Monday, November 19, 2012

Our Last Week in Houston

We had so much going on the last week and a half that we were in Houston! From goodbye celebrations to preparing for packers to saying goodbye to our house.

The first goodbye celebration was my work going away on Thursday, Nov 8. My sweet admin, Jane, got a beautiful cake and my coworker Jim embarrassed me with a variety of stories he'd collected over the past year. I know he wasn't supposed to be invited... ;-)

Friday night was our CEPC going away celebration. It was hosted by three amazing families - the Meeh's, Henderson's, and Harris'. We've grown to love all of these families so much over our time at CEPC and we are so grateful to have such terrific friends. Dave went all out making his delicious homemade bread and gumbo! 

And the cake that Alicia made - oh my goodness! She went all out making her own fondant and pomegranate icing for this delicious chocolate with chocolate and chocolate with strawberry filling cake. She even decorated it as the Norwegian flag!

Catherine and Cindy put together a Texas album with pictures of everyone that attended. They also had people write notes to us to go along with the pictures. 

We also surprised everyone at the party by announcing that we were expecting! Here is a picture Catherine got of Jason as he was making the big announcement. Needless to say there were a lot of shocked faces amongst the crowd that our rolling five years was up! :-)

Saturday we drove to La Grange, halfway between Austin and Houston, to have breakfast and say goodbye to Monica and Tom. We've enjoyed riding in the MS 150 with them and getting to know them over the past few years. We were excited to tell them we were pregnant as well! Unfortunately I was kind of a picture-taking failure our last weeks so I didn't get one of the four of us before we left. :-( Maybe I was in denial still about us leaving since it still hadn't hit us yet. 

Sunday we said goodbye to the rest of our CEPC family. Pastor Crimmins announced that we were leaving and had us stand up and it totally made me cry. We have loved CEPC and grown so much spiritually over the last four years. It breaks our hearts to leave our church family, but we feel better prepared to be a light for Christ because of the strong foundation we've built there. 

That night we had dinner  and announced our pregnancy with our Family Dinner friends. We've enjoyed getting to know them and have weekly Monday night dinners with this group. We headed to the Melting Pot and enjoyed amazing fondue! We got a group picture, but the dark lighting made it pretty blurry. :-/ 

Monday was our final day at the office! Both of us made rounds of goodbyes to friends and coworkers and shared the news that we were expecting with everyone. I sent out an email at the end of day thanking everyone I'd worked with in Houston for the experience and included our "We're Moving/We're Expecting Postcard".

My mom and Jeff arrived Monday night from Oklahoma City to help us get ready for the packers. Jeff got started that night working on inventory and it was a good thing too because we worked all day Tuesday and Jason didn't get the final lists sent out until after midnight to the packing company. We had to inventory everything and give an approximate value for insurance purposes. Let me just say - we have a lot of stuff! 

Wednesday morning the packers arrived to get started. They were super efficient and made incredible progress just the first day! 

Zoey wasn't bothered at all by the movers and in fact entertained them when she played with their packing papers and jumped into their boxes. CeCe on the other hand... we got really scared after the packers first arrived because the doors had been open and we couldn't find her anywhere. We searched the entire house and started looking outside before Jason finally found her. And you will never guess where! 

Apparently the cats had torn a hole in the box springs of our bed and Jason noticed that it was sagging more than usual... They made a kitten hammock and CeCe was completely inside the box springs!! We had to coerce her into coming out after the movers were gone. She wouldn't budge before that.

Wednesday while we were being packed, we decided to make the pregnancy announcement "public" via Facebook.

The packers finished up Thursday around 5:00 pm and Jason hit the road to take his car to his parents house in Colorado. He drove all night, stopping only to take an hour and a half nap, before arriving Friday mid-morning. 

Friday I finalized the cats' preparations with our International pet person. She got the kennels labeled and ready and gave us copies of all the paperwork we needed to provide to the Norwegian government upon arrival. The cats were ready to head to Norway now!

I picked Jason up from the airport Friday night and we ran final errands Saturday morning. We had a very teary goodbye after lunch with my mom and Jeff. We love them so much and their help this week enabled us to get everything done that we needed. We couldn't have done it without them and I am going to miss my momma tremendously, especially during the pregnancy. And once again, picture fail at taking one of the four of us. :-(

Saturday afternoon we headed down to League City to spend the night with Jacob, Steph, Sydney, Jaiden, and Peggy, a good family friend. We enjoyed getting to spend the evening and the following morning with our precious niece and nephew! Sydney is at such a fun age and we enjoyed playing with her. Jaiden is such a smiling and happy baby! It was hard to say goodbye to them and we are going to miss so much as they grow!

Jason and Sydney opening our goodbye gift from Jacob and Steph. It's a cute picture frame with their Halloween pictures and it's already on our end table in the new apartment!

Sunday morning we headed back to say our final goodbyes to our first home and gather all of our luggage and pick up the cats. 

Goodbye backyard and garden that we spent so much time harvesting - 

Zoey had a particularly rough time saying goodbye to her ice maker... we still haven't figure out how to break the news to her that they don't have ice in Norway...

Goodbye first house! You were a great one and we were blessed to make four years of memories in you. :-)

We sure did travel light for this trip...

We made it safely to Stavanger on Monday, Nov 12 with all our luggage and both kittens! Blog post to come about our first week here in Stavanger!! :-)

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