Last time we moved, Peter was just over 2 months old, and I didn’t think we’d be living in our apartment very long. It took me foreeeeeever to unpack. The lingering boxes just added to the uneasy feeling of “unsettled-ness” that we dealt with this past year while we lived in Ipswich, Massachusetts. In retrospect, I wish we had lived more fully there, investing more in the community and the aesthetics of our apartment. But we live and learn, right? Unpacking with a toddler this time has been frustrating, but it also makes me way more motivated to get it DONE. We’re certainly not done yet, but we’re two weeks in, and from where I sit, I can only see 3 unpacked boxes. That’s not too bad!
The mountain view from our apartment:
Our kitchen is small and lacks counter space. IKEA to the rescue!
And here are pictures of the aforementioned toddler. He’s so helpful.
“This cupboard needs baby-proofing, Mom!”
“Let’s open this box, Mom!”
“Mom! I found more space in the cabinet!”
He’s such a cheese-ball. I promise to post pictures when things look more presentable. We’re finally at the hanging-stuff-on-the-wall and distributing knick-knacks stage!
We’ve lived in our apartment for 2 weeks now. I only just started making calls to friends this past week- I thought I would be emotionally… fragile, I guess? I thought it would make me really sad. I think that’s part of why I haven’t updated the blog in a while, too. I keep waiting for it all to hit me- the fact that we moved across the country, leaving our friends and family behind. That we won’t have a “real” fall or snow this winter. That we no longer have loads of free babysitting! But we’re enjoying our apartment, our town, the gorgeous weather (the weather really is SO GLORIOUS!). And I think that maybe we’re just fine! It feels like home.
One of the perks of Patrick’s new job is that he has Fridays off. So last Friday, we officially completed our coast to coast trip by dipping our toes in the Pacific Ocean.
After a nice long morning nap for Peter, we quickly ate lunch before heading to Zuma Beach in Malibu. The water was surprisingly cold, but Peter LOVED it. The boy shrieked with glee every time a wave reached his chubby legs. Patrick also enjoyed introducing Peter to the beach. I can personally enjoy the beach. Personally, like, by myself. Or with adults. Beach with a baby? The verdict is still out. I mean, yes, it is delightful to watch Peter discovering things for the first time. But sand+water+baby=dirty, sandy baby. When I changed his diaper later (like, much later, after the swimsuit had been taken off and a new diaper had been put on already), an entire beach-ful of sand came pouring out. And you know, chubby babies have folds and crevices where things can hide. Things like sand! I’ll get over it. I must, because we live in California, and Peter likes the beach. The things we do for our children! I’m (mostly) kidding.
Praise the Lord- we have a home!!
We actually received a call on Monday night saying that we were not the chosen applicants for the apartment. When Patrick answered the phone, we were in the car, and Patrick pulled over as I cried and he beat the steering wheel a couple of times. We were super sad. But then, the apartment manager called us 40 minutes later to say the person it was offered to didn’t want it!! Buuuut there was still another person in the running. So we waited another 24 hours, and I was not feeling hopeful. We called more apartments and set up appointments to look at them, rather grumpily (on my part… Patrick is generally more optimistic about stuff like this). And then! At 6 o’clock we got a call that we were the CHOSEN ONES!!
I have to say, this apartment isn’t a palace or anything. The kitchen is small with very little counter space, there is no dishwasher. There is no outdoor space of our own, and we still have coin-operated laundry. I mean, it’s still an apartment. Even after they offered it to us, part of me still reaallllly wanted to see “that other one advertised- it might be better!” But in my heart of hearts, I know this is where we are supposed to be. Patrick feels that way too. So many people were praying about it, and we just felt blessed walking into it for the first time. And after almost not getting it…. well. It’s ours. It’s in a great location, and it has what we need for a price that’s way lower than it should be. Our POD will be delivered tomorrow, and we move in on Friday. Thank you, Lord! We’re so happy to be home.
There are a lot of awesome parks nearby, but Peter’s favorite part is always the wood chips.
Hello! We arrived in California, La Canada specifically, on Thursday evening. An elderly couple has graciously welcomed us into their home until we find an apartment of our own. Ted & Carol have been so lovely and hospitable, feeding us and loving on our kiddo, but we are anxious to be cooking in our own space and sleeping in our own bed. Actually, tonight we will find out if we are chosen for an apartment in what we think is an ideal spot. It’s clean and cozy, much less expensive than other 2-bedroom apartments we have seen, within walking distance to cute shops & restaurants, a farmer’s market, and a grassy park & playground. We want to live there!!! If you are the praying kind, please pray that we get this apartment. We are so ready to unpack and settle in.
