Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Life in VA

I've thought about blogging a lot.  In fact, I actually write posts in my head from time to time.  Unfortunately, it's usually when I'm rocking a baby or putting dishes away or driving Stan the Van (our new minivan).  So that makes it tough for these posts to actually make it from my brain to the Internet.

Life in Virginia is good.  We're settling in.  The house is starting to feel like ours.  We've found the best place in the neighborhood to do the grocery shopping.  We're getting to know the neighbor kids.  It feels good to be here.

While we certainly miss the California weather (it's disheartening to look at the CA forecast and see 73 degrees all week long!) I like that it really feels like summer here.  The hot and humid weather brings the true "summer" feel we grew up with.  Dennis has been taking the girls to the pool most weekends.  Elyse can now swim half the length of the pool without a life jacket.  We've been playing outside and riding bikes.  We are in a war against mosquitos.  It feels like summer.

Dennis has started work at EWS.  Students show up this week.  We found out that he'll probably be promoted to major next month.  Yay!!  He works about 12 miles from our house.  Not a bad commute but I do miss the mile drive he had in California.  No coming home for lunch here.  But no deployments and few field exercises so no complaints from me!

I'm still working, teaching two classes right now.  It is a bit overwhelming at times, considering I'm also taking care of three kids and trying to unpack a house.  I'm learning to take it one day at a time.  We have a babysitter come twice a week while I do some work so that helps.

School will start after Labor Day.  Elyse is super excited to start kindergarten.  We also decided to sign Madelyn up for preschool next year.  I know she'll love it.  She'll go two days a week.

I found a mom's group to join.  I miss having my friends right in the neighborhood, but trust that we'll make some more friends in the neighborhood too.  I think the mom's group will give us some fun stuff to do.  They have a book club which I decided to join.  But, the first book on their list is Wuthering Heights!  I'm not sure that I can hang but I'm going to give it a try.  Think they'll judge me when I show up with Cliff's Notes?!

It's nice that we've lived here before.  We've been able to have some get togethers with good friends out here.

And our little Sammy Boy is doing great.  He's free with his smiles and even laughs sometimes.  He likes peek-a-boo and when we sing to him.  He's trying really hard to roll over from his back to his front.  The arm gets in the way still but I think he'll be able to make it to his tummy before long.

Overall, life is good here.  We've done this move thing enough times to know it takes a good six months to feel comfortable and find "our tribe" here.  Knowing this makes the move a little bit easier.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Well, the Katolin 5 have officially made the trip across the country to our new house in Virginia.  We're getting settled and starting to feel like this place is home.

Base housing wasn't available so we decided to rent instead.  I think it's actually better.  We were able to get a big house in a great neighborhood.  The school is walking distance away, across the street from an awesome library.  The people on this street have been super friendly and welcoming.  I think this is where we're meant to be.

We're still working on getting unpacked.  With working and taking care of three kiddos, it's certainly a slow process.  We're keeping in mind the "How do eat an elephant?" approach (one bite at a time) and we are slowly and surely making progress.

I decided to upload some pictures from my phone.  These are from the past month or so.  The kids and I were lucky enough to be able to hang at my parents' house while Dennis did the driving and the unpacking (can you imagine if we had driven with three kids, including an infant, across the entire country?! No thanks!)  So some of the pictures are still from CA, some from St. Louis and some from our new place in VA.  I'll try and get some pictures of the new house up at some point...not making any promises!  We were lucky that we got to see lots of friends during our time there.  I wish I had been better at taking some pictures of everyone.
THe girls loved the pool at Nana and Grandpa's.  The little flipper in the background is the neighbor girl

Strawberry Picking

Elyse hanging out with the waiter statue at our favorite Italian place in CA
This is me trying to get out of the car on the way to the airport.  We borrowed a friend's car...I sat back in the third row and had to navigate through all our stuff packed in there on my way out.  
On the way to St. Louis from CA.  My mom flew with us...made it much easier!
My mom's friends were so nice to give us their Cardinal's tickets when Dennis was driving through town.  Sam was a good luck charm at his first game....the Cardinals had 5 Home Runs!
Elyse invented this game...pin the tail on the donkey...Christmas theme  with pictures of baby Jesus and Mary.
Reading books with Grandpa
Our brand new minivan!  He's named Stan the Van.
Smiling Sammy...2 months old!
Visiting with my college roomies
The girls got breakfast in bed on the day we left for VA
Maddy entertaining Sam during tummy time
Hanging with Pappy
Trip to IKEA
Elyse started a lemonade stand (gift from YaYa).  She's quite the business woman.  
Sam loves his bouncy seat
The girls got new bikes.  They had to ride them out of the store.

Elyse found the dress-up box
Sammy boy
We were lucky enough to get a visit from Lisa and Deacon.  The girls though he was HILARIOUS!