We have been back in the States now a year. In fact, last year's 4th of July was the first night the kids and I spent in the house (Drew had spent several nights as he had to work and I was with my mother helping her recover from knee replacement surgery). A year later finds us about where I thought we would be - spending a lot of time visiting with family.
That's the best part. We have been able to spent time with our families - we just got back from a week with Drew's - a few days at a lake house relaxing and a few days in Dallas celebrating the 4th of July as well as attending a niece's baby shower. Wonderful. Just wonderful.
I think over all Melissa has had the roughest ride in getting settled. But at the same time, I think she is the most settled into our new life. Roughest because she was very ill in December and just because she's a girl (and all the drama that being a girl these days bring) and a very social one at that. She actually cares that she has friends - and wants lots of them. It took her a few months, but she has lots of friends at school and is close to two girls in the neighborhood - both of which go to our church and seem to come from stable normal families. Hopefully, the three of them will challenge each other to be better in the years ahead. She is settled at school as well - she is on honor and advance classes and will be running cross country and track.
Then there are the boys. I was most worried about William. He is the quiet shy one. He just doesn't really understand the social games. Small for his age doesn't help. But he is so smart. And can be so funny when he forgets to be shy. And still has such a sweet disposition. He has a few friends - not nearly as many as Melissa. But he doesn't care. He's always had just one or two friends that he can relax with. And so far, that's what he has here as well. I do think he's somewhat worried about starting high school next month. He did take one class at the high school during the fall semester last year, so he's not totally clueless. Also, he was on an indoor soccer team this summer where all the other players were from the high school team. Most of them were very nice with him - even though he was younger - and smaller - than they were. (Of course, it helped that in many games the only goals we scored were the ones that William kicked in!!!) He's also in advance and honor classes and will be on the high school soccer team.
Benjamin. Sweet funny - out right hilarious Ben. He totally gets the social game. And just doesn't care. He has no patience for silly games or pranks. In fact, that's the main reason he choose not to attend church summer camp. He didn't want to have to deal with all the pranks and games the other boys would be playing. He just wanted to stay home and hang out with his family. Mainly, William. He loves that older brother. They are such good friends (for right now, anyway). There are five or six boys his age on our street - and he plays with them some, but just rather be home.
Drew likes his job - I love his job. Why, you ask? Because this job doesn't keep him nearly as busy as his other jobs have. He actually is home for dinner most nights. And can actually take off and really enjoy the day - not just sleep in and still spend the rest of the day working. He is so much more relaxed. I love him being around more.
And then there's me. I think out of all of us, I feel the most unsettled still. At the year mark of any of our moves, I have been settled with good friends, work, Bible study, a place to serve at church.... Here has been different. There are several ladies that I talk to some. Not sure if I would call these relationships as "good friends" yet....strong aquaintances maybe. I think I still feel as the "after thought"...meaning plans are made and late in the game it crosses people's mind to invite me.
I'm slowly finding my place. It's just not where I thought it would be. I really thought I would be more active at the church we go to, but it's just not how it's worked out. Drew and I have felt a lot of closed doors - and not just at our church but at other places as well. But one open door that the kids and I have enjoyed is working at a local soup kitchen. It's hosted by another church, but I feel very comfortable there. And I feel needed - like they really enjoy and apreciate me helping there.
Not sure what I'll do about Bible study this fall. A strong ladies Bibles study has been apart of my life since college. I miss it. I have attended several here - a few at our church and one at another church. None have felt right...yet, anyway. I will be subbing again this fall. That's one place in my life that is settled.
But in the end it's all good. Sometimes the bits and pieces may not be right, but somehow the whole is.