Dead Battery

If you've never been to downtown Atlanta, consider yourself lucky. It's a disaster. No, actually, its a complete disaster.
                                                              Photo courtesy Wikipedia
                                                  (I was in too much of a hurry to get out
                                                      of there to take my own picture)

I'll be attending college in downtown Atlanta because I'm a glutton for punishment, apparently. It took a lot for me to decide to finish school right now. In El Reno I know the reputation of every child care facility in town and I personally know most of the people who either own or operate them. I don't know anything here but sales pitches and signs I can see from the road. Most of the childcare facilities here are no longer open, and the choices are slim from the ones that are. Thankfully, we've found one that I feel comfortable with, but its still a difficult decision. Daycare isn't free and obviously I won't be making any direct income going to school. But I have to finish. For me. For my kids. For my grandparents who have enabled me to have already completed 100+ credit hours. So we'll pinch pennies to figure it our for now and by the time we leave Georgia, I'll have my degree in Education and easily be able to get a job I enjoy at our next duty station.

Oh yeah, my car battery died in downtown Atlanta. Dead. Dunzo. Won't even turn over. No jumper cables in the car of course. We won't be awarded any boy scout badges any time soon, I assure you. Luckily, I'm a student so the campus police will help with things like this. Complete with flashing lights zooming up as I'm changing Cianna's diaper in the hatchback of my car. She was sweet, didn't even laugh at us, which was much more than I could've mustered.

Will went back to work Friday. I've gotten pretty used to having him around these last 4 weeks so the first day was kinda lonely, but we're back in the swing of things now. Recruiting hours are long. There are pool functions once a month on Saturdays plus appointments with potential recruits and their parents a lot of evenings. Obviously its not my favorite thing, but I figure out of anybody we're pretty well suited for it. The key is finding things to do and I got lucky and found a church kinda bizzaar, homemade craft, breakfast with Santa thing in a little town about 25 miles from where we live.

This was the good part of the day

Then we got back in the car. And I thought, "hmm, it didn't beep at me, that's weird." And I put the key in the ignition, turned it and once again got the sound of death. Actually it wasn't even a sound. It was the absence of sound. Oh, geez. Here I am in a town I've never been to. Will is at a pool function and not available. And because I can barely remember the names of my children let alone to buy jumper cables, still none of those either. Luckily a guy was walking back to his truck and took pity on me, got his own jumper cables, which most reasonable people keep handy and jumped the car for me. Then he said something like, "I think its time for a new battery." The exact words my Grandpa had said to me on the phone the night before. Note taken. I will listen now, thanks.
I drove immediately to some big name auto parts store, Cianna in one arm, Jameson holding my other hand and found out that a battery for my car is approximately...a lot. $145.00 or so. The nice man installed it for me and I've learned my lesson. Battery dies once, its not always from leaving the radio on without the car being started too long. Sometimes the battery really is bad. Especially if the battery dies twice. It is most definitely bad then.

I spend a lot of time watching Jameson out this window while I'm doing dishes. Now that I'm married I have to cook like a real dinner, like every night. Which amounts to a lot of dishes. Cianna is usually either being worn on my back or crawling around putting unidentified objects in her mouth.

We took an adventure to the park today.
Then to get ice cream at the cutest little ice cream shop.
Where I was approached by a man, asking for directions.
 "I know you don't know me. I swear I'm not a murderer or a mugger I just really need some directions."
Boy did he ever ask the wrong girl.
Not only can I not tell what direction is which around here, or anywhere else for that matter, I'm sure he was terrified I would karate chop him with my hands full of ice cream and kids.

"Hilda Must be Dancing"

Like any mom who has nowhere else to meet other moms the first thing I searched for in Conyers was a library. They have a beautiful library with a lot of children's programming that I took the kids to last week. Believe it or not, library story times can be a social jungle for someone like me. Nightmares about having the kid who throws a tantrum about leaving while they all shoot laser beams from their eyes at me danced through my brain before we went. Luckily no such thing happened.

