148 In Life

Anyone Still Here?

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Oh friends, pardon my little hiatus! Y’all have been so very kind to check and make sure we are alive and well, and I’m happy to report we are! The kids and I headed home from the Gulf Coast mid-July and ended up staying home for about a month. We headed to the wonderful McBeach {coming up next post} for a week at the end of July/beginning of August then we rushed home for a week to pack our belongings to move to the Gulf Coast… all of this occurred with me behind the wheel, as Justin is still in his full-time oil spill response position. I’m not sure you’ve ever taken your kids to the beach for a week and then returned home to pack and move indefinitely, but it will about do you in {especially when you do it all without a spouse to help tag-team}. Y’all, life has been busy. Change is very good, in our case, because we now {after almost a year} live full-time with Daddy again. But change is also hard; we are in a new town, with new schools, new church and new routines. Lots of tears have been shed, mostly by me, because my children are so much stronger than I am, they’ve not shed a single tear. I’d say my tears are likely induced by sheer exhaustion, stress and sadness over leaving what is familiar.

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On July 5th {the same day that Montye passed away} my Jesus Calling devotional read, “Instead of striving for a predictable, safe lifestyle, seek to know Me in greater depth and breadth. I long to make your life a glorious adventure, but you must stop clinging to old ways. I am always doing something new with My beloved ones. Be on the lookout for all that I have prepared for you.” The Lord clearly spoke to me through this. In fact, I re-wrote it in a notebook and found myself seeking encouragement from it throughout the last 6-8 weeks as we made the decision to relocate our family. I am continually reminding myself that the Lord doesn’t want me to strive for what is comfortable, safe or predictable… but that He is always doing something with His beloved ones. I have moved so many times, and it never gets easier, but on the flip side it will certainly point you to the cross. This move is only temporary, and I’m not sure if that makes it a little easier. I think it does, but it’s still hard. We are renting the same home we’ve had throughout the summer {thankfully} and we brought only our clothes {well, and a bunch of other stuff the kids sneak in the car every time we return home}. I tend to be a “nester” and there’s not much nesting to be done with someone else’s belongings and bedding etc… but there’s also freedom in the fact that these belongings are not my own. Besides keeping them in one piece and clean there’s nothing else to worry with.

The day we returned to our “new home” the kids met their new teachers {which are all wonderful and all 3 named Kimberly}. It was hard the hardest day by far.  I was not only losing my children to all-day school for the first time, I was losing them to a school where we knew no one. I walked in with a lump in my throat and wished I could just wear my sunglasses inside the whole time. I wished for a familiar face… but there were none. We just spoke to our two new teachers, then we left and then I cried a lot… wishing for what was familiar, thinking maybe I could handle another year alone with the kids back home {although deep down, I’d had my fill of that!}. The kids, on the other hand, were total rockstars and so excited about the new schools. That helped me tremendously. They started school the following Monday, and Justin graciously accompanied me so I wouldn’t be a basket case. The kids were so excited, and we were so rushed there was little time for emotion. Once they were all safely in their classrooms I decided school wasn’t so bad.  I had time for myself for the first time in months and months.  I thought to myself, “I could get used to this!” I may have even said it out loud!

1st Day of School

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Rover is enrolled in a 3-day church preschool in which he waltzed right in the first day and hasn’t looked back. It actually runs into the afternoon, and he has the option to stay after lunch and have his nap there, on his new napmat {that he was more proud of than his back pack}. This little added bonus of naps at school have afforded Justin and I a couple lunch dates, and considering we are about a year behind on dates we have taken advantage of this “school nap” more than once!

We are a couple weeks in now, and I am adjusting to our new schedules and waking up at crack of dawn, which isn’t so bad when you get to have coffee on your deck and look at this…

Sunrise

One morning was all it took for me to figure out doing breakfast, lunch and dressing children in the morning wasn’t going to fly. I’ve decided that lunches need to be made the night before. I’ve also decided I’m very much on board with their school’s fairly strict dress code… and I could eat them up in their little school outfits! We are still a cable-tv-free home, which thankfully means our homework has little competition. We’ve found ourselves at the library and pool after school. Now ask me again about being tv-less when Auburn football starts and I may change my tune! Library 2

Rover and I stroll the mornings he doesn’t have preschool and occasionally make a few stops along the way.

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JM walkr

 Justin and I have also managed to work in a couple evening dates that we’re also long overdue for. We had a special one a few weekends ago that involved my introduction to the Florabama. We started with dinner by boat to The Point. It is technically in Pensacola but only 10 minutes by boat.

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The food was fabulous.  I had Cobia and he had Amberjack… the restaurant is nothing fancy by any stretch of the imagination, but the food was awesome and they had a very talented bluegrass band. It’s kind of like your hometown steakhouse that has really good steaks but will not win an award for ambiance or decor. Somehow when we got there by boat I missed the fact that it wasn’t actually on the water, didn’t have boat slips to park in and that I would have to wade to shore. One jellyfish sting later I arrived safely on the shore and made my way to reserve our table… while Justin anchored the boat in the bay and waded to shore after me. Thankfully we both had on shorts!

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There he is on the boat waiting for his turn to wade… I was on the shore thinking this better be the best damn food I’d ever tasted and our boat better be there when we’re finished. It was worth the wading & the boat was still there.

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We returned to our chariot and decided that the night was too young and the Florabama was too close. So we headed that direction. I wore a yellow cardigan and carried a big purse. I was the only one in the establishment with a cardigan on.  I think tequilla made their clothes fall off, and if not their clothes at least their undergarments that are strung high above the dance floor. The music was loud but good. I am required to say the music was loud because I was wearing a cardigan. I finally got hot enough to take it off and Justin coerced me on the dance floor… you know a little Zac Brown with your hubby is hard to turn down! We did a fair share of people watching, a little dancing and then called it a night. I told him I’d go back another time and promised to leave my big purse and cardigan at home.

This is Justin paying our cover… please note you must have shoes but aren’t required to wear them.

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And this is me in the bathroom… Erika sent me a text earlier that day telling me Sloane had been drawing on the walls with permanent marker, I told her it looked like Sloane had been to the Florabama too! Erika is also notorious for taking pictures in bathrooms if she likes the plumbing fixtures and I was just curious if there was anything she needed a closer picture of.

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So this is the part of the post where you’re going to wonder why on earth I would ever be sad about moving here… because it’s an awesome place to live. In reality, we really love it, but also in reality, no matter where you move, it’s hard. If we had to move anywhere… I’m thankful it is here! Our local police cars say “Protecting Paradise” and I believe that’s pretty accurate. So we may not have a playground or a dog in our backyard, but if Justin gets off early enough we can hit the islands across from our house and play after dinner.

