Sunday, August 31, 2014

Life in the Big D

Like I mentioned in the post below, I lost all of my pictures last week when my iphone inexplicably went haywire on me. So I lost pretty much every picture I had of our first month in Dallas. But fortunately I had posted a few to facebook so I found them and put them on here. You know, for in the future when I try to remember that one crazy month when we moved our family across the country again.

First of all, I have to say a huge thank you to my parents. Especially my Mom. She rode out here with us so she could help out with Lainey in the car while I drove. Rob had the older kids with him so my Mom was on Lainey patrol and I was so thankful. Then she kept the kids at the hotel for a few days while we closed on our house and the movers moved us in. I know that wasn't easy and we honestly could not have done it without here. And then she spent a whole week unpacking boxes from sun up to sun down and it would have taken me 3 months to do it alone. So, THANK YOU, Mom!! Thank you so so much!!

And then my Dad drove out a week later and I am so grateful to him as well for coming all the way out here, helping us put the finishing touches on the house, helping me get rid of all of the cardboard and hanging out with the kids so I could run errands. Thank you so much, Dad!

And here are the only pictures I have of our first few weeks here. I am so sad that I lost all of the others.

 My 36th birthday was only a week after our move. And these sweet girls took me out for a night on the town. How lucky am I? They gave me the sweetest "Welcome to Texas" gifts and got the most delicious cake for me. To say that I felt blessed doesn't do it justice.

 My best friend from Kansas City (Hi, Jessie!!) called a mutual friend of ours who now lives in this area (and is the awesome girl in the bottom right of the above picture) and had her set this up outside of my door the morning of my birthday. How sweet was that?

My parents and I visited Southfork. I could have died. I loved Dallas (the TV show) growing up.

Here's a toast to J.R. Ewing.

 On the field of Cowboy Stadium...oh, I'm sorry...AT&T stadium.

Just hanging out in the cheerleaders' locker room. Someone was excited.

And on our 2nd Sunday at our new church, the outgoing seniors presented the incoming Kindergartners with Bibles. That's Will up there in the middle. It was incredibly powerful and moving.

And a wide shot for better perspective.

And that's it. I wish I had more pictures, but at least I can somewhat capture a bit of our life here. We love our new home, people could not have been more welcoming and we are loving Bennett's new school so far. I'm still pretty homesick, but I am very thankful for a smooth transition.

Friday, August 29, 2014

How are we all doing?

People are asking me this question all the time. I am getting texts, e-mails and calls all with the same question. How are the Webster's doing?

Well, a month in to our move to Texas, I think the answer is, "We're doing great." We really are. I am definitely homesick of course. And not just for my family and friends, but also for the Southeast in general. You know how when you fall in love with a certain part of the world it just sticks in your soul? That's how I feel about the southeast. I have been fortunate enough to live in different parts of the country and I have been to every state but 4 and have traveled to many many countries, but the southeast is home. It just is.

I miss the people, the values, the topography, the way of life, etc....That Alabama red clay runs deep through my veins and even if I am in Texas for 40 more years, I will always feel like a stranger in a strange land.

That being said, this adjustment has been by far the easiest of all of our moves. We have already met some wonderful people who I think will become life long friends. I have had friends watch my children for me and I have watched theirs. We have been invited into homes for dinner and have grabbed lunch after church with new friends. Our children have played with their neighbors and been invited to birthday parties. Everyone has been so welcoming and I am thankful to God for them.

Rob is absolutely loving his new job. It has been really good for me to see him so passionate and excited about his work. Bennett likes her new school a lot and Will hasn't skipped a beat in making friends.

Of course they miss their grandparents and cousins. We all miss our friends. We really really miss our old neighborhood with the huge front porches, white picket fences and multiple neighborhood parks. I think I honestly miss my old neighborhood the most. And day trips to the beach. Feeling so landlocked does not make me happy.

But things are good.Very good. And I am grateful.

I was going to post a few pictures of our last days in Alabama, but my iphone rebooted and erased everything. Everything. Including fabulous videos of Lainey that I am devastated to have lost. But here are a few that I fortunately had backed up.

One last trip to Seaside a few weeks before we moved. We had breakfast in Ruskin Square and then just played all morning long.

And then just 4 days before the moving truck came, my sister and nieces drove down to say good-bye. And of course we had to go to the beach again. I absolutely love this picture of all of the cousins.

Do we have to move?

Me and all of my girls. And Will. :)

Wazzup, beach peeps?

Love these two.

One last picture on our front porch swing. 

And all of these sweet kids gathered for one last picture on our front porch. I can't even begin to count how many pictures we have of these kiddos on this porch.

Me and my sister with our children.

The night before Lainey had to go to Montgomery we took our last family bike ride to our neighborhood park. Ugh. Insert ugly cry.

Lainey left the night before the moving truck came to stay with my parents. We took one last family picture on our beautiful porch.  

