Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A Connecticut Yankee (!)

(Warning: ridiculously long update, to appease all curiositers)

And yes, I made up that word.

We finally got back internet 2 days ago, and it was so nice to be able to access e-mail again! It took me a while to sort through all my messages (still sorting, in fact). It was rather nice to be "unplugged" for a while, though. I didn't realize how mapquest-dependent I was, though, especially in a new place! I'm VERY glad to have mapquest back :-).

We had a nice but busy December. In mid-December Adrian's parents and brother Lane and my parents and sister Hannah all came up to Blacksburg to see Adrian hooded for his doctorate. Yay! Glad to have that final step done. Adrian defended in June, but this was the first opportunity to walk.

Then after everyone else headed back to various parts of the US, Hannah stayed with us for the next week to cook for us and help pack. That was an enormous help! I'm really not sure how the apartment would have gotten ready to move without Sister Dear :-). That week was my last week of queasiness, and it was nice not to have to cook during that time.

Then the Friday before Christmas, Hannah, Adrian and I headed to Georgia to spend a few days with my parents. We got to stop at Jessie's house in NC for the night on the way. I think Jessie has benefited from being smack-dab on the way from Atlanta to Blacksburg :-) - I stopped there a few times earlier last year on my way up to Blacksburg to visit Adrian. Always fun to see her, of course :-D.

We had a nice visit at my parents' house, and it was wonderful to visit my "old" home church again, and attend the Christmas Eve service there. Even though I lived in Georgia from the time I was 4 months old, this was the first Christmas I'd ever spent there! We'd always gone north to Indiana. So it was a nice change. And we had Ashley and Paul over for Christmas dinner. Good times. Mom, Ashley and I talked while the rest played Settlers of Catan.

We left Georgia the day after Christmas, with Hannah coming back with us (what a trooper!), and scurried back to Blacksburg to finish up packing. We loaded up the truck on that Friday, the 28th, and drove a little more than 1/2 way towards Connecticut, stopping to spend the night with our friends Anna and Brandon in northern Deleware. We towed Adrian's car behind the truck, and Hannah and I took turns driving my car. We got to bed at midnight (we didn't get in until 11:00 p.m.), and were up at 5:00 a.m. to get an early start to Connecticut. The rest of the drive to Connecticut was less eventful than the previous day, fewer missed turns and other delays (like, say, unhooking and rehooking the car tow dolly late at night, in the dark, and rain, and freezing cold - yay for the police spotlight that I never removed from my car).

The first thing I noticed when we turned onto our new street was the discount grocery store directly next door to our complex. "Hey, is a Price Rite like an Aldi's?" was my first reaction. Talk about convenience, and savings! Price Rite has officially become my new favorite store.

Two men from our church up here met us after lunch to help us unload the truck, which was a huge help, because I was about zero help with lifting heavy things for (a) safety reasons and (b) wimp reasons. Adrian and I both looked officially dead by the time the truck was unloaded; I think Hannah was the perkiest of the three after the fact. And she sure did her part carrying things in! Adrian and the other two men carried in load after load of heavy items, including all those books ;-). I kept myself to lighter items, and did sit down for rests at intervals, and was able to make it through all right. After Hannah flew home early Tuesday morning, though, I did take two long naps that day, totalling 5 hours. And then 5 more hours the following day (!). I'm finally quite recovered physically from the move :-).

I even started cooking again last week after Hannah left! I think Adrian is rather glad to have me able to cook again, and even if I'm not cooking anything terribly complicated, it's still real home cooking, and he didn't get much of that the month+ before Hannah took over for me ;-). I didn't have to even think about preparing meals between December 14th and January 1st, thanks to Hannah and Mother Dear, and believe me, that thrilled me :-). Now I'm happy to be cooking again. I was nauseated for about 7 weeks, so that's not all that terrible, actually. I expected much worse, even though it was no fun while it lasted. I'm glad to be back to eating meals in less than an hour now.

The downstairs of our townhouse is pretty much organized, except for a few minor things. Before Hannah left she helped me make a good dent in kitchen organization, and then Becky and Katherine drove over from Rhode Island last Friday, and Becky and I got the rest of the downstairs in place. They were our first dinner guests in our new home, too :-). (Hannah doesn't count, since she's family and since she cooked all the dinners while she was here.) Why is it so much easier to get things unpacked with help? Hmm. The upstairs is slowly getting unpacked. The second bedroom will serve as our guest room and sewing room for now, until Baby takes over. We'd like to use an Arm's Reach co-sleeper, so the baby may not move into the second bedroom for a while. Hopefully :-).

Our townhome has a full, unfinished basement, but it's pretty finished for being advertised as being unfinished. It certainly is nicely climate-controlled, and the concrete floor is painted, which helps with the looks. And we have washer/dryer hook-up! No more laundromat! The climate down there is so nicely stabilized that we're going to keep almost all of our books down there (on our really snazzy metal utility shelves that we bought a while ago for the purpose), which really helps in freeing up space in the rest of the townhouse. Considering we decided on our dwelling sight-unseen (this nauseated, exhausted pregnant woman did not relish the idea of flying up to CT by herself last month, amidst attempting to pack), we're very happy with it. It's a nice place for us, close to Adrian's work, and 15 minutes from our church.

Finding a church up here ended up being a lot easier than one would think it would be, in an area that is only 1% evangelical. We got on the PCA website and went to the list of churches in Connecticut. There weren't many choices, granted, but we love the one we found. It turns out we know several people who know the pastor, and Adrian had already met the music minister, who used to be on staff at his brother's church. It looks like there will be lots of opportunity for Adrian to use his musical gifts, which is very nice. And the people are all very nice and welcoming. There are several other women in the church who are expecting, including a few in our home group, so that'll be nice support for me.

And speaking of pregnancy, I'm back to square one on birthing options, of course. I was SO sad to leave our midwife in Virginia because she was simply wonderful, very knowledgable, a Christian, level-headed, etc. I was really excited about homebirthing with her. Our current leaning up here is a birth center that is 45 minutes SW of us. It's located in a hospital and midwife-run, natural-birth oriented, etc, but with the benefit of a regular maternity ward on the same level, should the need arise. We're touring it a week from today, and I hope it works out. A birth center was my original desire in Virginia, but there wasn't one near us. My skirts have been tight since just before Christmas, but I'm still holding out and just wearing the looser ones. I'm still not noticably pregnant to other people, but I can definitely tell a difference. I finally gained a few pounds after just barely holding onto my pre-pregnancy weight all through the first trimester. My current plan is to sew myself a few maternity skirts, but mainly buy tops via thrift stores. We'll see.

There. No one can possibly accuse me of not giving a long enough update :-).