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And one last thing before I go… did you see my super talented twin sister in Better Homes & Garden’s September issue? If not, you should pick one up! She has a fabulous spread and I am so proud of her!

Erika bhg

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  • Kelly
    August 24, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Yay! You’re back! I seriously don’t know how you did all of that without Justin. You should be very proud of yourself. My son just started preschool in our new town, and I know exactly what you mean about looking for a familiar face and not finding one. Blech.

  • Sara Mc
    August 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Oh darby…so glad you are back! Not too many blogs can bring me to tears at the beginning of a post and have my laughing hysterically by the end! Thank you for sharing so honestly! I may be emailing soon for major advice… So glad you all adjusting well to life on the coast; hope our paths cross again soon!
    Blessings
    Sara

  • christi
    August 24, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    welcome back! i’m so glad that ya’ll have settled as best as possible. moves, no matter the size are hard and it seems that, like most, things, you’ve handled it in faith and grace. thanks for taking us along.

  • Cat Moore
    August 24, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    This was so exciting to see a post and more exciting to read it! Wonderful pics and I had to laugh at the part about the Florabama. Good times….:) Y’all look so happy. I know moving is so hard (from recent experience), but if it makes it any better, I can’t tell you how much I’ve grown in my relationship with the Lord and my husband. 🙂 xoxo

  • kate
    August 24, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    I have missed your blog this month! Glad yall are doing great and decided to be together as a family. My husband is in the Army and we just moved from familiar NC to very, very unfamiliar California, so I feel your pain about looking for a familiar face. However, I am an Auburn grad too and glad you finally made it to flor-bama. It’s an experience for sure! War Eagle!

  • Megan Shirley
    August 24, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Glad to hear everything is going so well! We are getting ready for a big move back around the world so this post was very encouraging to me as a reminder to me to stop clinging to my old ways and let the adventure take over! I’ve been dragging my feet the whole time we’ve been here unable to let go. This was a great reminder to let go! I’m so glad your sweet family is back together!

  • Cortney
    August 24, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Your faith is such an encouragement. You are such a wonderful mother, wife & gifted writer. Thank you for taking us along on your journey through life with such grace (tears & giggles, too). I am so happy that you are all together but grieving along with you, change is hard. If only we were all as resilient as the little ones. We recently moved as well and from this I know, God is good & will continue to encourage you with His strength!

  • Mary Frances
    August 24, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Hey Darby! I’m Parker Agnew’s daughter, Mary Frances, and I’ve been loving your blog for awhile now! Your sweet babies are precious, and you and Justin are wonderful as well! Just wanted to say that I’ll be praying for the continuing transition for you guys as you adjust to life on the coast. I totally agree with your thoughts about the Christian’s call to lead a less than safe and predictable life! I’ve moved alot, as well, and it never does seem to get easier, but the Lord is so gracious to always show me His “bigger and better” plan that I could’ve never imagined on my own. Thanks for sharing your faithful heart!

    mary frances

  • Kristen
    August 24, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Darby!! I am so glad you are back, I was really missing your posts and updates. I hope you’re feeling more settled in your new home. You said it’s not a permanent move? Best of luck with everything! Looking forward to the next post as always.

  • Today's Letters
    August 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    your morning coffee perch makes me so happy darbs. so does your use of the word damn.

    love you more than napmats and yellow cardigans.
    em

  • Abby Maddox
    August 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    I did one last check…just to be SURE you hadn’t done a midnight posting. SO GLAD I DID! Happy to see you back. Loved this post. How’s that John Daly with no tea and an extra shot 🙂

  • meaghan
    August 24, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    wow girl! that’s a lot going on!!! i’m truly sorry it’s been so rough 🙁 sounds similar to my summer, but i just moved houses across town. why is it so dang hard with 3 kids?? 2 wasn’t this bad!! i seriously laughed out loud at the tequilla line 😉 don’t apologize to anyone for not blogging! enjoy the start of your fall and your precious kids. all your blog fans love you.
    xoxo

  • Abbie
    August 24, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Dying over your cardigan disclaimer, as that is something I would say. Moving is tough, but it sounds like you are all getting the hang of things in your new town. Loved seeing your sister in BH&G! Such a fun skirt, too!

  • Christine
    August 24, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Transition is difficult, but if anyone can wear it well, it will be you! Glad you are back together with the hubby. Missing home so much the past eight months made me think maybe just maybe we ( daughter and I) could survive different states (yikes) from him. The good Lord plopped me down in the home I so missed and gave me good reason to be here without my hubby longer than I had planned to drill it into my head that home really is where the heart is. And mine is with him, as is our daughter’s. At the airport now picking him up to join us again for an exciting life changing event. Thank God for all of his careful planning that i rately expect! I know great things are on your horizon too! Thanks for posting. So nice to read you again 🙂

  • Cindy
    August 25, 2011 at 12:36 am

    So glad you’re back!! Bless you and your sweet family! You are so brave, and such an inspiration! XO

  • Justine
    August 25, 2011 at 12:59 am

    So happy to see a post from you! Your photos are so great, as always.

  • Miia
    August 25, 2011 at 1:41 am

    Congratulations for your new home! The hardest experiences are the ones to be remembered later on… though I know that does not help right then…

    If you ever considered to publish a book from your blog writings, I would be the first to buy it! For ex. I know you had a very temptating picture of coffee mug in the morning with steam heading up but cannot find it anywhere. Both your pictures and texts are really masterpieces. Book please! 🙂

  • Perfecting Pru
    August 25, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Oh, that sunrise. How wonderful. I read a while ago, how sunsets are seen by everyone and so not as special, but sunrises aren’t seen by many and so make them more of a unique experience.

    It looks like a great place to be living.

  • Christy F.
    August 25, 2011 at 3:09 am

    So, you’ve definitely encouraged me in more than one way as I transition into life in Korea. I was given “Jesus Calling” by a sweet friend before I left the states, but have failed miserably at reading it diligently. The piece you posted from it is so true and dear to me at this time in my life! I have mentioned you to my new friends here more than once, and I am super excited about Fall, so that I can wear my thermal and have people compliment your awesome talent! I miss you dearly and can’t wait to take you camping in my metal shelter on wheels- that we will refrain from calling it by its proper name until I can legitimately share it’s awesomeness with you. You’re awesome and your transitioning will be in my prayers! So thankful that you are happily reunited with your sweet husband and partner in life!
    I love you, friend!

  • Suzette
    August 25, 2011 at 5:56 am

    Hi! I am still here. I will keep you + your family in my prayers too.

