The Next Chapter Officially Begins

So much has happened in the last month and a half, and I haven’t had a chance to lay my hands on the keyboard to finish the beginning to our journey. So here goes the follow up from the last post before. I’ll jump right into our crazy journey now.

As the day came when it was time for me to fly back home to Arkansas and Nick to North Dakota, so many emotions were going through my head. How would we get all our belongings that we don’t want in storage back home for a few weeks before Nick permanently moves? We had only one true suitcase packed since obviously we didn’t know our journey would take us to SA before we left home. We  did pack some of our belongings in super girly old bags that I had. (Red leather super girl bag, polka dot bag, etc..) So as we crammed everything we could, we decided since we had only 1 suitcase with wheels I would take it and Nick would take all the wonderful girly bags. The reason is I had no idea how I would physically carry all those bags, plus my laptop bag and purse, so I needed something with wheels on it. Nick and his bags were such a hit,  drumming up conversation with strangers. He got lots of stares and comments.

As Nick took off on his first of 3 flights, I sat in the airport terminal waiting on the first of my 2 flights home. I remember setting there watching a military service man who clearly was just arriving home from being gone for a while, cry and embrace his wife and 3 kids. As they cried, silly me sat and cried as well. That solider’s little boy, probably around one and half, wouldn’t go to his father and didn’t recognize him. The mother kept crying, “it’s daddy”, as the father kept trying hard to connect with his son. In this moment it made me realize how blessed I am. My problems are nothing military families face or many other people. I might feel like I don’t have my life 100% under control, super scared and am so heart broken for leaving my family and friends, but the truth is I am very blessed. In fact, I am more blessed than I probably deserve.  I have my husband home every night and I haven’t faced any of the challenges that some families have. I praise that family for their dedication in serving our country. I also appreciate the light they shined in my eye that day. It’s hard sometimes not to randomly fall in a dark spot, but it’s easy to open your eyes and see how blessed you truly are.

The time came to board my flight to Atlanta. I have never really flown Delta (I normally fly southwest) so I was a little nervous about my next flight. As we pull away from the gate and head for the runway, I notice that we are next in line to go, but our plane had stopped. A very sweet older lady next to me asked me if I knew what was going on. I typically have anxiety on flights so I stayed calm, and responded, “Not really sure.” A short time later the pilot comes over the speaker to say that they have received indication one of the engines wasn’t working properly, so they were going to pull us back to the gate and get us on another plane. In my head I am thinking the what if’s and the lady next to me is close to having a hernia, which isn’t helping my anxiety. lol!  1 hour later we are back on another plane and taking off. At this point I am so over the engine part, I am worried about catching my next flight since my lay over was only 1 hour and 15 minutes and we are already delayed an hour. I also had no clue how big the Atlanta airport is or what my next gate was. The sweet lady next to me (who was once having a hernia panicking about the plane) finally calmed down after a while and said she was an avid flyer of Delta and lived in Atlanta so she knew the airport well. She was able to look on her phone app where my next gate was. She informed something I didn’t really want to hear.  She then said, “I hope you have your running shoes on because you are going to have to sprint to make it in 15 minutes. This airport is huge and you are getting off on the gate at the completely opposite end of your next gate.”  Yeah, that was just what I wanted to hear. As we landed the pilot asked for everyone to remain seated except those who have to board their next connecting flight asap. I was able to get off pretty easily and took off in my dash to my next gate ( I try to forget this memory, because I can only imagine how stupid I looked doing a little jog through the airport, but I knew if I didn’t catch this flight I couldn’t make it home that day.) I arrived at the gate right as everyone was boarding! I am thankful my next flight was a little more peaceful and I was able to make it home to my sweet boy. Nick had great flights and arrived to his company’s house in Minot, ND that night. He began packing up his belongings there for his long trip home the next morning. The next two days Nick spent driving back to Arkansas. Dawson was so thrilled to see his daddy again. Soon after being home, I asked Nick where all his shoes were. After a lot of sorting, I soon realized Nick forgot to pick up all 3 of the bags he checked at the airport. In his defense, he had 4 total bags and grabbing 3 super girly bags was not something easy to remember. Nick did say, “I thought I was missing one, but I couldn’t remember what it looked like!” lol! So this then started the complicated process of tracking down the bag full of every pair of shoes he owned, besides the ones he had on his feet. Luckily over the next week Delta was able to fly his bag back to Little Rock where I was able to pick it up! ha!

