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It's been nine weeks since we moved. In some ways it feels like only yesterday we were back home in Lewisburg, in other ways it feels like an eternity. My children have definitely grown a lot emotionally, they've had to. And our house is starting to take shape.
Phew! And that is a very good thing. Just being able to see a house going up is a huge relief. There's nothing like jamming seven people in an apartment to put a magnifying glass on your many weaknesses as a family! Like our house, we're a work in progress. This is more apparent than ever.
One cool fact about our house is that it was started on my Mom's birthday, and it should be finished (and signed for) on my Dad's birthday. Kinda cool.
Although January was a special sort of train wreck full of emotions and homesickness, I am strangely proud to say that February was the best February on record if I look back on my nearly 12 years in Pennsylvania. While much of the west had snow and cold temperatures, we had day after day of warm, Spring-like, even sunny, days. This made some people grumpy (they wanted at least one good snow), it made others anxious (as they waited for the other shoe to drop.) Me? It just made me happy and better able to handle my life right now. My sister is having our family try to run or walk 2017 miles collectively this year, so I walked outside every chance I got. And it was good for my mental well-being.
So, I don't know what your February was like, but I know that in nothing doth man offend God than in not recognizing his hand in all things, so I'm going to list some of the things that made me happy during the month of February, things that I know God had a hand in:
1. The trip back to Lewisburg for the Ice Festival kicked things off nicely with hugs from friends and a time-out from the stress of every day reality.
2. The awesome weather! Last Friday, my car dashboard said it was 84 degrees. I don't know if that was accurate, but I'm not going to look a gift-horse in the mouth either.
3. I've been able to meet some really nice people here who were also nice enough to actually be my friend. This has been huge.
4. As a family, we went to our "first dance" together at our children's elementary/middle school on Valentine's Day, and it was hilariously off-the-hook.
5. Because we snagged a good girl to babysit for us from the wealth of babysitters in the ward, my husband and I have gone on more dates together this month than we probably have in the last year. I'm not proud of that fact, but there you have it.
6. I started crossing off the days on our family calendar and my personal planner. It's not something that I normally do. It's what my daughters do on their calendars, however, in my current state of mood, it gives me great satisfaction to watch the days pass (or to put them in the past!)
7. I got two callings. I was excited to receive one, and honestly hoped that the Bishop just misspoke when he said, we have "some callings" to extend to you. But I accepted both and will do my best. When I finally was set apart, I liked what was said in my blessing and found it to be helpful. One calling is TFOT teacher in Relief Society. The other is being a member of the "meetings committee" to help plan monthly RS activities. It's interesting to be in a ward that does so much.
8. I took all of my kids to the doctor for check-ups, all my kids to the dentist, and Scarlett got braces, which look cute on her. I even took myself to the doctor for a check-up. That was a lot of work, but I like all of the physicians and dentists we've signed on with, so that is a plus.
9. My husband and I gave talks in Sacrament meeting on "Standing as a Witness." I invited my new friend to come listen to my talk, and she actually came. Both accepting the invitation and actually coming are things to celebrate. And she didn't go running from the building after listening to my talk on sharing the gospel, so that's a good thing! Haha.
10. I had a really good day last week, where, for a moment, I realized that my apartment felt almost home-like. Honor had had a friend over to play earlier in the day. Val was napping. Honor and I were able to sit restfully on the couch together and were starting to make cookies. A warm breeze was blowing through the open patio door. And I felt calm and comfortable, and it felt peaceful and good. And I realized it felt like I'd feel if I were at home and I hadn't felt that way in a long, long time. And it felt good, even if for a moment.
So these are all of the good things. We all still cry when we're reminded of home. Or if we don't cry, we just get quiet and let the moment pass. It feels like one of those really sad break-ups, where just the mention of our dear home's name or the names of our friends tends to bring that lump right back in our throats, so I tend to train my thoughts on the present, but all of that aside, I can say we're embracing our new life, and just trying hard to "fall in love" again with a new place, while still holding a candle for the old. I even signed my kids up for soccer for the very first time, which will surely make my friends who know me laugh as I was never one to buy in to that whole scene! Anyway, we can easily see the blessings. We can see the blue skies and many other important blessings not mentioned here. We know that we are being watched over. And we are doing everything we know how to settle in to this new life. So, how was your February?