  • paige
    August 25, 2011 at 6:19 am

    of course we’re still here cutie!!
    missing you but praying for you all the way 🙂

  • mommasis
    August 25, 2011 at 6:22 am

    love it!!!!!!!!!!!! welcome back!!! wish you were headed on spring break 2011 w me today. i’m up early and was so excited to see a new post, now people will stop asking me “what happened to darby’s blog?” 😉
    love you and those rovers!!!!

  • TammyR
    August 25, 2011 at 6:31 am

    Glad you’re back! I just love reading your posts, and being an Alabama girl I love seeing the spots you go on the coast. I haven’t been to the Florabama in several years, but I laughed when you mentioned the yellow cardigan. I saw BH&G this month, and I thought “hey, that girl looks familiar!” How cool!

  • kat
    August 25, 2011 at 6:40 am

    Darby, I was so excited to read your post this morning. I was worried about you and your family the past few weeks and have prayed frequently that all was well. Goodness, no wonder you haven’t had time to blog with all that you’ve had going on. The only thing new in our house is that we now have a kindergartner and I can hardly find time to blog either, however, that in no way compares to all the changes and busyness y’all have faced in the past few weeks. So glad the girls and Rover are enjoying their new school! I love their back to school outfits!!! Too cute. Thankful that all is well!!! Loved reading the post and seeing all the precious pictures. Praying that you meet some sweet Mama friends while your little ones are in school!

  • Kara
    August 25, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Hi Darby! A friend sent me a link to your blog this morning with my life in mind 😉 I just moved to the coast also after being a single mom since January. My husband took a job in January and we just sold our home, moved to the coast into an apartment, and my oldest daughter starts kindergarten tomorrow morning (barring no hurricane!) and my youngest daughter will start preschool in a couple of weeks… I also am reading Jesus Calling! Just wanted to say… you’re not alone 🙂 God bless y’all in your new adventure/chapter and His speed in finding mommy friends THERE to share your journey!

  • Janice
    August 25, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Welcome back – I have missed you my blog friend. Darby – there could be a lot worse things than temporarily moving to a beach house to be with your husband! You will make friends in your new home, and with the kids in school, you will have a little time to stop and think! Enjoy the gift that is your life!

  • kristy
    August 25, 2011 at 7:22 am

    yay … welcome back! we’ve so missed you! thanks for the updates … love all the stories! especially the one about the yellow cardigan. i also wear one, even on date nights too with my husband, and he’s always calling me “june cleaver”. what is wrong with a cardigan, really? *smile* sending lots of positive thoughts, prayers and love lexington for continued success with your new home aways from home. i think you’re the rock star!

  • Jennifer
    August 25, 2011 at 7:31 am

    You are hilarious! I love the yellow cardigan story! Our story is a little different, but I completely understand wanting the familiar but wanting to be together as a family. In Jan we sold our house and my husband moved to VA while we stayed behind and cleaned up packed up and moved out. Fortunately we were close enough to be together most weekends (and he was able to move furniture!)We’ve (I mean me) have shed plenty of tears myself!
    Its hard as we get ready for another year of preschool, to think what I am going to do without my friends.
    But we are together as one big healthy family and for that I thank God. And post like yours to know I am not alone! Thanks for being honest and updating us! Best of luck on your transition!!

  • elizabeth
    August 25, 2011 at 7:32 am

    I’ve been checking in daily to see if you’ve posted. Wow, you’ve had a lot of changes going on this summer! I love reading your updates and looking at all your wonderful pictures. Your comment about the cardigan cracked me up. I wear cardigans a lot and my friend gives me a hard time….”you don’t have to wear a cardigan with everything.” Looking forward to the McBeach post!

  • Kaela
    August 25, 2011 at 7:38 am

    You have been missed! Exciting stuff going on in y’alls life. How wonderful to be together full time, yay! Enjoy paradise – it looks fabulous. (and if I saw you in a preschool hallway I’d introduce myself and probably hug your neck)

  • Katie
    August 25, 2011 at 7:42 am

    I doubt it adds any comfort to you, but I (along with my little family) am in the same boat as you. We are in the throes of a move from GA to TX. I just knew I would live here forever and ever. Loved our home, LOVED our church, loved the bbq… But I was always praying that the Lord could move us and take us wherever He needed us to go, and well, He took me up on it. 🙂 Thankfully, you are moving to Paradise, and thankfully, I feel like I’m moving to a new Paradise. The devotion you included today was powerful.

    As for the permanent marker at your sister’s … depending on the surface, you can sometimes take that same marker and re-write over the damaged area (I know!), and immediately wipe it all away. I had Sharpie all over hardwoods, wooden play kitchen, toys, couch, and the child. I was able to restore the kitchen and toys.

    Again, good luck with your current transition! You have many of us out here thinking of and praying for y’all! 🙂

  • Brooke @ Blueprint Bliss
    August 25, 2011 at 7:46 am

    The Flora- Bama has the BEST people watching. Love it.

  • Mary
    August 25, 2011 at 7:47 am

    I’m so glad you’re back:)

  • Melanie
    August 25, 2011 at 7:49 am

    been missing your posts! Glad to see you are doing well. The kids look like they have grown a foot! There are too many exciting things to comment on from this post, but I am loving that you went to the Florabama. It’s such a hoot!

  • angela
    August 25, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Wow, the emotionally summer you have had!! Good grief girl! My DIL and I were SURE you were preggo and that’s why you hadn’t written!:) Anyway, welcome back….sure have missed your posts. Oh, and your girls look adorable in their TOMS!!

  • angela
    August 25, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Emotionally summer??? I meant emotional………..:)

  • Karen
    August 25, 2011 at 8:01 am

    You have been missed, but I applaud you for keeping what is truly important ahead of what might seem urgent. Blessings to you and your family.

  • Amanda
    August 25, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Glad you are back!!
    Florabama…oh my…I went once about 8 years ago. Doesn’t appear that it has changed any…I hope you big purse had some hand sanitizer in it!
    Home is wherever you make it!

  • Meg
    August 25, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Oh florabama…I think it’s been 8 years since I’ve been there. Wow…that was fun!

  • Lindsey
    August 25, 2011 at 8:15 am

    thanks for sharing your heart on here friend. beautifully written and amazing pictures to go with it. although my personal favorite is the florabama bit, especially the bathroom and cardigan. you are too funny. miss you terribly but so encouraged by your attitude through it all….

  • Wendy
    August 25, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Florabama…now that brings back memories of living on Perdido Key 16 years ago. Florabama used to have a Fema-Urinal (can’t remember the exact spelling) in the bathroom. I don’t think it lasted long….for obvious reasons.

    Enjoy the beach and your hours alone!

  • Jennie-Marie
    August 25, 2011 at 8:43 am

    So glad you are getting settled! I could not stop laughing at The Point stuff and the Florabama stuff. We are headed down in September and can’t wait to see yall. I do love the kiddos uniforms, so cute. And I did say the same thing Monday when I dropped both girls at school for the morning. At first I was bored but then I realized I would get use to it.

