Saturday, August 30, 2008

moving day

Two weeks ago today we flew away from very deep roots and our home state. Here is segment one in our journey to the Evergreen State.

Moving Day(s)

The day before our truck came, my brother, sister-in-law, 3 nephews and one niece from Ohio and my sister-in-law and niece from Belding came over to help pack. I seriously would still be packing my kitchen if it wasn't for them.

These are my two 16 year old nieces who when together are inseparable.

That night, friends brought over dinner and we enjoyed hanging out and laughing. A lot. It was a very sweet night.

Friday the truck came at 7:30 a.m. Friends came to help load and brought lunch. My brother and sister-in-law from Tennessee came along with my uncle, cousins and 2nd cousins from Northern Ireland to help us out. Our entire house fit on the front half of the 53 foot semi. Dennis and Karen (the couple who drove the truck) were absolutely amazing. They have been doing this together for 37 years. 37 YEARS!

The van was put on the back of half of the semi via a flat bed tow truck.

There was a lot of laughter during the course of the day. And at the end, a lot of tears. It sure hasn't been easy and I miss my friends so very much.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Today I realized that I am more than likely going to be grocery shopping for 3 kids (no...I'm not pregnant). There were 8 of us at the dinner table tonight. Three parents, us 4 and the little neighbor girl. I think she's going to be over a lot (she's been over a lot so far). I think she's going to be one that we are going to fall in love with. She's going to be going through a lot as her mom starts radiation for breast cancer in a week. I have no clue what her home life is like, but I do know it's different than ours. She still looks at us strange when we pray before a meal. I hope she feels comfortable in our house and enjoys hanging out there. I hope I can let my bubble pop and be stretched outside of my comfort zone. I prayed to live exactly where God wanted us to be. I think there is going to be a lot of growing in this house for all four of us. There already has been.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


this is a quick post as the library closes in an hour and 10 minutes (one more week with no's hard!)

We are slowly getting settled into the house. It took Ed and I (plus our amazing semi driver) 4 1/2 hours to unload the truck. The next morning I woke up to my entire body unhappy at me. But we did it. The piano was last and is all snug in the living room now.

We visited a new church this morning. Electric drum kit. That's all I'm going to say on that one.

I'm still looking for a job. It's a bit difficult with no internet at the house and it's hard to look sitting in the kids section on a little stool with one or both kids asking, "do you have a job yet?"

People here are so friendly. Neighbors came over on the first day to introduce themselves (and pretty much shared their life stories in a matter of 2 minutes). The little 4 year old girl next door (who Alina has now made friends with and brought home the 1st day we were there) informed us yesterday, "I'm going to be gone for awhile as I have to go with my dad to pick up a friend who's getting out of jail." Boy...did we live in a bubble before.

The parents come tomorrow. We found a CHEAP couch/hidabed on Craigslist (LOVE CRAIGSLIST!) that Ed and I will be snoozing on for the next two weeks.

I know how to get to the store, bank, library (which are all within a block of each other) and the airport. The map has become a very good friend.

I have exactly one hour to scour for a job.

Pictures soon. Seriously.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

we're here

It's hard to believe we had family and friends over a week ago today to help pack our house. It seems forever ago, but a lot has happened in the past week! Here's a quick update.

1. We loaded a massive semi (we couldn't have done it in 4 1/2 hours without our amazing friends and family...even from N. Ireland!) on Friday with our entire house. Our driver Dennis, is amazing at packing our entire house into 24 feet. We literally had 1 foot to spare.

2. We said many tearful goodbye's on Friday. I'll be honest and say it sucked saying goodbye. Though it wasn't a goodbye forever. They (and we) know we'll be back really soon.

3. We sent the kids back to Lansing. One with Grandma, one with Uncle John and Aunt Crystal, so Ed and I could walk through the house one more time.

4. We left our house of 4 1/2 years. Locked up nice and snug, ready for the next family who is going to own it.

5. We were back 1/2 an hour later as our realtor stopped by and he couldn't get in as the door knob was acting up. So with the help of our neighbors, we were able to break into our house (all the keys were on the counter) and fix the door knob (thank heavens for that roll of packing tape in the car).

