Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Final Days in Florida (a recapitulation)


Why is the word "recapitulation" so much better than its shortened form? Anyway, this should be my final recap of the December-early January days when I seemed to be MIA from my own blog. After this I'll be getting back into the swing of recording things that have actually taken place this month. 

After we returned from our Christmas visit to Ohio we spent the next couple of weeks simply enjoying our final days in Florida. This meant lots of quality family time for the three of us as we soaked up the Florida sunshine and began preparations to move north to the Philly suburbs. New Year's Eve was a quiet night at home with our baby - who fell asleep in my arms (and therefore got put down in his crib) about an hour before we watched the ball drop in Times Square and toasted each other with some tasty strawberry champagne and kisses.

When I reflect on our Christmas break, I'm so thankful that Michael's project in Florida came to an end when it did. The last day was shortly before our trip to Ohio and he didn't start his next project up north until a month later...which left us with one whole month of lots of family time to make some final memories in Florida, pack up our things, and leisurely move (compared to our quick move down to Florida, that is - because anyone who has moved with a 5-month-old baby knows that it isn't exactly leisurely).

Once Michael's project in Florida wrapped up he immediately began saying that he thought his start date in January was too late and that he should move it up because...well, the man is not used to staying at home with us all day. In fact, none of us were used to him staying at home with us all day and it took a bit of adjusting for all of us. He continued to muse about having "too much time off" for awhile (which was mildly frustrating to me because we hadn't done ANY packing yet and I just knew it wouldn't be too much time once the moving process began), but in the end I got him to admit that with the Christmas traveling, holidays, and packing it really didn't feel like that much time after all. Then he got me to agree that next time (assuming it isn't surrounding the holidays again) he can take off only 2 weeks instead of 4 (see that? It's called the makings of a happy marriage and happy home - compromise). Regardless of how he felt about it, I know I was grateful to have his help at home during those days (especially once we began packing!). Admittedly, though, the packing is so much easier when you aren't 37 weeks pregnant.

January 2nd in South Florida

We made sure to visit our pool, a nearby boardwalk, and the beach at least once more before gearing up for the coldest winter the Philadelphia area has experienced in literally years. We also made sure to hit up the Gymboree semi-annual sale and made good on the gift card Michael's sister gave to Gabriel for Christmas; people in Florida don't need cold-weather clothing so we bought seemingly ALL the baby boy sweaters that were on sale for $5 and managed (with the gift card help) to spend a whopping $3.44. With Gabriel's warmer wardrobe in tow we (along with the accompaniment of my mom driving my car so I could ride in back with Gabriel) hit the road!

Moving day! Final family photo in Florida. My, how Gabriel
has grown since then (and how much more I've shrunk back
down to my pre-pregnancy size. Wow.).

Honestly, I believe God was watching over us well before we knew where we would be headed next. Not only did He provide a great work opportunity for my husband with great timing (he stayed with the same company he worked for in Florida), but He delivered us safely to our "northern" destination during the ONE week in January that the temperatures were warmer and there wasn't snow and/or ice covering the ground. Within half a week of our arrival the next snowstorm came and I was so so so thankful that we were done moving in and nearly unpacked (and had been to the grocery store) by then.

Truly, God is good.

Those days in Florida seem quite recent (we were there up until about 5 weeks ago) yet strangely long ago already. I won't pretend to understand this thing we call "time" because when you move around and live in 3 different states (in 3 distinctly different regions of the country, no less) within a 6-month time-span it gets more than a little mind-blowing. Especially when there's a new baby involved. Instead, I'll simply thank the Lord for His good timing and all the good things that have poured forth from us following Him wherever He has seemed to lead us.

Most people think we must be lamenting having left Florida in the middle of January to come here during what is seemingly the "worst" winter in recent years, but Michael and I are both SO excited about all that potentially awaits us here. I think we have figured out which parish we want to register at and I've already found some (hopefully) promising 'mom outlets,' but please pray for us as we continue to settle in and meet people. I'm not even being shy about asking God to bring a good SAHM friend into my life because after living in a retirement community in Florida I am SO READY to find my "people." Or even just one quality mom-friend that stays at home so we can have play dates, solidarity, and fulfilling conversation while our husbands are off providing for our blessed lives.

"Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it."
Psalm 37:5


  1. praying for you to find some good Catholic mom friends steph!!

  2. I just saw this post (found your blog through your appearance on BuzzFeed!) and am wondering whereabouts you are in Philly? I lived there for two years and last year I moved 2ish hours away towards Central PA. But I may still have some mom connections for you, especially if you're close to the Main Line!!

    Hope you're settling in nicely and that Spring is on its way:)

    God bless you!

    1. We are not far from the Main Line, actually! I'll shoot you an email. Thanks so much for commenting. :)