April 2012 archive

Adventures of Moving

I must say that it feels quite good to be on the other side of this move. While I like my “things”, I found myself suddenly thinking that owning them was over-rated. If we were the type of people to stay in one place, say for more than 3 years, maybe I would think differently. But when you watch 4 strong grown men shove 2 HUGE armoires through a small opening, or when you empty the contents of a 2 car garage into a one car garage, only to realize that half of it won’t fit unless you unpack the garage and start all over, all the “things” become just that. Rad and I made a pack that because this house that we have moved into is significantly smaller, we WILL purge the things that we don’t need. It has already begun and I am really proud of our progress.

So how did the move go you ask? The night before we moved, our neighbors threw us a going away party and invited our block. It was SO much fun to be together as neighbors. We felt quite honored. After mingling and hugs, Rad and I were headed to the new house to clean it a bit and get some things done. Our sweet neighbors, the Colemans, begged us to take our kids for the night. And by night that included bathing them, feeding them and putting them down to sleep at their house. Let’s just say that was the icing on the cake for Gress. He loves those 5 kids and they love him and Mcree. Rad and I got home late and it felt really weird to be home with no kids. And, we found out there was a random shooting one block over. Nothing like going out with a bang. (Brought back deja vu memories from our Hosea Williams House Atlanta days).

Rad and I originally thought we could move a lot of stuff ourselves. Thankfully our stubbornness didn’t win because it basically took a village to move us. Rad was planning on going to pick up some latin workers that morning of our move. He trial ran it the day before to make sure where he was going to get them was legit. He showed up the day before at 6:45am and there were only 2 guys. He was pretty worried and in prayer most of the 40 minute drive back home that God would provide for that situation. Then 2 hours later a cleaning lady showed up at our house that was hired by the new owners to give an estimate of how much it would be to clean(another HUGE blessing that I wouldn’t have to clean that house one bit). She was the most pleasant (Latin) woman and loved on our kids. We found out she was a Christian which was a bonus and we asked her if she knew of anyone that could help us move. She said her husband and 2 sons would be at our house at 8:00am in the morning. WOW. Answered prayer for sure. It took 3 guys, plus Rad plus we had various other guys throughout the day, and one babysitter to get us moved. 9 hours later almost everything was in the new house, except for the garage contents that would have to be repacked the next day. There was still miscellaneous items and the fridge contents and some more garage items at the old house that were left but all in all we got the majority of it moved Friday. And on Saturday the farmer and Rad got the rest of the old house packed and unpacked and into our house. I also had so many women throughout the last few days helping me unpack, move furniture, organize my closets and dressers, decorate, iron bedding, set up my guest room for my long time friend Nicole who arrives tonight, and clean. THANK YOU Eny, Abbie, Melissa, Kasie, Amanda, Katherine, Ellie, Rachel, Steve, Andy, Cory and Randall. Thank you Melissa for feeding us homemade soup, amazing cookies, and homemade fresh picked blackberry pie. For those of you that know I don’t like pie, well I do now! It only took me 30+ years.

It wasn’t easy, and as I sit here now in a 90% unpacked and decorated house, I am quite exhausted. It was an experience for sure. I now know where Mcree’s secret paci stashes are, I hope to never see my 1 year old sucking on my razor ever again (yes the one I shave with), or have him squirt the bleach bottle all over himself multiple times, or hear your husband say, “we have our first casualty” only to realize he is talking about your kid’s prized fish and then hearing him confess to Gress that it was his fault they were dead.  There were moments of chaos, even with a numbered excel spreadsheet of the entire contents of each box we owned. You just can’t plan for craziness.

Do I feel at home? Yes I do. I like this house more than I thought I would. It is my no means perfect, or new, but it is comfortable and the most important things I have (Rad, Gress and Mcree) are here with me.

Gress has had several friends come to entertain him (which is perfect) and Mcree loves his playroom and even found the dress up bin and an old garbage can and proceeded to wear it on his head, stare in the mirror and laugh. We are all feeling quite at home. Thanks for being with us on the journey. Hoping to not do it again in 6 months but you never know.

Busy boys

It is hard to keep these little guys busy with the majority of their toys packed up. Luckily we have found alternatives to toys. I was inspired to make the boys (ok really Gress) a sensory bin. Basically it is a bin filled with a theme of items. This one was a garden bin with bugs, flowers, tractors and more. See for yourself. There has been lots of green rice on the floor and I am sure in Mera’s stomach. When Mcree gets involved, there is usually things flying all over the place and the lack of safety of him sitting on the table or standing in the chair. I can usually get a good 20 minutes of packing in when this comes out. 🙂

Gress and Mcree’s buddies Savannah and Isaiah added to their family just recently and now have a new baby sister. We went to the park to let the kids play and take a couple of photos. I love watching Gress and Savannah play. They are great together. And we loved getting to meet sweet little Ellie!

