Category Archives: Memories

That One Valentines Day

So there was this massive prayer and decision and looking at plan a through z campaign going on last week. At the end of the day my husband and I just decided that it would be best for me to stay home and not attend the services for Joany in California this weekend. He would go and we would stay. All of the options broke my heart, quite frankly, and it was very mostly due to the fact that she was no longer here and we were planning to go to her memorial service. Anyway, I have to say that I am just downright bummed that I couldn’t go and trying to continue to trust that God knows best and there is a reason why I was not to be there. So with a very heavy heart I went about my week. It included an overnight work trip for my hubby and 24 hours after his return from that, I put him on a plane to California to stay with my parents and attend Joany’s services. Somehow, we managed to sneak in our annual family meal with papa murphy’s heart shaped pizza in the afternoon for his plane departed at 6 pm.

vday1

On the way home from the airport reality jumped in my front seat and hit me hard. The reality that I was alone with the kids in Missouri. Missouri. You know because I live here now and all. I know I am not really alone because our new church family has sucked us in huge and I love that. However, at that moment, I felt very much alone. Sometimes the brain and heart need more time to get on the same page. I think my toddler knows when he can get stuff from me. He promptly asked for ice cream for dinner. Done. I had an hour long drive home. A lot of thinking time, too much. I was hit to the core of my being what it means to give everything to Jesus. Giving him your loved ones and trusting Him. I don’t understand why Joany had to die. I wish she and Ron could live out their lives together enjoying each other and their children and grandchildren. I don’t get it. She was just 60. However I was reminded of a sermon I heard many years ago. It went something like this….why would you serve a God that you understood everything He did. Doesn’t His ways HAVE to be higher than yours to be worth following? Or something like that… Terrible translation but the reality is we serve a God that is far above our understanding and that should not make us doubt and fear, but rather trust deeper. He’s got it all. He knows what He is doing. He makes all things beautiful in His time, as the song goes.

vday3

Anyway, I arrive home on this Valentines Day alone in my house with my four kids. Ready for bedtime for the little, computer for the oldest, and Anne of Green Gables for the middles. A late night of chick flicks and a cozy fire. I was completely ready to get lost in Avonlea. I set my toddler down on the ground and he promptly slipped on some ice and smacked face first to the ground. Instinctively I ran to him to pick him up and in doing so I slip and begin to fall. While trying to catch myself I trip again on a 2 inch raised area between the driveway and the garage. It was enough to send me sprawling. After several incredibly ungraceful steps to try and regain balance I manage to lose the fight and lose big. Everything in my hands went flying up and I went down. I still have no idea how I landed. However, the next thing I knew I was on my back laying in dirt and oil in a garage in Missouri unable to breathe because the wind had been knocked out of me. You know that moment after a fall where you are all, please don’t let anything be broken. I lay there waiting and moving limbs and hoping. My left elbow, and both knees clearly were the casualties. Along with my trusty iPhone. Shattered. Obliterated.

vday4

My 15 year old is a rock star. Calm as can be took the baby inside. The girls started to ask a million questions and in a voice strangely similar to mine he took THAT tone and said, “take the baby, NOW”. He ran and got snow to put on my elbow which was swelling rapidly. I’m not going to lie. I cried and reached out for my son’s hand to comfort me and in the middle of all of this as if my heart wasn’t in enough pieces you know what I realized? With that hand grasp, I think I entered the next stage of life. A baby step towards when you move into a two way relationship. I needed him and he came through.

And let me lay it all out for you because I have no shame. I had to go to the bathroom really bad when I arrived home from the airport. Somehow in this fall I basically peed my pants. Like I slammed so hard it made my bladder stop working properly? What the heck. So not only am I laying on the floor in oil and dirt, hurting, and lonely in Missouri being comforted by my 15 year old. I am also laying there and came to the realization that I have just peed my pants for the first time since preschool. Awesome. So now I have no dignity, so you might as well cry it out ugly style because now I am absolutely certain I am going to have to start wearing depends at 42 years of age. This must be rock bottom of complete humiliation….and if it wasn’t I have just put myself there by sharing that information.

vday5

So upon further investigation, My elbow now had basically two elbows it was so dang swollen. My left knee is swollen, pants are ripped, and my right knee is cut. After I change my clothes and throw my pants in the garbage, I come downstairs and my kids get me various bags of frozen vegetables for ice packs and my son brings me alieve and instructs me to take it and I obey…and after googling has diagnosed me with a severed nerve and a broken elbow. Fabulous. He gets his overdramatic from me, just in case you missed that.

vday2

Nothing was broken I assure you. I am sore today. Bleh. In reality the fall was again another straw, that poor camel. People fall. Ice is slippery.

So, yeah, that was my Valentine’s Day. Gimmie a break.

“Hey remember that Valentine’s Day that dad was in California and mom fell in the garage and peed her pants.”

There, thought I would say it first.

Hope your day was a wee bit better than mine. Tell me about it. Redeem Valentines Day  2014. For the love of cupid and all his minions tell me one thing about yours that was better than mine…

I beg you.

 

Pin It

But Today

My husband was away on a work trip overnight. I usually have no issues when he leaves, but it was kinda weird being left in Missouri with the kids alone. Just extra alone feeling, I suppose. With Joany passing away last Friday this has been a very difficult week. In addition, it just didn’t work out for me to make the 1770 mile trip home for her services, which reminded me how very far away I am from home. This will be the first of a long list of moments that I am going to not be there for. Things are different. I stopped drinking vats of diet coke cold turkey last Friday. We got quotes back on the work we wanted to have done before we moved into the house and they were all too high. So, we will be needing to do a lot of it ourselves.  I think I definitely have entered a “poor me” stage. Then to top it off we found out escrow was delayed a few days. Not really a big deal, but there was a very sentimental reason that we wanted it to close on the 14th and now it won’t and that was kinda the straw.

