Packing it In

It’s really trippy getting ready to leave a place for good. And, to be honest, it feels pretty awful. Painful, even. Life is pretty consumed by “last” everythings and goodbyes. The closer we get to the actual move, the better I feel because I know we’re closer to hello’s and the thrill of starting everything new.

Blame my long line of pastor blood, but I’m wired for analogy. I can’t help but think of labor & delivery. Because it is a LOT like that. But I’ll spare you of anything more than that reference.

There *is* a story worth telling here, though. Let’s just glimpse at what the last few weeks have brought.

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Our first garage sale! We had our semi-annual community garage sale scheduled for two weeks prior to the move. As annoying as garage sales might be, we couldn’t resist. We had a great turnout. Couldn’t move our extra golf clubs, though. Even with our little Jack Nicklaus [pictured above] offering free demos.

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We listed the house on the market on the Monday following the garage sale. We had a showing that afternoon and an offer from that buyer first thing the following Tuesday morning. Tuesday afternoon, we showed the house to a second buyer and, on Wednesday morning – when we were in the process of volleying counter-offers with the first buyer – the second buyer offered a competing bid.

Our realtor went back to both buyers, let them know that they were in competition, and each had a chance to come back with their “highest and best” offers. We took the better one. The end. House sold!

And… during all of this on Wednesday, our house was still listed – Day 3 on the market – and we had four additional showings that day during the bidding wars! So we camped out at Chick-Fil-A to give our additional interested people some space, even after we had a working contract. A very heady process.

Good stress, but stress just the same!

Above picture shows the boys fighting over remnants of waffle fries, oblivious to it all.

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Last Friday, I said “good-bye” to my friends and work family for good. It was a hard week. I’ve got stories of sweet farewells and final laughs together, but this part was immeasurably difficult.

In the words of Forrest Gump: That’s all I have to say about that.

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Saturday, we celebrated a friend’s recent wedding at her home in McKinney. I got to see Don and Wynn, our long lost worship leader and his wife there. God is amazing. Thank you for connecting us all one last time before we parted for the long term.

As for our extended church family, we got a chance to say farewell at Sunday service. We took both boys to the actual service and soaked in our last time there. More goodbyes…

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Later that afternoon we returned to our shiny new youth building for the Fall Festival. Both boys, again, rocked their costumes. Winnie the Pooh and Tigger (not pictured) may not be the most creative of Halloween costumes, but I really couldn’t think of more fitting caricatures of the boys’ personalities right now.

Oh, bother.

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Meanwhile this past week has been filled with cleaning and sorting our household items into three categories:

  1. Need this week.
  2. Can live without this week, but need in the next 3 months. (To add to the fun, we’ll be in an apartment over Christmas. So we need Christmas decorations and the like.)
  3. Can live without for 3 months.

Quite the process. It makes one turn a discriminating eye to what one actually needs to raise a baby. I’m here to tell you: not much! (Although, to be fair, Reid is getting to be more of a toddler. What?! LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!)

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To spare our sensitive pup from this moving chaos, we had the sweetest offer from someone at Andy’s work to keep Hugo for us over the next few days while the house is being packed. We dropped him off last night and will collect him right before we leave town on Saturday. I was floored by the generosity of that offer. People are so awesome!

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That brings us to today! Today is the first day we have the movers on site to pack us up. Joe and John arrived at 8:30 this morning and have been working nonstop to get this place stowed away securely. Joe and John are my heroes.

We’ll be able to stay here just one more night, but tomorrow they’ll be back to finish the job. Then we will be 100% in boxes.

What about the kids, you ask?

They’re handling things OK so far. Reid is obviously oblivious. Graham was unsettled by the fact that I’d removed his curtains and replaced them with blinds yesterday. Was almost unable to go to sleep because the different look scared him a bit in the dim light.

Tonight, now that his room is entirely packed except for his bed sheets, we have an air mattress ready to put on the floor of our bedroom. Just call it a hunch. 😉

Tomorrow, Halloween, while our house is being finished by the packers, it will be the boys’ last day at school. After school, we’ll don Halloween costumes, trick-or-treat with our friends, The Pratts, then we’ll stay the night at a hotel before loading day Friday.

