“I wish there was a way of knowing you’re in the good ol’ days before they’re gone.”
I just spent the last eight months in the good old days. I recognized them coming before they began and saw the end approaching long before it came. In the spring of last year, I started to feel a sort of unrest. I was three months pregnant with Kaya, feeling unplugged and disconnected in Virginia and for the first time since moving to our home six years ago, it just wasn't feeling like home. We moved to Virginia when Oshiomogho signed with the Redskins and once he retired we really had no reason to be there anymore, except every time we started talking about moving we stared at our roots there, deep and wide, and realized they were too firmly planted to just yank out.
On a quick business trip to Dallas years before, O looked at me and said "I think we're gonna live here one day.” Two years later my parents and three of my siblings moved to Dallas. Fast forward to now- My parents, my sister and brothe-in-law live in Dallas and I have three siblings, a nice and two cousins just two hours away in Waco. The statement made by my husband four years ago rings in my head on the regular, because how strange is it that the worlds most calculated man decides he wants to live in a place he's never been (outside of the football stadium) after one day of visiting? And how much stranger, even, does that become when said worlds most calculated man's in-laws move to said city out of nowhere? Taking cues from the sudden gaping hole in Virginia and stronger urge than ever to raise my babies surrounded by family, a highly unlikely idea formed in my heart, was approved by my mind and blurted out of my mouth. When Oshiomogho and I finished working out in our basement one night and we're stretching (a.k.a. panting in exhaustion on my part).. I placed a hand on my pregnant belly, looked at him and said “Can I ask you something? I know this is crazy and unnecessary and completely unrealistic but what do you think about moving to Dallas to have the baby?”
Worlds most calculated man looked at me with a smile and said, "I've actually been thinking the same thing." I was absolutely shocked, but you know when a plan that had about a .06% of success gets confirmed? It's just too good. I knew at this point the Lord had set this time apart for us to have a once in a lifetime chance. There were plenty of times between that day and the day we would make the temporary move five months later where we doubted our decision. We started focusing on things like not having a pediatrician or a midwife or any of those super important and pretty standard necessities when you’re 8 months pregnant. When my dad got a coaching job for the L.A. Rams and we realized my parents would be out of there home for the majority of football season it was confirmation again. We’d move in their house, have the baby, look after the home while they were away and soak up as much family time as possible until football season ended. My mom would fly back home at least every other week to help with the babies and just be the best mom in the world. It also gave us an opportunity to “try out” a city that was put on our hearts all those years ago.
We moved and settled in, the Lord was so kind and so gracious to us, leading us every step of the way to a new birthing center and midwife, a new doula, a wonderful homeopathic pediatrician and an awesome children’s dentist. My siblings came up from Waco often and we saw my sister Brooke and her husband “Uncle Ice” (Oshiolema’s favorite person on the planet outside of his baby sister) at least three times a week. We were all on baby watch come September as Oshiolema was 2 weeks early and this baby had beens sitting low low loowww for months. My mom was only in Dallas for a few days and precisely two days before her flight back to L.A. and exactly one week before my due date, standing in church on Sunday, I knew today was the day. I labored slowly and quietly for the evening, watching football with family and being weepy about how life was about to change. Full on labor came on fast and furious, much unlike my 24 hour equally slow and intense labor last time around. My husband sent out the “it’s time” text to our family and everyone made their way to the birth center, including my baby sister who drove at lightning speed from Waco at 3am. I realized something while sitting in that birthing tub leaning over the edge. Two of my sisters were in the room giving me sips of ginger-ale and putting a cool rag on my forehead, my brother in law was downstairs patiently and anxiously waiting, my mom was home caring for my son and this was everything I dreamed it’d be. God led us to Dallas, God was faithful.
Our children were so blessed by our time in Texas, from the endless spring weather allowing us to play outside every single day to the gift of a house full of people just about every weekend, abundant laughter and new experiences that have forever formed our little family. While it’s not time yet to stay, it couldn’t have been harder to go. Sometimes home doesn’t feel like home anymore after you leave the good ol’ days.
We spent three days last week journeying home and let me tell you, with a three day road trip with a toddler and a nursing infant BOTH with yucky colds-the cards were stacked against us. There were some get-me-out-of-here-this-second moments due to Keogena just plain despising her car seat most of the time, but it actually was wonderful. Looking in the backseat to see my toddler playing with his stickers, a truck and a slinky simultaneously and my baby girl happily sucking on a teething toy just about pushed me to my max capacity of love and contentment. (also, Oshiolema saying "It's okay, Princess, don't cry, just be happy!" Will never, ever get old.) Our time in Dallas shaped us, but no matter where we are, this is it. This is our team. And these are the days.
The movers arrived two days after us and just unloaded our last box, adding far too many boxes to the overstuffed to-do list. I need to Spring Clean. I need to move all my son’s things from the nursery to his new big boy room and make the nursery baby-girl acceptable. When we left home in July, I was eight months pregnant with an 18 month old baby boy and a mystery new baby distracting me from being fully present here. We opened the door with an incredibly grown up two year old and a daughter that had never been here before. It was equal parts surreal and beautiful.
If you need us, we will be unpacking. And decorating. And running to Target and Whole Foods over.and.over. And whimpering because Whole 30 is kind of a bummer and I just really want a cookie. Though it’s time to move on and start a whole new chapter, that last one was pretty stinkin’ great. Thanks for the memories, Dallas.
And who would I be if I didn't leave you with way too many photos? Let's watch my babies grow up, and cry together, shall we? Let's start with July and end with March...get a cup of coffee or something. It's a doozy.
One week before moving to Dallas
Moving Day! After 30 flights, somebody finally got his first pair of wings! (He was so proud. Also, look how little and precious he is!)
the day we found our birth center..the porch swings really sealed the deal.
my sleepy two month old baby girl
are you so impressed by our self timer christmas morning photo? such high quality. so professional.
this kid had his heart set on being potty trained before his second birthday- probably because he saw one too many "baby" diapers and wanted to be a big kid.
what a champ.
big brother turned 2 January 14th! I went to town with the moon theme.
(my sister brooke made this goodbye cake for us...vegan and all.)
and this was taken yesterday, so we have reached the end. p.s.those matching sweatshirts are the type of thing that my mama heart finds most precious in the world.
these are the days.