It’s Summer 2015

It’s Summer 2015. You know what that means?

WE AREN’T MOVING!!!!!!

No more boxes, no more tape. No more researching moving trucks and packing up all of our belongings.

Of course, now I have to figure out how to actually deep clean the house on occasion. Moving was always the cue to do that in the past. ūüėČ

 

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Long Term Plans

Today I bought a toddler slide for Babykins at a thrift shop. ¬†She obviously can’t use it at the moment, but I have a project in mind.

Our basement is spacious, but it won’t be a “living” area¬†without some major renovations. ¬†Consequently, I’ve decided to create an indoor toddler playground to utilize the space. ¬†Buy a couple of used toddler playground toys (hence the toddler slide), throw down some cushy mats, and BAM! ¬†Our own personal fun zone for the winter months without the long drive and germs.

Truth be told, while I’m excited about the playground, I’m more excited to be planning for something longer than a year from now. ¬†A year ago, a plan like this wouldn’t have been possible. ¬†We didn’t know where we would be living! ¬†But now that we have no plans to move, we don’t have to cram our house projects into a year time-frame.

It makes me giddy just thinking about it.


Box Hoarders Anonymous

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Look at these boxes.  They are new, they are sturdy.  They have such good packing potential.

For the past three years, boxes like these would have immediately been stowed away for future use.¬† But I don’t need to do that anymore because there are no more moves in our known future. ¬†They should go in the recycling pile (which is currently full of our other moving boxes). ¬†And that should be a freeing thought.

Still, they are such lovely boxes.  It seems like a shame to just toss them away. . .

I think I have a box hoarding problem.


The Forced Fourth of July

forced of July

 

My husband and I made it safely to Iowa a week ago today. ¬†We’re still trying to make the adjustment to our new life. ¬†There’s been issues with a wet basement, lots of phone calls and texts for my husband as he starts entering his role as Pastor (of course, he isn’t officially a pastor until ordination on Sunday), and just plain exhaustion.

There are some good things that have come with the move as well. ¬†Some of our family were able to make a daytrip to our new home to help with unpacking–something that wouldn’t have been possible while at seminary. ¬†We’re enjoying have central A.C.¬†and a dishwasher. ¬†I met my new midwife a few days ago and I think I will be fairly comfortable under her care.

Overall, there’s nothing unexpected about this move. ¬†That is, until you take into account a¬†congregation and the giant Fourth of July celebration.

Normally I would consider Independence Day one of my favorite holidays. ¬†Since kids aren’t in school, it hasn’t gotten ridiculously commercialized. ¬†It’s one of the few major holidays that celebrating with friends¬†or family is acceptable. ¬†It’s laid back and fun.

However, this year it’s a bit of a bummer. ¬†We’re new in town, so we don’t have any friends to celebrate with (*sniff* Woe is me). ¬†Plus, our new town has an enormous 4th of July festival that draws people from all the area’s small towns. ¬†There are games, there is a parade, there are fireworks, and who knows what else. ¬†Being in a small town, it also means that the congregation members are involved with the festival. ¬†The church even has a float in the parade.

Consequently, my husband and I are in a bit of a bind. ¬†On one hand, we were told numerous times at the seminary that a good pastor (and by default, his family) is part of the community. ¬†That means doing things like attending the 4th of July celebration. ¬†On the other hand, we’ve been here a week and I’ve meet less than a dozen people in town. ¬†All I want to do today is hang our decorations while eating chocolate, not go out and mingle.

Consequently, I’ve started using the dreaded “O” word. ¬†I feel¬†obligated to attend the festival because of my husband’s position. ¬†We went to a benefit dance last night because I felt¬†obligated¬†to go since someone had purchased us tickets (the dance was a dismal social failure on our part–I’ll probably write about it in the near future). ¬†I feel¬†obligated¬†to watch¬†the parade since so many congregation members will be in it. ¬†Never mind that I don’t know them. ¬†People will ask if we attended and if we enjoyed it.

I know next year will probably be better. ¬†Next year we might even be excited about the 4th of July festival. ¬†But for right now, it’s tough to know how to balance unspoken (and, admittedly, perhaps imagined) expectations with our emotional health.

I hope you all are having a great Independence Day despite my¬†melancholy post. ¬†Just to let you know, I’ll be rolling out some changes to my blog soon. ¬†I hope you enjoy them!¬†

 


Our 4 Stages of Moving

It’s moving week for my husband and me. ¬†That means we are now in the throes of the 4 Stages of Moving.

Stage 1: Denial

This stage usual begins about 3-4 weeks before our move. ¬†It’s generally when we haven’t actually starting packing but we’re seriously¬†thinking¬†about starting packing. ¬†We try to convince ourselves that this move will be better then the last move and that we actually don’t have as much to pack as we think we do.

stage 1

Whether or not this is true, this keeps the panic at bay so we at least start filling boxes.

