We’re Alive

Sorry that this post is coming several weeks after our move, but we have been non-stop since we arrived in Texas. We finally got Internet and phone service at the beginning of this week. So hopefully, you will start to have more posts from me now.

I am still in shock that we have actually moved from Maryland and that I am living in Texas. The weekend we moved seemed like a whirlwind and I am not even sure how we were able to get everything packed up and in boxes in time to move out the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend. Our friend Nathan is probably the only reason we were able to have the truck packed and ready to head out on May 26th. Nathan and Chris moved everything from our condo onto the truck, which was parked around the corner and a good distance from our condo. We had a moving truck that we had to pack on our own, so if it had not been for Nate, not sure if we could have done it. Thanks Nate! I should also mention that my sister Lizzy, Mike, Jill, Chris’ boss Doug, our neighbors Angie and Terry, and Jayme were also a huge help in getting this move accomplished.  I should have taken a picture of the truck- 12 cubic feet packed wall-to-wall and ceiling-to-ceiling. Who would have thought that an 1100 square foot condo could hold so much stuff? During our packing and loading of the truck Cooper started to cut his third tooth (left top center tooth). He was extra fussy and a little irritable, but thanks to my sister and Jill for entertaining him, I was able to get all the packing done! Thankfully, Cooper’s tooth broke through the skin the day before we moved so we did not have a fussy baby for our long drive from Maryland to Texas.

Saying Goodbye
On Tuesday, May 26th we turned our keys over to the new owner at 9am. We woke up at 6am and started to frantically clean and throw the last few items in boxes. Chris was actually finishing up his shower when the new owner showed up… shew! So I did one last walk through of the condo. I walked through every room and memories just started to flood my mind. When I finally made it to Cooper’s bedroom, a well of emotions just erupted and I began to cry. Memories of rocking him and feeding in the middle of the night made me sad to leave the condo.

The Road Trip
We got a late start by normal standards, but we were right on Foley time. We did not leave Columbia until 2pm and we drove to Atlanta and arrived at 2:30 in the morning. Cooper did surprisingly well! Jayme went along on the road trip and without her I don’t think we could have make it to Atlanta in that short amount of time. She was great playing with Cooper, handing him toys, and getting the portable DVD player set-up with different Baby Einstein Videos. Oh my Gosh, what would we have done without Baby Einstein? Truly they were our saving grace. Cooper looked like he was hypnotized when we would put them on and we did not hear a peep out of him. I will never leave home without the portable DVD player and Baby Einstein again if going on a road trip longer than an hour or so. Cooper had fallen asleep in the car, but woke up around 12:30am right outside Atlanta. He was crying and I think he was kind of scared. So we popped in a Baby Einstein DVD and problem solved. Yes, so my 8 month-old was awake from 12:30 until 1:30am watching TV…crazy yes….but it saved our sanity! The second day we met for breakfast with Chris’s youth pastor from high school and then left around 11am and did not arrive until 12:30am. Cooper did pretty well but needed a little more attention on the second day. I think the drive was starting to get to him and the lack of “true” sleep was starting to wear on him. But surprisingly enough, he did well and we made it to Houston, Texas in two days and 27 hours later. WOW!

In Transition
We stayed with Chris’ parents for almost 2 weeks. Jayme stayed for a few more days after we arrived in Houston. We were so busy! We painted Cooper’s bedroom and bathroom and our bedroom and bathroom before we moved in. We did this so the paint fumes would be gone before we were actually living in the house. So this delayed our actually move into our home for a while. Thankfully, Chris’ parents were so great to us and had us stay with them until we could move in. My in-laws have been nothing but generous to us by opening their home to us, giving us their time and labor by helping moving, painting, taking care of Cooper, and cooking for us. They have also helped us out by giving us a few big furniture items like a kitchen table, piano, and shelves, and other things that I will not list. During these two weeks we celebrated my father-in-law’s birthday downtown with dinner and a comedy theater and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law came into town to celebrate. We also went into the city on two other occasions to show Jayme the town. Then the following weekend we headed off to Dallas for my brother-in-law’s surprise birthday party. So needless to say, the first two weeks we were here were non-stop!

