Sunday, August 31, 2014

This week

This week I've had a mixture of feelings.  I really believe and know that sadness and gratitude can co-exist.  I feel sad and lonely for my friends.  This two hour time difference is hard for me.  I wish I could just pick up the phone whenever I want and call one of my friends but instead we usually have to schedule times to chat.  Also, this week one of my dearest friends moved from Colorado Springs to Las Vegas.  My group of friends got together to say goodbye and it just reminded me of the night they all showed up at my door the last night we were there and how they all stayed until 2 AM.  It was such a sad day for me and having my friends come be with me meant so much to me.  I wish we could all still be there together, not moving away.  But, I was thinking this week about when my mom moved all the time and how they didn't have cell phones and calling long distance cost so much money.  They didn't have texting or email, just snail mail and keeping up with one another was difficult.  I am so thankful that I have the ability to keep up with the people that I love.  

It was a strange thing for me knowing that my friends were all together while we went to a ward activity and tried to make new friends.  I don't really know how to put what I was feeling and thinking into words.  The ward activity was not well attended, which actually, I think was good for us.  It allowed us to talk to a few people and not feel overwhelmed or too awkward.  We had a great time and the boys spent the whole time running around with new friends and laughing and being generally crazy.  The people I've met in this ward are so nice and I'm truly excited to get to know them better and hope to build strong friendships here.  

This probably sounds sad or dramatic but I had this one experience when my family moved when I was younger that was not good and it was pretty damaging to me as a youth and it's nuts to me that here I am as a 34 year old adult having some residual feelings from that time.  I sometimes feel inadequate and question if people here will really want to be my friend and my stomach just twists and turns and I feel those familiar anxious feelings in my stomach.  I kind of hate it.  I have to have those private talks to myself like, "You are a good friend and have so much to offer."  Anyway, that probably sounds pathetic but I think it's about accurate of what I'm feeling right now.  Thankfully, as mentioned, the people here have been so welcoming and nice and I feel so grateful for that.     

Aside from missing my friends it is so hot here this week.  Miserably hot.  I feel sticky and wet the majority of the time I am not in my house.  I keep repeating to myself, just wait until fall and winter.  It will get better.  Bleh.  

Other things that have been happening this week are that the boys have made friends with some boys down the road.  They seem like really nice boys and they invited my boys over for a party on Saturday.  They had so much fun and it really made me so happy to see them making friends.  We have been praying as a family that they boys could build some friendships with some kids that have good values and I feel that they are starting to do that and it makes me very happy.

Mike and I have been working out pretty consistently.  We walk together every other morning for about two to three miles.  Then I come home and do all my knee strengthening exercises.  The days we don't go walking together he goes running and I stay home with Piper and do other strengthening exercises here or Piper and I go for a walk together.  It's been one year since the knee surgery and the doctor told me at a year I could try to add running back in.  I decided to try just a short distance so I jogged (very, very slowly) the distance of four mailboxes.  It didn't hurt at all but I stopped because I was worried about doing too much too soon.  That day my knee hurt something fierce later.  I was pretty disappointed and worried but the next day it felt fine and a few days later I ran those four mailboxes again and didn't have any worse pain and I don't think it hurt as bad either.  That is good.  It's been such a difficult road for me but I'm trying to be positive about it and hopeful that if I'm patient and don't try to force things too quickly things will get better.

We both got callings this week as well.  Mike requested to be the assistant ward clerk.  He was joking when he requested it but also was hopeful about it.  I was embarrassed he put in a request but believe it or not, he was called as the assistant ward clerk.  Lucky boy.  I was called as the Relief Society Enrichment Meeting Coordinator.  I'm kind of feeling nervous about it.  I've never been a part of enrichment so it's a first for me and this ward has such a diverse group of women that it will be fun and interesting.  Wish me luck!  They are having an enrichment meeting this coming month where they are making a video about what makes life good and we all had to send in pictures of us holding signs saying what things make life good for us.  Here is mine:
 We also gave our big, old piano away before we moved.  We decided to get something smaller and less heavy since we move all the time.  The piano was given to us for free so we just returned the favor and passed it on.  This week the new one came and Piper got right to work playing it.  We looked at finding a piano teacher but they are much more expensive here (at least five more dollars if you have multiple kids, more for just one kid) so we have decided that for now, Mike will be their teacher.  They started today and Mike was so patient.  I hope it goes well because it would save us some time and money.


