Polka Dots and Pineapple: Life of Family P

Blessed to be a blessing...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Home Sweet Hotel - Our New Normal

After making the drive on Thursday, we arrived to our home for the next month.  We love the Embassy Suites and are enjoying the amenities!  It is really nice to have a suite because there is lots more space than a typical hotel.  It's like a small apartment and we have settled in just fine!

Dining/Work Area

Living Room

Wet bar

Bedroom  - we have an extra bed if anyone wants to visit in the next few weeks!

View from our window of the convention center

And I definitely love the hot breakfast each morning as well as the manager's cocktail reception each afternoon!  We love our temporary home!  :)

Josh reading the sweet card from our friends after our arrival
The precious goodies given to us by the R family as a welcome to Charleston!

Josh on his first day of work! :)

Sweet Little C -- he is our little buddy -- so cute!
B paddle-boarding!

L paddle-boarding!

They showed us how to do it! 

Josh paddle-boarding!

Me paddle-boarding!

Father & Son - so sweet!

After our successful and fun paddle-boarding experience!

Shem Creek, after eating after-church-lunch at Red's

Shem Creek is my happy place!  There's just something about it that I love!

Josh wearing his badge before going to work this morning! 

We just started the process this afternoon for a condo to rent on Daniel Island -- hopefully everything goes through smoothly!  If so, we should be moving in the last week of September.  Sure wish our Kentucky house would sell -- because we have two housing payments until it sells. 

I have just recently began job-searching and am thankful that Josh's company is offering a nice service to me.  They contract a career-help service and I have someone who is helping me with finding a job here.  I have enjoyed getting to correspond with her and was particularly excited when I discovered that we are both Alpha Gam girls (just from different universities).  Hopefully I will have a good fitting position soon!  Until then, I have been productive job searching, taking care of housing things, meeting my husband for lunch, doing laundry (and paying way too much for it at the hotel laundrry room) and enjoying this adventure!

Believe it or not, we really have been quite busy!  Between Josh starting work and us trying to figure out a permanent place where we're going to live in a few weeks, we have also enjoyed attending Seacoast Church and hanging out with the R family.  Last night we even went to the home of another young married couple from church (as introduced by the R family) becuase they were having some couples over.  Tomorrow evening we have plans with the R family and Wednesday is a church service and missions fundraiser supper. 

Moving is hard.....it's emotional, tiring, overwhelming, stressful......but we couldn't ask for a greater experience!  Charleston has been a fabulous place to relocate!  Strangers have welcomed us with open arms.  Overall there is a laid-back atmosphere -- everyone is just chilled out and easy-going, as well as friendly and hospitable!  We are so thankful for this adventure! 

We welcome friends and family to visit!  We would love to show you around our new home!  It really is great place with so much to do!

With love from Charleston!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

On the Move!

This truck arrived at our home on Tuesday morning.  When it arrived, my heart kind of sunk for a moment because I knew it was real.  The reality of the situation sunk in and I knew that the moment had come that this deal was really going through.  Bittersweet for sure.

Two men arrived with the semi truck and it wasn't long before cabinets and drawers were cleared -- boxes full of our belongings were all through the house.  We appreciate the moving service very much, however it was very weird having someone else go through your drawers and cabinets.  It kind of put the moving process in a fast-forward motion.

For those who have never experienced a move like this (as I was before earlier this week), I will tell you it is an intense, long experience.  Full of emotion, fast-paced, overwhelming.

A new flooring trend is to make a path of cardboard -- I expect to see this appear in home magazines this fall!  ;)  Yes, I am extremely thankful they protected our floors!

After two long and full days, the trailer was loaded and our belongings were packed up.  (Before you jump to conclusions, let me inform you that we did NOT have the entire load but rather a section.  They do this type of thing for multiple people, with each family having a section.  There were other things in this trailer that did not belong to us!)   Our items should be in storage for around a month before we have them delivered to our home-to-be.

Once the load was completed and closed up, we cleaned our empty home and did our final walk-through.  My goodness, what an emotional moment for us!  We walked through each room and discussed sweet memories that we had made under that roof and in those walls.  The walk-through ended in our bedroom (which was my favorite feature of the house) where we prayed together for the journey ahead.  So excited for what is to come, yet sad for saying goodbye to what is familar.  We had made many memories in our "first home" and had planned to be there for several years.  Never did we dream we would be leaving in such a short time.  The past 2.5 years (almost that long, not quite) had flown by, yet was full of many moments.  We took major pride in our home (I loved it and Josh worked on it!) so leaving this beautiful home that was arranged just how we liked it.....that just seems crazy.  And it really is.  Yet, the will of God often seems crazy to us.  We don't understand His ways.  It just doesn't make sense to us.  In the midst of the craziness, we've still known His will.  And that was for us to move to Charleston. 

Who knows if it's forever or for just a short time.  Neither of us even venture to guess.  We just know we've been given an amazing adventure.  An adventure with many opportunities and one that is full of excitement.  And also many sacrifices.  But with much promise.

