Our Chicago move
Chris and I spent that entire weekend in prayer and serious conversation- all while our house was full of family and friends for Kinsley's first birthday. We didn't tell anyone about the offer, but had a very short deadline to decide. Basically, we were offered the job on Thursday and on Tuesday we accepted! Then, the hard part of telling our parents came. While they know this is a great opportunity for us, they were still shocked and emotional. We still had to keep our move a secret due to some work logistics in Destin, so only our parents and siblings knew for a month that we were moving.
I knew there was a possibility that we would not be here for Chris' 30th or for Avery's 3rd birthday, so I threw them an early birthday party in August. I think we told my grandparents and family the week before the party why we were having to celebrate early. Their reactions were all pretty much the same. STUNNED! They all said they were excited for us, but I could hear the emotion in their voices, too.
We were finally able to start telling friends around the same time. To all of them, it seemed that this move was happening so fast, but it's just that we had to keep it a secret for so long.
Everything went so quickly during our decision process and then seemed to stop completely. We went an entire month not knowing when our move would take place and we were pretty much just in waiting. We couldn't prepare for a move at all. Then, the first week of August we finally got news of a move. From that point on we knew God's hand was in everything. We literally had everything fall into place within a weeks time. What a relief that was after a month of silence. Chris got a start date in Chicago, we rented our house within 15 minutes of posting it online, we sold our 4-Runner.... all in a week! God made it clear that this is what we were supposed to be doing. I've never felt more sure about such a life change for our family. It's really so neat to see God's hand at work in situations.
Chris posted our house on a Friday night at 8pm on a military website and within 15 minutes we had a call from a lady who was interested. We of course thought she must be a realtor who was going to offer to help us rent the house. However, she asked if they could come look at the house the next day. We weren't available until Sunday so we set up a time on Sunday for her to come by. Saturday morning she called back and said that they had seen the additional pictures Chris had posted and wanted for us to have a lease prepared for when they came by on Sunday. We couldn't believe it! God is so good!
We packed up our "forever" house and moved in with my parents three weeks later.
Chris left on Septemper 7th for Illinois. His dad flew down to FL on Friday evening and they left at 6am on Saturday morning. They made it to Bolingbrook, IL on Sunday morning at 8:30am. Chris gave his Dad a quick tour of the area he would be working and then took him back to the airport that afternoon. It's so great that we have family willing to help us in any way and that his Dad was willing to drive up with him so he wouldn't have to do it by himself.
Chris was in IL for THREE weeks working and house hunting before he came back to FL to get his family. He found us a house in Naperville, which is the area we were hoping to live. It was a little weird for me to be moving into a house that I had never seen before. I know it was a lot of work for him and he probably felt a little pressure, but he did great! My biggest concerns were that we were in a good part of town and that it was convenient for his work travels. In case you didn't know- IL traffic is horrendous! (and I'm from the Atlanta area!!)
Anywho- Chris flew back to FL on Thursday night, September 26th. His 30th birthday!!! Poor guy had to work all day and then fly from Chicago to Atlanta to Ft. Walton all on his 30th birthday. He got in at 11pm and we were up and in the car by 8:30 am on Friday morning. It was so great to have my family back together and we were so excited to begin our new adventure together. So, we loaded up our van and tow behind u-haul and off we went. We were able to meet up with Justin, Adriane, Micah and Ansley for lunch on our way through Birmingham. It was a great stop and fun to see them one more time before we left. Our goal for Friday's drive was to make it to Nashville, TN. We ended up making excellent time and continued past Nashville into Bowling Green, KY. The girls were fantastic on the first day of driving. They were only fussy around lunch and dinner time- but then again- we all get a little fussy when we're hungry! Our van also has a DVD player in it and we only used it twice that day. I honestly thought we would have to resort to the movies a lot more than we did. The girls were troopers!
Saturday we got up and were hoping to make it to Indianapolis, Indiana. Well, we were able to make it all the way to Chicago by 5pm! The girls were a bit more fussy this day, but we can't blame them. It's hard to be in the car for 16+ hours for anyone.... especially a 15 month old and an almost 3 year old.
Chris took us by our new house that we will be renting for the next year and I was pleasantly surprised. It's smaller than we had back in FL, but it's a fantastic location. We stayed that night at Matt's apartment- where Chris had been living the past 3 weeks. Sunday we got up and started moving into our new house and have been here ever since! We are going on 2.5 weeks! That's the story of our move- more to come soon!