In 2017, I’m hunting the good stuff. I am setting aside the turmoil I see all around me and instead recording snapshots that will tell a story of fun, adventure, joy, and thankfulness. This is the story of my life and I’ll choose the tone and how I want to tell it; I do that daily with my attitude, my outlook, and the lens through which I choose to see life.
Here on my blog, I’m keeping a running camera roll of each month’s highlights and adventures. Has life been perfect? Nope. Have we had our share of hard days and tough moments? You bet. But that’s not what I’m choosing to focus on. I’m taking a day at the end of each month to go back and look at the snapshots of goodness and joy we have been given.
Without further adieu…I present to you June…
Back at the beginning of the year, when I settled on a word or theme around which our year would evolve, I knew June would typify my choice of the word “adventure.” The first half of the year lead up to this and now here we are, or rather, there we were.
See that white bowl in the photo below? We drove home from our Tennessee trip at the end of May and that night, Thomas started with a stomach bug. It threatened to keep him from summer camp, but alas, he rallied and was able to go to Camp Equip for eight days with his Georgia Trail Life troop.
Ryan had one, final Strong Bonds retreat with the 782nd MI BN at Fort Gordon. We drove over to Hilton Head for a few days with Kate and Mae. We enjoyed time with our Army family and dipping our toes in the ocean, even if only briefly.
Literally the day after we got home from Hilton Head, Mae, Kate, and I drove to Canton and stayed the night with Mere. The next morning, I had an appointment with a realtor to look at a property in Big Canoe, GA. Mom and Dad met us there and we spent the day there before driving back to Augusta.
Thomas made it back from camp.
I spent some time working through the interview process for VIPKID. (A long story for another day…)
We had our final Sunday at the Fort Gordon, Friendship Chapel and were farewelled.
Mae and Kate went to one last VBS at Grace.
Ryan’s brother, sister-in-law, and niece were in town for the night and we got to meet them for dinner at Rhinehart’s.
In that week leading up to the movers coming, I was still wheeling and dealing on the neighborhood app, Nextdoor. It felt like we were off-loading all of our possessions, but now I see that was a blessing in disguise.
Mae finished up officially with Dr. Crawford and Thomas had an appointment. We’ll be driving back and forth until we leave Columbia trying to get Thomas finished up with his orthodontic treatment.
I (over) documented the week on Instagram Stories. It was part silly and fun, part therapeutic for me to help manage the stress and emotions of the final days in Augusta.
We also had a WONDERFUL send off from our chapel leadership at Gwen and Andy’s house. What a sweet time of fellowship!
The weekend preceding the movers’ arrival was spent doing more purging, tossing, organizing, and getting the garage, house, and yard in final shape. I also wrote my cathartic, memorial blog post about our time at Fort Gordon. Seriously, writing that and doing the IG Stories was so helpful in helping me process my emotions about saying goodbye to an era of our lives. To date, I haven’t had a major breakdown. Thank you, Lord.
We kept Father’s Day pretty low-key; partly by choice and partly because Mae seemed to have a touch of whatever bug Thomas had a few weeks earlier. We mostly stayed around the house and rested up before the pack out began.
The two person packing team arrived Tuesday and had things pretty well finished up by mid-day Wednesday. The girls had one last playdate (and goodbye) with their friend Kate.
Ryan and I pretty much tried to stay out of the way of the packers and movers; enjoying some rest before the second, more taxing half of the move got underway.
Tony came over bearing goodbye gifts for the kids. Man, we are already missing our sweet neighbors.
And this, well…this was a fiasco all its own.
Everything was loaded up by Thursday afternoon. We stayed in the house having a few last odds and ends to finish up, having our utilities turned off, pre-cleaning before the professional cleaners arrived, and loading up the vehicles with our final “carry with us” belongings.
Each and every PCS is unique, but it was rather comical this time that we pulled out of our Evans driveway around 10:00, dropped off our cable box at Comcast and pulled through the gates at Fort Jackson in Columbia right around 11:30.
We had our housing appointment. Signed for our Custer Loop house, got keys and said hello to our home for the next 5+ months.
The next morning, Ryan and Kate drove to pick up our newest family member, Hank. While some may think we are absolutely NUTS to get a dog right in the middle of a PCS, we say to that…NAH, we’ve had this brewing for a few years. In fact, as we were leaving El Paso, now three years ago, we’ve been promising a dog.
Our rental agreement in Georgia wouldn’t allow it. So we have had three solid years of researching, looking at puppies online, and dreaming about the day we’d get our own, and the kids’ first, pet. Welcome home Santee’s Hammerin’ Hank!
Getting used to having a five month old puppy has actually been the perfect diversion for the kids as we settle into our new surroundings. Hank is a sweet boy and has been pretty easy-going so far.
We signed for the house on Saturday, and our household goods were delivered Monday. By Tuesday evening, everything was pretty much unpacked and in its new home until December. (E.X.H.A.U.S.T.I.N.G. — I told Ryan, my back feels like he’s already put in 20 years in his military career!)
Wednesday, Ryan got my pictures hung and we joined the Palmetto Falls water park on post. We have been settling in getting a feel for our neighborhood, all of the amenities we have available to us while we live here.
We met our new next-door neighbors briefly and already have plans to have them for dinner this weekend after they move in. Some of our Augusta friends who now live here have already come over for a visit, they brought brownies and stayed for a paper-plate dinner. I’ve met a friend for coffee, already checked out the commissary, Trader Joes, and Publix… (#momlife).
Last night, as I was floating around the lazy river, I thanked God for a busy and full month. I thanked him that we were able to have a pretty seamless transition between Georgia and South Carolina, for the opportunity to now, finally, actually feel like our summer has begun, and for the opportunity for a unique life op-tempo until December.
Hello South Carolina! In the words of the orphan Annie, “I think I’m gonna like it here!”