I am really excited about our move to back to the USA, really excited. I had hoped for Houston or Covington, and although I may have had my moments where I felt like I was being dragged kicking and screaming to Midland, I do feel as though that is where God wants us. I would have supported Nick in another overseas assignment, but this past year has really done me in, and I am so thankful that this is how things turned out. I would love to stay in the states until at least, God willing, our next and probably last baby is born (although that might change, the more babies I have, the more I want!!!!). Things are just so easy in the USA and so kid friendly, and we have been wrung through the wringer (or is it rung through the ringer?) the past months. So I have been so happy that our lives should be easy and simple over the next few years…
That is I was happy until I started to really process what returning to the USA meant. I sat down to make out a USA budget after two years of not really having a budget and I realized that we have been ridiculously spoiled. No bills, no car, no mortgage, extra money, and dream vacations, Nick will get less than half of the time off… ouch! We need to buy a house, a car, a washer and dryer, probably a refrigerator, a vacuum cleaner… the list goes on and on. I was reading an expat blog that I follow about a fancy vacation, and I started to really miss the fantasy of living overseas and completely forgot about the difficulties. I always say that people from the Woodlands, TX don’t really live in the real world, but actually after living overseas, I realized that Americans don’t really live in the real world. We have things so easy compared to almost everyone else (thank you capitalism and individual liberty, I love you). But actually the people who really, really don’t live in the real world are international expats! Life is pretty cushy, even if it is harder is some ways.
And I’m already missing that cushy life. How quickly I forget how hard and frustrating and lonely and isolating it could be. Plus we had to travel without Nick much more than I would have liked. Definitely, moving back to the states, even if it wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be, is the right choice. I just need to not forget it!
Here are some things I am really, really looking forward to about being back in the USA (imagine an exclamation point after every single bullet)!
- Being back in Texas! Yes, I can live anywhere and dearly love other places, especially Louisiana, but being a Texan is a huge part of my identity and I get so homesick when I have been away too long.
- Being closer to family. Its still pretty far, but closer than Russia.
- Buying our own home. I am excited, even though prices are ridiculous. We should be able to pay cash for an older home, which will be so exciting. We have been working for that since we received Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover a year after we were married.
- Have a yard for Isla and Gemma to play in. I would love to get them (and Nick) a trampoline and maybe a sandbox, that is if our yard is not already a sandbox…
- Getting our own furniture back, and I am going to redo our master bedroom. I’m pretty excited about that… and also maybe, maybe having a playroom.
- Chick-Fil-A!!!! Love chicken biscuits, the kid friendly menu and the playground at every facility. I have such an appreciation for fast food playgrounds now… indoor playgrounds are wonderful creations.
- A lot of updated parks to take the girls to, Midland has a lot of great parks. I checked them all out on their parks and recreation website.
- HEB – yep, there everything is better . I have missed US grocery stores so much, especially that one.
- Cooking in the USA, and having access to every ingredient I need. It will be so much easier to work on our “Eat to Live” lifestyle change. We have been making better food choices permanently since we read it last year, but we would like to transition even more, and it will be so much easier in the states.
- Getting Isla into a permanent MDO program and signing her up for swim lessons. She will love it! The local YMCA also has baby swim lessons in the evening and Nick wants to take Gemma, which is so cool.
- Being able to explore Texas more.
I admit that I am not excited about finding another church and making new friends that we will inevitably leave. I am getting tired of moving to towns, making wonderful, life long friends and then just leaving them. I don’t know if becoming a mother and wanting stability for my children is what changed me, but I am tired of leaving my sweet friends. The reasons that I have been down on Midland are necessarily Midland’s fault, although I do not like the desert and its remoteness, plus the expensive housing. I am sure it’s a nice town and I love small towns. I just wanted familiar for a few years, but I knew as soon as Midland came up that we would be accepting the offer. I know God wants us there, and what’s more, I think He is going to greatly bless us there… I guess I just like to be in control.
BUT, I should know better! Isn’t it our blog tagline “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”? He has determined our steps, and I am really looking forward to this move!
Ps. Of course the year after the Aggies moved to the SEC we had to move farther west we probably won’t make any Aggie games… grrrr. I will try to get over that one.
Pps. It is wrung through the wringer.