Monday, December 27, 2010

A very long car trip

So on December 26th at 7:00 am we left Jacksonville for the final leg of our move to Virginia. According to my TomTom it should have been a 10 hour ride. A bit daunting since we had the car packed to the limit with personal possessions, not to mention Christmas presents, the 4 of us and Sadie.
It started off fairly well. It was a bit cold and drizzly but we were excited for the new adventure. Still pumped over a wonderful Christmas with Jen, Jeremy & Charlie. We celebrated as we passed the state line ~ leaving Florida and entering Georgia.
Julianne slept through Georgia and into South Carolina ~ still making great time. Richard and I getting to chat and catch up on the last couple of weeks since he was in VA and I in Fla supervising the move. Nate was happy in the backseat playing on his Ipod touch. All was right with the world. Nate asked if we thought the rain would turn to snow. Richard was doubtful but I predicted we'd see snow about the time we were leaving North Carolina. BOY we we ever wrong!
We were still in So. Carolina when Richard said ~ some of these rain drops are looking a bit like snow. Sure enough, I could see a flake or two mixed in the rain and within 10 minutes of that conversation ~ it was full on snowing! No snow on the ground or the road which was great but definitely a good snow. The kids were excited.
DSC01930By the time we got to North Carolina ~ this was the view all around us. It was beautiful. The sun was shining and the roads were still clear.
Of course not much further than that and we starting running into much slower traffic, sometimes coming to a complete stop. DSC01931

It was pretty funny though, stopping to get gas and take Sadie for a walk ~ more importantly, her first walk EVER in the snow. DSC01927 She wasn't quite sure what to do but she was certain she didn't want to squat in it! DSC01929 As you can see Nate was quite amused at poor little Sadie DSC01928 but eventually she got her business done and we got back on the road.

The excitement doesn't end there though folks... all this stop and go traffic had us running a bit behind and about the time we hit the Virginia border it was already getting very dark. It did stop snowing about then which was good but the roads were still very wet and the signs everywhere were blinking warnings of ice on the road. The road was also getting much more populated and people in Virginia ~ You all drive waaay too fast! The uncertainty of where we were, combined with the weather conditions in the dark had me really nervous. I had to keep remembering to unclench my teeth ~ but by the time we reached our house ~ three and a half hours later than we had hoped ~ I was a wreck.
But, thanks to my darling husband, we reached our destination safely and in one piece. We were all pretty tense ~ the kids getting on each others nerves as well as ours but I supposed that's to be expected from a 13 1/2 hour car trip in a packed car. We stopped and got some dinner/breakfast (Thank you IHOP) right by the house.
We are sleeping on lawn chairs, blow up mattresses and floors. But we are here ~ so let our new life begin!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Charlie meets Santa

So, the kids and I arrived in Jacksonville on the 23rd and just in time to go with Charlie to sit on Santa's lap.  The line at the mall to meet Santa was LONG  ~ but it was Charlie's first Christmas and well worth the wait.  I have to say, she was a trooper.  You'd think waiting in line for well over an hour, she'd start to get cranky but she did awesome.   Between all 5 of us, we kept her (and each other) entertained.   We took turns staying with Charlie and alternatively checking out the mall, making soda and cookie runs.   Charlie was enthralled by all the people and watching so much activity going on around her.
When it was her turn, she was great.  Gave him a good looking over at first but then a nice big smile for her official picture.  Below are a few from my camera.  They definitely tell a story.

