Eleven Months and Counting…

We are coming up to the eleventh month of our residency in the Orlando area, and I wanted to update you on how we are all doing. I hope it inspires, encourages, but most importantly, keeps things real- enjoy!

Living Space

I have enjoyed our home very much- it’s comfortable and “feels” like a home.  I have been in some beautiful homes in the area, but I truly love the layout we have and how it is spread out. The tall ceilings give a sense of space, and we absolutely adore our lanai. Every morning we open the patio door, and our cat Dory is the first to run out and smell the FL sunshine. Yes, I believe it has a smell.  The sun dances off the bright blue pool water and on occasion we have hot air balloons floating by.  We love it.

Neighbors have been ok- one is Emily’s best friend, and others want nothing to do with you. In the Midwest we respect each others lawns, and it seems that many of the kids in our neighborhood see nothing wrong with bike riding or cutting across our lawn. It’s not a huge problem, but I have raised my girls to recognize that respect comes in all forms and that is one of them.  People, respect other people’s property, it’s just a nice and common sense thing to do.

I thought I would miss our basement, not having one has been almost weird. At times I have thought about storing something, then it occurs to me I have the laundry room, our walk-in closet, or the garage. I am happy we have a large garage, but anything put out there has to be sealed so the bugs don’t get in.

The Bugs

I get asked about this question quite a bit still, so here it is. There are MANY bugs here, and once you live with them, see them, and get used to what is what, it becomes just as common as seeing an ant. When we first got here, I saw a beetle first- and yes, it was huge and gross. Now, I haven’t seen one since, but I see wolf spiders, palmetto bugs, dragon flies, and fire ants.  I have gotten much calmer with my encounters with them now, and we spray as much as we can to avoid them.  Like everything in life, educate yourself with what kind of bugs that live here before your arrival and then at least you will be in the know.  Also quite important to know because you don’t know what is poisonous or not.

The Weather

You can’t beat warm, comfortable, and sunny pretty much every day here. What I am starting to prepare for is the hurricanes and tornadoes. Not having a basement for these violent weather patterns is uneasy on us, only because we are used to heading down every time a warning flashed across the TV screen.  We have a room that we have been told to use for them, but we also need to make sure we get a our hurricane prep kit and a small generator.

The Traffic

Before the car accident, I wasn’t fearless, but I wasn’t as defensive as I am now. I don’t get very close to anyone while I am driving, and I am very aware of who is around me while I am in motion.  I know that it will get easier with time, but for now, I avoid any long length of time on Interstate 4. I have learned how to get “around” the tourists and their traffic for my every day needs, and that has helped me tremendously.  You can do as much as possible to avoid it, but the biggest lesson that I learned is to just deal with it and eventually you get the hang of it.

Church

I miss my Choir- it will be a year soon that I sang with them for the last time, and I just truly miss them. I love my Disney, but the group that I met with every week in the house of God inspired my soul every week to try, try again.  No matter what storms I faced, they were always there for me.  I need to find another group, another choir, something that is away from the Disney stuff. Because of the blog, my life gets immersed in the fun. Yes, it is wonderful, but I want my life Christ based and to be an example for others to follow.  We visited First Baptist awhile back, and I did love it, but it’s a ride down I4 every Sunday plus any other ministries I would like to get into.  I would like something that is easy to get to and that I don’t fear driving too. I am visiting a church in Clermont tomorrow which is off Hwy 27, a beautiful and scenic road, so I am hoping maybe this will be the one. Pray.

School

I have decided to keep what and where the kids are going to school, private. If you really need to know, and I know you, PM me, as far as Virtual School goes. To protect my children’s futures, I will no longer be disclosing future sites of education.

Family

No matter what ups and downs I have faced outside the walls of my home, my family has always been there for me.  Having Craig and my girls to experience the last 11 months with was a true gift because we all have different views of what this experience has been like.  For those who move here single, I encourage you to have a strong circle of friends and supporters to help you through the transition.