The time had come for us to head back to San Antonio. We packed a few more things in a U-haul trailer (like actual furniture this time..lol) and Nick pulled it back to San Antonio where he would start work. It was a process breaking it to Dawson how things had changed and changed so quickly. You see, for several weeks we prepared him for our new house in North Dakota. To take all that away and now say something different was a little more than a 4 year old could process. Dawson and I stayed almost two weeks in San Antonio before we came back home to Searcy. I have to admit that was a rough two weeks, reality sat in and not only that, we had a 4 year old whose behavior was clearly showing he wasn’t happy or handling things well. At this time we thought it would be better if we let Dawson finish out the semester at preschool in Searcy and we wrap up things we need to have taken care of at home before we all move. We knew it would be hard living apart, but we also knew Dawson struggled with apartment life and all the changes. We have/had a really nice apartment in a great part of San Antonio, but not having a back yard to go play in, no friends around or any place to go ride a bike etc…was a little overwhelming. We decided we were going to take this moving process in baby steps to make it easier for all of us. Most of all, our belongings were still in our home in Searcy and our house was still on the market,  so this was an easy and comfortable decision to make. Over a 12 week period we were able to travel back and forth and saw Nick for around 4 weeks total. I have to give so much praise to God for giving us all the strength, courage and motivation to do what we did. I also couldn’t be prouder to have a little boy who has come to accept change so well.

In the middle of December, we accepted an offer and closed on our home. It was the place we have called home for the past 3 years and shared so much love. Selling our house at this time was a tremendous blessing to us, because it came at the perfect time.  Showing us more our move is all in God’s plan. The time was so perfect because our apartment lease was soon to be up and allowed us the perfect opportunity to move straight from our house back home to a house in San Antonio.

The closing on our house was still bittersweet and a true reality check on the future. The time had come where we would officially be moving. I came to peace about so much, but there was one thing still eating at my heart.  My family is so close and small, all I have left is my dad who is a widower and my sister. Am I abandoning them? Will they be ok without me around all the time? What if they need me? Nick’s family is so much bigger so I felt at peace they would be fine because their support systems are so big.  I have been a firm believer my whole christian life that GOD is fully in control and has a plan for us. No matter what hurdles we face in front of us, he gives us strength to move on.  In the past 12 years I have lost my amazing step mother, my grandmother, my wonderful mother and my grandfather. I got stuck in times in the past where I just wanted to hide and question God for taking my family away at such a young age. I have prayed from day one of this journey to keep the faith and push on during these tough times we may face ahead. I know that God has always given me strength to move forward and so graciously taken care of me and my family.  So I will gladly take on this journey with grace and continue to praise him.

The final move…

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Let’s just saying moving day this time was a lot harder than the 2 previous moving trips to San Antonio for many reasons. A big technical reason is because there was 8 inches of snow on the ground that delayed us in getting to load the truck before we closed on our house! lol! What gracious in-laws I have, who took on the responsibility to drive our 20ft moving truck to San Antonio and spend the new year helping us getting settled in our new home. We sure couldn’t have done it without them and been stress free like it was. We had a great visit and Dawson absolutely loved it. He thought his Ne-Ne & Pop-Pop were moving to San Antonio as well. We didn’t get to show them around San Antonio very much because the weather was pretty stinky that week. We did make it to the River Walk and see the Alamo. Plus, we had a memorable New Years watching fireworks from all the upstairs rooms of our house. We could watch tv and then look out the window. It was fabulous!  San Antonio folks apparently love fireworks and big ones at that! Not one hour, not two hours, but 4 hours of fireworks straight. Some of the best fireworks I have ever seen. I do have to admit, it did sound like a war right at midnight and was a little annoying listening to mini explosion sounds constantly the hours leading up to midnight, but it was a great memory we all shared together!!

As the new year came we knew the time was soon approaching to say our goodbyes to Nick’s parents, the last bit of home we had with us in San Antonio. Dawson and I got the great end of this deal because we had a little bit longer with Ne-Ne and Pop-Pop. The timing all worked out perfect again. Dawson had a doctor’s appointment at Arkansas Children’s Hospital regarding his biopsies from his last procedure, so Nick’s parents were able to ride back home with us. Dawson and I stayed almost a week in Arkansas and spent time with family and some of our friends before we headed back to San Antonio.

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We are now all together in San Antonio and getting settled in. We have found a church that we seem to click with. It reminds us so much of Fellowship Bible back home. We went to our first small group last night and had a great time. As we take more steps in our new journey here in San Antonio, we are eager to see what God has in store for us. 🙂

I should mention that we had a great thanksgiving and a wonderful Christmas. So glad we were able to spend it home with all our family (including Nenny & Papa T) and friends.

Sending much love and prayers to our family and friends back home. There isn’t a day that goes by we don’t think of you all!! Miss you all dearly! Come visit!!!

Here are just a few pics of some of our last  weeks at home.

So many wonderful memories…..

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Blessings,

Chel

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