A special second mom, “Birtha”

July 7th, a day that an amazing, caring, loving, beautiful woman was born. A special woman I am honored to call my (step) second mother. 12 years ago God had different plans for my “Birtha” (aka..Booger, Brenda, Mom), as she was called home. It’s a day that personally forever changed my life as I know it did so many others. At 18 years old and a senior in high school, losing a parent was something I never imagined. My second mom was only 52, full of life and was gone in a heart beat. For some people the word “Step” Mother doesn’t mean that much and is often an ugly term used in a negative light. That’s why I prefer to say my “second mother”. Brenda took on her role as a second mother to my sister and me when I was 6 years old. Having a beautiful daughter already in high school and a son who had already graduated, Brenda took on being a “second mom” to two young girls like a super mom, with grace and unconditional love! I am beyond blessed to have had her in my life for 12 wonderful years. She played a huge role in the making of the woman, wife and mother I am today. Her legacy should be something all “step” mothers follow. She poured her heart out to us and wrapped her arms around us with lots of love.  The exact same love and compassion she showed her biological children. The word “step” didn’t separate bonds in our family. Praise God for blessing my father with such an amazing woman who I will never forget. There isn’t a doubt in my mind my father does the same. My father is still a widow. We talk about the past as it was yesterday. The only thing different during our talks now than in high school is there are only two of us at the table, because one is a beautiful angel in heaven.  I will cherish all the wonderful memories, our last conversation hours before you made your grand entrance in heaven, and our last hug and kiss goodbye.  I love you Birtha (Brenda)!

I will go to bed tonight counting my many blessings once again and praising God for all the memories we shared.

I am beyond thankful I have the 3 best motherly angels looking down on me. All their earthly lives were short, but the incredible legacies my mom, my grandmother and my (second mother) Brenda left behind will never stop touching my heart or others.

Blessings,

Chel

Hope… Love… Cure…

As I sit and type this month’s blog post with my little one snuggled next to me, I can’t resist the smile on my face. A permanent smile that comes from the love and joy of being the mother of a sweet 4 year old boy.  I am so very thankful for God’s grace and for Him blessing me with the best gift of all, a child.

I normally don’t talk about all the trials, the ups and downs we have had over the past few years with Dawson’s EoE (Eosinophilic esophagitis), but I feel led to mention it in this weeks blog. This week is National Eosinophil Awareness Week. Besides no cure, the biggest problem is there is not enough awareness of this disorder. Due to the lack of awareness, it took us 2.5 years, lots of trips to specialist after specialist (some out of state), and test after test before Dawson was diagnosed on June 4th, 2011.  Even today, in a town of over one million people in San Antonio, there isn’t a clinic that specializes in patients with Eosinophillic disorders.

We have had a few steps back lately with Dawson, due to the high count of the eosinophils still in his body. He started back vomiting and was constantly regurgitating his food. Thankfully his wonderful doctors back home at Arkansas Children’s Hospital were able to call him in some medicine and get his stomach moving again. The amount of eosinphils had caused inflammation in his gut which in turn, makes his gut tired of doing it’s job. I feel so blessed to know that if you look at Dawson you can’t tell that anything is wrong. He has been off  formula for 8 months and has been eating enough on his own to gain weight. We are so blessed compared to the thousands of other kids who have this disorder. Having allergies myself, I am able to understand a lot of Dawson’s needs. There is a big difference though in the basic food allergies I have and the allergic disorder Dawson has. I can take an epi-pen if I come in contact with the foods I am allergic to and continue on. That’s not an option for kids with EoE. It’s a more complex and  unpredictable disorder. There is not a cure at this time for Eosinophilic esophagitis.  For the past 2 years Dawson has had a (EGD) scope with biopsies every 4 – 6 months to check on his Eosinophil levels. Some tests results come back fantastic and then 6 months later test results show they are high again. It’s the many unknowns that makes this disorder so scary to parents. How many foods are we going to have to take away, how many more years of scopes are we going to have to put Dawson through? It’s just a little disturbing not knowing what all Dawson is allergic to and the fact it can change at any time.

Here’s a note I found on a blog I read, I thought this blogger explained EoE best….

“Allergies aren’t that big of a deal. Right? What if you couldn’t eat some foods or even any food at all? This is the struggle many  children are facing. A nefarious and unpredictable disease called Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) where all food can be the enemy. It’s incredibly ironic that the one thing that is supposed to sustain us can actually be the one thing that hurts us. If he drinks milk, the white blood cells attack. If he picks up a cookie off the floor and eats it, the white blood cells attack. If he nibbles a little chocolate egg, the white blood cells attack. When the white blood cells attack, they strike his digestive system, destroying his little esophagus, inflicting severe tissue damage and creating pain few can imagine let alone bear on a daily basis. That is the nature of this disease which was only discovered 10+ years ago. Food is life. We need it. We celebrate it. In our family, it’s dramatically different. Food is approached with caution. Moms and Dads evaluate every single type of food that is put to their child’s lips . It is constant diligence and it is exhausting. What most families take for granted in sharing a meal, EoE families have to read a label for ingredients, prepare it without cross-contaminating it, and hope it won’t make their child sick. Trying to stop a child from the innocent act of wanting to eat something, is difficult. Food is about socializing. When we meet, we eat. When we gather, we eat. When we have fun, we eat. Some children with severe EoE are allergic to all foods. They survive off an amino acid-based formula which provides nutrition. It provides no taste (bad taste), no pleasure, and no sense of fulfillment. The biggest challenge right now is that few people have any understanding of the complexity of this disease and how it impacts small children physically, mentally, and emotionally. One day, this childhood nightmare will be eradicated from our world. But today, we need to educate people about EoE and build awareness so that funds can be generated for research to help the little ones who rely on us. Help us get the world of EoE into mainstream America.”

