|An 1100-mile bike ride would have been a lot more stressful..|
Just telling our parents and best friends back home that we were considering moving back - we felt really supported and encouraged as we looked further into exactly what it would take to happen. We prayed about it and made extra effort to save money so we could afford a moving truck and gas, not to mention savings between being employed. We began the dreaded hunt for jobs and a place to live.
More factors began playing into whether or not we would move. It was exciting to see God opening doors for us, especially potential jobs and a place to live. We knew it would be heartbreaking to tell any of our friends in Greenville - even if we were just thinking about moving. It's crazy to think how fast it all happened.
I remember dreading the days that I would hang out with a good friend of mine, knowing that I should say something, but still feeling anxious because we were still jobless and clueless on how to manage a 1200-mile move. It was so devastating to think about leaving, but it was exciting just thinking we could be near family again. The emotions in all of this are just really hard to describe. Justin and I talked about the sensitivity of telling our friends that we might or might not move. We didn't want to go through the emotional process if it might not even happen - and we didn't wanna hurt anyone by waiting until the last possible second to tell them it actually was gonna happen. We began telling good friends and our Shepherding Group that it was definitely a possibility and it was harder than I thought. We continued to pray and decided to begin telling people once things became more "for sure". I mean, everything seemed so unorganized still. We didn't know what God's timing was. We didn't know what we were gonna do, but we had a goal in mind.. and that was to make the move - if possible - early Summer 2011.
We knew we would need help with the move either way. With both of our vehicles and an apartment FULL of our lives, I looked into getting an estimate from a moving company. The possibility of movers doing the hard part was really exciting, but it wasn't meant to be. We felt SO fortunate that my sisters had offered to help by driving or flying down to Greenville and driving back to MN with us. After they began moving schedules around, it only worked for my sister (Lanae) and her fiancée (Jordan) to fly down and make the drive back with us.
It was amazing to see how God was making things fall into place - even despite Justin landing in the hospital 1 month before the move - for 4 days for surgery/recovery. I kept thinking, WHY?!!? Why now?! Our finances were rocked big-time and the stress kicked in full speed. We continued to pray about whether or not our plans to move would shift or change, but things continued to move forward.
Our big plans of moving finally began. Everything's honestly a blur.. signing off on our lease, the process of packing each room, giving our bosses our 2-week's notices.. We both moved forward with the few job leads we had, but nothing was final until we were in MN to schedule interviews. I think it was when we placed the order for our 17-foot Uhaul, that things finally seemed real to me.
Obviously, one of the hardest parts about the entire move was saying 'goodbye' to our friends. We have been so blessed to meet and know so many amazing people. Seriously, it's incredible. Before we knew it, our countdown to leave was getting smaller and smaller and we had no planned opportunity/party to say farewell to everyone. So.. we decided to throw ourselves a little farewell thing. It was stressful enough to be in the middle of packing and keeping things ultra-organized, but to host a little party -- sadly, cluttered and theme-free. Oh well! If it had a theme, it would probably have been: "Buck up, Alanna.. don't you dare cry!"
I know it's really meant a lot to both of us that people have shared understanding and support for us in our decision to move back. Obviously it's a huge deal. Obviously it's not cheap. It's so unbelievably crazy how much God has worked out for us already..
It was so great to share some little snacks and root beer floats, as we hugged our dear friends that made the efforts to come say 'goodbye' to us. Unfortunately, we didn't get pictures with everybody who came. Of all the times we've been to Farewell's, it was so strange that this time, it was for our turn. It was such an emotional and sweet little evening, sharing memories and laughing as though we're just going on a really long vacation!
|Our tiny and adorable little friend, Holly|
|Our friends, Trent (I worked with) and Carrie|
|My roommate when I first moved to Greenville, Tiffany. We laughed about the fact that since I had lived there, we had lived together, worked together, we both were married, and Tiff had a baby. Amazing!|
|Our friends, Emily & James|
|Our friends, Casey & Bethany|
|Our long-time friends, Ali & Tim|
|Our friends, Kathy & Beth|
|Our sweet friend, Christina (and her kitty, Carbon)|
|Our friends, Keeron & Vaughan|
|Our good friends, Curtis & Gina - GET MARRIED ALREADY!|
|Gina and I worked together, and became friends instantly - Never ever a dull moment!|