Well, we did it. We are now residents of Arlington, Virginia.
Friday – Lynn, Christopher, and I packed and cleaned the house. In the evening, we, along with several men from church, loaded up our Penske truck. We slept in the basement.
Saturday – I had the easy job. I packed up the kids and headed to Potomac Mills, where I spent most of the day leisurely walking around IKEA and the outlets. My friend Stephanie joined me, and in the evening we went to her apartment and watched Newsies and ate pizza. Christopher and Lynn finished cleaning and painting our house, and drove the truck to Arlington. Christopher and more church guys unloaded. When our king mattress wouldn’t begin to fit up the 1937 stairs, Christopher and Lynn drove another hour to Sam’s Club to exchange the king (it was new) for two twins, and got groceries while they were there. We slept on the mattresses, on the floor.
Sunday – A day of rest. Father’s Day. I managed to dig through enough boxes to make pancakes for breakfast, with strawberries and bananas from the previous night’s Sam’s trip. We continued to unpack a few boxes but Christopher refused to do any major work (i.e. put the beds together) on his special day. Plus, he was exhausted from all the heavy lifting and driving a huge truck. I whipped up peanut butter and jelly for lunch and grilled cheese for dinner.
Church was at 3 p.m. There are 700 members in our ward, and 400 are active weekly members. The congregation spilled out into metal folding chairs in the gym, and into the foyers. The ward consists of young families with lots of little kids, and many “mid-singles”, which I guess are single adults mostly in their 30s. Megan and Gavin had 5 or 6 kids in each of their Primary classes, and there were tons of babies. The bishop is young, maybe 40 if that, and there are 4 young women and no young men, so I don’t know where I’m going to find a babysitter. Talk about competition. The ward is super transient, with lots of people in DC for internships, residencies, school or temporary jobs. When we told people we’re living in Arlington for six months, they considered us long term.
Monday – I had Lynn for one last day! Christopher took off most of the day and we got the beds put together, the furniture situated, and most of the important boxes unpacked and put away, like the kitchen, bathrooms, and clothes. We got the TV and internet all hooked up. I took Megan and Gavin to the local library, a 15 minute walk, and Megan did a Fetch! science program that I had signed her up for a few weeks ago. She absolutely loved it, and while she was building a 3-D structure out of paper and tape, I took Gavin next door to the Virginia Highlands playground. He played in the sand for an hour, and we picked up Megan. I met several moms at the library, who all knew exactly which house I had moved into and were excited to meet a new family.
Tuesday – Lynn flew home in the morning, and I took the kids to another neighborhood park. The distance was short, but it was up a steep hill, so I doubt we’ll walk there again. We spent several hours at the park again, meeting some other moms with more potential playmates, who knew exactly which house we had moved into. All was well until meltdows at the end, but I managed to get the kids home (downhill thankfully) without too much stress.
Wednesday – We tried out yet another park with a ward playgroup, and I met, again, more moms with 2-3 kids each. Ben took a long afternoon nap while the kids were on Webkinz and I got a lot done on Christopher’s Darden laptop, which is now (during the day) mine.
So far, the house is great. Our furniture and stuff fits, and it’s pretty easy to live here. Having a backyard is fabulous, too. I can’t wait to get a grill and start cooking and eating out there.
To quote Annie, I think I’m going to like it here…