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Jun 30, 2008

The Twenty Year Tag

I've been tagged by Clodhopper.

20 years ago I:
1. Was nine years old.
2. Lived in American Fork, Utah.
3. Was enjoying summer break after fourth grade.
4. Met my neighbor's niece who was visiting for the summer (we still keep in touch).
5. Was going through a really ornery phase.
6. Had piano lessons at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesdays.
7. Discovered the joy of recreational reading.

10 years ago I:
1. Was 19 years old.
2. Had been married for three weeks to the love of my life!
3. Returned from our honeymoon to live in Logandale, NV for the summer.
4. Was unemployed.
5. Looked forward to returning to BYU for my junior year.
6. Was four days away from crashing a riding lawnmower into a ditch.
7. Started scrapbooking.


5 years ago I:
1. Was 24 years old.
2. Lived in Beaverton, OR.
3. Was mother to 20-month-old Zachary.
4. Had just completed the Newport Marathon.
5. Found out I was pregnant with Tyler during the above (a big "aha!" moment).
6. Was serving as a counselor in the Primary presidency.
7. Really wished our house had air conditioning.

3 years ago I:
1. Was 26 years old.
2. Lived in Beaverton, OR.
3. Spent a day at girls' camp as a Young Women leader.
4. Started a memorable two-week trip to Utah.
5. Put Garry on a plane for a conference in Washington, DC.
6. Endured a phase of life chock-full of little-boy messes and tantrums.
7. Was forming what became my deepest Beaverton friendships.


So far this year I:
1. Had my "last" birthday.
2. Have watched my baby double his body weight.
3. Endured having a house on the market.
4. Sold a house.
5. Bought a house.
6. Ran a half marathon.
7. Said some hard good-byes.
8. Moved to a new state.
9. Made some new friends.
10. Celebrated my tenth wedding anniversary.

Yesterday I:
1. Started my new pianist calling at church.
2. Got a nap.
3. Went for a lovely after-dinner walk with the family.
4. Read the July
Ensign cover-to-cover.
5. Found out our ward's youth might come over and make our yard a service project.
6. Fell asleep in bed rather than on the couch.

Today I will:
1. Finally start running again (check).
2. Add photos to this (check).
3. Celebrate Gavin's seven-month birthday.
4. Take the boys to swimming lessons.
5. Install baby gates.
6. Reinstate scripture study with the boys.
7. Hold Family Home Evening.
8. Possibly start putting brick around the front planter bed.

Tomorrow I will:
1. Take the boys to swimming lessons.
2. That's as much as I know.

In the next year I will:
1. Become comfortable in my new surroundings.
2. Celebrate Gavin's first birthday.
3. Enjoy being home alone with Gavin three mornings a week.
4. Turn thirty.
5. Appreciate the driveable distance between our house and the grandparents' homes.
6. Hopefully visit Beaverton.
7. Return to my pre-Zachary weight (am I shallow or what?).
8. Have adventures I can't imagine!

I tag: Yellow Watermelon, Yin, Jenny in Highland, April in Mesa, Kari in Beaverton, Dr. T, and Nature Nat.

Jun 29, 2008

Online

Click here to read "Samaritan with a Screwdriver" online! (See Friday's post to find out why.)

Jun 28, 2008

My kind of Saturday

I always feel good at the end of a Saturday when my muscles ache from exertion and I can see the fruits of my labors. Today it was satisfying to throw some effort in the yard instead of the house.

We purchased a play structure online this week (hooray!) and it will be delivered between July 10 and July15. That means we only have a couple of weeks to clear a spot for it, so we dove into the project today. This project is actually a bunch of interdependent projects.

This is the future home of the play structure. The bricks around the gardens (on the left and right) are going to the front of the house to create a raised bed by the porch. The playhouse needs to disappear, hopefully via Craigslist customers. The pavers around the play house are going on the opposite side of the yard to make a little patio under the tree.

