Thursday, August 23, 2012

moving thoughts

My calendar I hang on the fridge is a mess.  All my "plans" for the next month are crossed out in big black pen, replaced by new plans.  Like house hunting in Houston.  Or going away dinners with friends.  Or trying to squeeze in that massage Matt got me for my birthday before we leave.

I've officially decided that selling a house with a baby is not easy.  I'm thankful she's still so little that she only makes a small mess in the spot I set her down in, but she's still so little that she takes 2-3 naps during the day.  At least half of which were interrupted or didn't happen due to house showings.  Which makes a cranky baby.  And an exhausted momma.  I probably have spent 10+ hours of my life in the last week driving in circles around town trying to get the wee one to get some sort of nap in the back seat.  But I never turned down a house showing...we just need one buyer.  One.  So come one, come all.  And please buy our house.

We have narrowed down our winter gear supplies.  Did you know that selling snow tires on Craigslist is a headache?  So many tire dealers wanting in on the action...I probably got 5 calls a day about those darn tires.  But those are finally gone.  We also no longer own snow shoes or cross country skis.  Since we won't be needing them in Houston.  We plan on trading them in for pool floats and flip flops.  And I guess we can go ahead and pack up all our below zero gear for another day.  I pulled out my box of summer clothes I stowed away when we moved here.  Oh my pasty white skin may not be ready to be exposed again.

And the food.  I feel like the food part is a tricky aspect of moving.  Trying to eat the food up without actually having a full meal available.  My 20 pound bag of potatoes is slow going.  Creativity is key.  And we are eating a lot of baked fries.  Thankfully we are checking a cooler full of our fish when we fly down, so I can throw in a few freezer items that we can't get rid of this quickly - like Maddie's milk supply and that gigantic bag of cheese I just bought from Costco.

At times I feel like it's not real.  Like I'm just floating through this move.  I know this will not be our last.  But I'm excited for what's to come.  I'm thankful God prepares our hearts for His plan.  Because He is certainly full of surprises.

...and I really hope that part of His plan involves a house with a pool...:)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

See you soon, Mocha

Yesterday Mocha enjoyed her last walk in Alaska.  The weather has been beautiful (such a nice note to end on!) so I've been taking my children - Maddie and Mocha included - on nice long 1+ hour walks.  I look forward to this part of my afternoon each day.
But when we found out we were moving, Matt and I quickly decided it might be easier without a 75 pound pooch running around.  Thankfully my mom graciously offered to take care of her for awhile back in Texas until we get moved on out of here.  Maybe now I won't have to vacuum up dog hairs every few hours or worry about rushing a baby and a large dog out the door for house showings.

Mocha had her good times up here.  Alaska is incredibly dog friendly.  Like the fact that my old job allowed us to bring our dogs to work with us.  Yep.  That's kinda crazy to me.  And maybe not the most productive.  But Mocha enjoyed it on occasion.
She also enjoyed all the hikes.  And we enjoyed it when she slept for days afterwards.
She loved the snow.  Poor thing may never see that again.  I hope she doesn't get heat stroke.  And sorry mom for all the shedding I'm sure is about to ensue.
 Pretty much everywhere we did Mocha.
She is kinda like our first child, although Matt was forced into the relationship.  I like to think she prepared us for parenthood.
Though I'm sure she won't miss this minuscule thing of a back yard.  I'm praying for a large lot next go around.
I was sad to bring her to the airport.  I worry too much about her stress levels while flying.  I actually backed out last minute and made Matt take her.  Goodbyes are terrible, even if they are to a dog.  She's currently in route on her 12 hour flight back to Texas.  I pray that the benadryl worked it's wonder.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Moving with a baby?

This week has been full.  And yet has felt sooo long!  After a couple days when the shock of the move wore off, I got into the mode of let's-get-on-with-this-already!  I feel like I wait around each day for a glimmer of additional information from the relocation people.  Each day I get just a tid bit.  Just enough to keep me hanging.  I'm a planner.  And maybe a little impatient.  If you are going to throw my world upside down, at least let me plan it out.  And quickly.  Goodness.

But I guess in hindsight, we did just find out a week ago we are moving.  