And finally she had enough ~

Here's hoping Santa is good to you and brings you everything you want!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Time to Say Goodbye

I really hate Goodbye's but I guess sometimes they are necessary in order to move forward. We loved living in Rockledge. We loved the Florida Sun....our house (especially the pool). The kids went to good schools and had good friends. We were close to family and friends. We were very comfortable with where we were. But it's time to move on...
DSC01824The packers came on the 21st of December. Three guys. They were supposed to be done in one day. It took one guy all day to pack just my sewing room. I think it was a combination of his slacking and the fact that my sewing room has a massive amount of stuff in it.
DSC01827One of the packers had to come back the next day and he packed while three other guys loaded the truck. Talk about a long day. The kids mostly stayed out with their friends while I "supervised" ie... made sure that everything got packed and loaded. I'm sure glad I did. I found kitchen drawers not packed, medicine cabinets not packed and they almost forgot all the stuff out on the patio.
In any case ~ packed and loaded and ready to say good-bye.DSC01823

Friends came to say so long DSCN1550
It was strange to see the house emptyDSCN1564
Sadie in the car and ready to go DSCN1568
Good bye to Dr. Badaloto(s) &  Dr. Baker ~ they are the best! You have taken great care of Richard and I DSC01820

Goodbye to Dr. Tebbe.  The kids will miss you. DSCN1534

Goodbye to our neighborhood Walgreens. It was within walking distance and always where we stopped to get movie candy before heading to the theatre DSCN1584

And probably the last time we will get on I95 here DSCN1585 Thanks Julz for documenting these!

Goodbye to Ralph Williams Elementary

Goodbye to McNair Middle
Goodbye to the City of Rockledge ~ we loved living there. 

Most importantly to all of our friends we leave behind ~ we will miss you the most!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Time with Charlie

Not that I had anything else going on ... but I recently got to have Charlie all to myself (well sans parents) for a wonderful week.
Jen was flying all over the country (7 schools = 14 flights) checking out possible Universities to teach at. She was fortunate to have so many schools wanting to fly her out to check out their school for her consideration. It was great that she had such a diversity in schools ~ and surprising to her that ones she thought she'd love, she really didn't and ended up falling in love with a last minute consideration. And because she is such an incredible person ~ I'm happy to report she received and accepted her first choice of schools, Salisbury University in Maryland. This will bring her (along with Jeremy and most importantly Charlie) under 3 hours from where we will be living. I am one happy GRAMMY/MOMMIE!  I'm also incredibly proud of her and the work she has done and continues to do.

DSC01732DSC01735Anyway...back to Charlie...  Since Jen was gone for the week and Jeremy had to work, Charlie came to stay with Grammy.  I had so much to do but I'm telling you, there is nothing I wouldn't do for this child so everything else took a back seat to my little Smooshy!   She is now almost 8 months old and just getting cuter and cuter.  So much fun and so quick to smile.  She's also becoming very mobile... crawling all over the place.  She actually pulled herself up while she was in the pack and play so I had to take the top bed piece out.   She had a bit of a cold while she was here and as much I hate her being sick I loved that she only wanted to be with Grammy at  times when she was tired.  Speaking of tired, I was worn out!  This is why people my age don't have babies.  Thank goodness for Grampy, Auntie Julz and Uncle Nate taking turns with Charlie, giving me a chance to make dinner, straighten up or just collapse!    Special props to Julz who had Charlie just screaming with laughter.  I wish I had been able to get video.  Charlie and I were sitting on the bed and Julz would run and flip over and off the bed, jump up and say "Ta Da!" and Charlie would just crack up... Julianne is so smitten with this child.  She said "I would do ANYTHING to make her smile." How adorable is that?  And Charlie loves her right back. Here she is giving Auntie Julz baby kisses!
I can't believe that after Christmas I will have almost 3 months till I see her again.  Good thing I will be busy unpacking, learning my way around Virgina and getting settled in.  You can believe one of the first things I'll do will be to set up Skype!

