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.

Beach Day

This happened on May 24, 2020.

North Carolina has many things to do that Iowa does not.  One of those things (and likely my favorite), is BEACHES!!  I adore trips to the ocean.  Since we had been through weeks, or even months of planning, and a long, stressful move, Jarrod and I decided to treat ourselves and the family to a trip to the beach for some fun before resuming normal life.  It just so happened to be Memorial Day weekend, which we weren’t trying to celebrate necessarily.  But we went anyway (except Evan, who decided not to join us).

It is a 2-hour drive from our home to get to the closest beaches.  We drove straight there and found a decent parking spot after a bit of driving around looking. We spent about 3 hours in the water. The beach flag was red, so the water was pretty rough. But we all had a blast! It was exactly what we needed.

Also, this was Felix’s first trip to the ocean. Lots of pictures, but I’ll share only a couple here.

We’re Moving!

For years I have been talking about moving away from Iowa.  When I was quite a bit younger, in my early 20s, I even attempted it a couple times.  But my plans were always half-assed, and I was never quite aware of all the planning and preparation it took to move far away.  That ignorance got me into a couple of predicaments, and I always ended up back in Iowa with the help of my mom.

However, a few years ago I visited Florida and I knew then and there, for absolute certain, I was not meant to stay in Iowa.  I fell in love with the trip halfway across the country, and especially with the ocean.  At that time I had decided I would move to Florida at some point, I just didn’t know when.  I had a job and a relationship and family tying me to Iowa at the time, and no real opportunities at my destination.  So I stayed put and planned.

ncWhen Jarrod and I started planning our future together, before we even said “I do,” we agreed that we would move away.  I had said Florida, but he expressed how much he didn’t like the climate down there.  Over the last two years or so we have been discussing just where we may want to go.  The idea of North Carolina came up because of the trip we took to get my tubal reversal surgery.  While we were there we explored Raleigh a little bit, and we really felt at home there.  The weather was nice, the scenery was beautiful, and there was plenty to do.  We looked into a few other locations around the country too, including where we got married near Denver, CO, and of course a little bit around Florida and Georgia… and even other places in Iowa.  But after serious consideration of our options, we landed on moving to North Carolina.

We knew we were going to move either this year, 2020, with the help of our tax returns, or in 2021.  Jarrod and I both started looking for job opportunities, and I started looking into rental housing.  He submitted a few applications just to get a feel for the area, and I continued to look into rental prices, neighborhoods, schools, and other needs and desires we have in a place we’d like to call home.  And as if it were meant to be, Jarrod got a serious job offer making more than he could make here, and I found a rental house that suits our family at an affordable rate, both at the same time.

As Jarrod moved forward with his phone interviews, and we moved forward with our live video tour of the house we had chosen, it became clear the move was going to happen sooner rather than later.  It was just a matter of arranging the actual move and letting our family and friends know it was going to happen.

I told my older boys first, since they are to go along.  All three of them are okay with it, and even excited to go.  Then I told my mom and a couple of my friends, and Jarrod told his family.  And finally I announced it on social media for our online friends.  While I was met with congratulations, encouragement, and offers to help us out however possible from my family and friends, Jarrod was met with skepticism and doubt from his family.  He was showered with resentful comments about pulling away from his family, and questions about his motives and preparedness, as though this wasn’t a decision that was thought through or planned out.

Through it all, we chose to accept the encouragement and leave the rest.  Rest assured, years of thought and planning has gone into this decision. It is not something we are taking lightly or doing on a whim.  All our bases are covered as far as income and jobs, housing, utilities, and a network of other parents who are ready and willing to guide us in the right directions as far as medical and educational needs for the kids.  Not to mention the fact that we are grown adults and are able to figure things out on our own as well.

