November 24, 2013

November 20, 2013

1,150 Miles

Our journey from Tennessee to Delaware in less than two and a half minutes: 

November 19, 2013

Ibbie :: 2 Months

Ibbie's second month seemed faster than her first. My word. If this keeps up she'll be on her way to grade school in a blink. Peter was in Maryland for the majority of the month settling into his new job which left my focus on survival.

Between keeping the girls clean and fed, I did notice a few changes. This month Ibbie's night time sleep continued to improve. One night she slept for eight hours! Ibbie also found her smile this month which has been so sweet to see. Here's hoping I can get a picture of her sweet smile in month three.
month one
Cole at two months

November 15, 2013

Cheers and Tears

We've been on the road for three days with one left. We've driven for a total of 12 hours with 5.25 hours left to go today. Considering the circumstances, everyone is doing extremely well but we are all ready to be reunited with Peter, home. Last night when we got out of the car, Cole went wild. Fortunately, I had forethought enough to book an Airbnb for the evening so there was room for her to roam. And run.

Before we left Memphis, two going away celebrations were thrown in our honor. The first was hosted by the Swens before Peter's departure and attended by many of his coworkers and their significant others. Erin opted for a "Fiesta" theme which was perfect. And delicious.

The second was a celebration with many of my girlfriends. The timing was perfect! It was my last night in our house before the movers packed everything up. While no one was terribly excited about the reason for the occasion, it was a great evening filled with love and laughter.
It was our dear friends that made Memphis home. And we will miss seeing each and every one of them regularly. While it's hard to spend weeks saying, "Goodbye" or, rather, "See you later," I feel like I had adequate time to do so. With friends popping in daily for weeks, our departure didn't feel rushed even though it arrived in the blink of an eye.

November 12, 2013

The Right Move

On July 25, Peter got an email from a recruiter about a position in Maryland. I was in my third trimester with our second child in two years and we were about to leave for vacation. He was not looking for a new job. The fact the the job was in the mid-Atlantic caught Peter's attention and after reading the description Peter told me he was interested.  Then asked if he should apply. For years, we've talked about moving closer to family but the timing seemed so unlikely, unfavorable even. We decided there was no harm in applying, knowing that there were many steps between applying and relocating. We began to pray that the Lord would make the decision very easy and crystal clear. While all prayers are not answered in such blatant ways, these were.

After his initial conversation with the recruiter led to a phone interview with the company, Peter was asked to an on site interview. At the time he was asked to travel for the interview, I was full-term with Ibbie. So, as you may remember, my sister came to visit. I didn't have Ibbie while Peter was gone but we were so glad to have the bases covered. Recently, my sister got a new job that requires her to be in office so the timing was fortunate. Following the interview, Peter was confident he wanted the job.  We continued to pray that the decision would be easy, particularly if he received an offer.

On the day he received the offer, we saw just how clearly the Lord was calling us to leave. Every detail of the relocation was covered by the company. Things we never imagined would be taken care of were included: the movers, temporary-corporate housing, even our realtor fees. Peter's new employer was flexible with his start date. Initially they asked him to start October 7, but they were happy to oblige his request for two more weeks in Memphis. On October 18, Peter and the dogs left for Maryland, leaving Cole, Ibbie and I in Memphis for an additional 3.5 weeks to handle logistics and visit doctors.

