last sunday we had our farewell/bina's 11 month birthday party at our east austin friends' house. it was perfect and i had to just pretend like we weren't saying farewell so i could thoroughly enjoy the time with dear friends from our old small groups. our hosts made the most amazing birthday cake for bina, as well as these fabulous texas and michigan shaped sugar cookies. there was a bounce house for the littles (and the adults too - we totally broke all the height and weight restrictions and miraculously didn't pop the thing). there were frozen margaritas, queso, and guac. you know. all those spectacular texas things we will miss so much. but especially the people!
last monday was my farewell happy hour at work. the students blew me away with their participation! it was so sweet for them to come out. the faculty and staff gave me a nice card and a ridiculously large gift card to target! i felt loved. my last day at work, last wednesday, i received three cards the students had signed. i loved that job. i loved the people i worked with and for. i miss it.
last thursday was our final night in austin. we stayed with our beloved friend and dog trainer who got us salt lick bbq for dinner and supplies to make sandwiches for the road. we love her. we expected to get a bit of sleep and then head off by 6am. however. bina woke at midnight and decided to just stay awake for the next four hours. at which point we decided: well. if we're not going to sleep, we might as well drive. and so we began our road trip at 4:20am on friday morning with a few hours of sleep. what could go wrong?!
thankfully, nothing. bina slept from about 4:30-7am. we made stops every three hours-ish. and we made it to kansas city by about 5pm. i had an emotional breakdown when we realized we had crossed the border into oklahoma. like big ugly tears and gasping breakdown. gosh it hurt to leave texas. i am so looking forward to being home with bina, but in the moment i felt like i didn't want it if it meant i had to leave behind all the relationships we had built in austin. i eventually had to just stop thinking about what we were leaving. that's the only way it didn't hurt. we made it alive to our pit stop and enjoyed time with david's brother's family and connected with a friend of david's from high school as well. it was a very nice visit and helped get my mind off of mourning austin. my sister-in-law showered us with cute outfits, food, and diapers and wipes for bina upon arrival. love her.
originally we thought we'd spend the day in kansas city on saturday and then david and the dogs would continue the drive sunday while i flew with bina. but then david decided he just wanted to get up to michigan, and our family we were visiting had plans to travel for mother's day. so it worked out that we all parted on our road tripping ways at around 9:30am on saturday (good thing because on sunday i received notice that the flight i was supposed to be on got cancelled, so i would have been stranded with bina and nothing but a diaper bag). since bina slept friday night, the saturday road trip was infinitely more pleasant. bina napped 4.5 hours, and then fell asleep around 8pm and stayed asleep until we got out of the car at our new home just after midnight. miracle traveler, that kid.
so now we are in michigan in our new home. for mother's day i got a cross country move, a new house, and a new job (keeping bina alive 24/7). so far, so good! the house is a pile of sawdust. today i sprayed and wiped down the vanities and tub and toilets. tonight i wiped my finger along one of the vanity tops to find... another layer of sawdust. i can't even deal. there's so much to do that i feel quite overwhelmed and unable to figure out what i should do when i get a spare moment (like, when bina is sleeping). i should make a list or something. checklists make me feel better about life. ha.
i cannot wait until everything is done and we can move in our furniture and really make this home ours. when we loaded up in austin, the driver for our moving truck was three days behind schedule and we're still not quite sure when our stuff is going to arrive. david has plenty of painting to do, which is easier without furniture in the way. good news is the refinished hardwoods look absolutely amazing. i love our floors. the kitchen is really shaping up. we picked granite from a photo, which is always risky. but it turned out great and the subway tile backsplash is just gorgeous.
today we made a trip to home depot with our 10% off coupon and gift cards. walked out with a ton of stuff, and will be returning half of it because that's how i roll with renovations. tried some new oil rubbed bronze cabinet hardware and decided it made the cabinets look too rustic. see below with new hardware on top cabinets. so i followed my brother's advice and found a different set of hardware on amazon. i'm switching to the brushed nickel-like finish. i think we could have made the black work if i had been able to do pulls and knobs, but because we're not painting the cabinets it would be really hard to patch them and make knobs look good since all of them have holes drilled for 3" pulls. so we will see how the amazon loot turns out. gets here wednesday.
i am enjoying being close to family again. it's been 12 years! it's crazy to be able to stop by my dad's house, which is now just 10 minutes away. and he and my step mom can stop by here too! we were over there for dinner last night. in a couple of weeks we're going to a birthday get together for my sister-in-law. being able to attend these functions makes me happy, and reminds me of all the reasons we wanted to make this move in the first place. it's still really, really hard leaving our austin friends and the life we made there. but this transition is a good one. and though we won't be able to see our austin friends on a regular basis anymore, that doesn't mean we lose them. what's that saying? make new friends, but keep the old - one is silver and the other gold. this was our third (and please, god, final) cross country move and we've said a lot of goodbyes. but we hold onto the relationships that we built and even if we don't talk often, those relationships are gold and always cherished.
so, here's to our new life in the mitten!