Life in North Carolina

Hello, Beautiful Momma!

I thought it would be fun to do a little update on our life in North Carolina.

If you remember, in November 2016 I shared that my family had just moved from Portland, OR to North Carolina (Greensboro).

This was a work-related relocation for the company my husband does finance management for and we didn’t know what to expect, other than that God is always FAITHFUL. 

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Luckily, during the first two weeks, the company  paid for our family to stay in a hotel suite  (basically, a mini apartment – a full kitchen + 2 bedrooms). That was a fun memory and the kids treated it like a full-on vacation. As for momma, it was nice having  housekeeping do our dishes and tuck-in clean sheets for us…but I was ready to move on.

I really like the charming suburb we chose to settle down at. Our kids are happy that they have access to a swimming pool and a little playground in our neighborhood. Momma is happy to have sidewalks for jogging and taking a stroll.

It feels like it was just yesterday we stepped off the plane, 3 kids and bags in tow…but it’s already been 4 months since the move. As always, time flies.

Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters.

When I moved here, I didn’t know anything about North Carolina but I felt at complete peace because I firmly believe God is always working on my behalf. Yours too. He is a good, good Father.

Some fun facts…

North Carolina is considered to be the South and is rich with history. Weather here is warm and pleasant with all four seasons – lots of sunshine. Snow is rare. We actually got a few inches this year but it melted in two days. Since we are not on the coastline (3.5 hrs away) our city doesn’t get affected by possible hurricanes during the high season. (Phew!)

Summers are humid but not as bad as Florida and Texas. Besides, I’m always cold…so I’d rather be sweating than freezing.

I’m beginning to really love the Southern culture. Sweet tea. Lots of churches and anywhere you go people call you, “honey” and “sweetheart.” Everything is “yes, sir” and “yes ma’am”. I love the manners. Children are required to wear school uniforms even in public school. In general, the people here are very humble and have a strong loyalty to family.

Also, since we’re on the Bible Belt, I love how freely folks talk about their faith – Christianity is definitely not apologized for. You can talk about it with the cashier at the store – because it doesn’t matter who you are – almost everyone here goes to church on Sunday. It’s very authentic. For me, this has been refreshing and uplifting to my spirit. It’s like drinking a glass of cold iced-tea on a hot day. 🙂

Also, that whole Southern drawl-thang’ is real and it’s awesome. It stood out to me the first couple weeks, but now I’m used to it. I’m working on mine. I keep trying to throw in my own version of “ya’ll” as much as I can, but it just doesn’t sound as cool.

Self-made (badly-in-progress) Southern here…

Lastly….chicken.

Chicken.

Yes. It is everywhere. We’ve actually started sourcing our chicken from a local butcher. Can’t beat $1.39/pound for skinless boneless chicken breast & pasture-raised eggs directly from a local farmer for $2/dozen.

The Southerners looove their chicken (preferably deep-fried) with a side of okra, collard greens and sweet tea. Okra is everywhere. You can find it pickled, in salads, or served fried (in place of French fries).  You can also find fried pickles as a choice of side. Fast food places like “Bojangles” and “Biscuitville” are seen every few miles.

But to be fair, there’s also Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and several other natural food chains that cater to the rest of us who like to keep our arteries clean. 🙂

We do get a strange reaction when we ask for no bun with our hamburger. They don’t know what to do with us.

Can we have it on lettuce instead, please? Or, wrapped in lettuce?”

Them: big pause. “Like, do you want it in a bowl or something?”

“No, a regular plate is fine. We need some lettuce.” You get the picture…

Nobody counts calories or carbs. They’re too happy to care!

We did find several very nice restaurants that are perfect for getting some small plates on date night, where you can dress-up to. Some nights, they have live music that’s very romantic. We also discovered a couple neat brunch places that have a bit of a Portland vibe. Iron Hen Café is really cool, and it’s only a couple miles from our church – perfect for Sunday.

Also, iced-sweet tea is Pepsi here. It’s their water. You can find it at every single food joint.

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The question is, “do you want sweet or unsweetened?”
Coffee is not big here. People drink it, but it’s not a lifestyle. In Portland, it was a must because it usually rains, plus we had a Starbucks on every corner. We do have Starbucks here as well but it’s not as popular because everyone is out enjoying the lovely weather and time with family.

Overall, the move has been a big blessing for us. We really like living here. But then again, sometimes life is what you make of it. I am sharing my personal experience – what it’s been like for me. Maybe for someone else, it could be a different story.  I tend to be an overly optimistic person by nature (not always a good thing). I’m happy most anywhere, as long as I have my family with me.

Thankfully, about a month after our move we found a good church we partnered with. I like that our church calls it a “partnership” rather than a “membership.” The philosophy is that when you partner, you join and do something (serve in some way) instead of simply receiving benefits naturally expected in a membership. (Also, church is not a club of some sort).

We have started to get plugged into the church life – attending small group, and helping out wherever we are needed. I love our pastors and the people we have gotten to know so far.  I know that we will be building some lasting relationships here. The kids are starting to make friends as well. I’ve been using this season as an opportunity to talk to my kids about the importance of prayer in our life – asking our Good Father for anything big or small, because He cares for us. It’s been amazing hearing their prayers and sharing meaningful conversations.

It’s good to give God opportunity to move in our lives.

Step out of our comfort zones.

Grow.

Maybe you are contemplating a big move similar to such. If you feel it in your heart, pray wholeheartedly and ask the Lord to open the right door. But, can I challenge you to something?

Trust and be faithful where He has you planted right now. There is a reason why you need to be where you are.

In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. {Proverbs 3.6}

One of my favorite places in Scripture is Proverbs 16.9, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it. Oftentimes as people, we have desires in our hearts but it’s not always what God wants for us. Perhaps He has something even greater in mind and wants to work on our hearts in the process. Trust Him and learn to be patient in the waiting. The sun will rise. It always does.
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Blessings & love…

 

A few of my favorite things…

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Warming our toes in the morning sunshine.

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Sometimes, we take a walk to our playground right after breakfast.

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We love Wednesday night service. Just look at these cuties!

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Every Sunday, our kids’ favorite stop is the church-playground after service.

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We visited Myrtle Beach, SC last weekend. It’s a 60 miles string of beaches with boardwalks and fun activities. The closest oceanbeach to us.

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Watching the sunset from Ferris wheel, SkyWheel, one of the country’s tallest ones. I prefer ground level. This was exhilarating.

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The boys were so excited that the beach was covered in seashells. Who cares that it’s mostly broken sand dollars. This is treasure for them!

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This is how we roll 🙂 Walking to the Ferris wheel with the fam-bam.

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My kids are usually running around in the backyard. I caught them in the moment here, on a chilly morning 🙂

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I gave my indoor-plants some care today 🙂 I can smell spring in the air!

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Our first family hike since we moved. It was a great bonding time as a family.

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Lunchin’ with the family at Moose Cafe’…an adorable country diner!

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I can’t describe how much JOY this little person brings to our family.

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2 Comments

  1. Violetta your such a beautiful person inside and out! I enjoyed reading this blog post! Love these pictures as well! May God bless you dear!

  2. You recently moved to the south?? That’s so cool! We moved to SC the last day of September of last year. We moved from Hawaii and it’s taking some time to get used to things but we love it as well! It does get cold though and no beaches down the street but besides that, nothing to complain about haha!

    Love all your pictures and you have a beautiful family!

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