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Frazzled.

31 May

Life has been moving at such a quick and frantic pace since we arrived in Grand Junction.

It’s been difficult to even get my mind around all the adjustments and excitement as we try to settle into our new life and environment. So, once I get my head uncluttered I’ll try to catch you all up on all the changes that are coming our way.

Thank goodness that God continues to direct and provide through all the chaos this life throws our way.

Thank you for your continued prayers during this time of transition. The changes have been most difficult on the kids but they’re resilient and I know once we find our new “normal” they’ll discover peace in the routine.

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Project patio.

29 Jul

When we first moved to Florida we realized you can’t really enjoy being outdoors. The bugs are TERRIBLE year round! In our first home we constantly talked about how we would love to have a Florida Room (that’s what they call screened in porches here). When we decided to move it was the top thing on our list along with a large backyard. We hit the jackpot with our new home because it has BOTH! The minute I knew we would finally be getting our Florida Room my mind started spinning with plans! We waited until we were completely moved in, and the last box was unpacked, and then we started the building of our patio set.

I will admit, I was maybe a little optimistic on how easy it would be…nope…so.much.work. I first spent DAYS searching the internet for the cushions that would fit the dimensions of the chairs. The cushions also served as a great motivator to finish the project, because we kept staring at a huge pile of pillows knowing they needed a place. We then spent every weekend for two months building this together! Scott cut and sanded, and I brought him the wood and organized it. Then we built each chair during Royal’s nap-times.

Once they were all completely built we stained and used top coat on each. I’m so glad we did the sanding before we built them because it made the staining process that much easier. We started with a darker stain and we HATED it. We lost a chair to that but we figured it was better to rebuild one chair than to hate all of them. We finally found the perfect stain and busted them out! Phew!

The building plan we used also had a table plan, but at that point we were so over the project and I had the idea to get a statement piece for the coffee table. I got my mind set on an antique trunk and the search began!! We spent a full day antiquing and couldn’t find one that we loved. All I found was an antique peacock that matched the pillows I had purchased. I laughed because I got something to go on top of the trunk but we didn’t have one yet. I felt defeated and it looked like we would have to build the table after all. I then jumped on craigslist and there it was…the perfect antique steamer trunk!! I loved it and immediately had Scott go pick it up! The trunk was just what the patio needed to really “pop!” It’s my most adored part of the whole set.

This is my favorite place in the whole house now. I spend the mornings out there reading my Bible and drinking coffee while Royal and the dog play in the yard. It’s like a piece of heaven to me. One of the best things is lounging on the patio set and watching the rain during a storm. It’s also the perfect entertaining space. You can find us out there most nights, with our friends, just laughing and enjoying great conversation. Best part…no bugs!!!

IMG_2631IMG_2643IMG_2645I’m so glad we never gave up on this project because it’s the room that makes me love my home the most!

IMG_2617“My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”      -Isaiah 32:8

 

 

 

March.

31 Mar

Whew!! This month was a busy one!!

We started March out with packing up everything we own and moving it into our new home. I was amazed at how much STUFF we have accumulated in the past 3 years of living here!! Somehow Scott and I were able to get it all into the giant U haul by ourselves in just 4 hours. We then picked up our new keys and two of our buddies helped us unload everything into the garage of the new house. I still can’t believe that in less than 12 hours we were completely moved out!

I have an annoying quirk where I feel the need to immediately finish a task once I start it. I can’t do anything until that project is finished. Somehow I got it in my mind that settling into the house was just one big project. I unpacked the entire house in 2 days and hung the very last picture on the 6th day in our new home. I exhausted myself but I knew I wouldn’t be able to enjoy living here until it was complete. I also knew that my friend, Danielle, would be coming in two weeks so I didn’t want to be worried about a “to-do list” while she was here.

Royal and our doggy love the new yard, even more than I thought they would, and we spend every morning and evening out on our screened-in-porch. I love sitting out there, drinking my morning coffee, while Royal plays. The porch and yard alone made this move completely worth it to me.

After we were all moved in we celebrated our first holiday here! I love Saint Patrick’s Day! It was a hard day for me though, because it was also one of my dad’s favorites. I thought of him as I ate my corned beef and wished, as always, that I could call him up. Each new holiday brings a new difficulty but I know they will be easier next year when the wound doesn’t feel so fresh.

Danielle came to town on the 22nd and we were thrilled to have our first house guest!  I was so excited to have her here. Since my dad died it hasn’t felt like there has been much to look forward to, but just knowing she was coming would lift my spirits instantly. Her wonderful boyfriend, Alex, had surprised her with the plane tickets on Christmas and the timing could not have been more perfect! I smiled the entire way to the airport to pick her up!  Unfortunately, her visit was filled with many many rainy days. I think she maybe got two days without rain, and only one where the sun came out from behind the clouds. We always have a good time together though so we made the most of it!

