Thursday, August 22, 2013

The new normal

Wow, the last month has been a complete whirlwind! Between finishing teaching summer school, packing, moving, unpacking, going to New York with Hannah, and starting a new job, I feel like I've barely had time to breathe. Things are still pretty busy for the next couple of weeks with school starting, but I'm at least starting to get into a routine now.

I'm teaching three classes at ACU this fall: one freshman-orientation type class, called Cornerstone, and ESL Grammar and Writing. I'm super-psyched that I have the opportunity to teach so much. There will be a bit of a learning curve since I've only ever taught Pronunciation and Oral Communication, but I'm excited to get some experience with different courses.

We had some hiccups with our new house at first (no water, followed by locking ourselves out), but now that the dust is settled, we really love it. It's a 3-bedroom/2-bath, which is the perfect size for us. It's only a little bigger than our house in Urbana, but the layout makes more sense and there's more storage, so it feels even bigger. I actually have an empty cabinet in the kitchen! What luxury! We're being rather slow in getting stuff hung on the walls, and the "nursery" is basically a junk room, but I'll try to post some pictures once we've made more progress.

Moving back to Abilene has been an interesting experience. So much is the same, but so much has changed. We've enjoyed revisiting our favorite restaurants and catching up with old friends. But, it's not like we're just picking up where we left off. There's so many new people to meet, and our friends haven't just been sitting around waiting for us to return. So, it's still going to be work get into a social routine; I don't think I had really considered that, even though it seems obvious to me now. One difficult thing has been the decision not to go back to the church we were members at before. We loved that church and still love so many of the people there, but we're not the same people we were 5 years ago, and we just don't feel like it's the best fit for who we are now. We've been visiting a different church that we really like so far, but we're trying to "take things slow", since we're still reeling a little from leaving our church in Illinois a year ago.

Overall, though, we're feeling really positive about the move. Texas is definitely our home, and there's something that just feels right about being here. I'm slowly but surely reacclimating to the heat, although it feels very strange to hear the weatherman talk about the "mild" temperatures in the mid-90s. Snow cones and copious amounts of Blue Bell have helped immensely! Perhaps the best thing about living in Abilene is that my brother lives here, and we've been able to see him several times a week. We haven't lived in the same town since he was 14 and I was 18, so we have a lot of catching up to do!