Saturday, March 25, 2017

An Update from the North

For some reason I've been thinking that this move was going to be so easy. We would get up here, get a house quickly and fall in love with it, get our household goods right away, meet new people and have tons of close friends right away. I imagined we'd love our new neighborhood and become best friends with our neighbors and they'd have two kids and one on the way too. The snow would be so beautiful and magical. And we'd just be settled and happy and life would be awesome.
But life didn't go that way. There have been so many times these last couple weeks when I've just asked God, "What is this happen for?" or "How is this going to turn out so it's glorifying to you?" I honestly has just felt like one thing after another since we got here. That beautiful snow... no, it's ice and it's so ugly on the side of the road. ha Yes, it's beautiful here, but the city of Anchorage is kinda just down right ugly. We bought our new van when we got up here, which took longer than we thought... but I DO love that van. The day we bought it, I lost my ID card inside it somewhere! If you're a military wife, you know how incredibly life altering it is NOT to have your ID card! So we wasted that whole morning getting a new one. The houses we were offered we awful. They were just not good for our family, and we just were not comfortable with getting a house off base because we don't know the area. The house we ended up getting on base has some great room! But now that we're in it, every day we find something else that is broken. It's awful. The least they could have done was give up a properly working house. The garage smells like cigarette smoke and it lingers in the house. BLEH. Then there's the children... Sara decided to finally turn on her three year old snotty self, and Jordyn, well she's just more clingy than she already has been... And there has been SO much wasted money since we've gotten here, or rather unplanned purchases we weren't expecting. There are so many other things I could mention that have gone wrong. But the point is, things have been pretty difficult for us. It's been a struggle. I really did have such high expectations, unrealistic expectations really, for our move up here, and it's hard to be excited about being in this new place.
New van!
It has definitely been a humbling experience. It's almost like I thought I deserved ALL this greatness to happen to us so quickly and God smashed us into reality to show us that we're not the boss here. It's all about His timing right? Which is much easier said now that things have started to settle than it was when we were in the midst of it. As I have learned from Moana... "You will find happiness right where you are." We will grow to love this place. We will make friends. We will get our house to work and stop smelling. We will survive this snowy place. But it takes time and I shouldn't get so frustrated that it's not happening when I want. It's just so hard being pregnant with two little ones and living on their schedule and just not really knowing anyone. It can get very lonely. As if being a stay at home mom didn't have it's lonely moments already... move 2,000 miles away from everything you know and it's just worse. I know we'll find our place, but when you're surrounded by boxes, mess, toddlers, a baby in your belly, and an unfamiliar territory, it just really brings you down. These pregnancy hormones make the sadness stay a lot longer. I'm not trying to complain too much here, just venting about real life. Moving is hard and it's been so much harder this time with the kids. I thought they were adjusting pretty easily, but I think they just feed off my mood and stress/frustration and it's been hard to be a parent... a GOOD parent. So just pray for us, is what I'm getting at here.
Jordyn's first haircut by Mama!
Touched up Sara's crazy hair
Sara read Jordyn a story all on her own!!!
But let's mention a few awesome things. As I already mentioned, we love our new van! It makes me so happy! And Jordyn gets to sit front facing and it's like a whole new world. We started going to a really great church. This is big for us. It was so hard church hunting in California, and I'm just so happy that we already found a place we want to be. We've met some cool people at this church and I'm excited about the relationships we will start up here. We got all our household goods with little to no problems this last week, and even though there are boxes and mess EVERYWHERE.... at least our stuff is all in one place! Jason really seems to like his new job. He hasn't gotten too deep into it yet, but he talks about the people and seems to get along great with them. I'm trying to kick my LuLaRoe business back up again. We'll see how that goes. I'm going to give it through the end of the summer to see how I'm feeling about it.
It was all smiles here.. until they got knee deep in the snow
Alaska zoo
We're still exploring this place. Trying to find all the cool places for kids and the yummy places to eat. We've been driving around to see some of the Alaskan beauty, but we could probably kick that up a notch. Still getting a handle on this $6 for a gallon of milk thing and other crazy expenses, but we'll figure that out.
The girl's new bunk bed set up! It's awesome!
Our new "old" house!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Our Travels

