Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Happy Birthday, Gram!

Today's is Gram's birthday! Mallory would like to say she misses you and hopes you have a good day! Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 25, 2006

Mallory's first feeding

We gave Mallory her first taste of Rice cereal on September 18th, the day before her 5 month birthday!!! She was so funny. By the way, the bib she's wearing was the first bib she received. It was a Christmas present last year from her fishing-loving Grandpa!

 Posted by Picasa

Pictures from Moving Day

Mallory and I on moving day. This picture was taken right before the movers arrived!

Here is a picture of the truck at our rental in Johnson City Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 21, 2006

You can have all this world, but...

Give me Jesus! This hymn was playing on our portable CD player as I was standing in my empty house, watching my daughter playing gleefully in her swing (oblivious to all the changes about to happen in our lives), and signing the papers the movers gave me, giving them permission to leave with all of our worldly possessions, taking them to our new city. Our new home. Our new life. I had an epiphany. I realized at that moment that even though all my stuff was packed up in boxes, and I was leaving all that was familiar, and I was heading toward the unfamiliar and unpredictable, that Jesus is all I need. As I was sharing with Patrick later that evening, he told me although that stuff is nice, it really is just a burden to us. So true!

Well, we’re here in Johnson City. It was a week ago today that we arrived, which is so hard to believe! In a sense, it’s gone by fast. But, it also seems like we left a long time ago. It’s strange how my senses contradict each other sometimes. I have a few minutes now while Mallory is asleep to jot down an account of our past week.

My mom came up last Monday to help pack the remainder of our things. I’m SOO glad she came to help. She seems to know what I need without me telling her. I was so maxed out by the end that it was hard for me to be anywhere close to organized. She helped throw the odds and ends, which didn’t seem to have a place in a box, in a box. We worked through the next night until everything was pretty much packed and ready. The movers arrived around 8:30 on a rainy, chilly Wednesday morning. They had everything loaded and gone by 3:30. What a whirlwind! It was strange to see it all being carted out of our first home – a home of MANY first memories. It was the first house we bought (actually, I bought – Patrick proposed to me a week before I closed). It was the house we first came home to as a married couple. It was the first house that sheltered our first baby. It was the first house we sold…

Anyway, I nonchalantly said to the mover as he was finishing up the last of the packing, “So, when do you think you guys will be dropping off our things?” Now, I was expecting him to say “sometime on Friday” or “maybe sometime this weekend”. But, I was unprepared for “9am tomorrow morning”. WHAT? That was NOT in my plans. I was very excited our stuff was going to arrive the next day, but I was expecting a long wait-time. My concern, though, was how were we going to drive to Johnson City, get the key, turn the power on, and get back to the house before 9am the next morning when they were leaving our house around 3:30pm that afternoon? After a few phone calls, we determined that we could meet the property manager at the rental at 8am the next morning and she would bring us the key, and by the way the power was on since they were cleaning the house that day. Praise the Lord! So, that meant we had to get up at 3:45 the next morning to head out by 4:15/4:30 to arrive on time. We were so exhausted from days of packing our stuff and the stress of the move that it didn’t seem possible. Oh, and Patrick had gotten a certified letter from the State of Tennessee around the same time we were told we had to be at the rental by 9am the next morning that his application for his PT license was incomplete and that he can’t get his license yet (but that’s another story entirely!). So, our anxiety levels were *slightly* high at this point.

So, with plans in place on how the next few hours would proceed, Patrick’s mom met us up at the house to do some last minute cleaning and then we headed down to their place for dinner and a few hours of R&R before we had to leave at 4:30. As I put Mallory down for the night, she was having a bad case of gas – a case that Mylecon couldn’t even fix. I was up with her almost every hour and sometimes twice an hour, holding her and trying to sooth her little tummy. By the time the alarm went off, I only had about 2 hours of sleep under my belt as we entered a day of driving the 160 miles to Johnson City (separately, too, since we have two cars) and managing the unloading of the truck. Give me Jesus!

Well, when we arrived, the house looked really good, except for a few things here and there. Patrick ended up taking over the movers “bingo” sheet (they call out the inventory # they are moving in and he crossed the # off the sheet) while I tended to Mallory, cleaned the dirty bathroom and kitchen, and set up our beds for a good night rest. I probably shouldn’t have set up the bed so early, since it was taunting me all day! I was having a difficult time staying on top of things, but all of our stuff arrived without too much damage (we had a broken vase, which was worth like $1, and a broken ceramic plant column). After the movers left around 5pm, we showered, headed out for dinner, and then came back and crashed. Mallory had another bad night, but this time it was because the room that we chose to be her nursery was really loud. You could hear the cars driving up and down the road very clearly in her room. Not a good choice!

The next day, we straightened up a few things while Patrick headed up to his new office to say hello and made a stop at the Power Board to switch the power into our names. I headed to Wal-Mart for a few necessities (like mini-blinds, since there were no window coverings in the house, and contact paper to cover up the dirty cabinets). When I got back, Patrick’s folks arrived for a visit and to help with some unpacking. Patrick and his dad spent several hours hooking up the washer and dryer (that’s a WHOLE other story in itself). But, we got a lot accomplished and were able to have a nice dinner out. Mallory had another bad night of gas (in a noisy room, I might add) and I was up with her again almost every hour. I was trying to figure out why she had this case of gas when I realized I hadn’t had a good meal in two days. Poor Mallory! It really struck me how much she depends on my eating habits!