 Also this week, Mike and I painted Piper's room.  This week I'll actually put her pictures up.  I also have the music room mostly how I want it.  It needs some work on the bookshelves but that can come later.  Those pictures are at the very end of this post.

And finally, this week I was talking to Mike about me taking pictures and explaining why I am taking so many lately.  I think it is because I want to be happy and I want to love it here.  I am missing Colorado so much and I don't want that to get in the way of me liking Tennessee.  I know I can like them both and I don't want to compare them but rather, appreciate where I am now.  So I think that having my camera ready to take pictures allows me to see Tennessee with a careful, appreciative eye.  I think that if I take pictures of the interesting things around me it will help me feel more comfortable.  So here are a bunch of pictures I've taken this week while I've been on walks or driving about.  All of these pictures were taken minutes from my house.  These sights are so close to me and it's cool to consider that I live in such a beautiful, green place.


Look at how her hair curls here!







These cemeteries are all over the place.  Most of them are little church cemeteries but some are just small family ones





Mike won't let me go for walks on this road.  He says it's too curvy and dangerous.  He's probably right but it makes me sad.  It would be such a fun walk down this road, right?!

Ignore the phone poles.  They are everywhere.  








Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Piper is adjusting

It's been a month since we left our home in Colorado.  I miss it.  All of it.  My friends, the school, the weather, the house, the ward, the routine, etc.  I can't believe it's been a month.  So much has happened in that month.  I feel like we have just been going and going to try and get our lives settled.  We drove across the country, had a forced (but fun!) family vacation in the mountains, moved into our new house, organized that new house (for the most part), had a baptism, started a new school, and got callings (TBA later).  Mike also started school last week and his schedule so far is not terrible but it is new and we are trying to figure out a new schedule.  We are both holding our breath for when it gets stressful and enjoying the time before that happens.  

Piper is doing ok.  On the whole I believe she is doing amazing but there are little clues here and there that she is still adjusting.  She hasn't had a history of being a good sleeper of course but over the last eight months or so, maybe even longer, she has been doing really well and you wouldn't be able to know she ever had a sleeping issue.  She still is kind of off and on about sleeping at other people's houses (sometimes she does great and others she doesn't) and she still does not believe in sleeping in the car but mostly, when it's time for nap or bed it is fairly easy to get her to sleep.  I just get her blanket, read her a book or two, sing her a song, say her bedtime prayers if it's bedtime, kiss her goodnight and go out of her room.  She goes to bed happy and without any crying at all.  Lately though she is having a really hard time.  She acts as though she is afraid to be left in her room alone.  She keeps pointing to the door and saying, "I wan this" but I cannot figure out what "this" is.  She just cries and cries.  It's so sad.  I'm hoping I can get her room painted soon and her decorations up on her wall so she can have her room feel familiar.  I don't plan on changing much of anything about her room from the room in Colorado.  I am hoping that seeing the mobile again and the light blue wall and the same pictures will help her to feel comfortable and at peace again.  

I feel sad for her really.  She has seen so many changes in her short little life.  If you consider the fact that six months after she was born her daddy left for a few months, then her mom had surgery and random people kept having to get her in and out of bed and bathe her and take care of her, then her beloved dog died, then we move her across the country to a new home, and finally, her buddy Eli who she is used to seeing every single day is suddenly gone at school all day, she really has had to adjust and deal with a lot of little changes.  I love her and she is such a fun, joyful baby and I hope she can adjust to this move quickly.  I am amazed at how well she has done and I hope sleeping will not be a scary thing for her again soon.  

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Moving is a lot of work!

We have been in the house now for just over two weeks.  I feel satisfied with the work we have done.  I've been painting a little more this week and I had contemplated painting Piperleigh's room and even bought the paint but when I woke up this morning I decided I was painted out and would do her room next weekend.  A few people have expressed surprise that we have gotten so focused on painting and projects already but when you move every three years I think your mindset is a little different.  Three years really isn't very long and I don't want to wait until we are about to move to get the house how I want it to be.  There are many rooms and projects that will just need to wait until later but I want to do what I can for now.  Piper's room is a dark blue with one wall being a dark navy blue.  The craft room will need to wait for awhile but it is a dark brown.  The boys room is flat paint so that has be be painted eventually and also my room is flat paint and a yucky peach color so that will be painted at a later date as well.  

