Here's the highlights:
The first two weeks of December, I worked harder than I may have ever worked in my life, packing up our family to move, scrubbing down the old house, preparing our new house (spackle, paint, pulling down wallpaper, etc.), and trying to keep the children and myself alive and well through it all. Thankfully I have friends who love me, who stopped in here and there during that OH SO HECTIC holiday month to help out an hour or two here or there, wherever they could.
Learning to skip-trowel the bathroom walls
Getting ready to paint with the PERFECT WARM WHITE (thanks Becca...) ;-)
Cutting old caulking out of the shower
Wiping the sanding dust off the new kitchen table (built by our friend Josh, finished by Jonah, Elijah and me)
Giving a worn look to the new table by sanding stain off the edges
There's nothing like applying a poly-coat with a Crayola watercolor brush...
Table in progress (I promise a finished pic soon -- we've been using it in our new kitchen since we moved in!)
A rather fabulous housewarming gift (thank you Becca!)
Greg graduated from the nearly year-long course he'd been taking and drove home to live with us again (yay!!) on December 14th. We sent our children to spend the weekend with friends, then spent those two days cleaning and packing all of the last minute things. On Monday and Tuesday (17th and 18th), a bunch of our friends came and helped us load all of our boxes into a U-Haul truck, get it officially weighed at a truck-stop (so the Army would pay us per pound for household goods), and move everything into our new place.
Once we'd gotten everything in, Greg and I began the huge task of unpacking and setting up our new home...this time, in a place we plan to live in for the rest of our lives. (For those of you who are wondering -- yes, Greg will still be stationed other places at different points in the remaining 8-10 years of his career, but we felt this was the best choice for our children and me to stay here, and for him to live with us as often as he possibly can.)
We took Christmas Day off as a time to just enjoy our children and each other, but then got back to work the next day, and managed to get the house almost entirely set up by our goal date: New Year's Eve.
Opening gifts from family on the East Coast using Skype
We had a great big "first party" on New Year's Eve with friends and neighbors to christen the new house, and it was an incredible feeling -- for the first time ever, we were really, truly HOME.
Greg and I with Angela and Josh
It was a costume party, so Tom and Susanne dressed up as the kids from Weird Science. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of them with their bra-head get-ups together, but it's hard to shoot anything while hosting a party of this size!
I LOVE JENNY!!
Greg took leave from the day of his graduation until the end of last week, so we made sure to get in some daytime dates.
Early morning run with my favorite guy
Antique store browsing - one of our favorite relaxing, low-key dates
...might this be the beginning of a teacup collection for my studio....?
On Friday morning, he began the process of signing back in at Ft Hood, and yesterday was his first full day back to work.
Today, I'm sitting here at my computer typing this, thinking how crazy it is that...just like that...after all of the effort, sweat, tears, projects, emotions, struggles...here we are, living our normal life again. Family. Together. Jonah's taking a nap. The three older children are just about to walk in the door from school. I will start dinner. In 3 hours my children will jump on Greg as he walks in the door with his Army uniform on, ready to eat dinner with us. Just like that. It's good to be together.
Well. I hope I didn't bore you to the point of tears, and everyone still has their eyes. I've got some ideas for blogging in the coming year, and mostly...I'm just glad to be HOME HOME HOME!!!