I have to say Dawson is truly our HERO. He has had more procedures than Nick and I put together. He handles getting put to sleep for the scopes like a pro and he hardly complains about not being able to eat anything that includes Milk or Soy protein. He also doesn’t let it bother him that other friends get to eat the things he doesn’t.  His attitude for fighting Eosinophilic Esophagitis is a true blessing!!  We will be traveling the 10.5 hours back home next weekend for Dawson’s 6th EGD. The Eosinophilic Disorders Clinic at Arkansas Children’s Hospital is absolutely wonderful and has truly been the biggest blessing to our family! There are only a handful of Eosinophilic Disorders Clinics in the United States, so what a blessing it is for Arkansas to have one. From failure to thrive to a healthy 4.5 year old toddler…we sing the praises of this wonderful hospital, it’s doctors, nurses, researchers and staff.

 

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Blessings,

Chel

 

 

 

Fun Times & A Heavy Heart

John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

It’s kind of hard to feel sadness on a day like today, when we have so much to celebrate with Christ dying on the cross for us.  To say the three of us weren’t a little down today and home sick, though, wouldn’t be the truth. Today is the first time in 29 years I haven’t spent a holiday with my family. It also wasn’t the same going to church here this morning and not seeing all the kiddos we love back home. We really do like the church we are going to here, but boy do we miss seeing all those sweet kiddos in preschool class on Sunday Mornings. What a joy it was to teach those precious kids. It’s like a piece of us is missing by not loving on all those sweet babies back in Searcy anymore.  🙂

Enough of my somber mood, let’s talk happy, happy, happy!

We have had a lot of company over the past two weeks. My sister, brother-in-law and 4 nieces came up for Spring Break. Our house with 9,  instantly turned into loudness and laughter. Boy did we love it!!!  Should I mention Dawson was on cloud 9 as well! He has a bond with these girls that’s inseparable. He has always been like their little brother and they spoil him rotten. We truly enjoyed our visit and had fun taking them around town and spending a few days at Sea World as well!

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Dawson insisted we make a sign so the girls wouldn’t miss “his” street.

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Tired of Standing? So guess who offered to hold him while waiting in line for a ride. Lolo of course “AKA..Dawson’s little momma”

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Splash Zone at Shamu Rocks? YES!!!! (We are nuts..)

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Monkeying around in the playroom before bed…

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One of many reasons my child is my hero…. He loved riding all the rides (I, on the other hand, will literally pass out, so I knew better than to attempt it 🙂 )

Such a fun week and I am so glad my family made the long trip down to spend spring break!

March was a double blessing of visitors for us! After we said our goodbyes filled with lots of tears from all the girls…Nick’s parent’s made their way down to San Antonio as well. Dawson was beyond thrilled to see them! We also made a trip back to Dawson’s new favorite place, Sea World.

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Our Neighborhood Easter Festival & a little improv dancing while waiting on the Egg Hunt.

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All good things have to come to end and it was time for Ne-Ne and Pop-Pop to head back home. Boy, did we have an upset little boy.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter!!!  Sending lots of love and hugs to all our Family and  sweet Friends back home!

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Blessings,

Chel

Mark 12:30 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

A Humbling Experience

This week we turned over one of the last things that was a reminder of our journey to San Antonio. When we found out early last fall we where heading to Minot, North Dakota we knew the weather was brutal and that it would be hard for me to get around in the heavy snow without having an AWD vehicle. A couple weeks before our actual move date, we traded in my beloved GMC Acadia so we would be prepared for what’s ahead. We decided on a much smaller SUV, a Nissan Rogue, because we thought it would be easier for me to get around in and there wasn’t a need for anything more. Since, let’s face it, when the weather is -5 outside you don’t really make big plans to travel or get out of the house. With this in mind, I wanted the cheapest thing on the market!!

Well, little did we know that we would soon discover God had much bigger plans for us!

This past week a local dealership was having big rebates ($5,500) on their 2013 Nissan Pathfinders (which is the same size of the GMC Acadia). We now love how Nissan’s drive so we knew we wanted to stick with them. We also are super cheap and knew if we bought a car it would have to be the best deal ever or just forget it. We knew back home they didn’t have any rebates or sales on these SUV’s, so we went to the dealership that was offering the rebates, price matched with a few other dealerships, and listened to all their sales spills over and over. Don’t get me wrong, the salesmen were fantastic, but car shopping is not our thing. If you know Nick and me….you know we DO NOT like to make decisions, and we think about everything forever! (It took Nick 6 months once to decide if he wanted to buy a flat screen tv.) We are super cheapskates when it comes to vehicles so this was something a little different for us. “Oh my word” is all I can say about our car shopping experience!!! I want to hide under a table now just thinking about it all! I was seriously trying to listen to the very nice salesman, but let’s just say my fabulous 4 year old was not having it. So this turned into to let’s humilate mommy each time we stop at a dealership!

