It's kinda dirty...or in some places a lot dirty. That whole "Don't Mess with Texas" thing apparently doesn't apply to littering because there is trash everywhere! The sidewalk, road, parks and the trash can...it's all the same to some people. Recently my kids and I tried a new playground near (but not at!) Isaiah's school. While I was pushing Levi in the swing Charlotte took it upon herself to pick up trash. She then very proudly presented me with a handful of broken glass! Needless to say we left and haven't been back.
Big families are fairly common. Or at least more common than in the suburbs of Chicago. Meaning me and my crew get far fewer stares and comments from strangers. Which I greatly appreciate. I like feeling normal:) Although I'm guaranteed to get stopped by at least one stranger if I have Levi or Charlotte with me. People can't resist their blonde hair. And I don't blame them. It is pretty and super soft!
I still LOVE the food. The produce is delicious and cheap! I love eating berries all year round AND staying in our budget. I still love the tortilla shells. However I've slowed down a bit with those because I have been putting on a few extra pounds this winter and it's already swim suit season here. Not a good combination!
Speaking of seasons. The "seasons" here are laughable compared to the Midwest. Fall felt exactly like Summer. Winter felt like a complete misnomer. There were about 6-8 weeks during which my kids had to wear pants and a sweatshirt or light jacket to school. They never used hats or gloves. Other than that we have lived in shorts, t-shirts/tank tops and sandals since moving here. Spring has been downright delightful. Texas definitely knows how to do spring! Flowers and green grass everywhere. Sunshine and warm breezes. Birds singing. An occasional rainy day. It's been my favorite. Winter was pretty great too. But Fall. Oh how I missed real autumn. Leaves changing colors, all things pumpkins & apple and cooler temperatures. I've already informed Joe that next fall (if at all possible) we will be traveling north in search of a more autumn-esque environment and hopefully fall related activities for a few days!
What else? I'm finally getting used to all the "y'alls". Though I have not adopted the phrase like my (traitor) husband. I'm from the Midwest where the guys are guys and the girls are too! And I'm sticking with it. I do still chuckle (in my head) when I hear people say "fixin to" or "have a picture made". It's just so southern and a little goofy to my northern ears.
The other day Charlotte informed me that when she is the mom she is moving back to Minnesota. Her reason? So her kids don't have to wear polos and khakis to school! She says she knows how it feels and doesn't want to do that to her kids.
Overall Texas has been pretty good to us. There definitely have been times when I've loved it. Likewise there have been times when I have hated it as well. But overall it's a pretty good place to have to live. And I was right in my theory. Moms of young kids in warm climates are happier. Or at least less bogged down with all that winter gear! And being able to go outside all year round? Amazing! Oh and having a little tan all year round? I like that too:)