One week.  And I've already made the mental shift.  I guess that's good?

We've cleaned (and cleaned and does this house get so dirty?!), painted the 6 tiny little touch-up spots that each required a different paint color, met with 2 different realtors and put our house on the market, searched relentlessly for a new house via, spent hours on hold with the airlines trying to figure out how to get Mocha back to Texas, returned unopened groceries, sold some winter gear, cleaned off the roof and gutters (apparently I purchased gravel instead of ice melt this winter...and it was clogging up our gutters.  Oops.  This is why I don't make runs to the hardware store.), and dealt with a sick baby.

This is how Maddie feels about leaving Alaska.
It's her new face.  She never fails to make me laugh.

It takes about 100x's longer to do anything with her.  Oh how I took it for granted on our last move when it was just the dog to deal with.  How do people do it with multiple kids?  That stresses me out thinking about it.  Because it'll probably happen to us one day.
We are getting to the age that we like to get into everything.  And somehow she can scoot from one side of the blanket to the other.  And knock over the full humidifier spilling water all over the floor.  In the 10 seconds I'm not looking.  Amazing.

I'm getting a little concerned about the logistics of the move.  It takes at least 6 weeks to get our stuff shipped to Houston.  And that's assuming we find and close on a house by then.  Six weeks without any baby stuff.  No crib.  No bouncer.  No swing.  No high chair.  No baby tub.  This could get tricky.

I did buy her first swim suit.  I cannot wait.  I hope the pools are still open when we get there.  I'm pretty sure Maddie is going to have to run around a naked kid because she's going to be so hot.  It was 70 yesterday and she was sweating on our afternoon walk.  I'm determined to not complain about heat since I've been freezing the past 2 years.  Though realistically we might melt as we transition.
Not to mention her naps.  Those might get tricky with this house on the market.  I hope a lot of them don't have to go uninterrupted.  And house hunting?  How does that happen with a baby in tow?  I guess we are about to see how flexible our little girl really is.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Goodbye Alaska

As of a few days ago, my life has taken an unexpected turn...

...and we are moving!!

Are you shocked?  Me too.

I anticipated this to happen.  But I had fully planned on moving in 2014.  2014.  And not in ONE MONTH!

This is how it went down...
My phone rings Monday morning and I just miss it.  I see it's Matt.  He sometimes calls during his lunch break to see how our day is going.  So I leisurely call him back.
"You got a minute?  I need to talk to you." (that's never a good start) "Actually, you might want to sit down for this..."
I sit down a little nervous.
"How hard have you been praying for warmer weather?  Because it worked - we are moving back to Houston..."

My first thought was, I know we'll move, honey.  In 2 years.  We've talked about this numerous times.

But then it registered he meant now.  Like less than a month.

um, WHAT?!?

First, I actually have not been praying to move back (I became convicted of that and stopped those prayers refocusing on being fully all where I am).  I have finally come to a place where I'm content up here.  I like our house.  I love our friends.  The pace of life.  Sure, it's dreadfully cold all year round, but it finally feels like home.

Second, we have a bucket list going of all I want to do before we move, which is still way too long!  There is no way we can cross everything off in a few weeks.  We had visitors planning their vacations to visit us next summer.  Why didn't they come sooner?  I have a plane ticket to Texas at the end of September.  We bought our tickets for Christmas...and worse, our trip to Hawaii next March!!  I'm supposed to host a baby shower for a friend mid-September.  Oh no, I have to say goodbye to all my friends?!? And make new ones when we move?  All my stockpile from Costco!  How are we going to eat all our food?  Plus, we have an entire freezer FULL of fresh salmon that we cannot finish in a month.  We never even got to go on a halibut charter.  Oh, my garden.  We only got to enjoy it for one summer.

And to top it all off, I just bought new snow boots for this winter!

One month is not enough time!!

So, I slightly freaked out.  Maybe a little.

Then I took a deep breath, my heart stopped racing, got some perspective and calmed down a bit.

I'm excited.  We'll be closer to family.  I've been wanting that.  No more 14+ hour flights back to family.  I won't have to endure another Alaskan winter.  We are actually moving around the perfect time.  End of Alaska summer, start of what-feels-like-Alaska-summer/Texas winter.  We'll get a new house, which is always exciting to redecorate.  We have friends in Houston that we are excited to live life with again.  Oh and our church.  I've missed that amazing church.

