Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Long Drive South

On Friday, Sept 18th, 7:30pm, our house was packed up & cleaned out, looking like a model home, I might add... the UHaul was loaded to capacity, kids strapped in car seats and we pulled out of our driveway for the last time as a family. It was a bittersweet and surreal moment, a memory I think I will always have, but will remember like a dream. And there was no looking back.

It started raining as we pulled out of town, and rained buckets and buckets in the Birmingham area for the next few days. We like to think the city was sad to see us go and just couldn't stop crying! ;)

And then we started driving... for 12 and a half hours... through the night...

We made several stops so our drivers could refuel and recaffeinate. The kids did pretty well, sleeping thru most of the drive, as we'd hoped. About an hour from Tampa they woke up and started getting restless, which was really just a ploy to help keep GranDad awake the last miles! We finally made it, safe & sound, and Grammie was ready to welcome the kids so we could get the Uhaul unloaded and try to catch a nap. I think we were to tired to sleep... and yes, we did watch the Auburn v. West VA game that night that lasted past midnight! War Eagle!!

I think Larry's Facebook posts via iPhone from the road best sum up our long night:

8:53 pm The move to Tampa begins now. We will see you in 11 hours Tampa....

11:44 pm Hello Troy.

1:31 am Welcome to Florida.

3:18 am Tallahassee. Gas. SRV Voodoo Child (I think he was talking about music, not the child pictured!)

7:01 am Hello Sun

8:48 am Hello Tampa.
And now I think I'm finally caught up, and you can start reading posts about current day life!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend of Goodbyes

I started this post the week we were moving, and, understandable, never got very far with it! I started it, then realized I REALLY SHOULD be packing, and abandoned the blog. So, this is about 2 weeks late... Hopefully we'll be settled here in Tampa and back to regular blogging soon! :)

Well, I really should be packing and doing a zillion other things, but I've been wanting to post pics of our weekend... a weekend of goodbyes! So, I guess it's actually, finally, REALLY going to happen- WE'RE GOING TO MOVE...
I've had my head in either a box or paint can the last couple of weeks, and kinda avoiding the fact that we're really leaving. But this was our last weekend in town and the start of lots of lasts here in Birmingham...

Going Away Party
Our sweet friends Jeremy & Michelle Long hosted a Goodbye Party for us with the help of our dearest friends, the Phelps, on Friday night. It was just a small group of some of our closest friends, mainly from our church, but all of our little ones came to party too- that's 14 kids, 3 yrs & under! So there was a bit of chaos, but the good kind! We will miss each of these sweet friends and their precious babies! I hope & pray that we can find families in Tampa that are as great as ya'll to be the "village" to help us raise our children...
Larry & I
The Phelps- I guess Logan didn't want to smile for me! He was a little upset we were leaving :(

Michelle & baby Emmie
Christen, Jen, Fran, me, Kate

Rollins, Georgia & Tate (all 2.5 yrs)

Babies, babies, babies.... Emmie Long (7.5 mo)

Josh Colvert (almost 1)

Lincoln (9 mo)- notice his newest shiner from falling into the corner of the wall!

At the end of the night our sweet friends prayed for us and gave us a wonderful book with messages from all of them.

AU Game with Phelps
Saturday night we all donned our Auburn gear and cheered on the Tigers with Matt, Sandy & Logan. We're going to miss watching the games with you guys!
Lincoln's doing his football drills...
Don't you just want to kiss those slobbery baby boy cheeks!! Love you, Logan!
Best attempt at a pic of Sandy & I & the boys...
Not the best pic of aunt Sandy & Georgia, but too cute to not post!
Georgia & uncle Matt get some snuggle time.
"Warrrr Eagle- HEY!"
Lincoln thinks uncle Matt looks funny upside down!
Logan, Georgia & Lincoln
Best pic I could get of my kiddos together... some nights it's just not going to happen!

Aunt Sandy gave Georgia a cute bag w/ her name on it- to pack all her stuff in for a long visit back to Bham, OR just to pack Georgia in!
Hipps Dinner
On Sunday night of our "Goodbye weekend" we had all of Larry's family over for dinner. It was great to all be together in our home one last time, and to let them know how much we love them and will be missing them!
Georgia & Lincoln with Frances & Ernie, Larry's aunt & uncle.

Me, Larry's cuz Jaclyn, sis Heather, mom Diane & Georgia.

Lincoln & Georgia with their Nana & great-Granny

Granny with her grandkids: Tyler, Joseph, Jaclyn, Larry & Heather

Larry with his Granny & kiddos

Georgia & her great-Granny

Granny & her greats...

Smooches from Frances

Georgia & Lincoln with Uncle T

Look at those matching mischievous smiles!

Georgia with Nana & Aunt Heather

Georgia & Jaclyn
Jaclyn made us two adorable cakes: "Bye Ya'll" with an airplane...

and a Monkey for Lincoln's 1st birthday, since we won't be with them to celebrate it in December!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Top Phrases

... you can hear around our house lately...

1) Don't EAT that!
2) Nice kitty... (GA's favorite game right now)
3) Where did the tape gun go?
4) Where did the Sharpie go?...WHERE did the SHARPIE go?? (w/ Panic!) {oh- it's clipped on my shirt}
5) Where's Lincoln?
6) Lincoln- no no!!
7) Don't hit your brother with ANYTHING
8) Pack it up!
9) Good walking, Lincoln!
10) "Look at ME!" {from Georgia}

And just b/c a blog posting without pictures is pointless, here ya go...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Goodbye, Birmingham

Well, I've been putting off this post for a couple of weeks, as we wanted to share this news in person with as many people as possible first, and, honestly, I haven't had much "spare time" to blog! But since this is all happening in 2 weeks, it's about time for it to go on the blog...
We're MOVING...
to TAMPA...
in 2 WEEKS!!!
It's a very bittersweet moment for us as we are excited about the friends and family we'll be joining in Tampa, and for the opportunity for Larry with his new job, but we are also sad to be leaving such awesome, sweet, loving friends and family here. We've had a very good life here in Birmingham, and the Lord has taught us many lessons, directed us down varied paths and truly blessed us here. We will just continue to seek His guidance and will for our family as we continue our journey in Tampa.
We have much to do in the next 2 weeks with packing and getting our house ready to sell. The kids have been "helping" as you can see... I never imagined how much harder it is to pack with two mess-makers to wrangle at the same time! :)

As we've been packing up the house, it's been a bit of a journey thru our life here together. We got married here, bought our first home- the townhome in Pelham, survived Bernie's puppy-hood, moved to our home in Helena, "hosted" Christmas for my family for the 1st time, finished out a bedroom, bonus room & bathroom downstairs, brought our first baby home here, celebrated her 1st & 2nd birthdays, brought home her baby brother here and again got to host Christmas, and shared many meals, memories and special moments with many special people here. Larry is also leaving behind his childhood, the place where he grew up, went to school and where he can still run into old friends. We've grown together as a couple here, anticipated parenthood, and survived the first few years of parenthood here, with the support of so many. As we look forward to sharing these moments with loved ones and new friends in Tampa, we go secure in the foundation we've built here in Birmingham.
Thank you to each of you, here, there & everywhere, for your love, support and encouragement. Please continue to pray for us as we make this transition together, as a family, and the many details that are involved. We love you and will miss you! We will always have a room ready for you & your family down in the Sunshine State!
"We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers."
1 Thessalonians 1:2

Happy Football!!

Here's to a great season, AUBURN TIGERS!!