Friday, June 15, 2012

Valparaiso and Summer Travel

We left Earlville on May 30th with David driving a U-Haul with our belongings and me driving our car with our little punkin. It took us 11.5 hours to drive from NY to IN and we broke up the trip by staying overnight in Cleveland. We had every intention of visiting Niagara Falls en route, but George was starting to lose his mind and we didn't want to put him through that.
Our newly forward-facing little boy! We decided to turn him forward since I'd be driving so far alone in the car. He slept so well and kept busy by reading books and singing with Mommy.

We pulled into Valparaiso, IN (or "Valpo" as everyone calls it) on May 31st. This was my first visit and I just love it! The town is bigger than I imagined and it seemed very quaint. We were also encouraged by the proximity to fun activities like the dunes on Lake Michigan, Chicago, outlet malls, etc. I'm excited to not have to drive 30 minutes to reach Wal-Mart/Target. Also, there's a Chick-fil-a nearby!!! It's the little things, right?

Here's a peek at our cute little rent house in Valparaiso. We'll move in around Aug. 1 and David will start his new job later that month.

We moved our things into a storage unit for the summer and then took off on June 1 for Chattanooga (another 10 hour drive). We are currently in Chattanooga visiting David's family and will spend July in Little Rock with my family. It has been so nice to spend time with family. My cup is full and spirit renewed. David and I even went on a date! (We saw Prometheus... I wasn't a big fan.) 

Pregnancy update: I'm about 16 weeks along at this point and thrilled to be coasting along in the 2nd trimester. I've been feeling movement pretty regularly from our little one. This week, he/she is about the size of an avocado! We will eventually find out the gender of the baby, but not until we get back to Indiana. 

George update: He is 19 months old and weighs about 25 lbs. He is talking constantly and has just recently started putting words together more. He loves to say "I see you", "big truck", "dada and momma", and "listen and obey". He can count to 10 without any trouble and can recite portions of the ABC's. He can identify just about any upper-case letter of the alphabet. It's so much fun to be able to communicate with each other better. He isn't too much fun to shop with anymore because he's so eager to run around. He loves to play hide and seek. He LOVES the park! Daily he asks "Park please?" and most days we indulge. He's happy anytime he's outside. What a delight this boy is! I can't get enough of him!

Here are a few photos from our time in Chattanooga thus far:
Braves game in ATL
G's first golf outing with Lookout Mtn. in the background.
Pregnant golfing. 
George's favorite activity at the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga. 
Guess who has been sleeping in a big boy bed during our stay in Chatt???

More to come. We'll be heading to the beach at the end of the month and you can bet I'll take tons of pictures of George's first beach trip!

Leaving Earlville

I've been putting off updating the blog because our life has been absolutely crazy lately, but I think I'm ready to recount our latest adventures and process our departure from NY.

Let's back up to April and May. Packing a home while pregnant and caring for a toddler is not for the faint of heart. I'll admit that my heart fell faint a time or two--just ask my husband. It didn't help that I was still in the midst of 1st trimester nausea/fatigue. Truth is, I put off much of the packing until the last few days and somehow pulled it off (not without much help from David).

The final weeks in Earlville were filled with many sad farewells. We were only there for 10 months, but we met so many precious people that we will surely miss. A bit of history: I became a stay-at-home mommy when we moved to NY. Being a SAHM was/is my dream job, but moving to a strange, rural place while sharing a car with David made it very challenging to connect to other mommies. Did I mention that the population of Earlville is a mere 750? The first few months there were extremely hard. I loved having so much time with George at home, but I was really aching for some adult interaction. I also had to learn to live without some modern conveniences such as a dishwasher(!!!), disposal, air conditioner, and hot water in the washing machine! To me, I was really "roughing it" but lots of folks up there don't know anything different. (Needless to say, those items all topped my wishlist of amenities for our new place in Indiana.) I knew I could live anywhere for 10 months, but my attitude was one of "sticking it out". I quickly discovered that I needed people--I couldn't live with George in a vacuum for 10 months. This is where I turned a corner-- God provided the most precious people to befriend us. Since we didn't connect with a church while we were there (we couldn't find one with a nursery for George), I met others through storytime at the libraries in Earlville and Hamilton (town where David worked). Every week we attended storytimes on Tuesdays in Hamilton and Fridays in Earlville. This is where I met mommies and then was invited to playgroups and outings. Before too long, we had a pretty lively social calendar. These friends threw George a surprise 1st birthday party, babysat George countless times (especially while I was packing), helped us move, jumped our car when it wouldn't start, and threw us a sweet going away party, to name a few blessings. We already miss our friends and hope to see them all again someday!

While I never really loved our house (remember the pipes bursting while we were away?), some of my favorite memories happened here such as: George learning to walk, talk, give kisses, hugs, etc. His 1st birthday was celebrated in this house too. David and I loved sitting out on the front porch together after putting George to bed for the night.

Here are some photos of our final days in NY with our sweet friends:

George with some of his best buds at the library while I was home packing.
Some friends at George's farewell party
Cupcake time! 
The whole gang.
Last Colgate visit... what a gorgeous campus!
Last trip to G's favorite park. 
Last playdate with favorite friends.
Memorial Day parade with friends in Earlville the day before our move.

Farewell, Earlville! Thanks for the memories.
Next post: Valparaiso and summer travels!