Monday, May 24, 2010

A Letter from Missouri

We’re officially Missouri residents!

The last couple of weeks are a blur and were exhausting for me. I was so worn down upon leaving Birmingham that I got a sinus infection and had to get on an antibiotic this passed Tuesday while we were in Louisiana, and handfuls of hair are coming out of my head in the shower. I’m realizing just how stressed I was leading up to this life change.

However, all that {negative stuff :)} said, we have actually transitioned supernaturally well and only by God’s grace! The packing began with taking all of our stuff to a storage unit or setting things aside to be hauled by van, truck or u-haul to our MO home. Russell did an AMAZING job staying focused and energized to get it all done. I helped as much as I could between emotional breakdowns and bouts of lack of energy. Thankfully, by our departure date, May 17th, last Monday, we were packed and ready to go! I praise the Lord for giving us the grace to get that far…Russell, once again, was amazing at getting it all done and supporting me along the way. Pregnancy and keeping up with Rhys did me in on SEVERAL occasions, and Russell gets to see the worst of it, but he was WONDERFUL!

We drove off on Monday morning, heading for Louisiana…I couldn’t find Rhys’ diaper bag, nor my cell phone, so I was already off to a FRANTIC start! We were already on the road, but I had to turn around and go back home, to our neighbor’s home, to get the diaper bag (sweet Cindy kept Rhys for us that morning so that we could finish packing the vehicles and U-Haul), and we finally found my cell phone in my duffel bag with all my clothes…again, pregnancy forgetfulness at its best! That day was hard on me because I was not looking forward to four days of traveling, and since we were only at the beginning of that time frame, I couldn’t see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’ So, I was nervous the entire drive…I drove the van; Russell drove the truck, pulling the U-Haul; we took turns with Rhys in each of our vehicles, which was a great idea!
Fun with cousin Sierra!

We had a fun time with family and friends in Louisiana for a day and two nights…Russell’s sweet mom and sister took care of Rhys all of Tuesday so that Russell and I could just have some much –needed down time. Russell went four-wheelin’; I went to workout at a local gym; then, we had a date afternoon. The next day, we were “on the road again” to Arkansas, where we spent a day and evening with some wonderful friends, Chris, Tara and Crosby Kear. That night, we slept in a hotel room, and I have to include that Russell and I had separate Queen-size beds, and it was WONDERFUL!!! We slept SOOOOO well, and we were ready to get back on the road the next morning!
Fun with Crosby!
On Thursday morning, we were up at 6:00 and on the road by 7:00. It was a long drive to Missouri, but we got here by 1:00 that afternoon, went to all the utility places to get our electricity, water and sewer hooked up. Then, we made it to our new home! I broke down in tears immediately, just exhausted and uncertain of what we were ‘getting into,’ but I didn’t for one second lose faith nor trust in our Lord. I was just emotionally and physically sapped, and I needed a good cry. Once that was done, we unloaded everything, and by 11:30 that night, we were officially “settled.”
Following, you'll see a bunch of pictures of our Missouri home. I should mention that it was NOT furnished, so we had to transport whatever we wanted with us. As the packing continued and the time came closer to our move, we minimized and minimized and yet again MINIMIZED what we brought! We are living very simply and loving it! I hope that we can continue to live this simply in our next seasons of life!

Our home: (our duplex is to the left...see our swagger wagon?)

Our front view:Once you walk into the front door, our coat closet on the left:Garage on the right:Kitchen on the right:Walking into the living area:Our living area:Russell's work station:

My work station{Russell was SO sweet to set this up for me so that I can have an area to sew and keep up with ‘my world’ via internet.}: We had to buy a baby that Rhys doesn't fall down this... (Yikes! Steep!)
The master bedroom:
Like Russell's dresser?And mine? If it's not stuffed in a box :) or on the floor, it's hanging...Our restroom:
We gave it our 'personal' touch, bringing our towels! :)
Rhys' room:

We hung a tarp over his window as his curtain, and he's been sleeping GREAT b/c we get the room so DARK!!! :) I am thankful for that!
Rhys' restroom:
Our HUGE utility room!
I cannot tell you how THANKFUL I am for the washer and dryer!!! I was not sure we’d have this and was thinking that I might have to go to a Laundromat everyday with Rhys…that would’ve been a challenge:
We’ve been without internet until today! I told Russell that it’s been a nice, forced fast from internet, and I’m challenged to NOT get on my computer so much during the days, now! It’s been refreshing to realize that I CAN make it without getting on the internet and checking my email throughout the day…MULTIPLE times a day!!! Ridiculous how much that WASTES my time and energy!