Stage 2: Panic

This stage usually begins somewhere around 1-2 weeks before our move.  As boxes begin to pile up around us and more and more things get added to our moving list, nerves and panic start to set in.

Stage 2

Things to panic about include having enough space in the moving truck, having enough boxes or packing material, and having enough help to load up the moving truck. ¬†There is also the option to panic about the fact that we’re moving to a new town where we don’t know anyone.

Stage 3: Celebration

This stage occurs after we get everything into the truck/trailer.  We can breath a sigh of relief because everything is packed and we can check off one of the biggest things on our moving list.  This stage lasts about 10 minutes before reverting back to Stage 2 because, well, we still have to finish cleaning the house, make a long drive, unload the truck, meet new people. . .

Stage 3

 

Stage 4: Acceptance

No matter what we do, how much we plan, and what we tell ourselves, moving is an exhausting ordeal.  At the end of the move, we just have to accept the physical and emotional exhaustion that always follows.

Stage 4

*Note: We are loading up the trailer tomorrow and moving to Iowa on Friday. ¬†The bad news is that we’ll be sans internet for a bit. ¬†I know, I know, you’ll cry yourself to sleep knowing that there will not be new post coming the next few days (not that I’ve been posting¬†consistently anyway). ¬†The good news is that I have some ideas¬†percolating for blog posts and even a new blog title! ¬†After all, I can’t be the Seminarian’s Wife when my husband isn’t a seminarian. ¬†ūüôā¬†¬†


Our Cats Have a Love/Hate Relationship with Moving

I’ve mentioned before that a new aspect for this move is the fact that we have cats. ¬†Truth be told, I’m a little worried and nervous about taking our 2 cats that were born on the porch of this house to a new home. ¬†I have a tendency to humanize animals, so I fear that we’ll permanently traumatize the cats by taking them from their birthplace. ¬†I have issues, I know.

At any rate, our cats have no idea what’s coming. ¬†All they know right now is that the giant creatures they board with are steadily¬†dismantling the house. ¬†Their reaction to our packing varies from enjoyment to fear.

On one hand, they are currently in a kitty playground.  They have lots of empty boxes to hide in.  There are piles of packing paper (and bubble wrap when they can get their paws on it) to jump onto and scatter.  There are empty shelves to explore.  They love it!

awesome

On the other hand, they are living in a kitty nightmare.  Things are rapidly changing.  The giant creatures are acting strange.  There are lots of unfamiliar crashes coming from odd places.  Oh, and there is the constant riiiiiiiiiiiiip of packing tape (because everyone *loves* that sound. . .or not).  They hate it!

hate

Consequently, the cats¬†don’t know what to make of their surroundings. ¬†Should they like moving or not? ¬†I think stuffing them in a kennel for an 8-hour car trip might sway them towards the latter.


Sneaky Moving Expenses

It’s no secret that moving is expensive. ¬†Renting a truck (or hiring movers), paying for gas, ¬†and setting up services at a new place are just a few of the costs that quickly add up. ¬†This is our 5th move in 5 summers, so I like to think I have some idea beforehand about how much we’ll spend on a move (Thankfully, our last two moves and this current move is paid for by a congregation. ¬†That means we don’t have to worry about paying for a truck and we get help with the gas money).

Despite my experience with both in-town and out-of-state moves, there are always costs that take me by surprise.  Sometimes they take me by surprise every year.

1.  Packing material

We’ve managed to save quite a bit of money over the last few moves because we hoard all of our boxes and any newspapers that we receive. ¬†We still run out of certain materials–typically in the packing tape and bubble wrap departments. ¬†Some things just need to be bubble wrapped and you don’t want to buy cheap packing tape only to have it not keep your boxes closed. ¬†Packing tape costs even more if you aren’t able to keep your boxes intact between moves.

Boxes, Boxes, Everywhere

These boxes didn’t put themselves together last move.

2.  Food

I know that it costs money to eat on the road–that isn’t what I’m referring to. ¬†In the last few weeks before a move, we¬†start working on eating the things stored in the pantry and fridge. ¬†The closer to moving day we¬†get, the weirder food combinations we¬†start having. ¬†Finally, we¬†just reach a breaking point.

food

 

3.  Cats

Admittedly, the cats are a new factor this year, but they are already proving to be an additional expense. ¬†When we adopted our kittens, they were 1 pound balls of fuzz. ¬†We bought a small carrier and they both fit inside it without any problem. ¬†Then they grew, but we happened upon another small carrier at the Co-op. ¬†They each fit in their individual carriers comfortably. ¬†Then they grew. ¬†Their small carriers are okay for a trip to the vet, but probably not so great for an 8+ hour car ride. ¬†Consequently, we need a bigger carrier or cage for them and those things aren’t cheap.

cats

Granted, we could always stick them in a cardboard box with some holes in it, but I don’t want them to completely hate us after the move.