Meanwhile, we have really enjoyed being here. It was wonderful to worship with our new church family yesterday, and it warmed my heart to see Peter being welcomed and loved already by this congregation. Almost as soon as we arrived, people were taking Peter by the hand and walking him around. Two teenagers were on their knees talking to him and letting him hold their sunglasses & bracelets. We are so thankful! And besides our dear hosts, two other families have already has us over for meals. One of those families had taken us around on Friday to different neighborhoods (with their 2 and 6-year-old) to look for apartments, and had even called places on our behalf before we arrived. On Saturday, when we told them about the apartment we were hoping to get, they actually left their uneaten Chipotle burritos at home, packed up their hungry kids, and drove over to see it with us. Again, THEY LEFT THEIR BURRITOS. Amazing folks, I tell you.
So again, we are not settled yet, but we are being well taken care of. Before we left Massachusetts, our dear friends from Church of the Cross prayed that God would provide a special community for us, and specifically little friends for our little Peter. And God has provided these things! I miss my friends in Massachusetts terribly, and shed some tears this weekend thinking of them. But, you know? It is a pretty wonderful thing to have friends that you love so much. Even though it surely makes my heart ache to be so far away.
Ah, the consistency of Starbucks!
Coming soon: A bakery review!!! Woohoo!!
The one advantage to Peter teething is that he is super cuddly!
Well, we survived the sketchy bed and breakfast! It really was bad, my friends. In addition to cement walls and bare bulbs, the water pressure was but a trickle and a bug crawled out of the sink while I was brushing my teeth. Needless to say, we did not stay for the included breakfast, and left before 8.
Peter’s fever broke that morning (Praise God!), and after a long nap in the car, he was his happy, chatty self. Thankfully, he slept through some craaaaazy weather between Cleveland and Toledo. Patrick could barely see through the rain and loads of people had pulled over, but we thought it best to keep driving slowly to get through it as soon as possible. At one point, there was hail the size of ping-pong balls! Scary stuff, but we made it through in one piece.
It is a joy to see Peter with his great-grandparents! And he had a lot of fun with my cousin Phil’s daughter, Piper. He loves her. He kept giving her hugs and kisses. Adorable. When did he learn to do that? Peter’s brain has just been exploding with knowledge lately. There has been so much going on with the move, that I am desperately trying to celebrate and take in all these special moments of his growing into toddlerhood. It’s overwhelming! He said his first 3-syllable phrase in the car on Wednesday: Puppy Boo. It’s a book he has about puppies that (surprise!) say “boo.” When he says “puppy boo,” he sounds like a raspy alien, if you can picture that. He also climbed into an armchair all by himself, which brought years to my eyes. I still have to capture it on camera- he looks so proud of himself sitting up there!
We are thankful for the chance to rest for a few days before the next leg of our trip. Peter looks at home at the beach, doesn’t he? I think he’ll enjoy being a California baby. In the meantime, he fits in with the Dutch folks of Holland just fine!
We made it to Niagara Falls! Our car trip was pretty uneventful, but Peter has a fever. Only the second one he’s had in his entire life, so it’s heart-breaking. He’s cutting 3 teeth, and one of them is a MOLAR. I hear those are the worst. And they actually are the worst, apparently. He’s a sad sack but still, such a sweetheart and such a good boy. A trooper! But we are praying he feels like his old energetic self as soon as possible.
Patrick took the above picture of us by the falls with his iPhone, but I did try to take better ones with the “fancy” camera. I’m determined to use it well, and brought the manual to read on the trip. Hopefully my pictures will improve, and I will share some as they are uploaded.
We’re staying in Buffalo tonight, and our place is juuuuust a bit sketchy. I think we will get an early start tomorrow. Next stop: Holland, Michigan! Land of the Dutch people. My people.
So… it’s been a while, eh? We’ve had a long couple of weeks, with me rehearsing and performing in a community production of “The Sound of Music.” It was… exhausting. And fun. Sometimes frustrating. And surprisingly life-giving. I will write about it, and about my baby who is turning into a little boy before my very eyes. But today! I am resting and enjoying his sweet company.