I took some pictures of our house--the parts that are coming together already.  They all got posted out of order and I'm too lazy to fix it so hopefully you can put all the pieces together.  I've got my living room, family room and kitchen to show.

Kitchen:  
I have this fun island that has a long pull out drawer.  I already had cutting boards somewhere else so I decided to use it for my large spices.  I have a cupboard spot for the small spices but this worked perfectly for the larger ones.


 Random picture that got posted in the wrong spot:  It's fun that Will can cook himself eggs for breakfast.  He looks so old to me standing there at the stove.
 This picture is perhaps silly but this is the first time we have had a fridge with an ice maker.  It makes us feel spoiled and also increases the cup dishes I wash because the boys are always getting drinks now.
 We also have a round about thingy.  That's fun too.
 Another random picture from the morning:  Isaac got a remote control spider for his birthday and we only just bought some batteries for it.  It has been freaking Piper out and she screams when it gets close but she seems happy to watch it from a distance.  It's the little black blob on the floor.
 Isaac let her use the controller.
 We converted the dining room to a reading/music room.  This morning it was filled with books and this evening it is almost all cleared.  We bought a piano and it is coming on Tuesday and then I'll post some other pictures.  in the meantime, here is a preview.  I'm not sure how I like the layout of the pictures but here is my Laila wall.  I had some of them hanging on a wall in Colorado but I've added some.  I printed off pictures that we have taken of what we feel are little messages from Laila--the heart potato, heart rock, heart from the water at the sprinkler park, the heart leaf, and the rainbow we saw two years ago when we visited the grave on the anniversary of Laila's death.  I have another heart picture stuck on my phone but I can't get it off.
 I had all these flowers from Laila's funeral and I wasn't sure what to do with them or if I should even save them.  I finally decided to buy this shadow box.  I had other plans for them but couldn't make it work so I eventually just put them all in the shadow box.  I'm not sure how I feel about this either but I had no other really good option.  I hung this on the wall as well.
 Living Room:  This room used to be dark red.  I'm not much of a red person so I painted it gray with the help of my brother and his wife.


 Entry way:
 Family Room:  I've never had built-ins and I'm not very good at decorating them.  I've got to find some good pieces to go in there.  This is what I've got so far.  I love the cupboards below the built-ins.
 I made the gallery wall and I was worried about it because I'm a minimalist when it comes to decorating (at least I consider myself to be) and I worried my black frames would make it all just look cluttered to me with the built-ins.  I like the wall and I like the built-ins and I'm not sure if I like them all together.  What do you think?  Too much to distract your eye?
 This empty spot in the corner is the only place that provides space for a bulletin board and calendar.  I'm worried about it getting messy but I'm not sure where else to put it.
 Back to the kitchen:  We don't have fancy counters but I don't mind that!  I've never had fancy counters and I hated the tiles we had in Colorado.
 This spot on the back of the island is going to be a problem.  Piper keeps pulling the cookbooks down to read them.  I think it might drive me crazy before too long.  The metal board on the right of the skinny pantry is our gratitude board.  I need to hang up our paper.  We had it in our house in Colorado upstairs in the hallway but it was just enough out of the way to make us forget to write things down so I hoped having it right here where we can see it regularly we will be better at writing all the things we are grateful for down.
 The house did not have a microwave (I think I mentioned that in the last post) so Mike installed it last week.  It's nice to have one again!


 Garage space:  Mike put up hooks for the boys to put backpacks and jackets but the door.
 He also put up the shelves.  It isn't very organized  yet but it has made a world of difference to have the stuff up off the floor so we have room to get in and out.
 More kitchen:  This is our pantry.  It seems tiny to me after my last pantry.  I have this one, the long skinny cupboard, and the round about.  It is plenty of space but I really liked having the large pantry where I could put all my things together in the same place instead of in three different places around the kitchen.  I like the black door though!

 Living room:  I need to get another landscape picture to put in the middle frame.

Well, that's it for now.  I'm amazed we have so much done downstairs!  The upstairs still needs a lot of work but most of the boxes are empty and put away.  It's feeling good to be in a livable space again instead of living around piles and boxes and such.