I'm thankful.  God has blessed Matt with his job.  Our move to Alaska has been great for his career.  And our move to Houston will be too.  He's excited about his new position.  And being our sole provider, I couldn't ask for more.

I'm sad.  I definitely cried.  I feel like this just became home.  God has given us amazing friendships.  I have to say goodbye to them in just a few short weeks.  Not knowing when we'll see them again.  My home.  I've worked so hard to make it our own.  And now we have to leave it?  We didn't get to do everything we had wanted to do.  And now we probably won't.

I'm fearful.  What if we don't find good friends in Houston?  I know it'll take awhile to feel settled.  Am I ready for that again?  It's going to be weird being new in town, but not really since we already lived there.  What if we can't find a house we like?  What if I'm scared to sleep at night like I was before in Houston?  What if the reintroduction to traffic makes me go crazy?

I'm overwhelmed.  There is so much to do.  I remember when we moved to Alaska, we found out and our house was on the market in 3 days.  We were in Anchorage house hunting 2 weeks later.  And that was a longer time frame than we have this time.  And now we have a baby involved!   The inventory, the organizing, the cleaning, the packing.

But I'm also at peace.  Amazing how I can have all those emotions and still be at peace.  I'm thankful God is in control.  Life is never what I expect it to be.  My plans, as hard as I try to make them, always change.  God calls us to be flexible, right?  I know that this roller coaster of a life is in the palm of God's hand.  He sees the big picture.  And knows what we can handle.

I'm glad I can trust God to lay the path for us as He has every step before.

Because we are moving.  Again.  Here we come Houston.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

another camping excursion

Maddie has come down with a cold.  It's her first sickness.  Poor thing can't breath through her nose.  Matt caught a bug going around at work and our little girl picked it up.  But for being so sick, she's in surprisingly good long as she's being held. :)  As for me, I'm trying to not overreact in the realm of mommy hood.  I think it might be harder on me than it is on her.

But before she came down with this cold, we spent the weekend camping out in Seward.  Our small group from church has been planning this event all summer.  We headed out for two nights (which always seems more worthwhile after spending hours setting everything up) and it allowed us to just relax and have a campfire for the entire 48 hours we were there. I literally don't think the fire went out except for the few hours a night when everyone was sleeping.
Unfortunately, it rained.  Am I surprised?  Not really.  Thankfully the boys set up this tarp contraption that kept us dry.  Made me feel a little redneck.  Amazing what you can get away with in the wilderness.
We loved our camp fire.  It was a balmy 40-50 degrees.  Oh first of August, I never expected you to be so cold.

We actually saw the sun coming into camp (a rare treat), but that quickly changed.  There are mountains over there across the bay.  I promise.
That little dot is Mocha living up her freedom.
 So we stayed bundled and embraced the rain with all our babies.
Dare I say that might be our last camping trip of the summer?  My hope is to squeeze one more in...but we will see.  It's practically fall/winter up here already.

Monday, August 6, 2012

7 months

Maddie is seven months old!  This month both of her bottom middle teeth poked through.  She's getting good at eating solids, loves basically everything so far - especially applesauce.  I'm trying to feed her twice a day now with solids.  But she does not like feeding herself.  Only if it's on a spoon.  She's ladylike like that.  :)

I feel like we go through waves with her sleeping routine.  Sometimes she's awesome at going down right to sleep and will sleep for hours...other days it's all I can do to get her to sleep for 30 minutes at a time.  But I think I'll blame that on the teething.  Now that they have poked through she's much better (give it a week, I'm sure it will change).
She is still so full of joy.  People always comment with "she's such a happy baby!".   Maddie is full of smiles and giggles.  Matt can make her laugh better than anyone.
I'm afraid that crawling might be very soon.  She's learned to roll around to get things and can scoot backwards a bit.  She loves to stand up by herself, usually holding on to our fingers...but here Matt got her leaning by herself long enough for me to snap a photo.  Gotta love that determined face!
She is such a treasure.  I love her beyond any words could express.  God has truly blessed us.