So, this morning I laid in bed feeling sorry for myself and then I decided to get up and knock it off. Time to get out of the house and have some fun. So I grabbed the camera and we left. With zero plan.

Cleanliness is next to godliness. So this seemed like an excellent place to start. Car washes in Missouri are weird. First, there are people inside them. I don’t understand this.

Today1

Second, there are no full service washes that I have found. So at the end of the wash if you want the interior done you have to get out in the two degree weather and vacuum it yourself. I just can never do it as good as those car wash dudes anyway, and then if you want the dashboards and stuff wiped down, hopefully you brought your own supplies. Not really a problem, I get it, just modern conveniences, you know.

Today2

But there is rainbow soap and this is the redeeming quality. For years when the kids where little we would turn up the music, I’d let them out of their seats and we would drive through and have a car wash dance and the highlight which always evoked screams was the rainbow soap. I can smell it now. This isn’t quite rainbow, but purple will do just fine.

Today3

Next Stop. Fritz’s.

Today6

The place where trains reign supreme. Waitress bring drinks and yell choo choo. There are train whistles and noises everywhere. You call on the phone at your table to order and the train literally drives to your table, stops, and lowers your food down to you.

Today17

There are trains everywhere, and everywhere else, literally.

today9

It made me happy to watch my three year old. He is a hard core train dude and his little heart was about to burst.

Today10

Next we wandered around Crown Center where the restaurant was located. We stumbled upon a Wizard of Oz exhibit. Free. Completely free.

Today20

These people are unknowingly in my photo album forever. Do you ever wonder how many people’s photo albums you are in as an extra? Something to think about.

Today21

Today22

Today23

We found all kinds of other treasures.

Today40

Today27

Today28

Today29

Kalidescope, sponsored by Hallmark. A serious creative wonderland. It’s this whole world with craft supplies galore. You take a bag, you create as long as you want, and then you take everything home. I could not believe when the gal said, “come on in, it’s free.”

Don’t mind if we do…

Today30

Today38

Today31

Today32

A dirty diaper caused a premature escape to the car because we brought nothing in. I had no idea there was a whole mall and all this stuff. We thought we were going into the restaurant and back to the car.

So one upside of snow? You keep a sled in your trunk and it is the perfect place to keep little things from rolling around and it also doubles as a comfy bed for diaper changes.

Today39

We took a long drive around Kansas City. It has such a similar vibe to San Francisco. I feel at home down there. I kept expecting to turn the corner and see the Golden Gate but no such luck ;). I do miss the ocean here. It’s my favorite. But I pretty much love downtown. SO much to do. So fun.

Today46

And since we were blessed with 46 degree temps. We rolled the windows down and turned the music up on our drive.

today50

I couldn’t help showing the kids West Bottoms. It’s going to be a place they are photographed often :)

Today43

Taylor46

Today42

As the sun was setting we stopped at Target to get a couple of last minute Valentines things and then finished the day up with drive thru eat in the car dinner and a trip to the library.

Today51

Today54

One foot in front of the other, and a day out of the house taking in everything new with these four munchkins was good for the soul. I do so love our new home. Feeling normal here will take time and on the hard days I need to remember this day.

There will be hard days. Today started out as one.

But today ended very different. Hearts full and tired.

We can not control our life, one single bit. BUT we can control how we respond.

There’s good everywhere. Somedays you just have to look a little harder for it. Surely you WILL find it.

I promise.

Pin It

First Snow

We fell in love with the steady snowfall all day long. So beautiful.

Praising God for new experiences.

snow3

snow5

snow1

snow28

snow23

snow21

snow22

snow20

snow19

snow18

snow16

snow15

snow13

snow12

snow11

snow9

snow8

snow6

snow4

snow2

Pin It

The Post That Changed me

I’m driving along one morning and my kids and I begin talking about having chickens and goats and how fun that would be. My kids were pretty excited about the thought. So I post, “my kids are begging me to live on a farm”. That was the beginning of a big giant hug from God straight from heaven for my soul…and while I can often be a fan of the choice to exaggerate. I assure you this is not one of those times.

Chickens3

I almost immediately get an instant message from a woman that I didn’t know except through an inquiry for a photo session with me. The timing had not worked out and we had exchanged a couple of emails regarding it, but that was about it. She let me know that she had a home, that her and her husband were looking for tenants. We could have chickens and goats there. We arranged to look at it in about three hours. I did what any normal person would do. I google earthed that sucker and then I did a drive by. I was giddy. G I D D Y.

IMG_6792

On the way over to see the home, I was praying that I would love this home. We have lived in a LOT of homes and I am grateful for them all, but let’s be honest, some I just want to pet the walls every time I go inside and some not so much. For the last 7 years we had been in a rental that was pretty void of any character. The neighborhood was rapidly declining. After my kids had to be brought inside because of a hostage situation two blocks over, we had witnessed the staging for a swat team raid through our bedroom window, they had shut down our neighborhood because there were several burglars on the loose (on a Tuesday morning), and my son had been offered drugs in front of my home, I was really ready to leave. {Might I add this was all within a couple of month period}. I know longer felt safe there. As I was praying about this new home, I think I ended my prayer with something so profound like and Lord let there be slate.

moving13

* our home for seven years. great memories but we were happy to move on.

