We made it to Mississippi! While the kids and I stayed in Utah last week to tie up loose ends and clean our townhouse, Andy drove for three days and arrived Saturday just an hour before our plane landed. Perfect timing!
My first impression of Mississippi, is, well, it's not really an impression so much as a mish-mash of thoughts. First of all, it's beautifully green! There's not a mountain in sight which I initially thought would be strange having grown up in Arizona and most recently lived in Utah, however, where this state lacks in mountains it more than makes up for in large, luscious trees! It really is lovely. With the many shades of green comes humidity and lots and lots of bugs. To be honest, the humidity hasn't been nearly as unbearable as I had anticipated. As a matter of fact, the mornings and evenings are perfectly cool, but it's that time in between that's not so comfortable. I'm told this isn't even the worst of it. I guess it's a blessing we moved here when we did to give us time to acclimate and prepare for the 100% humidity days I'm told are in the future. Fortunately, we have a pool at our apartment complex and there's a great little water-play area downtown, both of which the kids have already thoroughly enjoyed (I'll post pictures soon).
Our apartment is nice. It's similar in size to our last home, just with a significantly smaller kitchen which I affectionately call our "one-butt kitchen" because only one butt can fit in it at a time. It's also lacking a backyard, which has been hard on the kids. However, we have a cute little patio which Ava has already adorned with a tomato, strawberry and cucumber plant. Fortunately, there's also a playground and tennis court within our complex (just outside our apartment) as well as some large grassy areas and the above-mentioned pool. I really think the kids will be fine.
As for adjustment, that's been the hardest thing. Our possessions still haven't arrived. As a matter of fact, they're still in Utah. The moving company apparently doesn't have a driver for the truck yet so our boxes are sitting in the company's storage facility until a driver signs on. We were told they'd have a driver by now, but alas... no such luck. To be honest, I'm not surprised as the whole moving process has been nothing but a hassle and lack of communication on the mover's part. The hardest part though is it makes it impossible for this to feel like home. We're sleeping on blow-up mattresses my parents bought for us while they were in town this weekend. Our living room has two green camping chairs and Ava's little pink one. Fortunately, we had packed blankets and sleeping bags in the car, and I bought pillows here. Andy brought most of our bathroom things (soaps, toilet paper) etc. And we packed a few of the kids' most special toys. We each have four outfits and bathing suits (there's a laundromat in our complex). But that's about it. As I type right now Andy is on his way to Wal-Mart to get a deck of cards, just so we have something to do. As for food, we've really had to use our imagination since all our cooking utensils, pots, pans, etc. are in a moving box in Utah. Our freezer is stocked with foods we can throw in the oven and eat on paper plates. For breakfast, we've been enjoying yogurt and lunch is PB&J. We stocked up on fruit and little snacks for the kids. We're making do, but it's obviously not ideal.
The kids are doing surprisingly well. I really thought Ava would have the most difficult time as she was so sad to leave her friends, but she's surprised me and seems to really be enjoying herself. She loves all the new things we've seen and done, and she's been a HUGE help with her baby brother who has NOT adjusted well. He's having a hard time sleeping and he's simply not acting like himself. He keeps telling me he wants to go "home." I've tried explaining this is our new home, to which he responds, "No, this G-Ma and G-Pa's home." I think he though that since my parents were here, we were visiting them at their home. Andy's doing well, of course. I, on the other hand, miss Utah terribly. Actually, it's not really Utah, it's just a few things about Utah. I miss having a grocery store right up the road (we have to drive into "town" to get to one now), I miss having temples everywhere (the closest is three hours away in Memphis). I miss Ava's best friend A.J. and her mom Brittney, who quickly became one of my closest friends. But most of all, I miss my friend Joni and her kids Ethan and Avery. That's been the hardest adjustment for me. I know we'll keep in touch and visit them in Utah, but it's still not easy. I think once I get to church Sunday and our things arrive, I'll start to feel better about the move. I'm not trying to be a complainer, I'm so grateful for Andy's job and this new little adventure, but change is never been easy and this move has definitely been the most difficult for me (it's our fifth in 7.5 years of marriage).
Alright, our lasagna is done. Thank goodness for pre-made dinners. I'll update again soon with pictures of some of the fun things we've already done in Mississippi.