Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Struggle

My dear friend Margaret Jacobsen has been publicly open about her struggle with depression and gluten allergy and the pain in brings her, in a very honest and relatable way. The thing I admire most about Margaret is that she is honest about her feelings and she lets herself be emotional. It shows in her amazing photography. Every time I see one of her photographs I can feel her spirit and I can see the subjects. It's like they have a radiation of love and happiness around them. Sometimes, sadness. 

My favorite photo's that Margaret ever took were of herself. She was some where wild, in tall grass I think. She was sad in her photos and she admitted that she was. Her sadness was so beautiful portrayed that if made my heart hurt with understanding. 

I struggle with depression and fibromyalgia. They usually rear their ugly heads one after the other. The flare ups come leaving me in pain and utterly exhausted and useless and that's when the depression soon follows. Today, I wanted to take a self portrait. Something happy. A good, updated, profile picture. But as I tried taking the photos I struggled with a true smile. I struggled with even finding a happy thought to help me give a genuine smile. So instead, inspired by my friend Margaret, I was just honest with the camera. I took pictures of me in my moment of discomfort. My ribs feel like they are being pulled from my body, my face is red and inflamed, my arms and legs feel like they've been beaten with a bat. So why put on a forced smile? 

 I'm no photographer but my husbands nice camera has an auto setting that makes it pretty easy to use and the tripod and timer made taking the pictures less awkward. Kind of..

This is one of the first pictures I took. I am physically struggling to smile.  

I like this picture of me. It's a nice one. But when I looked at it I felt silly inside and a little miffed. You know what they worst thing about having a chronic pain disorder/disease and depression is? People can't see it. Even your loved ones, who know you are struggling, they forget. So when all you can do is lay on the couch and shower every two days. When all you can do is the bare minimum until the horrible cycle ends, well, they can get critical and upset with you. And understandably so. 

So looking at this picture of me with my hair and make up done and a smile on my face is a little irritating to me because if some one doesn't understand your invisible struggle when you are in your sweats and without makeup, then they straight up feel annoyed with you when you look like this but act like roadkill. It's true. Doing my hair and makeup makes me feel better on the rough days but it doesn't exactly convey sickness does it?

there is the weariness. 

how I honestly feel.
Here is a picture a few moments after feeling silly for even trying to take happy, done up pictures. It's about 5 minutes after I started and I'm already too mentally exhausted with trying to keep up the smile and I've pulled off my head scarf. 

It's been a rough week for me. I've been pushing through this flare up harder than usual. I've been working on the shop, staying busy with yard work and getting out of the house nearly every day despite painful, sleepless nights. My sweet husband and son are the two people that motivate me and keep me moving while I struggle. Their patience is saintly since sometimes I can feel like this for weeks at a time. 

At the end of my photo session my son woke up from his nap and his little feet pattered into the living room where I was sitting. He wanted to sit and take a picture with me. I redid my hair in a style that is more typical for my bad days and put in a pair of earrings that I never wear and together we smiled for the camera.

This is a genuine smile. He pulls me from the deepest part of my sadness and pain and makes it better. 

He is my Henry, he is my Healer.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

It's Good To Be In Georgia

We've been in Georgia for 10 months now and I only have one complaint. The drivers. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE (excluding me of course) talks and texts while driving. It's no wonder that there are so many car accidents in our area every day. It makes me miss the days when you had no idea who had called you until you got home and pressed play on your message machine.

Other than that minor complaint Georgia has quickly become our home. It is unexpectedly beautiful. I think it really surprises people when they come here. The lakes and rivers and trees and wild life are abundant. The city we live in is beautiful and full of parks and has family events several weekends a month. The community is giving and kind. In fact, as an example, at the community Easter Egg Hunt they gave out free hot dogs and hamburgers and drinks to everyone. There were hundreds of adults and children there! I thought that was so amazing.