You know sometimes how you know you know and you know? I just knew this was going to be fabulous. Indeed when I pulled up I fell in love before walking in and every step of the way through the house got better and better. It is a gorgeous home… Then came the bathrooms. Two of them. Head to toe all dressed up in slate. Give. Me. A. Break.

house11

I asked if I could bring my husband back right after work and we let them know of course we would love to move in. Not a police helicopter or drug dealer in sight either. Imagine. An established neighborhood with long time homeowners….and our landlords live on the property, next door. AND they own an alarm company. Go ahead burglars, break into the home with all the alarm trucks in the driveway. Safety everywhere. Just what my heart needed.

IMG_2037

…and not just physically. To meet Ron and Joany is to love them…and fast and furiously we did. We had every comfort our hearts could want while living in this home. They provided repairs and upgrades for our comfort without a moment’s hesitation. They didn’t just rent a home to us. They invited us into their lives and their home and property. They shared with us and cared for us and it wasn’t long until my nine year old happily exclaimed that she had another grandma and papa. My heart smiled. Big. 

ainacks8

*this house came with my own private photo studio in my backyard. Abandon railroad tracks and gorgeous fields.

Not too long after we moved in, a lot of things in our lives started turning upside-down and it became quickly apparent that God had provided a safe place in the midst of a storm. A beautiful home of peace, safety, refuge…and chickens. And the reassuring words of my now dear friend…”God has brought us into each other’s lives for such a time as this.”

ainacks1

For these precious people were fighting their own battles as well as Joany is fighting stage 4 breast cancer. The level of dignity and grace this woman and her husband possesses is nothing short of heavenly. Her son recently posted this on Facebook, I hope he doesn’t mind that I steal it, but it couldn’t describe Joany better….

Reading Proverbs 31 today. Love what my sister in law said about my mom “You are a flesh and blood Proverbs 31 Woman”. 
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come… Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

We moved out shortly after Christmas as God called us to Missouri. It was ridiculously heartbreaking to leave that refuge. I shed so many tears over it, but I continually prayed that I would not hold too tightly and thank God so deeply for the gift He gave us in our time there.

us2

Today Joany’s care has turned from treatment to comfort and her spirit is not broken and if her’s is not, darn it mine will not be either. I have been so touched reading all the outpouring from her friends and family on her Facebook page. For while I feel like I have known this family for years, the reality is last year at this time I didn’t know who they were. It has been beautiful to hear how many people adore them and see just how deeply. How precious are the ways of God, truly. How God can intertwine paths and hearts.

house3

We only lived on our farm for a short 9 months. What I thought was a long term move was in deed something all together different. In my heart I wish that we had had many years there. I truly wanted to raise my kids in that home. With Ron and Joany, healthy, next door. That’s what I wanted. But the Lord gave us those nine months to heal and be safe and be loved in the best way possible because when it comes straight from Him it is just perfect and I doubt that Ron or Joany can fully understand how God used them, their love for us, and that home in our lives. It changed me.

house1

I pray God can use me like that in someone’s life, for if so, it will be a life time very well spent. Here is a woman who didn’t know me from Adam and brought her best friends over to walk through and pray over the home before we moved in. I could go on and on…But I will tell you one of my very favorite things about Joany, she listens. She listens with a heart of gold and when you are talking she makes you feel like you are the most important person in the world. What a gift. The other favorite thing is her love for Jesus. It’s all over her.

I trust in God’s perfect timing and as it appears that Joany will be meeting our Savior before I will I think of my heartache, the heartache of her friends, family, and her husband and how great it will be. I am so very much comforted and happy in the thought that she will be in paradise. Truly. Free from any more pain and suffering and while she will no longer be a text away, she will be in my heart. For she has imprinted it for a lifetime.

I just needed to document this last year. It’s painful for all that it held. And the tears pour as I type, but they also pour because it is so stinkin’ beautiful how God works. To truly see the hands and feet of Jesus. I needed them, I needed that farm…I am so grateful.

Bless you dear friends.

and Joany…may you rest in perfect peace today, tomorrow, and always. I know you love words, and I search for the right ones, but you and your life have exceeded them in my book, my friend. You are so precious to me.

buzzard

The Other Side

This isn’t death, it’s glory. It isn’t dark, it’s light.

It isn’t stumbling, groping, Or even faith, it’s sight!

This isn’t grief, it’s having My last tear wiped away.

It’s sunrise, it’s the morning Of my eternal day!

This isn’t even praying, It’s speaking face to face.

It’s listening, and it’s glimpsing The wonders of His Grace.

This is the end of pleading  For strength to bear my pain

Not even pain’s dark memory Will ever live again.

How did I bear the earth life Before I came up higher,

Before my soul was granted It’s every deep desire.

Before I knew this rapture Of meeting face to face

That One who sought and saed me, And kept me by His Grace

Martha Snell Nicholson

photo

  

 

 

 

Pin It

Home

Our house hunting began in November.

House Hunters, ironically one of my favorite shows. Three homes, a perfect 4.2 minute conversation in a restaurant {with no disagreements}, and bam you are a homeowner. Love reality tv. Not so much our experience. We put an offer on a 3 acre country home that was just insanely charming, but needed more work than our budget allowed and so we left that one. Next, fell in love with a colonial fixer upper that had an insanely cute address, Wellington Court. It had been on the market for 9 months, yet sold before we could write up the offer.

Next up, a real live dollhouse. On a lake, no less.

Third time is a charm. We offered on a home Saturday about 6 pm and by 9 pm we had an answer. A simple yes. No counters. No weirdness. Just Yes.

yard

It’s just a few miles from where we are staying right now, so I go buy it at least once a day just to see what’s up in the hood, ya know? and today I drove up and saw the sale pending sign. My heart dropped out of my body….are you kidding me???? What NOW???? I think I even said it aloud. Then I realized….

sign

WE ARE THE SALE PENDING…

sometimes I can be a bit slow.

