Monthly Archives: July 2015

Celebration Vacation

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So we moved July 10th.  The girls arrived with my mom and youngest sister on Wednesday the 15th.  They stayed until Sunday evening, flying home on the 19th.  We spent the 20th planning a little trip for our family to see more of the East Coast and to celebrate the completion of residency.  We headed north the next day and spent the night about an hour out of Plymouth Massachusetts.  We spent all day Wednesday touring Plymouth Plantation, downtown Plymouth, a replica of the Mayflower that brought the Pilgrims to America almost 400 years ago and a working grist mill.  It was a very full, fun day!  When we were done for the day and heading towards Maine, the girls were already planning our next trip back to the area 🙂

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We made it to Bangor, ME late Wednesday night.  The next few days we spent eating lobster, flying kites, touring Bar Harbor, hiking, collecting shells and swimming.  It was so much fun!  I must say we got lobstered out and the last night we were there we got pizza 🙂

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Elliana was the only one not too keen on the seafood.  She’s kind of going through a semi-picky food phase of some sort.  Grace and Clara were very adventurous and loved it all!  We loved the roadside stands selling lobster.  Back in Illinois, it would have been corn 🙂  New England is a gorgeous area!  The East Coast seems like such a history-rich area.  I love it!  Coming from miles and miles of flat Midwestern corn and bean fields,  I loved all the areas we drove through: mountains, lots of woods, the ocean…I also loved seeing all the fishing boats, harbors, lighthouses.  We debated whether or not to extend our trip by one more day and swing into Vermont since we hit every New England state but that one.  As it ended up, we left Bangor Saturday morning, stopped in Portland to see the lighthouse, ran into a Trader Joes to get food for the rest of the trip so we wouldn’t need to stop for meals and arrived home close to midnight Saturday.  The following Sunday was George’s first day of work and I would be going to church solo with the kids.  We wanted to get home by Sunday so we could go to church at home in hopes of maybe finding a church home for this year.  We were up until 1:30 trying to decide where to go and you can read the rest of the story here.  🙂

 

I will post more pictures of Maine soon!

Welcome to our new home!

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God provided a beautiful HOUSE for us to live in during George’s fellowship.  We are thrilled to have our own space, our own yard, a BIG yard at that, bigger bedrooms, two bathrooms, an ice maker in the freezer (these last three were on Grace’s wishlist), a driveway, a full size washer and dryer, very nice landlady, big closets and attic for storage, space to plant a garden, friendly neighbors and so much more!  (Above: Front of our house, dining room to the left of the front door and living room to the right of the front door)

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Downstairs bathroom/laundry room and kitchen

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Upstairs bathroom and Lydia’s room

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Grace, Ellie and Clara’s bedroom and bottom is George and my bedroom

First friends

We got home from our little family vacation up to Plymouth Plantation and Maine late last night around 11:30pm  George and I contemplated extending it one more day, swinging over to Vermont (since that was the only New England state we missed on our road trip) and driving the rest of the way home today.  We decided to just head home, even though we’d be getting in late.  That way we could continue our church search together since next week, I will be going somewhere solo as it’s George’s first day at work.  It was late by the time we got everyone in the house, freshened somewhat, back to bed and most of our stuff carried in.  At 1:00am we were looking at church websites of places a friend of a friend recommended.  We decided where we were going and went to bed.

Surprise, surprise, we were a little late this morning.  The girls ate bananas and granola bars on in the car on our way to church and I didn’t have time to feed Lydia before we left the house.  After the worship service, right before the sermon, Lydia was starting to fuss so I took her out to feed her.  I then was standing in the back, right outside the sanctuary, trying to listen to the sermon.  There were a few other ladies in the hall who introduced themselves.  One’s name was Becky who had a 5 month old baby boy with her.  After introductions, she asked me if she had met me before.  I told her probably not as this was our first time at this church.  After a few minutes, she left to feed her baby and I was introduced to a couple other ladies who were also originally from IL or attended school there.  One lady from Springfield was asking me where we were from, why we moved here, where we lived, etc.  When I told her where we moved to, she was super excited because that was also the neighborhood Becky lived in.  Then I put two and two together…  We have neighbors, Becky and Mark, who live directly across the street from us and have two kids.  We had been meaning to go over to officially introduce ourselves, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.  It ends up also that a lady I’ve been communicating with via email who is a part of the Side by Side group here is a good friend of Becky’s!  Small world!!  Becky is a stay-at-home mom too and was giving me the load down on where to go for groceries, which Target to go to, etc.  We’re going to go over to cook out tonight.  I’m super excited to meet new friends here, and for the added benefit of them being close neighbors and believers!

(I promise I will get more pictures and details of our moving adventures up soon!)

We are officially moved!

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This is back-dated just for reference sake, but it has currently been just over a week since we arrived at our new home.  The week of our move was a busy one!  Monday the 6th, a dear friend stopped by and picked the girls and I up for a picnic at a wonderful Chicago park.  We enjoyed our time with Marcia and I was so happy we were able to say good bye.  Marcia, along with another lady, headed the Side by Side chapter in Chicago and has been an immense blessing and encouragement to me and ultimately George and our children.  I am so thankful our paths crossed back when George was going through med school!

