Monday, July 27, 2015

Operation PCS 2015 Phase 3: Unpacking and Starting Over

Here we are at our new house. 
Even with nothing in it, they were excited to be in our new home. 

We had 2 days before our stuff arrived.  We spent it playing in our new yard, painting some of the house and exploring our new area.   For the most part things seemed to be going pretty well.  Macky wasn't sleeping as well but with a change in schedule, that's nothing unusual. The twins seemed okay really--i think they have been genuinely excited about the new house, the upcoming school year and making new friends.  Davis seemed to take it the hardest--but he's two...and two year olds have a lot of emotions to deal with on a good day.  Davis would be happy one minute and cry the next.  He didn't settle in well to the new house and woke up many times a night scared.  We've mainly worked through it all now, but it was definitely a rough month or so. 

the yard might be everyone's favorite part of the house!  it's such a nice difference from our one in fayetteville.  this one was soft grass, flowers, no fire ants, lots of green, and even some shade! 

Then the movers arrived.  It was a HOT HOT day--doors had to stay open the whole time to carry things in and out and everyone was pretty much miserable.  
the kids did GREAT on this day--here they are watching a movie  on the little portable DVD player

truck no.2 
We weren't able to arrive here the same time our stuff did, so it all had to go to storage for a couple of days.  This is never an ideal situation and can lead to our stuff getting even more damaged by being handled more and our stuff getting mixed up and lost.  Thankfully though the damage has been minor and we haven't noticed that anything is missing.  On the other hand we do have some other people's stuff--some sporting equipment, parts to furniture, etc.  
boxes.  it looked like this in every room.  

we worked hard unpacking for days but of course we did need some breaks! 
we had a picnic dinner on the lawn hoping to meet some neighbors. we didn't.  but the picnic was still fun.  and we have rabbits. everywhere. the kids love it.  

getting back into our routine with our first movie night--usually pizza is included, but i cooked a real meal this time--the first one of those in the new house too!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Operation PCS 2015 Phase 2: The Drive

This was our first real road trip as a family, ya know, like more than 4 hrs or so.  We got ourselves as prepared as we could...bags full of stuff to do for the kids, extra batteries, dvd players, snacks--but after that, you just gotta go do it.   Unfortunately we had to drive separately to get both cars to Iowa.  I drove the jeep with Nora and Macky in the back and Mike drove the truck, pulling the trailer,
 with Davis and Holden. 

Total drive time was around 14 hours and then add in stops for potty, food and nursing a baby every 3-4 hours, that trip just got another 5 hours added on to it.  Definitely a 2 day drive. 

Day 1 was from Asheboro to Cincinnati where we would spend the night.  This was the long day and pulling a trailer thru the mountains just slowed us down even more.   

Everyone did fabulous though.  Macky slept through the majority of the driving.  We just took long breaks planned around his eating and awake times to avoid a lot of crying in the car.  When he was awake Nora was amazing at keeping him entertained.  I'm pretty sure Holden spent most of his first day riding with his nose in some electronic and well, Davis basically talked Mike's ear off. 

I had intended to take pictures of each state sign, but i forgot and missed a few.  
a stop for dinner at A&W 

We got settled in the hotel right at 9pm that night and the kids were so excited about being in a hotel.  Although the twins slept in one for a few weeks in HI, they don't remember that so this was a new experience for everyone.  They were that out of control excited that comes from being cooped up all day long and overly exhausted all at the same time.   It took some time to reign them in, but Mike and i got everyone tucked into bed finally around 1030.  Then when i got out of the shower a few minutes later, this is what it looked like.  

Rise and Shine two "morning" kiddos and then my son, most like me who wants to just be left alone! 

Day 2---on to Bettendorf! and with gaining an hour it felt like a much shorter day. 

