Unsettled

I’ve talked about this a bit amongst my friends and family. But I’m just going to put it out there officially: I DON’T LIKE IT HERE. Everyone I come across seems to have moved here from somewhere else in the country, or every from other countries. And everyone tells me “oh, you’re going to love it here!” Ok, why? Why does everyone love it here? Traffic is absolutely atrocious, day and night. If you such as need to run to the store for 1 or 2 forgotten items, it takes at least 45 minutes. It’s urban, but things are spaced so far apart, with a thick strip of trees between everything to make it appear more rural. All the roads are twisty, making it also take longer to get from one place to another. There’s no direct route for anything. People are nice most of the time in public, but no one seems to want to create a real friendship. (I know some of the is the pandemic, I don’t need reminded).

I used to think living in a bigger town/city would be more convenient. With more things to do and a bigger variety of people to meet and befriend. More career opportunities and a better overall environment. I was completely wrong. It’s simply not for me. I want a smaller town. Where businesses are all within a couple miles of each other, and you can go for pleasant walks in your own neighborhood without cars flying past at 60mph. I want familiar faces instead of a constantly changing sea of strangers. I want a bank and doctors office that greets you, knowing who you are instead of treating you like “just another person.”

I never in my life thought I’d say it, but I miss Newton. Maybe not Newton specifically, but the culture. The small town, familiar faces, some people know your name, safe, comfortable culture of a smaller town. It’s the kind of place I want to raise Felix. Not the city.

I can’t say I regret coming here to the Raleigh area. I have learned a lot, mostly about myself. It’s something I should have learned earlier in life. But now that I know, I want to find a smaller town to go plant roots. Maybe Iowa, maybe not. Wherever the wind blows Jarrod and me. I love exploring, but I look forward to finding a place that we don’t want to move away from.

Hello, North Carolina!

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The U-Haul getting all finished up.

Saturday, May 16th at around 4pm, the driving crew set out from Iowa to drive to our new home in North Carolina.  Jarrod, Andy, Cory, Amber C & Amber DC, and their friend Sheila all got into one of our cars and the U-Haul truck (towing our other vehicle), and took off.  Amber DC kept in touch with me along the way, letting me know status updates periodically about the kids and the dog.  Jarrod let me know every time they entered a new state.

Saturday night I had planned on staying at my mom’s house with Evan and Felix.  However, things didn’t work out quite as planned, so Evan ended up staying at a friend’s house, and I ended up staying with a different friend.  Felix did fine overnight, for the first night ever spent away from home.  And the next morning we got ready, and my mom picked up us, and then picked Evan up, and took us all to the airport in Des Moines.  It was a tearful good-bye, and very hard to walk away from my mom.  I knew she and I would miss each other miserably.  After many hugs and tears, we parted ways and we were on our way to our gate.

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Above the clouds and the mountains.

We flew from Des Moines, IA to Charlotte, NC.  And then we switched planes and flew from Charlotte to Raleigh, NC.  It was the first time Evan ever flew, and he swears he will never do it again.  He was not impressed.  It was also the first time Felix flew, and he did amazingly well.  He didn’t cry or complain in any way except for about the last 10 minutes of the first flight, and that was because he was just bored at the end of that 2 hours on my lap.  The second flight went very well too.

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Arrived in Raleigh!

It took the driving crew about 25 hours to make it all the way to our new house.  Once our flight landed in Raleigh, we had to wait about an hour for Jarrod to get the U-Haul parked at our new house and take a car to pick us up.  It was so great to be able to see him again after being apart for a little over 24 hours.

 

When we pulled up, the house looked exactly as it did in the pictures.  However, going inside and looking around, it was a bit dank.  It smelled musty, as though no one had lived there for a few months or so.  There was a bunch of junk on the back deck like old interior doors and broken blinds.  The lawn was long and neglected.  The place wasn’t very clean.  I was pretty unhappy, feeling like I made a mistake in choosing this house for our family home.  However, over the following few days, Jarrod and I cleaned and tidied and arranged our belongings in a way that has really made it come together as our home.

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Our new backyard.