While the three weeks single parenting with a house on the market could have been overwhelming, the Lord took care of all of the details. First off, our house sold in five days! I only had to keep the house "show ready" for five days! That was no small miracle. During the inspection, only three cosmetic issues were noted. I was able to handle two of them and the third my amazing neighbor volunteered to take care of. Secondly, we found ourselves very busy with school, play dates, and bible studies so we didn't have too much time to worry about any day but the present one. Thirdly, my girls began sleeping at night. In the last three weeks, Cole learned to sleep through the night! I changed her nighttime routine and moved her bedtime to 6 o'clock and, wouldn't you know it, she started sleeping for twelve hours. She is still a restless sleeper but she's able to self-soothe now. Ibbie is quite a different newborn than Cole was. Ib will gladly sleep for 5 to 7 hours at night which means just one nighttime feeding if I go to bed around 11 o'clock. Fourth, we've had guests! The first week, Aunt Lisa came to visit for a few days. The next week, my dear friend Erica came with her son. Peter was able to come home for a quick weekend trip in early November. Then my mom arrived on November 8 to help with final preparations and co-pilot our four day drive. Finally, I didn't have to cook dinner. My incredible and irreplaceable girlfriends created a calendar and brought me dinner (and in some cases breakfast and lunch) every single day.
When I find myself overwhelmed with the move, anxious about starting over, or dwelling on all that we are leaving behind, I realize that I am suffering short-term memory loss. If I consider everything that came together to make this move so easy, I know that we are on our way to where we are meant to be. Even as I fret over making new friends, I remember that we started attending our church in Memphis in April and within a matter of months, we had dear friends and were part of a solid community. Shoot, when we moved to Memphis we only knew each other. I didn't even like the city for two years. My, how time changes things!
The Lord is faithful whether our circumstances are favorable or not. But we know it all works for His good. I'm grateful that He has gone ahead of us and that His scope is wider than mine. I'm excited to embrace our new home in the mid-Atlantic and hopeful about the life we will find there.

I'm also grateful for social media and cheap flights to MEM, so we won't feel so far away. 

November 8, 2013

Memphis Bucket List: Mississippi River

Certainly no Memphis Bucket List would be complete without including a visit to the Mississippi River. Cole has played by the river a number of times. And now Ibbie has napped by the river, which may be one of the most Memphian things she's ever done.

November 5, 2013

The Goodbye Song

In the last two weeks, Cole has taken to saying, "Bye" to everything we pass while driving.  I call it the Goodbye Song. Last Tuesday my eyes welled with tears as we drove down Walnut Grove and she said "Bye" to the library, to the coffee shop, and to each and every car we passed. While she has very little concept of "Goodbye," I know that we are in a season of goodbyes and a time is coming that will be be saying, "Bye" to the library and everything else for the final time. 

One week from today we will load up the car for a four-day road trip that will take us to our new home in the Mid-Atlantic. This week we are doing many things in Memphis for the last time. We had our last Funday Monday play date yesterday since next Monday we'll be packing. Today I went to bible study at our church for the last time and tomorrow will be my last time with my BSF group in Memphis. Cole will be going to her little school three more times before we leave, but that's it. Only three! She's been going to school since she was three months old. It took awhile, but eventually Cole fell in love with her teachers and classmates. It's now the highlight of her week! In her new class, she blossomed. My girl will walk herself right in without so much as a look back which is quite the contrast to the screaming, itty bitty baby I dropped off in May 2012.
In truth, I'm struggling to comprehend the end of our time as Memphis. My head knows the move is around the corner but my heart doesn't. As I watched the new owner of our house have his picture taken by the front door, I held back tears. Time is marching on and all the necessary things are falling into place but it's still hard to leave a place we've grown to love so much. I imagine a week from now, almost to the minute, as we head out of town, we'll all be singing a tearful, joyful, bittersweet Goodbye Song.

November 4, 2013

[Overdue] Resolution Update

We're still going strong with our 2013 Resolution: one picture every month with all of us in it. These pictures certainly aren't a "Best of" collection but I'm so glad we've stuck with it. With all of our recent and upcoming changes, I decided we should take our October picture in front of our house before we pack it up and move on.

October

September 

August 

July

June

May

April

March

February

 January

November 3, 2013

November 1, 2013

Memphis Bucket List: Peabody Ducks

Cole got a front row seat, at the edge of the red carpet, for the march of the Peabody Ducks. Beforehand, she acquainted herself with the mallards.