I discovered that we have WAY to much stuff. It took two packers TWO days to pack the house and it took 4 grown men 8 hours WITHOUT stopping to load our stuff into a giant moving truck. The truck driver had to put his Harley Davidson back into his truck and then place a board over it so that he could add the last of our stuff. I apologized to him that he wouldn't have the opportunity to enjoy Memorial Day weekend in the Pikes Peak region on a Harley (I felt really bad and a little guilty).
We stayed in Colorado Springs through Memorial Day weekend and CLEANED. My mom was in town so we did take some time for one more last visit to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. I grabbed a big thing of lettuce and we headed off to feed the giraffes. We left Sam at home to PAINT. Have I mentioned how exhausted I was at the end of that weekend?
It was a little hard on the boys to have their last day of school on Friday, say good bye to all their friends and favorite teachers for the last time, and then come home to all their stuff being loaded onto a big moving truck. We'd talked about it for months and I was proud of how they handled everything. They really enjoyed "camping" on the floors for a few days.
On Monday then Ethan got to spend the entire day with his new found friend, Niyah. They were gone for 7 hours celebrating her birthday. Her mom kept sending me pictures on the phone of the two of them having fun roller skating, watching a movie, playing at the park, eating lunch... It was great. Because on Tuesday the poor kid had A LOT of dental drama! We stayed through Tuesday because we were planning a visit to the orthodontist to have his braces removed and retainers put in. We were supposed to have one appointment in the morning and then another in the afternoon. Instead Mike and Lou (the orthodontists, we are on a first name basis because they are that awesome) didn't feel like it was a good time to take the braces off. Instead they thought he needed a few teeth pulled on the bottom to give the middle four more room to straighten out. So we left the orthodontist at 9:30 went over to the Badurek's for a quick dip in the pool and then drove out to Falcon to Dr. Ron's office to get a few teeth pulled and then back into the Springs for Ethan to have his upper gums lasered because they were so swollen. It was a CRAZY day! Thankfully, I thought ahead and put the girls in daycare and Channing Badurek was a sweetheart and kept Ryan for me.
We left on Wednesday morning but not until after I had a 7:45 am appointment at Physical Therapy for my shoulder. Seriously, it was a really crazy 7 days. I've been going to PT because I have all this pain and limited movement in my shoulder and I didn't think I would be able to do all that was required of me for this move. It was a good decision on my part but added to the stress during the last 3 weeks in town. Scott, the PT, did some dry needling on my shoulder and trapezoid muscle and sent me out the door. It hurt in a really good way! :-) He was able to get a good release on all that tension. Then we got on down the road!
Our first stop was at Fort Riley, KS to see Sam's brother who just recently (10 days ago) got stationed there. He just finished PA school and this is his first rotation. The boys haven't seen him for at least 4 years and the girls have never met him. However, you would never have guessed that. Molly kept telling me for about two weeks after visiting with Ben..."Daddy's brother, my uncle Ben, was soooo nice to me. I like him!". Sometimes I could just gobble her up she's so dang cute!
The next stop was just East of Kansas City, MO at a KOA. I bought the biggest tent they had at Costco because I wanted to take the kids camping while we were travelling. We wanted to stop in Kansas City to take the boys to the newly opened Legoland Discovery Center (don't waste your time, it was an over glorified Chuck E. Cheese that we waited 90 minutes in line to get inside) so I figured it might be fun to camp. I had to listen to Sam grumble about it but once the tent was up and the kids were having a TON of fun then he stopped and enjoyed.
After the KOA then we got on down the road for Grandma Mary's house. We stayed with Sam's mom for one week. She just can't get enough of her grandkids. Typical Grandma. :-) While we were there then we did a couple of day trips. We had such a fun time at Fort Donelson. The kids loved all the great big cannons and Sam and I couldn't get enough of the eagles flying around. It's an eagle preservation area right along the Tennessee River and it's amazing. The troops that were there during the Civil War kept a bald eagle with them as a "pet". It's part of the history of the Fort. While were down on the river then we watched an eagle fly down above the river, catch a fish, fly right over the top of us, land in a tree, and eat it. It was so incredible.
We were finally started on the last leg of our journey to Augusta, GA! We were in two vehicles because Sam had left his car at his mom's house while we were packing and moving from CO. I got to drive the car (which had a torn up left fender after a texting teenage girl took a left turn right into our car while in Paris) all by myself. Sam claimed it was my "time alone". I told him if he thinks that an 9 hour drive in the car without kids while following him and all the kids counts as my "time alone" then he's completely missing the jist of what this momma needs. I need a VACATION!...alone....well maybe Sam can come...but that's it!
We had a little stop off to see Ruby Falls and Caverns (the largest indoor waterfall in the U.S.) before completing our drive.
We are so blessed to have a "summer" house here in Augusta while we search diligently for someplace to live. We have friends (he's deployed and she's from Atlanta) that have a house sitting empty. They offered to let us stay and enjoy it. It's in the most gorgeous neighborhood called Conifer Place. It's the kind of neighborhood I think of when I think of an old Southern neighborhood. There is some serious wealth floating around here! These homes are amazing and just fun to walk through pulling the kids in the wagon and looking at all the beautiful homes and gardens. Our friends rent a home in the "back" of the neighborhood. But believe me these homes are wonderful too. They are stacked right on top of each other but still have the most wonderful gardens and the neatest driveways and dividing walls. It's very typical of a European neighborhood and feels very European with a little Southern flair. The best part is the house has a pool! We are in summer house heaven!
So we are all settled in our new "home". We did find a place to live and will hopefully be moving into that house by the 2nd week of July. I went all over Augusta (actually Evans and Martinez because Augusta has a horrible school system) with a realtor looking at houses. It was a really crazy and very stressful 10 days. We even put an offer in on a house but it didn't work out. In the end we found a house to rent in Evans, Georgia. We just couldn't find the "perfect" house. It was also hard to buy a house knowing 1) we already own a house 2) we are most likely moving in two years and 3) we didn't want to spend our savings putting in a new kitchen floor or updating bathrooms...again. So we settled for the piece of mind in renting and the opportunity to enjoy our time as a family. Sam will be home for the entire 2 years we are here! (check back with me later on whether or not I'm still enjoying that...lol) It will be an adjustment for everyone. I'm thinking it will be a good thing! And I like good things.