Alright y'all, The Sassy Salmon has been a little serious as of late, so without further adieu I bring you real life stories from moving across the country with 3 kids ages 4 and under, 1 labradoodle, and 3 ridiculous adult humans (myself included but my husband missing from that crazy equation).
Moving halfway across the country is hard. I would like to give a shout out to my inlaws who drove the trek with me since Ben had to be in Atlanta for the first few (ahem 6) weeks. And snaps for my dad and Mitch (my brother's father in law) for driving down from Kentucky to conquer my Honey-Do List. Also, I'd like to revisit the part where my mother-in-law and I were locked in a van with twin 4 year olds and a baby that eats every 3-4 hours for two days in a row. To those who say mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws CANNOT get along, I give you this. In addition, I don't want to brag about my awesome MIL... but she has quite literally attached me to a pump and milked me like a cow when I was determined to get some milk for my NICU babies while bedridden, unable to do so myself. ISH gets real in the Salmon family once you take them vows. So I guess a road trip across the country isn't that outlandish given our history.
Before embarking on our long journey, I may or may not have given the road trip rules that nobody eats or drinks until we get to TEXAS. There would be no stopping, dawdling, tourist attractions, and all meals would be eaten while on the road. Mama had some serious mileage goals and gosh darn it we were going to make good time. For the most part, I'd say we all did well. There were a few hiccups like Jude refused to follow my road trip rules (#hungrybaby) and a man backed into one of the cars while we were at a gas station - but thanks to me screaming like a banshee he slowed down just enough to try to figure out why a random blonde woman was yelling & running at him that the impact was minimal and there wasn't any damage (other than the damage it did to my heart by triggering palpitations). So I guess no harm no foul.
All that to say, we did eventually make it to Texas and everyone still loves each other.
Now that we're here, I'd like to give you an update on all we've seen because West Texas is definitely different from Raleigh, North Carolina... or all of North Carolina really.
The twins can't identify the American flag or the North Carolinian flag to save their lives, but gosh darn it they already know the Texan flag. IT IS EVERYWHERE. A few days in we visited a store that had half a dozen Texan flags flying outside and the girls asked about it & "Why are there so many?!" Ever since then they get CRAZY PUMPED about seeing the Texan flag. I'll be driving down the road and they'll start losing their minds, "MOMMY MOMMY!!! LOOK!! IT'S A TEXAN FLAG!" I don't get it - but somehow the indoctrination has already set in.
We have also seen lots of cactus, windmill farms, the most GORGEOUS sunsets, plateaus that people refer to as mountains (um... no), and a person riding a horse down the middle of the street. Which that isn't so odd except the street is in MY NEIGHBORHOOD. Like a normal residential area. With houses. And fences. And small backyards. So I'm not quite sure where the horse was going, but I definitely had to stop and InstaStory that junk. I've also seen two kids dressed in rodeo attire practicing their lasso skills in the mall parking lot. Because you know, what better place to lasso each other than right outside of Dillards. #westtexas
Friday Night Lights is a real thing around here and Jude gets asked at least once a day if he's going to be a football player when he grows up. He usually gives the friendly strangers a blank stare until they start grabbing his "football" thighs. At that point he smiles because... well... he's been conditioned by my constant gnawing of his thighs. THEY ARE JUST THAT DELICIOUSLY CHUBBY.
In other news, the twins started pre-school midyear so they're having a blast catching up with the kids in their class. They learned about the letters M & N their first few weeks and every day when I pick them up I ask them if they learned any new words that start with those letters. Noel without missing a beat always replies with a few correct words and then ends with "M is for ICE CREAM. Noooooo, that's silly. But speaking of ice cream, can we go get some?" And usually we head to our Chick-fil-A for a sweet treat and kisses from Daddy.
Speaking of sweet treats, I may or may not have walked in on a random man getting dressed when I went to drop off #TheFabulousMrHanks for his grooming appointment. Nothing says, "Hi I'm new here" like walking into a stranger's home thinking it's your groomer's. And because I was shocked, I immediately yelled SORRY and just slammed the door... ACCIDENTALLY LOCKING MR. HANKS IN THE HALF DRESSED STRANGER'S HOUSE. As I ran to my car still unaware that I didn't have my dog, the kind and understanding gentleman let Hanks out while simultaneously throwing a shirt on. Not making eye contact and stammering back to my minivan, I tried to apologize and explain that I was looking for my groomer who gave me his address. "Oh, no worries!" he said nonchalantly like I had not just seen him in his knickers, "The grooming business is out back. Folks mistake my house for it all the time." Oh OKAY GREAT, yes now I feel 1000 times better about this whole situation.
Y'all, when I said the good folks of West Texas were the kindest I wasn't lying.
All joking aside, we are loving Texas and getting to know the sweet people of Abilene. We've found a great little church and are slowly getting invested in the community. The people here are incredibly hospitable and we have been so blown away by the gracious welcome. Uprooting was and still is hard sometimes, but we are so thankful for this adventure and we're more than excited to be in Abilene.
Here's to many more Texan adventures (but hopefully no more walking in on half-dressed strangers)!