Friday, the boys and I are going to have a fun day doing nothing of substance. Just fun and being together while Andy supervises the truck-loading process at the house. Friday night, we stay at the hotel again, and Saturday morning, we’ll get Hugo and head our for Kansas City to stay at Grandpa and Grandma’s before heading to our final destination: Wisconsin!

Whew! Raise your hand if you followed all that! Great! Now bend your arm and pat yourself on the back if you’re glad you’re not us right now!!

Thought so. :)

The To-Do List

I’m falling behind on here, and I know it. I’m exhausted. I’ve got too much on my to-do list at all times. Sometimes, when I get a rare moment to sprawl out on the couch and open Facebook, I think about my computer and how the blog goes untouched.

And that’s pretty much all I have the energy to do: think about it.

In the end, I actually think I’m making healthy choices for me and my sanity (contrary to what I’m indicating above). I’m listening to my head and my body and taking time to actually rest instead of pushing through and getting more done. Feels kinda good, actually.

Wanna see my list of things to write about?

  1. A post about our recent cross-Midwest drive. I actually started a draft of it on Sunday night, I think, figuring I’d have time over one of my lunch hours to finish it. Hee. Nope.  That will be coming the soonest.
  2. A post about our visit with family while we were in Illinois. And related post to how we need a much more substantial backyard down here. And also how my son has a steely tolerance for chigger bites that he did NOT inherit from his mother. (“What, those red bumps? Those are supposed to be bothersome and itchy? Huh.”)
  3. Another related post about how I am not able to post ALL the pictures from our visit to Illinois because I apparently forgot everything I know about software angriness that follows updates and decided to just… run all the updates that WordPress suggested, thereby breaking my photo albums page. Again. (And breaking my ability to post from my iPad, as the app no longer works with the new versions of software…) Don’t worry, I had a backup option for the photos that is, I think, more robust and less bratty than what I used to have that I found when I redesigned the site. I’ll get that going, oh, I’m not going to lie to you. It’s going to take a miracle, but I’m trying!
  4. A post about our anniversary and how we chucked all sense out the window and went to a Collective Soul concert on a Sunday night. Very fun. But standing in General Admission always makes me feel WAY older than I am. Even though Andy and I couldn’t for sure spot another couple younger than us (it was Collective Soul, after all). I’m basing the oldness purely on how much I wanted to whine prior to the concert starting. :)
  5. A post about how our beloved worship leader is leaving our church to pastor at another far, far away in TWO WEEKS. Okay, it’s only a couple hours away, but he and his wife have to move, and we have to fill his position somehow. I am sad about this, but am dutifully speaking out loud all the reasons this will be a good thing like everybody else seems to be. I’m selfish, though, so there.
  6.  A post about how Graham started swim lessons this week and how they’re exhausting us both but absolutely delighting at least one of us. (Okay, probably both of us, but definitely not for the same reasons.)
  7. A post about one more thing that I need to talk to my dear husband about before writing, because we need to align on posts such as these before they go out.

Now would be a good time to remind me that Twitter isn’t broken and that, if I’d just update the Daily Catch every once in awhile, you all would [likely] be even somewhat satisfied.

Alrighty – so who’s going to get on that ‘extra hours in the day’ thing? Hmm?

Eat, Pray… Shop

It’s been quite a good week and weekend, folks!

More on the furniture progress: Goodwill came by the house Wednesday to pick up the old kitchen table, and – while the truck was here – we unloaded some other small pieces of furniture, accessories and a few bags of clothes. Nice! Then, on Thursday, our kitchen buffet was delivered. Saturday, Andy and I used naptime to move into the new furniture piece, and I sustained one massive allergy attack from all the dust.

But. Oh my gosh, I have to get a picture to post here, because I love our breakfast nook’s new look so much that I want to squeal like a piglet every time I see it.

I used my work at home day to make dinner to take to a couple of friends who have recently had babies. This meant I had to triple a recipe, which I’m not sure I’ve ever had to do before, but it was pretty fun!

