Hello everyone! Sorry it's been so long since we last posted- it took us a while to get internet, then it took us a while to get our computer hooked up with all of the pictures, and then we've been a bit distracted with all of the unpacking! So, to all of you who've been waiting to hear from the Smith fam, I'm really sorry. This post should be nice and long since so much has gone on!

So let's start back in good ole' Muncie! We had a ton of awesome help getting the truck packed (thanks soo much to all of the men, and Sarah, who contributed). FYI, everything got here in one piece- some scratched and dirty, but all in one piece- so you did a great job packing!!! Then we were able to go to a farewell BBQ at Stacey's where we said some goodbye's- but mainly enjoyed our Muncie family for one more evening! We had to get Avery to bed, so a bunch of friends came over to our house where we were able to spend some more quality time with people and where the tears really flowed! It is really good to feel loved, but really sad to say goodbye. We took off the next morning with our co-pilots, James and Kelly. I can't imagine taking this road trip without their help! It was great! Kelly and I got a bit of a late start because after we locked up the Kring's house, I realized we left all of Avery's sippy cups in the fridge. Dave had a key, so he got a 7:30 am phone call to come and let us back in the house- thanks, Dave! Overall, the trip went really smoothly! Once Jeff and James figured out how to get gas in the big rental truck, they had a pretty easy time. Apparently the first stop involved 3 laps around the tanks while some old guy watched! They had to keep the speed pretty slow, so Kelly and I caught up to and passed them in no time! Our trip with Avery was fantastic! Knowing my daughter and how it could have gone, it was a huge blessing that she was relatively content much of the time. In the entire 18 hour trip we only stopped 4 times!!! She played with toys and books (that I had strategically placed within her reach), watched movies, and slept! It really was quite easy! I think Jeff and James' trip was closer to 22 hours!!

We arrived at our apartment earlier than expected, so we had plenty of time to unload the truck on Saturday. Kelly's a bit of a task-master and she kept us motivated by setting her watch for 'snack-breaks' that we never actually took, but made us feel better that maybe we'd get to rest when her watch went off. That's some strategery on her part! It could have been accidental, but I prefer to give her the benefit of the doubt! I was really surprised we got it all into our apartment on Saturday. It wasn't super organized, but it was in! Over the next few days, we tried to create order and succeeded about as much as we wanted to! It was an overwhelming task (that is still going on...) but bit by bit, we found a place for everything.

So let's discuss the apartment... there's a lot of things about it that we like and a few things that we don't like as much. It's a good size! Most of the rooms are a bit bigger than what our Rambler house was, there are just less rooms. Good closet space and a good layout! It just feels nice and roomy! So that's great- I don't think Jeff and I expected to feel like we'd be living in a 'roomy' place for the next year. It's really close to everything (if any softball girls are reading this, there's a Chic-fil-a right next door!!!). Jeff and I have joked that the shopping center next to us could sustain us for the entire year we're living here- there's a grocery store, gas station, restaurants, salons, car wash, dentist, radio shack, bank, everything! It's really quite inclusive... With all of that commerce comes traffic. And that's the only negative that we've found so far. Our particular unit is in the very back corner of the complex- so no foot traffic of other residents, we barely hear our neighbors... but it puts us right on the corner of two very, very busy roads! So, the traffic noise is really quite unbelievable! Bonus...there's also a fire station right down the road, so that just adds to the noise... is that insensitive when those men are saving people's lives? yikes. The weather here is awesome, so we can open our windows most days... but I can only take the noise for so long... I have to close them sometimes just to get some peace and quiet!!! The upside is that there are lots of trees surrounding us, so we don't really see the traffic that much, we just hear it. There are lots of bunnies and birds that live around us too- lots of entertainment for Avery! We've got two nice sized (for an apartment) outdoor areas for her to play in too!

Otherwise, Jeff and I have been setting up our home. We've found the local Target and Home Depot... I think we've found good spots for most of our favorite things and it feels quite homey now! Avery loves her room- lots of toys and a BIG GIRL BED!! We made the switch the first night and she's loved it ever since! It's really quite cute to see our girl tucked into her bed! She's only fallen out a couple of times and didn't seem too bothered by it.

We both did a drive-by of Jeff's school when we first got here and it looks a bit different that we expected. I think we expected a school with such high academic standards would look a bit newer. Jeff went today and met with the head of the science department. He said everyone seems really nice and friendly and is really excited about his work environment. We're having dinner with the head of the department tomorrow night- they have a 2 year old girl too, so Jeff's looking forward to getting to know them a bit better!

We went to our first new church over the weekend. It was hard to get a feel for it as they had a guest worship leader and guest speaker.... but it was a friendly community and Avery loved her classroom. It was potentially a bit more charasmatic than what we're looking for, but we're keeping an open mind. We know its going to be a looonnnngg process before we find the best church family to be involved with. We both got really sad during worship. The did a song that we do at the Revo- and they did it differently (and of course not nearly as cool) and it just made us both sad. I had to fight back tears a few times during the whole worship set, but the one song got Jeff.

I think we're both doing pretty well emotionally. We definitely miss friends and family! We're enjoying our daughter and getting to go swimming and to the plethera of parks they have around here! But it would be awesome to have some friends stop by, ya know??

Now that we're all up and running, we'll post more often. Hopefully not as long as this one either! I included a few pictures for your viewing enjoyment... the first one is Jeff and Avery in our new kitchen!

And then there is this gem of Avery's get up today! She really wanted to wear her bathing suit over her clothes (and did for the entire day up until her nap)! Then she found some stickers and went crazy! As you can tell, she's very proud! At one point today, she was also walking around with one purple shoe on... classic look!

Hope you're all doing great! Be sure to leave me a comment if you're reading this- that will motivate me to post more often!! :) Until next time... love you guys!

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  1. Stacey on June 19, 2007 at 4:01 AM

    Thanks for the update, Steph! I hope dinner is fun tonight with Jeff's co-worker. I hope I can have Chik-fil-a with you when I come to visit! Give Avery and Jeff hugs from me! I love you :)

  2. j.ro on June 19, 2007 at 5:50 PM

    i LOVE the pic of avery in her swimsuit outfit! love and miss you!!

  3. Beth on June 20, 2007 at 5:34 AM

    I'm so glad you started this. It's nice to feel connected still. Thanks for all the update!

    much love...

  4. James on June 20, 2007 at 6:54 AM

    Beth told me about the old blog...I could picture everything as you were describing it.

    That picture of Avery in her bathing suit is funny!

    Here is a link to my pictures...thanks again for your hospitality!


    (someone pointed out though that I have ZERO pictures of Kelly!)

  5. Camp on June 21, 2007 at 9:40 PM

    HOLLER for chik-fil-a! I don't even know how to spell it but i'm way exicited that theres one so close to home! :) haha hope you're havin fun coach

  6. Jessica on June 23, 2007 at 10:15 PM

    Hey guys I havent seen you in awhile. How are things going in Colorado? So no one told me why you had to move there. I have finally graduted and I am very excited about that. I have a new email address and it is MyGurl73@aim.com. Keep in touch. I love you

  7. sarah on June 26, 2007 at 8:49 AM

    Jo said that Avery looked bigger in these pictures, and I was skeptical...but she really does look bigger! I'm glad things are going well, and I'm sorry about all the traffic noise. Thanks for posting, and Bob and I MISS ALL OF YOU!