I spent a lot of time weeding this garden plot. The boys helped a little, too.

Zach was mostly interested in digging. But he and Tyler also enjoyed filling the wheelbarrow with the big rocks that surrounded the play house.

We pulled out all the weeds but left a couple of lavender plants and a patch of strawberry plants in the ground. I'm not sure if the strawberries will transplant well. Any thoughts??

This is what the front yard looked like this morning...

...and when we were done. Shoveling and hauling that rock was a lot of work, but I am so excited about the prospect of colorful flowers!

This lovely specimen is a dog run. We posted an ad on Craigslist that offered the dog run for free to the first person who would take it apart and haul it away. The poor guy who showed up this morning got a bigger job than he bargained for! The posts were cemented into the ground, the chain link fence sunk 18 inches below the surface, and the roots of our large tree were intertwined with the chain link. He put in a full day getting that thing out. Garry and Brother Mills, a member of our bishopric, helped him the last hour or so.

Another one of our projects was pulling out the hideous shrubbery that lined the dog run. This photo documents our rather creative system for uprooting the stubborn shrubs. We anchored a strap to the roots and I leveraged my weight in one direction while Garry shoveled from the other side. Because the strap cut into my hips, I used couch pillows to cushion myself. We (I) looked ridiculous, but the system was pretty effective, especially once we started using tree trimming shears to cut the shrub roots.

Now we have a big, open spot in the corner of the yard. I'm looking forward to the possibilities here.



Our labors were interspersed with many a wheelbarrow ride.

Gavin was an absolute gem today. He played and swung and crawled around on a blanket and napped and played and swung and crawled...all very contentedly unless he was hungry. A quick nursing session and he was good to go for a few more hours. What a peach.

Today I also took a break and signed up the big boys for fall soccer. We coordinated with a few new friends so we might be able to be on the same teams. Garry assembled our new wheelbarrow and made a trip to Home Depot this afternoon, too.

A couple came over this morning to purchase and haul away the dog house that was inside the dog run. That proved to be a bear of a project all by itself. The dog house was massive and heavy and awkward. It took four adults and a wheelbarrow to maneuver that thing out of our backyard and into their trailer. The good news is that the same couple really wants the playhouse, too, and they might have the means to haul it away. We're crossing our fingers!

Oh, and that bishopric member I mentioned? He came over at 3:00 to extend me a church calling. Any guesses? For the fourth time, I've been called as the pianist for the Primary (the children's organization). I guess I'll be participating in the Children's Sacrament Meeting Program as the pianist in Colorado Springs rather than the chorister in Beaverton. Anyway, when he came over and saw how much yard work we were doing, he offered to come back and help out a little later. We took him up on his offer! What a nice guy.

And so ends another eventful Saturday at the Bartle house. I'm going to iron our church clothes and then sack out on the couch!

Jun 27, 2008

A moment for the middle child

Dearest Tyler.

Our four-year-old has been a little crazy lately.

While we understand that so much upheaval in our recent family history might call for a few outbursts here and there, Tyler's life sometimes seems to be one long, loud outburst.

As a result, Tyler has spent a LOT of time doing what we call "writing consequences." When he is particularly mean and nasty (or when he physically assaults someone -- usually Zachary), Tyler has to copy scriptures and sentences that pertain to his infraction. He copied the same scripture on contention about six times before I changed things up and printed out a few new scriptures to copy. The writing consequence concept is a great one for our family because it allows children and adults time to cool off after a heated moment and provides the perfect segue into a "what could have happened differently" conversation.


On to more pleasant subjects! Tyler had a fabulous experience in his swimming class. He was one of two kids in his class, so he basically got two weeks of private lessons. He is learning the front crawl and back crawl, but of course his favorite part of each class is jumping into the water and diving for rings.