  • Whitney
    August 25, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Glad my “friend” Darby is back! Your faith is inspiring; my husband and I feel like gypsies and still long for a place that feels like home. You seemed to have found a place like that, but the Lord may be pushing you out of your comfort zone. You seem to have such a wonderful perspective and it’s inspiring. Glad you’re back!

  • amber
    August 25, 2011 at 8:58 am

    So glad you are back! I really admire your whole outlook on the move – I love how even in difficult situations, you always are able to bring it back to the Cross. Thank you for being so honest with us!
    And you had me laughing with your bathroom pic and cardigan story!

  • Elizabeth
    August 25, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Yea my name is definitely on the bathroom wall. As well as a few of the tables under the white tent. Drink a buschwaker! Live it up. Hope to see you at the bama soon.

  • Mrs. R
    August 25, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Welcome back and hang in there! Also, congrats to your sister! I will have to check out the magazine spread.

  • Angela
    August 25, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Of course we’re still here! We wait patiently and love your posts! Wonderful news about the family, how fun to all be back together again! P.S. I can’t wait to get my copy of BHG in the mail!

  • Tara
    August 25, 2011 at 9:11 am

    So happy to see your face, D! Even if it is in the bathroom of the Florabama with your yellow cardigan and big purse. If anyone can get away with that, it’s you my friend! Hope life on the bay is treating you well. Love you!

  • The 1st of May
    August 25, 2011 at 9:12 am

    So glad to see you back!!! My hubby and I LOVE to squeeze in lunch dates when our kids are in school! We’ve even been toying with the idea of a “long lunch” with a movie! 😉

  • Tara
    August 25, 2011 at 9:18 am

    that 1st pic is Gorgeous! you made me cry esp.with the Jesus Calling devotional. and laugh– it’s so hard to lose the cardi.

  • Meredith
    August 25, 2011 at 9:47 am

    SO glad you are back! This post made me cry a little because we moved from NC to GA this summer and while we live in a beautiful area which we are having fun exploring, I MISS my old home and my friends and my safe predictable life there. I know that we made the right decision by moving here so we could all be together as a family, but it is hard. You are right that kids do so much better than adults with things like that. My four year old has surprised me daily. She recently started pre-K at her new school and on the first day she just walked right in and was so excited about meeting her new friends. I, on the other hand, couldn’t stop thinking about how much I missed her old preschool and all of the familiarness that went with it. Good luck in your new home and I can’t wait to read all about it! Meredith

  • Keri
    August 25, 2011 at 9:57 am

    YAY! So glad you are back! 🙂 WOW…a move to OB! Darby, that’s SO exciting. I pray that you would find SO much comfort there and in Him. Where are the kids going to school? Have you found a church there? Hah..your comments about Florabama crack me up. And I just LOVE looking at your pics of the Harbor and the sunsets/rises. Thank you so much for sharing such beauty in God’s creation. 🙂

  • Jen
    August 25, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Glad to see you back in Blogville! Lots of change happening in your life and that of your family. I can only imagine what your feeling, but it must do your heart good to see your kids adjusting well. Hopefully once you get active in your new church and community, things will fall into place. In the meantime, soak in that gorgeous scenery!

  • Dee Murch
    August 25, 2011 at 9:57 am

    It’s amazing how God can transform us through our circumstances. We are experiencing the same thing, but without a long distance move. Embrace this stage in life and the beauty that surrounds you. What a great place to live.
    I was so excited to see your sister in BH&G. She is doing a long distance design plan for my new laundry room. I am totally going to frame the article and hang it in the laundry room. Hopefully it matches the design scheme she picks out!

  • Jen @ Rambling Renovators
    August 25, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Welcome back Darby! So much in this post to love… how great the kids are liking school. And an abundance of date nights & date lunches with the husband – that sounds wonderful. Always fun to see what your beautiful family is up to.

  • Melody
    August 25, 2011 at 9:58 am

    So glad you are back…I check everyday and was honestly beginning to worry about you and your family. We are headed to Orange Beach in a couple of weeks…will say hello if we happen to see you! : ) Praying for your family in your new beginnings…we have always wanted to move to that area.

  • simplyblythe
    August 25, 2011 at 10:03 am

    looks like a pretty beautiful life.
    soak in all the good stuff.

  • kathy
    August 25, 2011 at 10:13 am

    So glad you are back! and together as a family. Love your sense of humor! Bless you.

  • Melissa
    August 25, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Hilarious about the cardigan and Florabama. I am proud of you for going outside your comfort zone to keep your family together. Sure it’s tough but also looks gorgeous.

  • Kaite @ NoodleandBoof
    August 25, 2011 at 10:16 am

    So glad to hear all is well! Enjoy yourselves at the beach! Love the school uniforms complete with Toms. And Rover with his napmat is too precious for words!

  • Wowie
    August 25, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Great post and pictures. I love The Point. You should also try Fisherman’s Corner in Perdido. I think you can get there by boat. Another hole in the wall but the food is fantastic!

  • The Mom
    August 25, 2011 at 10:22 am

    The last time I was in the Florabama, I had on hot-pants, a halter top and flip-flops (then known as Zories). Does that tell you how old I am? Old, trust me. Very old. The bathroom looks the same. That’s scary. So happy that you got out the boat and left the familiar and the comfortable for this new life adventure. Trust me that one day you will look back and be so very thankful for your leap of faith. God has so much for you, for your hubby and for your precious children that is altogether wonderful. There might just be some Darby time in all of this…something you are probably not too familiar with. Take it and run. Go and sit at the feet of the One who loves you…

  • Dianne
    August 25, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I loved this post. It’s all about being together which is so important. Enjoy the freedomof not worrying about things ( very hard for the nester in you) and just “be” in each moment. It will be a year to remember and it will be over before you know it.
    Yes!!! I did see Erika and I loved the article. She is so talented and very smart. Her future is looking very big and bright. Has anyone ever said that precious Sloane looks like Daddyboy? A strong family resemblance.
    Please continue to pray for my sweet husband and I will hold all of you in prayer.
    Love you Darby!
    xoxo Dianne

  • Brittan
    August 25, 2011 at 10:35 am

    What a beautiful post! Thanks for catching us up!

  • Amy Lynn
    August 25, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Glad to see that you are back blogging. I am absolutely loving the fact that I will be seeing pictures of our family vacation town. My parents own a condo at Phoenix 5 so I have spent many summers in Orange Beach. We were at Florabama earlier in the summer, and, trust me, it’s not just those who wear a cardigan that think it is too loud. I’m 25 and think I lost a few years of good hearing for a night there. Hope your homesickness only gets better with time.