I'm sure people may be sick of hearing all about our move. Ha But I know there are also some of you out there that would like a little rundown of how it all went! It was a pretty long and emotional day yesterday. We started out around 7:30 PST and hit the road to Santa Barbara. It was a nice last drive for us. I know it's only green on the Central Coast for like 2 months out of the year, but when it is... man is it just beautiful! Plus it was nice taking in the green before we hit the white! ahhh 
 We made it to the airport and managed somehow to get all six bags, three carry-ons, two car seats, two toddlers and ourselves to the check out. Luckily, the ladies in the check out were so impressed with how cute our girls were and they were all just super helpful. We ended up having around 250 pounds of luggage. It was scary handing it over to them considering it was pretty much all of our possessions we'd need for the next month!
 Sara ended up having her own backpack of goods for the plane and airport. My bag started overflowing. She loved it! The bag was way too big for her, but she had her beloved Brach troll pillow in there for snuggling. If you're ever flying with toddlers, here are a couple ideas for you that really kept our kids entertained: Window stickers. I know I say it all the time, but seriously! We bought three packs of them for a dollar each and they just played with them everywhere! Then at the end of the trip we just tossed them because they were pretty gross by the end of the day. Stickers. Just normal stickers were so entertaining to them too. Sara had a cool one where she matched the sticker to the outline of the character in the book, it was awesome. Shoes. Who knew shoes could be so entertaining! Jordyn just put them on, took them off, and then kept going. haha And obviously, the iPad. Movies and apps. They're the way to go.
 The girls did amazing on the first leg of the plane ride to Seattle. Sara liked to ask, "Are we going to George Washington first?" haha We only had one meltdown on that plane and I'm pretty sure it was just because Jordyn's ears needed to pop. Poor girl. We had about an hour layover there in Seattle to grab a bite to eat and stretch our legs. Then we headed onto the next plane. I was telling Jason, it's funny when you fly to Vegas, because people are always dressed a certain way when they travel there. Well, while we were waiting for the plane to Alaska, there was a certain type of person that we traveling with us. haha Not in a bad way at all, it was just amusing! Lots of camo and plaid.
Jordyn lost her mind a couple times on the second flight. She had blown through her nap, so as soon as the plane was taking off, she fell asleep for about two hours. I was impressed, but the other half of the trip she was on and off going crazy. But overall, it wasn't too horrible. It was awesome flying over the mountains for the first time. At one point we were so close to the mountains, it was so cool! 
 Jason's co-worker met us at the airport, which was a great help! The girls and I ate chicken nuggets and sat next to the stuffed Alaskan animals while Daddy got the rental car. Then we jumped in and headed to base. I was a little overwhelmed with the first drive. It was just bizarre driving on the streets here. It's not quite home yet. I don't know how long it will take for this place to feel like home. I still imagine ourselves flying back to California in a week. There's just piles of snow on the sides of the roads, and ice everywhere... it's just a little much for this desert rat to get use to.
 We got to base and got settled into our very crappy "temporary housing." And that's when I just lost it. I know I shouldn't complain too much.. but this place is just not a good fit for us to LIVE in while we wait for our household goods. And it's just this brand new place where we really don't know anyone. It's so different that I imagined I guess. I don't know if I'm cut out for it. And like I said before... it's hard thinking about how long it's going to take before this place feels like home. These poor girls are such troopers, but it's definitely making them more moody and irritable than normal.  Moving is so hard, but I think just be displaced for a month or more is the roughest part of this whole thing. But I have to take comfort in God's plan for us and trust that he will use us here for the good of His kingdom. So, to look on the bright side, I just need to find something to involve myself in while we wait for our new normal to begin. This being in between is just killing us. And in other good news, while I was super frustrated and mad about our living situation, we actually ended up finding someone with a house who would rent to us week by week and it's three bedrooms! So that right there was a nice pick me up! That's all for now! The girls have just started to get super emotional.