I neglected to blog Thursday about the fact that we moved one year ago. Close your mouth, I know, I couldn't believe it either. In a way, it feels like we moved last month. This year positively flew by! On the other hand, it's almost as though we've lived here forever. We were welcomed into the small congregation here so quickly and openly. I honestly don't think I could be as happy as I am today if we didn't have a church here, I just don't know what I would do.
We moved here after Jeff graduated from "airplane school" so he could start his job as a mechanic at the airport. He had opportunities to work in Idaho or Texas but we chose here. We get free flights through American and American Eagle airlines, anywhere they fly. I remember dreaming about all the trips we could take and even the "we'll just fly to Maine for a lobster dinner and come back" trips we would take. Guess how many times we've flown in this past year? Once. That's right. Just once. We went to visit Jeff's aunt and uncle in Texas. Now, I have to go off topic for a minute (oh wait, that's nothing new). I had NEVER met his aunt and uncle before going on that trip. Talk about stepping outside my comfort zone! The trip went really well, his aunt is EXACTLY like his mom and his uncle is incredibly inquisitive so there was never a silent, awkward moment. I'm really glad we went and we're still trying to figure out when we'll be able to go again. Anyways, back to flight benefits. As good as that sounds, American has no direct flights downstate so it's actually a lot easier to drive when we visit our families. Bummer dude.
Jeff graduated at the end of October (if I remember correctly, and I usually don't) and was scheduled to start training on the 17th of November. I think we both worked up until the 7th so we would have a full week to finish packing, get everything up north, and settle in somewhat. We moved on the 12th because my sister Jeanie's birthday is on the 11th and she wanted us to be there. We left that Wednesday morning with our cars loaded down and nothing but the raaaadiooo. Actually, I had CD's, Jeff was gracious enough to let me drive the car with the CD player...the only car we have these days. I think it snowed that day. And stayed until May, and that's no lie. I don't know if I mentioned it before but, we had never seen our apartment before we moved in that day. Jeff went up north one weekend in October and I told him not to come back until we had a place to live. He came back. I wish I had a picture of the outside of the building so you would understand why my brother Danny thought it was haunted. We think it was an old school. There are a lot of apartments like that up here; my sister's apartment used to be a gas station. I can't remember the actual number of stairs to get to our apartment but I can tell you this, there were quite a few! It was the classic looking schoolhouse building with the stairs in front and then we were on the second floor and there were two floors to our apartment. It was a pretty neat setup, the biggest downfall was that it was the only unit that hadn't been renovated. We had faux wood paneling with nail holes all over the place, and a previous tenant's decorations. Let me put it this way, when I asked our landlord about nail/screw holes in the wall, he didn't respond with words, he laughed. Besides the paneling, there were three different styles of carpet in orange (shag), beige (berber), and green (that flat looped style). The bathroom had yellow toilet/sink/shower and SPONGE-PAINTED walls. In a really ugly sea green I might add. Not to mention two different styles of linoleum. On our first morning there, I was making eggs and the second the aroma started wafting through the air, a mouse came out from UNDER THE CABINETS. We bought mouse traps that very same day and caught it that night. I never saw a sign of mice again after that, although I thought for the longest time that we had one living in the gas furnace (we used the electric heat) until I realized it was the birds landing on the vent outside. It was an interesting place to say the least but I'm glad we were only there for three months. I got pregnant and what had already been cold was now freezing. It was very poorly insulated. The heat bill was the reason we moved, our heat is included in rent now!
(Don't mind the drool, it was coming out faster than I could wipe it off!)
I feel like this move was the beginning of a whole slew of changes in our lives. I have never been one to approach a group of people I don't know or try to meet new people. I wished that I was, I just never did anything about it. That has certainly changed! Neither of us knew anyone in this area before moving here. The first time we stayed overnight was when we were looking for a place to live (and we spent one of those nights in the car). Actually, I take that back, we both knew a few people that were going to school here and a family that used to live downstate. As far as married couples go, we didn't know anyone. Wait, I take that back again, my cousin lives here. The point is, we felt like we were moving to an area of complete strangers compared to how many people we know downstate. The thing is, I don't think we went to this church for the entire first month we were living here. We may have gone that first weekend but then we went downstate for Thanksgiving and up north after that. After what felt like forever, but was actually really quick, I finally met some of the married girls in the area. Before moving, someone had given me the number of one of the ladies up here who had wanted me to call when we moved. She ended up calling me in the beginning of December to go to a craft show. It was the most awkward thing (for the first three minutes) when I walked in by myself (I can't remember why I didn't ride with them) and tried to find a group of people that I had NEVER SEEN BEFORE! We managed to find each other somehow and I've been meeting up with them ever since.
Another thing that has changed a lot over the past year is my mode of transportation. I have always been the one to drive EVERYWHERE no matter how far or near. Now, if it's within a mile, I walk. Of course, the biggest reason for that is the fact that we are a one vehicle household, so oftentimes, I don't have a choice. However, I've noticed lately that even when Jeff is home, I'll still walk if I can. I never thought I'd see the day. It works out pretty well though; three of my friends live in the same town. I've walked a few times with one of them...and I really need to call her more often to go for walks.
Coincidentally, I've also become more interested in healthy eating. And I don't necessarily mean no sweets. I'm talking about organic and natural foods. It wasn't that long ago when I'd be the one saying "oh well, you're going to die somehow, you might as well eat it and enjoy it." Not anymore! I've started learning about food, the good and the bad, and it's been an eye-opening experience. While we can't afford to eat completely organic, we're taking baby steps to get there. For one, I don't buy any processed foods. Or none that I can think of at the moment. I make as much as I can from scratch, right down to bread and rolls. It's a lot of work but I love to cook and bake so it's been fun, and I'm learning all sorts of things along the way! Who would have thought of making crackers or pretzels? Yum! The thing is, homemade goods taste ten times better than the store-bought stuff. The fact that it's way better for you is an added bonus.
About a month after we moved I borrowed Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover from the local library. (Which was a Carnegie by the way, but nowhere near as nice as the one in my hometown.) We are now, slowly but surely, on our way to getting out of debt. It feels great knowing that, although this is taking longer than I would have liked, we are not accumulating any more debt in the process. As much as I would love a house right now, I am perfectly content to live in this apartment and pay rent for as long as we need to to get closer to our goal. I'm sure we'll have a mortgage when we get a house, although I would LOVE to be able to pay cash for our own home, I just don't think that is possible for us considering we don't know what the future holds.
And imagine that, we now have a three-month-old! This has been quite a year! It's not slowing down anytime soon either. My sisters and my mom and I just started a shop on Etsy. So come check out Circle Boutique! My sister Sara is the only one who is on the ball and listed her (baby) items so far. Emily and Amanda are doing a craft show today as is my mom. I am hoping to have some ornaments listed on Etsy by the end of the weekend. After all, Christmas is just around the corner!