We went to the library on Wednesday afternoon and happened upon a story and craft time in progress. Tyler was especially excited to listen to the animated story-teller. When craft time came, Tyler was also enthusiastic about the projects. He made a butterfly from a coffee filter and watercolors, created an insect from a construction paper "I," and then meticulously colored and cut out a turtle and his lily pad. He definitely could add "attention to detail" to his resume.


This is a frequent sight these days: Tyler sacked out in a weird location at an awkward time of day. Just being Tyler is an exhausting occupation!

Published

In March of 2005, our family had a special experience that I turned into an article submission for the Ensign, a magazine for adults in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. About a year ago the article was selected for publication, and earlier this year I found out it would be in the magazine's July issue. That issue hit my mailbox (and millions of others around the world, I imagine) today, and it was fun to read about little Zach, think about our special ward family in Beaverton, and see my name in print!

So for those of you who subscribe to the
Ensign, turn to page 70 and read "Samaritan with a Screwdriver." For those of you who don't have access to a copy of the magazine, I'll post a link to the article as soon as it is available online, which I assume will be
July 1.

Thanks for reading!

Jun 26, 2008

Doors!


Maybe it's odd to blog about doors, but I'm just so excited about them!

For three weeks we've lived with nary a door on a basement room, but that phase is officially behind us. No longer will we have to announce our need for bathroom privacy or worry that a precariously-leaning piece of wood will fall down and flatten a child. Doors are hung 'round the door frames with care...and I'm giddy with glee.

The door project spawned a host of other little fix-its, like hanging the boys' bedroom blinds, installing a support brace on a closet shelf, securing our ghetto garage step, and cleaning up miscellaneous tools and screws that have cluttered the basement since The Great Painting Project began.

Earlier this week we cleaned out the window wells. This lovely project involved removing a gopher carcass, various food wrappers, water balloons, and yard debris, plus smoothing out the hills and valleys created by another gopher. Other efforts included purging office files (I whittled four boxes down to one and a half), hanging stuff on walls downstairs, cleaning out a junk drawer, fixing the jogging stroller, and, for the first time, vacuuming, mopping, and cleaning bathrooms. I feel like a giant pencil in my brain is making check marks and it's very satisfying.

Jun 25, 2008

Snapshots from Zach's world

Zach is in his second week of swimming lessons. He is having a great time and learning...a little. I'm not thrilled with the quality of instruction or the pool itself, but the swimming is great exercise and we all have something to look forward to every day.

At home, Zach enjoys completing daily tasks on the job chart. I categorized them as you see in the picture and Zach seems to derive great satisfaction from placing each card in the "done" bag. He must be like his mama!


One of Zach's daily jobs is to read for half an hour. He has started reading "Magic Tree House" chapter books all on his own. I'm thrilled with his progress.


Rub-a-dub-dub, three boys in the tub! Not much cleaning went on during this bath, but the boys all had fun splashing around with each other.


Our backyard is a work in progress, but we're glad to have this funny swing set. Zach can swing super high and do tricks on the bar, but he'll only play for so long before looking for a friend to entertain him.


Sometimes Zach's daily act of service (also from the job chart) is keeping Gavin happy. Zach found a way to swing along with his brother -- pretty funny!


I am constantly amazed at how Zach can turn ANYTHING (even a benign stack of clean cups straight from the dishwasher) into a gun, sword, or other weapon. Garry reassures me that this is part of raising boys, but I don't understand it at all!

Perhaps Zach will find sympathy from the huge crop of boys in our ward. We got together with a few families on Monday and Tuesday for fun and play. On Tuesday there were four moms and 13 boys! Can you imagine all that testosterone in five or ten years? I'm just glad Zach is making some friends. He needs them as much as I do.

Newsflash!!!

Gavin slept through the night!!!!

11 hours straight!!!!

WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Jun 22, 2008

Random photos of the week

We won't win any photography awards with these candid shots, but they all make me laugh.

This morning we all (finally) tried out the foot bath and bubbles I got for my birthday (thanks, sibs!). The boys especially enjoyed the effervescence.