NC (1)Anyway, the point to all this?  We are very excited to announce that this month we are moving from Iowa, our lifelong home, to North Carolina.  And we will only be a couple hours drive away from the beach!  We are ready and excited to start this new chapter of our lives.  That doesn’t mean we are leaving anyone behind.  We are just looking forward and following new and greater opportunities.  It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, any and all of our friends and family members are always welcome to visit us.  Of course we will visit when we can, as well.  And we can all keep in touch through social media, texting, and phone calls in the meantime, just as we do now.  I’ll keep this blog updated as we go about life in our new place, and no one will need to miss a thing.

xoxo

Quarantine

I feel like its been forever since I’ve published a blog post.  So much has happened in the last couple weeks since I wrote about Felix’s amazing progress.  Not so much just in our home, but in the world.  And since this is a blog written mostly for me and my family to look back on, I’m going to state facts and opinions that most everyone has already either said, read, or heard otherwise.  So sorry if I seem like a broken record with this one…

The world is sick. A new strain of corona virus, called COVID-19, has made the jump from animals to human, and over the course of the last several months it has spread to over a million confirmed human cases so far. I say confirmed, because testing is strictly limited, and unless it’s an extreme illness or a high risk situation, you can’t get tested. The first case was in Wuhan, China. It spread across Asia and Europe, Australia and the United States. It’s almost everywhere now. Italy, Spain, and China have been the hardest hit so far, but USA is closely rising to the top of that list. USA has the most confirmed cases, but not as many deaths yet.  COVID-19 attacks the lungs. Most people that end up hospitalized need to be on a ventilator to recover. It typically attacks those who immunocompromised, have a heart or pre-existing lung condition, or are older than 60.

People have been given orders across the states to stay in their homes, and only go out to get essentials for survival like groceries. Social distancing has been a requirement, where everyone is supposed to stay at least 6 feet away from each other in public. All private gatherings are supposed to be limited to 10 people or less. All church services, concerts, festivals, and even many businesses have been closed, cancelled and/or postponed. Restaurants, theaters, playgrounds, bars, salons, gyms and casinos are all closed. Restaurants are allowed only to do delivery and carry out. Schools were closed until April 13th, and now that’s been extended until April 30th, though it is expected school will not resume until fall.  just yesterday the CDC announced that everyone should wear masks in public, to prevent the spread of the disease even from the asymptomatic.

Early on, before it got real bad here, people went out and bought all the cleaning supplies and toilet paper. It has been difficult, even weeks later, to find toilet paper and diapers.

Over a normal 2-week period in the United States there are about half a million unemployment claims. In the last 2 weeks there have been over 10 million claims. The stock market is crashing. The government is attempting to help the American workers and small businesses by sending out relief checks for $1200 per individual and $500 per child, also stimulus for small businesses. But the future is looking very grim right now. Medical supplies are running critically short and the cases are just now ramping up. The country’s top infectious disease specialist says he expects around 240,000 US deaths by the time we’re done. This is where we are today (3 APRIL 2020):

At first I thought people were being ridiculous with all the closures and whatnot. Now I take it a lot more seriously. My mom is diabetic and has a heart condition, Jarrod’s mom has a heart condition, my best friend has a lung condition…. this virus has the potential to really rock our lives. So I’m doing everything I can to be as safe as possible. Perhaps I’ve even gone a bit overboard… time will tell.

Jarrod is frustrated because he’d rather stay home and be safe, but his employer (a restaurant) refuses to close despite their restrictions and slow business. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before our state closes everything down and has us Shelter In Place like many other states already have.

Having to stay home and not be able to go anywhere or do anything at all (except grocery runs and walks in the neighborhood) has definitely been hard to adjust to. I think most people expected this to pass quickly, but the fact is, it will go on for many more months. All we can all do is take this one day at a time, and do all our best to stay safe and make the best of our quarantine.

Amazing Progress

In the last four weeks a lot has happened with Felix. Just four weeks ago, he wasn’t even trying to get himself around. He would scoot a little bit, maybe roll here and there, but that’s it. Then, he started doing the army crawl, where he was pulling himself around by his forearms. For the past couple weeks he’s been full-on crawling on his hands and knees!

For the past 3-4 days he has been pulling himself up into a stand both in his crib in the mornings and during play times in the playroom. Also at that time he started babbling at last! He’s become very focused on the exersaucer and all the things he can do with the different toys. He’s working hard on making his hands work.

And today he took a couple of self-assisted steps! This boy is taking off in development all at once. Jarrod and I are so very proud of him!