Home inspections tomorrow, appraisals to follow, and hopefully a move in mid Feb.

Cute, right? I have always wanted to live in a dollhouse…

I am almost jumping out of my tree excited, reserving that for move in day. I have bought and sold only a couple of times, but enough to know that it’s not over, just quite yet.  BUT…so far, so fabulous, so grateful.

house2

 

 

Pin It

I Don’t Know When To Turn

I sit there dumbfounded. Realizing the honking is at me. There are 53,466 traffic signal circle things, or maybe just 5, and something about yielding. I don’t know when it is my turn and just when I figure it out the next signal is different. Sometimes it’s green, sometimes yellow. Sometimes blinking sometimes not. I need a PHD to drive here. Where are the arrows? In California you get your own arrow, your own turn. Here I think I just better go straight forever. I am never quite sure when I can actually turn. I need Missouri plates STAT. I am sure people are like. Hmmph….California Driver. I smile and wave. I’ll own it.

light

Speaking of signs. I have never seen these ever. Someone want to enlighten me? Please help a west coast girl out.

sign2

sign1

Last night my baby girl had a total melt down and in turn it sparked one in me. She sobbed and begged to go back home. Having her look me in my eye and beg me to undo a decision that her father and I have made and could undo as well is super difficult. She doesn’t understand all this. As an adult, I also know that she will not remember much of this, as she just turned nine. The years of her growing up that will be in her memory are ahead of her and they will be great, but the right now…it hurts. It hurts to watch. It’s hard to be strong for them when I feel like crying and going fetal at times myself. It’s hard to realize that most of her memories of California will be ones that she sees in pictures or are told to her.

“…and I am reminded again that trudging through the difficult bears the most fruit.” ~joy prouty 

The pain of homesickness is far from over, I know this. It comes fast and furious. It comes without warning. It comes at random times in very random ways.

One year ago, I had the chance to meet two pretty incredibly people. Ron and Joany. Joany is battling cancer and also is one of the most fabulous women I have had the pleasure of knowing. In a time when the unfamiliarity of moving states and leaving family pale in comparison to my sweet friend’s fight, I think if this is her attitude??? I will rock mine as well. This is her Facebook status. Please pray for her and please trust like her.

“All of you, my family and friends, are being so kind and caring in your prayers for me. I feel comforted as a result – thank you!! So I saw my Doc yesterday and “the plan” is to have a liver biopsy, brain MRI and then radiation to my femurs and sacrum. The radiation is targeted to the painful areas and helps. He tweaked my pain Meds a bit, so that should help also. The liver biopsy is being sent to a special lab that checks it against various chemos to discern which one(s) would be more effective. I’ve learned that in metastic breast cancer, the make up of tumors can morph and therefore do better when matched with a chemo designed to kill that particular type of beast. The main things I’m experiencing right now are pain, nausea, weight loss, lack of appetite, dizziness and weakness. God’s love is greater however than my circumstance. We all have tough stuff in our journeys through this life. Who knows, maybe this is what I need to pry my fingers off love of this world and open my hands wide to grasping on to my Father and then Heaven to come some day. I’m trusting in Him within this battle. I’m loving Psalms and how so many times David thought it was curtains and then God got him through it  That’s my prayer, but I trust my Jesus and his perfect plan.”

Such beauty. I hope you, dear Joany, have some large scale sense of the amount of people you inspire to take one step closer to Jesus. You have done that for me. You have imprinted MY heart for my whole life, sweet friend and I adore you.

Joy comes in the morning.

g

After a horrible last night, joy came as we joined our church family for the second week here. Last week was freezing and snowing and this week was 7 degrees warmer than California. My heart is so very full here. We have been welcomed in a way that is hard to explain. It means so very much to a family who is aching for home and familiarity and on the path to find it here.

socks

* I received a care package complete with fuzz a licious socks from a sweet lady today. Seriously fantastic and so appreciated.

I said in a recent blog post that this church speaks our heart and boy is that the case. People keep saying words like culture shock and how different things must be here in the midwest, but I tell you when you are united and family with Jesus sometimes those things just fade to the background. I have zero doubt whatsoever that this is exactly where we are supposed to be. I feel blessed to be here. Honored to be a part of this ministry and excited to get to know the people that make up this family. Has it been hard to get here? Absolutely!  and I am so blessed that it has because that just is an indication of how many fabulous people we have in our life that are in California. We are very blessed.

church

We had one box of our stuff arrive at our temporary housing. Magical, I tell you. I am back in my own bed. My three year old shares my opinion, as he saw his mattress he started screaming and jumping, “my bed is back, my bed is back….”

mattress

* my favorite new game. It’s entitled, “trap dad in the bathroom with a mattress”. It’s easy. When the dad in the house goes to the bathroom slide a mattress in front of the door and position a cute child in front of it to hold it up. hours of fun. 

We are in a three bedroom house right now. We are in close quarters with each other and I think it is absolutely perfect. The girls share a room, the teen boy has a room, my toddler sleeps in “Greyson’s room” which is actually a large walk in closet. It is just perfect size for this period of time. Emotions have been high and intense and have inspired some knock down drag out discussions and forced growth in all of us. Growth that is good and needed. Growth that has made us stronger as a family and as individuals. It’s do or die time. …and we choose do.

We. Choose. Do.

p.s. this week school will resume, menu plans will return, chore charts will reappear, a gym membership will be purchased, and I will find a car wash. I will also blow the dust of my “real” camera. Real life. The day to day. Bring it on. I might even do something so totally fantastic like go to Costco and buy toilet paper. The sky’s the limit and I’m on it.

