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May 31, 2008

Our last week

So here's the lowdown on our last frenetic week in Oregon.

I can't believe that sentence is past-tense.

Anyway, it was crazy. It all started, of course, with Zach's ridiculous foot injury on Sunday morning. Between that and the fact that the pants I purchased for him at 10:30 p.m. the night before were too small, plus the fact that Tyler decided his church shoes were suddenly, unacceptably tight, our pre-church hours were pretty silly. Zach ended up wearing jeans and I found a pair of clown shoes (aka church shoes that were two sizes too big) for Tyler to wear. I know it's not the end of the world, but not my normal M.O. I had expected to arrive at church feeling rather forlorn about saying good-bye to our tremendous ward family, but instead I had a chaotic morning's adrenaline in my veins. Final hugs still happened and many tears were shed, but church wasn't super gloomy. I was grateful.

On Monday we decided that packing was far enough along that we could enjoy a family outing. Only in Oregon would the zoo be busy on a rainy day. We rented a double stroller since a crutch-wielding six-year-old wouldn't get too far on his feet. The big boys saw the new dinosaur exhibit in style! Also that day, we took advantage of Home Depot's great paint sale and bought eight gallons in various hues for our new place. Although I had previously spent a long time looking at swatches, I'm no longer sure about my color choices. Hmmm....

Zach went to school on Tuesday, so last-minute packing and errands went into overdrive. Tyler vegged out with rented movies. We found out that the dining set we purchased was, in fact, NOT going to arrive in Beaverton before our move. We still tried until the last possible moment to sell our existing set. After school the boys and I met the Hutchings girls for a farewell ice cream date. The Hutchings are moving soon, too, so conversation centered mainly on that. And then we took some crazy pictures in the parking lot. Later Garry and I boxed up the dresser mirror in the master bedroom. It wouldn't fit in the box at first, and I was getting unreasonably frustrated. I could feel all rationality leaking out of my body, but some deep breaths and walking away for a minute grounded me again. No reason to have a panic attack over a mirror, right? Late that night, Garry's sister, Heidi, flew into town. She and Garry stayed up until two a.m. just talking on the couch.

Wednesday was Garry's last day at Wells Fargo. He said it was a little sad, but not too dramatic. He'll still work with most of the people...just over the phone instead of in person. My day included a delightful lunch with Natalie and her boys at Burgerville. We had to defend our boys' honor to a strange lady who called them horrible; they were being really good! Anyway, that was fun. Then we went to the dentist. Zach needs to do a better job brushing and brace himself (ha ha) for orthodontics in the future, but both boys were still cavity-free. I spent 20 minutes waiting for copies of their dental records to take with us, but I forgot to request my own. Duh! Next up was a play date for the big boys with Casey. I packed like a mad woman. Garry met Heidi and I for an early dinner out. I couldn't believe how quiet/enjoyable it was with just a baby at the table! After Zach and Ty got home, they took quick showers before we tucked them into their beds for the last time in Oregon. That's when we discovered that Tyler had a funky rash all over his back, chest, and upper arms. Chicken pox? Eczema? Hives? Whatever...we put him to bed. And then I went out with Krista for pie. Notice the trend? Food+friends happened a lot this week! It was great! We chatted at her house until I was delirious with fatigue, but it was super fun.

And then came Thursday. I took this photo of all my cute boys in bed at 6:30 a.m. when everyone got up. You can see how thrilled Garry is at that time of day! We were expecting the movers at 8:00, and I immediately regretted sleeping in until 6:30. I was pretty overwhelmed with all the last-minute packing that had to be done - linens and electronics and taking down beds...it seemed like too much for one morning. But of course we made it, and I even held onto my sanity. Zach went to school at 8:00. I took Tyler with me to Gavin's six-month well-check at 9:30 to get an opinion on his rash. Gavin weighed 21 pounds 15 ounces, was in perfect health, and got shots. He showed off his tricks of blowing loud raspberries, rocking on his hands and knees (he's soooo on the cusp of crawling), and rolling over. Dr. Nash thought Tyler had hives. Don't know what from, but since he wasn't contagious, he and Gavin both went to the Williams' house for a few hours.

