The kids and I continued on through Tennessee. I was excited to see Memphis. We got into town at around 3:30 and drove right to Graceland! I felt that if we were going to be in Memphis we had to stop at the home of Elvis! It was really neat. The kiddos were less than impressed, but I loved it. It was outrageously priced, but well worth it for the experience.





Fort Smith and Little Rock

After our trip to Wal-Mart, we drove to Fort Smith, AR.  It was a neat town, but we didn’t have enough time there to really experience anything.  After we stayed at another Holiday Inn there (I’m a rewards club member, so that is pretty much where we stayed most of the time), we continued on toward Memphis, TN.  On our way, though, we stopped at an Iron Skillet just North-ish of Little Rock, AR. 

Our waitress approached the table and her first question was, “sweet tea?”  I knew I had entered the south.  Of course I ordered sweet tea, and then I had the best catfish I had ever eaten in my life.  I do not like catfish.  It is usually muddy tasting to me, but this catfish was creamy and fantastic.  I was in heaven.  On top of the amazing catfish, I had the best experience with corn bread I had ever had in my life as well!  The corn bread was sweet and sticky and wonderful.  These two things, combined with the sweet tea, made up for the frozen crinkle cut fries that the fish was served with.  Definitely one of the top meals of my life.

The fact that our waitress was sweet as pie helped!!

The first night away from home

The evening we left New Mexico, we stayed in Amarillo, TX.  There was a BNSF convention at the Holiday Inn we stayed at, so check in took some time.  After getting settled in, we went to the hotel restaurant.  Of course, true to my luck, there was a creepy guy working the restaurant, and we had to deal with him before we got our less than acceptable food.  On the way back to the room, the kiddos smelled the chlorine in the swimming pool and I cringed when they asked if we could go swimming.  As usual I forgot to pack the ever-important swim suits!  When will I learn?

The next morning I woke up to a firey hot little girl.  She had a fever of 103 and complained that her chest hurt.  I pumped her full of the homeopathic meds I had and we went down to the restaurant for breakfast.  Creepy guy was oddly working the morning shift as well, and put on airs when we entered, angering his co-worker.  I hurried the children and we left the hotel, bound for Wal-Mart, where I bought acetaminophen and ibuprofen for Haley.  I also bought swimming suits for the next hotel.

New Mexico Farewell

On Saturday the kids and I rolled out of Farmington, where we were staying with my aunt, at about 10 am. So much for 6:30. Of course, being who I am I bawled like a baby and continued to do so for about the first hour of the drive. I even called my best friend screeching like a banshee about how I didn’t get to see her the previous Tuesday for a goodbye dinner.  She was like, “dude, you’re fine.  I knew you were busy.  Just drive safe and call when you get there.”

Luckily for me, the weather turned sour shortly into the drive, enough to distract me from my woes. From about 20 miles north of Nageezi, NM, to about 20 miles south of Cuba, NM there were snow packed and icy roads. Being from southern New Mexico, my experience with these conditions is minimal, so, needless to say, this made for an interesting morning!  My poor children went from having a wailing, sobbing, snot-ball of a mother to a white-knuckled, wide-eyed, shutyourmouthweareinadangerzone mom.  Who also pulled over on the size of the road in Cuba because my phone fell between the seats and I needed to make sure if we went off the road into a ditch I could call someone. *eyerolle emoji*

Despite these conditions, we made it to Albuquerque only 30 minutes behind schedule and had time to pay a short visit to my grandfather before continuing on.

We left Interstate 25 behind us and began the long partnership with Interstate 40 as we traveled east. We passed Cedar Crest, where I was born on the floor of my family’s living room, and continued out of the Tijeras Canyon on past Edgewood and through Santa Rosa. We finally emerged onto the plains of eastern New Mexico.

As I passed the small adobe buildings that dotted the landscape I was surprised at how sentimental I was toward the meager dwellings. I will certainly miss the culture in New Mexico!

As we headed out of my homestate in the afternoon sun, I felt a twinge of panic and sadness. Even though I knew we were driving toward a new and better life, it was painful leaving my home.

The Land of Enchantment graced me with one of its beautiful skies before I left, and I share it with you. This picture was taken north of Albuquerque, after we came out of the snow storm. The other picture was snapped as I left New Mexico and entered Texas.



The movers are coming, the movers are coming!

Well, I had my home survey yesterday and the phone call that follows came today.  The movers will be here on Saturday, the 2nd of February.  This should be fun and exciting!  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that it is all happening so fast, since D(eparture) day is less than 2 weeks away.  All the same, I am starting to feel rushed despite the length of time it has been since I accepted the position.  In a way, I want the move to be over, and yet I want more time as well!  No matter what I want, though, things will move on at the speed they always do and I will be getting into the car to drive my family across the country in 11 days.
I am pretty excited!  And yet I have the strongest urge to pee my pants.

The moments

There are many moments in our lives that define us. I have had a lot in the past few months. Choosing to move across the country is a huge risk, but I am really excited and I think we will all benefit from it.

Last night I began feeling better about it too, because my friends and family threw me a going away party. I was amazed at how many people showed up. It was really only for my work friends, but I had a good 25 people there, which, honestly, was incredibly surprising. I am really thankful for my friends and family. I love them all!

And the panic begins…

Well, just over a month left before we jump in the car for DC. I have yet to nail down an apartment and am starting to freak out a bit. I have so much to do here at home it is ridiculous. Yeesh. Lucky me, to top it all off I have the flu, despite being vaccinated. Tomorrow is another day.

So Many to Choose from!

Well, I am sure some of you have been through the ringer trying to select a new home.  I am having a heck of a time!  I swear, there are about 10,000,000 choices of places to live in and around D.C.  I first had to systematically choose between the District, VA, and MD.  I chose Maryland.  Then, of course, I had to decide what was a reasonable commute time.  Then whether I wanted Prince George’s County or Montgomery County.  I opted for Montgomery County.  Then I had to weed out which city I wanted.  Because I want Montgomery County, I have very few cities to choose from, but basically I went with Silver Spring because of all my choices, this is the one that I can afford the most.  Now that I am down to that, I still have about 300 apartment complexes to choose from.  Not to mention whether or not I want to actually rent a house.

So, I have gone through the list, and pretty much decided which amenities I MUST have.  I plugged all of those in and came down to about 100 choices.  After even more pickiness, I have 10 apartments left on my pinterest pinboard called, yes, “apartments.”  Sheesh.  Should I put them up on my blog for a vote?  Let me know what you think!

I am so indecisive this might be the easiest way for me to decide!

I should be…

Well, I should be interviewing au pairs right now, and looking for new apartments, instead I am laying flat on my back with a migraine. Great way to spend the first big snow, too. My poor kiddos really want to build a snowman and no such luck. I am going to have to suck it up though because the snow will melt by tomorrow!

A new bed…

Well, since everything is SO DAMNED EXPENSIVE in DC, I have to get a two bedroom apartment rather than three which would be ideal. So, one bedroom goes to the kids, one goes to the au pair, and, you guessed it, I get the couch:). At least it is a super cute red leather sleeper sofa! Lemonade, ladies and gentlemen, lemonade.