We’ve been on Fort Leonard Wood army base every day to get a feel for what life is going to be like for us as a family and for me and Rhys, once Russell gets started on his training schedule tomorrow. We live about 10 minutes from the front gate. The base is AMAZING! It’s like a city! Anyone living on base would never need to leave for ANYthing! It’s got gas stations, fast food chain restaurants, a mini-mall, the PX {like a mini-Walmart}, the Commissary {a grocery store, and I like their prices!! :)}, Starbuck’s :), a great gym to work out in, miles of walking paths, which I’ve already been enjoying with little man in his new jogging stroller, various parks/playgrounds for every age…you name it, it’s there! The people seem very kind, and I feel safe there, which is important to me, since I’ll be in a new environment with Rhys as my companion each day!

It’s interesting seeing SO many military people around town…I’m used to only seeing Russell in uniform. I almost went up to a stranger in uniform the night we got here…we had to make a run to Walmart for plastic cups, plates, food, supplies, etc…and I almost said to this guy, “Hey, Hun...” then remembered, “Wait! Russell’s not in uniform!” I looked around and a good 95% of all men had a military hair cut and maybe 70% were in uniform! So, this is going to be a different life for me…I get to experience military life, which excites both me and Russell, but I admit, I had to physically get here and ‘see for myself’ before I could get excited. Now, I am. Genuinely. I praise praise praise the Lord for the joy in my heart and for where HE has brought us and for wherever HE is taking us.

We know that we will be here for four months, until the end of September. We look forward to living out our days here, soon meeting Caleb (mid-August) and going from there!Thank you for letting me share. Thank you for the prayers that have carried us to this point. I hope to do a better job of keeping our blog updated on our lives during this season of life, but pregnancy and keeping up with Rhys will surely continue to call for naps during my former blogging times.

Love to all of you!! Please continue to pray that we will walk in step with the Holy Spirit each day, that we will feed on the Lord’s Word and in prayer continually and that we will make the most of every opportunity {and get a better understanding of even what that means!} during this season. We also pray that the Lord will keep me and Russell united during this time, knowing that we will face trying, tiring and disappointing times because of our humanness.

Thank you for praying, and please please please keep in touch!



Katie said...

Hey Darlin',
I'm so glad to see your post and the pictures of your new place! It looks very nice and new and I'm so happy for you! I'm really proud of you and all you've accomplished over the last week! Moving while pregnant, taking care of a toddler, driving all day long, and feeling all those emotions is probably harder than I can imagine! You're a real trooper! I hope to see more on your blog as you have time. Get some good rest whenever you can! Love you! ~Katie

HB said...

I soaked up EVERY word of this post (and will likely read it again later today). I LOVE your new home. We miss seeing you guys out in the neighborhood, FOR SURE, but I'm so excited for you, Shireen. I'm excited for the challenge and we will continue to keep you all in our thoughts and prayers as you begin an exciting journey! ENJOY BASE LIFE!!! It truly is the life and our military DESERVES IT!

Look forward to more updates! RHYS, I miss seeing you and your sweet little self!

Mama Matteo said...

Yay! im glad you are there and settled and that the base has so much to offer. your house is so cute and it will probably be nice living minimally. we will definitley keep praying but i admire you good attitude and your eagerness to see what God has to show and teach you in this season of life.

amanda blake said...

Shireen, I'm so glad you all made it safely and settling into the new abode. Must be beautiful, enjoy the cooler weather, you just missed the AL pre-summer humidity/heat ickyness. I loved reading about your adventure to MO. Can't wait to hear more, and so encouraged and all you shared. I'll miss you all, wait, I already do!! Looking forward to more updates on your new canvas of life!

Kathryn said...

Thank you for taking time to share and update us as I can imagine and tell from your words that it was quite a journey there! I'll pray you can use this time to REST- both physically, as you prepare for Caleb, and spiritually as you see what the Lord will do for you now. Good luck to Russ as he starts training! Love you guys!
the Hipps

Sony Girl said...

Dave and I have been living simply for over a year now and it's amazing how you don't really miss your "stuff". However - I must confess - I do miss having counterspace in the kitchen. Wish you the best of luck in your new adventure!

Dave and Carrie Tyson said...

Welcome to the Military Life of being an Army Wife!!! I must admit, it has its perks and downsides, as well. I love meeting new people and pray the Lord brings specific people across your path to encourage you and strengthen you. I love you! God bless you! MUAH! xoxo