Finally, We’re Home!
We moved into our home on June 8. We slept in our living room the first night because we had not set our bed up and Cooper slept in his pack ‘n play until just a few days ago. But I am happy to report, that both of our bedrooms are finally functional and we have our bed and crib assembled! Cooper has been sleeping rather well in his new room. We painted it the same color so it really does not look much different than his room in Maryland. Cooper cut his fourth tooth last week, which made his naps a little off and his mood a little less than desirable, but he seems to be doing much better now. We still have a ton of boxes everywhere, but I try and tackle a little bit at time. We still have a ton to paint, but I am in no rush to paint the rest of the house. I want to make sure that whatever colors I decide to paint, that I will like them because I am not going to repaint!

I miss Maryland and all my friends! I am not much of a phone person and I enjoyed spending time with my friends. I definitely think that my love language is quality time. I miss my bible study girls and all the babies! I looked forward to getting together with all the girls every week. I also miss the rest of my friends and just hanging out. I miss having a great next-door neighbor (Angie) to run over and talk to or go for a stroller walk! Hopefully in time I will meet some good friends here. Our street has a ton of young children all under the age of five. I am hoping that when the weather cools off a little (it has been blasted hot here – high 90’s every day and humid) that they will come back outside and play in the court again! The parents are usually outside with their kids pushing them around on their little cars and just socializing with the other adults on our street. Our neighbors seems nice and are very friendly, so I am hoping that in time I can form some good relationships with some of the other mom’s living on our street! Still no church home either, Chris and I just started our church search and I am hoping that God will lead us to a good church where our family can worship, learn, grow, and fellowship!

Working from home
Chris is still working for APL remotely. Now that we have Internet at home he is working from home. I enjoy the company even if we are not interacting much while he is home. Chris has enjoyed working from home too. He does not have to waste time in the car and he gets to see more of Cooper this way. Temporarily, Chris is set up on a card table in our office amongst all the moving boxes and clutter until we get a desk. We have our doorway Johnny Jumper set up right in the office. I took a picture of Cooper playing while Chris was working. Hope you enjoy the picture!

The Girls

I absolutely love my bible study girls. I wish I could take them with me to Texas. Each of them is so unique and bring such a wonderful quality to our group. What I love most about these girls is that I feel free to be me around them. I can vent about Cooper’s lack of sleep, laugh about something rather silly, cry about motherhood or about friend and family who need Christ, or just be a plain dork (which I do rather well). These girls have poured out love for me as Chris, Cooper, and I are getting ready to move in about two weeks. They have had a girls dinner out one week, a huge going away party with all my extended friends, and a bible study farewell dinner with our spouses last night. The love I feel from these girls makes me so grateful to God for allowing me to be apart of these women’s lives. How I love all of them so much. I pray that they know how much I have appreciated each and every one of them!

Here is what I have learned from each of these women:

Jo- to be more flexible with life. Every day presents a new challenge and we just need to accept that with each day comes some variation. I have also learned to be open and honest with needing help and asking for it. She has encouraged me to reach out to my friends when I need more help. I have also seen how Godly a woman she is and she inspires me to lean on God for my every need. She is a wonderful mother and wife and I pray that her example would help me to grow as both a mother and wife!

Angie- to be content in all situations. Angie has had a lot of difficult situations this past year between moving to a state and knowing no one, raising a newborn, health issues in her family, and buying a new home. Despite all these difficult situations, she has not complained at all. She has share her heart with me and her sadness, but never once complained. She is a woman who really trusts in God. Shes loves her son and husband so much and it is evident in her actions!

Tricia- a Godly woman. She is a person who truly loves the Lord! She has such great insights to share when we are studying the bible. She is a woman of prayer and really has a Christ like love. She has really convicted me to spend more time with God in prayer and reading his word daily. My relationship with God has grown so much because of the example she has set for me. She is a wonderful mom and wife with a true servants heart!

Janel- a praying wife. She is a woman who prayers for her husband and family all the time! Instead of sitting back and saying, oh well life sucks for my family, she gets down on her knees and prays. She also asks for her friends to join her in prayer. I have seen God do wonderful things in her family because of her prayer and petitions to God. She is also a person with a servants heart. She is always helping other people who need help, whether that is babysitting for a friend, driving a friend to the doctors, coming over to a friends house who is crying and needs support, or just bring a meal to a friend. Janel is a trust worthy friend and I am going to miss her! Although Janel is not a mother yet, I have no doubt that she will be a fantastic mom when her time comes!