And PLEASE let the Easter candy go away! Pretty sure we knocked out the peeps in one sitting!

1 Week and Counting

1 week from today I will be sleeping in a new house…with new sounds and new neighbors. I think since we moved to Savannah, I haven’t really thought beyond this house. Since I usually can’t remember what I did the day before, and I seem to have my hands full in each moment, I never fully get to sit and daydream about what my tomorrows will look like. I don’t know what to expect. I know it will be different. And right now different is okay.

I do hope in this next season that I will have some realizations that result in change. For one I hope that I can declutter and downsize our current load of “stuff.” And by downsize I mean donate, throw away and get rid of without replacing it with something else. I can only light so many candles, the boys can only play with so many toys, and I can only stuff so much junk in the attic without the floor falling through. Secondly, I hope to refine our “style” and make our home more us. Still working out what “us” looks and feels like. Third, I want to DO things that we LOVE. I can hear the water calling me just by saying that. And dare I say that because I love music I want to finally learn to play the guitar, and I might just bust out my painting supplies. WATCH OUT!

Although sometimes change is uncomfortable, it stretches the other parts of me, reminding me what it feels like to branch out. I haven’t felt that in awhile. I couldn’t sleep last night so here I am in the wee hours of the morning adding to the blog…I was reading many things but came across Ann Voskamp’s blog (she wrote the book 1,000 Gifts) and she said this statement that described what I was saying in so many ways:

The essence of creativity is essentially risk, believing enough to leap into the yet unseen. The theological terms for this is faith.

The only trees that ever grow tall keep relentlessly stretching into unknown territory.

I will sadly miss our neighbors. Our sidewalk bike rides brought our neighbors out in the evenings to mingle and to watch the kids get out their last bits of energy. The sweet Coleman Family loves on my boys and I will miss Gress running toward them and them running with open arms toward him. I will miss watching Gress play with them and there being no age barriers.

Gress was just 2 when we moved here and Mcree wasn’t even around. I found this photo just before we left Atlanta…Gress’ buddy Luke had come to say goodbye. Gress had no idea what to expect then and he really has no idea now. He knows we are moving to to a new house and he says he hopes he gets to sleep upstairs. (I’m pretty sure he knows there is no upstairs). He knows he will miss the neighbors too. But luckily, Savannah is a small town and we can visit often.

Not sure how many blog posts I will get in during the next weeks. Sure wish you were here to help carry a box, or several. And sure wish I was still doing crossfit so Rad and I could move this furniture like the pros. But since neither of those are true, I may be more tired that usual in the week to come.

Looking forward to catching up with you on the other side of this adventure!

Weekly happenings…

Update…we have found a place to live. THANK YOU LORD! We are moving 10 blocks away and signing a 6 month lease tomorrow. It is much smaller than what we live in right now. And I have to secretly admit that I am excited about that challenge. As I was packing things up, I kept asking myself if I really did need all these things. Well, they are packed now and many won’t be seen until we reach our final destination in 6 months or a year, wherever that may be. More details to come as the move begins in about 1 1/2 weeks.

While the packing has been ongoing, we have tried to fit in moments of fun. One day last week we went to the mall to see the chick hatchery. While Mcree was grabbing and pulling to try and climb into the chicks home, Gress was sweetly holding a baby chick who was falling asleep in his hands. Gress now wants a baby chick. Oh boy. At the hatchery, they gave plastic eggs with coupons in them for a free kids meal at Chick Fil A. Go see baby chicks and then go eat them. Oh the irony! Good thing the farm has educated Gress all about that.

Speaking of the farm, we have so missed our visits there. With sick kids, a sick farmer, and lots of other things to keep up away, we feel lucky to see the farmers on their Saturday visits to bring our vegetables to the park. Each week many families show up to pick up their share of vegetables. These veggies are AMAZING and it has been fun to cook new things. Here are the cabbages we got this week. Cabbage rolls anyone?

Just another fun photo to share. Gress and I went to get Mcree who had just woken up from a nap. Sometimes when you go get Mcree, he throws himself back down and pretends to go back to sleep. This day Gress climbed in his crib and cuddled with him.

And here are some photos from our egg hunt. Mcree was only interested in eating what was in the first few eggs. He loved the jelly beans the most. That’s my boy. Gress loved finding all of his eggs. He was so thoughtful to share his loot with his parents who loved all the sweets!

And here are the boys just this morning with their Easter baskets. Gress asked me how the Easter Bunny got in the house. I almost told him there was no Easter Bunny but felt I had to consult Rad first. Gress didn’t even wait for me to answer before asking me if I left a key under the mat for him. Hehe. He didn’t ask again so luckily I think I have another year to find the correct answer.