  • Madeline
    August 25, 2011 at 11:10 am

    I enjoy your blog so much but have never posted…I’m sorry! I am new to the world of blogs and my blog etiquette leaves a lot to be desired. I had to write after reading your post. I went to Auburn and we have mutual friends that led me to your blog. Anyways, we sold our house a year ago and have been renting while we looked for the “perfect” home, meanwhile my husband took a job in a different city and we are now relocating. I am dreading the process. My son is starting a PDO program (that alone makes me cry) and I will not know 1 person. All of your thoughts, concerns, etc are shared! The devotional you quoted was received with extreme relief and comfort…I printed and posted it in my bedroom….Thank you!!!

  • ruth
    August 25, 2011 at 11:21 am

    So glad to have you back and that all is well with your family. I missed your posts – you are one of my BBR’s everymorning and today you made my day! I know God’s grace is more than sufficient in all we ‘face’…… Blessings,
    Ruth

  • Colleen C.
    August 25, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I am so glad your back! I can’t believe that y’all moved. I know that’s a big adjustment for you but being closer to your husband must be nice. I can’t believe you and Justin went to Florbama. That place is crazy. I grew up in AL and have been down to Gulf Shores/Orange Beach a time or two and that place was always packed when I went by it. Never went in though.

  • Mary
    August 25, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Good to see you! I was wondering where you were, then last night as I was reading my BHG and saw Erika, I couldn’t believe it. I was reading along, turned the page, seeing the photo and immediately said, “I know her!” Granted, I know you both here and at her blog, not in person at all, but still, I feel like I know you both.

    Anyway, I’m glad to hear that all is well and that you’re what is best for your family now. Good for you finding the will of God in it all. Good to hear from you.

  • amy e
    August 25, 2011 at 11:51 am

    RELISH the adventure. Thanks so much for your devotional..you have no idea how much it speaks to me right now. Thinking a lot about change and all of the goodness it can bring, but also the leaving behind. WHEW. Lots to think about! Love your sweet family.

  • Gail
    August 25, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Your POST is “Timely” indeed! I am glad you are okay and adjusting to the beach and your new life style. My daughter called me yesterday. Her heart is broken as her husband, a Army Man, got new orders and they must move ASAP…She lives in Hawaii and has embraced everything about it. She has two small boys, ages 7 and 8…one who is special needs….HE LOVES the beach and has improved so beyond our minds while living in Hawaii. Like you…she must move on. Leave friends, the sea, schools, loved ones and come back to the “real world” living in KY!!! POOR girl…My heart has been heavy for them all. Thank you for a great attitude concerning moving. YOU spoke from your heart and gave this OLE’ Grandmother some MUCH needed advise! I hope your entire family continues to love this move. Being together is what’s important! By the way…I love your Twins spread! Does she know “Mrs. HOWARD”? She, too, is in most Costal Living and Southern Living, etc….She is my niece’s Mother-In-Law…Congrats. to Ericka!!!

  • Cherish @ Southern Soul Mates
    August 25, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Oh, Darby, I don’t know you personally, but I can relate to many of the things you are feeling as you live in a new place indefinitely. I, too, read Jesus Calling (it is my saving grace!!), and I am certain if I didn’t have that devotional book in my life I would be an absolute mess despite my being a Christian. We have been living “out of a suitcase” in a rental house for the past 15 months because of my husband’s job as a mixed animal veterinarian. We kept our house in our “hometown-Athens, GA” for 10 of those months. But, our in-laws needed some financial relief, so we all made the decision to sell it. It sold in 22 days. My heart broke into a million pieces because I had been clinging to what was familiar and what was “my nest.” I, too, am a nester, and living in a rental house in an unfamiliar place has been so difficult for me. Meeting people has been so hard as we are in a small rural town and 3-5 hrs. away from all of our family and friends. I am so glad to hear you say that you and Justin are taking advantage of some “date time.” We don’t have children yet (have had 2 miscarriages), but being away from family and friends has afforded us a lot more quality time together than we ever had during the 4+ years we lived closer to home. It has brought us together in unique ways than if we had been able to stay in Athens. That doesn’t change the fact that will still pray each and every day for God to open up a job opportunity in the Athens area so that we can move back home. Most days I feel like a prisoner since I can’t make this rental house what I want it to be and that our situation is not ideal, but I also know that God is trying to teach me some lessons on patience and contentment-forcing me to cling to Him. At least you are in a beautiful location-as are we-and most days a sunrise or sunset in this beautiful place lets me know that I am not alone and I’m not forgotten. I will certainly pray for y’all as you faithfully follow what the Lord wants you to do right now, even though it is not easy. On a completely different note, I love the school uniforms-they are darling! The kids I babysit for go to a Christian school and I just think they are all so cute in their uniforms when I’m sitting in the pick-up line after school each day 🙂

  • Wendi
    August 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Missed you Darby!!!
    I have also moved many times in married life. A wonderful Christian book to read that helped me alot was…”After the boxes are unpacked.”
    Even if a move is somewhere you want to go…it is hard. We moved 8(across the country) moves in 17 years. There is always grieving with a move. Hope you can feel settled quickly! Blessings,Wendi

  • Lisa C.
    August 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I don’t know how I stumbled upon your blog, but I just love it. And today you just spoke to my heart so I had to comment. My husband and I moved from Tuscaloosa, Al on April 26 to way out in West Texas for his work. The day we got here a huge tornado was ripping through our town. I often times ask what in the heck am I doing here, so far from family and friends? But I know God has the perfect plan for us and he knows what he’s doing! Is is hard? Yes, but we will survive! Best of luck to you in your new beach town. You will have a blast!

  • Denise
    August 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    I am so glad you are blogging again! I so missed reading your blog. I know this must be very hard for ya’ll but before you know it, you and your beautiful family will be back home. Thanks for catching us up. Have a wonderful week and weekend.
    Denise

    Mary Margaret always sits in my lap while I read your blog and she so enjoys seeing your children…

  • Marcie
    August 25, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Hello Darby! I am a long time follower, but never have commented. I have read through this blog post several times in a row. The first part of this post could have been written by me. We recently moved our family, including three daughters to a new town. They started new schools and daycare and I start a new job. As I packed up our house, which all our children have grown up in I cried and cried and cried:) I know it is a house and not what makes it a home, but I am so homesick for my friends and what is comfortable. I will keep reading this post and your devotional becuase they speak right to my heart. This is exactly what I needed today. Thank You so much.
    Marcie

  • jaime
    August 25, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    welcome back. i missed reading your blog. glad you all are alive and well! 🙂

  • lori
    August 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    We use to live at the beach…right outside Destin and boy do i miss the “lifestyle”. Going to the beach whenever you want and eating the best seafood ever. Hurricane IVAN hit right when we moved there and my hubs had baldwin and mobile county for his territory…so we were able to see the devistation when nobody was aloud in…Florbama was wiped out…it was all over the news…bc it is so legendary and all! You and ur hubs are brave to go there just the two of you! It is a sight for sure!

