Oh friends, there is so much to share! Where do I even begin?!
I know where.
I want to sincerely thank you all for your supportive words and prayers for travel mercies. Stuart and Jeremy arrived without harm (though not without some flat tires…) and Georgia and I had a ‘manageable' trip down in the airplane. I'm not going to say it was ‘wonderful' or anything…because frankly, traveling with a baby just isn't. But none-the-less, it went fairly smoothly and she was good as I could have hoped for. I must have prayed 74 times that day – “Lord, please just see me through this next part…”…”Lord, please see me through this part, too…”. I was very much sustained by prayer through are travels and for that I thank you. I do miss my family, friends, and hometown terribly – but I am clinging to the strength the Lord has given me to faithfully see me through.
So here we are. We arrived in Fairhope, Alabama. And yes, I've already eaten gulf shrimp:
I can't seem to think clearly at the moment, so instead, I have comprised a completely random and scattered list of a few highlights thus far:
1. My house is surrounded by a jungle. Seriously. There is a giant patch of bamboo in the backyard and the front yard is comprised of ferns, wild grasses, and sand. Yes, white sand. I have come to realize that sand will now play a giant part in my life – as I sweep, dust, and manage our home, I will forever be battling the sand-monster who continually spews the grainy wonder over our floors each day. Even the Swiffer Vacuum can't handle the monster. Let the battle begin.
2. The rental house we moved into is charming, but horrifically filthy. We've spent hours, and hours, and days, and days just washing windows, taking down old broken blinds, sweeping spider webs out of corners, and scrubbing all kinds of weird green algae off the front porch. I surely don't mean to be negative – it's getting there. But it's taken A LOT of elbow grease. Some of the quirks just have to be accepted and dealt with, since we surely won't be sinking a bunch of ‘fix-it' money into a rental house – such as the bathroom floor that resembles the ups and downs of a roller coast track (hello, rotted floor), the toilet that sits noticeably tilted, the windows that don't quite shut, or the odd patch jobs that so many rental houses have to offer. It is in a fabulous location, on a great quiet street, tucked away on half an acre – and for that, I am thankful. Plus, it's all one level – which means no battling babies that want to climb stairs!
3. Back to the location – I found a small fig tree in the backyard! How fun! It's pretty leggy and has obviously been neglected, but it is setting some fruit! Maybe I'll get to try my first fig out of our own yard!
4. There has been more spiders and critters than expected, though not nearly as many alligators as I had dreamt up in my mind. The spiders are mostly from the lack of maintenance on the house and we're working on spraying to keep them at bay. That being said, they are still horrible and I hate them. All of them.
5. Speaking of critters, while sweeping the kitchen last night (see #1), a palm meadow bug ran across the floor and I shreaked like a little girl. Seriously. A full-on shreak. Stuart came running in, worried, no doubt expecting to see an alligator or something equally as terrifying – let's just say, he thought I had overreacted slightly. When I very calmly and rationally explained I am not used to giant bugs that scamper across the floor like spawns of satan, he still thought I was being a sissy. Whatever, man – those bugs are nasty.
6. I now realize why we make a lot of our own food here on the homestead – because buying it incredibly expensive. Especially down here, the organic, sprouted, non-GMO, etc. food is ridiculous (though I still have to check out the local health food store – so all hope is not lost). The raw milk, however, is only $6 a gallon – which is $4 less than we were paying in Washington! Needless to say, I'm very anxious to get back in the kitchen and start cooking up breads, cereals, kombucha, and such. In fact, I have a batch of kombucha brewing as we speak. Cheers to feeling semi-back-to-normal.
And speaking of food, does anyone have a good source for nuts online they use? I haven't been able to find even semi-decent prices around here. Though I still need to track down a pecan farmer…we're surrounded by pecan groves!
7. Parents and students from Stuart's new school have been bringing us dinner and goodies – including freshly picked peaches and garden grown tomatoes! Caprese salads are on the menu this week, and yes, I'll be glad to share the recipe.
I am super behind on my preservation for the year – we're already nearing the end of blueberry and peach season around here. Are you kidding me?! I did get an invitation to go pick some blueberries in the morning, so at least I can play a little bit of catch up.
8. A housewarming present from my father in law:
An old, solid-oak crank table from the 1800's. It's one of the most beautiful pieces of furniture I've ever owned. And I finally have a dining area to put it in. We finished it off with these 100 year old oak chairs from a local thrift shop. I can hardly wait to refinish the seats with a fantastic fabric.
9. We drove 45 minutes to Gulf Shores, Alabama where we spent the afternoon of Father's Day enjoying the beach. What beautiful white sand.
10. My baby is still adorable.
11. I have now eaten a fried soft-shell crab. I haven't decided if I would recommend it or not, but I'll keep you posted.
So much more to come – I can hardly wait!