Gavin likes to eat, but he's not crazy about all the baby food flavors. Surprisingly, applesauce is icky and green beans are great! He was tired during this meal and started rubbing his eyes...the clean factor went downhill from there.


And finally, Tyler got cold (what????) during dinner and wrapped up in a blanket. Shortly afterward, it was his turn during "Don't Eat Pete" (our Family Home Evening game), and he fell asleep waiting.

Jun 20, 2008

Sleep talker

I thought a bit of humor would be nice to offset the drama of my last post.


Last night I fell asleep on the couch. Around 11:00 I woke up and had the following incoherent conversation with Garry (he transcribed it after the fact).

Heidi: “The Bare-en-soft is dorsal.”

Garry: “Huh?”

Heidi: “You know, the bear is soft….no the bear….no the…..it’s asleep (pointing to my arm).”

Garry: “You mean your arm is asleep (laughing…..more laughing)?”

Heidi: “Yes. Stop laughing! You know…the bear……never mind.”

Garry: More laughing.

Heidi: “What is so funny about that?! You know it’s happened several times in the last week. The window is missing and I turn to the bear and the fridge is gone. You know….I turn to the bear and the fridge is gone. What’s weird about that?”

Garry: Laughing hysterically….He tries his best to not wake the big boys, who are sleeping in the next room (and we have no doors).

Heidi: (Getting more and more frustrated...) “What is so funny?! Stop laughing!”

Garry: At this point he had to get up and walk away because he couldn't stop laughing and I was getting more and more angry that he was laughing. I was obviously totally out of it but there was no way he could make me understand that.

Then, suddenly, I got up and went to bed. End of conversation!

Jun 19, 2008

Comforted

When I was in high school, I was a tad melancholy; I could definitely be a "doom and gloom" sort of girl. I had a friend who always tried to lift my spirits by passing me notes inscribed with scripture references. At the time, I found this rather annoying; it seemed a rather "holier than thou" sort of practice. But because he was my best friend and had the most excellent of intentions, I looked up the scriptures and invariably felt better. Some of those scriptures have become my favorites, and the passages pop into my head on days like today when I need a lift.

For background, I'll just say that I'm homesick for my former life and neighborhood and friends. The reality of moving away has hit and I'm sad. It's not that I don't think a good life can be built here, but after a whopping two weeks, I'm not exactly calling my new digs "home." In fact, I can't seem to break the habit of dialing a 503 area code every time I pick up the phone. I take off my shoes every time I walk inside the house (a true Portlander habit). And last time I bought gas, I actually sat in the car and waited for an attendant to fill up my car. I felt a little sheepish when I remembered that pumping gas is my job now.

Some other things we're all getting used to:
  • wearing sunscreen every day
  • hydrating 24/7
  • leaving the windows open to ventilate the house (no a/c!)
  • using a gas-powered oven and stove
  • having Albertson's be the best place to buy groceries
  • waking up to the sun streaming in our window at 4:30 a.m.
  • having different swimming lesson instructors
  • hearing our voices reverberate off the wood floors and high ceilings upstairs
  • finding a layer of yellow pine pollen on every surface imaginable
  • paying sales tax
Individually, none of these things is very important. Even collectively, they amount to small nuisances that shouldn't be a big deal. But to me, right now, they are a big deal, and I'm struggling with the foreign nature of just about everything I do.

Now for the scripture that won't leave my brain.

The reference is found in the Book of Mormon. Alma chapter 26 verse 27 reads:

"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success."

The scripture describes a group of missionaries who were called to preach among their enemies. They were discouraged and didn't want to go, but the Lord richly blessed them for their obedient efforts. The last few days I have definitely felt depressed, and I have wished to turn back the hands of time six months so that today I wouldn't feel so lonely and uprooted. But I have been comforted, too, as I have thought about how patience and success might work in my life the way it did for Ammon and his missionary companions.

