Hello my friends. I meant to send out something on Monday but it has been a very long and exhausting several days. So here it is Thursday and I've not been in contact with anyone, even on facebook--not a great start to this long-distance friendships thing... (sigh). So here goes an attempt to make it up a bit.
Sunday we said good-bye to our house as a family and sent the kids ahead to AZ with the grandparents so we could focus on loading the trucks, painting and cleaning.
Here's our final family moment at 123 S Grand:
We really did enjoy our life in that little duplex and worked hard to make it our home. Some highlights were the garden, the huge sandbox for the girls, eating out on the patio, girls/guys nights, homegroup, family dance parties in the front room, and how quiet and safe it was in the midst of an otherwise loud and (ahem) questionable neighborhood. In this little duplex we went from two to five and learned a gazillion lessons about life, friendship, family, innovation... the list can go on forever. It was our little sanctuary.
Sunday night was a HUGE success thanks to so many of our close friends. Argh, Sandra, I'm crying. I am blown away by how many people love us enough to scrub our toilets, walls and floors then linger so long we have to actually kick them out. Anyone else not want that night to end? Anyway, we spent a miserable night on the floor of our room in sleeping bags then got up early and had one last walk to the donut shop on the corner for coffee and a donut--something we used to do often.
Monday's road trip to AZ was fine. No major incidents and we were blessed to have our friend Jake come along and drive one of the moving trucks so that we didn't have to go back for anything. Seriously, Jake is amazing. Not only did he help us pack the truck, clean the house, drive to AZ and then unload everything--he also took the midnight Amtrak back to CA just in time to go straight to work. I know there is nothing special we have ever done to be blessed with friends like this but we are so thankful and hope that each of you are always surrounded by people as amazing as you have been to us.
Tuesday Jared woke up very sick and slept a full 24hrs. A friend of the family had come over to help us unload and he also put the girls' new bunk bed together so I have gotten a good chunk of their room set up and it is starting to feel homey in there. I have found that despite our best efforts we are missing several boxes. Later this week I will get to dig through storage for the first of what is bound to be many, many times looking for some obscure, probably unlabeled box for one item that I need inevitably at the very bottom so that it is overlooked several times before its discovery. I embrace the challenge--bring it on, American Mini-Storage.
Jared is feeling a bit better but my dad caught it so that's a bummer. The girls are transitioning well so far with only one breakdown and it was from Abigail over sleeping on the top bunk because it is MUCH higher than her usual bed. Thankfully the bottom is a full so she and Stella have been sleeping in the same bed with no problems, it's actually kind of sweet. One of my hopes in this move was that they would become better friends and I have been surprised to see positive changes in their relationship already. We also put up some of our Christmas decorations today--the Little People Nativity and the felt Christmas Tree I made last year are already being appreciated by all the girls--and that helps it feel more like home and the holidays.
Today we started looking for a church to visit this Sunday and I'll let you know how that goes. The girls were pretty upset at the idea of a new church but we'll see how they do. Except for dropping off the UHaul trucks and a trip to Target for some necessities (shoe rack, baking supplies, laundry basket that doesn't make me want to scream, new sheets, allergy meds, etc) I have been cooped up inside cleaning, unpacking and caring for the girls and a sick Jared. I injured my foot a couple of weeks ago and it has gotten much worse over the past week since I have been unable to stay off of it. I'm resting it today and tomorrow before I try to run on it but I may be out for a few more days if the run aggravates it as much as walking seems to. So much for a PR at Surf City this year. Between work, sickness, moving and now injury I will be content to train well enough to finish at 2:30 again.
Despite living in the desert it is actually quite cold here, especially when the wind picks up. The girls have been in sweaters and pants when playing outside and today it looks like rain though I have been warned that looking like rain rarely leads to actual rain here. It still makes the sky look gorgeous--there's nothing like an Arizona sky.
I leave you today with Shane and Shane's Psalm 13. The video/powerpoint is a bit cheesy and I think they perform it better on one of their other albums but I love this song and it does better to represent how I'm doing than trying to explain it in several more paragraphs. I love you all and I hope today finds you well.