And the I lost all of the pictures from our move. I am so sad because I had wonderful pictures of the kids saying good-bye to their friends. We had a lot of playdates while the movers packed us up. We went up to our church and said good-bye to all of our favorite friends and pre-school teachers. I am so sad that I lost all of these. I only have one that my good friend Jenny sent me. She took my kids out to dinner one night with her granddaughter, Madison, and I have this picture of the kids saying good-bye to their good friend in our empty house. :(

And that's it. Just like that, our two years in Dothan was over. I am honestly too sad to write down my feelings about it, but I will always be grateful for the time there. I will always cherish the way my kids were shaped and molded by our church and by their wonderful schools. Memories of them swimming in the ocean, riding bikes up and down our street and family game nights on our back porch are memories that will stay with me forever. Here is our sad face selfie as we are about to leave our house for the last time.

Okay, enough sadness. My next post will be all about the wonderful adventures we are having in Texas. But I am still a bit sad. And that's okay.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Well, that was was an interesting summer.

My summer began like most of yours. I was running on fumes and just waiting for a few months off to relax and enjoy having my babies at home. I was caught in a whirlwind of piano recitals, dance recitals, pre-school graduations, parties and all the other fun activities that go along with the end of the school year.

I was excited about the summer. I was also excited about the Fall because there was an opportunity for me to become the Creative Arts Director at a local private school. I was brainstorming ideas in my head constantly and I couldn't wait to get stated. I was ready for beach trips and lazy days riding bikes and running through sprinklers. I couldn't wait to see my family a lot and enjoy a summer with us all together in the same state.

I knew that there was a really far off possibility that we may look into a job in the Dallas area. A  good friend of Rob's is the pastor of a wonderful church and I knew they had talked about working together. I even kind of knew that we were flying to Texas to look into the job, but I didn't really think we would take it. In fact, I barely even thought about the trip to check out the church because it was sandwiched between Bennett's Spring Fling event at school and a program I was directing at our church. Besides, why would we move to Texas? Hadn't we just left a home and church we loved to move back to Alabama? Hadn't we prayed and struggled and decided that we wanted to be closer to my family and that we loved living in the southeast?

But we went to Texas. And Rob loved it. And I did too in my heart of hearts, but I did not want to move. So we came back home and I ignored it for a few weeks. I came up with every single reason in the world why we shouldn't go. But you know what's funny about our reasons? They aren't the Lord's reasons. 

Have you ever read James 4:13-15? Well, don't. Unless you want your heart to be moved. 

It says, "Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.'"

Ugh. That felt like a punch in the gut. So, I wrestled. And I begged. And I pleaded. And God told me to trust Him. 

I didn't want to leave my daughter's wonderful magnet school. I didn't want to leave my beautiful neighborhood with the parks and gorgeous front porches. I didn't want to leave my friends. I didn't want to leave the beach. I didn't want to leave my new job or the jobs I already had. I certainly didn't want to leave my family. 

But God was making it so clear that this is where He wanted Rob. This is where He wanted our family. And when God shows you where you need to go, saying no is harder than saying yes.

And I searched the Bible and tried with all of my might to find a verse that supported my desire to stay. But I couldn't find anywhere where God told us we would be comfortable. Instead I found passage after passage calling us to be obedient. Comfort vs. obedience. Yikes. And it came down to where Rob would be used for His kingdom the most. Where could our family best do what God has called us to do? The answer was clear.

And so in about 6 weeks time, we moved to Dallas. We sure did. I spent my summer making a million phone calls. I'll spare you all of those details. You know how that goes. Calls to schools, realtors, mortgage companies, doctors offices, utility companies, etc...

Oh, and in the 6 weeks between our accepting the job and the actual move, we drove to Texas on a house hunting trip, celebrated Will's birthday, threw him a party, kept my nieces for 2 weeks and I helped out with VBS at our church in Dothan. 

And I packed a lot.

So, that was my summer. I truly didn't think at the end of May that I would be writing this blog post from my new home in Texas. That I would be getting ready for my kids to start school at brand new schools. That I would leave Alabama (again!!!) to start all over for what seems like the hundredth time in my life.

But somehow when you are in the center of God's will, you have such a peace. And I do. I truly have a peace (sometimes). And I know that is God showing me that He has placed our family exactly where He wants us for now.

We love our new church and Rob absolutely loves his new job. The kids have handled the move like champs and they have already made tons of friends. I will confess that I am still struggling. Adults don't make friends as easily and I selfishly miss mine. I miss my house. I miss my family. I wish my nieces could come for the weekend. I hate that my parents won't see Lainey until October.

But I try not to question. God never says, "You've got this." Instead He says, "I've got this." 

And he does. So, here we go. Webster adventure #2097- Life in the Big D. Stay tuned. I know I will. I can't wait to see what is in store for us next.