Whew! It's been a WHILE since I had the chance to sit down and type up something for the blog. A lot has happened since I last touched base here at the beginning of the summer! So here's a little update on everything Megow as of late.
First, I wrapped up my job at VSU. Man I loved that job and, even more, the people I worked with. There was seriously no way I could have gotten through the first few years as a single dad without those people. They supported me and the kiddos in a way that still blows my mind. Besides all of the monetary and physical support, so many of my coworkers and supervisors cultivated little relationships with my kids that made it so much easier when I had to take off work because they were sick or brought them up to work when childcare funds ran out. It got to the point that my kids LOVED coming up to work just to see "their friends." I'm seriously going to miss those people.
A few of my colleagues. I don't have a full group photo, but my people know who they are.
My former work wife Nicole! Dats my bud right there.
Before and After cleaning out my office.
Hahaha. I really made myself at home huh?
Ok so moving on from work ... we MOVED! Man it was intense there for a while. Packing, Purging, Planning, and Cleaning was my life for a few weeks. After doing some calculations, I figured out it would be cheaper to buy "new to us" stuff up there than it would be to move all of our "grew up with the kids" stuff I had. So I got a hitch put on my van and rented a 5x8 Uhaul. Anything we wanted to continue to own had to fit in that trailer or be stuffed in the van. Hahahaha. It was a tight fit, but we got everything we wanted to bring (clothes, toys, memories, kitchenware, etc.) Errthang else, we got rid of. It was so freeing to be honest ... it was my third major purge in two years. I learned it's seriously so freeing to not have a ton of stuff. Also, my house is WAY easier to clean now.
Stopping for an after-dinner DQ Blizzard.
I always drive through the night (it's faster and, more importantly, the kids can sleep so it's a much more comfortable trip for everyone). It's about a 15 hour drive. With the trailer it was much longer and a bit tougher. This picture is pulling up into PA after driving through the night.
Now onto what I'm most excited to talk about... our life now!!! We are living in Levittown, PA. God is so good. We got a house to rent on the next street over from Sarah and her kids! So we can just walk back and forth. It's so perfect. :)
Beginning to blend the kids has come with surprise joys and expected opportunities for growth in us all. Fortunately for me, I found someone who is amazingly skilled in planning and foreseeing potential issues in the future. Honestly for the most part, we've both been pleasantly surprised at how the kids are beginning to merge and group up. Relationships are being formed that are seriously such a blessing to watch grow. Sarah and I often talk about they each kinda randomly pair/group up around shared interests or fun activities. We both love watching each of the groupings that occur amongst the 7 of them. I think it's really been such a positive experience so far.
Stevie (the oldest of the bunch) and Autumn (the youngest) playing together
Of course, as I said earlier, there are growth opportunities that pop up (which I think for the most part, we are handling well). It's a massive adjustment for my crew. Moving away from their mom and her family, plus their friends was tough. We've had some hard moments pop up, but together (with a lot of prayer and support from family), I believe everyone is being stretched to grow into better people than we were yesterday.
Playing with everyone the day after we arrived in their front yard.
Stevie and Annika cracking themselves up on a little trip I took with just the two of them.
Thrift store couch shopping (that's the couch we bought). It's massive and ultra comfy.
We celebrated both Titus's and Neela's birthdays here!! This is Titus freaking out excited about the alcohol markers his Mamaw and Paw sent him in the mail.
Neela used her birthday money to buy two pet hermit crabs (which she literally takes everywhere we go). #natureneela
The kids are loving little differences between PA and GA. One major difference is the weather!!! It's amazing here. We sleep with our windows open every night. We play at the park in the middle of the day in the dead middle of summer. Seriously, our minds are blown. We finally visited a Wawa gas station (which is apparently a big thing here) and the kids fell in love on their first visit. hahaha
My new job is about 10-15 minutes from the house and my schedule is 7am-3pm. That's seriously my dream schedule. I'll be home everyday to pick up the kids from school and more importantly, there won't be a ton of take home work to complete every night. I'm super excited about being able to really focus on the kids and Sarah when I get home everyday. Speaking of school, the kids are also loving the fact that they don't go back until August 28th. My kids have legit had almost a 4 month summer break since South GA schools got out much earlier than schools here.
Close to a group shot at the mall (Titus missed the pic)
Things with Sarah and I have been going so great. :) It's a dream come true to be able to see her everyday. The more time I spend with her, the more amazed I am that she's an actual real human being because geez she is just the best. She exhibits such patience, grace, and humility that I'm blown away. We have a date night this Friday night, and I'm so excited to get some alone time with her. She's basically the coolest person ever. Imma have to lock that down soon. ;)
Our new house
(If any of our friends want our new address, just message me.)
Sarah and her crew
We've found a church home and some really great friends, as well. Everyone has been so kind to the kids and me. Although it's kinda new, everything feels a little familiar and hometown, so I'm feeling more relaxed with the big change everyday. Her family has also been so welcoming to the kids and I. They have also been a massive help as I start my job by watching the kids for me everyday until school starts.
Oh yeah! Last thing, the Ellen people came and filmed us on the last visit here before we moved up. The episode aired I think a week or two ago. It was a follow up to the one we did in LA. To be honest, I still haven't watched it and don't intend to. Hahahaha. Like everyone else, I hate seeing myself on camera. However, I know others might want to see if it they haven't, so here's the link to that.
Some behind the scenes photos
AAAHHH!! Isn't she so pretty!!
Wrapping up, things are really going great. The kids are happy and thriving. I love my relationship, the new ways I'm growing personally, new friends, new scenery, and my new job. But I sure do miss my friends back in GA. I'm sure I'll see you all soon when we visit back down there.
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,