Hello there again to my internet friends. :) I had put my blog to rest once again and didn't know if I'd return, but here I am at the beginning of a new year and on the cusp of a new life for my family. The hiatus with my blog was due, in part, to preparing for the move we will embark upon in just a few, short days, as well as learning the ropes of my own, little, Mary Kay business.
SO MUCH remains in transition for us, but words are a constant for me, whether it is in my own journal, on Facebook, or here. A blog really is quite different from Facebook - more work, actually - but just as this effort to move north from Florida to Minnesota is probably the most challenging undertaking of my life, it is worth it. And keeping a blog to share with my mom and Jerry, in particular, and my Florida and other long-distance friends in general is worth the time and effort too.
I am beyond thrilled to be moving home to Minnesota, despite the cold weather that awaits us. I will miss the friends we have made in the 8 years we have been here in Florida, but will be seeing and doing life with family and friends that I have sorely missed these past eight years too. Eight years! That is the longest period of time I have spent in any one house in my life! Five years was the prior record, so by all accounts, this one has smashed it!
One of the things I have learned, though, in this eight years, is that for me, family trumps good weather. I've also learned that although winter is not my favorite season, I did miss it. Not as much as I ached for autumn... but I did, indeed, miss winter.
We'll be getting reacquainted right quick. Is God having a little chuckle, moving us back north in January??
We'll be renting for the first 6 months there and then looking for a place to settle into. Settle. Oh, how I pray that is true. This undertaking has been about a year-and-a-half in the making - much too long being in transition for this bird who truly loves to feather her nest. That said, God has continued to make a way for us: a fabulous rental down here since moving out of our home in November and another one waiting for us up there - just FIVE blocks from my sweet sister's home! My sweet sister who has been instrumental in making arrangements for us on the northern side of this venture.
I am so very excited about our rental! It is an older home in the city, not only close to my sister, but a block and a half from a library in one direction and 2 blocks from a local coffee shop in the other direction. I haven't lived in the city in over 12 years! I do love city living, but it will likely be the temporary stop it is intended to be, as my husband is a country boy at heart. We're hoping to compromise with a small town setting just outside the city, but all that remains to be seen. High on our list of priorities is WALKABILITY. We truly want to be in walking and/or biking distance to a town central. We'll have some of that with this new rental, so we're excited for this new prospect.
We are busy saying
good-bye "see you later" to friends and family here (I remain ever-thankful for the advances in communications over the last few years. Skype and social networking are brilliant). One example of this is the photo above of our new year's gathering with some of the members of our house church this past Sunday night. If you're ever in the Bradenton/Sarasota area, be sure to look up "Sonrise" house church to stop in and say hello. You will be welcomed warmly by a fun and loving group of people!
The next few days will be filled with more packing and trying to keep things organized and as smooth and normal as possible. My poor birdy of 13 years, Pistachio, has begun plucking her feathers due to the stress and all the kitties know something is up. The girls are excited for the move (a place we've had to arrive at), so that is making things so much easier. School remains on the back burner as we make this next-to-final leg of this crazy journey. I expect we'll start homeschooling again come mid-January - only two weeks off our schedule, so not too much to fret about.
In the meantime, I am enjoying a little respite this evening, visiting many of your blogs. It is good to see normal, daily life happening in your homes, even if it isn't in mine! Heather just moved. I hope to maintain as much grace in my own life as her photos reflect hers.
I'm also enjoying seeing a theme exhibited in the blogosphere of late: a little less of trying to create and online, little, perfect world and a little bit more of a personal-journal voice. I read a number of blogs that reflected some of that over Christmas: not as many people trying to achieve the 100% handmade holiday, photograph it perfectly, and then write a brilliant essay about it all. :) I do like looking at pieces like that from time to time, but that's not going to be what's happening here. I'm lucky to be showing up here at all! That's perfectly clear! :) Hopefully, I'll keep up with somewhat of a regular posting schedule once we settle in, but you all know that you can find me over at Facebook if I haven't stopped by here for a bit.
It feels good to be back though. I''ll be saying that now and in just a few more days: it feels so good to be back!