Friday, March 30, 2012

7 Quick Takes

It's been awhile, so I figured it would be a good Friday for some Quick Takes!

Fabric Softener,
where have you been all my life?  
We stayed with our friends at the farm a few weeks ago, and I took out a load of her laundry.  It was SO soft!  I bought a bottle of fabric softener on a whim when we got home, and I'm not sure I'll ever go back.  The smell is a bit strong since we're used to Free & Clear detergents, but the softness just can't be beat!

My camera situation.
So it appears I've broken another camera.  I (kind of) joked with Steven tonight on how I really want a Canon (DSLR).  He just laughed.  He (kind of) joked that I need to write a plan of action for how to deal with my current camera issues.  So here is my plan...
-Take the camera to the repair shop while visiting Houston this weekend since we don't have a camera shop here.  See if they can clean out the sand.
-If they can't fix it for a reasonable amount of money, start spending hours of time on the internet researching camera deals and whine about my crummy and fuzzy iPhone photos for the next few months.
-Definitely will be researching Blair-proof cameras with Otterbox-type cases.  Maybe I need a waterproof camera since we'll be spending lots of time at the beach and pool this summer?
-Try my hardest to remember not to hang camera on the handle of my stroller in case of tipping stroller. 
-Also try my hardest to remember not to hold camera, take photos, and turn it on and off (opening and closing the lens) when I am chasing children through sand dunes at the beach with sand on my hands.

New Otterbox.
I may have some camera issues right now after having it only 2 months, but my current iPhone has survived over 6 months!  The Otterbox case was totally falling apart though, and the inner plastic was cracked in several places.  I love that it's under a one-year warranty!  I have a pretty new case now, and it feels like a brand new phone.  We still think back on the salesman who threw the iPhone in an Otterbox across the room at the AT&T store to show us how sturdy it was.  We immediately knew that was the case for me! 

It's creeping up on us.  I am craving all sorts of yummy desserts.  I haven't done any shopping yet, but I do have some things in my Amazon cart...I was so happy to learn today that Steven is now off the waiting list and can officially be an "Amazon Mom" and get those diaper discounts and free 2-day Prime Shipping!  Mine expired in December and I've really missed it!  We'll actually be spending Easter here in our new town.  I have mixed feelings about it, but am hoping that we enjoy all the activities at church over the weekend including Mass, an egg hunt, a BBQ, and a dinner party.  Steven even has off work on Good Friday, so that will be a nice family day, too.

Beach trip.
Starting to get excited about our August beach house adventure with Steven's family.  His parents are celebrating FIFTY YEARS of marriage this year, so we're renting a giant house for 33 people.  My head spins just thinking about a week with that many people under one roof, but his family all gets along great, so I'm sure it will be a fun vacation.  I know the kids will be thrilled to spend so many days with their cousins; we haven't rented a beach house together since Ellie was a newborn, so almost 7 years ago!

The girls are enjoying their dance studio here, and are looking forward to their recital performance of "Aladdin."  I'm having a hard time with the adjustment because I miss our friends at ballet back home and haven't been able to meet new families because I don't get to stay and watch them dance (no space to be with the boys), and I know the instruction and environment is nothing like what we had back home and I worry about them being exposed to things I'm not comfortable with.  But we had some major progress this week when one of the girls started sobbing to find out that she might miss the company's performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" here this weekend since we need to go to Houston.  To think that she's that excited about anything in this town is a real improvement on our situation.

Slowly adjusting.
Anytime someone finds out we recently moved here (4.5 months now), they ask how we like it.  "We're slowly adjusting," is my mantra.  "Home" is our own little house and family here, but "home" still feels like the city 4 hours away where nearly all of our extended family and longtime friends live.  I don't know how long it will take before this begins to feel like home, or if it ever will.  I know some people are able to move around and adjust easily to new environments.  I think if we weren't so deeply grounded in our life there, it wouldn't have been so hard.  I almost started crying in the shoe store yesterday when a grandma walked in to join her daughter and granddaughters shopping for shoes.  The two little girls were so excited to see their grandma and started yelling and jumping up and down.  That was a weekly occurrence for us back home, and it's hard not to have that consistent family support here.

