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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hello from Iowa!

Ah, finally, Internet access! If we sit right by the window, facing outside, and don't move around, we can get sporatic signal from the neighbors. I typed this post yesterday in Microsoft word, so that as soon as we had Internet I could just copy and paste. So here are the details of our journey thus far...

I have to say, starting out at night was definitely the way to go. You may have to ask Kevin though, because HE was the one driving it all! Haha

We had planned to leave at 6pm on Saturday, so we’d get a little driving time in before the kids fell asleep for the night. We got the van loaded while the kids were napping and soon after that we were antsy to just get going. We stopped at the neighbors’ doors to say goodbye, and we were off on our way already at 5:00. (1 hour early) Because we left early, we hadn’t eaten yet, so once we got past New Haven we stopped for a quick dinner in the van and then carried on. Hannah was tired fussy at 7:15ish so instead of enduring the crying, we went ahead and stopped around 7:30 at a grocery store parking lot to get the kids fed and ready for bed. At 8:00 we were back on the road, and by 9:00pm the van was quiet. I took the shift driving and drove until 10:30ish. Kevin was supposed to be napping but he said he couldn’t sleep so we went ahead switched drivers and I rested for the whole night while Kevin plugged along drinking continuous caffeine drinks to keep him awake. Though we were successful in keeping the back seat free from luggage so we could sleep there, I definitely could not sleep. And so Kevin had to just keep driving, so long as he was feeling up to it. He has the advangtage of caffeine, but I however just have to rely on sleep since I am nursing. The kids slept pretty well. Once I figured out to put a blanket over the top of Hannah’s car seat shade to help block the light of traffic, she slept soundly. Eli, however, woke up at midnight and was just sitting quietly watching the cars go by for the longest time, and he was awake for about 4 HOURS of the night!! Hannah woke up around 3:30am, so we stopped to feed her, and the after that both kids and I were asleep soundly for a good couple hours. We stopped around 7:00am (time change to 6am really) for breakfast at a truck stop and realized we were only about 2.5 hrs away from our stop in Illinois to visit friends! I didn’t think we’d arrive until the afternoon, so we took our time eating breakfast, watching the sunrise, getting dressed out of jammies, and feeding Hannah. Then I called and warned our friends we were getting there much earlier than expected and started out to finish the drive. Eli was tired and cranky, so we put on a movie for him. (Kevin got a setup in the van so we could use a cord to connect from the laptop to my old flat screen monitor that was mounted on the back of a headrest for Eli to watch). We got to our friends’ house at 9:15, got changed, and about half hour later we were on our way to go to their church with them. However, we left Kevin behind at their house so he could SLEEP! Like in a real bed and everything! Much needed! My hands were full juggling the two tired kids at church, but it was a blessing to get to see my friends Ben and Angie's new church home. Instead of rushing our visit with them, we decided to just stay for the whole day and take the time to rest and sleep in a bed before heading out again the next morning.After the kids were up, changed, and fed, we headed out for last 6 hours of our trip, leaving around 8:30am. While we were already stopped and could easily get the computer set up, we started a movie for Eli. He fell asleep before it was over and slept for about 45 minutes at 10:30 in the morning, and that was it for naps for the rest of the day. Driving those 6 hours during the day was harder probably than the 16 hrs we drove in the night. It felt like we stopped a hundred times. Eli was restless and loud and we just wanted him to nap more, but he never did. Oh well, we made it and got "home" around 5:00pm where my parents and grandparents were waiting for our arrival!It's been a busy week going back and forth between my parents and Kevin's. And wedding happenings will be starting tomorrow. Then Kevin has an interview in Nebraska on Tuesday! So we'll be driving over on Monday so he could tour the plant, check out the town, and we can visit with our friends who just moved there. Then Tuesday he'll have his interview in the afternoon! So be praying that all goes well! This is the place that is most likely where we'll end up!

Oh, and by the way, THE DRESS FITS!! It was still a little big when I tried it on, but alterations were going to be simple. My mom took it home last night and already got it mostly done! Just need to do the bottom hem. It's beautiful and fits me so well! I can wear a bra with straps, feel covered, and still match well with the other bridemaids! There will definitely be pictures after the weekend!

Alrighty, well, I need to run some errands and head off for the day! More to come this weekend!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We're here!

Just wanted to let y'all know we made it back to Iowa! Went fine! I'll write more later, but right now we're just parked outside of a motel for internet. Now we're going to see Kevin's family and they finally get to meet Hannah!

Friday, September 19, 2008

This adventure called life.