My favorite part of living here has been discovering all of the little creatures and showing them to Henry. I have always loved nature and bugs and animals. The more dangerous, the more fascinating and I've been teaching Henry that if he sees a snake that he needs to run to me and tell me so I can identify it before we touch it. We live next to a small lake and so I expect there are Cotton Mouths and Coral snakes nearby. Having a toddler in a area with coral snakes really scared me at first. I recently learned that Coral snakes are related to the Cobra family and their venom is some crazy number more deadly than a rattle snakes. But it's rare to see one and apparently even if Henry picked one up it's unlikely it would bite him unless he continued to irritate it. Regardless, no risks are taken here. He knows how serious dealing with snakes can be.

Today's creature.

We do encourage him to dig for bugs and to hold frogs and lizards and study the habits of the squirrels and hummingbirds. Our trees have dozens of squirrels nests in them. Our realtor recommended we buy a BB gun to kill them but I'm planning on doing the opposite and putting feeders up. Yes, they will get into my garden but they were here first. The least I can do is let them snack a bit.

Since we moved here in January we missed the Fall weather  but now we are a few weeks into it and it's been lovely. The mornings are perfectly cool and sunny. I spend my mornings taking advantage of being a stay at home Mom with no where to go. I sit on my porch swing and think about what I want to do with the day. I'm missing the summer thunder storms A LOT but this cooler weather is hard to beat.

Andrew and I are really excited to celebrate the holidays on our own this year. We will miss our families but having our new home to decorate and start traditions in is going to be fun. Henry and I put up Halloween decorations and we are each going to carve a pumpkin this week. I'm thinking something Doctor Who themed for mine.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I've been putting off a new post for too long but I have been either too busy, too sick or too exhausted to find the time and mental capacity to sit and write about all of the things that have happened lately.

We bought a house. Much sooner than we expected to. Andrew and I discussed and agreed that he could volunteer for a deployment in the next six months so we pushed up our date for purchasing a house. It was a very tiring, and at times, frustrating search. We wanted a home in a shaded, established community that had great schools and a decent location from Andrew's work. It was also important to me to have a nice sized yard and a house big enough for our family to grow...a little. Maybe.

When we drove through the neighborhood of the house we purchased I was in love. The trees were abundant and the yards were beautiful, clean and green but you could tell families with children lived throughout. When we pulled into the drive way I liked the house immediately. It wasn't my first choice in favorite exterior designs but it was still charming and the front yard was wonderful. When we got to the front door though, before we even opened it, the smell of cigarette smoke was seeping through the door frame. It was bad but we went inside and looked through the whole house even though it was completely over whelming.
After walking through the house and going out to the amazing back yard I felt annoyed. We had made an offer on another house that had been refused and looked at 15 houses since then and I was now falling in love with a house that had been smoked in by two adults for 20 years.  The layout was perfect, the house was otherwise immaculate and again, the back yard was perfect.

We shook our heads, said it was too bad and continued to look at other houses. But this house just stuck in my head and so I started talking to my realtor and making calls about how to clean the cigarette smell out of the house. After I convinced Andrew, we made an offer and here we are. New home owners. I'm sure when people come over they smell the smoke, I wish I could some how show them how changed the smell is since we came in and cleaned but there is still a lot of work to do.

We sprayed down all of the walls with a strong cleaning agent and have primed the main room that they smoked in so that took the smell from a 10 down to a 2. I think the house will smell 100% when we can afford to paint all of the walls.

I was so excited about starting our new life in our new home that I decided to adopt a dog. We drove to a shelter in SC and I fell in love with her right away. A floppy eared basset hound, black lab mix that we renamed Ponyo. We brought Ponyo home before we even moved out of the apartment and even though she was 5 months old she hadn't been potty trained yet so it was a really stressful week, especially since we were supposed to close and move in the day we adopted her but had to push it back a week. Potty training a dog in an apartment is hard! Especially when you are on the second floor.