I was reminded something important about Jameson while we were there though. While reading "Hilda Must be Dancing" all the other kids were getting down, shaking their tailfeathers etc. Jameson wasn't. He has not ever danced on his own accord that I am aware of. We're raising an introvert. A cautious, deep thinking, wonderful introvert. I think the biggest fear of any parent of an introvert is that the rest of the world will never see how wonderful we know our children are. He's talented at so many things but doesn't like to share his talents until he really trusts someone.  He truly enjoys playing by himself. In a setting like this it can be difficult as a parent. My child isn't doing what all the other kids are doing. He's not answering questions that I know he knows the answer to. And then I remember that it really doesn't matter. I know how smart and wonderful he is, and as long as we make sure he knows it too, we've done our job.

So many more things happened this week, including but not limited to an awesome visit by my aunt, Christmas festivities, a one eyed cat and a visit from the wobbly plumber. I won't go into the plumber thing.

My aunt lives only four hours away. It is the ultimate saving grace for this place. You see, I'm not great at being a girl. Other than pictures of my kids I don't get excited about decorating. I don't enjoy shopping at all. I get lost in details, tend to only look at the big picture and have the attention span of a knat. My aunt is the opposite of all of those things. Organized, detail focused and efficient she's exactly what I needed to finish getting our place in order. I could list everything she did while she was here but then I'd be way too tired to finish this post. She was a Godsend as usual. Worth more than a million dollars in my book. However, I'm a stay at home mom. Which means I pretty much have whatever money I find in the laundry on any given day so thanking her with cash was out. Instead I made some meatball sandwiches that were edible. She seemed to like them, anyways.

She also watched the kids so we could go on a d-a-t-e. We watched the Thunder beat the Jazz. Let me rephrase that, I watched the Thunder beat the Jazz while my husband talked too much during the game. I do the same during football so I think he does just to get back at me. On a random note:

If KD ain't mad, I'm not either.

I get asked a lot how Will and Jameson are adjusting to living together.
I think this picture kind of sums it up. It's a lot of learning and adjusting. I'm blessed that my husband loves Jameson for who he is as a kid. Not just as my son or as his daughter's brother, but Jameson, for his personality, as an ornery almost three year old. Going from a single parent household to a two parent household is difficult in general. My brain knows that children aren't meant to be raised by one parent but when you live that way for a while, well, habits are hard to break. I find it difficult to let him help me with things because its scary to rely on someone else for help when you haven't in that area before. But it's important to him and I want my children to see a balance so I do. And sometimes the product is
mismatched pajamas. Or bedtime thirty minutes later than we're used to. What I've learned though is that my husband is an incredible father, whether he does things exactly like I would or not.
While he definitely loves our kids, he does not so much love Christmas. I live for Christmas. Such hope and promise and excitement and hot chocolate and warm fires and, well, you get it. To be fair, he's been deployed or away from his family for the majority of holidays over the last nine years. He's been a real sport and played along with my excitement though. Decorating the tree as a family for the first time was in the top ten moments of my life so far. I have the same ornaments we used on our tree when I was a kid. When my parents divorced a few years back I was the only one who really wanted them. They remind me of a time when everyone was happy and I hope someday they will do the same for my kids.  
Will even helped out too. We won't talk about the groom's hand placement.
We made it to church this morning without any bodily function incidents which is a step up from last week. Its really hard to break in a new church. Services are different, preachers are different and at least for me, meeting new people is hard. Go figure, my husband has already met 4 "friends" in his million plus trips to Lowe's, but it just doesn't work that way for me. If you belong to a church I'd like to encourage you not to get so happy with the current congregation that you stop trying to grow the church. The church we've been trying isn't the right fit for us so we're going to try a new one next week. The preacher said something that I liked this morning though. He talked about how when we decide to follow Jesus he gives us a new "title." A new job in a sense, a new why. I'm still kind of searching for mine but I'm enjoying being a wife and mom and letting that be "enough" for now while I pray about what's next.