It’s becoming very clear that the older Dawson gets the more he is developing  his daddy’s personality (but he still has a lot of his mommas personality too.) 🙂  I knew I was going to be in for it when I insisted for Dawson to sit still in an salesmen’s office for 2+ hours.This together sums up my child’s personality…(Talking 24/7, dancing constantly, joking, super comical, always laughing, aggravating, begging to go outdoors, germ freak, loves to learn new things, passionate, caring, big heart, tunes everyone out for tv, thrill seeker, fearless, prankster). With all this in mind you can imagine why I am still trying to block out the memories of what all happened last week. I just hope I really don’t run into the salesmen we met anytime soon. They probably think….what a wacky family! haha! Here’s just a few of the wonderful things that happened……

At our first stop Dawson let the salesmen clearly know that my legs were very scratchy, spikey and had too much skin…hair on them!!? (Seriously…I just shaved the night before…. I promise!!.. My face was red at this point). I think to myself I am in the clear now since Dawson is setting on my lap watching netflix on the iPad. Well it doesn’t stop there… Several minutes goes by and Dawson interupts me talking, to announce my breath smells really bad!! (What? the gum didn’t cover the onion from lunch??..My face is now remaining super red.) To top it off, as we are wrapping things up, my child decides to pass gas multiple times loudly, then turn, look and blame it on me. (WHAT!!!?? What am I raising here??? I am horrified at this point and Nick is trying to keep in the laughter from what’s come out of our child’s mouth the past 2 hours.)

So as we leave the dealership to go home and think about it…I had a little chat with Dawson about how he embarrassed mommy and we don’t want to say things like that. (This as Nick is biting his lips, holding in laughter) Bottom line…he’s 4 years old, and a kid is a kid. I know that, and I also know that you never know what’s coming out of my child’s mouth next..so family, friends heads up when you have him in your presence!!!! 🙂

A few days later we hit up one last Nissan dealership. I gave Dawson a pep talk on being good before we left, so I thought I had this in the bag this time. (I may or may not have bribed him with his special brownies later… 🙂 )  Not so fast though…. Over time Dawson got super bored (understandable because I was as well) watching movies on the ipad, so he decided to break dance for a while. Let’s just say by a while I mean for about a good 30 minutes.  That’s totally normal with our family so no need to sweat it.  A dance party takes place almost nightly with Dawson and Nick. In fact, if you ever FaceTime us I can guarantee Dawson will insist on showing you his latest dance moves he’s mastered or will do his all time favorite moves as he sings to “This girl is on fire”! The only awkward situation at this specific dealership was when my child (no not animal) decided to breakout of one of his dance moves and slide on over to the salesmen’s desk and totally lick the paper he was referring to? (Seriously am I raising a dog??) OMG!!! I instantly apologized! Dawson has never done anything like that before and we were at a loss for words. The salesmen didn’t really know what to say.  I’m sure he probably thinks we all have a fetish with licking things? Who knows..but I promise we don’t! So of course a small chat on the ride home consisted of how disgusting it is to lick random things…etc!!

Over a week later and a lot of time spent with a bright red face dealing with salesmen and a 4 year old, we finally traded in our North Dakota bound AWD Rogue for a Pathfinder. We got a great deal and we love having the extra room so we can fit more people in our vehicle. It will be great also to fit all our luggage in the back when we travel home soon. 🙂

Until next time……….. God Bless!

Seeing the truth through a toddlers eyes

Wow, how time is flying by! It does not seem that we have been in San Antonio already for 6 weeks. I have to give so much PRAISE to God for how smooth this big change in our life has been. We miss our family and friends more than words can express, but we are honestly handling things so much better than we ever imagined. Every day we spend here we feel more and more convinced that God has a bigger plan for us in San Antonio and that’s why he is blessing in so many ways!

It’s been a while since my last post, because, let’s face it, my life is crazy busy! I don’t know if I have mentioned directly before in a post, but all through our crazy journey to San Antonio I have been working from home (or at some times during this journey from Starbucks, McDonalds, truck stops, in a U-Haul truck hacking wifi from a random business or  hotels) as the production coordinator / media buyer for an advertising company back home. I know I am completely crazy because it’s not like my life is insane enough right?! I actually enjoy my job!  I have come to realize lately though the challenges of working from home. Because I am a workaholic, I have a hard time stopping until I have finished something I have started. So instead of working part-time, I end up working all the time.  I just can’t seem to stop working when I know there is more to do. Working from home is something I have always wanted to do, so I can spend more time with Dawson. I am beyond blessed that I have the opportunity. I am just now trying to train myself to stop working so much and also feel like it’s ok to get on my computer and not do work. I went through a phase recently where I would hide my lap top because if I looked at it, I felt like I couldn’t do anything, but work. That is why I haven’t blogged in a few weeks. I guess the biggest slap in the face of all this was what Dawson recently told me which has been a deal breaker. Dawson said, “Mom your grounded from your computer because all you do is work, please play with me.” WOW! I always thought my multi-tasking by playing cars, games, cooking, helping Dawson with school and working at the same time was ok. I always told myself I will play more in a minute. That minute turned into hours. What a wake up call it was by seeing the truth in the eyes of my 4 year old. I don’t want to teach him what I am doing is ok.  Spending time with family is the most important thing and there is no reason why I should feel the need to work 24/7. Everyday is getting easier to put the lap top away and walk away from work for a bit. I have always just been such a worry wart about work. I always want to give 110% and make sure I have everything done. I am working on accepting that giving 100% is ok and that everyone else walks away from work at 5pm so it’s ok for me to as well. I probably sound like an awful mom for totally admitting this. I promise my child gets so much love and attention. I just never realized that he picked up on how much I worked. I have always been the type of person that felt the need to accomplish so much and help out with all I can.God has taught me so much lately. The main thing I am focused on is how I can better serve God, bless others, be the best mom, wife, friend and raise the best child of God I can.

I know a lot of my family was a little worried about me moving here, not knowing anyone and then working from home. Which means I basically have no adult interaction, except when I greet Dawson’s teacher every Monday- Thursday at 9am and 2pm when I take and pick him up from school or when I see Nick before and after work. It’s been a little tough, but I have the most active best friend ever, Dawson! What a blessing it has been to spend everyday with him and be more of a hands on mom! I love it! He is best dose of medicine for home sickness! FaceTiming with family and friends has also been the best thing ever!! I honestly was so scared about how this all would work out when we moved and if I would have a hard time again staying at home. I think the age makes all the difference and the atmosphere. Plus of course God’s hand in it all. The weather is so great here in San Antonio so we are able to do so much outside, which makes us all happy, happy, happy!