The second challenge that I didn't foresee when adopting Ponyo was that our back yard did not have a fence. I really didn't think it would be an issue but it was a huge one. Because we were so busy cleaning the smell out of the house and getting moved in and situated ( which is a lot more work that i thought) I wasn't able to get her out to the yard every hour and I didn't have time to play with or train her. Between that and her chewing on Henry and him being constantly upset about that and the frustrations of stepping on puddles of pee camouflaged on our hardwood floor I just couldn't keep up. Especially after having to take two trips to the ER for walking pneumonia.

When Andrew and I finally came to the decision to give her to a new family I was heart broken. I cried for days. I still cry about it. I feel like I really failed her and myself. I don't like making promises that I can't keep and this one has devastated me. My Mom is right though. Every day gets easier, especially because she found such an amazing and loving new family. The weight on my heart was definitely lightened when I met them and they told me about their previous dogs that had passed away from old age and the other from the heart break of losing it's partner. Giving her to loyal and experienced dog owners was the best for Ponyo and I know she is going to be really happy with them. I'm sure she is already.

Now that Ponyo is with a new family, I have been recovering from the Pneumonia, and trying to get stuff done around the house to make it comfortable because Andrew's parents are coming for a visit! We are really excited to have family come see us. We love Georgia and I can't imagine ever living anywhere else but we still miss our family and friends on the west coast.

Henry is loving the new house. In fact, Andrew and I both discussed how much happier he is since we've moved in. He has his own back yard full of creatures and plants to discover and a big house to run through. We have found frogs, lizards, night crawlers, centipedes, millipedes, beetles, grasshoppers, and even a scorpion! I'm sure thanks to the beautiful little lake behind our house, which unfortunately, also brings hoards of bird sized mosquitos. The mosquitos are not bothered by bug spray or candles and leave vicious marks. Poor Henry has looked like leper for the last month.

We've met the neighbors on either side of us. They are very nice and have children who are in the late teens and early twenties so its very quiet here. Except for us of course.

I am so excited to experience our first Autumn in Georgia. The summer wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be and Andrew mentioned that meteorologist believe this winter will be pretty cold.

The next year is bound to be a busy one filled home improvements, Henry starting school and hopefully, if we are lucky, another kiddo. It's been a frustrating couple of years in that department but hopefully now that we are "settled" in to our new home, feeling secure and in permanent place, the stress will go down a little in the next few months, I can focus on my health again and we will find ourselves expecting in the near future.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

It's been a while since I've updated my blog and I think today is a great day to do it.

Today is a Memorial Day and for the last few years Memorial Day has caused me to reflect more on the purpose of the holiday rather than the BBQ's and the day off.

Both my Great Grandfather, who is still living, and my Great Grandmother served in WWII. My Grandfather was in the Army Air Force and then later the Air Force when it separated from the army. He flew in planes over Europe during the war. He hand transported the radioactive bombs that have, through the years, caused him to have cancer removed from his arms. He flew mission that were so important to the war that the Queen of England recognized he and his unit for their valour. His wife, my Great Grandmother, served as a nurse during WWII as well. That is how they met and fell in love. I grew up hearing stories from my Great Grandmother and Grandmother (Nini) about this time and I have always felt proud to be their granddaughter.

The romance of a military life that I imagined from my Grandparents stories faded around my teen years.
I grew up around a Navy town. I always heard of the struggles the wives of Sailors had. Their husbands being gone for 6 months to a year+ at times. They struggled with loneliness, some of them struggling with being unfaithful. I always said I would never be a military wife. I could see that it was a difficult and strenuous life for the wives and I imagined just as difficult for the men.

So it still surprises me that year later, her I am, a military wife. I truly never imagined I would ever be the wife of an Airman. I feel such pride in my husband. Watching him get through BMT and other training, feeling the loneliness of TDY's and long days but knowing that it's worth it and feeling grateful that his job doesn't often deploy him. I feel proud of him, proud of me and proud of the military life we lead.