Now that we’ve been here for a couple of weeks, Jarrod and I are both much happier.  Besides a handful of boxes left to unpack, we have everything where we want it to be.  Coming from such a large house into one that is considerably smaller, we had to make some adjustments.  For starters, we had to rent a storage shed for quite a few of our belongings that simply won’t fit into this house.  Our dining table was far too large for our current diningroom, so we had to put it in storage and buy a smaller one (used).  We weren’t able to bring any living room furniture with us in the U-Haul, so we are doing a rent-to-own deal for a sectional couch.  Most everything else we needed I was able to find for free or very cheap on Amazon or Facebook Marketplace.

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Felix enjoying the view out the front windows.

Jarrod has started his general manager training for the restaurant where he was hired.  He will be training for a few weeks, and then he will be managing his own store.  I am still in the process of getting Evan and Cory enrolled in school, and finding a pediatrician and PT for Felix.  Some of that depends on government and school offices opening up again.

I’ve been a little lonely with Jarrod working full time already.  But I know this is a temporary thing.  Eventually life will be able to resume and I’ll be able to set up play dates for Felix again.  And in so doing, I’ll be able to make some mom friends locally.  I really look forward to that.  In the meantime I’m just finishing up the paperwork and registration for all the boys and their various needs.  I’m making our house feel more and more like our home.  And I’m just living our normal life here in North Carolina.  It doesn’t really feel like we are so far away from what we’ve always known.  The biggest difference is that I can’t see family and friends.  But I know they will visit us here, and we will visit in Iowa as well.

Remembering

Iowa has always been my home.  My mom moved us here to Newton when I was 5 years old.  Newton is where I grew childhood friendships, and where I started and attended elementary school.  A huge chunk of my childhood was here, and nearly all of my adulthood.  I was only away from Newton long enough to finish high school and learn about working and being on my own in a larger city, and then I came right back here.  My children were all four born here, and my three oldest have attended school here always.  Jarrod and I met here (and he’s been a lifelong resident as well).  We worked a job together, built a happy home together in the only house we’ve ever been in as a couple, and created a life and family together here.

Newton-IA

I have learned about love and heartache.  The gift of life and the devastation of loss.  All the good times full of laughter and joy, along with all the deeply desperate and bad times.  Driving through Newton, every street has a memory.  Every park holds a part of my personal history.  Many houses contain pieces of my childrens’ upbringings.  And here we are, in our last few days within it all.

Among the things I will miss, of course, my mom is the one I will miss the most.  She’s been the one here for me always, no matter what.  She’s been my best friend, the one I can go to and lean on for anything.  She knows me inside and out.  I love her so very much.  I will miss my best friend Amber.  Though this pandemic has kept us apart a lot more than we’d like to be, it is going to be rough knowing I can’t just drive down the road and hang out.  I’m going to miss Skyla and Shane, new friends that Jarrod and I have made through Felix.  I’m going to miss our wonderfully spacious house that has been our family home through the duration of our marriage so far.  This house has more memories for us than I could even begin to count.  I am going to miss our favorite breakfast/lunch spot, Midtown Cafe, and the owners, The Sharpnacks.  They have been like extended family to us.  Felix was basically grown in my tummy on their delicious creations.  I’m going to miss the helpful therapy providers and medical professionals Felix has needed during his infancy.  We’ve gotten so much support from them for his developmental needs.  And of course many more friends and acquaintances I have made throughout the years.

New-chapterHowever, I very much look forward to turning the page in my life story.  Jarrod and I will be presented in our new home as a couple, from day one.  No one will be asking us how our exes are, or what happened years ago.  They will see us as a family unit, and accept that from the beginning.  We will no longer be questioned or doubted for our longevity or commitment.  The older boys can all take their lives into their own hands and put out whatever part of themselves they want to be known for as well.  Felix will have more opportunities as he grows than he ever could have been provided here.  Jarrod already has career opportunities and options in NC he could not achieve here.  And I’m looking forward to finding my path wherever life takes me out there as well.

Though I’m looking around and realizing all that I will miss, I am also very excited to turn this page and create my new chapter.  One for not just myself, but most of all for my family.  This is going to be the amazing, refreshing turn of events we all need in our lives.

4 days until MOVING DAY!

My next update will be from our new home, about our journey and our new beginning.  Stay tuned…

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