Welcome to the Peach State!

Well, we're here!

And as usual, it takes me a while to get around to updating the blog, but we've been back in Buford, GA for a full week now.  And I will finally say it.  "It feels good to be 'home'".  Maybe it's because it's Christmas time.   Maybe it's because we haven't been away from Durham for too long yet.  Maybe it's because it's only been a week since we've seen all of our Durham friends, co-workers, and been to the Summit church, but so far, it does feel good to be here.

I know I alluded to it being hard to leave even though we were moving "home", but it was actually really hard for me.  Close to awful, actually.  That last week in Durham was just sad.  It was sad because it was such a great week filled with all of our favorite things that it made it just that much harder to leave.  The last day we were there was Sunday and I literally was on the verge of tears the entire day.  It started with the first song at the beginning of the church service and I finally did burst out in tears when we bumped into some of our friends from our small group on the way out.  We stopped by our friends' Adam and Melissa's house for a little bit that afternoon, then had Matt, Wes and Adam over for a steak dinner Sunday night - "the last supper" we called it.  boo. hoo.

Anyways, even though we were headed home, I just dreaded it.  Surprising, isn't it?  I always thought I wanted to live back in Georgia eventually, so why was it so hard to move back?  I think because God blessed us tremendously during our two and a half years in Durham with amazing friends who became our family while we were there, with an incredible church that is serving that community in awesome ways, and just surrounded us by great people that were SO hard to leave.  Not only did He provide for us in so many ways, but He also taught us so much while we were there.  If we stay in Georgia for the rest of our lives, I'll always be thankful for the two and a half years we had in Durham.  I think being away from home was the best thing for us and for the start of our marriage.  We really learned so much these last couple of years and have learned to depend on each other and fully rely on God for everything.  And those lessons have been priceless.

We got a late start headed south last Monday, and didn't get here until that night.  But ever since our arrival, it has just been nice to be home.  We unpacked and visited with Ryan's parents on Tuesday and ran some errands at the mall for things Ryan needed to start his job.  He started working on Wednesday, so I've been on my own.  I thought having the days to myself, being alone and without a job to keep me busy right away, would be the worst thing since I was away from everything I had just left behind, but I have actually stayed really busy and friends have just so warmly welcomed us back.  Some things that have kept me busy and also helped the transition tremendously over the past week have been:
  • Going to lunch on Wednesday (Ryan's first day of work) with two of my best friends from childhood, Erin and Julie.
  • Taking an afternoon on Thursday to visit the old college campus and have lunch with Jamie in Athens...and check out her dorm, buy a new "UGA Alumni" car decal for my car, and get frozen yogurt with her and Jennica.    
  • Christmas errands and Cheesecake Factory with my mom and her best friend, Lisa.
  • Making it to a Friday night Buford football game.  They're still good - playing in the state championship on Friday!
  • Going to my good friend Susan's baby shower for the twins that we have prayed for and waited for with Susan and Chris for years. 
  • Watching the SEC Championship game with good friends (and Auburn grads), Julie and Rob.  {Ryan has had his heart set on a German Shepherd for two years now from being around their dog, Bo.  Being with them Saturday only made it worse!}
  • Decorating the Wood's Christmas tree by the fire...ahh, love it!
  • Going to church at Blackshear Place and seeing so many family friends
  • Decorating my parents' Christmas tree and hanging the stockings on the fireplace
  • and of course, some Christmas shopping at the good ole' Mall of Georgia!

And this weekend, we have - well, just on Friday alone, we have the Buford State Championship game at the Georgia Dome, then Ryan's company Christmas party (any advice on what I should wear for the "South Beach Chick" attire??), followed by a tacky Christmas sweater party with some friends in Atlanta we haven't seen in a long time.  Then on Saturday, we have an engagement party for one of my best friends, Breanne and her fiance Knox. a lot going on!

Lots of fun stuff to welcome us back and make it feel like we never left.  Lots of friendships that have picked right back up where we left off two and a half years ago.

Still to be determined though... a job for me, where to live in Atlanta, and what church to get plugged into.  Anyone hiring? :)