We're just a couple short weeks of saying farewell to Massachusetts!!!!
I've been doing a lot of reflecting on our time here with "the end" being upon us.
I'm sure if you follow by blog, you remember all the "hate" posts and "I'm so depressed" posts that I wrote about Massachusetts when we first moved here.
To be honest, this place has grown on me slowly and steadily through all the hate and discontent I had for this place.
(It doesn't mean I can't think of about a gazillion other places I'd rather live than here.)
While, I don't foresee our family ever moving back here (unless God has a sense of humor and decides to station us here again one day), I can at least say that I am thankful for the opportunity to live here for 2 short years (and 2 looooooong winters).
I am also thankful to be leaving and moving back home to Texas for a few years.
With our time winding down here, I figured I'd write a post on the top 5 things I'm going to miss about this place...yes...there are things I will miss....(shocking, right?)
1. Our church, Connect Community Church in Ashland, MA.
Pacific Coast Church in San Clemente, CA will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the church that I was saved at, BUT Connect is a close second.
I found Connect through a Google search one evening (while having insomnia) after weeks and weeks of trying out different churches in our area and not finding one that "felt like home" to us.
We went THAT Sunday, and literally, it was "love at first sight" when we walked in.
The worship, the service, and most importantly the over abundance of such genuinely and warm people made this church absolutely amazing.
Another blessing this church has brought us is Nick's spiritual journey.
He made the decision this summer (all on his own) that he wanted to get baptized at this church before we moved.
This church had a profound impact on Nick's walk with Christ, and last Sunday evening, he "took the plunge"!
I couldn't think of a more fitting way to end our journey here in New England.
After constantly questioning why God sent us to this frozen tundra of all the other places we could have gone.
After some very difficult trials...through prayer, it became clear to us this year that it was for the spiritual journey.
So proud of my husband, and I'm so glad that we made it to this point in our journey together with Christ.
2. Our Neighbors
Have I ever mentioned how absolutely AMAZING our neighbors are here?!
We seriously could not have asked for better neighbors, and I feel bad for people who will never get to experience a friendship like we have with people that live around us.
They've become like family to us, and I'm honestly prepared to shed a LOT of tears when we have to say goodbye to them!
I have the type of neighbors that are a close second to our military family friends.
This Summer, I was have a particularly rough day with Nick being gone.
I walked across the street at 8 in the evening (on a weeknight) to cry, and my awesome neighbor Linda sat there and just listened to me complain and poured me a glass of wine.
Nick has become better friends with the guys around us than anywhere else in Massachusetts.
I remember last year, he literally just sat outside with our neighbor, sharing a 6 pack with him, and staring at his garden....no words were spoken....but they were just bonding.
I really could go on and on about how amazing our neighbors are, but I'll spare you the details.
3. Nick's students
For the most part, young college kids bother me.
They're entitled brats who have never done anything outside of high school, and have opinions that aren't valid.
I think that opinion comes from the fact that I've spent 10 years working with 18-19 year olds who have gone to combat and have had the responsibility of another life.
But, these "kids" that are involved with ROTC seem to have a slightly different outlook on life in general...a teeeeeeeeeennnnyy tiiinnnnnyyy bit more mature than the average college kid (teeny tiny).
I still laugh sometimes at the stories I hear about them from Nick, and there's no doubt that they're young and are making the same poor decisions I made at that age.
But for the most part, I've taken a liking to a few of them, and I'm gonna miss them.
4. Spring Time
Spring time in New England is my favorite time of year, hands down.
I'm used to an EXTREMELY short spring in Texas (that leads straight into 'hell like' weather in the summer).
California doesn't really have a "true spring" since it's so nice there all year long.
Living in a place with an actual 4 seasons let me experience the beauty of spring.
After a torturous winter, I absolutely love it when I hear the birds chirping, the squirrels running around, and the gorgeous mild and sunny weather.
I was "unofficially" diagnosed by the VA today as having "seasonal affective disorder"...aka...I get super sad in the winter.
So for me, after being depressed, moody, and unpleasant for 5 months, when spring time comes, it's like a rebirth of myself.
A happy "me" emerges, and it's the greatest feeling ever.
5. Lobster Rolls and Clam Chowder
I told Nick the other night at dinner that New England has made me a "clam chowder" snob.
After eating delicious and authentic clam chowder for the last 2 1/2 years, I don't think anything else will ever compare.
I totally picture myself turning my head in disgust at Texans who try and serve me clam chowder...lol.
Same with lobster rolls....one of my favorite native New England foods.
So there y'all have it!
I was gonna do a post on things I won't miss about New England, but I realized that it would turn into a novel.
I'm grateful for our experience here, but I don't want to come back....remember, I've been unofficially clinically diagnosed with being "anti winter"...
And some awesome photos of my family....just cause I can...
Watching HGTV with me with his legs crossed and eating his puffs.
We went on a date night......with both kids....womp womp...
This photo is fantastic...
Just so much wrong with it...
Nick totally ignoring our son because he's busy looking at toys...
The fact that our 1 year old is standing backwards in the car unsupervised...
Or the fact that I decided to snap a photo of it instead of fix the situation...haha.