It has been over five months since my last post, and I am excited to be back. Last time we were listing our condo and slowly packing up our belongings. At that time I felt overwhelmed and could not put my thoughts into words. So I decided to take a break and focus on all the tasks at hand. But now I am ready to share some of our moving adventures with you. And to leave them here for myself to look back at and re-live the memories 🙂
I will have posts in coming weeks about details of our move, but for now I just want to give a little update on how we are settling in here.
Our original plan was to find a job in Greenville and live there. However, Kyle ended up getting a full-time job offer in Anderson, so that is where we ended up moving. We are currently renting a two bedroom apartment which is half-empty, but everything will come with time. It is really hard for me to be “starting over” 8 years into marriage. But with my husband by my side it all doesn’t seem as bad. And I do at times complain about all the things we do not have, and I miss our small and cozy condo in Alaska… but I am still so happy to just be wherever I am, as long as my family is with me.
Kids have done well with the move. It was stressful for Brandon more than for Liya, as he was trying to understand so many aspects of the situation. To him, South Carolina is grandparents house. I cannot even begin to comprehend how confusing it is to get on a plane and fly away from your home to somewhere you don’t know. He has no grasp on what kind of distance lays between Alaska and South Carolina. And what is state? What’s a city? He is starting to get used to the area though; he recognizes the streets, and knows when we are turning away/towards home. He points out places we’ve visited – restaurants, gas stations, museum, the hospital.
We have also moved the kids into one bedroom. Until we buy a house a few years from now, we will most likely only have two bedrooms, so while they are little it makes sense for them to share a room. As terrified as I was about how well they’d sleep, it is working out well. At time it seems as they are really enjoying sharing a room. Plus the rooms in our apartment seem bigger than average, and I would imagine it feels lonely in such a big space on your own. So that is another blessing and prayer answered for me.
We are slowly making friends here. I have joined MOMS Club and have met a group of wonderful women. I have met a wonderful mama at a playground a few weeks back, and I am enjoying meeting with her for some play dates. She has also invited me to take part in a bible study at her church, which is another great opportunity to get to know more people. I am hoping that some strong friendships can grow and a community around us will start to take shape. I see God answering my prayers about community and that gives me hope.
So far we have mixed feelings about the area. For one, it is so much smaller than Anchorage. There are less people here – the whole Anderson county has only half the population of Anchorage. The city itself is a home to about 30K people. So we really miss a lot of things that a big city had to offer. Dining and coffee scene here is also very sad. But maybe we haven’t done much exploring yet. If you are from Anderson area, please leave me some recommendations in comments below! We would love to explore the city more and find our new favorite spots.
We used to find ourselves homesick for Alaska quite a bit. I think we mostly missed our routines and the familiarity of everything. Here we are yet to find a bakery like Fire Island was, or a favorite place to drive to when we have a desire to simply take a drive, or a great scenic place to take a walk at not far from home. Beluga point and Potter Marsh were such places for us in Alaska.
I feel like it is getting better though. We have been exploring the area and looking for new favorite spots. We went apple picking last week and might go back again in October. We explore the back roads and find lots of farms and some breathtaking views. On Labor Day we went to Saddler Creek State Park for a picnic. It was a spontaneous idea that visited me while I was folding laundry. SO we packed up some sandwiches and headed out that way. It was only about 30 minute drive. I was anxiously anticipating that the park would be packed with everyone celebrating Labor Day. But we were literally the only car in the parking lot for the majority of the time we spent there.
It is a gorgeous place located on lake Hartwell. Water is just my element. I am happiest near and in the water. When I was in labor with both my babies, all I needed to get through was water – warm shower – constantly streaming down my back. When it is storming and pouring down rain outside – I want to be out there, simply standing in the downpour. Water calms me. Standing at the edge of the lake with waves washing over mine and baby Liya’s feet, and looking at all the beauty around us, I finally felt at peace. I felt relaxed. I knew that God is right there with us, and everything will be okay. That is my new happy place.
I feel like we haven’t been in Anderson long enough to say whether it will be where we settle for good. For one, with fall and winter coming, I find myself wishing we lived somewhere with four seasons and snow for the holidays. I grew up in the northern climate, and snow just makes it feel like home for me. We will see what happens I guess 🙂 I am looking forward to our trip to Tennessee this winter – we are planning to meet with our dear friends from Alaska – and hopefully we will see some snow!
Well, this is it for now. Thank you for reading, and I will be posting more often now that we are a bit settled in. So stay tuned for our move story. 😉