One big thing that I believe God has taught me with dealing with all this, is that I have not failed myself or anyone. I have always put so much pressure on myself to achieve so many goals and to also have this amazing career in broadcast news.Which led myself to become a workaholic. For some silly reason the last time I stayed at home I struggled with being a failure and not providing for my family. A failure for, achieving my goal of graduating college, landing this amazing job as a news producer, working my way up, all to walk away from it to be a stay at home mom. I know I sound pretty crazy, but in all honesty that is how I felt. I am embarrassed I even thought that way. What is even more silly is I never thought of my best friends as failures who stayed at home, I always have worshiped the ground they walk on for being able to do that and love it. So why have I drove myself crazy for so long? I think it just came from the nature of my childhood. Being raised by a single mother and seeing my mother work so hard for everything to provide, it taught me so much. She was amazing, but I believe I have had the wrong understanding of it all. I have a wonderful husband who provides and I am not a failure no matter if I work or not. 🙂 I am so amazed now how God is touching my life, lifting me up and showing me there is so many other ways I can be successful for his kingdom.

San Antonio is truly a beautiful place and we are making the most of getting out several times a week  in spending time as a family. We have a great neighborhood with a park and lots of running trails. We have a loop we take that is 3.1 miles. We bought a new jogging stroller because our favorite bike/jogging trailer really couldn’t take the massive hills here. Dawson loves to run and is getting very good at it. Dawson is such a good motivator to me because when I see the hills ahead I tend to beg Nick to let me walk for a sec! Ha!  Dawson is gaining endurance and I am pretty sure he could run a mile straight right now. He runs most of the route and I normally push the empty stroller for when he needs to hop in for his so called “water/snack break”.

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Dawson starts soccer at the end of March and he is beyond excited to play on a team in a “real” game.

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Nick and I  have also done a few projects around the house lately in our down time after Dawson’s in bed. We love things like this and it keeps us sane by working on projects like these together. We saw a few of these things on pintrest and then turned the idea into our own.  We hope to break out the saws soon because I have a few frames I need to make, plus I am in need of a coffee table “Pinterest style”. There is a fabulous block of antique stores here in San Antonio we discovered. It was like a glimpse of heaven walking in this slightly sketchy place seeing old and vintage furniture stacked taller than our heads and as far as we could see. We purchased a beat up dresser (see before and after picture below) there and made it into a media cabinet for our down stairs living room. Then we have been working on coming up with “Our Family Rules” and what we want to instill in Dawson the most. So we made this chalkboard for the entry way when you come up stairs to the playroom and bedrooms.

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Dawson absolutely loves his school and we are so happy we found it. I should mention though we were not expecting his school curriculum to be so more advanced than back home. (His “school” is actually a church ran Mothers day out program that has an awesome curriculum.) Dawson truly takes learning to heart and is so dedicated. (Let’s pray he continues to be this way for the next 18 years….lol!)  He cried after his first day of school because he said, he missed a letter? Even though I knew it had to be something else, we practiced all his letters over and over that night. The next day we asked his teacher about it and she said he missed his vowels! WOW. We didn’t realize at 4 years old that he should already know his vowels? Let’s just say by the end of the week his teacher said he didn’t miss a one. Dawson was so dedicated to get them right and insisted on practicing every night. Now he is working on his sight words, spelling/sounding them out, writing them and building small sentences. The days of Nick and I trying to spell out words to keep from Dawson will soon be over I fear.

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Dawson was so happy he got a heart from a friend at school on Valentine’s Day.

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Dawson got a bug catching/spy gear set for Christmas. The set includes a bug net, bug vacuem etc… You can bet he’s going to be digging or trying to catch something he can inspect under his magnifying glass, whenever he gets a chance to go outside.

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I have so much more to share with you as this journey has opened our hearts so much. I promise to blog again real soon. I want to say thanks so much for  the texts, phone calls, facebook comments etc. about my blog. They make us feel so great.  I am so blessed to have you all in my life. I truly am honored, humbled and love that you enjoy to read about our journey!!! Sending lots of love your way!!

Blessings,

Chel

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

A Life Changing Phone Call

As the sunlight shined through the blinds we threw back the covers and quickly started our day. Lots of things on the checklist; pack mine & Dawson’s bag, re-arrange and clean up the house so it would look great for showings. As we wrapped up packing and cleaning, we knew it was time to get our big girl/boy pants on and finally do this. My procrastinating to leave was a little out of control this day. Somehow I managed to clean and pack for 7+ hours? lol! By Mid-Afternoon the 3 of  us loaded into this big orange and white striped truck and headed for the unknown. I already knew this 20 hour drive was going to be a long one because of where we were headed and what we were driving. Little did I know it was going to be a little painful and extremely uncomfortable. The only place to properly sit a car seat safely was on the passenger side, which meant I had to squeeze my big behind in the small middle half seat. When I say half seat, I mean the back and bottom were super short and little. The lap belt was super big but I constantly wondered why? I had a hard enough time fitting my behind in the seat as the seat belt dug into my side. There was also no leg space. The noise of the trucks engine was so loud and every bump on the road could be felt times 10.  All Nick and I could do is constantly giggle as we realized how crazy  this adventure was going to be.  On the other hand, Dawson was pure joy to listen to. He thought it was the coolest thing he was riding in a super big truck and absolutely loved it. He could see everything well being higher up.  With an iPad in his hand,  he was care-free. We made it about 3 hours away before we stopped for dinner and to stretch our legs. Back on the road again it was. 3 hours later we decided to call it a night. We called Joplin, Missouri home for this night.

