Well folks, we Steeds have done it again.
We've moved to a new home for a new chapter in the story of our family. We're here in northern OH (so far north that crossing the border into Michigan can happen in a matter of minutes), and dear Drake will begin 2 years of post-doctorate training at the University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC for short).
We found a cute house that we're hopeful will fit our family's needs well, particularly our need for Drake to walk/bike to work as we're a one-car family. This house happens to be only a handful of blocks away from the hospital, in a great neighborhood, and also on a much busier street than we once had. But really, it's a very cute house that we're renting, and we do hope you'll come visit!
And if I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times...moving is for crazy people. Truly, it must only be the clinically insane who take on moving, particularly moving with several small ones underfoot. So that's why we did it in the summer of 2014, again in the summer of 2015, and plan to do it yet again in the fall of 2017. Oh, and we had 3 moves prior to those, but I won't bore you with the dates and details.
I need to go take a nap now.
Honestly though, we had tremendous help on both ends. In Dayton I had friends offering left and right to help in all sorts of ways -- play dates at their homes for my kids, watching my kids at the park, a dear friend calling to say she had packed us a big box of snacks for the road, another taking many of my shifts at VBS so that I could sneak home and pack. On the night we packed the truck we had 17 people at our house ready and willing to haul boxes, watch the little ones, clean, and do anything we needed.
I had this little lady in tow, of course...
All of our belongings (children included) did make it to our new home, so apparently some amount of packing was accomplished, no matter how begrudgingly.
We then had great help on this end of the move as well and are now slowly but surely putting our home into working order. I think everyone even has a pair of clean underwear awaiting them in their respective drawer tomorrow! Things must really be coming along.
It's great, too, to have Drake home for a few weeks before he starts at UTMC. It's giving us a chance to divide and conquer, to exhale a bit from a whirlwind of a year, and to start establishing old and new routines. I guess that's a blessing about moving -- the feeling of a clean slate.
But I tell ya, it's hard to leave. Starting over stinks.
We were finally reaching the point in Dayton that we felt part of things...we had established a good rhythm, we knew many families, we had friends we could call for play dates and family get-togethers. There's a comfort in what's familiar, amiright? And honestly, the Catholic homeschooling community there is second to none. What an unbelievable (and large!) group of families. It was amazing. Our year there was action packed, and we had the constant support of that group.
And I'm really missing it. In some ways it feels confusing that we were only part of something so ideal for our family for one year. One year...only to be transplanted yet again. I know, I know, we knew ahead of time that our stay would be short...but I don't think we expected it to be so fantastic. And that's the way it works with me and our Lord sometimes -- things happening much differently than I anticipated.
I'm hopeful about our time here, but I'd be lying if I said I'm feeling great about it. Admittedly I don't feel great about it. I'm trying to open myself to the possibilities here, to what the Lord has in mind for Steeds in Toledo. I'm grieving what we left, missing friends, somewhat unmotivated to tackle the remaining boxes. I'm tired of being new, humbled by needing a GPS even just to get to the gas station, exasperated by the parish-hopping we're still doing. And don't even ask what our homeschool year will look like because, well, just don't. We'll get there eventually. September 8 to be exact.
I don't want to paint a bleak picture here -- it hasn't been all bad, and we've met a number of families in our 2 short weeks here. We've had play dates, family adoration, made unexpected connections, and are getting what we hope will be a solid school year together for the kids. We've taken some day trips that included hiking along a peninsula on Lake Erie, took a canal boat ride pulled by mules, saw Canada across the Detroit River, and plan to see a baseball game this weekend. We are incredibly blessed.
And for the record, taking a family selfie with wiggly children is no small task.
So pray for me, would you? And visit!