so much more than I could ever fathom. So, I will be patient and continue on the path that He has led us on.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Adventures of The Davies 5 #6

We pulled up in front of our rental house on Bainbridge, and were welcomed by a big sign on the front door. It was so adorable. Made especially for us by our new friend Tracey and her family. It made me smile. I felt less alone seeing that sign, and that someone here cared. She also left a beautiful bouquet of flowers cut fresh from her garden, and a gift card to the local ice cream shop on the island. I got tears in my eyes at her sweetness.
We unlocked the door, and stepped into our new house site unseen. As I went from room to room looking at each, I got a huge swell of nostalgia. I wanted my old house back. I wanted my own house. Not someone else's home. This house was not what I would choose. The colors were not me. The flooring was not me. I wanted me. My eyes welled up with tears, and Marc just hugged me. He knew exactly what I was thinking without me even telling him. That is another beauty of marriage and being known completely by someone.
We moved our suitcases in, and took the ferry across to Seattle soon after. There wasn't much to do in the empty house with no furniture and nothing to unpack. Seattle was great. I loved seeing the kids experience it for the first time. I think they enjoyed it.
Fortunately, we didn't have to wait long for our belongings to arrive. They pulled up on our street before 8 am the next morning. I had only been separated from my things for one week, but it felt like so much longer. As the pieces of furniture and boxes were unloaded into our rental home, I started to feel overwhelmed at first because of the enormous amount of work that laid before us. However, the overwhelming feeling soon left and was replaced by familiarity. That was an emotion I could handle. It felt good to see our stuff in this strange place. I soon realized: this house might not be me, but with our stuff inside it was becoming me. Everything would be okay. It just takes time. And furniture.