We spent the week shopping, eating at our favorite restaurants in the area, drinking coffee and wine on the porch, watching movies, chasing around my wild son, coloring eggs, and talking-talking-talking. Easter and the beach day were my ultimate highlights. I loved watching Royal run around the yard, looking for eggs, and then having a day of sunshine was just what we all needed after many days of rain! We maybe soaked in a little too much sunlight because we all limped away with sunburned legs. (Haha)

This past week was just what I needed! After all the chaos, having a little carefree fun was the perfect medicine. I didn’t want to see Danielle go, but I know she’ll be back!

So, there was our March! It was stressful at the start but we were able to reap the benefits, of all our hard work, at the end! Lately my life is just one big roller-coaster, but I’m up for the ride.

xoxo

 

Moving homes.

24 Feb

As if life hasn’t been stressful enough we’ve decided to move houses.

Our lease is up at the end of this next month and we’ve needed a home that better meets our needs. We love our current house but the backyard is literally 3 feet wide on the three sides of the house, and is constantly muddy with all the rain we get here in Florida. Royal is starting to show more interest in being outdoors and there’s absolutely no way that this yard can be played in. The new home we’re moving to has a large backyard, with a swing set and slide, and a nice screened in porch which will better suit our needs. The house size is comparable to what we now have but also has a two car garage, verses the one car garage we have now. The neighborhood is a step up as well and is much more quiet than our current one. We’ll also be closer to the beach which we love!! The only big down side is that I’m now much farther from a Starbucks! Wahh!! ;)

It’s hard leaving this home knowing the memories we have here. This was our first Florida home and the place we brought Royal home from the hospital to. We have had such good times here with friends and family, so it’s difficult leaving a place that has been so comforting to us. We know that the new house will hold a whole new set of memories and good times and we look forward to that, but it’s still bittersweet.

I have to say that I was really looking forward to having some normal and boring for a bit, but that’s not how life has been lately so I have to embrace the chaos and realize that calmer times are up ahead. Maybe the project of moving and settling back in will become a welcomed distraction.

I have had a hard time, the past few weeks, realizing that my dad’s death is an absolute reality. I so badly want to speak to him about what funny things Royal has been doing or to call and tell him about the new house. It hurts to not hear his voice and know that I won’t again. I still wake up every morning thinking it was a bad dream and every morning I’m slapped with the cold reality that it’s not. I just want him back.

We have two weeks before our move so I’m trying to rest and soak in the calm before my life is once again upturned for yet another change. I can’t wait to be settled into our new place and for Royal to play in his new backyard.

God is always working good into our lives even when it all feels completely crazy! I thank God for the homes He’s always provided for us and for the way He’s comforting my broken heart.

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Missing something.

21 Oct

Scott and I had an amazing trip home this month that made us want to move back immediately and now we’re kinda sitting in a low place not feeling real content with our current surroundings. We were alright until we were in Colorado and realized that we’re missing out. It’s going to be a very long time (if ever) until we feel as though Fort Walton Beach is home. It won’t ever hold for us the memories of our childhoods or the friends we made along the way, and mostly this place will never be filled with family just a minutes drive away. I hate that.

It’s maybe time to rethink our approach to settling in here. I find myself wondering if I’ve done all I can to make this our home.

I know I’ve put all I can into the house. It’s filled with all the things we’ve collected in our first 2  years of marriage, precious things that make my heart happy to look at, it’s us in every corner. It’s a home we built together even if this isn’t where we want to eventually end up. I’m proud of what we have done with this rental. Of course someday we want a house of our own, but it might not be in the cards while living this military lifestyle. I’m trying to accept that…really, really, really, trying!!

Our relationships here are wonderful! They’re the kind of friends you only hope to meet and I thank God everyday that we all got stationed in the same place. It’s easy to love them. You quickly bond over the fact that we’re all in the same boat and you know without a doubt that you need one another! They’re your family when family is thousands of miles away. You plan holidays together to soften the blow of knowing you won’t see the usual faces around your table. The support net of my friends has kept me going! During the dark months that came this year they carried me and held me close. They cut me slack when I couldn’t be a very good friend because I didn’t even have energy to leave the couch to attend a girl’s day. I’m thankful for the grace they showed me. Now that my health and emotional state is being better resolved I plan on paying them back in full with however much “Alyssa time” they can take. Once I get that in motion I feel as though we may settle in again better.

Church has been a blessing to us but it doesn’t feel like Calvary. We’ve been attending since April and STILL no one knows our names, we’re not used to that. We miss everyone knowing our history and knowing when we’re going through a tough time. I miss having people who want to pray for you and cry with you. If I were to pin point one thing we’re lacking right now…it’s this. We need our fellowship and it’s hard to connect in the few minutes before and after the service. Scott and I can be really shy at times and we’re pretty shy whenever we walk in those doors each week. We shut down and I can’t figure out why. We need to work on this.

