Tuesday, April 20, 2010

S.W.A.M.P.E.D...for Good Reasons

No, it doesn't stand for anything, but I just wanted to make the word longer.

Sorry to me MIA. We have been swamped around here.

Silly me scheduled a book fair the week of the March for Babies, so I was running around like a crazy women last week getting ready for and, um, executing both events. We had a great time at the March for Babies! We had 18 people on Itty Bitty Becca's Team come out for at least part of the festivities, and as a team, we raised over $1500! I haven't gotten final word on what the entire event raised, but I feel like we did our part, thanks to all of you guys who donated, bought t-shirts, and walked with us! (If you bought a t-shirt, by the way, I'm hoping to mail them out this week. Sorry I'm a bit tardy with them. If you haven't heard, we've been swamped around here.) I'll give the March for Babies its own post at some point, complete with pictures. I also need to post some pictures of Becca in her Easter finery, too - don't think I've forgotten! Anyhow, the book fair and the march (and the awful sinus infection that resulted from the combination of little sleep and lots of pollen) have kept this SuperMom pretty busy, but so has something else...

We're moving!

This summer, John will become the associate pastor at Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin, Tennessee. We are really excited about this move. We will definitely miss folks in Bethpage (and if you are reading this blog, you can be assured that you are one of folks we will miss most - I know who you Becca fans are!), not to mention the spacious parsonage and the vast and gorgeous yard, but we Methodist ministers do tend to stay on the move. I, for one, am beyond thrilled that we get to stay in Tennessee (there was some question about moving back to Kentucky for a while there), though I know that John will continue to miss his beloved commonwealth. I'm just thankful that even though we're from different states (and, more importantly as Methodist ministers, annual conferences), Kentucky and Tennessee border each other, so we'll easily be able to get back to the Bluegrass to visit friends and family. But enough caveats. Let me tell you some of why we/I am thrilled about this move:
  • The staff at the new church - The lead pastor is Carol Cavin-Dillon. Um, to say that I'm a fan of Carol would be quite an understatement. Carol was my pastor in my late teens and early 20's, in a time of much emotional turbulence and general confusion. Carol then became my employer (and the best boss ever) when her son was born and she returned to work, boldly leaving sweet Tate in my care. Carol pointed me towards Candler and the most amazing graduate school experience I could imagine (complete with a husband by the end of it). In fact, Carol secured said husband for me by marrying us...and by dolling up her son to be our ring bearer...and delivering the best wedding homily ever. So, yeah, I'm a fan. A fan +, perhaps. I'm really excited to see John and her working together because I think their "gifts and graces" (as we say in preacher-talk) will really pair well together. AND the rest of the staff is fabulous as well. I went to high school with the youth minister, Paul Bonner, and he and his family are incredible...not to mention a lot of fun. We grew up in the same youth group as well - I think he actually graduated high school the year that Carol came to our church. (His mom, incidentally, was my friend in faith for Confirmation, and one of her paintings hangs in our bedroom.) And the mother of another friend of mine from high school is on the administrative staff. Crazy connections. I'm really excited about meeting the rest of the staff as well. The music minister literally helped write one of the UM worship books.
  • The church itself - is one that I'm very excited about attending. When you don't get to pick the church that your family attends (assuming that you'd like your family to attend the same church), it's kind of a crapshoot regarding whether or not you are serving at a church you would choose to attend. This one (like Bethpage), I'm really excited to be a part of, and now that the doctors have given us the green light to mingle with the world, I'm looking forward to getting involved...and to signing Becca up for the Mustard Seed Choir when she turns 3. How cute is that name? Perfect for our tiny girl.
  • The area - Franklin is much closer to Nashville than Bethpage. That means, of course, that it's closer to Vanderbilt, to family, and to women I've been friends with since I was 10 years old. That's exciting. The church itself is just a few miles away from my parents' old house. (They have since retired to East Tennessee.) I used to drive by the church all the time to get to my high school boyfriend's house. I worked at the Target 1.3 miles away. (Yes, I have been a fan of the big red store for quite some time.) Really, it's like going home for me.
  • However, we can't afford to buy a house around there, so we've found another great area in which we are hoping to buy a home. Spring Hill is south of Franklin and actually straddles the county line. It's full of young professionals with young kids and has not only a Target, but a SuperTarget. I can just hear Kristen Wiig proclaiming, "Heaven has a TARGET!" (Wow...they really should pay me for these endorsements.) We're looking for houses on the Williamson County side of town, since they have the best public schools. This is particularly important to us because a) we value education; b) we're public school kids; and c) Becca rolls to the public school system for her special ed services when she turns 3 - which, unbelievably, happens next summer! Whoa! (Services for kids 0-3 are provided through Tennesse's Early Intervention System; once kiddos turn 3, it's the local school system that provides services, like special education pre-k's for which Becca is likely to qualify.)
That's the highlights. (Funny how my highlight reel is always at least as long as regular posts, huh?) Of course, the difficult bits will be the actual moving process (though it's always amusing to hear what the movers have to say about our, um, extensive book collection), switching therapists (sad!) and dealing with the inevitable insurance issues that come with switching providers (and since Becca's therapy costs somewhere around $4300 a month, we've got to make sure we've got the kinks worked out), finding her a new inclusive preschool to start a few days a week this summer (we had one lined up in Gallatin), saying goodbyes to dear friends up here (but we won't be far away, remember!), and, oh yeah, finding a house, which is where most of our "free time" has been going lately. We've made 4 trips down to Spring Hill (1 hour and 15 minutes away) with Becca in tow, scoping out the area and looking at houses, and we're really hoping to get something going soon. (And just in case you are curious, we don't qualify for any of the tax credits because we have been out of our house for only 2 years - you have to have not owned a house in 3 years in order to qualify for the first-time buyer credit (which, oddly, has nothing to do with actually being a first-time buyer), and we obviously haven't lived in our own house for 5 years to qualify for the step-up credit. This scenario is very difficult for my discount-oriented mind to swallow.) So if you see of any houses for sale (for cheap!) in Williamson County, give us a shout! We've got a wonderful realtor, but things like houses for sale by owner aren't really publicized in the usual way, so if you are down that way, be our eyes for us!

I'll keep you posted, and I promise more Becca cuteness very soon! Here's a little dose for you...further evidence that we take early literacy skills seriously in the Hill house:

p.s. All this busyness has served as a wonderful distraction from the emptiness of my womb. Trying a new medicine -- no, an old one -- Metformin. We'll see how it goes!


  1. We're SO happy to see all the wonderful things that are happening in your lives (and just a tad jealous)!

    Matt, Jessica, and Kate Kelley

  2. Happy for you, indeed!

    As to being a "tad" jealous, speak for yourself, hubby. I'm WAY jealous! A good church and you get to buy a house! For UM clergy fams, those are unspeakable luxuries! Not to minimize your stress, of course...

    Let us know if the vacation works out--we'd love to see you for the Derby Party!

  3. so exciting!! :) And I love that you've got Becca scouring the classifieds for houses for sale ;)

  4. um... are you teaching her to read upside down? that's way impressive! hope the moving stuff goes well. let us know you want company sometime. love you guys.

  5. I missed this news for a couple of weeks.... but now that I know... woohooo! :) So great that we will get to have you here closer by us! Let me know when you are moving so I can help - not that I have a big truck or anything, but I do have summer vacation, and thus TIME.

    - Emily