  • lori
    August 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    ohh…and War Eagle! hubs and i both graduated from Auburn and lived there for a little while with our first child!

  • Hayley
    August 25, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    This post is enough to make me move to the coast right this very second. Such beauty! I sure miss those white sandy beaches. You’re such a brave woman to take on moving with three young’ns while your husband works. I look forward to hearing more about your new home!

  • Morgan
    August 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    So jealous! I’d love to move to the beach. I’m sure the transition is hard though even if it is paradise. Your part about Florabama made me laugh! It is a really fun place!

  • abby s
    August 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    so happy that you are back! 🙂

  • Jessica
    August 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Yay!!! I’m so happy you’re back to blogging! 🙂 I’m glad that you’re all getting settled in there and that the kids are loving their new schools – hope they’re making lots of great new friends!! 🙂 Living at the beach does look pretty wonderful…but I can understand missing everything that you’re familiar with. We’re discussing moving in the next few years to NC and that’s what makes me hesitate – I know it would be hard to move, no matter how much we would love it there! I know you’re so glad to be living with Justin once again though – I hope it begins to feel like home there soon. 🙂

  • Jordin
    August 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Looks like a wonderful place to live! I have a good friend who is moving to California (we’re in Texas) and is having a hard time with it. I am going to send her this post to read! Her move is temporary also. Just think of it as a little adventure!

  • Lynn
    August 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Just a quick question for you. Where did you find the nap mat? I have been looking for some for my two grandchildren and they are hard to find in FW.

  • Andrea @ Big Creek Cottage
    August 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    So glad your are back….I knew you were busy…..you may not feel at home yet….but I bet that you will….I just love checking in on both your blog and your sisters….you do live in Paradise….which my family LOVes….we get to visit the Florida gulf coast twice yearly and always hate to leave…but it might be a whole different story if we moved there………take care and enjoy each minute…..I loved your sister in BHG…..

  • Emily
    August 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Hi Darby! I have loved reading your blog over the years (some of your sorority sisters introduced me to it!) and am glad you’re back! Our family recently moved from Birmingham (where I’ve lived forever!) to Tulsa and oh, moving is sooo hard! I feel for you. I’ve showed your blog to moms out here and tell them it’s my little taste of the south! Hope you get to move back “home” soon, but enjoy the beach while you can!
    Best,
    Emily

  • Melanie
    August 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I LOVE The Point!!! Is the band still “Bubba and Them?” They are so fun and its a great and out of the way place for a date! And you are spot on with your description of the Flora Bama…great place to people watch!

  • LeAnn
    August 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Darby! Thanks for sharing with us. We’ve lived in a new town for a year and I still walk in places feeling awkward. I hope you all settle in quickly. What a beautiful view to wake up to each morning. Are you any closer to your sister than you were before?

  • Brittaney
    August 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Yay! I’ve missed your posts. Moving definitely stinks, but moving to Orange Beach must make it better. I’m sure it will get easier. I’ve been begging my husband to get a job down there so we could move there, but so far that’s a no go. Which makes in incredibly jealous of your life right now:)

  • esther.
    August 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    didn’t get past Jesus Calling cause I had to just sit and smile. That devotional has been huge for me! Glad to see others are enjoying it too!

  • Reb
    August 25, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    What an adventure! Continue to trust God with all these new challenges you are facing.
    Still here…

  • Emily Anne
    August 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    first day of school! lots of exciting things happening! can’t wait to hear about your new home!

  • Ashley
    August 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    We missed you and your posts! Keep the faith:)

  • Ashley
    August 25, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Oh, and I meant to tell you that I’m a military wife, so I know what you’re going through. It’s hard, and you’re entitled to have these feelings. I just always remind myself that with family, faith and a sense of humor, I’ll get through it! I know you will, too. Change isn’t easy, but it’s going to make your family a stronger little unit. You all will grow so much from this. Thank you for sharing the beautiful devotion, I wrote it down on a notecard to remind myself. I love your blog, and I’ve been following you and your sister for awhile. You guys are such wonderful & beautiful people!! Because of your post awhile back, I also had to download the Jesus Calling app and read the book. Thanks for sharing:) It means a lot and touches so many of us.

  • danae
    August 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I certainly did miss your posts! You are such an inspiration to me (and I’m almost positive…i million other women out there)…thanks for sharing your journey in life…you have a beautiful family and I can tell you have a beautiful soul! God bless.

  • mandy
    August 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    SO glad y’all are doing well. I have been checking back and forth on the blog and assumed you were busy and having fun! I have missed reading, though:) Glad things are going well and the kids are precious! Loved Erica’s spread..saw it and felt like I knew her even though I don’t “know” either of you! She is so talented! Will keep sending prayers up for you and all of the new adjustments! May the Lord bless you and keep you…Mandy

  • Saffron
    August 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    You done good, so much awesome! *love the note to Erica about wanting a closer pic of that bathroom…lmao!

  • Molly
    August 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Great post. If you get a chance, will you share ideas for lunches that you can pack the night before? Neither of my kiddos schools allow nuts, so PBJ is out. Always looking for good, healthy, new ideas!

  • kayce hughes
    August 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    So glad that you are well. Change is so hard. It feels like it gets harder as I get older. I am going to run out and grab a copy of better homes and gardens! So exciting.

  • Lindsay Richardson
    August 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Darby! You got it girl! Grab this by the horns and hold on tight…God has big plans in store for you 😉

  • LBM
    August 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Moving is so hard! Especially moving to a place that’s a temporary home. We have been in that boat, and after a long time of living one foot here and one foot “home” I’m FINALLY trying to do better about having my heart where my feet are…wherever that is at the moment! I’ll be praying for the transition, especially for you. I feel like it’s the wives that get the brunt of the challenge of the transition. Good luck and welcome back!

  • Suzanne
    August 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Yay, you’re back!! Seems like a LOT of people have been missing you and your sweet family! I have to say, I panicked a little when I heard you were moving, because I LOVE your house in Alabama and the work you have put into remodeling it. I hope you are hanging on to it until you decide what your permanent situation will be! So glad your kids are adjusting well to the change, and by the looks of it, your hubby is adjusting well too. Love his longer hair. 😉

    Take care!

  • Melissab74
    August 25, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Of course we’re still here! Glad to hear things are settling down for y’all. It takes a while to get into a new routine at the beginning of the school year anyway; I’m sure even moreso with the move! Glad you’re back!

