Sunday, June 21, 2015

10 days in Texas. My first impressions.

A week and a half ago I walked into our new house for the very first time. After 3 days on the road I was beyond excited to be here. To finally step foot in the house that we will call home for the next three years! It was my first time seeing the house in person. In fact it was my first time in our new town. And only my fourth time in the state of Texas in my entire life. So while I was extremely grateful to be here, it has been an adjustment. To say the least. Texas feels kinda like a foreign land to me at the moment. And while it is still fresh in my mind I wanted to record it.

The house. 
Oh my. It's got space. More space than I've ever had before. And I am incredibly grateful for it. And for the first day I was super excited about it....but then I started really seeing the house. Noticing it's not updated 1970s style and somewhat dingy "rental home for the past 5 years" details. And I started to fall into a pit of despair. But a few trips to Home Depot and one REALLY big trip to Target later and I'm beginning to think we can (and will!) freshen this place up and make it feel like home after all.
That wallpaper is already gone! And the chandelier isn't far behind it....

Ten days ago I didn't know what a cockroach looked like. Let alone killed one. Today I can tell y'all that they are brown NOT black like I had previously envisioned. And they vary in size from teeny tiny to ginormous. And they are EVERYWHERE. Including the middle of my playroom during my first ever playdate in this house. I was mortified! But the resident's wife who has been here a year assured me that it is normal. Not sure I like this normal:(

Like how I snuck in a little southern drawl there?

Our neighborhood is filled with pigeons. And their cooing is nearly constant. My first day here I thought they were going to drive me crazy! But it turns out I can get used to just about anything. Because now I hardly notice them. Hopefully I can say the same about the cockroaches soon!

The people. 
Southern hospitality is a real thing. At least in our neighborhood it is. Within hours of being here we had neighbors greeting us left and right. We had cool drinks and fresh baked bread and tools out on loan all within 24 hours of our arrival! People here are downright friendly. Everywhere I go someone wants to talk to me and/or my children. (So very unlike the suburbs of Chicago!) I've never been called "ma'am" this much in my life. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. Oh and apparently little girls are referred to as "mama" around these parts. It confuses Hannah and I a lot:)

The food. 
Oh the food! I love the food. Fresh tortilla shells with everything! At the grocery store there is even a special tortilla bakery. Flour tortillas. Butter tortillas. Chipotle tortillas. Wheat tortillas. Tortilla chips. Speaking of the grocery store. When I step in there I feel like I've walked into a different country. Almost everything is labeled in English and Spanish. So much fresh produce and sea food! Live crawfish crawling around in a kiddie swimming pool. Not sure what I would do with them?! But they are fun to watch. Oh and the fruit is cheap and GOOD! Two pounds of strawberries for $2.30, yes please! 

I told my friend* that when I start to look pregnant again she can just assume it's my tortilla baby and not an actual baby. Because I absolutely do not have an ounce of restraint when it comes to the butter tortilla shells! 

The weather. 
Its hot. And humid. Stepping outside is like stepping into a wall of heat and humidity. It's intense. And for our first couple days here I would be inside, comfortable in the air conditioning and completely forget just how hot it is and every single time I stepped outside the heat and humidity would take me by surprise. Also surprising (to this Minnesota girl) is the fact that the temperature at night is not very different from the temperature during the day. Just less sun. Nighttime is only 5 to 10 degrees cooler than daytime. 

Even my camera is having a hard time adjusting to the weather.

Related to the weather, I've quickly learned (the hard way!) that it is always a mistake to leave my water bottle at home. I need that constantly attached to me somehow while out running errands so I don't melt!

*Friend - might be too strong of a word. In reality she is just a really sweet resident's wife that is reaching out to me and helping me feel at home here. And boy do I appreciate her!

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