Since I already told you the things I miss about my old town, here are a few upgrades in my new town that I didn't have before.
1) My awesome house. I can't say enough good things about my new house compared to my old house. It's bigger, it's brick, it has hardwood floors and a basement with a storm room and a big back yard and a huge attached garage plus a detached garage and a carport. This was exactly the house we described when we first started listing what we wanted. Of course there are a few things we want to add (to finish the work we started in the kitchen, build a fence, add a downstairs bathroom, rearrange and reorganize the princess closet) but overall we're delighted with the house.
2) Being close to my mom. Grama is 10-12 minutes away now, compared to at least 45 minutes before (and that's if there was no traffic). It's so nice to meet for lunch, go back-to-school shopping, drop the kids off when I need babysitting, borrow tools, whatever. My grandparents live right behind my parents' house, so I can see them more too. Oh, and calling them isn't a long-distance call anymore, which saves on my cell phone minutes.
3) Old Hickory Lake. We live very close to the lake. If we walk down our street and keep going through the Rock Castle grounds, we're there. When the house was built back in 1967 you could see the lake from our yard. (If you know where I live, you know that's where my street got its name.) But now the trees are taller and they obscure the view. Last weekend we did something we could never do in Smyrna: we spent part of the afternoon at the beach at Lock 3.
The downside to living near the lake, as I mentioned on Facebook tonight, is that my dog has decided that goose poop is an irresistible delicacy. I was walking her down at the lake earlier tonight while talking to my Paw Paw on the phone. (It's his 85th birthday!!) I kept having to juggle the phone while jerking Lily's leash back because she kept finding particularly succulent turds and scarfing them up. Shudder. This is what my neighborhood looks like on any given day, so it's like a freakin' smorgasbord for my sick pooch.
4) Demo's restaurant is six minutes from my house. Yes, I timed it. We used to drive to Murfreesboro to enjoy Demo's, but now we're practically neighbors. This is Dan's favorite restaurant which is fortunate because it's also pretty cheap. The four of us can go there on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday night when they have special pricing and eat for less than $25. We spend about $20 getting fast food, so this is way better.
5) Many of my other favorite restaurants are within a five to ten minute drive also, just like they were in Smyrna: Chili's, O'Charley's, Cheddar's, Zaxby's, and more. The boys are very excited because there's a Burger King here and we didn't have one in Smyrna. They've also discovered the joys of Subway, thanks to Grama.
6) Kids' Kingdom. We used to have to drive to Murfreesboro to Kids' Castle, but this park is much closer to our house. The boys spent the day there with their Grama today while I was at an in-service at school.
7) Short commute. I drive about five minutes to get to work--three if I'm running late like I was today because I remembered that I had to make a presentation at the in-service. I love how much I'm saving in gas money.
8) The Streets at Indian Lake. This mall is similar to The Avenue in Murfreesboro, but it feels cozier. The best part is the Summer Music Series: every Thursday night during the summer they have live music on the square. Mom and I go just about every week. Dan even went with us a few times. They usually have photographers walking around taking pictures for their website. Here we are a few weeks ago enjoying the show. There's a great grassy square in the center with fountains that the kids can run in, like Aaron did on this night (in the blue trunks) while his brother looks on from the left side of the photo. In this shot, Ryan looks like he's scheming. This takes the place of the fountains at Stonecrest that the boys used to run in.
9) Within a ten minute drive there are THREE ice cream stores that I didn't have close by in Smyrna: Maggie Moo's, Marble Slab, and Baskin Robbins. I know Smyrna has a BR, but it's over by Wal-Mart so I hated going there. Marble Slab is at The Streets, which makes going to hear the music on Thursday nights even better.
10) My new friends. Nothing could replace my Smyrna girls, but I'm slowly making new friends up here, mostly people I work with. Most of the teachers at my school are great and we sometimes socialize outside of school. In Smyrna most of my friends were moms who have kids the same age as my kids. The problem up here is that I taught at the same school my kids attended last year (Aaron will still be there, but Ryan is moving on to middle school). I can't really get too buddy-buddy with the other moms because it could get awkward if I have their children in my class next year. Plus, with me working full-time and being confined to my own class, I don't get to meet the other moms volunteering or going on field trips and things like that.
But, we've been attending church up here for six weeks now. This Sunday is the boys' last time to go to their current classes before they're promoted. After this weekend, Dan and I will try to find a Sunday School we like and hopefully make some friends through that.
I like my neighbors a lot, but most of them are a lot older than we are (parents of people I went to high school with).
I found a new vet for Lily and got her updated on shots Monday. The new folks seem great and they talked to her the way the staff at Premier did, so we liked them. (But we'll still miss Dr. Hatcher and his staff.)
I still have to find a family doctor, but one of the ones on my insurance list is a Tennessee Top Ten doctor for thyroid care, so we may have a winner there. I took Ryan to check out the middle school on Monday and gave him the tour. He says he's ready; I feel like crying just thinking about him wandering the halls of that great big building.
In short, we're settling in and adjusting to life on the north side, even though we still miss our friends.