Here were are. I can't believe we've actually reached this point in our lives. Married, two children, and now finally returning to be with family once again. We've been counting down for this for so long and now here it is! I remember on the 1st of 2007 we were saying, "NEXT YEAR we get out of the Navy!" Then in the fall it was, "one year until we get out!" Then on the 1st of 2008 it was "THIS YEAR we get out!" Then in August it was "NEXT MONTH we move back!" The 1st of September was "THIS MONTH!" And now it's "TOMORROW!" Wow, where has the time gone? I guess this is what happens when you have two kids in three years!

I'm just so anxious right now, so eager to know what's next in life. It feels like someone has planned a big adventure for us but won't tell us what it is or anything about it because it's a surprise. They just tell you to pack your bags and be ready. Well, that's what it feels like for me. God has planned this big adventure, called our life, and right now we have no idea what's coming. But our bags are packed and at 6pm we'll be ready to hop in the van and go wherever! God has it figured out, and we'll find out soon enough what He has in store for us!

When I reflect on where life has taken us the last few years, it moves me to see just how God had gone before us, laying every stepping stone....From the timing of my college and Kevin's sea time working out just so, that Kevin was done with deployments before we even got married. It was a long 8 years of dating and we didn't really want to wait that long, but in the end the timing was just perfect. The family we knew in Virginia that connected us to the church we found in Connecticut. The first couple we met at church who turned into great friends (Dan and Amber), leading us to even more great friends (Amy and Stew). The townhouse we live in where we had wonderful neighbors and the one was a nurse who nearly delivered Hannah at home with the fire station just a block away. Changing my heart from initially wanting to return to Virginia to deciding to go back to Iowa. The friends we met in the Navy just after boot camp who were also from Iowa, got out, and returned and now is maybe helping us to get a job at the next place. My parents having just bought a house this summer to fix up for retirement and it now being available for us to stay in while we are in transition.... I'm not worried. I can see how God is working the details. Every single person has some greater purpose in my life than I can ever understand in the moment.

And so, I am anxious to see what tomorrow brings in this adventure called LIFE!

Now is the time...

...when those memory verses come back to me! One of my favorites:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.
*Proverbs 3:5-6*

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Move Update and Prayer Request

Alright, thought I'd update you all on the job search and moving plans, since a lot of people have been asking...

Saturday we're making the long 22-hr drive back to Iowa. At that point the kids and I will be staying (at a house my parents bought and are fixing up) but following the wedding we're going for, Kevin will return for his last 3 weeks of work. He'll fly back to CT, the Navy will come in and pack us all up, and then he'll drive back with his old Jeep (God willing that it makes it!!) His last day of work is Oct 21. There's nothing lined up for work yet. No interviews or even any call-backs. But there is something pretty promising in eastern Nebraska where one of our friends just got hired after he got out of the Navy in June. They're hiring in November, so we're hoping that while Kevin's back for the wedding he can go for an interview. It's about 3 hours from where our parents are. Kevin is hoping to apply his Navy experience in nuclear maintenance for work in a nuclear power plant. There are only 3 in the Iowa/Nebraska area, and they each hire at specific times of the year. This one in Nebraska seems to having perfect timing for us, if we can just wait it out til the last minute to find out what's next for us! Until then we'll just stay in my parent's house for as long as we need until we can settle into a house of our own. We are sooo thankful to have that option, it really relieves a lot of pressure to have something figured out right away! So that's the update on the move plans!

Here are some things you could be praying about it as we make this transition:
* Pray that the kids would be decently content during the long drive back. 22-hrs is a looooong drive, kids or no kids.
* Kevin's going to transition his body to nights and drive as much of the night as he can, so we get the first half of the drive done while the kids are asleep. Pray that he stays awake and stops when needed!
* Pray for good driving weather, safety on the roads, and not many of those cement road barriers. I HATE those and get sore from being so tense driving through them! haha
* Pray for Kevin's job search--that he wouldn't get discouraged as he continues to wait and that his eyes be open to all possibilities.
* Pray for me as his wife and supporter. And pray for the three weeks that I'll be single mom while Kevin's returned for work. It's going to tiring but fortunately my parents house is right across the street from the park! And I do have a few friends I'm planning on meeting up with here and there.
* Pray for Kevin and his Jeep as he makes the long 22-hr drive AGAIN to Iowa, except by himself! I don't know how he's going to do it. The thing is practically maxed out going 65 mph, but he's gonna try! Pray that it doesn't break down! It's a '92 Jeep Cherokee.
* Pray for the kids during this transition time, that they would respond well to the new environments.
* Pray that we can get into a house quickly and get settled and that God would then lead us to a good church and friends.
* In regards to the wedding we're going back for, pray that all my dress drama (that's another story) works itself out, that Eli's a good ring bearer, and that Hannah is patient about being fed throughout the day while I'm busy doing matron-of-honor duties.