Andrea- rely on your friends. Andrea just had her first child this year. As a first time mom, she has been great about asking for help from her friends. I was not so good at asking for help. She has taught me the value of community and depending on your friends for help, support, encouragement, and prayer. I hope that when I move to Texas that I can reach out to other woman as Andrea has reached out to me and her other friends. She is also a very Godly woman who has total trust in God’s plan for her life. She has inspired me to have more trust in God. She has also encouraged our bible study to pray more often and because of that we have seen God answer some awesome prayers! She too is a wonderful mother and wife!

Do you have a friend like this?

I recently received a card in the mail from a friend. In the card she thanked me for always being there for her. I have been friends with this person for over 15+ years now. When I finished reading her card, I started to reflect on what friendship is truly all about. I have to admit, I have not always been a good friend during the course of these 15+ years. But it seems that even though our friendship had it share of peaks and valleys, we will always be there for one another.

I really feel as if God has put this person in my life for a reason. Our friendship was no accident, God arranged this meeting of two people long before we both were ever born I am sure. We have confided in one another with our fears and dreams. We have called one another in tears and to just laugh. Growing up we would stay up late chatting until we could barely keep our eyes open. We would drive around in the car listening to our silly mixed tapes, singing at the top of our lungs. We would write letters to one another all the time, keep count of ever single letter that was ever written between the two of us, even signing every letter with “this counts.” She was a friend I knew I could always trust and depend on. Even now as our lives have taken us in different directions with our other relationships and endeavors, we are still there for one another. We may not talk every day or see each other every week, but I know that no matter what time of day or circumstance, if I needed her, she would be there for me. She is a loyal friend who is very selfless and giving! A scripture comes to my mind when I think of this friend, “greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friend (John 15:13).” I really believe that everyone needs a friend  who is fiercely loyal and selfless like my friend of over 15 years. I feel blessed to know her and to call her a friend. Do you have a friend like this? I pray that you do!

Thanks for always being there for me! 😉

Just a “jeneric” blog

Yesterday evening Chris, Cooper, and I all went over to our friend Eric’s house. Eric is an amazing blogger. He has a very well kept up website which he blogs on almost daily. He also has several friends who have websites and blogs that he follows on a regular basis. When we started our website in September 2008 he “bookmarked” us so that he could keep up with out postings on our website and see how little Cooper is growing. But I was informed yesterday evening, that we were no longer “bookmarked” on his computer. Oh the travesty!! So I in order to earn our status back on Eric’s list of note-worthy websites to “bookmark”, I have to write more entries more frequently. Hopefully over time I can earn our bookmark back.

But that’s enough about that…on to more interesting topics… Like the word “Jeneric”. Webster dictionary defines the word as:

1 a: relating to or characteristic of a whole group or class : general b: being or having a nonproprietary name <generic drugs> c: having no particularly distinctive quality or application <generic restaurants>2: relating to or having the rank of a biological genus

Our friend Eric recently started to date a girl name Jen. We were able to finally meet her last night when we stopped over for dinner with the two of them. We really like Jen and think that she seems to be a good fit for our friend Eric from our first impression of her. Chris and I were discussing the two of them yesterday evening and Chris says, “They are generic.” I did not pick up on this right away and Chris started to chuckle to himself. As usual it takes me a while to figure out the pun. But yes, Jen + Eric = Jeneric. However, if you know our friend Eric you know he is nothing close to generic. And after meeting his girlfriend Jen, I am pretty sure she is not very generic either. Actually, we asked them what their V-Day plans were. They said they were going to go Geo-Caching. I had never heard of this before, but apparently you go and find hidden treasure and trinkets that people hide and then you use GPS coordinates to find this hidden treasure. I would say that Geo-Caching is not your typical Valentine’s Day activity. Generic? NO! Jeneric? Yes. So I guess Jen and Eric give a whole new meaning to the word “Jeneric”.