Needless to say, the next day (Saturday), we rearranged the furniture so she would have a room on the backside of the house and I went to the grocery store for some good food! Patrick spent time organizing the garage while I tried to manage which boxes we would unpack vs. which we would keep in storage. Our cable was installed and I was able to watch the Gators beat up on the Volunteers!!! On a side note, these Tennesseeans are crazy about their Volunteers. It was so much fun to watch the Gators beat them on their turf by a close margin of victory. Mallory wore her Gator cheerleader outfit all day in support of my home team!

On Sunday, we visited a really nice church we both thoroughly enjoyed. We took it easy that day, which was a good time of rest for our weary bodies.

Monday was Patrick’s first day of work. He had a good day, despite the fact he spent the majority of the day tracking down why some of his TN license application didn’t go through. He’s staying busy, though, and enjoys his new office. After making several phone calls, it looks like he’ll have his license in another week or so.

Mallory has been adjusting well. Ever since we switched her room and I started eating home-cooked meals, she’s had a much better time with her sleeping patterns. I started her on rice cereal on Monday. It’s hard to believe she’s growing so fast. She made some REALLY funny faces and I took a bunch of pictures. She turned 5 months old on Tuesday and we celebrated with a new toy that we bought using a gift card from my mom and dad. I didn’t take any formal pictures of her, but I’ll try to do that this weekend. Mallory is such a sweet little baby and has been a great companion to me over the last several days.

I’m doing well. My main goal is to make this house more home-like. I’ve hung blinds in almost all the rooms of the house. Our master bedroom is all together and is very comfortable. My only complaint in this room is that there is no door on the closet. The room we’re in was the little boy’s room before we arrived, so the fan in the room has red, orange, yellow, green and blue “fingers”…it adds a little spice to the room. The office is the catch-all room at this point. Patrick’s clothes live in the office, since the master close is VERY small. Mallory’s room has all of her furniture arranged, but I still have some boxes to unpack for her. She has her teddy bears out and some pretty curtains hung. Her room is smaller than before, so it’s a little snug for her stuff, but very comfortable. We only have one bathroom, and it’s not the best. The faucet is drippy, there is no vent, so to “de-humidify”, we open up the window, which will be not so much fun when the winter rolls around. There’s mildew on the tiles which I can’t seem to scrub off. There seems to be a musty smell because of the no-vent issue, so I’ve been using LOTS of Febreeze. The living space is very nice. All of our furniture fits, though a bit snug. I have a beautiful picture window that looks over a water feature in the front yard that is shaded by two giant oaks. It’s really beautiful. Cayman perches herself on the chair in front of the window and “mans the castle” with her (unpleasant) barks. The kitchen/dining area is OK. The W/D are in the kitchen with me, so that’s been strange. I only have two drawers in the whole kitchen – one is broken and only opens the entire way when I open the dishwasher. The other is blocked by the stove and only opens when I open the oven while pushing it back a little with my knee. So, I have to be creative with where I put my ovenmitts, dish towels, silverware, etc. There’s white tile on the floor, which gets dirty VERY easily, mainly because the people who lived her before us put a beach volleyball court in the back yard and sand gets tracked through the house by us and the dog.

Though quirky, I think we can make this house homey. I learned in the ladies bible study through DGCC that I have a responsibility as a Christian homemaker to establish the emotional center of the home. I’ve been taking that responsibility seriously and have been making an effort to straighten the “unstraightenable” in our place, welcome my husband home with a smile and a good meal, and be the mommy I need to be for Mallory. It’s been a challenge keeping my priorities straight and focusing on each task individually rather than trying to conquer the entire war in one breath. God has been good and has been my shoulder to lean on.

I’ve been listening to Fernando Ortega quite a bit and have grown to love his hymns CD. Every time “Give Me Jesus” comes on, I remember that He alone should be my delight and not the other worldly things that society has defined as our “needs”. Patrick and I started reading God is the Gospel by John Piper and I’ve been reflecting on the question he asks in the book that when we get to heaven and God were replaced by all the other things that “make us happy” in this world, would we still want to be there. That question made me stop, think, and really assess my attitude about life. I do want to be with God in heaven. “You can have all this world, but give me Jesus!”

I miss all my friends back in Charlotte, but I’m truly looking forward to the life God has planned for us here. Please visit!

I’ll post some pics soon…

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Last post...

Well, tomorrow is the big day when the movers arrive. I'll be disconnecting our computer this afternoon and packing it up for the move. It's hard to believe that we're embarking on a whole new chapter of our lives; not only do we have a new baby, but we'll be living in a new state, finding a new church, and making new friends. God is always the same, though! I've said this so many times, but I'm so glad that he's coming with us!

I'll post again when I get settled in our little rental house. Keep us in your prayers!

Friday, September 8, 2006

We love playtime!

Here's Mallory in her jumperoo this morning! She's cute!
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Thursday, September 7, 2006

Odds and Ends...

OK...I have about 15 minutes before dinner is ready. Mallory is in her swing and Patrick is getting cleaned up, so I'm taking a few minutes to blog!!! Life is busy over here. Our movers come in 6 days and there is still so much to do! I'm currently packing box #80, if you can believe it! We still haven't taken the stuff down from the attic!!!

Anyway, here are some recent pics I thought you all would enjoy...

Our anniversary dinner with Patrick's folks!!! This is a great picture of us. We rarely have us all together in pics!

Cayman's life is now different with a baby! I thought this was a funny picture of how pitiful our dog looks. (Notice how she's putting herself between baby and Daddy?)

Taking a nap

Here's Mallory with her friend, Grace. Grace is about 2 months older than Mallory. They're almost the same size now!!!

Boxes in the foyer

Boxes in the Garage