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P.S. After I posted this photo to Instagram, a chef left a tip for me that said if you light a gas burner and chop onions next to it, the flame/heat will kill the onion fumes. No tears! So trying that next time. I’m a pretty efficient chopper, but when it gets to over three onions, I’m done for.

Saturday morning, Andy watched Graham and my friend Sherryl’s son (2 months younger than Graham), so I could head out shopping with Sherryl, her daughter Lauren, and our friend Kendell. We hit up our favorite secondhand store for its semiannual sale. I found a couple of things, including these skater shoes. :)

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This morning at church was Andy’s Shadow Sunday. A couple of months ago, he got linked up as a mentor to one of this year’s confirmands. His confirmand’s name is Dane. Dane is 12, and he just started taking classical guitar lessons. Shadow Sunday is intended to show the confirmands what their mentors’ church ministry is – or, how you volunteer at church. Well, perfect.

This morning, Dane got to sit next to Andy onstage and play during offertory. Actually, two other kids, also shadowing, did the same. So we had an extra keyboard player and a violinist. :)

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Aren’t they cute?

The rest of the day was spent playing trucks, reading books and going to the park.

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Hope you had a good week/weekend, and we’ll see about getting those furniture pics up soon!

In the Studio

Thanks to the wonders of technology, I’m writing this post from the control room of a recording studio. This is my view right now.

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So what on Earth am I doing here, you ask? The contemporary praise band that Andy and I are in is hard at work recording a worship CD. It’s pretty fun stuff, but it sure does take a lot of time to make even a little progress.

Tonight I’m tag-teaming a lead for one of our songs. This was me about an hour ago.

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It may seem like this could be just the steam needed to inflate some egos, but let me assure you – recording your naked voice with a room of people staring at you is a painful lesson in utter humility. Oh dearie, dearie me. :)

I keep joking that I’m going to hand out a complimentary pair of earplugs with each copy. This may need to actually happen, folks.

We’re almost finished with recording the tracks for our first release. Targeting Christmas, but I can assure that we’ll definitely be done by Easter.

Probably.

Maybe. :)

The Church Nursery

Graham’s coming up on the big 0-1, as Brian says, and on the heels of this great milestone comes another: Graham will soon leave the baby room at daycare to move into the toddler room. This will happen sometime in the month of February. Not sure when.

Christina and Lidia, Graham’s teachers at school, are preparing me for the difficult time he’ll likely have in the first few days, given his moderate stranger anxiety. Christina brought up the fact that we go to church and said, “You could start easing him in a bit early by taking him to the church nursery.

Hmm, yes. A completely reasonable suggestion. Except for the tiny niggling fact that Graham likes the church nursery about as much as a cat likes being thrown into a swimming pool. We’ve tried it a few times and have been paged out of church to please come collect our screaming child.

I don’t get it. I do. not. get. it. We don’t coddle the boy. He’s a daycare baby who has exposure to several different caretakers on any given day. He’s had a couple different babysitters. We leave him. He’s fine. He’s fine. But not at church. Bless the people at church, because I’m certain it’s nothing they’re doing wrong. I’ve tried taking him and leaving him quickly. Today, I tried staying in the room. (He broke down as soon as he sat on the floor. Even with me right next to him.) I’ve tried giving them a bottle to give him right away. Today, I tried dumping a mound of Cheerios on the floor, which only bought me enough time to make it out of the door before he realized I was gone. Then the screaming started.

Even the nursery workers are trying different things. Today, they got one of the youth girls who’s babysat for Graham at our house before to try and acclimate him. She told them she’d never seen them that unglued, and then she promptly came and got me out of church saying Graham was having an utter meltdown. Love that girl.

So. I don’t know. Graham’s getting to the age where he wants to get down, crawl and talk during the sermon. I want to keep taking him to the nursery and trying this on one hand. On the other, it’s much less distracting and distressing just to keep him with us during the entire service. Back to the first point: I can’t be swayed by what’s easiest if getting to know other caretakers is what’s best for him. But, I also don’t want to leave G all crying and completely freaked out every Sunday morning either.

What do you do in this situation?!