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Tuesday, another thoughtful and generous friend picked up Grace, Ellie and Clara for the entire day! They went to Blackberry Farm in Aurora, spent most of the day there, then had a pizza picnic in their neighborhood garden.  She brought them back excited, worn out and fed 🙂  George’s brother-in-law had been staying with us up until Tuesday.  While the kiddos were gone, I did A LOT of laundry and a lot of organizing!  I had to wash a lot of bedding since the girls had been sleeping on pallets and Eddie was in their room.  Thankfully, our landlords moved about a month ago and the downstairs apartment was vacant.  That gave me an extra washer and dryer in the basement and I kept both running all day.  When Amanda brought the girls back, I don’t know that it looked like I had accomplished much, but I had things cleaned and organized and ready to be boxed up.

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The girls’ fun day with Miss Amanda and Emma!  We miss these ladies!!!

Wednesday morning, we all drove out to Forest Park so George could say goodbye to his parents, who have been in the U.S. since the end of May.  We left him at a coffee shop to study while I brought the girls and my in-laws to my grandparents’ house in Naperville.  (I know…complicated 🙂  My mom was visiting her parents and was going to bring our oldest 3 and George’s parents back to their house with her.  I was thankful that I was able to see my grandparents again before we moved!   They have been such a blessing to us during our years in Chicago.  Granted, they didn’t live super close and we didn’t get to see them all the time, but we would drive out about once a month or so and spend the day with them, driving back into the city after supper/rush hour.  We are already missing them!  My grandma always made delicious meals when we visited, Grandpa always made sure the kids got a sweet treat and was so happy and willing to help us with anything…washing the car, taking it in for repairs, loading and unloading things we were storing in their basements….etc, etc.  We even stayed out there a couple times when we didn’t have the greatest a/c situation and it was scorching hot in our apartment.  By the time I got back home after saying goodbyes, picking up George and running some necessary errands, it was almost 5pm.  I still had a lot of packing left to do and was up until 2am putting things in boxes.

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Ready to pull our of Chicago

Thursday was the day of George’s board exam.  It was an all day test, but seems to have gone well. He won’t find out his results until October.  My aunt and cousins came to say goodbye in the evening before George got home.  Lydia and I were packing things all day.  Now that the other girls were not around I could put everything in boxes and it went a lot faster.  Hopefully this will be the last time that we move ourselves, but I’m actually glad that I could box everything up so that unpacking was somewhat more organized and so I could get rid of things we didn’t need or use.  In the future, even if we hire movers, I think I want to do the packing.

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One last picture in front of 3614 N Hoyne- our home for the five years of residency.  We moved in with one child and left with four!

After George’s test was over, he had dinner with his co-residents.  When he got home, we walked up to Scooter’s custard one last time to celebrate having this test behind us.  My sister, Therese, came up on the train late Thursday night.  The three of us were up until 2am again packing, taking down light fixtures, taking beds apart, etc.  Finally everything was set to go for moving day.

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Unpacking at the new house

Friday morning I dropped George off to get the truck and when I came back our moving help was at our house.  All together there were 10 of us.  It took a lot longer to pack everything into the truck than either of us thought.  We started around 8am and were pulling out of town after noon.  We couldn’t have done it without our awesome, hard working friends!  George drove the truck out here with Eddie riding shotgun.  Therese, Lydia and I drove the car.  We stopped at my aunt and uncle’s house in Cleveland, which was about halfway.  We were kind of in a time crunch because we had lined up friends out here to help us unload Saturday afternoon and we had to hit the road pretty early Saturday to make it on time.

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Our new home for this year

The plan was for the girls to not wait on the guys (who had to drive slower in the truck).  We were all set with our cleaning supplies to get things spit-spot before the truck arrived and all our stuff was brought in.  Our previous two places were not clean at all when we moved in.  The floors and cabinets were pretty dirty and needed scouring before we unpacked our stuff.  Much to our surprise and delight, the land lady had this place sparkling!  She was working in the lawn when we arrived and was able to show us around.  The guys were about an hour and a half behind us so we got a little time to chill.  It took about 2.5 hours to unload everything and move it into the house.  We had three extra guys helping us.  After they left, we had some Chick fil a, returned the truck and began unpacking boxes.  We stayed up until the wee hours of the morning Sunday and Monday.  Therese and I put the last things away around 4am Monday morning…a mere 33 hours- give or take a bit.  We couldn’t have gotten it finished so quickly without Therese and Eddie’s help!

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Enjoying our front porch.  I love porches (and window boxes)!

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Taking our helpers out for Maryland seafood!

Monday we drove around downtown Baltimore and ran to a few stores.  Tuesday morning we got up nice and early to drop Eddie off at the airport.  Therese didn’t leave until Tuesday evening.  We ended up spending the day in Annapolis, taking a nap, touring the Naval Academy, eating some seafood…in that order 🙂

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Counting down

Our days here are numbered. Tomorrow will be our last Sunday to worship with our church family at the Moody Church. Monday Georges parents fly into town and will be more goodbyes with other dear friends.  Tuesday I’ve arranged with a friend to watch our older girls so I can pack more stuff, Wednesday my mom is taking our girls for a week while we move and unpack.  Thursday is George’s board exam, Friday we pack our truck and head out, Saturday we arrive at our new home.  Have a feeling this busy week is going to fly by! imageHappy 4th of July!  We are so grateful to live in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!