In Garry's world, he met the movers at our storage unit at 8:00 a.m. They were stunned that we fit so much in an 8'x10' space. Brent, the moving guy in charge, immediately began to question the accuracy of our weight estimate, which was 10,000 pounds. Many phone calls later, we confirmed that we would only be billed for the binding estimate of 10,000 pounds, and that any overages would be charged to the person who estimated our weight by taking an inventory of our belongings. That segment of the day was pretty stressful. Other than that, however, the movers were fantastic. Wow -- they made our job super, super easy. I was relieved to see how carefully they handled all of our furniture, especially the piano. One mover noticed how many boxes in the garage were labeled "food," and he asked if we were Mormons. I had to laugh at that because even though it's true, we have very little food storage!

Deborah Jackson, our Realtor, came over at 3:00, just as the movers pulled away with all of our belongings. That was an emotional moment for me, as was putting the "sold" sticker on our "for sale" sign in the front yard. The finality of it all began to sink in, and it took a while for me to collect myself. I'll always remember those feelings when I look back on these pictures.

Our kids were taken care of all day long by many good friends. They spent time with the Williams, the Lymans, the Carrolls, the Talbots, and the Platts -- and had a fabulous time. I heard afterward that Zach and Ty were both a little crazy and emotional, so I'm especially grateful for the friends who fed and cared for them on such a difficult day. Zach and Ty returned to the house after Gavin was asleep, and in their excitement to explore all of the empty bedrooms, woke him up. Jennifer Rao, our friend and neighbor, came to the rescue and took Gavin for the rest of the evening. What a lifesaver!

Another group of lifesavers showed up to help clean. To Evelyn, Natalie, Krista, Angie, and Julie: thank you!!! Closing out that monumental day with you meant so much. And I never, ever, would have gotten all of that cleaning done without you!

Friday, May 30 was a day I never thought would come, but come it did. I didn't sleep more than a couple of hours on Thursday night, so I was pretty groggy when it was time to get up. The boys, however, slept on as Garry and I set about loading the cars, gathering our electronics, and taking down air mattresses, portable cribs, and the like. I chuckled to myself as I put phones, an internet router, and the DSL modem in a box with toilet paper, plastic dishes, and hand soap. These are the essentials at our house!

Both the van and our car were packed like sardines. The kids were super excited and Heidi (Garry's sister) was anxious to hit the road. Once I was certain we had everything out of the house, I took all my keys off the ring and left them on the counter with our garage door opener. I didn't allow myself a final walk-through. Too hard. Closing the door was bad enough. I did insist on a family photo in front of the house. (The close-up appears at the top of this post.) I'm glad to have it.

Garry and I decided to say a quick prayer in the car before we drove off. Just as I began, Zach yelled,"I'm hungry already!" from the back seat. I couldn't help but laugh through the tears.

And then we drove away. My eyes were glued to the scenery, taking everything in for the last time. We waved at the church and the gas station, our friends' houses and streets, the duck pond, Target...and then the forest that lines the freeway just before the tunnel, and then downtown Portland with its rivers and bridges, and OMSI...everything until we left the state. We passed the sign indicating the state line and suddenly I wanted a picture of it. We took a little detour, looped back, and got the photo.

We had a long day in the car, but new toys and a steady stream of DVDs made it pretty bearable. Gavin had some fussy times, but Garry and I took turns sitting next to him. The company helped. During the drive, we found out that the sale of our home recorded, meaning the title transferred and the sale was official. We also heard from the moving company that our total weight was 13, 480 pounds, but because of our binding estimate, we wouldn't have to pay for the overage. We also enjoyed stopping in Jerome, Idaho to visit my grandparents, who my children have affectionately dubbed "Grandma and Grandpa Idaho." They were nice enough to save dinner for us even though we didn't arrive until 7:30 p.m.

Finally, we pressed on to Provo, our home until next week. We stumbled into Garry's dad's condo at 12:30 a.m., so grateful for comfortable beds. This will be a good transition space while we prepare ourselves for what's ahead! Hopefully we can have some fun, too.
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