In a shocking twist of events, I like Ohio a lot! Who would have guessed? But here we are, transplants in a four-season State for the first time ever for Mark and the first time in 18 years for me. In a month or so, the leaves will change as a symbol of our new chapter.

Here's how we got here and why I haven't been updating this here bloggie:

We packed our entire household into shipping/storage containers Jun 27th and left Los Angeles for our great family odyssey while we are both on leave to bond with Viola. We packed in so much activity and travel that we really haven't had a chance to post, which is a shame. We had some of the most epic times of our lives.

First, we went out to Arizona. JJ made some of the most delicious food I have ever eaten and helped with the babies so much. McKay was in town, so we took a break from the Black Ops marathon with Evan to go out to ride the train and pan for gold at the ghost town, go swimming, and grill and chill.

Then Ev, the babies and I drove up to Utah. Austin, Sade, Chan, and Blondie drove up in another car. It was the first real test of long-road driving with both kids, and they surprised me by being pretty easy. Utah was seriously amazing. We camped, hiked, shot guns, bows & arrows, jumped on trampolines, sat in hot tubs, drove four-wheelers and dune buggies, rode bikes, got fountain drinks, did some crafting, and made 4 million trips to Walmart. Utah can be so beautiful and it was great to see everyone.

We went hiking, camping, roller coastering, shopping, scrapbooking, sewing, bicycling, walking in the rain, four-wheeling, dune-buggying, movie watching, and so much more.

While we were there, Zola had so many cousins to play with. I hardly saw her. She was off adventuring (as evidenced by the bruises,) But, when I got her back entirely to myself at the end of the two weeks, I was surprised at how grown up and full of attitude she was. Baby-zilla, for sure! With double the vocabulary and a skill set that takes ordinary life and makes it a roller coaster.

We went back to Arizona for one last week just to wrap up our loose ends and get ready for the great drive. The gravity of our undertaking started to hit me. Ugh. What had we done?

Mark was doing everything in his power to make things less stressful for me. He drove every single mile through New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and finally, Ohio. About the time we reached Iowa (2 days before we got here) I started to relax a little. Iowa was really pretty rolling hills of corn fields with these gorgeous romantic looking farms... and it sort of chilled me out (even though we saw plenty of pretty country before that.) I don't know why.

We sort of "camped" in a hotel while we sorted out the final details on our place in Ohio. By the time we could move in and get our shipping containers delivered, we had 48 hours until Mark's parents were expected to visit. Much of our items didn't survive the trip, so during that time, we bought a new couch and kitchen table and made six trips to target, unpacked the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and all but 5 or so boxes in each of the kids room and our room left to unpack.

We ended up renting a two bedroom condo in Lakewood. It's a block off of Lake Erie, but a little over a mile from the big recreation areas attached to the lake in either direction from us. This town is a dense, urban area much like our old neighborhood in L.A., so we feel like the transition to the slower paced rural lifestyle will be less obvious at first. I'll share some more pictures when I get a little more unpacked and can find the cord that connects my camera to the computer (or even still, the camera.)

Mark made this video about it... please enjoy.