Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Ups and Downs of a move

Some of you have moved a lot. Some of you haven't moved in over 20 years. I moved once when I was 3 years old and then thankfully didn't move again until I moved out and went to college. Even then, I moved only an hour down the road and I roomed with my best friend. After dorm/apartment hopping for the next 3 years, I got married to my lovely husband...and thus began years of moving and house hopping.

When I sit down to count all the "homes" we've had in our 7 year marriage, it seems like I would be better at moving than I am. After 8 moves, I should have this down to a science. For some reason (okay really, the reason is that I am just not a very organized person...) things still get lost and some things still never get unpacked. Junk keeps following me even though each time before we move, I purge and take bag after bag to goodwill.

Our current home is the largest home we've ever lived in. Its a whole 1800 square feet! To some of you, that may seem tiny and "cozy" and to others, you know what I mean when I say that we finally feel like we can spread out a bit. Our home itself is a huge upside to this move.

Moving however brings a lot of downsides too. I've learned that moves within the same city don't bring as many down sides as moving to a whole new city. For instance, when we moved from our apartment in East Tennessee to the home we bought 20 minutes down the road, it wasn't a huge adjustment. Same jobs, same friends, same restaurants, same roads. But moving from Atlanta to Fort Bragg, NC was a huge adjustment. And likewise, moving from Fort Bragg to the Northern Virginia area has been a huge change.

I have discovered the most challenging part of a move is not knowing anyone. For me, thats way harder than not knowing my way around. If I just had a friend - just one - it would make things so much better. I know that I will meet people in time. But initially, I don't and its very hard.

Clearly another hard point is not knowing your way around town. Having to take the interstate (here it is I-95) to go to Kohls or Chick-fil-a is pretty annoying and undesirable. Are there back roads? Sure. Do I know them yet? No. I will figure out back roads with time and my dumb Insignia GPS (in hind the extra $70 and get a Garmin! Ours is horribly slow!) but for now, I will take I-95 to run my errands.

Moving in August has proven to be a problem because it ended up being too late in the year to register C for Pre-K. Apparently we were 6 weeks too late and she is now on a waiting list that is 6 weeks deep worth of kids. Hopefully she will get a spot sometime this Fall. I am thankful that I purchased a home school curriculum to begin in the meantime. We will begin on Monday the 23rd :-)

Now for some of the upsides to moving - meeting new people, finding new stores to shop at, and seeing cool sights. Certainly a huge plus is being able to build new relationships and make new friends. Because we moved here just at the start is the Fall, I will get to join MOPS and PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) right as their "year" is beginning. I can't wait to get started with both these groups in September!

Visiting a new church is always fun for me. Churches love visitors. Its fun to feel wanted and desired as a guest at a church. Most churches even have special "visitor parking" way up front! The church that we have visited for the past 2 weeks is the smallest church we've ever been to - with only about 80-90 people in the worship service on any given week. The pastor is awesome and the people all recognize us as guests...meaning that they all come to meet us, shake our hand, introduce themselves, and invite us back next week. Its so nice to be so welcomed!

Another huge plus is having memories of our previous homes. Each picture that I hang on our new walls reminds me of where I had it hung in our old house. Each friends' name popping up on my cell phone reminds me of the time I use to be able to spend in-person with them at a previous home. Truthfully, sometimes its hard to talk on the phone to them because just hearing their voice makes me choke back tears. To my dear friends from Fort Bragg, I am still getting used to not ending our phone calls with, "okay, see you later!" Its hard because I can picture you in your house or apartment when you're talking to me. And I wish I was there. Or at least that I could be there if I wanted to.

This evening, I made on of my favorite recipes - pumpkin brownies. They always make me think of my friend from Fort Bragg (you know who you gave me the recipe). Just stirring the batter and then smelling them in the oven made me think of making them in my old house. In my old kitchen.

Call me sentimental, but everything brings back memories. I have 2 pages of a Southern Living Magazine framed hanging above my desk (where I blog) that feature Jonesborough, TN...where we used to live and hang out. Seeing the pictures on the pages brings me back to those days 3 and half years ago. I could stare at them and get lost in the pictures for a few minutes every time I glance up.

I love all the memories I have from all my different homes from our first apartment - all 800 square feet up until now. Our family is constantly changing and growing, but above all else, we are together. Friends or no friends, the 4 of us are together. And thats all that truly matters :-)

One of the HUGE upsides to this move is gaining a playroom for the first time ever! Its an awesome space for the kids to spread out, watch TV, play, and learn!
My little man is all smiles before heading out to church...I think he hasn't been phased by the move, haha.

My 4 year old girl chatting with her girlfriend from her pervious preschool for 40 minutes...yes 40 minutes!


  1. I miss you Randi! It DOES feel weird not saying "see you later" when we hang up. It also feels weird driving around near your old house on post and you not being near. I can't try to pawn off my extra milk on you anymore! I miss you guys. Give C and D hugs for me!

  2. Wonderful blog entry! Everything you said is true. Change is both good and sad. It's hard to leave what you're comfortable with but having new experiences and friends is good. I'm glad you have two new groups beginning soon that you'll be a part of. I'm sure you'll make friends there. I miss you all like crazy... and I miss your Ft. Bragg friends too. :(

  3. I know just what you mean. When we moved to SC, I had anxiety running errands. Because I had no idea where I was going!