Pin It

We’re From California

It’s a strange thing this moving cross country. I am kinda chatty and through small talk with various people, such as those who sell jackets…it has come up that “we just moved here from California”. I can’t tell you the amount of times that has brought a tilted head and a “huh?”. My kids are beginning to question the sanity of their parents while listening to all of this. I am beginning to wonder if there is something we are missing, lol. Yet, ironically, in California, I can’t tell you how many people said in those final days…”you are so lucky, you are getting out.” This baffles me as well because I didn’t realize I was in jail. Really in the end…it’s where God wants ya. Grass seems to always be greener somewhere other than you are sometimes, I suppose.

welcome

I am sure we stick out here in Missouri. We are the freezing people with the wild child three year old and brand new jackets. Last night we came up from the indoor pool in the hotel for some dinner and while we were eating, it started to snow. We bundled new jackets over bathing suits and headed down through the lobby and went outside. People can hate on snow all they want, but I tell you it’s magical. We loved it. This is the third night at our current hotel and I am quite certain after this wet bathing suit, puffy jacket extravaganza…the night desk clerk, thinks we are officially insane. So, I helped his exploding head by informing him we are from California and just moved here. First time for snow for us and we are kinda excited. “Why did you move here?” He says. Yes, with his head tilted.…..oy vey.

emma

Snow may be annoying, but there is something annoying everywhere. You know what is kinda California annoying? Tank tops on Christmas day. Fires on tv, because it is too hot to burn one. Hoping already for a white 2014 Christmas.

steaknshake

The trip out here is history. A memory for sure. Didn’t quite go as I imagined. We traveled a bit Clark Griswald style with sick kids and a dog. The weather for the most part was brilliant. The car was not packed like we were going on a road trip, but rather it was packed like “hey, you forgot to pack the espresso machine? put it here by my right arm and let it balance on the big wheel.” I really wish I was kidding.

road trip

We are on our third night of the same hotel now and it has been incredible to unwind a bit. A front row seat in the hot tub viewing the snow, a bedtime buffet, jungle gym’s in the hall. Hotel life has it all and a maid.

hotel

dinner

We are looking forward to finding our permanent home. It has been a challenge for me to chill with everything all over the place. Stretching me for sure.

monkey

 Today was the first day at our new church. In theory it should seem really strange that I attended church in MISSOURI, but it didn’t at all. We were welcomed so emphatically. I am smitten already.

bulletin

It felt normal, snow and all. It was cold. Like …well really nothing like it I can think of. Even now typing this it is 3 degrees outside with a “feels like” -13. You have got to be kidding me. Tomorrow Shawn goes back to work after having him home for six weeks. I have a viewing of a property, have to pick up the dog from the doggie boarders, and move all of our stuff into another location for the next two nights. Alone. Big girl panties on…let’s do this. On the upside by the time I have to be out and about, it should have warmed up to zero degrees.

Wish me luck…

 

Pin It

House Hunting

There are 5,675,439 decisions that need to be made when one moves a family of six across the country. The reason I know this is because we have discussed them all. Every. Single. One. Our new home is a big piece of this and so we decided to drive one of the cars out, leave it in Missouri and then fly home. Hopefully, finding a place to live in between. We had two days booked with our realtor and a number of properties to view that we had picked out online.

map

Whenever we go visit my husband’s family in the northwest, we stop at Taco Time as many times as possible because it is the most ridiculously good, bad for you food, ever. Guess what we found just a few hours into our trip, in the middle of nowhere? Yeah, baby. All decked out in roadside cuteness. The food was delicious, we gained 8.2 pounds in one #4 combo meal, and I reconfirmed my desire to someday be a restaurant decorator…because THAT would be fun.

restaurant

We had a car concert following lunch. It was quite eclectic. Somewhere, in the nothingness of Nevada, Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam came on to which I promptly blurted out…”that’s my jam” because really? I loved the song. It was indeed my jam and because I have always wanted to use that phrase in a sentence and see if I could do it without laughing. WHO ACTUALLY TALKS  LIKE  THAT??? 

nevada

Before leaving home we discussed planning out our road trip. You know figuring out our hotels, etc. I went as far as to bookmark hotels to make reservations, but I just couldn’t do it. Not too often do you get to get in the car and drive for 1800 miles and the rigidness of the “r” word and a confirmation number made me squirm.

We had a “plan” or a desire really, to get to Rock Springs, Wymong on day one because according to the cursor that you can drag across Mapquest, that appeared to be the middle. No reason to make reservations anyway because honestly who in the world would be in Rock Springs, Wyoming on a Monday night at midnight?

coffee

Oh, I will tell you who. EVERYONE. As I jumped out onto the icy streets in my flip flops to multiple hotels, I was repeatedly told they were full. F U L L. Upon further questioning and a very nice clerk at a Hampton Inn, I found out that Rock Springs, Wyoming is apparently usually sold out m-th due to oil workers from Texas. Huh? We were fortunate to find a room we were told after the clerk called around for us. The only room we could find, a suite at the Hilton for $130. I secretly was thrilled that we “had” to suffer through the agony of that exquisitely adorned room and all of its luxuries. I slept like a baby, ate fruit loops for breakfast, and enjoyed my 8 hours of bliss. Lesson learned, maybe.

We pulled into Lees Summit the next day at about 1:30 am. We had a place to stay for a couple nights that the church let us borrow. It was darling. We slept fabulous again and I awoke to the sound of distant thunder. I must of dozed back off and then I re awoke to quite an intense noise, that I didn’t immediately recognize. Once I realized what was going on, I jumped up to watch hail, lightening, and thunder welcome me to that first morning in Missouri. I honestly am looking forward to four seasons. I think it’ll be kinda cool. I like dramatic things.

