Saturday, November 2, 2013

Georgia on Our Minds

Hello all! Its such a beautiful time of year here in Arizona, after the non-stop rains of the summer monsoon month we get the crisp cool mornings, by noon you can sun-bathe in the 80 degree sunlight, and then come the cool evenings with magnificent sunsets filled with mountain peaks, purples, blues, reds and yellows. I love autumn! Anjuli and I take the jogger out several times a week in the morning time, usually right after Lou leaves for work we bundle up and head out for a morning jog. Its been a great way for me to get back into shape, in fact I started jogging in August and am still going strong, actually improving! I have a sweet friend to thank for this, I was going out and doing 2-2.5 miles maximum 3 times a week and feeling like I was going to die. Then, I met Lindsay and learned that she ran...only she ran anywhere from 4-6 miles with TWO KIDS in a jogger! Needless to say, I was impressed! She took me out for a couple of days and before I knew it I was jogging almost 4 miles...more than I've ever accomplished in my life! I'm slow, I'm exhausted during the exercise, the fact that we're 5,000 ft. above sea level is never lost on me....but its been wonderful getting into shape, having more energy, and this week I've started fitting into some pre-pregnancy clothing again so I'm just so encouraged!
Its been a busy few weeks here at the Crist house, I started a blog post during my saga with shingles two weeks ago...but was feeling too loopy on the pain meds to finish it. :) Short story, I was diagnosed with shingles the day I was scheduled to host a baby shower for a friend.....so everything had to be moved to another friend's home last minute and she was gracious enough to host/prepare/and pick up all the pieces while I filled prescriptions, medicated and crashed on the sofa amidst lots of "this hurts!" moments. I'm all better now, and very thankful to be so. I had a suspicion it might be shingles but waking up with a rash/nerve pain/oozing blisters from one side of my abdomen to my backbone confirmed it. After a week with lots of kind offers from friends for babysitting, meals, and Lou taking on the majority of the laundry/kitchen/meals, I felt almost 100% better!
Big news here is our upcoming move...our new duty station is Fort Stewart, GA and we're scheduled to leave Arizona at the end of November, with packing taking place the week of Thanksgiving...yes, we are once again moving during a holiday. :) Its our style...or at least the Army's style. I went to the mandatory meetings this week and signed stacks of paperwork so we will be having the moving company take our home goods to GA while we drive the truck with Escape in tow across country. I think we've figured its a good 4 day trip from here to Fort Stewart, especially with Anjuli. She is generally a good traveler for the first 2-3 hours, but then comes the half hour of painful screaming....before she falls asleep. That hour ALWAYS occurs on our drive home from Tucson, and she has great lung capacity! She's getting so big and I fall more in love with her each day. I was telling a friend that its hard to imagine something so tiny taking up so much space in your heart and thoughts....but its true! :) She is a joy and a blessing and we're just so humbled that God has given us this responsibility to be parents! We took her to a little family pumpkin patch nearby last Friday night, just for the experience.
She loves animals and has no fear, none! They had a small petting zoo with farm animals and she was fascinated by them!
The woman in charge said,"You can go out and pick your own pumpkin, just watch out for the black widow spiders, snakes and scorpions." Yeah, since when is that the standard pumpkin patch greeting? LOL
Speaking of Arizona exotic animals, these are a regular at our house!
These lovely javelinas love hanging out in our front yard after midnight and eating whatever they can get their snouts on! Sometimes we have a herd of 12 or more come through, our walls are so un-insulated that you wake up and it sounds like you're in a barnyard with all the snorting, grunting and slobbery noises! We have an odd fruit tree by the front door that they raid every couple of nights-its also directly outside the master bedroom window.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention the house! We have a home (tentatively) awaiting us in Georgia! Lou flew to the area over Columbus Day weekend and went home searching, after lots of photos, videos and floor plans were shared we put an offer on a home in the Hinesville area, about 10-15 minutes from the fort. Its a lovely little place that looks like the perfect "home" for us and Anjuli, especially since we should be in Georgia for our record time in one place since being married- 3 whole years! See it in all its "before wallpaper removal and Crist renovations" loveliness here. ;) We're so excited to be closer to family and only about an hour's drive from Savannah, GA.....which I consider one of the most romantic historical cities in the US. :) Our little home to be is under contract and we are scheduled to close December 6th, so prayers for a smooth sale are greatly appreciated!
So many things have happened this year with our families that we've been unable to physically be there for because of the distance, so I'm excited to be back on the East Coast again. I will miss Arizona though. Not necessarily the house here (which we've been informed is to be demolished along with this entire neighborhood the first week of December...hooray!) or the weather and bugs and wild animals, but the people we have grown to know and love. My friends from church and PWOC are going to be difficult to say goodbye to. I have a wonderful ladies' Bible study that I've been helping to facilitate when the teacher is away and we're working through Paul Tripp's book on communication, War of Words. So much conviction in my own life of sinful patterns of communication, conflict and past failings towards others....so much good practical wisdom for the future from the book and my fellow classmates. Bible study days are Tuesdays and although I'm worn out after the morning is over....I am also always so encouraged and strengthened mentally. I take Anjuli with me, and the ladies are so kind to help keep her occupied/distracted when I need help. I'm going to miss them so!
Well, I should close this with a list of everything that Anjuli is doing and how much she is changing...in the blink of an eye! I have to share this little video just to give you a peek into her personality and how much she loves her daddy!
video 
 Just in case you should think everything is roses....our big challenges are her constant issues with constipation. Who would have thought I would spend so much time focused on elimination....but in a baby its a big deal! I drink more than ample amounts of water each day, continuing my habit from pregnancy days...but it still persists. I wonder if it has anything to do with Arizona's incredibly dry climate. I also read that babies with a sensitivity to wheat can be constipated even when breast feeding, so I stopped eating wheat for several days but didn't notice a difference. I was giving her small amounts of finger food style avocados, softened apples and pears, but went back to exclusively nursing just to see if it will help her for the time being. She LOVES food, she grabs at everything and wants to put it in her mouth.....but I think it might be best for now to back off on the more solid food. Another challenge is that she will not drink from a bottle. She won't drink water or juice when I've tried that route for the constipation. The only bottle she snatches and tries to drink from is my water bottle...and she dumps 80% of it down her front, with a big grin! Love that baby girl! Her list of little accomplishments? Sitting up,
grabbing objects with the 2-finger pincer approach,
saying "da" when Lou came home one day ;),
laughing hysterically at us, sleeping for a 7 hour stretch at night,
getting up on all fours, rocking back and forth,
standing up while holding on to your fingers......you know, the normal things a baby does that makes you say,"Isn't she amazing, honey?" And we do, all the time. :)