We believe that Romans 8:28 best affirms this decision, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." 

We love our new city and all that it offers.  As silly as it may sound, we already feel so welcome and for the most part we feel "home."  However, there's still the attachment to "our home" and "our family" and all that's familiar.  For instance, I swear I knew nearly every road and shortcut when I was at home; now I have to use a GPS to get anywhere.  That is just a small example.  We know time will help. 

We really are so thankful to be here!  We are happy and joyful and literally we are having the time of our lives!  We do miss our home, we miss our family, we miss the familiarity.  But at the same time, we are making "home" here.  Perhaps we were too "comfortable" with the lives we had.  Now our world has been rocked and we have relied more on the strength of the Lord and our marriage more than ever before -- and that is a great thing! 

Our drive began Wednesday night after our house had been cleaned and we said some goodbyes to family.  We hit the road, each driving in our own vehicles, and headed to Charleston.  We got a late start, but made it past Knoxville before stopping over for the night. 

I was following Josh - this is soon after we began the drive.

One last look into the rearview mirror (not that I could see much due to all the stuff piled back there).....from then it was only looking ahead at what was to come!

This full moon was beautiful on the drive!  It served as a reminder to me that God will light the path if we trust Him to do so.

While driving, I finally played out (after all, this morning person doesn't do nights well) and informed Josh that we were going to need to pull over soon.  He had gathered info of Hampton Inns along our route, so he pulled over at the next one (we made it past Knoxville and it was already well after midnight).  This picture does not do it justice at all, but this was the nicest/newest Hampton Inn we had ever stayed in!  The room, the bathroom, and the breakfast area were all great!  The decor was chocolate brown, lime green, and aqua blue -- seriously, I am going to have to remember the way it all looked (particularly the breakfast area)!

After only a few hours of sleep (vital hours, I must say), it was time to hit the road again! 

This is a straight stretch before we really got into the mountain area (obviously, I wouldn't have been taking pictures on the really curvy parts).  Please let it be known that this is not a fun drive.  Particularly the mountin areas!  I definitely see flights as being a great mode of transportation when going back home!

We have almost reached our destination at this point!  SC is a beautiful state! :)

To be continued......

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Charleston Days 5, 6 & 7

Josh had a short meeting with Boeing on Wednesday morning.  That afternoon we went to the pool for a little while, enjoying the beautiful Charleston day!  Then we met with our friend who showed us around the area, told us lots of info, and we even saw a potential place to live.  Later that evening we dined at Boat Landing Restaurant.

I don't recall much about Thursday morning other than the fact that I did do some laundry at the hotel.  We have already sold our washer and dryer so I didn't want to go home with all dirty clothes.  For lunch we dined at Shem's Creek Grill - it was really good!  I enjoyed a lunch of scallops and grits....probably not the healthiest choice, but it was great!

We actually got some news before going in to lunch.  Long story short, we are no longer going to be transferred to Seattle!  Crazy how one piece of information can alter a situation!  I have to admit, the news has disappointed me -- not because I am not excited about living in Charleston, but because I was really looking forward to the adventure of living in another state for a temporary period.  The good part is that we do get to "make a home" here in Charleston sooner.  I am also going to be job searching soon.  Our goal now is to find somewhere to live.  We plan to rent for a while so that we have a chance to get to know the area. 

Thursday evening was so much fun!  We spent the evening at the beach with the R family.  On the way out of town, pizzas were picked up and we enjoyed the picnic at the beach.  I knew it was serious stuff when our friends pulled up with the board on top of their vehicle!  Just one year ago they moved from Bowling Green to Charleston -- I would say they have settled in as "locals" quite well! 

Watching the kids play was so fun!  We discussed how their childhood is so different from what we all grew up experiencing in Kentucky & Tennessee.  These kids are precious and we all had a great evening!

They loved playing with sand in this pit!

My friend L was great at paddle-boarding!  It was extremely windy out, but she mastered it well!

A rainbow!  L said it was God's promise!


Time to head home!  I bet everyone slept well! :)

Friday was full of more house-hunting and getting to know the area.  We ended the evening having dinner at Daniel Island Grill.  We were exhausted by the time we got back to our room! 

I can't believe we're less than a week from being permanent residents of Charleston! 

With love from Charleston!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Charleston - Day 4

Day 4 of Charleston was a lazy one!  We know we better enjoy these days while we can because they are limited.  So we rested and were slow getting ready.  When we did get out, we first headed to one of the local post offices.  This is after an unsuccessful trip to another P.O. the day before when we were instructed to check out another location because they all have different rules.  Josh had even called before we went and this one seemed like it was going to be as easy as cake, so we expected it to flow smoothly.

Our goal in meeting at these local post offices is to get a P.O. Box.  However, it turns out that it is still impossible for us to get a box because we don't have a local South Carolina ID nor a local address.  It's really one of those strange situations where it takes one to get the other....confusing!  Due to our upcoming Seattle transfer, we're not needing a real address here until we return from Seattle, WA.  So, we don't have an address to use to get the P.O. box.  Therefore, we decided to postpone this mind-boggling issue and head to the pool! 