At this point I'm just feeling really anxious to know what's next in life! But I think God is telling us to just wait and let HIM do the work! Once we head out, I'll be offline for awhile as I won't have much computer/Internet access. But I'll do my best to keep you updated on the big stuff! Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers!

Monday, September 15, 2008


I must have bought ricotta cheese to use for some meal a week ago and then never made it. And now I needed to clean it out of the fridge but didn't feel like making lasagna, stuffed pasta shells, or calzones, so I thought to try something my aunt made once for a family gathering: Chocolate Ricotta Muffins. I'm not sure what her recipe is, but this one sure turned out pretty good!

Note: The batter doesn't taste too good, but the muffins itself are yummy! For me it made 7 extra muffins from what the recipe said.

I have discovered, however, that muffins are another one of those foods that I simply cannot have around the house. Like cookies, I just keep munching away on them all throughout the day and before I know it they're gone! No, they're not actually gone YET, but I definitely ate far too many!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Sept. 14

This is it. This is the week we leave. Saturday night at 6 pm we start the long 22-hr drive from New England to Iowa. I-80 all the way. We're getting the first half all done while the kids are sleeping in the night, and then I will take over driving as much as I can during the day, stopping in Illinois to see dearest friends and their new baby. I still have a few things to clean out of the fridge: hamburger buns, ricotta cheese, lots of marinades and salad dressings, Biquick but no syrup, and a graham cracker pie crust. Today is our last Sunday at church as a family (Kevin will be back though) and Friday night we're having an ice cream sundae party for our final farewell. with our closest friends. It's starting to sink in how I'm going to miss everyone here. So before I get too weepy, let's carry on...

lunch: ??
dinner: chicken patty sandwich, salad, fruit cocktail

lunch: tomato soup, grilled cheese, carrots
dinner: taco salad, peaches

lunch: leftover taco salad
dinner: chicken in chipotle marinade

dinner: teriyaki chicken, broccoli, mandarin orange

lunch: ??
dinner: clean everything out day!

Desserts of the week: chocolate ricotta muffins (good snack for the drive if they turn out good), cheesecake

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 37

Do not fret because of evil men
or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this;
He will make your righteouness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
whey carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret--it leads only to evil.
For evil men will be cut off,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

Friday, September 12, 2008

New blog!

I just started a new blog for kid and family updates (pictures, videos and stories)! I used to have a MySpace account I mainly used for this, but now I'm moving to blogger instead! So go check it out and leave me a comment!
click below

Monday, September 8, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Sept. 8

Wow, I can't believe we move the end of NEXT WEEK! Still working on cleaning out the cupboards. I have tomato sauce, Italian bread crumbs, French Fried Onions, sunflower seeds, and 2 pie crusts to use.

Lunch: sandwiches
Dinner: spaghetti and meatballs, Italian bread with olive oil dip (leftovers go to freezer for Kevin to have when I'm gone)

Dinner: leftover pot roast n veggies

Lunch: sandwiches
Dinner: grilled chicken-veggie foil wrap, grapes

Lunch: lasagna from freezer
Dinner: baked chicken, green bean casserole, oranges

Lunch: chicken Caesar wraps
Dinner: hamburgers

Dinner: mommy's night out?

Lunch: ?
Dinner: homemade pizza

Desserts of the week: custard pie, homemade granola bars

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Weekly Menu

It's not Monday so we'll just go with the simple title "weekly menu" this week. I'm still trying to clean out our cupboards and freezer (the things Kevin doesn't like) while at the same time fixing a couple things Kevin can have while I'm gone. (he's coming back to CT for his last three weeks of work while the kids and I stay in IA following a wedding) And as you can tell, we're trying to spend as much time with friends as we can before we leave!

Monday - cookout at church

lunch: sandwiches
dinner: parmesan chicken, corn

lunch: leftover ham from last week
dinner: chicken-veggie foil wraps, oranges

lunch: spaghetti from freezer
dinner: mom's night out for stroller class ladies

lunch: spaghetti again
dinner: polish sausage and cabbage

lunch: ham sandwiches
dinner: get-together with friends

lunch: ??
dinner: having friends over-- pot toast and vegetables, homemade bread, peaches

Dessert of the week: chocolate-mint grasshopper pie