Thursday, October 11, 2012

Houston - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

All right, so we’ve been in our new home for about a month now, and we've survived the lizard fiasco, I’m finally learning my way around Houston.  I figure it’s time for an update!

The Good
Well, first thing that comes to mind is that everything is really close.  I mean, within a 5-10 minute drive in any direction, I can find a Wal-mart, Target, and HEB.  That’s all three within minutes in any direction!  Pretty amazing.  Did I mention how much I love HEB tortillas?

Also, this suburb has a super cute little downtown area with shops and restaurants and just fun, fancy places to go.  Not that I get to do it much, but knowing it is there in case I do get a date night - or a visitor - or anything is just exciting. 

Oh, yeah, that’s a better-than-good part of it... My babysitters!  My family is close by and are always begging to take the boys.  It’s nice knowing that people who love my kids as much as me are close by.

A few more “good” things come to mind – fast internet, at home and on my phone; a huge backyard to play in; a great neighborhood with parks and pools nearby; so many fantastic churches that we can’t even make up our minds where we belong; and a job for Stephen that doesn't involve much time away from our family.  Its been a while since we had that.

But you know there is The Bad, too –
The traffic is awful and Stephen has to fight a commute each way every day.  Everyone in Houston likes to drive, so there isn't much of a public transit system. What is in place now is mostly buses  and well, that doesn't really save any time on the road, you know?  BUT... we were living with one car since we got back and this commute required us to purchase another so.... I GOT A NEW CAR!  Not so bad, now, huh?  Remember when I sold my van? I was so sad. Well, we went out and bought the new one and it’s even better than the last! 

We don’t have any friends yet, and, as social as I am, that is weighing on me a lot, but we will. I know it.  We will.  AND... I have about oh, 3 dozen family members all within a 1-2 hour drive, so that’s plenty to keep us busy for now. We’d love to meet some other families, though. All the small groups we have been a part of in the past have been really special to us.

Everything is close by. I know I mentioned this as a “good” thing, but it can quickly become a bad thing, so I’m acknowledging that, too. It’s so easy to run out to Chick-fil-A for lunch or just head to Target for some browsing. It could be expensive if I’m not careful!  BUT... at least I have everything I need. I miss the military commissary, but only for their prices. In Cambodia, I had to make do with whatever I could get.  Here, I can follow recipes exactly as written and make crafts just like the ones I pin on pinterest, and well, do anything. It’s not such a bad problem!

The heat is awful.  Houston is hot.  Really hot.  And humid.  Cambodia was hot.  Really hot.  And humid.  Can a girl ever get a break?  Do I ever get a chance to wear my boots that have been packed up since I lived further north?  No positive spin on this for me.... COOL OFF, TEXAS!  I've been hot for like 2 years now!  Even little Jack was puffing air outside a couple weeks ago and when I asked what he was doing, he said "Blowing out the sun so it won't be so hot!" Maybe we need a Rocky Mountains vacation?

I’d take a picture if I could, but I’m usually too busy screaming and running to even think about a camera.  Its the roaches.  Ew.  They are big.  They fly.  They are everywhere.  EEEEEWWWW!  We had bugs in Cambodia, and we even had great big roaches, but I just can’t handle it here!  I called pest control to see if they could come and spray and the girl kindly said, “You aren’t from around here, are you?” Well, actually I am from close by, and I do remember standing on the toilet screaming (as a teenager) for my Dad to come kill a roach.  It’s just been a while, and I don’t care to do it again.  The sweet pest control lady told me that they can spray, but the roaches will still get inside.  They’ll just die when they get in.  Oh, okay, ew again.  Dead roaches everywhere?  I just don’t know what to do.

But at least there aren’t bugs in my food.  In Cambodia I often found myself just scooping the ants out of my coffee or cereal so I could finish it.  I can live with non-harmful giant monster roaches if I don’t have to eat them.

Ha.  Haha.  It’s the little things...

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