  • wendy, NJ
    August 25, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    OMGoodness Darby, we are so blessed to have you back. I ordered and received a beautiful dress and t-shirt from you (during this time I guess) and I was super thrilled.
    I will pray for you and your family for the transition this new year!
    ((hugs))

  • Lindsey
    August 25, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Welcome Back!! Looks like a crazy ass (excuse me, but there is not other explanation) summer!! So glad you all are back down south. We’ve been stuck here in Fairhope and haven’t been able to get to OB since the 4th so I hope to get down there soon!! You will love it once Labor Day is over, you’ll pretty much have the place to yourselves! No long lines for dinner!

  • Jennifer
    August 25, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    So relived you are back and all is well!

  • Anna
    August 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Hey girl! Loved your sweet post…I know how you feel. Moving is hard! Hang in there….I know it will be better soon 🙂

  • Jenn
    August 25, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Oh Darby, looks like y’all are having a great time in the midst of a bittersweet season. I’ll have to tell you a story about the Florabama sometime…

  • Lizzy
    August 25, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    You’re back! I don’t even know how I stumbled upon your blog… but I did about a year ago, and I’m hooked! I live in CT, and as a new, working mom (blessed with a beautiful, healthy little boy), with a husband who works crazy hours as well, I am always looking for peace and inspiration in my life. I look forward to your posts. They always seem to give me some wisdom (on prayer and on being a mother) and your words make me laugh. This summer must have been a stressful one for you, but sounds like it was blessed! How wonderful that your family can all have dinner together every night, and you can have dates with your husband! Thank you and so glad you are back!

  • meaghan
    August 25, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    welcome back, darby!! you were SO missed. glad to see everyone is just perfect. stay strong, you are an inspiration!!

  • Rebecca
    August 25, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    I saw your sister in the magazine just today. And I know I’ve heard of her blog — probably popped over and read a few times but not a regular. 🙂

  • Jennifer Morena
    August 26, 2011 at 6:01 am

    I’m know you’re overwhelmed but you’re handling it with your usual style and grace! Enjoy some of that new found free time…it does get rather easy to get used to, doesn’t it? 🙂 Thanks for the update!

    And I think I spy a familiar shirt on JM? 🙂 I know we had that, but can’t remember if that was included in what we sent! Regardless, he’s as scrumptious as ever. I know you’ll savor your one-on-one time with that little guy..have fun!!

  • Jennifer Morena
    August 26, 2011 at 6:03 am

    above…that would be “I” know, not “I’m”…sorry! 🙂

  • Arlena
    August 26, 2011 at 7:40 am

    You continue to amaze me with your gracious acceptance of life and making it all work for you and your family.
    Your girls look so sweet in their little uniforms and Rover is growing up so fast. I am sure this was hard but the important things are in place…a beautiful family stays together and loves each other every day…Best wishes to you all…

  • Rosemary
    August 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I’m so glad you’re back! I’ve been checking every day for a new post! I love reading your blog and seeing the pics of OB. My SIL has a condo at Caribe and Seaspray (and lives down there all summer) so your summer pics have all been familiar. We were down there in July and caught like 300 hermit crabs on that Island! I posted before – if you get a chance try Fisher’s Corner – go over the bridge towards Pensacola (Perdido) and it’s on the left side under the bridge by Nicks Seafood. You might look at it and be skeptical (I was), but the food is DELICIOUS! I can imagine it would be glorious to move to the beach, but also sad to leave your home and what you’re used to! Good luck to you all as you get settled! Looking forward to the next post!!

  • Ali
    August 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Such a busy season for your family! 🙂 We’ve all missed you! But, totally understand you were up your ears with tons to do to get the kids settled in the new house and their new schools! I bet its so great to all be together in one house as a family after the past year!

    I love those backpacks and uniforms! Can you tell me where you bought your girl’s uniforms and backpacks! They are so cute all dressed for school! My kids wear uniforms to school too and I think its adorable!

    Can’t wait to see what you decide to do with your little window of time while the Rover is at preschool a few mornings a week!

    ~ Ali

  • Nelle
    August 26, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I too missed your posts but was hopping it was because you were just playing in the sun. I’m so happy to hear you are all together but can only imagine your heart strings being pulled in so many different directions. I hope you are close to Erika too. Best prayers for the next few weeks of transitions and to many more date nights where shoes may or may not be required! xoxo

  • Snekcip
    August 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Still here…still reading…still enjoying each post!! Happy school year to your “littles”!

  • Wendy
    August 26, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Hi Darby— First off I have to say that I am SOOOOO jealous of your temporary move to OB! My family has been vacationing in and around Gulf Shores since I was in high school…a few years ago! 😉 Most recently, we were there with my in-laws in August. Have you taken your kids to see the sea turtles hatch???? If not, it is a MUST do! Check out http://www.alabamaseaturtles.com/ for the most recent nesting activity up and down the beach….it is amazing and my 4 boys and their 8 cousins were in awe. Such wonderful beach memories for you and your sweet family! Enjoy!

  • Beverly Atkins
    August 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    GREAT post! Oh, how I’ve missed you guys. I don’t comment much but I do love to read your blog. Glad to hear the ‘happy’ peaking out your ‘voice’!

  • Anne Talbott Simmons
    August 26, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Darby- I love the devotional you shared! We have recently moved very far from home (AL to MN). I sometimes struggle not knowing exactly what the future holds and accepting that sometimes there is a little mystery in life. Here’s to a glorious adventure! Thanks, Darby. xxoo Anne

  • ELK
    August 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Life is a good adventure! Enjoy the ride!

  • Amanda
    August 26, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Hooray!! She’s back 🙂 Glad you guys are doing well. So happy for you that you and your little ones get to live with Daddy again! Happy thoughts and prayers for your transition.

  • catherine
    August 26, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Welcome back Darby!! You were missed this Summer!

  • pve
    August 27, 2011 at 6:47 am

    hey darby-
    i am on a bit of a blog break as i pack twin no. 2 off to his college. one is already ensconced.
    we brought him there the day of the earthquake. needless to say it was a historical day.
    glad you and your family are all well and enjoying summer.
    congrats to erika on her nice editorial, and well deserved.
    blessings-
    pve

  • julie
    August 27, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Darby, met you the first day of school when you were running in…my sister lives in Dothan(remember now)…any way call me 251-752-5125….would love to hang out and talk…I know how lonely it can be to move here and not know anyone….I did it 7 years ago…I cried for a month!!!! Seriously please call…we can go walking or lunch something fun!!!! Julie 🙂

  • Ginger
    August 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Erika looked GREAT! Just saw it this morning. Showed her awesome skirt to my girls, 9 and 6. We all agree we need one just like it, except my youngest who wants purple instead of pink. Hang in there with the relo. God will bind up the broken-hearted and is near to the lonesome.

