Beginning a New Chapter

This new chapter in our lives has been a lonnnngggg time in the making. John starts full time with the post office on May 3! We're in our 11th year waiting, so our house is jumping for joy!

This means we finally get the benefits that come with his job at the post office, which are pretty darn fabulous, like most government jobs. Exciting stuff! Not to mention the pay raise. Hallelujah!

On a not so exciting note, we had another miscarriage this month. I'm beyond the point where we can beat around the bush about things like this. I'm fine, we're fine - It's just part of the journey.  This was another very early miscarriage, and unfortunately or fortunately these become easier and easier to deal with emotionally. I'm more sad that we didn't even really get excited. There are no celebrations when we get positive pregnancy tests anymore. That part kinda stinks, but I also know that it is God's way of guarding my heart.  I would like your prayers, though. This one has been harder on my body. Very draining and achy physically. I haven't even told anyone but John. I just don't like or want to talk about it. (It's WAY more fun to talk about the cute antics of my TWO year old.)  There's no good way to start this conversation. The benefit of living in this generation is taking early pregnancy tests. The downfall is taking early pregnancy tests. Twenty years ago I would have assumed it was just a two-week late period. Like I said, we're fine. Honestly.  Just needed to get that off my chest.

So if you are keeping track, here's what's happened so far:
BFP #1 - EDD March 4, 2011. MC. DNC August 2010.
BFP #2 - EDD March 4, 2012. Arleigh Olivia was born February 15, 2012.
BFP #3 - EDD January 17, 2014. MC at 7 Weeks.
BFP #4 - EDD December 27, 2014. MC at 6 Weeks.

Back to the fun stuff. I am excited about seeing what is next for our family. We've got our three year plan in motion to save, sell the house and make a decision about private or public school for AO. To my surprise, GORDO public high school has higher 11th grade test scores than any of the public city or county schools in Tuscaloosa. (Yes, I'm the nerd who makes spreadsheets from the data on greatschools.org.)  So the big debate of the moment in the Mansell house - do we relocate to Gordo or stay in Tuscaloosa and do private school?

The other option is moving to Gordo is doing PA, where my first two "nieces" Libby and Millie attend.  Lots of decision making and porch night conversations! Gordo is only a 25 minute drive from my office in Northport, which is quicker than the 40 minutes it takes me to get home in Hillcrest. The traffic on 69 south is HORRID! It would be a longer jaunt for Johnboy (40 minutes compared to his current 7), so we're still weighing all the pros and cons.   John would like AO to start and stay at the same school. I'm fine making changes up to about second grade. I'm a little concerned about the future in Gordo, but currently they seem to be doing a fantastic job. OF COURSE I will keep a check on these until we make a decision, but it's exciting to think that we are almost there!

I really have an old fixer-upper in my head, which is pretty much the only options if we head west. Or we can build, but the fixer-upper charm has my pinterest boards on FIRE.  The fact that we would be 45 minutes closer to my family, right near with John's, and about 15 minutes from my Aunt and Danielle, are HUGE factors in my mind. There is something about small town charm that is appealing.  And room for chickens. Who doesn't love chickens!!!!

It's a big time at the Mansells! Now I'm going back to pinning! :-)

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