My Dad, my uncle, Tyler's brother, and our neighbor from Chicago all drove down together to help us move and to meet Sassy for the first time. I remember that she had the worse case of baby acne pop up the day before they were slated to arrive. She looked a bit atrocious, but they still thought she was beautiful.
It was a long drive to Kansas with a 5-week-old baby. We made lots of stops for feedings and fussiness. Once we got in to our townhouse, we cranked up the air conditioning (it was H-O-T outside) and Sassy and I made ourselves as comfortable as can be in one of the bedrooms upstairs. She slept all cozy propped up in her Boppy and I flipped through magazines and felt completely useless- I wasn't allowed to do much yet, still in the throws of recovery from my c-section. I had my "6-week check-up" prior to leaving town, and was
I remember being so nervous. Nervous that I wouldn't like living in Kansas. Nervous that we were moving even farther away from our families. Nervous that we didn't know a soul- that Tyler would be starting a new job and that it would be just Sassy and I... me and Sassy... all day, every day.
It was an interesting summer. We were fortunate to have several weeks in our new place before Tyler started work... he was able to spend extra time at home with Sassy, and we were able to get things unpacked and settled in, as well as complete the countless requirements when you move to a new place- open a bank account, obtain new driver's licenses, get acclimated with the area...
I enjoyed focused time with Sassy once Tyler began work. We only had one car at the time. Some days, we would get up early and drive Ty to work, and some days he rode his bike (more of a pleasure than a chore... trust me). Most days, we would just hang out at home. Take walks. We even ventured to the mall by foot a time or two (we lived less than a mile away).
We spent good quality family time together on the weekends- checking out new parks and places to see around town. We drove back to Chicago for the 4th that year so the rest of my family could meet Miss Sassy. Other than that, it was lonely, but in an OK kind of way. We were happy.
It took a while to feel like Kansas was "home". It always does when you move to a new place. I remember when we first moved to Iowa for college... I HATED it. I felt like Iowa was no place for me. By the time it was time to move on years later, I grieved. I missed that town. I never in a million years would have thought that when we first arrived.
It was a slow process to meet people. I joined an online mommy group as soon as we moved. I ventured out to a few things late that summer, and met a friend. Saw her every now and then, and it felt good to know someone. It took until February (8 months after we moved here) to finally include myself in activities on a regular basis. I am thrilled to say that many of these ladies are still great friends today, and we've been nothing but blessed to meet some amazing people since.
A piece of my heart will always be in Chicago. A piece of my heart will always be in Ames. But, after four years, it feels pretty good to be where we are.
There is always a downside to living at great distances from your family- there are always those "wish I could just pop in and visit" moments... but despite them, we are happy. Happy here. Happy in Kansas. We ♥ our life and we are thankful for the things we have; the people we have to share our time with.
It's been a great four years...