I feel crushing sadness at times for the women and families who have lost their soldiers or who see their husbands 6 months out of the year. I feel sadness for men and women who lose their limbs and suffer from PTSD because of the violence they have to experience and witness. But more importantly I feel thankful. Thankful for both the soldiers and the spouses and family who support them so that our freedoms and rights and lives are protected. I am thankful for the men and women who risk life and limb to keep our country safe and to protect those who cannot defend themselves. I think that is what makes me the proudest is to see our soldiers put their lives on the line for the helpless. To fight for those who are silenced by fear and to help give them a voice again.

I am thankful.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Dear Nini

Dear Nini,

today marks a year to the day that I flew into Seattle from California desperate to say goodbye to you. Those last hours I spent with you in the hospital were surreal. I held your hand and spoke to you hoping for a response of some sort but really, as I looked at you, even though you continued to breath, I knew you weren't there. Your beautiful spirit that gave your physical body so much life was already gone and it was apparent. Still, the next day when you passed came as a blow because some where in me I had hope that you would recover as you always did.

The last year without you has been strange. There have been several letters to Granddad that started with your name as well. Several times when I've picked up the phone to call you only to remember you wouldn't answer. There have been several milestones in the family that were strange to celebrate without you. Babies that have been born, graduations, job promotions and personal accomplishments. I can't help but feel your loss daily.

Granddad has been wonderful about sending cards for every occasion from your stash. I wonder how much Hallmarks stock has plummeted since your passing? Their ornaments last year were wonderful and of course I thought of you as I browsed through them. Every holiday since your passing has been filled with memories of you. I don't think any of us have the ability to make them as fun as you did though.

I often see you in grocery stores and walking down the street. It always shocks my heart to see you there. And when I pass by and realize it's not you I typically feel happiness to have you there for just a moment. To be in a world where you are not absent. It really is a different and strange world without you.

Everyday I pray that I can be like you, some wonderful part of you, to share with Henry and others. I pray to feel inspired by your spirit when I feel challenged or in pain.

I still feel such a relief in your passing though. That you are no longer suffering brings me a lot of happiness. Knowing that you are with the people who's presences you suffered without fills my heart with love.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Beauty Product and the Beast: a review/rant of zero importance.

Disclaimer: The following post is guaranteed to put you to sleep so it is not recommend to readers who are driving or operating any type of industrial equipment. Reading blogs and being on the Internet in general is not recommended for drivers or industrial workers while on the job. Neither is reading books or texting or anything else that may increase your odds of having a accident that could result in the loss of limbs.

I don't know what's happened to me. I have, for the most part, never been loyal to a beauty product. I've used the same brand of CG mascara since I was 12 except for maybe a handful of times that a new product looked promising. But even when CG mascara changed their brush I wasn't mad. I loved it. No, I am not weird about beauty product loyalty.

My hair is just ok. My PCOS has severely thinned it out in the front and my hair has gone from thick and beautiful to thin and frizzy in the last 15 years but I've manage with some very limited styling skills to make do. When I got to Georgia I knew I was going to have to look for a product to tame it in the humidity. My hair is so long that I sweat even in 45 degree weather  if I'm out and about and that's when the frizz /poofy problem starts up. I didn't want to pay 20+ bucks for 2 ounces of a professional product that might not work so I decided to start trying out some products from the hair care isle in Walmart first. I saw a small bottle of a Dove product that described on it's bottle exactly what I was looking for (smoothing creme that controls up to 100% frizz for 24 hours) and at less than 5 bucks for a 4 ounce bottle I thought it was worth a try. I loved it immediately.

