2/13/20

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Home.

What does it mean to you?

If you'd have told me a year ago that home would look like it does today, I honestly wouldn't have believed you!

A year ago, we had had conversations about a potential job offer for Rick in Chattanooga, TN. We were trying to figure out when we could visit Chattanooga so he could have an in person interview and we could visit the area, seeking potential housing and all of the "things" that would be necessary for a complete life change ...

Fast forward a few days to February 17, when the job was offered to Rick without having to go through the in person interview process. This meant no chance to visit, no chance to look for housing, no chance to decide if this move was what *I* wanted ... Rick texted me the afternoon of February 17, 2019 and said "I just accepted the job at Soccer Shots Chattanooga". After my initial shock and probably less than excited "huh?" that I texted back, I realized that I should congratulate him and ask when the job started ... which I did and to which he replied that they wanted him to start at the beginning of March!

Without going into all the details that quickly followed, I'll just say that we pulled into Chattanooga on March 1, 2019! The whirlwind of the 11 days that transpired between February 17 and March 1 is a blog post all its own!

But now, nearly a year later, I can say this crazy, life changing, kind of spontaneous, completely off the wall move has been a sweet, sweet thing!

We and our pets have acclimated to our new home amazingly well!

I have now transitioned from an all out die-hard country girl to an I love my city girl! I love being within 3 miles from Target, Kohl's, Chick fil A, Walmart and a fairly good sized mall and almost any other store or restaurant you can imagine!

I can now find my way most places without the help of my GPS! I usually use the terms y'all and bless your heart in the right context! I know that to put something up means to put it away, having your picture made is the same as having your picture taken and that when you grocery shop, your groceries go in a buggy! I know that if someone tells me someplace is in Bumble, it means the same as in the boonies! I know that BBQ doesn't mean doused with BBQ sauce and that when they say this is the Bible Belt, they weren't kidding! I know what it's like to look in almost any direction and see mountains, and I've survived a snowstorm of 3" of snow and lived to tell about it! I've loved to wear shorts and flip flops every month of the year and getting a suntan in February!

I realize that though short, our time at Northland Scholars Academy was such a blessing because though it was still close to home, it moved me from my comfort zone, and prepared me for this bigger move that God already had in store for us!

We have been blessed beyond measure by the true Southern hospitality that has greeted us at every turn! We have had awesome jobs & co-workers, met some of the most amazing people we've ever known and made some very dear friends! We found a church that has not only welcomed us but honestly made us feel like we have been worshiping with them for much longer than the ten months or so since we started attending! We have friends who have played for all of the local professional soccer teams and have enjoyed babysitting some of their children!

This has also been a sweet season for our marriage as we truly have become each other's best friend and have walked through the good times and the challenging times of this year holding God and each other tightly and appreciating each other more with each passing day! I have learned that I can honestly say to Rick that wherever I am with him is home! 

Our year has not been all perfection, we have faced some challenges; some small, some big. I had a fairly serious car accident in September that totaled my jeep, Libby and gave me a pretty good bump on the head and some lingering concussion symptoms. My mom and dad have had some health issues that caused me to wonder if I should be here or back in Michigan with them and we've had some work related challenges.

Through it all, this crazy, spontaneous, life changing move has been more than I could have imagined! There honestly is no place I'd rather be tonight than in our cozy little apartment relaxing with my best friend and our sweet pets! 

God is good, and He has seen us more than faithfully through this year! We've enjoyed more soccer games than I could ever have imagined seeing, we've become a part of a Liverpool football club (which Rick loves) and the Chattanooga Packer Backers (which I love)! We've attended some amazing concerts and enjoyed downtown Chattanooga and all that it has to offer! We've visited the mountains and the girls! We've welcomed another precious grandbaby and have another due any day! We have discovered that a quiet Christmas at home with just the two of us can be just as precious as a house full on Christmas (though we did miss seeing and spending it with family)!

We have lived and loved and laughed and cried, but through it all, God has drawn us close to each other and Himself. We have seen more blessings than sadness and we now feel completely at home in our sweet new city! 

Home.

It really is where your heart is ... and for now, my heart is right here in Chattanooga!


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