  • Sara
    August 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I totally understand how you feel. I’ve had to move both temporarily and permanently, and it is hard.
    Please try to see this for what it is, and what it can be: an adventure! You get to have a taste of life somewhere else, add new experiences to the lives of your children, and make new friends. You have that beautiful beach nearby, and I know you miss your house, but how wonderful it is to just hang out, with less mental and physical clutter.

    Thankfully you can still do honeybee tees from there if you want(right?) and maybe join a gym with all of that free time. Start a bookclub, take long quiet walks, just enjoy! You are blessed. 🙂

  • Nancy
    August 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Moving is really difficult. You don’t know anyone and nothing is familiar! My children were older so it was especially difficult and the guilt of leaving grandparents was terrible. So….if you know someone has just moved to your community, reach out to them! Don’t just say “hello” but be their friend, at least for a little while. And if you’re moving, immerse yourself in your new community as much as possible, even if you do things that don’t really interest you. It will make all the difference in the world. (And keep any and all negative thoughts about your new home to yourself!)

  • Tonia
    August 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    So glad to see you back! I hope you will settle in and start feeling right at home soon. The girls hair has gotten so long!

  • Christy
    August 28, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Hi, just found your site. We love OB. We were there for most of July. If you havent found it already, you should take the kids swimming at Wolfe Bay. It is at the back of OB playground by the Art Center. We have a house right down the road….our kids also LOVE the burgers at Pirate’s Cove in Lillian.

  • Suzanne
    August 28, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Ok, I am one of those readers who never leaves a comment. But I am SO glad you are back!!! I missed reading your post but I know how life has to take a priority. Praying that your kids have adjusted to a new school. And you are right about, no matter where you move it is hard. My family and I recently moved to another part of our city and I have shed many tears. It is hard to step out of our comfort zone but it does lead us to the cross.

    Ok, your visit to the Florabama brought back memories for me. I went there once, years ago when I was on a girls trip. That place is a trip! Don’t feel bad about your cardigan and big purse, my friend was pregnant as a goose.

    Enjoy being back together as a family!

  • Britta
    August 28, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Good for you Darby tough choices are hard to make but being together as a family is the one choice that will serve you best

  • Martina
    August 29, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Courage!!!

    you have an amazing family and a lot of things to be grateful for!!! this is my first time commenting something but i was touched by your words and have found myself in them. Life is changing for me too, but everything will turn out well as long as we stay healthy!!

    you and your sister have 2 amazing blogs , btw

    God bless!!

    Greetings from France!

    Martina

  • Ashley
    August 29, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Definitely, I’m the last to respond…such a brave, honest post. You are an amazing mom to have held the fort down for so long w/o the hubs. Man, that’s tough. Looks like being back together will greatly improve things – even if it’s in a “new” town. You guys are going to do GREAT there, and the kids will adjust fine, I am sure (don’t they always?!). What a fun adventure you are on…all previously ordained by our sovereign God who loves you very much! Can’t wait to see what he has in store for you!!

    PS. We ARE coming next week and would love to know some good family friendly places to eat out 🙂 If you and Rover get bored, come play with us at the POTB pool/waterslides – we’re hoping Kater Tater doesn’t HATE it. Ah!!!

  • Daddy Boy
    August 29, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Darby, I am a long time follower of yours (I read every comment)and seldom comment but find compelled to share with you and your readers that I too agree you are an amazing woman, mother, Christain and daughter!

    Friday night on our little family “get away” which included Erika I sadly looked across the table to see an empty chair and commented with a little crack in my voice that it felt incomplete without you.
    Don’t get me wrong, I have the two best son-in-laws in the world but, it reminded me of years gone by and you were sadly missed. LYDB

  • Jennifer
    August 29, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Everything has been said by all your devoted readers. So ditto! Excellent choice to move to closer to your fella and it sure does help if the police cars say “protecting paradise.” Enjoy some time with your kiddos at school….after the tears it can be pretty enjoyable…like the pre baby days! ~Jennifer

  • chrissy
    August 30, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Miss Darby,
    long time reader, first time commenter… (ha, sometimes i think i”m funnier than i really am). I enjoy very much reading your posts, thank you so much for sharing. you and your family are in my thoughts & prayers. i pray that the transitions go smoothly. Best wishes from OHIO:)

  • Lisa
    August 30, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Darby, I, like so many have missed your blog. I totally understand though – we moved this summer as well and it can be totally overwhelming! We live in Mobile and my husband works in Malbus so I just love that you talk about places that are familiar to me! The Flora-Bama story cracked me up! I have been there a few times and I always just sit and people watch – with my bottle of germ ex…. so your big purse and cardigan made me smile. I also bought my BH & G today – loved the article on your sister! So cool 🙂

    Finally, I needed to hear the verses you spoke about today. It is amazing how God leads us to what we needs for us to know and understand in that moment!

    Take care, Lisa

  • Lisa
    August 30, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    OOPS! God leads us to what HE needs for us to know and understand. Typos…. 🙁

  • betsy berre
    August 30, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    life is about relationships. i am so glad that yall get to be together. oh that is the most important!

  • Ashley
    August 30, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    I have been reading your blog for a long time and I have to say I love, love, love reading your blog. I get so excited when I see a new post. I will keep you and your sweet family in my prayers. I could not wait to get Better Homes and Gardens once I saw your latest post. Congrats to Erika!

  • Cara Yeh
    August 30, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Nice to see you back! I was just flipping through BHG today, and was so excited to see your sister’s picture, (as if I know her!) Blessings to your family on this new little journey!

  • grace.to.be
    August 31, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    i always enjoying a visit here~
    so nice to have you back. 🙂

  • Angela
    September 1, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I am not one to comment BUT I read Daddy Boy’s comment yesterday and it has been on my mind for 24 hours. What a privledge to have a father like that!! His comment really made an impression on me. Such a blessing you have in your family. Thanks for sharing part of your life with us!

  • b.a.
    September 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    i know moving is so hard. my family moved five times in my formative years, and we’re not talking different counties; they were major moves (texas to georgia to CANADA to illinois to iowa). anyway, i would imagine the most difficult move for my mother was the change from georgia to canada. obviously you know our dear south and how different it is from any place in the world. it was certainly different from canada. as a kid, i remember our new canadian friends referring to the “washroom” and thinking they were talking about the laundry. (no, it’s the bathroom.) anyway, the point of this long-winded comment is just to say, my absolute best memories are from the time our family spent in canada. when i look at the photos of your children; the memories they are creating…it will be worth all the growing pains and effort to find a new norm. i hope your new norm is found soon!

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