It’s been 6 months since I have hugged my Mother, and that has been rough.  The small things we did together I have been craving, and I cannot wait to see her next month. I have decided that any side job I can do I can save the money to go home to WI more and spend time with her. I am always nervous that I will be crushed by the amount of guilt that her death will bring me.  I know that many people only see each other a couple times a year, but I have invested so much time into our relationship that now I feel like a piece of me is missing when we are apart.  I don’t know if this will ever change, and that scares me because the only way to rectify it is living close to each other again.

Balance

After 11 months, we have gotten to a healthier balance of what life is like in FL.  It’s a peaceful place to be in when you know what you want, how you want it, and that helping others is so much more rewarding than helping yourself. Blogging from WI was my past time, something that was a hobby that I could lose myself in because every post got me closer to my dream. Now that I achieved that dream, I have enjoyed inspiring and helping others achieve theirs.  It has become a part-time job now, and I try to balance it with family time, household chores, and fellowship time with others.

Living next to an exciting place like Disney World is all about balance. We have certain nights we schedule to head over, along with many weekends for a snack or a ride.  I am there the most because of the blog, but there have been times I don’t want to go at all. With anything, too much of a good thing isn’t good for anyone. When I have family coming into town, I try to back off the Disney visits until they get here- that way I am just as excited as they are to enjoy the magic.

In closing, I have enjoyed the last eleven months here and I hope to have another eleven more. Our year anniversary is coming up this June, so make sure to keep an eye out to see how we will celebrate it.  God bless your weekend!

15 thoughts on “Eleven Months and Counting…

  • I can hardly believe that its been 11 months already. Look how far you and the family have come in that time. Hope that the church in Clermont works out for you. Cant wait to see what the future holds. God bless!!

  • love this blog! You are an amazing person have experienced what most only dream of. But your journey has been very enlightening in some many ways. Thank you and God Bless! 🙂

  • For some reason, this post made me sad. I hope you still feel the magic even though you miss your church and your mom. As I’ve said many times, please don’t let any of this change YOU. I love your blog. I know you are having a wonderful impact/influence on the lives of so many.

  • Great post today! I really enjoyed reading…even though like Michelle said, it kinda made me sad as well….but I know that what is hard on us, only makes us stronger as a person, and in our faith. I continue to pray for you and your family!!

  • I am so sorry you are missing your mom and church. I can’t imagine how you you feel. I love reading your blog posts every day and the pictures. I have really enjoyed meeting you and hope to see you on our future trips to FL.

  • As always what fabulous blog. I know how you feel about not having your mom around. My mom moved to Gatlinburg. It makes it hard not having them around when you need them. Stay strong.

  • I enjoyed reading this update of the past 11 months. I have been thinking about the 1-year mark approaching for you and your family. It will be fun to look back and remember how far you have come. Last year at this time you were planning your yard sale and counting down to the move….it’s hard to believe how fast time goes by. I LOVE that you keep the posts “real” and talk about the ups and downs. We are still trying to pick a date for our move, but the job hunting, house hunting and schools are such big things to try and coordinate. I also worry about insurance with the job because I currently have pretty good insurance and I know how it works. I hope it all comes together.

  • Very inspirational post! Your 1-year anniversary coincides with my trip down to find an apartment, actually. I have found your blog to be a great help to me as I plan my move in July. Although I fear what you expressed about missing family. Although my mom passed away suddenly last year, I am extremely close with my sister, aunt and grandma. I plan on talking to them several times a week with Skype (to “see” them), but I will miss those same little things you mentioned. Still, I know this is something I have to do (for “me”), and I am so excited for it.

    …I’m going to need a list of poisonous and non-poisonous bugs, though (the one thing I dread!). Any good resources you recommend?

  • I loved the blog- mom! Your probley thinking why I am posting so many comments. IT is way to much fun! It has been very fun to experience this with you to, mommy! You’ll be in my heart- always!

  • I appreciate you don’t want to say much about your children’s school, and perhaps this already exists in a post and I haven’t found it yet, but a review of the good and bad schools would be helpful. Especially services for children with special needs. One more note: really recommend you assemble your information into a self published book – I think it would be very successful.