Well, hello there!
We are safe and sound, staying with family in NW Indiana, donning jeans and layers in typical early spring Midwest weather. The last few weeks have been eventful, to say the least. They were filled with moving preparations, a "preview" trip to Indiana for a baby shower a few days prior to our official move, so many goodbyes, our last days at our jobs, and another wonderful baby shower.
Every day felt filled to the brim with so many to-do list items, but also the weight of preparing to move to a place we have wanted to live, and also leaving the place that has been home for nearly five years. Even in the hectic nature of the last few weeks, I want to remember so much of our last moments in Austin.
Early in the week, we had dinner with some of our closest friends in Austin, our Austin-based family, so-to-speak. We ate hamburgers and sat at a picnic table and speculated about whether my friend was going into labor (not quite, but nearly)!
And that weekend, I flew solo to Chicago for my baby shower. The shower was lovely. I felt so incredibly loved and blessed by family and friends who already love and are praying for baby boy. We had a brunch and my sister-in-law, Katelyn, curled my hair. And it was with new eyes that I saw Northwest Indiana--not as a place that we hoped to live, but as a place we would soon live.
Once I flew back to Austin, Nicholas picked me up, we did some more packing and processing of my trip, and then stopped by to see our friends' brand new baby Weston! He's so tiny. And it's surreal to think that we will have a little boy to hold in our arms so soon.
On Monday, I worked my last shift at the hospital. That was a surreal day. My coworkers threw a wonderful shower at lunchtime, and again, I felt so loved. It was hard to say goodbye to a place filled with people who feel like family. And again, I'm reminded, good things can be hard and hard things can be good.
Nicholas and I packed and packed and packed a bit more. And since he's rather organized, the labeled boxes were arranged just so, ready for moving day. I've heard it said so many times, but you truly don't know how much you own until you try to pack it (well) into boxes, my goodness. We got coffee together one last time as we went to pick up our U-Haul truck and then several friends came over (and my father-in-law flew into Austin) to help us* load up the truck. I got some last-minute baby snuggles and hugs from friends.
Other little things about our last days living in Austin/preparing for the move:
- visiting the park near our apartment for one last little stroll
- setting aside special coffee my friend Maeve gave us so that we could brew "good" coffee up until the move
- taking one last sunset photo off the back of our apartment building
- realizing tons of my maternity clothes are striped
- finishing up my library book and returning it the day before we moved
- borrowing a big t-shirt to fit over baby boy
- seeing the sunrise from the plane
- sneaking in two quick pictures of bluebonnets from across the street from our hotel before leaving Austin
After loading the truck for most of the afternoon, we locked up our apartment for the last time last Wednesday, and checked into a hotel. The next morning, we met up with a couple of friends for a very early breakfast and then started the drive, which we did in two days (a much better plan than the last time we did this drive).
We are absolutely certain that this move is what God has for us right now, for so many reasons. And I can't sum up our home for the last five years in a matter of sentences. I can say that it is bittersweet to leave a beloved place in the midst of wildflower season, saying, "See you later," to friends and friends' babies, and coworkers who have been family to us.
Since we've been here, we've been introduced to my sister-in-law's new tiny puppy, Sage. We've had family time, and some rest, and the prettiest pink sunset, amidst apartment hunting and selectively unpacking. There is so much more to say, of course. But there's more processing and more settling in for us to do. In the meanwhile, we're looking forward to a little getaway prior to baby boy's arrival and some fresh air. And I will certainly write more soon about new life for us in the Midwest.
*I should specify that I didn't help load anything heavy into the truck. I did get my hair done one last time, which felt entirely flippant, but also I'm so glad that in a huge time of transition I feel good about my hair ;)
I'm praying whoever reads this is enjoying gradually warmer days! Thank you for reading, even when life dictates some larger gaps between posts. I'll be back much sooner with so much more to share! :)