Tuesday, July 30, 2013

National Zoo

A free zoo! Who knew they existed. One morning last week we took a trip to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, or the National Zoo. It's about 30 minutes from our house. 

My kids are so interesting. An hour or into the visit they were asking to go home. I think it's unrealistic to expect them to fully understand how lucky they are to get to do these kinds of things, but it's frustrating when they complain about being at the zoo! A little while later they all perked up and had a great afternoon. I think this bag of popcorn helped. :)

We'd promised the kids some type of treat, so we grabbed some frozen yogurt that was directly across the street from the zoo entrance. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

First Week or So

All in all, we had a good experience with our movers. We debated for a long time whether to do it ourselves or have the military handle it, and I think we made the right decision. We were really lucky that our things arrived the morning after we got there. Many people have to wait much longer for their household goods.

This is the street we live on. 

 Unpacking is sure a lot of work. Especially when you are trying to feed, clothe, and keep kids happy while you do it.

We found out real quick that we need to put repellent on the kids anytime they go outside. They all have tons of mosquito bites, especially Emmy and Natalie, and it has kept them up at night because they are itching so badly.

 We have been to church twice, and we really like our ward here. A friend invited us to a splash park our first week here, and the kids really loved it.

We took advantage of an open Saturday and decided to try out the Metro. We were pretty confused about how things work, but we figured it out quickly.

We took the Metro to the National Mall. It's a pretty incredible place.

We didn't have a lot of time, but we wanted to make sure we at least went in the National Museum of Natural History. We could have spent hours there, and Jansen especially was interested in learning and reading about everything he could. We can't wait to go back.

I ended my last post with a comment about not wanting to be here in Maryland. Thankfully, I am feeling so much better now. It made a world of difference to get the house put together, some groceries in the fridge, see some sights, go to church, etc. I can tell this year is going to go by very quickly!

Friday, July 26, 2013

On the Road

First thing we had to do after pulling away from my mom's house Monday morning was get Natalie's glasses replaced at Wal-Mart. We have had to do this no less than 6 times in the year that she's had them. I was grateful it was a quick trip in and out of there and that it happened when we were near a Wal-Mart.

We drove to Colorado that day and it was a beautiful drive. We spent the night in Aurora (suburb of Denver) at a nice hotel thanks to my last minute Priceline skills.

 At this point, Emmy was missing home the most. She kept asking to go to her house.

When she got tired she would put her blanket over her head and take a little nap. 

 I can't even believe these words are coming out of my mouth, but I kind of like driving and driving and driving. We discovered Kansas is a looooong state.

We spent the next night at a Sheraton in downtown Kansas City.  Don't ask how Nate parked the U-Haul in their parking garage. 

The kids did so well for being in the car for so many hours. I am also so grateful no one got sick, they slept well at the hotels, and the car did great.

Our favorite stop along the way was in our old home of Hilliard, OH where Nate attended medical school. We spent a wonderful couple of hours with Karen, our neighbor and sweet friend from the ward. We sure miss her.

 She was so sweet to have a little box of trinkets ready to keep Emmy busy while we talked.

I was glad the kids got to see Karen again to jog their memories of her. They drew pictures for her while we were there that she put on her fridge.

Our old apartment...Jansen was 11 months old when we moved in.

Columbus is also dear to our hearts because that is where Noah's memorial is. We stopped by and cleaned things up a bit and spent some time there.

Natalie was very sweet about the whole thing and wanted to leave some things she'd gathered for him on the grave.

The last stretch! From Ohio we would be driving to Maryland.

Maryland is so beautiful. I think it's fitting that this picture has a church in it, there are a lot of different ones here. We counted 12 different places of worship just on the drive to our church.

I had been feeling really great about things up to this point. Pretty relaxed and at ease. The closer we got to our house, the more nervous I got. My stomach was turning and I recognized that "homesick" feeling creeping in that has plagued me so many times in my life. When we got to the house I was tired and stressed from the whole road trip. The kids had fun chasing fireflies as we moved things from the car into the house. It smelled very strongly of gasoline inside. Luckily, we ended up figuring out and fixing that problem. I also kept finding little spiders. I was starting to get pretty upset and probably had a good cry at some point, I don't remember. We spent the night on an air mattress, kids on the floor, and Emmy in the pack and play. I did not want to be there. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Moving Day and Utah

Our movers came on a Monday morning. I put everything we did not want them to load on the truck in the playroom, and we kind of "lived" in that room for the next 2 days. It was well over 100 degrees the day they started packing stuff, and the inside of the house got up to about 96. On Tuesday some different movers came and they too apart all the furniture and loaded all the boxes that had been packed the day before. It was hard to stay out of their way and keep the kids busy those 2 days. 

One of our movers got a big cut in his leg when he fell from a ladder in the moving truck. Lucky for him, Nate had decided to keep a suture kit with him (instead of letting them pack it) in case anything happened while we moving. Nate stitched him up in our kitchen.

We slept on an air mattress Tuesday night, and the kids were on the floor and in the pack n play. Moving is SOOOOO much work, even when someone does almost all of it for you! It took us forever to clean the house Wednesday morning and get last minute things taken care. We also found out that morning that the offer we had accepted months ago on our home wasn't going to go through. Back on the market we went. As we pulled away from our house forever to head to Utah I felt very stressed, but no tears or sadness as we left.

It was really nice to be in Utah for a few days before making the long drive. I think it was also a good transition period for the kids...something fun and familiar to do before heading to a new place and new home. We spent the 4th of July and also Friday in Orem and had such a great time with family.

Saturday and Sunday we met up with family in Salt Lake. We are so blessed to have so many awesome people in our life!

Monday morning we began our drive to Maryland!