One of the coolest moments of having Charlie here though was her seeing her mommy and daddy when they came in the door after not seeing them for a week.  I've never seen a baby smile so big.  I have to say, I was happy to see them too.  We all had a wonderful evening  ~ we all ended up in my room, more specifically most of them in my bed.  Hanging out, playing with Charlie.... catching up with each other and just having great family time.  I will say, though I think we may need to get a family bed cause there was a point where all 7 of us (not to mention the pups) were on the bed.
DSC01760The next day we all went to the Cocoa Christmas parade.  Nate was marching with his school band (drums, of course) and so we all braved the cold to cheer him on.  Charlie was excited to see all the bands and cars and horses go by.  Julz got pelted with candy and came home with a big ol bag full.  All in all a successful parade.DSC01755 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Moving update

It's been a really crazy week. It's been busy, fun, sad, exciting all at once. Kids finished up school on Friday, having half days most of the week.
DSC01776We all drove down to South Florida on Sunday for some good-byes
On Monday Richard and I drove to Tampa for some more good byes. Unfortunately we didn't get to see everyone we wanted, well at least I didn't. He dropped me off at my friend Ann's house and he went and had lunch with a group of friends from his old company and then came and picked me back up so we could get back over here before Julianne got home. My friends are all over the place in Tampa and getting them all together would have been impossible. I was so enjoying myself (I hadn't gotten to see Ann in years) that I forgot to take a pic of us, duh! And both of us had cameras with us. Well good news is that we have already made plans to get together this summer!
Richard spent his last week at work saying good bye here and lunching with friends from work ~ most of whom have also lost their jobs.  I had lunch with a couple of friends at a great restaurant. It's called Vintage 56 and it was really good ~ so good I took Richard there again on Friday so he could experience it as well.  I had the PLT which is basically a BLT with pancetta, field greens, red and yellow tomatoes,  and fresh mozzarella. They come with a side of sweet potato fries with a raspberry dipping sauce that is just fantastic!  I highly recommend this place if you are ever in Rockledge, FLA.

Richard left yesterday for Virginia.  He stopped in Dunn, NC last night and is back on the road again this morning.  I think he's got about 5 hours to go.  Of course when he left here yesterday it was in the high 60's and he just called and said he is seeing patches of snow on the ground already!  Makes me cold just thinking about it.
Julz and Nate spent the night with friends a couple of houses down.  I think there are 2 boys and 5 girls there.  I'm thinking none of them got much sleep.  Me, I spent the night wrapping Christmas presents and wondering how I'm going to get them all in the car along with everything else we need to bring with us to VA!

Today is cleaning out the fridge and getting laundry caught up and our bags packed.  Monday is filled with drs appts.  Kids need physicals for the new school.  I need to get new script refills, etc.  I also have 2 overnight bags to make for a customer  ~ what was I thinking??? I did put my Etsy shop "on vacation" till after the first of the year but hoping to open it back up with even more stuff so stay tuned for that.

Well duty calls ~ actually Sadie calls... she need to go out NOW!  Speaking  of Sadie she is realizing that something is going on and is starting to freak out just a bit!  Good thing she has a black nose ... we may lose her in the upcoming snow!

If I don't get to post again before Christmas, I'm wishing you all the merriest of holidays and the safest of New Years!  Would love to hear your plans for the holidays!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's a done deal!

Well we got the house in Ashburn ~ and we are very excited. Richard leaves for VA in less than a week ~ the packers and movers will be here a few days after that and then we are outta here. We, the kids and I, will head to Jacksonville for Christmas with Jen, Jeremy & Charlie ~ picking up Richard at the Orlando airport on the way. 2 days in Jacksonville and then the four of us will drive home to Virginia together.
In case you are wondering, we are still in denial about the whole thing! It just seems so unreal! And I am ready for Christmas ~ not at all!!! We've already warned the kids, things will be a bit different this year. My car will have to hold everything the kids and I will need for the move PLUS all the Christmas gifts for them and J&J&C. It's gonna be a bit cramped! Presents are going to have to be small! I think some of their bigger gifts will be pictures of their gifts in little boxes wrapped up ~ to be purchased after the move. They are such great kids though, and they will be cool with that.

Here are a few pics we took of the new house. I'll post more once we get up there.
The kitchen DSC01628
The family room DSC01629
The front of the house DSC01633
The 3 season room and deck in back DSC01634
View looking from the front of the house DSC01636
Well... gotta run... heading south today to say some good byes.... Stay tuned!