The next morning we were back on the road again. This time Dawson was getting a little more anxious to see his new house. It was getting a little harder explaining we had 14 hours to go before we would be there. Right outside of Kansas City, Missouri, Nick received a call from his boss. He didn’t answer because he was driving and it was too hard to pull over where we were. A few minutes later his phone rings again. It’s his boss, this time leaving a voicemail saying please call me as soon as you can. Nick knew then something was going on and said that he needed to try to pull over at the next exit. As we get off the road and in the clear, Nick steps out of the truck. I patiently wonder what in the world is going on and could a miracle possibly happen? I try to ensure Dawson everything is ok while he is wondering why we are stopped on the side of the road and daddy is standing next to a ditch on the phone. lol It was a phone call in my eyes that seemed to last forever! I wanted to be in the know so badly. What in the world was Nick grinning ear to ear about?  As Nick opened the door to climb back in the truck, he has the biggest smile on his face with tears in his eyes. “You are never going to believe this, I was just offered to turn this U-Haul around and move to San Antonio instead of North Dakota, all for the same offer!”  (WHAT IN THE WORLD!!!) I was totally speechless, but our precious little boy was not. “NO…I want to go to North Dakota and see my new house, come on daddy, let’s go!”  The innocence of a sweet little boy brought more tears to now both of our eyes. All I could tell Nick, was two words,  PRAISE GOD!!!!!!  Nick stepped out of the truck again to call his boss back to say he will accept the deal. We serve such a faithful God!! This phone call that we received outside of Kansas City  has forever changed our lives in so many ways! That phone call came after Nick’s boss, the VP of Sales for his company, had a meeting that morning with the CEO of the parent company of Nick’s company.  It was decided in this meeting with the CEO’s that it would be better for Nick to move to San Antonio, because it’s a better place for him to raise a family than North Dakota. Nick moving to North Dakota benefits the company a lot more, but they told him they wanted to do what’s best for Nick too. Is that not the biggest blessing in the world?!!!!!! My heart was overwhelmed with tears of joy!!! How could this be? There was not an opening in San Antonio?  We believe this…. When God’s sees you take a leap of faith, in his timing he will always provide and open doors! We are beyond blessed for God opening this door for us. What a roller coster it had been to get this far in the process of knowing North Dakota was our new home, but we wouldn’t change these life lessons for anything in the world. The priceless memories of hearing our families and friends voices after telling them we are not moving to North Dakota, is something we will always treasure. Our story has not only lifted our spirits, but has showed our family how amazing our God is. We are now going to be 10 hours from home instead of 20 hours.

As we tried to quietly gather our thoughts so Dawson wouldn’t worry or know what’s going on.  We kept heading north to the nearest town so we could stop to collect our thoughts and come up with a new game plan. Nick’s boss told us to head straight to San Antonio and start looking for a place to live and expense everything along the way to the company. Sounds great, but that’s a little easier said than done. We had a billion logistics to figure out and a lot of things to take care of. This Fabulous orange and white truck was due back in North Dakota in three days and we have a truck load of stuff that isn’t fitting for a new home in San Antonio. Let’s say at this time it’s still 95 degrees in San Antonio and everything we owned was for 60 degrees and below weather like it was in North Dakota. We also had no major furniture. We had a washer, dryer, dresser, chest, entertainment center, recliner, 2 televisions, lots of toys and all winter clothes! No beds, couches, table or summer clothes. To top everything off Nick’s company truck was still in North Dakota!

We stopped for lunch right outside Kansas City, Mo. This is where we met the first interesting person along our trip. While eating our lunch at Burger King a very friendly lady approached us. “Does your child like Cars the movie?” Dawson’s eyes lit up as I responded, yes it’s actually one of his favorites. She then motions for an older gentlemen to come on over. “Meet the first and original Mater!”  They both begin to proceed to tell us how this man was the inspiration behind Mater because he can turn his legs around backwards and walk. They had some autographed cards they handed us and their eyes lit up with joy by us being so interested in their story. They asked about where we were headed and Nick says, “20 minutes ago we were headed to Minot, North Dakota, but now we are headed to San Antonio, Tx.” The couple then replies by saying,” Oh you work in the military that’s great.”  LOL! Nick shakes his head and fills the couple in a little more on our story and how it’s such a blessing we are now headed south. That opened the flood gates per say. They then went in long detail about how we needed to take Route 66 back and stop and see all the places that were filmed in the Cars movie. They even offered to put a call into a lady who was the inspiration behind the character Flo. Nick and I both felt bad we weren’t as excited about the Cars movie and the characters as this sweet couple was.  Our minds were just spinning and we needed a few minutes to just think out loud for a minute. After about a 30 minute conversation with our new Cars fanatic couple, they finely left us so we could eat are then cold food. God love this older couple though, they were too cute and super proud that they knew everything about the Cars movie.