My hair has started doing something really bizarre in the last 5 years. Straight out of the shower, if I tried to put a product in my hair it would soak it up like a sponge and even after blow drying it would look clumpy-greasy. Like I hadn't washed it in weeks. It has baffled many a hair stylist that I warned only to be reassured and then 10 minutes later have my head back in the sink, re-washing the product out. So, when I misread the instructions, put the product in my hair from root to ends and THEN re read to see I was suppose to avoid my roots I was pissed that I was going to have to get back in the shower and re wash my hair. I decided to just blow dry my hair anyway and was pleasantly surprised that my hair didn't look greasy. Just very shiny. Sure, I was definitely going to have to wash it the next day but I was still really happy. Not only that but if I find that I didn't put enough in my hair before I blow dried it I can put it in my dry hair and in ten minutes it looks dry again and even smoother. I even use it and then let my hair air dry wavy. I mean really, the true testament is that I can sweat like those overweight cowboys on Texas Storage Wars and my hair stays tame, smooth and luxurious.

This all being said, last week my Dove leave in smoothing creme ran out. I went to Walmart and they were out. I went to Target and they were out. I thought immediately how I joked with Andrew, "Watch, this is going to work great for me and then they will discontinue it."

Yes I actually said those exact words. I freaking jinxed myself. I knew something was up if both major stores were out so I went online to their pages. All local Walmarts and Targets were out of stock and not selling through their web page. I checked the local Walgreens and CVS websites, they were also out of stock and not selling online. Next stop, Amazon. Some one, some A-hole was selling a 4 pack for over 80 dollars. This was when I realized that I was REALLY right. They must have discontinued it. But why? A professional haircare product company had rated it 4.5 stars out of 5. My guess now is that maybe it was such a great product that Dove sold it to a company who will sell it for 3 times as much as a salon product. Or maybe I'm just the last person in the US to know about it and it flies off the shelves all the time.

Today I decided to check Walmarts site to see if other locations farther away had the product in stock. A store just across the border in South Carolina said they did but when I got there it was not on the shelf and the ladies who worked there said there was none in the back, even though they didn't use their little scanners to check. They insisted that my hair looked great. LIARS! It was a a freaking mess. The hair product that I bought to try and replace the Dove creme actually made my hair more frizzy. How does that even happen?

ANYWAAAAYY, long and excruciating beauty related post short, (or not) I decided to stop at the Walgreens across from Walmart of LIARS, South Carolina and see if by some miracle they had any and by the beard of Thor they did!!!! 3 bottle and none left in stock (of course I asked). I bought all 3. I had a huge smile on my face, the smile of a true victor. This was the freaking Hunger Games of beauty products and I beat everyone to the Cornucopia and was willing to take lives to make it out of the store with the last of it!

Tomorrow my hair will be soft and smooth and manageable and all will be right with the world again.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How to train a stubborn and strong willed 2.5 year old.

If this were the title of a book, and it probably is , the pages should be blank. In fact I have come to the conclusion that potty training books are like any of the newest diet fad books you see in the bookstore. They may work for a few people but most likely they will end up on the bookshelves at the nearest Goodwill.

If I have learned anything in the last few months and especially in the last few weeks, it is that I am not potty training my kid. I have only an ounce of control over this situation AND, the most important thing I've learned is to be ok with that. We have had a lot of success in the last few days. Or he has rather. But it is because he gets to decide just how much he cares about using the toilet. Some days he tolerates using the potty because of the cool underwear with his favorite Disney characters on them and the candy he knows he will be rewarded with but then there are days that he's just over it and could care less what the reward will be.

It's a hassle for him to potty train. It takes more time out of his play to sit and use the toilet than it does for me to change him. Even though he didn't pee his pants yesterday, he only peed once on the toilet and that was after a major melt down and a lot of bribery. He held his pee for hours out of sheer stubbornness.

 It just didn't feel quite right to pressure my son to use the toilet to the point that he was so irritated that he threw a fit. If my son is anything like my husband and I, he will resent with a passion anything that anyone pushes on him, including potty training. This morning when we woke up I brought Henry a pair of his favorite underwear and a diaper and asked him what he wanted to wear. I asked twice. Both times he decided on his diaper. So I've accepted that today, or at least this morning, we will not be doing much other than talking about sitting on the toilet.

At this point I realize that my job is to gently remind him about all of the rewards of potty training, to often ask him if he would like to use the potty and to cheer him on in any success.