Davis talking and Nora playing Barbies in the car

lunch at Steak-n-Shake, which turned into the kids new favorite place
 and then there it was...IOWA, our new home...and about the 10 bridge we had crossed over the past 2 days, but this one was the best, crossing the Mississippi and being 10 minutes from our new home.  That's a good sight! 
speaking of our new home :) not a bad place to spend the next few years, yes? 
happy to be in IA and ready for some new beginnings :) 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Operation PCS 2015 Phase 1: PACKOUT and GOOD BYES

It's late july now and we're just on the other side of this move but the past 2 months have been a whirlwind.  Although i've been pretty absent on this blog i have taken a lot of pictures to try and capture the past couple of months.  So here it is, how my family of 6 packed up our life, slept in lots of different beds, said our see ya laters to lots of people we love, moved 950 miles away, unpacked our lives again and pretty much made it through unscathed :) 

This was the beginning.  I went out for the morning to run some errands and came home to find packers at our house and they had already half-packed the garage.  

this was also the beginning of 4 days of napping in whatever room/spot we could get out of the way.  i really didn't expect any napping/downtime but the all the changes definitely took their emotional toll on Davis and he was more than ready for his nap each day. 

except on this day that he was so excited to be sleeping in brother's bed that when i stepped out of the room for a minute to check on Macky, Davis pulled the surfboard down on top of him.  That board has been hanging on the wall for 3 years with no issues.  Davis is in there for 10 minutes and manages to get it off the wall. It sounded like the roof caved in and his screams were pretty horrific for a minute as well but thankfully all was well, minus a broken fin that can easily be fixed. 
our life in boxes
of course we had to make other arrangements for Linus...
she wasn't too happy about the changes either! 
 a few sweet pictures of my boy who was a range of emotions from minute to minute


then the big truck came...
Davis, Macky and I were reduced to a corner of the room--it seemed we were in the way anywhere we tried to sit.  The twins were in school each day thankfully and Mike was supervising the movers (ie make sure our stuff was taken care of) 

when there are no tables a dresser makes the perfect breakfast spot
and where there are no chairs a car seat will suffice
and when there are no beds, we'll take a pillow and a blanket
these green inventory stickers were everywhere... apparently they even tried to pack up davis! 

it was a LONG day--from 0745 until 1730--
but all our stuff was loaded up and took up half that huge truck
and then it was time for the cleanup 

we sent the big 3 kids to A-Town for this job... a whole weekend of painting, repairing and cleaning to get ready for the walk-thru ...

this was that bright green room up above--sad to see it back to this and not my kids fun Hawaii Room

After moving out of our house we still had one week left in NC because of preschool graduation and nora's dance recital, so we stayed with some friends in our neighborhood. Thankfully they had 2 extra rooms for us, but they were also in the process of moving back to CA so they didn't have much furniture either.  Mattresses and sleeping bags it was for the next week!
and the change in houses and sleeping habits started to have its effect on this little one and we started having much more late night quality time ;)

The kids also had their graduation from Awana and we had to say goodbye to some of our church family.  

Mrs. Rachel was the twins Awana teacher the past 2 years and Mrs Barbie was the best nursery worker you could ever find-- Davis just loved her.

we also had to go downtown and say goodbye to our little city we'd been living in for the past 3 years as well as say "see you later" to the wonderful Mrs. Julie!

Goodbyes with the Lopez Family--so thankful for them letting us invade their house that last week! 
Davis loves Javi!   and the kids with Penelope
Lopez and Burns Teams 

We also had many more goodbyes with friends and family that week--some pictures i sadly lost from a corrupted memory card, other times we just forgot to take a picture at all.  Living in Fayetteville though was a good time for our family.  We met lots of people, many of whom will be lifelong friends, and we were lucky enough to be so close to our family.  This was definitely a hard place to leave, but since it's home we know we'll be back and that makes it all a bit easier.  

The hardest part was leaving our house.  It was just a rental and had plenty of things about it that drove me crazy, but the memories there are real.  I brought 2 babies home to that house, survived a deployment there, and had lots of friends in that house.  We lived a lot of life there.  Our house on Harbison Court will always hold a special place in my heart.

I debated on how to handle leaving the house with the kids, but we decided to take them back for one last walk through with it empty just so they could have some closure themselves.  Nora was the saddest.  She holds on to "things" like i do.  We let her be sad and cry it out and then i promised her we'd have a new fun house and make new great memories there too.  Then I asked her to trust me.  She's a sweet brave girl--she wiped her tears and said okay.  Nothing like the Army teaching a child how to handle change.  We may lack in some things more stable families have, but i know the lessons they are learning will help them be stronger and more resilient for the rest of their lives.  

The last picture on our front steps.