Providentially, our entire week of house hunting, NanNan was in town, with a hotel room right where we needed naps every day. Tomorrow, we should pick up our keys and NanNan is flying out. We couldn't have planned it better. Today we hit the aquarium and the boys had a blast!
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Progress, friends. We are making big progress. We are hoping to sign the lease tomorrow. It appears the hoops have been jumped. Today we toured a school that's 2 blocks from our hopeful apartment and they have spots for both the boys. (They also have a special program for international students to help them while they learn the language!) There is a park between our house and the school, bonus points. My mom and I spent the afternoon brainstorming at IKEA. The boys are beyond excited that they finally get bunk beds.
Monday, September 26, 2016
We are really only on Day 3 of this big apartment hunt, but it feels longer. We think we found one today. It's not the coolest, chicest we have seen. But it's within our budget and it's bigger than most. It's also within walking distance of a school we like. These are all good things.
In the meantime, we are working NanNan into the ground and bumming her hotel room for afternoon naps so we don't have to leave the city. These boys are troopers, but when you four year old tells you he's tired at 8am, you know things are going to go downhill fast.
We will see how the formalities go and keep hunting until our suitcases are unpacked. (We've been warned that contracts tend to fall through a lot here.)
Keep praying for a clear path!
I read this little verse on Friday and it has encouraged me so much:
He led them by a straight way til they reached a city to dwell in. Psalm 107:7
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Thursday, September 22, 2016
We are at the end of day one in the grand apartment hunt. We were gone from our little rental "hut" (let's talk more about that later) for 12 hours. I did indeed cry in a Spanish metro station tonight. So did all of my children. Thankfully, hubs held it together. Here's some selfie silliness during the long journey back.
And all in all, it was a great day of significant progress in narrowing down our area. A friend's sister showed me around town, and lavished our family with kindness, food, a bed to nap in, Internet to use, and toys to entertain. It will be in my memory for a long time as one of the most generous and timely acts of servanthood to us. I can't even begin to say how helpful this practical stranger, yet "sister," was today.
Guess who showed up in Spain with hands willing to help too?!? NanNan, who just finished a garden tour of France, hopped a plane and met us for the craziness of today. I really don't know what we would have done without her!
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
I just want you to know that my life has changed. There are playgrounds everywhere. And no rabid street dogs.
These are small things.
But a big deal in my mom-world, and I'm lovin it!
The suitcases are packed, again. (I think this is the eighth place we will stay in the past six weeks. Whew. Maybe feeling a little ready to knock this apartment hunt out!)
We drive to B@rcelona tomorrow!!!
Ready or not, here we go!
Saturday, September 17, 2016
We finished up our paperwork yesterday. We will pack up again this week to trek east and start the big apartment hunt! We decided to brave a little road trip and head to Toledo for the day with the boys. The highlight for them may have been the crazy escalator ride up the side of the mountain. For us, there were enough fantastic vistas, tiny old streets, helado (ice cream), and ham baguettes to make the day worth the trip.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Monday, September 12, 2016
Sunday, September 11, 2016
We made it! The flight and following sleep deprivation delirium were not our most golden family moments, but we stayed awake most of the day today. The boys are tucked away in bed, and we are functionally unpacked for our next week or so in Madrid while we take care of paperwork and orientation.
We had been here all of five hours when hubs got behind the wheel (of a borrowed car) to drive us across town for a meet up at a mall. Did you know they drive on the right side here? I just assumed they were all British-style lefties. Not so! I'm still not looking forward to that Spanish driving test though.
We made our first trip to the grocery on the way back, and let's just say I doubt I'm going to be at a lack in the kitchen here! They even have cream cheese. (Lunch was mini-tapas....goat cheese and pesto was my favorite. And yes, there were olives on the table;) We had a picnic dinner before baths and bedtime. Whew. What a day!
More adventures tomorrow!
Saturday, September 10, 2016
We had our final dinner at Grammar and Pop's before the flight tomorrow. All the cousins the house could hold were there. There was a wrestling match with Pop, games and one of Grammar's famous balloon releases.
David weighed all the suitcases and we are maxed out. Then I realized that Asher's clothes had yet to be packed. I always feel that getting on a plane is a sort of relief. It doesn't really matter what you forgot once you're in the air. You just have to make it work.
Tonight, amid all these goodbyes and suitcases there is only sadness. Excitement is on the shelf. I hate leaving my family. It never gets easier. My little sister's eyes make my heart break. Age is clarifying for me in some ways though. This lifestyle would not be worth it for money, or fame or power. The cost would be too high for me.
I am going because of Christ.
Because I want to walk in the purposes He has for my life. He is worth it. And so, the sadness becomes an offering to the One I love.
Friday, September 9, 2016
I always feel this pull when we are home to pump in as many "normal" American childhood moments as possible. If I'm honest, I'm battling the reality that my kids will just always be a little different. Sometimes that will probably translate to odd. They have life experiences that most boys their age don't have. That's ok. I am slowly learning to embrace the truth that God's story for my boys, however different from my own all-American childhood, is wise and beautiful.
It still seemed like a good idea to put them in soccer this fall. They need a place to work out some of this competition.
For us, the season was kind of a wash. A lot of rain and a shorter stay than we thought cut it down to a few practices at best. But they do love those uniforms!!! Silas blocked a goal in the scrimmage tonight - it felt like a life moment for us both.
And we did get in a little quality time with friends. Looks at these guys!!
So long soccer, futbol here we come!
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Time is ticking away. If God wills, we'll be recovering from jet lag at this time next week. India broke me in so nicely. The 14 hour flight looming ahead of us this weekend feels lightweight. What's an overnight with one layover when you've survived 24 hours in a plane, multiple stops and immigration lines with small children? These false expectations of ease are probably going to catch up with me mid-air.
2. We drove home just in time to celebrate Josie Jane's 5th birthday with a big swim party. Pizza and cupcakes by the pool. Can I just say how grateful we are to be here for moments like this? We flew to India for the first time just a month after Josie was born. Love, love that we could celebrate her day.
3. For Labor Day we headed to the farm one more time to see a passel of cousins, eat ribs with Pop Pop, say goodbye to Mamaw, and hug my brother for his birthday. It was fun…in that chaotic family-reunion kind of way.
And now we're on the home stretch. I'm sitting on suitcases to shut them and weighing clothes and wondering what on earth to do with all our shoes.
Shoes or not, we'll be packed up by Saturday.