With all of the ways to connect with other parents via facebook, pregnancy and parenting forums, play groups, etc., it becomes easy to compare yourselves to other mothers and compare your child to other kids. There are days where I worry that I am letting Henry down by allowing him to have his binky and continue to be in diaper. Worse than that, there are days that I worry what other's think of Henry and I because I allow him to continue to do those things. Ultimately it doesn't matter because the chances that my son will become a 25 year old binky sucking, diaper wearing member of society are extremely slim.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Knock Off Ocean Water

I'm a fan of Sonic drive in. I knew when we got to Georgia that I was going to have to be careful with how much I indulge myself on their delicious burgers and drinks. So far so good. But the other day as I'm sipping on my favorite drink, Ocean Water, I realize that the coconut flavor isn't as strong and that it tastes just like Sprite. And then I realized it was Sprite. With blue dye and coconut flavoring. Maybe I should have been disappointed at the lack of magic but instead I was thrilled. And even more thrilling was learning that Sonic sells their little rabbit turd shaped ice by the bag. Super fun to crunch on.

 So today I went to Walmart for the ingredients, stopped by Sonic for a bag of ice (Just 1.99 a bag btw) and as I type this I am sipping on my very own and much less expensive Ocean Water. I even added some blue food coloring for authenticity. I like mine better because I can add as much coconut flavoring as I want. And I want mine super coconutty!

PS.I realize that I am probably the last person in the world to discover this simple recipe but thought I might share anyway.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Settling In

The boxes are almost all emptied. Just a few mirror packs that need to be hidden away in the closet remain and empty boxes that need to be taken to the trash. Henry is loving his new room and our worthless cat Charlie is extremely content and comfortable.

The new apartment is smaller than our last place and doing without our things for nearly 5 months made me see things a little clearer when our stuff arrived. We have taken 2 large car loads of STUFF to the local Goodwill.

Today we took a drive over to SC and walked around a lake, soaking up the sun. I felt the last of my seasonal depression evaporate into the air and leave me, hopefully for good. We've only been here a few weeks but I know I'll be happy here. I like new places. Fresh starts.

The only trouble is making new friends. It's difficult for me. Depression gone or not, the anxiety is always there making me paranoid and overly cautious. I was so blessed to meet Margaret, Desiree and Meghann in California. They were, and still are, each a necessary element in my life. The perfect balance of happiness in friendship. I still haven't come to terms with how long it might be before I see them all again.

I may or may not be screening other women for possible friendships. -____-

Do you think it's appropriate to write an open letter on a military spouses facebook page advertising for 3 friends that are as charming,open minded, hilarious and kind as Triple MD? Yeah...I didn't think so either. Even If I did sing it like those kids from Mary Poppin's looking for a new nanny...

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Trip, The House, The Area

Well hello. It's been over a month since my last obtuse post and since then I've come a long way. Literally. Last Thursday we left Washington state drove nearly 3000 miles across the US to Augusta, Georgia. We traveled through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah,Wyoming, Nebraska,  a little Illinois,  a little Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and finally arrived in Georgia Yesterday afternoon. Henry was unbelievably amazing for the entire trip. Like clock work he got fussy and exclaimed he wanted out of the car within 30 minutes of our planned stop for the night. He played, watched movies, got excited at every train that we passed, (which were many) and snacked until we arrived. He deserves a medal.

I, however, was not such a happy traveler. At least not for the first day. That morning we woke up and headed out at 4:30am. After saying a very groggy goodbye to my family we headed out and within an hour I was having a full blown panic attack. It was painful. All I could think about was the trip ahead, the family behind us and the strangeness that comes with moving to a new place without seeing it first. These thoughts combined with a large cup of coffee on an empty stomach and not much to do other than sit in my seat and stare forward caused the anxiety to continue for nearly three hours, until I fell asleep. When I woke up the panic was gone but replaced by horrible car sickness. That lasted the rest of the day.

