Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Big Move: Our 2nd PCS Journey (Part 1)

It's been a while since I have posted.  Mainly because of the move prep, we have been incredibly busy!  But FINALLY we have internet here at our new place, so I have a series of posts planned for the next few days. Warning though, I wrote these mostly to update my family, but feel free to read about our adventure, everyone is welcome here.  (Unless you're a meanie, then go somewhere else *wink*)

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After a wonderful year in Oklahoma, our time there came to an end.  We loved it there, and we will miss it a lot.  But we were ready for our next big adventure in Tennessee and Kentucky.  I say both states because, many people don't know this, but Fort Campbell is located on the Tennessee/Kentucky border, so you can choose to live in either state or on post.  After researching the area, we found ourselves building a home in Clarksville, Tennessee.  You may have seen some of the beginning pictures of project a couple months ago (see post here), but now it's pretty much done and we have since moved in (full story in part 2).

Saying goodbye to friends was really hard.
The packers came for two whole days to pack up all our stuff. And they brought all their packing gear... I tell you, it was a full time job keeping my kiddos away from the bubble wrap roll!

Beware, they will pack some of the most random things if you don't keep an eye on them!  When we got here, we unpacked part of a curtain and a rod that didn't belong to us, the nasty drawer liners that belonged with the rental as well, and some crazy trash!!  They also packed some things we told them not to, like Ben's Sunday clothes.  But I have to give them credit, they packed our stuff crazy well!  All our breakables made it here intact! And from all the horror stories I hear, that's saying something!

After two days of the packing, the movers came and loaded up their big truck with all our worldly goods.

Jake ended up banished to his room with the child gate up for most of the time because the little guy would NOT stay away from the truck and it's ramp.  He wanted to play so bad and was in the way like times five!  While the movers were moving out the stuff, my dear friends came over with breakfast and cleaning supplies and we ate and cleaned place.  It was so fun!  And it meant the world to me that they came to help out!  And after the movers left, I had the most handsome little helpers to help me clean up the rest of house!
And the missionaries came over and helped us weed the garden so the new people who moved in would have a lovely place to come to!

Facebook Update: These awesome missionaries helped us weed the jungle this morning! They braved the goffer holes, massive bees, toads, and various other bugs and critters to make this place more presentable for the new renters. We sure love our missionaries and their willingness to serve. Also a big shout out to my dearest friends who popped by with yummy breakfast foods yesterday with the willingness and positive attitudes to help me clean the place! After they left, the movers came and told me how impressed they were with their kindness and friendship - and how they had made an impression on them (not to mention the yummy food we shared with them). So thanks ladies! (A special thanks to Tammie Sylvester for braving the mouse poop!)
And for the record, my pajama-clad boys did not help at ALL with the weeding.  They were too scared of the bugs that lurked.  But they would never miss a photo-op with the missionaries!

Then come Monday morning, we packed up everything we had left into the car and mini van and off we went on our new adventure!!

I don't know about you, but I REALLY like driving and enjoying the scenery.  ESPECIALLY if I have never been there before!  You wouldn't believe it if you didn't see it, but eastern Oklahoma is VERY green and lovely!
But when you get to Arkansas, all you can see is trees.  Like the WHOLE time.
Walls of trees.  All the way.

Then you THINK the trees will break before you get to the "Big" city of Little Rock.  Ummm... not really.  This is Little Rock coming in:
We crossed over a bridge to more trees and buildings hidden within.

Facebook update: Made it to Little Rock safety, thanks to many guardian angels I am sure. I learned a couple things about Arkansas: first, it's mostly trees, trees, and more trees. Not much to see on the road trip. And those trees in the picture? That is actually the city! Little Rock! Secondly, Arkansas drivers are totally nuts! Mergers coming onto the freeway think they have the right of way and will shove you right off the road or into other vehicles if you don't let them in. We almost died a few times, a couple of those from a heart attack. I was so high strung with stress when we got here, I was very snappy. The kids think I'm nuts. Oh, well. Off to the pool in a few minutes to soak these swollen pregnant legs. Then hopefully a nice sleep!

It was beautiful though!  And I LOVE trees.  Just after 5 hours of driving in trees, I was ready to see something exciting.

Good thing our hotel was pretty dang awesome!!
 This is our view from the third floor of the lobby and eating areas.  Yes, that is a glass elevator and creek with a pond.
 The boys LOVED the elevators!
 Just outside our room. They also had an indoor pool.  We rocked that pool with lots of screaming, splashing, and fun!  The kids were so tired when came back to our room, they were ready to crash!!
Facebook update: The pool was so fun! The kids are sure to sleep like rocks tonight after the long car ride. When we got out, Sam wrapped his towel around his waist and Nephi told him he looked like a girl. Sam replied: "No, I don't. I look like Jesus." Hands down best comeback of the day.

They were pumped that they got their own beds in our suite:

Nephi looked so little in the big bed!

The next day, we headed for our final destination: Clarksville, Tennessee!!

Overall, the drive from Elgin, Oklahoma to Clarksville is almost 12 hours, so we split the days in half and did about 6 hours each day... which was actually 8 with all the potty and snack stops we had to make.  But it worked out just fine!

The highlight of my road trip was crossing the Mississippi River!  Going to Oklahoma was the most east I had been, really, so every foot past that was farther than I had been in the states!  As a history buff, I have ALWAYS wanted to see the Mississippi river, and this was my chance!

Tennessee welcomed us right in the middle!!
And Memphis awaited us just on the other side!!
Tennessee is GORGEOUS!  Rolling hills, GREEN GREEN GREEN EVERYTHING, and lots of trees!  But not the same as Arkansas, because there is more to see within and around the trees.  It was a lovely trip!

But getting into Clarksville was exciting and marked the end of a long road trip.

The kids pretty much passed out at the hotel:
Facebook update: We made it safely to Clarksville! It was a long drive and this little guy is all tuckered out. Not as tired as his mommy is, though! Looking forward to some yummy dinner and a dip in the pool. .. my swollen legs will love me!

We stayed at the hotel for two nights so the builders could put the finishing touches on the new house!! So exciting!!

Part 2 coming soon!

-Cat

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