Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Life in Virginia

We're here! We officially moved to our new home about a month ago, which almost feels like a lifetime ago. Although we miss so many people and things about San Diego, we are loving our life in Virginia and are thankful that God opened the door for us to come here.  

All I can say about our cross country move is "we made it." I will just summarize the trip:

12-hour days in the car = 4
Vehicles that lost air conditioning when the temperature was 95 degrees outside = 2
Travelers who visited urgent care = 4
Antibiotics prescribed = 6
Sleepless nights comforting a toddler who wanted to go home = 1

There you have it.  But God blessed us with safety each day and good attitudes through it all, and for that I am very grateful.  I honestly don't know how we would've ever made it without the help of my parents and Dan's parents.  They put their love into action and helped us drive all our earthly belongings across the country, never complaining about the long, tiring days and uncomfortable nights in hotels. We love and appreciate you guys more than we can say!

Since everything was still packed in the moving truck, we made quick work of finding a house to rent. We love the neighborhood we chose in the Greenbrier area of Chesapeake.  We are in the middle of one of the most crowded suburban areas, which is the only place we felt at home since Hampton Roads, VA is much more rural than San Diego, CA. When we asked about areas to rent, people said we'd want to avoid Greenbrier because it's so busy with all the shops and restaurants and malls. Those people love the country. They probably grow vegetables and have a dairy cow in their backyard. I, however, want to buy everything I need at a store that is less than 5 minutes away. Maybe I will grow to love the country more with time, but for now, home is where the Target is.   

Work has been going well for both Dan and I.  Dan likes his new coworkers a lot, and with eight years of experience under his belt, he feels well prepared to handle the Upper School Principal responsibilities at his new school.  I'm working for the same company doing the same proposal/marketing job I've had for 10 years, and the transition to my new office has gone smoothly.

Emma loves our new home and all the experiences we've enjoyed in Virginia, but she is struggling with preschool three days a week.  She's used to being the only child at home or with a babysitter, and we are not exactly regimented about our daily schedule. Apparently, a drill sergeant forces her go to the bathroom with the other children, sit at a table while she is eating, and lay down on a mat at the same time every single day! I'm sure it feels exactly like toddler boot camp to her. She cries every day when we drop her off, but they say she has a good day after the first five or ten minutes. We chose a small church preschool, and we really like the Christian environment and the kindness of the employees.  So we are praying that she will grow to love it with time.

The thing we've enjoyed the most about being here is the time we've spent with family! We've driven an hour (or so) to Williamsburg every weekend to hang out with Dan's family and that alone has been worth the cross-country move!

Here are some pictures of our move and new home.

Emma finally finished loading the truck in San Diego. We thought she'd never get it all in. :)
We sold about half our furniture before we left so we could cram everything into a smaller 17 foot moving truck.  It saved a bundle of money! 

The friends and family who came to help us on moving day were such a blessing! 

Emma got one last hug from her babysitter, Linda. She loved going to Linda's house and really thrived under her care.

Emma and I flew to Fort Worth, TX (where my parents live), while Dan and his parents drove to Fort Worth from San Diego. Emma and I clearly got the better end of the deal!

Once Dan and his folks arrived in Fort Worth, we rested for a day at my parents' house. Then my parents joined us the rest of the way to Virginia. Having everyone with us made the drive a much more fun experience!

A photo of the drivers. My responsibility was to keep Emma entertained for 12 hours in the car. 

We've had such fun times since we arrived in Virginia!

We stayed in Williamsburg with Dan's parents while Dan and I searched for rental houses.  We got to visit nearby Jamestown Beach, which is beautiful!

My parents (left) stayed until we were settled into our house, and then headed back home to Texas. We are working on convincing them to stay forever. :)

We've also been blessed to spend time with several friends we haven't seen in years! 

Our good friends from Colorado, Mike, Kate, and their kids were in town to visit Mike's family for 4th of July.

Our friend from San Diego, Jenn, stopped by our house while she was visiting her parents in Virginia Beach.

Emma had a great time playing with Jenn's kids, Sarah and James!

We caught up with another sweet friend from Colorado, Courtney, when we visited her church one Sunday!  

We had rain every single day the first couple of weeks. Emma was fascinated by the umbrella which she saw in action for the first time in her life.

When we were asking questions about our rental house, I asked the property manager if we were responsible for running the sprinklers for the grass.  She looked at me like I had two heads - heh!  No sprinklers necessary here. :)

We have a garage!! My CR-V and I are spoiled.

We visited Chincoteague with Dan's parents. It's a lovely island off the coast of Virginia where Dan's dad's side of the family is from. They even have a street named for us!

Chincoteague was made famous by the children's novel, Misty of Chincoteague, by Marguerite Henry. It's a story about one of the wild Chincoteague ponies that roam the area.  Emma loved meeting some of the ponies while we were there!

We've gotten to celebrate two family birthdays since we've been here. It's wonderful to be close enough to be a part of the festivities! 

Emma loves going to Grandpa and Grandma's house. We go swimming in the pool, play with all  their cool toys, and help feed Grandpa's fish.

She also loves hanging out with her cousin/BFF, Naomi.

We bought season passes to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, which is a very fun way to spend the day.

Busch Gardens has some of Emma's favorite characters, too!

We are so grateful to God for answering our prayers about moving to Virginia. It was a big decision and a major life change, but we love it here already and feel like it's the perfect place to call home.