Alma 26 concludes with a statement that I know, deep in my soul, is true today:

"Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth."

That's a wonderfully reassuring thought.

Jun 17, 2008

Research & Development

The boys and I are on a mission to form a park-going play group for what's left of the Colorado summer. If I don't make some friends soon I just might go crazy.

So I printed out a map and we spent the last two afternoons checking out the green spaces. The boys have had a blast with all this park-hopping. I'm making notes of directions, amenities, and playtime potential so I can put together a flyer to pass around at church. People who know me are probably thinking, "Yup, I figured she'd do that!" I'm willing to do a little leg work to set up some social interaction for me and the kids. It's better than sitting around, waiting for someone to discover me.

The best part so far (besides feeling in control of my social destiny) has been introducing Gavin to the swings. Oh, how he loves the swings! He squeals and giggles for a while, and then he stares at the chains suspending the swing like he's trying to figure out the mechanism providing such glorious entertainment.

In other Gavin news, he is enjoying his first forays into solid foods and sippy cups. Biter biscuits and sweet potatoes are the latest delicacies. We might try something green tonight. He can sort of work the sippy cup, so that's progress, too.

But perhaps the most exciting news is that Gavin cut his first tooth! I had no idea until Garry told me about it this afternoon. Apparently Gavin grabbed Garry's finger and chomped down, so Garry investigated the sharp something in there. Anyway, it's the middle one on the bottom left, and it came about a month sooner than I expected. Perhaps this is why I haven't had a decent night's rest for a while...

Jun 16, 2008

Welcome to our home

I thought a video tour of our new place would be fun, so here you go.

Our most heartfelt thanks go out to:

Aunt Heidi for her tireless painting efforts, her great attitude, and her oh-so-steady hand.

Aunt Holly for being a jack-of-all trades (in between text messages, that is).

Granny for unpacking, organizing, baby holding, box flattening, cleaning, picture hanging, laughing, and supporting.

Garry for putting together the bunk beds, the crib, the electronics, the microwave, the dining table, the electrical outlets, and my muddled brain.

Tony for finding us the house.

And John and Sharon for selling it to us!

Without further ado...

video

Jun 15, 2008

Adjustments

Real Life began today. All our help is gone. The house is basically organized. Tomorrow ought to be a "normal" day...whatever that means...with Garry at work and me at home with the kids.

So far, the adjustment process is going pretty well.

Zachary loves having a big yard to run around in and neighbor children to play with. He is constantly in motion, getting filthy and sunburned and exhausted in the process. I can tell we need to establish new boundaries and expectations for play time with friends, though. The neighbors are eight and ten, and they've lived here forever, so they have lots of freedom and don't need parental supervision to play in the cul-de-sac. I'm so used to watching Zach's every move outdoors (or having structured play dates with friends I know and trust) that I'm not sure how much to let go and how much to hold on. Zach and I have already had some battles on this issue, but hopefully time will smooth things out for us. Zach was excited to see one of the kids from his church class when we went out to dinner on Friday night. He seems very well-adjusted at church and for that I am so grateful. I was so worried about his social transition, but it looks like my fears were misplaced.

Tyler has been in seventh heaven here. We now have a game closet and more space for the boys' toys, so Ty has been rediscovering tons of games, toys, and activities that have either been in storage for six months or crammed in a place he couldn't access in our old house. He has been puttering around every day, doing a little of this and a little of that, perfectly content to operate solo for hours. He and Zach still have regular conflicts, but that's usually because Zach interrupts his activities. Tyler has also enjoyed the outdoors. He keeps asking me if he can climb the trees, but he can't seem to get down by himself.