6. We made our way to Lansing, spent the night, visited my dad in the hospital and took off to the airport on Saturday.

7. Flights went smooth, were all on time and all our luggage made it. We finally made it to a hotel that had vacancy after 20 hours of being up/traveling.

8. Our friends we met back in November (who moved here 2 months ago) have graciously given up their bedroom for us so we can have a place to stay until we found a house.

9. We found a house. It's further than where we have been looking, but realized quickly the houses in our price range in the city were in that price range for a reason. Ed will have a short commute, but will be in class only 3 days a week. Sam's school is 15 minutes away in which we will be driving him there.

10. We've spent time downtown, time getting lost (a lot of time...Ed bought a car compass), time at Sam's school, time looking at what felt like a bazillion houses and time at our new place.

11. I'm amazed: that there are Thai restaurants every few blocks, that there is a 2 story Target (that starts on the 3rd floor with an escalator for the grocery carts), that cars actually make it up the hills here without tipping over, how many pine trees there are, how beautiful the city is, that people will carry on a conversation with you even when they don't speak English and don't care that you don't speak their language, that there are palm trees here, that Starbucks charges $10 to use their internet access (even when you buy a drink), and how many organic stores and fresh farm markets there are.

12. Our parents fly in Monday. My dad was released from the hospital this past Tuesday after being in a week and a half and got the O.K. from the doctor to come here next week.

13. We "move" into our house today. More like move into the garage as the carpets are being cleaned tomorrow, so we have to wait until Saturday to move all our furniture in.

14. Pictures will be coming.

Friday, August 08, 2008

reliving the past

In junior high, the one thing that I always wanted (and never did get) was a skate board. Yes, I was a tomboy. Didn't like wearing dresses, loved being outside exploring and riding my bike (complete with a banana seat) over all the jumps that were made on an empty lot, cared very little about style and was a far cry from popular in school.

So when Sam saw a skate board today at a garage sale, we went halfsies. He paid 50 cents, I paid 50 cents. He carried it around to all the other neighborhood sales and even locked his door (when all the other ones were unlocked) so no one would take it. The minute I turned off the car in the driveway, he was running to the garage to don his helmet and biking gloves and started riding. It was hard driving away all the motherly worries of "he's going to fall and break his arm like his friend did. He's going to break wrists. His nose. His knees. He's going to break everything." and just let him be a boy. All I need to do is remember to breath, swallow my heart that jumps to my throat, smile and clap while encouraging. He absolutely loves it.

Who knows, maybe I'll take it for a spin after he goes to bed tonight.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Ed gives great background information here about how we came to the decision of moving.

back to packing...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

biker boy!

This past Saturday a little town next to us had a road bike race around a 3/4 mile loop. Men and women would ride for 40 minutes plus 5 laps (the same loop over and over and over again). There were wipe outs a plenty and standing right on a corner having 30 men whip by you at a high rate of speed tends to make you want to step back. I realized it was something that I would not enjoy doing as racers are mere inches from each other at all times. No thank you.

During the middle of the race there was the Tour de Kids. 4 races were held. The first was for 4 and under and on training wheels. They rode 200 feet of the course. 2nd heat was 4 and 5 year olds. 3rd was 5-7 year old and 4th was 7-9 year olds. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th groups rode one lap of the course.

Sam rode in the 3rd heat of 5-7 year olds. There were about 30 kids racing in this heat. Sam started at the front, but slipped off the pedals at the start and ended up in the back half of the group. We went down to wait before the finish and saw three little guys round the last corner for the last stretch and Sam was one of them. The three finished side by side and he was considered in 2nd place.

He also rode with the 7-9 year olds and finished 10th, but riders 1-9 had bigger wheels on their bikes compared to Sam who had to ride twice as hard to keep up with them.

He was exhausted, but he absolutely loved it! Each kid received a blue ribbon and a free t-shirt. I think we've created a monster and I'm sure there will be more races ahead.