House Hunting. Day 1.

us

Look at this downtown. I get to live here with all of its adorableness.

I just may have stepped into the fifties.

leessummit

town

We met up with our realtor and were off. At our top choice and our third house of the day to look at, I was done. I fell in love, immediately, with this home. It was as wonderfully eccentric in real life as on the internet. My heart fluttered. One of the bathrooms had an exposed brick wall. That’s all I need. When you add in the claw foot tub I am down right giddy. Looking out the kitchen window you overlook the neighbors big white barn and I vowed to cook a cherry pie immediately after moving in, if we should get this home.

house

We continued on with our realtor, looking at other options, and finding back up homes, all the while discussing the antics of my crazy Greyson. I was trying to explain how the lack of fences in Missouri would just not work out for him, how laundry shoots would become tunnels to climb up, and catwalks in any home is just an opportunity for balance beam practice. If you have been around this blog long or know this boy in real life you will know what I mean. I, in fact, gave birth to my own little Houdini. My realtor even told me after we had been home to say hi to Greyson because he felt like he knew him already.

Day two began with no hail and more charming downtown cuteness as we met up with our new pastor. We chatted some, and prayed some, and he said some of my favorite words ever, “you gotta follow your heart”. And after another day of looking at properties, we went back to the house we loved and did just that. We made an offer.

whistlestop

Our last night in Missouri was spent at a hotel close to the airport. After the Rock Springs incident, I went ahead and made a reservation at this hotel while we were still way back somewhere along i80 in Nebraska. It was a great pick. Inexpensive, clean, and super adorable. We went hot tubbing, swimming, watched Friend’s reruns, signed electronic documents on the house, and so enjoyed the last night of our trip.

holidayinn

We were taken to the airport in a shuttle van early the next morning, with praise music blasting. I am still in shock over that one. However, the real bummer of this trip came when I looked out gate 63 and saw this.

plane

I promptly informed my husband that I had no intention of getting on this plane, as if I had some sort of control over this. I wished for a brief moment I was someone of fame so that I could snap a finger and get a plane that had engines and held more people. They seem better to me.

It was a horrific flight. No joke. Just awful. I made friends with the two stewardess who took turns patting my shoulder and bringing me kleenexes for my tears. Constantly explaining to me the constant turbulence was normal due to the small size of the plane and the fact that I was in the last row and blah, blah, blah. All I knew was this was the second time in a month I was on a plane in the skies of Missouri crying from a mix of hating to fly and overwhelming emotion.

tarmac

We land in Denver and get out of the plane and are told to stand on the Tarmac in the thirty degree weather waiting for our carry ons. It was then confirmed in my head the stupidity of the situation and I made a mental note to always check which aircraft would be taking you, before booking. This propeller deal is so NOT O. K.

sacplease

I happily entered a regular sized plane for the second flight of the day. Calm and content with in air tv and quickly brought back to mild terror when the pilot announced that our flight would be “moderately bumpy”. Words you don’t want to hear. It’s like when a doctor tells you something is going to painful. You just know you are in for it. Indeed, about an hour in, service was discontinued, and as the stewardesses took their seats, I tightened my seat belt as tight as I could for an hour of “moderate turbulence”. Moderate? my. foot. We bounced for an hour. I made good friends with the gal next to me and literally arm and in arm with her and clenching Shawn’s hand we jostled our way into Sacramento airport. I was green and ill and praying to not use the air sick bag and thinking how high maintenance I was. Bleh. No. Fun.

But the trip? I will always remember. I am so grateful for this new beginning. For the ability to purchase a home. For a third get away with my husband in the last couple of months. For all of God’s blessings.

And for the little house in the country that someday soon just might be home.

…what a journey.

Pin It

The List.

I have been trying to blog for a few days now but my head is too full. You know, the “oh look a squirrel” thing…So, I resort to a list. A fancy name for a bunch of random thoughts, in no particular order.

1. This, written by my husband to our church family.

For eight years my family and I have had the honor of serving Impact and being part of this community. I have had the joy of being your Worship Pastor. I have always desired to be right in the center of God’s will for my life. Over the past year the Lord has been working in me, challenging me and, we believe, calling us to trust Him with our future. In light of this, we have come to the decision it is time to step out and  trust God for what is next. We are excited and anxious, but we are confident.  God is leading us this way and we ask for your prayers as we begin this journey. Thank you for allowing me the joy of leading you in worship of our God. It has been one of the most meaningful times of my life.

2. Where we are heading next.

I don’t know. It’s a scary place to be with four little ones. An end date to a salary without a firm date for your new one. Humanly, my brain doesn’t like this. But you know what? I have the raddest friends on the planet. Ever. They’ve offered me shoulders to cry on and their faith to borrow when mine isn’t strong enough. He is leading us on this path and our God is greater. He will take care of us. If we end up in a van down by the river, I shall get a disco ball for the interior.

3. Speaking of my friends.

Oh my word. I tell you my heart was on overload today. Four of my favorite-est girls all came to church this morning to sit by my side as my husband announced to our congregation our upcoming departure. It’s been years since I sat along side these girls all together at the same time and it made me happy me in a way I can’t explain. We group hugged like teenagers because that’s awesome. They are the best. Just. the. best. and I love them like sisters.

girls

4. My God.

He has orchestrated this week in a way that only He can. There are no words to really explain how He does it. He fills the gaps and raises me up and sends me friendly Trader Joe’s workers to tell me I have gorgeous eyes, right after I sat in the parking lot and cried them all out. He places the sales clerk at the curriculum store who tells me, “character training is the most important. Your kids are watching how you handle life. History and geography? That’s the easy stuff. The gravy.”