Gavin had a few rough days when we first got here, but he has settled down into his usual happy self. Having his own bed to sleep in is probably a factor; since he got his own room back he's napping a lot better and happier when he's awake. While we were in Provo he learned to roll from tummy to back, so now he can do the full revolution. Gavin also does push-ups on hands and toes, rocks like a madman on hands and knees, scoots backwards and in circles, and occasionally lurches forward. Last week we introduced him to rice cereal and water in a sippy cup, and tonight he tasted sweet potatoes for the first time. He has eagerly embraced baby food; I think this step was long overdue. Gavin seems to love eating at the table with the family. The strap on the booster seat we have b-a-r-e-l-y reaches around his chubby tummy, though!

The whole family is struggling to adjust to the Colorado Springs altitude and the incredibly dry weather here. The boys have all had eczema outbreaks, and it's all we can do to lather them with hydrocortisone cream and Eucerin lotion twice a day. We're all carrying water bottles and lip balm around, trying to hydrate as much as we can, but I still find I have a headache most of the time. I've heard it takes several weeks to several months to fully acclimate, especially for us sea-level folk. I'm hoping it's more like a few weeks, since I'm itching to exercise. I hope my lungs can hack it!

We attended church again today, this time without the crutch of visiting family members. The ward really seems great. People are very friendly, lots of activities are coming up, and there seem to be a number of young families that have good-friend potential. The key word there is "potential." As I sat in Relief Society today, feeling very much like the awkward new girl, I had to remind myself that friendships take time and effort to create. Lots of time and effort.

However, I'm no longer the newest girl in the ward. Another young family moved in on Wednesday, and guess what? They have three boys, ages six, four, and nine months. Maybe we can adjust to this place together.

To Garry on Father's Day

Thanks for being so patient, loving, and helpful on your special day, even when

the gifts weren't perfect,
the over-easy eggs were more like over-nasty,
the kids were hard at church,
I had to have a nap,
your dinner was a high-altitude cooking experiment,
and the house was super hot.


You are the best and I'll love you forever!!

Love,
me

Jun 13, 2008

Greetings, Mr. Gopher

A gopher has taken up residence in one of our window wells. I'm not super happy about it.


The boys discovered the creature while we were loading boxes into the crawl space. At first we thought he was a little mouse. I assumed he had fallen through the grate covering the well. I was concerned he would starve to death so I began imagining various rescue missions for the poor little soul.

And then I saw the tunnels.

We most certainly do not have a mouse in our window well. We have a destructive, fast-working pocket gopher who seems determined to tunnel to China through the sandy earth surrounding a certain house on Begonia Terrace. He chewed a big hole in the window screen and made three tunnels into/out of the window well. Watching him work was equal parts fascinating and disgusting. It made my skin crawl to think about breeding gophers living outside the walls of my house.

And so, with Holly for company, I ventured to Home Depot for a gopher trap. We came home with The Giant Destroyer -- The Super Gasser. It's basically a smoke bomb for gopher holes. So Garry has a job on Saturday ('cause he's got nothing else on his honey-do list).

I'll keep you posted.

Jun 11, 2008

Progress

So....we've done a lot of unpacking.

A lot.


Anyone need some boxes?

Jun 10, 2008

Ten years


Today Garry and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. Ten years! Wow. Ten years ago we didn't quite picture the events of today when we thought about this momentous occasion. Garry started working at Wells Fargo today. I unpacked boxes with my mom and sister, had a visit with the Relief Society president of our new ward, set up a service call for our non-functional washing machine, introduced Gavin to rice cereal, and dealt with an extremely ornery and maladjusted six-year-old who yelled some rather hateful things from his brand-new and totally disorganized bedroom.

Not exactly the most romantic day in the world.

Garry and I tried to make up for that with dinner at a cute little Italian bistro in Palmer Lake (about 20 minutes from here). After swapping the day's war stories, we reminisced about our ten years together and all the funny twists and turns those years have brought us.

June 1998
Married in the Mesa, Arizona Temple. Moved to Logandale, Nevada for the summer. Garry worked at Nevada Power. I was unemployed. We lived with his parents.