First we stopped at Subway for lunch before we went to the residential community pool where our friends have shared their access with us.  It was a great afternoon and we really enjoyed swimming around - only a couple other families were there, so it was not crowded at all.

For dinner we visited Wasabi, a Japanese restaurant.  It was so yummy, except that I obviously said something wrong when I was ordering my sushi because it did not come out at all like expected.  Oh well, we live and we learn!  And Josh got a pretty good kick out of me regarding the unwanted sushi delivery.  Anything to make him laugh!  :)

After dinner we headed to Sullivan's Island to the beach spot where the locals go.....and we can't wait to be locals going there!  I am mostly excited about picnics on the beach!

After our beach excursion to Sullivan's Island, we went to grab a snack and drink at Vickery's on Shem's Creek -- this was our view! 

With Love from Charleston!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Charleston -- Days 2 & 3

Our second day in Charleston was Sunday and it was quite a fantastic day!  We got ready at the hotel, I made friends with the nice older man working the continental breakfast bar, and we headed to our friends' home.  They have a GORGEOUS home and it was a great place to meet them (it's been a year since I had seen this family).  We followed them to Church at Seacoast in Mt. Pleasant.  Our experience that day was amazing and we agreed that the sermon was given just for us, confirming that we are making the right decision to move here.  Thank you God for those little doses of reassurance! 

The Church story is pretty neat and one where we see God's hand at work already!  Weeks ago when we found out we would be moving to Charleston, we did a Google search of Churches.  Of course there are many in the area to choose from.  However, one -- Seacoast -- stuck out to us and we knew we wanted to visit.  Then at our home Church in Bowling Green, when I shared with the pastor that we would be moving he said that we had to try out Seacoast Church!  (cool stuff!)  Then we made plans to follow our friends to Church.  We intentionally never asked their Church name - it wasn't until we pulled into the parking lot of the Church and Josh and I looked at each other with such an amazement.  All of those things led up to the point of getting us to that Church on that day to hear that message.  What an amazing God we serve!

It was monsoon-like weather before, during and after Church time.  Apparently that is not the norm here in Charleston.  We didn't mind because we continued enjoying our soon-to-be future home.  As it turns out, the weather forecast for the week is supposed to have rain and storms all throughout - and we're not even concerned!

After Church, we went with the R family to an amazing restaurant, Red's, on Shem Creek!  It was soooooo good and I know that I am enjoying this Lowcountry-style cooking oh-so-very-much!  The weather cleared up after lunch, which made it nice for the R kids to play outside for a bit.  It was very sweet to watching them at work filling frisbees with rocks and water, and then transporting them to another location of the water.  So simple and cute!

We then did some afternoon exploring around the Charleston area before deciding to check out Folly Beach where we dined at The Crab Shack, which was another meal of absolute goodness! 

I enjoyed hanging out in the hammock chair.

We enjoyed sharing this!

We enjoyed the Folly Beach area, although it seems much more touristy than the other areas we've checked out.  It's also a good little drive from the areas we have been sticking around.  We don't see Folly Beach as being a place we visit regularly, but we did enjoy our time there for sure!

Day 3 was yesterday (Monday) and we woke up to a beautiful day (despite the fact that the forecast said it would be icky).  We checked out some places to live (we're pretty sure we figured out where we want to be once we settle down in this area). 

We love the Mt. Pleasant sign - absolutely beautiful and those pineapples make it very welcoming!

This is the exit where Church is.  Since it was pouring down the day before, I wanted to go get pictures of Church on the sunny day.

Of course I'll take my Church with palm trees! :)

Crossing Cooper Bridge again!

We had a Mexican restaurant recommendation from a local so we decided to try it out.  This place was off the beaten path and didn't look like something we would have tried without the referral.  However, we are so glad we did!  It is authentic Mexican and was fabulous!  As a bonus, the prices were really good! 

You might know him as Josh or Mr. P, but I gave him the nick-name quite some time ago as "Jose" -- not only is it just one letter different than his name, I find it quite fitting because he loves him some Mexican!  Feel free to call him Jose when you're around him -- he will most likely answer because I use it often!  ha!

Two popular street names downtown -- great for shopping!!! 

The Marketplace is very pretty -- however I didn't even care to go inside.  I was shopped out at this point!

Pizza and Cheese sticks at Orlando's on the beloved Daniel Island!

We went back to the hotel for a while to freshen up and chill out for a little bit.  Before we headed out again we opened our new purchases to wear, Puma shoes from the store down town.  We thought that our feet should pose together! 

Then we were off to Daniel Island Grill for drinks and Monday Night Football!  We met the coolest people, some with ties to Kentucky!  We enjoyed chatting with them and appreciated their encouragement for us making this move and for tips for living here! 

What a great trip already!  We are loving our new home!

With love from Charleston!