Scott and I have come to a realization that from this point on in our lives we will always be missing someone. Right now it’s missing our Colorado friends and family. When/if we move back to Grand Junction we’ll be missing all of the people we’ve met here. I don’t like that. I wish I could just wrap everyone up together and have it all. One can dream right?!

 

 

Home and opportunities.

21 May

Wow, another month is behind us! I can’t believe how quickly time keeps flying by!

The day after we were completely settled into our new home I had to start packing my suitcase again to go home to Colorado! (Boy, do I hate suitcase living!) I was excited to come see everyone but it was extremely hard to think of leaving so soon after getting here. We hadn’t even settled into a routine and here I was flying away again. I’ve come to have a love/hate relationship with travel, I love it once I get there but I always hate the leaving where I’m at part.
The trip home was wonderful but it came and went in a blink! I had every day packed full of something to do and yet I STILL didn’t fit everything and everyone in. I was able to see my brother graduate with his chemistry degree from School of Mines, which was the whole reason for my trip home. I wouldn’t have missed this huge day in his life for the world! I am so proud of him! He’s so determined and has a brain so intricate that mine is jealous! My brain would have exploded on the first day of classes if I tried down that route! [haha]

The biggest downside to being an Air Force spouse, that I’ve had to come to terms with, is that you’re always going to be missing someone! If you’re not with your husband you miss him. When you move across the country you miss your family and friends. It’s hard realizing that your life will never feel the wholeness that you had when everyone lived in the same town. I miss that feeling.

I got home on Sunday and I’m still pooped from traveling and activities in Junction. It always takes me a few days to get all caught up on sleep and be myself again. It’s good to be back though. It’s amazing how quickly Florida has come to feel like home! I can’t wait to finally have our routine worked out and be completely at ease here, but for now I’m content with our situation.

God opened an amazing opportunity to reach out to other Air Force girlfriends, fiances, and wives this week! I interviewed online to be an administrator of a sister page to a high trafficked Facebook page (with nearly 8,000 likes!) The original page is for all the branches combined and I interviewed for the Air Force specific page. The interview included an application and three days full of random essay questions. Everyone I talk to about it says this seems a little extreme over a Facebook page but the ladies who make these pages want to make sure they’re putting quality people in these admin positions who know what they’re doing and talking about. We have to make sure that crucial information of troop movement and other safety issues stay on wraps. As the admins of the page we’re responsible of keeping anything that may violate these rules off the page. It may all sound silly to you but I’m really proud that I was chosen as one of the 3 to run this page! I have been praying for something to come along that would give me the chance to reach out and encourage ladies in my same position. The page in 3 days of being up and running has already received almost 200 likes so our audience that we’re reaching will continue to grow! God is good and placed this right in my lap! I want to be an encouragement and a guiding light to women who feel as lost as I did going into this lifestyle. As a military wife you’re in constant fear of the unknown and if I can help at least one person feel a little less fearful and lift their spirits just an inch I’ll do it! So this is where I’ll be pouring out my energy and time.

Once again I’m blown away by God’s faithfulness and the blessings He gives us!

david grad

Floridians [but never fully!]

30 Apr

Well, we made it!!

I sit back in awe of this entire month! The first few days we were living in our apartment in Colorado and  at the end we are completely settled into our Florida home! How can so much squeeze into 3o days?! All I know is that my body is still not in the correct time zone and I’m thoroughly confused by the fact white sand beaches are just minutes from our house. When we first arrived I kept seeing the white sand dunes and thinking they were snow. You know you’re a Colorado girl when….[haha.]

So far we love it here! We enjoy spending every weekend at the beach and we are in total love with our house! Having so much room and spare room for that matter is not something we are used to. The dogs are in heaven just being with us and having a yard! I’d say we’re all settling in quite nicely!

Scott has returned to work and starts taking classes again for his job next month. Poor guy, he’s had so much training and must be impatient to see his hard work turn into the actual job. Scott’s always positive about it though! I think he’s just soaking in the fact that he no longer has to live in the dorms or eat the dorm cafeteria food,  I can’t say my cooking will be much better though. [haha]

I’ve spent my days organizing and finding a place for everything we own! It amazed us to see how much stuff we’ve accumulated in just less than 2 years of marriage. It was no easy task to get it organized and lucky for us we have a pretty decent sized attic for all our camping gear and other odds and ends we couldn’t seem to part with.

One thing that makes us laugh about our neighborhood is the oddity that there are bears roaming the neighborhood at times! Our trash can fell victim to a bear attack before we moved in, the whole thing was crashed apart! I laughed at the absurdity of bears when a lady told us about them, she then told me she was serious! Uh, I thought we moved away from the woods?! I never thought Florida looked like this, but in our part we have more woody areas vs the palm trees. It’s strange but we like it because it makes us feel closer to the home we grew up in.

So far, so good! We’ll enjoy living here but we will always miss our Colorado!

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