June 1999
Lived with my family in Mesa, Arizona while Garry completed an internship with HSA, Inc. Lots of hot rides in a truck with no a/c. Food storage salesmanship failures for me (what was I thinking when I took that job???). Garry was accepted to the Marriott School of Business at BYU and I took two independent study classes.

June 2000
Lived in Wymount Terrace in Provo, Utah. Garry was a full-time student and Teacher's Assistant. He was accepted to the Master of Information Systems Management program that month. I had graduated a month before in Health Sciences and was an intern for the Utah Department of Health. We were pining away for a baby that wouldn't come.

June 2001
Still in Provo, still at Wymount...but not for long. I was five months pregnant with Zach and worked as an office manager for Wavetronix. Garry had declined an internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Denver because we needed the insurance from my job. My brother got married two days before our anniversary.

June 2002
Lived in Greenbrier at Tanasbourne apartments in Beaverton, Oregon. Garry started working for Research Data Design in Portland following the several months of unemployment that followed his graduation. I was a content mama to eight-month-old Zachary, enjoying the adventures of living in a new place. (Hmmm...sound familiar?)

June 2003
We had been Beaverton homeowners for nine months. Garry was still with RDD. Zach was 20 months old. I had just completed the Newport Marathon and couldn't figure out why I had been so sick during the race. Surprise! Tyler was on the way.

June 2004
We put air conditioning in the house on Tesoro Court. Bliss. Garry made a career move to Wells Fargo and got summoned to grand jury service during his first week on the job. I was pretty busy with crazy 2 1/2-year-old Zachary and 4-month-old Tyler.

June 2005
Life with two rambunctious boys was even crazier than the year before (at least according to The Bartle Bulletin...we had to look it up to remember)! Garry was still with Wells, we were still on Tesoro Ct. Life was good, but busy.

June 2006
Zach was 4 1/2, Tyler was 2. Life was way more about the kids than about us. Garry traveled at bit for Wells Fargo that month. I was pretty sick and didn't know why; a million tests later the official diagnosis was "stress."

June 2007
I was so morning sick (three months along with Gavin) that we were thrilled I kept my dinner down on our anniversary date. I still managed to teach 12 piano students a week. Garry was two months into a job change at Wells Fargo, but we were still loving life in Beaverton and our little house on Tesoro Court. We thought we'd grow old there. Zach graduated from preschool that month and Tyler couldn't wait to start in September.

June 2008
New house, new city, new state! Gavin is six months old. Tyler is four. Zachary is six and a half. Garry kept his job with Wells Fargo; I lost my piano students and can't decide whether to resume teaching. We've had a warm welcome into our neighborhood and ward, but the future is still uncertain.

I wonder what the next ten years will hold!

Jun 9, 2008

Too. Tired. For. Pictures....

The movers delivered the goods today. Crazy, emotional, tiring. Glad it's over.

Some of the highlights:
  • The guys trying to move in our armoire without realizing it was packed full of boxes (we didn't do that -- they did!); one of the movers almost getting smashed flat in the process
  • Zachary greeting his bicycle like it was a long lost friend
  • The boys playing with the neighbor kids like they've known each other for years
  • Finding out that the washing machine doesn't work very well
  • Boxes stacked higher than my mom in the kitchen
  • Unpacking every one of those boxes and organizing the kitchen
  • Gavin acting extra sad and needy all day (not to mention the night before...)
  • Nearly collapsing of heart failure when the piano didn't play correctly after delivery/assembly
  • Breathing The Hugest Sigh of Relief Ever when Mr. Mover Guy fixed it
  • Having yummy dinner delivered by our nearest Mormon neighbors
  • Garry feeling defeated when he can't figure out an electrical problem downstairs
  • Aunt Heidi painting all hours of the night
  • All of us feeling ecstatic that the boys' bedroom, the family room, and the office are all completely painted (and look fabulous)
  • Playing "Don't Eat Pete" for FHE until all the jelly beans were gone
  • Making our bed and putting clothes in the dresser
  • Watching "The Office" before bed like we have nothing better to do
That's our day in a nutshell. How was yours?

