Sunday, July 28, 2013

How it's going

It all feels surreal.  The last time I wrote on this blog, I was sitting on the couch in our house in Puyallup.  Now I am sitting on the same couch in a different house, different city, different state!  We have been here a month and I am very relieved to say that it has been an easier transition than I had envisioned so far.  (The fact that family and friends have already been here to visit has definitely helped!)  There are so many things that I have been wanting to share, so many stories of amazing people who have impacted our life along the way.

It was a crazy, whirlwind of a few months for sure.  Packing and cleaning and traveling to California for releases and walk throughs and signing paperwork.  Looking back, I'm not sure how I did it... and I definitely wouldn't want to do it again.  ;)  I think it's those times when you need people the most, when you feel like you are drowning, that you open your eyes and you realize people in your life are reaching out a hand and gently pulling you up out of the whirlpool that you are caught in.  And you are so grateful... so so very grateful... and you know you couldn't make it without those people by your side.

There was one point, a few days before the moving trucks were going to arrive, when it looked like way less people than we hoped were going to be able to help us load all of our things onto the truck.   I remember sitting at our dining room table with Adam across from me and I knew he could read the overwhelmed and worried look in my eyes.  Feeling helpless, I asked him, "What are we going to do?"  His face didn't fluctuate and he said with confidence, "We pray and we watch how God works it out... because I know He will."  Meanwhile, my friend called the small group we were in a few years ago and without any hesitation, they said they would be there.  In that moment, there was hope again.

People did show up that day.  People who we knew from church.  People who we hardly knew from church.  People who brought their husbands, brothers, friends, and sons.  People whose teenage girls volunteered to watch our children.  People who gave up a beautiful, sunny day to help us.  People who served and worked hard and were a prayer come true for us.  It was so humbling.  At the end of the day, when everything was loaded onto the truck, Adam and I were sitting on the floor in our empty living room.  Everything was quiet and after processing everything that happened, we both became overwhelmed with gratitude and tears were streaming down our faces.  Not only had our lives been impacted that day, but we couldn't help but examine ourselves.  How often had we given up a day for someone we hardly know? How often are we going out of our way to work and serve and help and love on people?  In the following days, people continued to help us paint, clean, bring coffee and donuts, and pack up the last things.  Every little gesture meant the world to us and made us feel even more passionate and motivated to pay it forward.

Thanks to Adam's parents and good friend (who drove our cars down), we were able to fly down to Valencia with our kiddos.  We were REALLY thankful that we didn't have to drive.  First of all, because we were exhausted.  Second of all, because we would've had to drive straight there in order to meet the moving truck... and honestly, we just didn't want to be in a car with four kiddos for eighteen hours.  Adam's family helped us unpack the truck in record time (and record heat!!), paint bedrooms, carry a refrigerator that we found on craigslist down a huge flight of stairs, build all the beds for our kiddos, carry our washer and dryer upstairs and set it up, put up shelves in our garage... it was amazing.  A few days later though, everybody left and we were on our own.

Since then, we have been trying to have a good balance of settling into our house and enjoying the summer as a family.  Adam has to commute back to Seattle until August 1 so that has been a challenge... he is really looking forward to being based out of LA.  I surprised my niece with tickets to Taylor Swift for Christmas and just found out that Adam was able to get those days off, so I am super excited to fly up north (by myself!) at the end of August.  The boys start school on August 14th and before we know it, we will have a whole new schedule to get used to.  We are taking it one day, one week, one month at a time.  There are nights when I feel like everything is going to be okay and nights where my heart is aching because I miss my family and friends.  One night in particular though, Adam and I were talking and he looked into my eyes and said, "I really like it here.  It's crazy because I fly all around the world... and there is no place I would rather be than here."

I went to the same church tonight that we went to as a family back in October.  Now, nine months later, this church is moving into a new building just weeks after our family moved here.  So the pastor started speaking about change and I immediately got goosebumps.  It felt like he was talking right to me.  He was saying that when you experience change, there are times when you need to have selective amnesia.  You can't always be looking backward or you won't be able to experience everything that God has for you now. That God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him.  That you will always be able to find something negative if you are looking for it, so it is far better to stay focused on the things that are positive.  I know that I have always had the tendency to look backward, so I have intentionally been trying to be thankful for what I have and where God has me.  I am thankful we have a pool that we can walk to.  I am thankful to have found an outdoor swim team that my boys can be part of.  I am thankful that we have a church that we are hoping to call home.  I am thankful that I prayed and prayed for one friend and God answered my prayer with someone right across the street.  I am thankful for our cul de sac where our kids can ride bikes and eat popsicles and play tag with other kids their age.  I am thankful that we are a drive away from the beach, which is hands down my favorite place to be. I am thankful that I am learning how to get around and that the roads are waffle shaped, so there never seems to be traffic.  I am thankful that one of my dearest friends lives a little over an hour away and I have already seen her four times since we've moved here.  I am thankful that my friends back home are constantly checking in and making me feel loved, even though I am so far away.  I am thankful that our kids seem to be adjusting well so far.  I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but I think perspective is really important at this point... and I think we are going to be okay.  :)

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Fourth of July

It was tough to think of spending Fourth of July anywhere else but at our in-laws, because we love our tradition of being up on the channel so much on this holiday!  However, this also seemed next to impossible since we had JUST moved.  Thankfully, my friend who also lives in Southern California invited us to spend the Fourth of July with her!  
Her house has a beautiful backyard with a trampoline, playhouse, and lots of fun things to do!

The kiddos playing a Dance Party playstation game

Ella LOVED this wiggle car!  (I think we'll get her one for her birthday... shhhh.  ;)

Sharing with daddy :)

Breaking out the parachute


The boys took turns choosing and setting out the fireworks out

Happy Fourth!