We gathered our thoughts and decided we would make it as far as we could south and make it a day.  Our emotions were physically draining us and we could see talking about this place called “San Antonio” in front of Dawson was making him question things. We wanted to make sure he was worry free so we decided not mention “San Antonio” again until he fell a sleep.  He is a super smart little boy and picks up on everything. He loves to worry like his mommy. For 3 weeks we had been preparing him for this move to North Dakota. We needed to plan things out  more before we discussed it with him. As we drove hour after hour, all I could think about was Dawson. What are we to do when we get to San Antonio, he sees no house and we are staying in a hotel? How will it be for him to travel around this monsterous town as mommy and daddy search for our next new home? I could not come to peace about any of it. I was so blessed to be going South now, but WOW how our world has been turned around. We made it to McAlester, OK when we decided to call it a night. We were now back 4.5 hours from  home where we left 2 days ago. lol! Nick and I discussed our concerns of taking Dawson to San Antonio and not having any type of plan in place. We knew that wouldn’t be the best environment for him. Nick called his mom to let her know our concerns and to see if she would be willing to take care of Dawson for us while we were in San Antonio for a week.  We planned on at this point for the next morning to drive a few more hours into Dallas and Nick would drop Dawson and I off at the airport. This way we could fly Dawson home. Then I would just fly to San Antonio and Nick would pick me up. I called my dad to fill him in on what we were thinking. As I told him my plans to fly, he told me not to worry about that mess.  He said I will be there when you wake up in the morning to pick “Rambo” (his nickname for Dawson) up. I will drive him back to Searcy and you can have Nick’s mom pick him up. What a blessing my dad is! Without even being asked, he took it upon himself to make this 9 hour round trip for us.  All our worries with Dawson were soon going to get better. We told Dawson the next morning, that there was a slight change of plans and mommy and Daddy had to go to San Antonio and that his Poppi was coming to pick him up at the hotel. Then his Ne-Ne was going to play all week with him.  Boy was Dawson ecstatic! Bless his sweet heart he was so confused and couldn’t figure out why we weren’t in North Dakota, so knowing he was going home was the best news for him!

At 8:30a.m my phone rings and it’s dad saying he’s in the hotel parking lot ready for Rambo. We climbed into the back of the U-Haul truck and dug out all Dawson’s clothes, toys and necessities we could find and sent them on their way. What a since of relief we had knowing we didn’t have to drag Dawson through what was ahead, but inside we knew we were going to miss him like crazy.  As we headed back upstairs to our room, we went through the long list of calls we had to make.  Top of the list, trying to get U-Haul to allow us to drop off this orange beauty now in San Antonio instead of North Dakota. Also finding a place to store all our belongings because the chance of finding temporary housing (apartment) in 2 days wasn’t going to happen.  After we took care of a few calls, we hit the road again. San Antonio bound! This was a much easier drive for several reasons. I no longer had to sit in the mini seat, I had the luxury passenger seat. Also, we could freely talk about the future and what we needed to do. Nick’s company has an account with LaQuinta, so we knew all along to stay where there was one. Once we got to San Antonio we knew we were soon going to be without a vehicle. We decided to call it a night at the LQ hotel next to the San Antonio airport. This way we would have easy access to rental car places in the morning.

The next morning Nick jumps in the hotel shuttle and heads to a rental car place which sent us into panic. They would not let us rent a car because we didn’t have a Texas drivers license, plane ticket or any proof of car insurance on us. Of course we don’t have any of those, we are not a resident of Texas and our proof of insurance is Arkansas. Nick fills the people in a little bit on our story. They were kind enough to give Nick a ride over to their competitors who would allow people to rent a car without all those requirements. You just have to pay a pretty penny more. 3 hours later Nick makes it back to the hotel in a vehicle! Boy were we excited! We knew the hunt for finding a home soon had to start asap. I had done a little research and found an Apartment Finders nearby and made an appointment. We head out in search of finding this place and notice the area we are headed was a little rough, but what do we know about San Antonio? Nothing…so we keep driving. We notice police flying by us and a helicopter flying above. A minute or so later we arrive at our destination in this shopping center that had seen it’s better days . Not paying attention to our surrounding we both happily jump out of the vehicle in hopes this place is going to solve our problems and find us an apartment. We get to the back of the vehicle and realize we are in the middle of a crime scene. Police with guns everywhere, a police helicopter flying above, a television crew waiting to get out of their vehicle. I slightly panic as Nick motions to come on now. As we enter the door to the apartment finders.  They inform us the Cricket phone store next door was just robbed at gun point and they were searching for the suspect. (I instantly think…. Awesome!! Just our luck.) They then say, “Welcome to San Antonio, have a seat”. (Are you serious?!!! I am ready to hit the road at this moment knowing they are searching for a suspect and I can’t understand a word anyone is saying. My spanish skills aren’t that great)  Without going into great detail, let’s just say we soon left this place and decided it would be much easier/safer to find a place to live on our own. 🙂 Ha!  This was a task we thought would be easy, but let’s just say in a town the size of San Antonio and how rental laws work here it was extremely stressful. We hotel hopped from the LQ at the airport to the LQ at the River Walk so we could have a bigger room since the walls were beginning to feel like they were caving in on us.

The day had come where we needed to return our big orange gas guzzling truck. Luckily the U-Haul we were assigned to return our truck to also had storage facilities. This was a long day. It’s so much easier cramming a 14ft truck then unloading it! Especially when you have to cram it all in a 10×10 storage. 5 hours later we were exhausted and back on the road apartment searching. Looking back now, I’m pretty sure people thought we were one crazy pitiful couple. For 8 days Nick and I toted around a few boxes and 4 (girly) suit cases that we carried around in a rental car and toted in and out of hotels. We had no home to leave anything in, so all our personal belongings we toted everywhere with us. We had a file box of important papers, a box of food, a box of shoes, a bag of Dawson’s clothes we forgot to send home with him, a bag of clothes for Nick and a bag of clothes for me.  Clothing was a little bit of an issue since it was super hot outside. We had packed mainly winter clothes and only a couple summer outfits. We literally did laundry at the hotel every other day. This was definitely one of the craziest times of our lives we will not forget and still giggle about.

After 7 days of endlessly apartment searching/researching meeting a lot very interesting people we finally found a place to call Home for a few months. 🙂 What a relief this was to finally find a nice and safe place that was available!

