Moving is hard. Everyone says that and everyone is right. It is hard. Really hard. Do you know what else is hard? Moving when you're pregnant. I don't recommend doing it if you can help it. Pregnancy makes you grumpy and emotional and tired and sore. On the other hand, it does lend a fabulous excuse for being all those things, which you probably would be anyway BECAUSE...moving is HARD!
We have been here in Florida for about a month now. I wish I could say that it feels like home now. I will have to settle for saying that most of our boxes are unpacked and I can find Target, the grocery store, the zoo and the church building without using my GPS.
It's different here. For one thing, it's been 80 degrees outside...in January. It's actually kind of a time-warping thing. I totally forget that it's winter. Some of that might also be that my kids are still not in school. That's another story entirely, one we will just leave alone for now.
Another thing that's different is the wildlife. There are creatures everywhere. EVERYWHERE. This part is actually kinda cool. We have lizards on our back patio all the time. No, I'm serious...all the time. Not like we see lots of lizards, but like, I can go out on my patio and spot three lizards at any time. Lots of cranes too. We see them when we walk to get the mail, they stop traffic to cross the street (no joke ya'll). There are also gators swimming around. Interestingly enough, it's not as scary as I thought it would be. They aren't walking around my front yard or swinging from the trees like I pictured before we moved. You just see them swimming around sometimes in one of the fifty five thousand bodies of water in a three mile radius. Seriously, lots of water here. The scariest part of the gators is being married to Mike Ramsey who has an unquenchable compulsion to catch and play with dangerous animals.
The people here are wonderful. Everyone is friendly and welcoming...although they do have this thing with ignoring anything red. I can't tell you how many people I have seen blow through a stop sign or stop light as if it's not even there. Seriously. I might be nervous except that I drive the largest, most monstrous vehicle on the roads so their measly sports cars don't intimidate me. They'd bounce off like a flea. Florida drivers, you've been warned.
I'm still horribly homesick. I miss my familiar places. I REALLY miss my wonderful friends and my doctors. Oh my goodness, if you have great doctors, please don't take them for granted. In fact, after you read this blog, get off the computer and go write them a note and make them a plate of cookies and take it to them. They are worth their weight in gold and diamonds and chocolate. If you don't have good doctors, move to Richmond, VA because I have some great recommendations. Same with your teachers. Teachers and doctors...for real.
But challenges aside, we have had some really fun experiences in Florida. Actually being away from our social network has forced us to get out and really look for things to do as a family. It has brought us closer together and we have enjoyed this special time.
Some of the neat things we've done in Florida:
* We got an annual pass to the local zoo and have enjoyed a couple of trips there already.
* We went on a "river walk" along Lake Monroe. The highlight was the ducks. I love ducks.
* We went to the Blue Springs State Park and got to see the manatees and the gators. It was breathtaking.
* We went to the DeLand Reptile Center and got to watch them milk venomous snakes. It was actually super cool to watch.
* Gavin went "bungee jumping" at the mall. 6 out of the 7 of us thought this was fun to watch...I'll let you guess who the 1 freaked out one was.
* We went to Target. Target is cool no matter where you go. Period.
So that's been our adventure so far. We miss home but have felt such a remarkable peace from our Heavenly Father. We know this is where we are supposed to be and are thankful for the opportunities He has given us. We are looking forward to welcoming baby Ramsey here shortly and enjoying whatever Florida adventures might await us.