Happy Easter

I love my boys dressed up! Although Gress was sure that only babies wear these vests and when I told him lots of people do, like men and golfers and he started crying telling me he didn’t want to be a golfer and people would make fun of him. He quickly got over that….especially when I told him he was lucky to have clothes. 🙂 Such a parent comment. After Rad telling him how handsome he looked, he now thinks so too! Off to church! Hope you have a great day celebrating our savior!!

Friends….and what matters…

A friend once told me that I seemed to show up when there was crisis but was pretty vacant as a friend most other times.  At that moment, I was pretty caught off guard and really had to evaluate if that was the case in all of my friendships. I realized then that I had many different kids of friendships. Some people got all of me, and some got only parts of me. No doubt though, there are a handful of friends in my life I would pretty much stop my life for and be by their side to walk with them in their struggles. I realize now that God graced me with that gift. He magnified that gift in me when I worked in the Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. He taught me so many life skills I have used since that time. Last night was no exception.

I knew that the farmer has been sick and was not getting better. But I didn’t expect a call that Melissa would be driving him to the ER in Savannah because he was getting worse. So last night, I got to sit next to my friend. I haven’t known Melissa that long but I feel I have known her for years. We share the same sense of humor and we laugh out loud most of our time together. We just “get each other, ” something so rare in friendships. I am amazed by her humbleness, her gentle spirit, and her total reliance on God. I have so much to learn from her. I sat with her and Andy in the ER last and into the wee hours of the morning today, only for him to leave and still have no diagnosis, nor much recovery. Frustrating. And so hard to see friends hurting. My hourly prayers are for his healing. Gress stops and asks to pray for the farmer too. He prayed that he would heal fast as a bullet. Sweet boy.

So with 3 hours of sleep last night, breakfast to feed tired and weary farmers, medicine to get for my husband who has sinus gunk going on, 2 little boys pining for my attention, way too many errands to run today….at 1pm I was ready for 2 little boys and one tired mama to take a nap. But remember, the house we live in sold and there is much to be done to make it perfect for the new purchasers. So, the bathroom refinisher, who was supposed to be done well before naps, was just getting started laying toxic apoxy in the sink and bathtub. And then, 3+ more hours to paint and sand and paint and go crazy with some horrible smelling chemical. I refused to go into the house with kids. So, I sat in my beach chair (grumbling for the first hour) in the backyard while they played. As I watched their faces get redder and redder, out came the water buckets and I let them play their hearts out. I had to stand up at one point so I wouldn’t fall asleep with Mcree sitting in a bucket or water (especially the bucket with the photo of the drowning child on it). I didn’t pack. I didn’t find a place to live (although we did search), and I didn’t check a single thing off the to do list. I am starting to see a trend here that is not helping the ball move forward. Luckily, tomorrow is a new day.

I won’t lie. I am crabby, tired, overwhelmed, indifferent, and just done. Tonight Gress gave me a hug and I had to apologize for all of those behaviors. He just gave me a big kiss and said mom, “maybe tomorrow you can just play with me.” Really puts things into perspective that relationships matter….this other stuff doesn’t.

Changed Perspective

Remember why I moved here? I ask myself that a lot during moments of being overwhelmed. I moved here to be closer to the water…the beach…the wide open landscape, where I can sit all day and be free from any worry that is overcoming me. Last night, Rad and I attended the wedding of one of our dear babysitters. It was so intimate and sweet and while the couple were saying their vows, Rad repeated after them to me…”for better OR for worse” Emily. I am so thankful to have had so many “betters” in our marriage. So many things to reposition my thinking…like this moment right now. I will one day be on the other side, and the other side always gives you a different perspective. I can’t wait to look back and see how we have grown from it.

We got home last night and when I walked into my bedroom I was quickly reminded of all the packing I had left undone that day. You could not walk into our room or sit on any square inch of the bed. I was annoyed and so very done with packing and moving. I looked at Rad and told him I was done with it all. This morning he looked at me and told me I should go to the beach and get a fresh perspective on it all. The thought of packing it all up, dragging it out to the beach was a bit much but I did it anyway. I almost cried when I drove over the bridge and saw the water. That was all it took. We moved to Savannah to grow, to give our kids experiences they couldn’t get where we once lived. We moved here to be on the water and raise kids that love the water. We didn’t move here to stay where we are right now. We knew this time was coming. Yes, we needed a push. So we are moving on… hopefully closer to that dream. For a moment I thought we were going backwards or sideways, but I feel we are right where we are supposed to be.

Thankful for a changed perspective!

Here we go Rad….it’s going to be another adventure! Let’s make it memorable!

Congrats Mary Cameron and Will. We hope your life together is a crazy fun adventure!