But I trust that God has a beautiful plan for our family and for our hearts.  He knows when we need to "come away and rest awhile."  He knew we needed the beautiful water and sand and waves, the quiet ocean breeze, and chirping birds day and night.  But most importantly, a chance for our little family to grow in our relationships and for Steven and I to grow in our vocations as a husband and wife.  For us to see and feel God's hand in our lives and his longing for our minds and hearts when we don't have the distractions of so many activities.  I pray that we can each take advantage of this experience, and all the beautiful Catholic churches, convents, and ministries help us to be still in this moment of our little retreat here in the heart of the "Body of Christ" (Corpus Christi).


Angie @ Many Little Blessings said...

I haven't used fabric softener in about a year at home, but then used it when we spent some extended time in Florida this winter. Now, I think I kind of miss it. I might have to break down and get some.

Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

What a great vacation with your husband's family. That sounds like so much fun. Maybe you could get an SLR , but have them put it in the hardcore case that they make for little kid's first camera? And good luck with the adjusting. I moved 19 times by the time I was in fifth grade, so I know that it can be difficult.

Kristy B said...

I think you can get Free & Clear fabric softeners too. We use ALL detergent and it would seem I've used something of that vein in the past too.

I wonder too if this will ever feel like home, even after 3 years. Yes, it is the place our family comes to and grows and struggles and finds joy. But in my heart, Houston and Texas will always be truly home to me. After 28 years of never being more than 3 hours from my parents, this continues to be a struggle. I think part of it is that all the family and friends are still close to each other down there, and we are the ones that are away. It's not like there are many of us spread out. I can understand the teary feeling about not being close to grandparents... I get that way a lot because most everyone around us was born and raised here so the grandparents are a part of daily life. But God knows all this and he can see my heart :)

Jill said...

Love that last photo!!
I think I need to move to your town just so I can photograph some beach sunsets. I'm not even sure we have a lake or even a swamp near us. ;)

I have all sorts of heavy duty armor on my IPhone, too. Paul bought all sorts of layers. I don't even know what a real Iphone looks like. He bought my phone and brought it home to me already protected!!

Have fun at that beach house. And congratulations to Stven's parents on 50 years! My parent's celebrated their 40th last summer and we all went up to Minnesota for a mini vacation to celebrate. However, we only had 17 people and well stayed in hotel rooms. :)

I meant to also comment on your last post that you get a lot of great shots of all four kids together.

Leanne@lifehappenswhen said...

Ooh! A trip to the beach sounds awesome! It will be loud, crazy, and chaotic with that many people, but SO worth it!!

Dwija {House Unseen} said...

I have the tendency to fill my cameras with sand, too. How can you not when kids do cute things in dirty, sandy environments????? Husbands just don't understand. ;)

Neen said...

Moving is hard for sure. It is also an adventure for the soul. Meeting new friends is not easy but still wonderful all the same. It has been ten years since we moved fromour home in St. Louis to Houston. I am so thankful for all the people and things we have been introduced to. I still miss my mom, sister, brother and family and J's whole family. I still say "back home" when referring to St. Louis. I don't think I want to move back though. I want to move yes but I have loved how close my family is because we have had to make our own traditions and our own fun in life. Sorry I couldn't join you all last night for mom's night. I would have loved to hear more about your new life near the beach!

Mary said...

I have been thinking about you Blair. I think this point is always the hardest in a move, since the dust has settled, boxes mostly emptied, new routines started, so the feeling of "this is all there is?!" compared to your old life. Hang in there, it will get easier. I am happy its a weekend drive distance. We'd move and just when I felt we were settled, we'd move back "home" again!
Sorry about your camera; when we lived in Galveston, I ruined a few cameras with sand too.

Blair said...

I need to figure out a better option for responding to comments! Thank you all for visiting. I'll keep my eye out for some free and clear fabric softener, and yes, we're really looking forward to the beach house this summer!

Hoping to borrow grandma's camera this weekend so I can get some decent Easter pictures. Maybe I'll end up taking the camera in for repairs. I just don't want to stomach the ~$50 just to get it cleaned!

I've heard around the one year mark is when a new city starts to feel like home. We've got a ways to go. I'm hopeful that the beach in the summer will make us feel like we're on vacation! And hopefully we'll get some visitors, too :)

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