Why, Georgia, Why

Disclaimer: In this world of oh so fantastic political correctness (is that word?,) I feel the need to say the following:

I am not actually an Eskimo. I was born in Alaska. My parents were not. Therefore, no actual Eskimo status. It's a nickname. That's all. I was semi-raised there, then moved to Oklahoma. Started wearing boots, listening to country music, insert additional midwestern cliche' here if you must. Married a Marine, now I live wherever they tell us to. Which brings me to this post.

Why, Georgia, Why  

Back up several months. I married my wonderful husband. Seriously, I don't deserve this man. He puts up with my mediocre cooking and housecleaning skills and reminds me where I put everything on an hourly basis. Luckily, he finds me charming. He started recruiting school what seemed like nanoseconds after we said I Do and we waited to find out where we'd be stationed. In a bit of wishful thinking I had our wedding photos framed and hung in our place in Oklahoma. He filled out form after form and we had phone call after phone call discussing where he would put in for first, second, third etc. choices to be stationed. Guess what?

Waste of time

In my mind's eye it went something like this. "Hmm. They want to live in Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee or South Carolina?" "Nope. We love sending people places they know no one, how about Georgia?" Considering that after his recruiting gig is up we're looking at three years in Japan, its possible that I should be eternally greatful for its mere 15 hour driving time from "home."

So in the spirit of painful adjustments, below is my list of things I love and not so love about Georgia:

It looks like this. Pretty much everywhere. Just beautiful. Oh, hi there Jameson.
On the other hand, it seems as though I've gone through 1.2567 million tablets of Claritin since we got here. Excuse me while I sneeze, again.
This is my porch. I sit here with my non fancy hot chocolate that my husband makes fun of me for making in the Keurig. Sorry we don't all like old man coffee. I love waking up before the rest of the house and praying in this swing for a few minutes in the morning.
When she lets me sleep long enough to actually do the above, I'm sure I'll have something more insightful to say.
In case you've never moved, it takes a long time. There are boxes and boxes and more boxes to unpack. I'm a creature of habit. I like things to stay the same. So my plan was to move all of my furniture into the exact same spot it would have corresponded with in our old house. Only the house layout wasn't exactly the same. Where there was room for the beautiful buffet in the old house, not so much in the new. Insert mini meltdown related to everything being different expressed through sobs about my writing desk.
So we've hung mirror after mirror, pictures and more pictures. By we, I mean, Willie. Eventually this will make it feel like home. Right now it just feels like all our stuff is in the wrong house.
We basically move every three years. Which means buying a house everytime we move isn't the smartest idea. So we rent. The thing about rent houses is, they usually aren't super clean. Which means there's been a lot of cleaning to do. I'm seriously considering leaving it to Cianna. She obviously has a better handle on it than I do.
As far as the town we live in, I still don't know much. We attempted to try the contemporary service at a Methodist church this morning. That attempt ended in turning around after Cianna projectile vomited all over her Sunday best. Oh well, I'm sure Jesus understands. Good intentions and all, right?
The worst thing about Georgia is that they have no taste in sports. No Thunder bandwagon KD shirts even. Georgians, I'm finding, don't even care that much about their own team, the Hawks. Don't feel bad if you've never heard of them, I hadn't either. On none of our hundreds of channels have I been able to catch one Thunder game since we got here. I'm considering asking Santa for NBA pass.
By far the best thing about Georgia though is that my family all lives under one roof. I can make Grandma's old recipes for my family and pray they taste even remotely close.  It's our first time really living together and we're learning a lot about each other.
"Cianna, don't eat my train tracks!"
"Wait, you watch football how many times a week?"
"We're married, you're stuck with me, now I can fart in front of you."
That last one was courtesy of my husband, I promise.