It is weird that it has been over six months since the storm changed our life forever. The past three weeks have been a whirl. Josh and I went to Wichita, Kansas to see some good friends. Josh was able to see their son who entered this world in a dramatic fashion. It was so good to see them.
After we returned "home" I decided to investigate movers. I know that I am a little late in the game at this point, but I figured why not try? I contacted six or seven companies and received an online quote of $1700 from one. The estimated cost of moving ourselves at this point was $1600 with gas and rentals included. I figured that I might as well try. Over the next week I received two phone calls regarding these inquiries. That's right I contacted six companies and (in a down economy) two returned my calls. The one that gave me the online quote of $1700 increased the bid by $1000 after speaking with me because I have a set of stairs and they could not give me a firm move-in date which I need because I am moving into a large city that requires elevator reservations. The second one no-showed Josh after he took off work to meet them. So what a bust!
Josh had a tooth extracted that week and I went to Austin, Texas to see my mother. I feel like I have a check off list of people to see, but I do not have enough time to spend with each of them. I know intellectually that I will be able to see them again, but when? I have so many emotions going through my mind right now and they are hard to express. I had a wonderful visit with my mother, but I did not feel like it was long enough. I then went to Fort Worth to see my father and my "Texas Grandmother". It was fantastic to see them all. I miss living in Texas near them, but I know that it is not the right time for us to live in Texas.
While I was in Texas the sixth month anniversary of the storm occurred. It is just a strange realization that six months ago I was in beautiful Miami, Florida celebrating and thinking that life was great. I was considering my new job and my recent graduation. I was planning to take the master's level licensure exam in Missouri and thinking about completing the clinical requirements for a social work license. Little did I know how my life would change. Especially with the knowledge that Josh and I are now moving to Pennsylvania in less than one months. It is strange how God intervenes. Proverbs 19:21 says, "Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails." How true this is in our situation. I hope that I will continue to rejoice in what the Lord will provide for us in the next few months.
When I returned to our "house" I did a load of laundry and then repacked as it was time for the great Arkansas Thanksgiving Tour. We started on Wednesday in Little Rock to see Josh's aunt. Thursday we traveled to Camden, Arkansas to see his paternal grandmother and that side of the family. It was really great to see them and spend so much time with our nephew. On Friday we traveled to Delight, Arkansas to see his maternal grandmother and rest of the family. I have never eaten more Thanksgiving meals in my life as I did these four days. It was good, but I am tired of Turkey and southern dressing at the end of the weekend. (Southern Dressing is cornbread dressing for those that are unfamiliar with the regional differences in dressing preparation. I am most familiar with northern dressing which is breadcrumb based and traditionally has some sort of fruit--cranberries or apples--along with onions and celery. YUM!)
The Monday after Thanksgiving I started packing. I am moving in two weeks from Tuesday at this point and I am feeling overwhelmed. I have not reserved a moving truck, Josh and I have still not settled on how we are going to transport all our belongings, I have a going away party on Sunday, and we have not packed anything. Then on top of all this Christmas is coming and I have not started shopping for Josh. Yay...I am done with my family though, so that helps. After five days, I have most everything packed that is not needed for the next week. The garage below our apartment is no where near full of stuff and we are almost done. I keep walking past our stuff thinking that we should have more stuff. We don't. (insert shoulder shrug) We reserved a moving truck with a car dolly on Wednesday.
On Friday Josh and I went to his office Christmas party and then we went to the game store to hangout with our friends. On Saturday Josh's dad was supposed to come and pick up my family furniture that was salvaged from our house, but needs to be repaired. It rained all day Saturday and so we postponed this until next weekend at which time Josh's family will also pick up my car. We are selling my car and becoming a one car family. Josh's friend came into town for our going away party and they watched the Oklahoma State game. It was good to have everything going on, but I am stressed. On Sunday we all went to church and then we went to the going away party. It is bittersweet to be leaving this place. I am very glad to be moving on, but I am sad about moving away. We have made so many good friends here and they will all be missed greatly.
After the party Josh and I went home and two of our friends came with us to play games. When we got back Josh stayed outside and I could not figure out why. I went to check on him and as I was leaving the garage he was holding a bouquet of flowers and talking with someone. He tells someone to turn on the camera and asks me to come out. I have no idea what is going on. As I come out, there are two women and one starts to say that she is from Abilene Christian University and they want to give me a new diploma. I am overwhelmed. It is such a small thing, but it means so much to me. I enjoyed my time at ACU so much and I was so disappointed when I saw my diploma after the storm. It was so wonderful of the Alumni office at ACU to give me a new one that was framed. It means so much to me. I am just so thankful to them and especially the two women who drove here to present it to me. I am also so thankful to Ron Hadfield for coordinating this. I cannot say thank you enough. So I will end this blog with a HUGE THANK YOU to all that helped with this including my wonderful husband who finally surprised me!!!