5. He stretches me.

I have wrestled with deep questions for the last couple of weeks like you do in a time of crisis. It is easy when you have been raised in the church to sing the songs, raise your hands, and nod an amen. But do I mean them?

Where You go, I’ll go. When You move, I’ll move.

Sure I meant that. Because before that meant…my gorgeous house, my comfortable life. I’ll do that. I’ll move when He moves {as long as it’s comfortable}.

Now, it means a lot more. A move out of state? Away from my family and friends? A new surrounding? What if no one likes me? What if my kids don’t connect? What if there are tornados? or no Hobby Lobbys? I mean seriously. A whole bunch of unknowns.

6. God’s got this.

I hear that A LOT these days and while I know that with my head, it is just a reality that- that doesn’t mean I will immediately like what His plan is. Surrender. Faith. Prayer. His will, be my desires. I pray they are one in the same. I pray that no matter what lies ahead in the next year that my faith stays unwavering. That He uses the junk and the fabulous for His glory. That His name be lifted higher.

7. Surrender.

The theme of my life lately. This period I am entering is certainly no different. I just moved to the most gorgeous home ever that felt like home the second I walked through the door. My landlords/friends live next door and my kids reference them as their other grandparents and we love them a lot. Seriously, we just settled.

“God, you couldn’t mean this was just a temporary thing, right”.

sunset

*straight off my phone. can you even imagine the beauty of heaven.

8. Sadness.

The thought of leaving my people here in California makes me crazy sad. Like rip your heart out sad.

8. Excitement.

The thought of putting my family in a u haul and heading East {because West would require a boat} makes me giddy. A great big adventure awaiting. A whole big world out there.

9. Confusing.

How do you feel such intense overwhelming and conflicting emotions at the same time? It is so hard. Our house has suddenly turned into an emotional roller coaster. Five of us are on a different track and the baby is just mostly cute. While there is intense sadness in all of our hearts, there is a seed of excitement that I see in my children that only comes from God.

10. Peace.

Remember that song from a jillion years ago. I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river in my soul. {if you were a church goer in the eighties please remember that you would put your high top up in the air on that last line as to represent the word soul. See what we did there? Soul, sole? The eighties were cool.}

11. The practical.

I haven’t even finished my school room. Should I? School is being reevaluated. Is the higher priced, hands on curriculum, I just started really the right choice for right now? Should I switch? How do I get up and do school when I want to lay in bed and hug my pillow?

12. Integrity

I’ve been reminded just how very much my husband has.

13. The real.

I fed my kid ice cream and pancakes from McDonalds for breakfast. In. rain. boots. And if that wasn’t enough to impress you with my mothering skills, I picked dried cornflakes out of his hair this morning and put him in the car seat for church AND then dropped him off for three services without a diaper bag. And you know what I have learned after four children? Some days…that is enough.

icecream

14. It’s fall.

Somehow this all just seems easier with a pumpkin spice candle burning and my fuzzy leopard slippers on my feet.

15. It’s on.

Mostly I am just inspired right now. Living in that profound state where you just realize how much everything matters. In the depth of my soul I am overwhelmingly grateful for the people we have had the pleasure to meet in this chapter of our life. In the last eight years I have been pushed to my limits on every emotion one possesses. It’s been a time of incredible joys, trials, and growth.

Life is like that.

And we press forward.

Reveal Your heart Lord Jesus, even now.

 

 

 

 

Pin It

God Reads My Blog

I know. It is the most ridiculous title ever, but I couldn’t help myself. When I look over the events of the last week I think back to THIS. I think God musta been like, “uh huh, sweet child of mine, I have different plans.” And boy did He.

“this mama needs to be prepared. I need to start the year with a bouquet of sharpened pencils, new systems, a fresh coat of paint on the craigslist school table and binders…there must be new binders. Cute ones. I need to have a BIG understanding of a BIG picture of the year. I need my lesson planner filled in, my worksheets filed and ready, and my Pinterest boards overflowing with possibilities. It’s how I roll.”

I read that now and think- ha ha. I wrote that. Like last week.

Somewhere around the third day before school was going to start, I came to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t have my list complete. I would have week one complete. September was going to be a month of working hard and prepping for the year. Something that didn’t get done during summer as hoped. It’s o.k. I made my peace with it. It was all going to work. That was plan B. No worries.

We busted out Monday morning. Then came Tuesday.

My hubby woke up with a stomach ache and went off to work. He showed up back at home around lunch and I started to get crabby. NOT much sympathy happening. You see, I get jealous every time my husband gets sick because of the whole, “why don’t mama’s get sick days situation.” I’m not going to lie. It’s a huge weakness of mine. I handle it horribly. I am not completely wretched, but I am no Florence Nightengale either. So Wednesday morning came and that man didn’t leave his bed. We started day three of school out of sorts and my hubby feeling awful. Late afternoon he mentions the pain is on the right side more than anywhere. After a couple days of pain, vomiting, and feeling awful, my inner Florence emerged and as I began the Wednesday night ritual of youth group, soccer, and 4H, I called the dr. on his behalf. Appendicitis being my fear.

The bottom line of the conversation was it did not sound like appendicitis and I should treat him for nausea. The end. SO, I breathed a sigh of relief and continued on. No appt. needed. I woke up Wednesday morning to my husband white as a ghost, doubled over in pain and I just knew that the advice nurse was wrong.