Jun 8, 2008

Sun Devils

Dear Uncle Ryan,

We LOVE the ASU football jerseys you sent for us! Maybe we'll be Sun Devils like you someday.

Love,

Zachary, Tyler, and Gavin

Jun 7, 2008

Colorado

It's a good thing Sunday is a day of rest because boy -- we are all exhausted! Between traveling, unpacking, keeping up with the boys, and painting, we've had early mornings, late nights, and long days. The really busy part hasn't even started yet; the movers come with our belongings tomorrow morning.

Let me back up a bit.

Since my last post our little family has traveled into unknown territory! Up until Wednesday we were in vacation mode, doing familiar things in familiar places with familiar people. Even though my brain knew we were in the process of moving, reality didn't hit until recently.

Like when we drove over the Colorado border.

There have been other reality checks, too, and a couple of emotional breakdowns, but for now there are happy things to occupy my brain.

We arrived in Colorado Springs on Wednesday evening. Wednesday was a long day in the car (I'm still not used to how frequently we have to stop and long each stop has to take), but at least the Colorado portion of I-170 was beautiful. The ski resort towns were especially gorgeous.

The Harvey family welcomed us again, and we were so grateful to crash with them for two nights. On Thursday morning our family toured our new house for the last time before closing. We had to delay closing a bit so we could get our down payment cashiers check, and after getting a little lost in the driving rain (yes, rain!!), we made it to our signing appointment. Everything went well there, although we were surprised that our home's former owner was present at closing. He told us so much about the house and neighborhood. That part was great. We got keys and a garage door opener right then and there...it was all so surreal!

Kym and I later took all of our seven kids to the library, where we signed up for the summer reading program and I got a library card. Garry went to work for a bit to take care of security stuff and produce a monthly report. We had a lazy afternoon and evening.

On Friday morning at 10:00 we got the call we'd been waiting for -- the house was ours and we could take possession! I was so happy at that moment. I didn't realize until we got here how much I needed my own space. It felt so good to finally be in the house and start to make it our own.

After unloading cars (wow...we packed so much in them!), Aunt Heidi got to work on painting downstairs. We decided to paint trim, doors, and ceilings in addition to the walls, and since everything was wood (well, not the ceilings), it needed to be primed. Amazingly, Heidi finished all the priming Friday night. We also decided to spray paint the brass fixtures to match the more modern ones upstairs. We are taking advantage of our time in the house without furniture!!

It was my job to entertain the kids Friday, so we explored some of the walking paths and two nearby parks. That was great. We also found a grocery store and stocked up on foods we can bake in the oven -- our only heating apparatus -- with no preparation, since we don't have pots and pans. I figure that's cheaper and maybe a little more healthy than eating out.

Saturday brought more painting, as well as more family. The boys and I picked up my mom and sister, Holly, from the Springs airport. We are thrilled to have them here for a week. Gavin, especially, will thrive on the attention. We are definitely missing our baby gear, but a teenage aunt and a Granny will probably do the trick! Holly has been great at entertaining. We sent her to the park and to the movies with the big boys.

Then, after the boys all went to sleep, the real fun started...we all stayed up until 2:00 painting downstairs. We won't be done before the movers come, but we have made amazing progress! We might get up early on Monday to finish a few more areas, but then the focus will shift to unpacking for most of us.

Today brings another adventure: attending our new ward. A ward member knocked on our door Friday to introduce herself, so apparently our church records transferred and the ward is expecting us. We've already met several friendly neighbors and even borrowed a few things from them! It won't be long before we are happily situated.

That said, I'm really starting to miss my Oregon family! Thanks for all the emails, phone calls, and blog updates. Love to you all!

pass it on!

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