Thankfully we reached Ogden Utah at a decent hour, got a hotel fast and went to sleep. The next day started out later than the first but with good time. We were all in good spirits, I was feeling fine and when more than half the day was over I took over driving. I had a hard time immediately. We had just eaten a large and satisfying meal at Sonic and I was lethargic and the long roads of nothing were making me sleepy. But then Andrew got a phone call from the hotel we stayed at the night before. The manager was claiming that our cat clawed at the carpet in the middle of the living room and they were going to charge us $200 for the damage. When Andrew told them that,

#2  he was in a kennel the entire time
# 3 he was not located in the center of the living room

well, the woman told him that she was going to regroup and call him back. 10 minutes later she calls back saying the pulls in the carpet were in another location. Andrew again, said our cat does have claws, was in his kennel the whole time and also added that he was sedated the whole night as well and that he does not approve any charges to his card. She said she would email us pictures of the damage and discuss it further but she never did. If they end up charging us we are filing it as fraudulent and I will be writing many letters and bad reviews.LOL!

The irritating call made me so mad that combined with Sonic's super yummy ice, I was wide awake and ready for hotel number two which was nicer, less expensive and had an amazing breakfast. I was sad that we got in too late to eat at the Texas Road House though.

 Day three started out great thanks to our stay at the second hotel and even though at times it felt like we were driving in place due to the complete lack of change in the scenery, we blew through Nebraska and the little bit of Illinois and Kentucky and right through Missiouri. St. Louis was a very run down city and yet it was still so beautiful. I wish we could have spent more time there but soon were making our way through Tennessee and by 9pm on day three were in our hotel in Murfreesboro, TN. It was a harder nights sleep mostly because I think were were all so excited to get into Augusta the next day.

By 1:15pm we arrived at our new apartment complex. We checked in, signed the lease, got our keys, had some issues with our locks, then more issues with our keys and locks and finally got the right keys and locks. I was thankful to see that the apartment was updated, clean and a good size. Our bedrooms here are bigger than the ones at our house in Monterey and the walk in closets are going to allow me to have a small craft desk inside of our closet. We are turning Henry's closet into a secret space with lights and his DVD player, for him to play in.The living and dining rooms are good sizes as are the bathrooms. The kitchen is micro tiny but since there is a laundry room next to it with pantry space I'm more than pleased. We also had more than enough good spaces to choose to put our cats litter box which is always something I have to worry about a little when we go to a new place.

Our first night in the new place was good. Henry slept alone in his room for almost 15 hours. That kids was TIRED! We are sleeping on an air mattress that Andrew borrowed from a friend who is already settled in. We thought our stuff wasn't going to arrive until February 6th but I just got a call saying it could come between the 26th of this month and the 1st of February so I'm excited. We have almost everything we need here to live. We went grocery shopping last night and today we are going to get some cheapo pans and knives, etc to manage until everything gets delivered.

I'm excited to get to know the area and you know I've already enquired as to where the best BBQ is! Also I need to find the best sushi in town so I've been reading lots of reviews and found a place to try. The thing about BBQ and sushi is that Northerners can come to the south and eat at a BBQ chain with mediocre BBQ and think it's amazing because they dont' know any better, and so I'm a little concerned that Southerners might be eating sushi here and thinking it's awesome and that it will end up being disappointing to me. I guess we will find out. In other food related news. There is a Sonic a mile down the road. I've promised myself that I wont eat it unless I'm walking there and back. Then it will be like it never happen.

As far as recreational activities go, well, I've been looking into that as well. I found several parks, and even a zipline place and a bouncy house place. And I googled the local zoo which is in South Carolina just 45 minutes from us.

 We drove down the main business roads yesterday and I have everything I'm going to need here. That being, a Joanns and a Barnes and Noble. Andrew and I are excited to drive around and see where we would like to puchase a house next year. I love thinking about the possibilities.

For today though, the plan is laundry and a little shopping for household items.