The next day after we signed our 4 month lease. Nick’s company flew him to North Dakota and me back home to my sweet boy!

I am calling it a night on this one. 🙂

Next time…more on our airport craziness, Nick’s long drive back to Arkansas &  breaking it to Dawson San Antonio was going to be our new home now.

I hope to wrap up journaling our wild adventure in the next post.  So I can share more on what we are up to now!  I promise to end the extremely lengthy  posts as well. 🙂 Ha!

Also I want to say THANK YOU to those whose are reading this blog.  (Blogging keeps me sane…lol)  I truly appreciate your comments, the sweet texts I have received and your prayers!  Just inspiring one person by sharing our journey makes blogging all worth it!

Blessings,

Chel

Praying Endlessly for God’s Direction

For a few months leading up to our move there were so many things we prayed about; needing to know God’s guidance. Natural gas in Arkansas was slowing down and Nick’s clients started operating out of the state. Nick’s company knew that our hearts were set on staying close to home. Late summer, Nick was given the opportunity to manage Arkansas, East Texas and North Louisiana. Nick would spend 3 days a week out of state and home for two days plus the weekend. This setup seemed ideal, because it meant we didn’t have to leave so many we love behind. After a few months of doing this, Nick realized this wasn’t something he was 100% happy with. Those areas were not producing very much and the feeling of not being very profitable for his company soon laid heavy on his heart. This opportunity to work all 3 of those districts was offered to Nick so his company could keep him on board. It was totally to Nick’s advantage, but didn’t really benefit his company. Knowing that his company was stepping out of the box for him, we both felt led to be more open to change. We were beyond blessed that Nick had this opportunity, but it led us to more nights crying out to God what should we do, what’s the best for our future.  Nick had been offered a position in the past to go to Minot, North Dakota and over a year ago, San Antonio, TX. At this time the only option was North Dakota. How do you make a decision to stay close to home in your comfort zone or move 20 hours away, or switch careers completely. It was a decision we couldn’t make on our own. (If you know us well, neither one of us like to make decisions). We needed God’s clear direction and a whole lot of faith! Moving to North Dakota obviously had it’s financial advantages, but Nick and I didn’t want to make a decision based off money, because, honestly, money isn’t everything. We wanted to be where God wants us to be. For several weeks we kept this to ourselves and prayed for an answer on what to do. We would go to church on Sunday’s and secretly cry our eyes out as the praise and worship band played. Every song seemed to hit our situation every time and it was such a wake up call. In our eyes we needed an answer soon. As we all know though, everything is in God’s timing. It’s so hard sometimes to understand that when you are in the moment. I will never forget the day Nick told me he had setup a meeting with the VP of Sales for his company to discuss his future. My heart was racing and I had a billion of my reporter questions going through my head. All I could do though was pray for Nick and pray that God had his hand in the meeting. Nick is so laid back, he doesn’t really do things like this. Nick had told me he had a list of questions written down in his notebook. He needed all those questions he wrote down answered,  so he could at least get closer to making a decision on his future. In my heart I was scared to death. I was so worried about the what if’s and that Nick’s questions might be impossible to get answered. The next day approached for Nick’s meeting. I talked with Nick right before the meeting and let him go so he could spend some time in prayer in his truck before he went in to the meeting. Two and half hours later (after I have stuffed everything possible in my mouth because of nerves and paced the floor a billion times) I recieved the first of two phone calls that have changed our lives this year. As I picked up the phone and said hello my heart was racing so hard. “How did it go babe?”, I asked. Nick calmly said we are moving to North Dakota and I am confident it’s all in God’s plan. In my head I am silently thinking, WHAT IN THE WORLD!!!  I then calmly respond by asking him to explain a little more please. Nick then goes on to say that first off he surprised his bosses because they all thought he was going to quit, so they had been pondering on what they needed to do to keep him on. Nick said he went on to insure them he truly has his heart with this company and just needed clarity on several things before he could make a decision on his future. Nick then said from that point on he knew God had his hand in this meeting. Nick never once had to mention one of the long lists of questions he had to his bosses. It was like an automatic checklist they were going through answering with all the right answers to the questions he had prayed so long about. This gave me chills quite honestly. To know that Nick felt led to make this move and most importantly he was 100% confident this decision was all in God’s plan.  Sometimes you have to take a huge leap of faith for God to open doors for you. The door for us at this time just “started”to open.

Several days went by of me steadily stressing.  How I would break this to my family, friends and also how this all was going to play out. I am a super schedule/planner/researcher and to not know anything coming up is a little overwhelming to me. 