A very high white blood count, heart rate that was two times normal, a fever of almost 104, and an elevated billie rueben count had my heart rate almost double normal as well. My husband NEVER gets sick. EVER. No stitches, no broken bones, no bee stings. As boring as they come. Yet, here we were in the ER, signing consent forms to a surgery where they told us they were unsure of what they would find. Not fun.

The surgeon was the first to inform us that he believed the appendix had burst.

hall

As I stood in the hall, with my husband lying on the bed next to me, the tears started. This was NOT what was on the agenda for this Thursday. I tried every trick I knew to hold them at bay and I just couldn’t. Praise Jesus there were huggers on his surgical team because I needed one. He always provides.

When we were saying our goodbyes right before they wheeled him back, I felt eyes on me. I looked up and peered into the eyes of his surgeon. They were the only thing showing on his face and I wondered if that man comprehends how incredibly life changing his job actually is. In moments like this when he looks and sees intimate moments between a husband and wife, I wonder what goes through his head. I wonder. Because an appendectomy that may indeed be quite routine in the world of the hospital is no where near routine in my world. I leaned down to kiss my husband good bye. I tell him I’m crying because I love him and then he was gone.

hall#2

After 3.5 hours in the waiting room the surgeon emerges and after his report I unclench my teeth and breathe. 5-7 days in the hospital. How much worse it could have been. I am so grateful. Indeed it was a burst appendix. Indeed that advice nurse was wrong. Very wrong.

PEOPLE ARE THEIR BEST IN CRISIS.

I have zero words that would adequately describe how highly I think of those people who say, “what can I do?” or the ones that say, “yes”. We were flooded with both. Those that arrived practically at the crack of dawn with breakfast for me to the ones that arrived late at night with vegetable soup for my husband. To those that cancelled their own plans to help us. It makes me all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it.

snack

*snack time for sad little girls missing their parents. I tell you my parents rock the crisis times like nobody’s buisness. 

My parents took over my house. My kids, my chickens, my dog, my plants, my errands, my dirty bathroom, my laundry, my empty fridge, and my dirty air filters. My husband’s mom is taking round 2 now helping us as we get settled back in at home. We are anticipating a month long recovery. We’ve had food dropped on our door, our gas tanks filled up, our errands done without question, our lawns mowed, our trash taken out, our kids taken on sleepovers, and meals arriving for the next two weeks. We are so blessed.

IT WAS LIKE A VACATION. #butnot

datenight

I have been longing for a vacation. It just hasn’t financially been possible. I have been in prayer about it and perhaps should have been more specific. I stayed with my husband round the clock in room 11545. A room with a view. Sleeping arrangements were a bit poor, but while the world sped on around that hospital tower, we had time, just the two of us. We strolled. Granted there was no beach to look out at but dang it we strolled. My man rocked the hospital gown and grey socks and while we discussed his gangrenous appendix, bodily functions, and how hospital food might actually kill you, I pretended it was a b&b. I will take it. That’s the longest we have been away from the kids ever. We had middle of the night laughs as I relayed those moments of him waking up from surgery and what he did and said. That, my friend, is a good time. There is always a silver lining and I downright mean that.

room

BIG MOMENTS SPIN MY BRAIN INTO OVERDRIVE

I wrote that last week too and boy do they. This one is no exception. Every detail etched in and stored away for safe keeping. I don’t wanna miss something. The big or the small. The frantic mother running into the er with a giant gash across her little daughters face. Oh, that sweet baby girl’s look. It haunts me. The frail woman always walking the halls hooked up to so many things and always alone. What’s her story. The 1st year resident with the worst bedside manner ever. Struggling to find her line between a grown up job and her inner high school valley girl in the cafeteria days, she was stuck in the middle. I wonder how she will do. The miraculous nurses who do this day in and day out. Such caring people. The fact that there is no 9th floor in this hospital. Is that even possible? The bathroom near nurse station one is strangely warm and cozy, yet the bathroom near nurses station three is an ice box. Why is that? And as I sit in the cafeteria eating the most delicious frozen yogurt I’ve ever tasted {weird, right?} I remember back just last year to when I frequented this hospital for a very different reason. Sweet Livy.

ISN’T THIS A BIT OVERDRAMATIC

Probably. I get lots of people have had this done. I understand. However, perhaps we all need to be a bit more dramatic sometimes. Maybe we need to feel deeper and love longer and pray harder and cry freer and hug strangers tighter. I sat moments after they wheeled my husband away on the bathroom floor and I sobbed. I figure the floors of a bathroom have to be extra clean because that is where you are supposed to have breakdowns. I sobbed because I love that man and I hate to see him in pain. I sobbed because of the reality of how many people endure this reality day in and day out, many with different outcomes than mine. I sobbed for the simple truth that I don’t wanna deal with appendicitis. It’s inconvenient and not in our plan and it kinda sucks. I sobbed because I don’t have room on my plate for this. I sobbed because of the what if’s. I sobbed because of how fast life can change. It scares me, sometimes.

goinghome

BACK TO SCHOOL

All the things that were so important to finish before the first day of school pale in comparison now. We start school with devotions. Today’s devotion, I kid you not, read like this…

 In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps. Psalm 16:9

So, I was sitting there with the lamest hair do ever, sweats for the 5th day in a row, tired, like I have a newborn tired, and I read that humans try and get peace by controlling their life. However, we. can. not. We can’t determine if we will be sick or well enough to get out of bed. We put our faith in HIM and HE gives us peace. #jesuscallingforkids

I laugh aloud.

I say to the kids, geez ya think? They giggle too.

I get it. In my humanness, I will forget it again and likely in the very near future. BUT I get it right now.

Oh, my Jesus, you are in control. I can let go and rest in that.

 

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Pin It