From the moment Jordan got the call from the Redskins that Sunday afternoon (July 29th) until we unlocked the door to our new home in Northern Virginia (September 14th) one thing has been abundantly clear.
This has GOD written all over it.
Never did we imagine we would be spending this fall living in Northern Va and meeting all of these wonderful people.
Jordan was shocked when he learned that he had made the team having been out of football a year and 40 pounds underweight. He had a great camp, no doubt, but he still felt like it was a bit of a stretch to think he would make the team. Because of that, he didn't want to make ANY plans what so ever about me and the kids moving here until after cut day.
He walked into the stadium the morning of cut day, just like every other day, only this day was different. He walked through the front doors where he saw the team of Redskins employees waiting to "pick off" the guys that were going to be released before they even entered the building.
He told me he fully expected his name to be called when he walked through the doors but he heard nothing.
He reached the staircase thinking maybe it would be a tap on the shoulder...nothing.
He walked down the hallway expecting a head to pop out of one of the meeting rooms to grab him and sit him down...nothing.
He made it to the team meeting where he began to do a headcount.
9 o-linemen left.
He went out for practice excited but still not feeling totally settled about the whole thing when his coach walked up, shook his hand and said
"congratulations, you deserve this."
He finished practice and texted me "I'm a redskin!"
I began the process I've done so many times before. I could do it with my eyes closed now I'm certain. I started working on finding doctors, church, a place to live, a way to get our cars there, plane tickets, all the things that go into a 1500 mile cross country 4 month move for a family of 5. This definitely is not our biggest move in terms of quantity of stuff but it's our furthest move and our first time to move as a family of 5.
I cannot even begin to describe all the ways in which God rolled out the red carpet for me in these 2 weeks (from cut day to move-in day) I had to do all of this. It started with my friend Nicole Considine (who we knew from the Jaguars). She is in Baltimore now (just an hour away) and randomly texted me the contact info for a fellow Redskin's wife who was moving that week to DC from Baltimore. Her name is also Nicole and she helped me SO much with the transition up to Virginia. She was about a week ahead of me arriving so she and I were both doing the same stuff at the same time. Within one night I was hooked up with a realtor, community to look in for a town home, a furniture rental company, the Redskins wives directory, babysitters, doctors....you name it! The hardest part about all of this is that I knew no one (until I got Nicole's number) and I had never even been to Virginia. I was trying to find a place to live and I didn't know anything about the area. So it helped a ton that she was able to say "we live here and it's awesome and there are other homes available."
We found a town home in this cute little town historical town called Leesburg. It's in Northern Va and I can throw a rock and hit Nicole's house from our house. In addition to Nicole and her family, another team-mate lives on our street and all 3 of us families have kids the same age. It's 15 minute commute for Jordan to the practice facility and 5 minutes from everything I would ever need. It's in a quiet little gated golf course community in a BEAUTIFUL area right on the Potomac River. I have never lived in a town home before and really thought I would have a hard time finding an owner that would agree to a short-term lease. I called on 5 or 6 different town homes that were listed. The one we ended up getting was my top choice because of price, proximity to Nicole and because it's in a culdesac. I didn't get a call back for a few days and figured it was just not meant to be. After a few days I decided to call one more time. After explaining to the realtor we were interested but needed a short term lease she told me she knew the owner would not agree because 4 other Redskins players had called that week wanting to rent with a short-term lease and the owner turned them all down. Then she said BUT I will try her one more time and see if she budges.
She called right back and said it's ours if we want it!!!
I shipped the cars and booked the flights and started packing. The cars arrived Tuesday morning and the kids and I (and Nana) were there by Friday.
The flight could not have been easier. We took the 7:00am flight out of hobby. Mom and I were up at 3:30am loading the car and getting ready for the flight. We woke the kids up at 4:45 threw their clothes on them and loaded them in the rental car. We got to the airport at 5:30am when the rental car return place opened. We unloaded 7 giant suitcases, 3 car seats, 4 carry-ons and 3 kids and I went and returned the rental (I kept Audrey and the carryon car seat/stroller with me). Nana took the big kids and 2 carry-ons through security and I came behind with Audrey. We met at the gate and pre-boarded with family boarding. We chose the back row of the plane for the extra engine noise that would either
1. serve as white noise for napping kids
2. drown out the non-napping loud kids
Madison sat in the car seat/stroller by the window (best invention ever for frequent travelers with toddlers), Nana sat in the middle and Hunter on the isle. Audrey and I sat across the isle and had an empty seat next to us....could not have been better! Praise God for Nana, seriously. I could not have done this day without her!
Nana brought a bag full of fun stuff the kids had never done before so they were entertained the whole 3 hour flight. Nana even managed to catch a nap!
We landed on time and walked to the baggage claim to claim our 1 million bags. Our driver was waiting for us (I had arranged a suburban to pick us up and take us to my car at the team hotel because Jordan was in practice). He loaded all of our bags in his burb while I loaded car seats and kids. He drove us 1.5 hours to the hotel in Virginia (we flew in to Baltimore since it was direct). He even agreed to just drop me at my car and follow me to the townhome. The realtor was so awesome. Instead of making me come to her office to get the keys she left them for me at the town home so we could just go straight there! Hunter, Nana and Audrey fell asleep on the drive there. Madison watched Mickey mouse and stayed awake so that I could put her down for a REAL nap when we arrived at the house.
Jordan had toured the house before we signed but it was a little strange to be walking in to our house for the first time on moving day! It was gorgeous. First of all I had no idea a town home could be 4500sf. It's HUGE. It's 4 stories. You enter on the main level where the living room, dining room, kitchen and half bath are located. Then there is a finished walkout basement below with a full bath down there. There 3 rooms and 2 bathrooms are on the 2nd level up, then the 3rd level is a giant room they call the "loft" but it does have a door and a full bath too. The pictures below are from the listing. The furniture in the pictures belongs to the owner. She did leave some of it behind.....which is another God thing because we literally came with 7 suitcases (and 7 boxes that I shipped the day we left with housewares, linens and bare minimum kitchen stuff). We are renting furniture so the fact that she left some behind meant less money we had to spend on renting!
This is the view when you enter
Opposite side looking at the front door now
Living room (main floor)
Kitchen and breakfast area
The "loft" or the top level. Audrey is in this room since it's farthest from the noise. The stairs up to this room are right off our bedroom so it's still convenient. The other 2 rooms (Hunter and Madison's) I don't have pictures of but they are on the same level as our room.
This is the basement which she left empty. We put a bed down there for guests since it has a full bathroom and we will have lots of guests! Also the kids toys are down there. They don't have much since I only brought one suitcase of toys but they love the big open room to run and play in! Since it's 4 floors away from the sleeping baby they can be as loud as they want :)
Another view of the basement
The back patio off the kitchen
There is a park in the neighborhood that is right on the Potomac. It's about a 10 minute walk from our house and it's a gorgeous walk! I snapped some pics on my way there today with the old iphone.
This is the clubhouse (Potomac river is in front)
Clubhouse (which also serves dinner nightly :)
Patio of the clubhouse
We love it here. It's so beautiful. We've already made great friends. The people are really nice here. There is SO much to do in this area we are going to have a full few months trying to see it all. Jordan is really happy with the team and likes his coaches and team-mates. We are just pinching ourselves that this is really happening right now all over again. Thanking God for the blessing of one more year :)