Nick’s company wanted to make sure he was confident in his decision, so they sent him to North Dakota to work for a couple weeks before we officially moved. What a long two weeks this was for us apart. So much went on during this time. Letting our family and friends know, putting our house on the market for sale and lots of research on my part learning and planning more for our soon to be new home. As the two weeks winded down Nick flew back home. At this point our heads are still spinning, focusing on our next steps while trying to take this huge move in. We knew this was a career move for Nick and a decision we felt confident in, but how do you sleep at night knowing you are moving to North Dakota! lol!!  Over the next few weeks we began packing things up for the big move. Since finding housing is such a HUGE issue in North Dakota, Nick’s company was providing us with a fully furnished house. With most of the furniture provided we honestly didn’t need to move everything we own, because we would have to store so much. Also, to be completely honest, I just couldn’t wrap my head around leaving our little perfect house we have called “home” for 3 years so fast. I was super worried about all our stuff we have worked so hard to have, the logistics of getting it there and then storing it. We opted, instead of having Nick’s company pay a moving company to pack and move all our stuff, to do it ourselves and have them reimburse us. In our eyes, we were thinking this would give us more control on what items we took to North Dakota and where we stored them. We would also be able to leave a lot of un-needed furniture at home in Arkansas this way. So what do we do…. Hit up the nearest U-Haul place and rent the smallest truck we can fit 3 people in. I did my research on this and knew we had to find a truck that would fit a car seat and also allow for one of the seats to have an option to turn the air bag off since Dawson wouldn’t reach the weight limit. We locate this fabulous new style U-Haul truck about 25 minutes away. As I follow Nick back to Searcy, every emotion possible is going through my head. We were 24 hours away from our journey to the cold North, far, far away from our friends we see almost daily, our family and the church we have grown to love so much. With me being super shy, we both knew this move was going to be hard on me. I have a hard time breaking out of my shell and meeting new people. I just get so nervous and knowing that my security blankets (Best Friends) were not going to be with me was frightening. Nick is the best knowing how I am and making things so much better in large crowds, but what would I do when I try to meet new girlfriends etc.? As the sun rose the next morning so did we. Nick’s mom, my dad, my sister and nieces all came over to help. What a bittersweet moment it all was, loading up boxes, visiting with family and steadily trying to ensure Dawson that everything was ok. Dawson was so nervous and continuously insisted everything he owned needed to go in the U-Haul so he wouldn’t lose it. My sister, Shasta worked hard on keeping Dawson distracted from what was going on. Shasta and my nieces have a special bond with Dawson. It’s like his extra mommy and sisters he never had. (My sister is so amazing, I don’t know anyone else who could have kept my sweet boy who suffered from colic and severe reflux from 13 weeks to 10 months old during the day while Nick and I worked.) Tears were secretly flying everywhere and it was so hard to hold it together as we loaded box after box. Watching Dawson play with the girls in the front yard and knowing what the future holds broke my heart. Dawson begs to go to his Shae-Shae’s every week. Her house is so much more fun than home in his eyes. We see them so often and how could I imagine Dawson without his so called two sisters, my nieces Lilly & Lolo? My dad was such a trooper being his bossy self all while I would see him tearing up off and on. Nick’s mom was very gracious as well to come help us get things together and loaded up. I wasn’t very motivated that day and she was able to put her emotions to the side that day and be a drill sergeant on making sure we got everything we needed done. I am so thankful for her actions or I would have not loaded one box. lol! Although Dawson and I were coming back home to Searcy in 2 weeks, packing up the U-haul was a reality check to every single one of us. After we got everything packed into the U-Haul and about to call it a night, our sweet long time best friends who live about 5 houses down the street, came over to visit. Nick and I truly felt God led us to Searcy from Cabot at the right time (God’s timing), a time that was heartbreak for our sweet friends as they grieved the loss of a child. To be in Searcy and by their side during those times have been the biggest blessings to us. They have taught us so much about having Faith. You never know how much friends are just like your family until times like this. We have always called them family, but moving away hits home. For two years the sweetest little 2 year old girl, who we love like our own, has walked into our house a thousand times and always made our day. This sweet little girl is who Dawson calls his best friend and loves to argue with like a sister. It broke my heart knowing she is simply too young to understand any time soon what’s really happening. What is she going to think when she strolls down the street and can’t come knock on our door? (and run straight to our snack drawer.) What is Dawson going to do when he begs to ride his bike to go visit her? Tears rolled down my eyes, as I squeezed her for what seemed like at that moment the last time for a long while.  Her parents are who we often look to get guidance from and always have us covered and taken care of. Whether it’s tailgating, trips to the beach, tornadoes, cookouts or sickness we know when we need or forget something our best friends have us covered. They know us too well. As they left out the doors through the garage that night, all Nick and I could do was hug each other and cry. It was the biggest slap in the face of reality. We had both been so strong for several weeks, but what an emotional overload that day was. This is when we knew the only way to make it through this point forward was to walk every step in faith. Every time we question anything we are reminded God has a plan, and everyday he is showing us the path.   

As I wrap up our first journey on this wild blessed adventure, I hope I leave you with knowing that in times of doubt always know God is there. Always know he has a plan. It might not be the ideal situation as in our case, but living and walking in his plan will be more rewarding in the long run.   

I promise in the next post to not leave you hanging. 🙂  More on how we ended up changing calling our “new” home 1 hour from the Canadian border to 1 hour from the Mexican border.  Craziness!!!

Blessings,

Chel

Home is where the Heart is

Happy Day from San Antonio, TX. I am officially back to blogging. (I have said this a couple times before, but this time I am hoping to truly stick with it and make our friends and family proud! 🙂 lol!

For those who do not know…..well we have moved to San Antonio, TX!  What a journey, to say the least, this has been. Going from a town of around 25,000 to 2 million is just a little bit of a change.  lol! Our story is a constant reminder to us just how amazing our God is. We give all praise to him.  As we share our story on how we got to San Antonio, most people either giggle non-stop or shed a few tears along with us, or do both! It’s extremely comical as Nick and I look back at the roller coaster days and craziness we experienced over a few weeks. Over the next few days I plan to explain more on our drive around the U.S., the amazing ups we endured, a few emotional breakdowns, fabulous uhaul riding, hotel living, hairless puppy on board, robberies, airport dashes and some interesting and great people we met along the way. Most of all…you might think what crazy parents we seem to be in the eyes of our sweet boy! lol!  With this said, I am beyond blessed and super impressed how Dawson is taking all the changes he has been faced with. He has had some breakdowns, but nothing more than expected. As adults, Nick and I have had a few cry fests, so in our eyes, we can only imagine what an innocent 4 year old thinks.  The one thing that kept us sane is our FAITH and knowing GOD is in control.   For more on what we are up to….click the “About” link above. 🙂

Blessings,

Chel