These are the things that are already proving to be sneaky moving expenses for this move.  What sneaky moving expenses have you had?


Countdowns and Checklists and Concerns, Oh My!

The last few weeks have been busy for my husband and me–hence the lack of posts. ¬†There have been 4th-year banquets, lots of scurrying to prepare for our new lives in Iowa, and a seemingly futile attempt to continue our normal duties of our present lives. ¬†All of this makes it a bit hard to focus.

At any rate, there are several countdowns running for us:

3 days until graduation

5ish weeks until we move

6ish weeks until my husband is ordained/installed

19ish weeks until Baby arrives

Of course, all these countdowns lead to many checklists:

Checklists for the graduation party

Checklists for packing and moving

Checklists for what we need to discuss with the congregation

Checklists for baby preparations

Then all those checklists lead to concerns and worries, like:

Oh crap, we’re having a party on Saturday! ¬†How will we get everything ready?!

How do you move with cats?

How do you move when you’re 26 weeks pregnant?

What will this new church be like?

What if the people don’t like my husband? ¬†What if the people don’t like me? ¬†What if I don’t like them?

How do you find a new doctor when your current insurance expires at the end of June and you’re not sure what your new insurance covers?

How are we supposed to take care of a baby when we can’t even put up a Pack ‘n Play?

On the bright side, my nausea has fully subsided, so I can eat chocolate and drink coffee to make myself feel better. ¬†And if you tell me I shouldn’t eat and drink those things because I’m pregnant, I’ll come and eat you. ¬†So there.


We Know Where We Are Going (Call Edition)

April 30 was Call Night (sorry it’s taken me so long to update–life has been a little busy since that night). ¬†After months of anticipation and prayer, found out that my husband has been called to a church in northern Iowa.

All this Hawkeye can say to that is . . . WHOOHOO!  Really, returning to Iowa has been my dream throughout the seminary years.

Anyway, my husband and I have fielded many questions over the last few days about his call, so I thought I would answer the most common ones here:

1. What is the church like? ¬†The church is on the smaller size of average with 250 baptized members and about 90 people worshiping weekly. ¬†We’ve been told that the congregation uses the liturgies from Lutheran Service Book (yay!).

2. What is the town like? ¬†The town population is just over 1600 people, so small (although not as small as some towns that our friends are moving to). ¬†However, a bigger city–well, Iowa big–is about 15 miles away. ¬†Stores like Target, Kohl’s, and Hy-Vee (the regional grocery store) are about 20 minutes away. ¬†The town itself has a school, post office, library, and the local grocery store.

Oh, yes, there are about 5 other churches in town. ¬†I’m not sure what the bar situation is like

3. What type of housing do you have? ¬†Parsonage, yay! ¬†I don’t know much about the house itself, other than it has 2 bedrooms with a potential 3rd bedroom in the basement and is about .5 miles from the church.

4. How close are you to family?  We are 1.5 hours from my father-in-law and 2.5 hours from my parents, siblings, and one of my sisters-in-law and her husband.  For those of you wondering, we are pleased to be close to family.  We also have many friends within that radius as well.

5. When will you move? ¬†Not immediately. ¬†I’m currently still working and my husband won’t actually graduate for another 2 weeks (yes, he does actually have to finish his classes). ¬†Likewise, the current pastor won’t retire until the end of June. ¬†Consequently, we’re tentatively thinking of moving at the end of June and having my husband’s ordination/installation sometime in the first couple of weeks in July.

6. What will you do after you move? ¬†Well, I’m retiring from my nanny career to become a stay-at-home mom. ¬†Granted, I’ll have a few months to kill before Baby arrives, but right now I’m looking forward to some downtime. ¬†Work has kept me fairly buys this year, so I have a bunch of little projects that I’ve put aside until I had more time. ¬†One of those projects is learning how to birth a baby–rumor has it that stork doesn’t actually give you a baby. o.O ¬†I’ve also recently started writing some articles for a website, so I would like to continue with that work even after Baby comes.


Waiting for a Call: March Update

It’s funny how two years ago I had already worked myself up into a tizzy about vicarage and now I barely think about call. ¬†It seems me that I got my worry backwards. ¬†You would think that I could keep calm about Vicarage Placement when it’s “only a year” and I should freak out more about Call Night since it’s more permanent, but that just shows you how illogical anxiety can be.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have some concerns about the unknowns of my husband’s call (God willing), it’s just that those worries don’t really come to the forefront until we know where we are going. ¬†Consequently, the thought of Call Night doesn’t bring knots to my stomach because that evening will only be the beginning of the real stress. ¬†Plus, work has kept me busy enough to not have much time to dwell on our uncertain future.

Still, here are some fun facts about call:

52 days until Call Night.

No, we don’t know where we are going.

We haven’t started packing, but our box room is pretty epic.

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