My Family Update!

 

lukeriver1

 

It’s been a while, and I want to thank you if you are reading my blog. I apologize for not being consistent with posting. I’m loving our new home in Pennsylvania, but it’s been a bit hard to fall into a routine here! Moving and adjusting to a new place is not something that comes easily to me. You’d think being a retired wife of a military man, I’d have this moving and adjusting thing down. But I don’t.

One thing different about moving here is just knowing that we plan on staying here. We have no plans of moving out of this house. Finally, for the first time, we have a “forever home.”

Some things that have been going on:

  • Andy gets up and leaves for work VERY early, so I no longer get an early “time to myself” in the mornings. I miss that! I still get up very early, like I’ve been doing for years, but I go right to fixing his (low-carb) carry-out breakfast and lunch. Then I get about 20 minutes of quiet time for coffee and reading before I have to make sure Emma is getting up and around. Soon after that, Sky is up and getting ready for her college classes, so our house is alive and bustling by 6:30 AM. I am very thankful that our Catholic school, which is 25 minutes away, provides bus service, so I’m not complaining! But Emma has to walk down to the end of our street pretty darn early. I no longer have early mornings to myself. I suppose I still could, but I’d have to get up at 4:30, and I just need more sleep than that.
  • I have got all my furniture in place and am done unpacking. I still want to paint, but am not sure when that will happen. At least the paint we have now is not hideous; I can live with it for a while! My goal is to unify all our main level walls by painting them a shade of light gray. Right now, we’ve got blue, sage green, and light brown going on.
  • Our son, Andrew (also called A.J.) flew back to Washington at the end of summer. He has 1.5 years left at Central Washington University and we miss him so much! I worry about him every day, but he is doing great. He is living at the Catholic Campus Ministries House where he volunteers during his free time. We are all looking forward to his visit at Christmas!
  • Whitney and John found a house! They now live a little closer to John’s work, but are only about a 25-minute drive from us. Their house is adorable! It is an old, early 1900’s red brick 2-story house with wood floors and neutral colored walls, on a quiet, tree-lined street. They have so much space now. It is so much better than their little apartment they had in Washington. Whitney was so happy to find it and start decorating and setting up house.
  • We have found a great parish. It’s always hard when you have to leave the parish you were already a part of and attached to. I will always miss St. Michael’s in Olympia. We love Father Jim, and made many wonderful friends there. But we have found a parish home here. We love it, and are already getting involved. The people are great. The pastor is fun and awesome. He is also a Penn State fan, so that is a good sign that he is a keeper. Thank you, Lord! ;)
  • We closed the pool in mid-October. It was kind of sad, as we had so much fun in that pool from the day we moved in! We had some pretty warm days after closing it, and thought maybe we should have kept it open just a little longer. The good thing about closing it is there is no upkeep for now. But I’m sure looking forward to the spring when we open it again!
  • But now? It’s coooooold!!! OK, I’ve lived in Pennsylvania and central New York before (right smack in the middle of the snow belt), so I know cold. But I think I have forgotten. Even though Washington is further north than Pennsylvania, we never really needed winter coats while living there. Washington has mild summers and winters. It’s only November, and we definitely need winter coats here. I actually like having four seasons, and I look forward to snow! Bring it on!
  • We got a gas-fueled fire pit for our back yard but have hardly used it because it got so cold so fast! Haha! I think we need a bigger one for here!
  • It’s been awesome to live only an hour’s drive from Andy’s home town. He is able to see his mom every weekend. We also have been able to get together with his classmates from high school several different times, and that has been a lot of fun!
  • We have the best neighbors! I prayed that we would get good neighbors way before we even chose a house. God definitely answered my prayers. Everyone has been so friendly. We invited all our neighbors on our street to our house on Veterans Day for drinks and snacks, and had a pretty good turn-out. We all just seem to mesh very well. I feel so welcomed here.
  • Speaking of great neighbors: We found out our next door neighbor is the daughter of one Andy’s all-time favorite high school teachers!!! Her father was his baseball coach. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Andy so tickled! He’s looking forward to reconnecting with him when he comes next-door for a visit. I mean, seriously, how coincidental is THAT?
  • Emma got a small part in the fall school play and had a blast! We had to drive her to and from the school every.single.night for play practice, but it was definitely worth it. She had such a good time and really bonded with some kids who were in the play. I’m so proud of her. I’m also so thankful she is making friends at her new school. This move has been hard on her, as she’s had to leave so many old friends behind in Washington. She’s so quiet and shy, but she can get up there on stage and sing and play a part. It’s like she’s a different person on stage. I don’t know how she does it. They had four performances this past weekend and are done. The kids all did GREAT!! And…Emma has already tried out for the upcoming winter play!
  • This is our first Thanksgiving to be so close to Andy’s family!!! We will have one of his sisters and her family here, as well as his mom and a niece, and of course Whitney, John, and the grandkids! It will be a houseful. Can’t wait!
  • And amid all the happy times, we have some sad news. Our sweet boy, Luke, the wannabe lapdog Goldie, has died. On October 24, he just lay down in the living room for a nap (like normal), and never woke up. We do not know why he died. He was slowing down, due to age (he was almost 9), but was never sick. We took him to the vet in May before we moved, and he was given a clean bill of health. When I think of how he traveled cross-country with us from Washington to Pennsylvania without a hitch, how he jumped in our swimming pool, how he just seemed to be so happy and healthy and loving life up until the day he died…I am perplexed. I looked over his last vet record, and he had passed everything! The vet even wrote, “healthy dog” in her cursive handwriting under “comments.” The last thing Luke did was typical Luke – tried to steal a cookie while Sky was baking. Haha! It is a bittersweet memory, as it makes us laugh, but then cry. We miss him so much. We were not prepared to lose him. He was truly a family member of our household, and our family feels empty without him. I miss him so very much. He was the sweetest, most patient and loving dog I have ever known. He was like a grandfather to the grandkids! He is absolutely irreplaceable and will always hold a special place in our hearts.This is the last photo we have of our sweet Lukey Boy. Emma & Sky were watching a TV show and he was lying at their feet. Suddenly, he stuck his head on the edge of the sofa to look at them. Sky thought it was cute, so she snapped a picture. I’m so glad she did. Little did we know that he would be gone less than 24 hours later. He was the BEST dog!!!

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