Have You Seen My Moxie?

My great-grandparents were world travelers. When my family would visit their post-retirement home on the west coast of Florida, I would spend hours sifting through the wall of cabinets that held all of the treasures from their adventures. There were dolls from Mexico, delicate jewelry boxes from China, wood carvings from Scandinavia, and countless other baubles from far away places. By the time they were in their late-eighties, they would let us kids each choose an item to take home because they knew they couldn’t take such treasures with them on their next adventure.

Their daughter – my grandmother, passed away this summer. As her children and grandchildren sorted through her worldly belongings, we came across some items that were once housed in that wall of cabinets. My father and aunts insisted that us children take anything we wanted – whether it be for practical use or for sentimental reasons.

I ended up with an assortment of items, some pictured here. An unfinished needlework, silver tongs, a hand-stitched table cloth, well-used measuring cups, and a paperweight featuring my grandmother’s senior year portrait. Of all the items, the unfinished needlework project of Michigan resinates the most with me. It was buried within an ancient sewing box so I doubt she was recently working on it but a needle and thread were still attached. To be honest, I am not sure why I am so drawn to it. Was it a practice piece? Did she mess up and decide to start over? Did she ever intend work on it again? Perhaps I wanted it because it reminds me of my own start-and-stop nature of so many projects.

I feel like this blog is one of those start-and-stop projects. When I first started writing years ago, I had no plans to grow an audience. I wrote simply to write. Along the way, I became disenchanted with the competitive nature of blogging. I also became crippled by my own self-doubt and talked myself out of writing about so many things. I felt like that if I wasn’t being authentic, then what is the point of even writing? I would write a blog post here and there and even contemplated deleting everything – all while feeling a bit like a loser because it was quite silly to write about my non-extradinary life. I hadn’t accomplished anything worthwhile. It appeared that I didn’t have a great story to tell. I wasn’t the best writer. I wasn’t the best anything. I wasn’t contributing to society by writing on this silly little blog. I wasn’t. I wasn’t. I wasn’t.

At my first ‘real-world’ job with my first blog seen on the monstrosity of a computer.

Rather than doing my usual routine of ending a blog and starting another (a’la The Sour Patch Kid Experiment and My Goal is Simple), I am simply pushing forward in this space and no longer letting fear dictate my actions. Somewhere along the way, I lost my moxie. So from this point forward, I am determined to find it and plan to document my journey here. I will no longer talk myself out of writing because I somehow convince myself that I don’t have anything to say that people will want to consume. To hell with that mind set. I invite you to follow along. Or not.

I don’t know yet what the wall of cabinets will hold for my children and grandchildren. But I am excited to find out.

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Back to the Regular Scheduled Program

About three weeks ago, we officially became residents of Northern Virginia again. When we found out Clay was being assigned to the Washington DC area, we briefly flirted with the idea of living in the district or directly across the Potomac in one of the fantastic urban areas that we totally would have called home before introducing children to our team. However, we ended up choosing an older house in the village we lived in during our previous assignment. And we couldn’t be happier. We’re still super close to everything, the kids are enrolled in fantastic schools, and the sense of community is amazing.
Because this is our 12th address in our almost 13 years of marriage, we handle this PCS #likeaboss. Not that this move wasn’t without its hiccups – and the last minute nature of everything literally prevented us from planning much beyond 24 hours in advance, but in the end, everything worked out. But my goodness, we are certainly looking forward to not having to move next summer!

We unpacked the last box 10 days ago so our house is beginning to resemble a home. This home is over 60 years old (the floor boards creek – swoons) and our neighborhood has that quintessential east coast vibe. The elementary school is within walking distance, huge trees line the street, neighbors congregate in the front lawns, and people are greeted with a wave and a warm hello. It feels great to be back in Virginia. It feels like home.

Well – That Escalated Quickly

For the past couple of months, we had been waiting to hear if the Army would be moving us again this summer. We’ve kept this information to ourselves for the most part because there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the potential move. Well – the wait is over. It’s official. Orders are in hand as of today – the Army is sending us back to the Washington D.C. area this summer. As in less than a month.

We were expecting to be in San Antonio for longer than one year so it is a little bit of a shock to be leaving so soon but we’re excited to be going back to the nation’s capital. Of all the places we’ve lived, it has felt the most like home, which is a rare feeling for many military families. We likely won’t be there this time around for longer than a year or two so we will be sure to soak up everything that we weren’t able to do during our previous stint there and revisit favorite spots.
Nats Park, 2013

Great Falls Park, 2014

Washington Monument, 2015

It’s been no secret that Texas isn’t my favorite place. I don’t hate it – the state has many lovely things to offer but our time here has only further proved that this Michigan-born, Arizona-raised, Pennsylvania-bred girl is not meant to live in the Lone Star state for the rest of her life. And that is okay.

So we’re moving. Again.

And we have less than 30 days to make it happen.

Let’s do this!