Sunday, July 27, 2008

Abracadabra, Crazyn Goat!

This weekend we visited some friends that we haven't seen since getting back to Arizona. Richard & Kim Staffeldt are Josh's parents and Emily, Randy & Chris (I've written about him in a previous post) are their other kids.

This is very interesting, young Emily owns a Goat. It's name is Abracadabra, Abby for short. Emily is an amazing young girl who is planning to be a veterinarian. So she has had Abby for about 8 months I think and she had the incredible experience of delivering 2 baby goats just a few months ago. Unfortunately, the 2 baby goats didn't survive but as I listened to Emily tell the story of their deliveries and everything she did in the following days to take care of them trying to save their lives, I was deeply impressed with Emily's maturity and sense of responsibility at such a young age!

Needless to say, meeting Abby and hanging out in the Staffeldts backyard was a fun highlight of the weekend.

Here's Abby...
Here's Abby and Emily

Abby was pretty docile, evident in the next few pictures
My friend Lynn had this great idea of putting Nathan on top of Abby at which I first said "No, Lynn!" Then she said but it would be a cute picture at which point I acquiesced and said , "O.k."
And she was right, it is a cute picture!Of course, there came the time to put Abby back in her pen and as you can tell from this next picture, she wasn't really ready to go!

Meeting Grandpa Davidson

Nathan met my dad, Grandpa Davidson for the first time this weekend. What took me by surprise about this meeting was how quickly Nathan went to my dad. Nathan has always been cautious and has always taken his time getting comfortable with someone new and he rarely allows a new person to hold him right from the start. So when Nathan allowed my dad to hold him 5 minutes after meeting him I was really surprised. My dad said it was his mustache and that Nathan knew that he was his Grandpa. I'm sure some of that is true but I also wonder if meeting so many new people in the last 2 weeks has helped him become comfortable with new people in a shorter timeframe.

Here are some pictures ...Lydia, my Dad and me...
Greg and my dad...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Temporary Digs

We have been so blessed with the Norton's more than gracious accommodations. Unfortunately though we have turned their formal dining room into a fully operating office. We have 2 computers, 3 monitors, keyboards, phones, etc. all sitting on top of their formal dining table. So far, Greg and I are working amicably together. I think the only issue we have right now is our legs get tangled up under the table and we get in a foot fight for space but other than that we seem to be doing o.k.

When Gary saw our set up in the dining room, he actually said "I'm impressed." Personally, I'm impressed with the delicacies that Elaine whips up in the kitchen and then offers us for breakfast. She puts Martha Whoever and Better Crocker to shame! I'm eventually going to start taking pictures of her food and posting her recipes...they are amazing!

Here's a picture of our temporary digs:

Making Friends, Picking up Hobbies

Nathan is doing surprisingly well with all the new changes thrown his way in the last week. I've taken a few snapshots of new friends and hobbies he's picking up.

Nathan has been introduced to over 10 dogs in the last week! Here is Nathan and Colbie, the Norton's dog.
When we went swimming at the Harris' last Saturday, Nathan and Allison hit it off, even though she is 2 years older. Here's Allison sharing her cereal with Nathan.
As for new hobbies, Nathan has picked up sweeping. He has had a fixation on this full sized broom for the last 2 days.
Playing in the sandbox is another favorite past-time right now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's 'Perfect' in Arizona

We've been back for 1 week now and it just feels good to be here. Several times now Greg or I have walked outside at various times and we've both said out loud, 'Perfect'. Dry Heat is one of those things that you don't get it until you've felt and experienced it. As I write this it's 100 degrees outside but it only 'feels' like 90 because there is little to no humidity in the air. So it just feels 'Perfect'.

To build on this concept...going swimming in Arizona is also 'Perfect'. You know how when you go swimming and if you just dive in, there is a good minute of temperature shock? The water is chilly and cold because the outside hasn't been hot enough to warm the water. Or you may be one of those folks who just dips your toes in the water because you already know the water is cold and it's going to take some time to adjust to the temperature. It's not like that here.

We went to a friend's house on Friday night and hung out at their pool. In Arizona, especially during Summer, you can dive right into the water and you never experience that temperature shock. While the heat here is dry, it is still hot, it's just you don't break out in a 'sticky' sweat every time you walk outside. So when you jump in the pool here, the water is cool and refreshing, it's not 'chilly' as is often the case when you go swimming. It just feels 'Perfect'.

So here are a few pictures of our time in the pool. It was also Nathan's first time to enjoy the pool, we tried twice before, but neither time was enjoyable as it was this last time.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

We made it to AZ!

Well, we made it. I can't decide how to tell it; glass half full or glass half empty... I'll do both.

Glass Half Empty: I specifically remember getting gas on Sunday (7/13) afternoon and adjusting the lever to auto pump while I sat in the car. I heard the pump click way to early and when I looked back I saw the pump stopped at $6.66. While I am typically not a superstitious person, I cringed a little. We were about to embark on a very long drive with a toddler and I was already nervous about that.

On Monday morning (7/14) about 9:00am chaos and mayhem ensued. Greg, Josh and the 3 guys hired to help loaded the 26 foot truck, while Lynn and I frantically packed last minute things and cleaned the house. About 11:00am, I peered into the truck andI had a sinking feeling in my stomach that the truck was not going to be big enough.

At 12:30, Greg and Josh were on their way to pick up another 26 foot Penske truck. I was sooo disappointed because 'The Plan' was to drive all night while Nathan slept. Josh and Lynn, flew in from Arizona to be our back up drivers during the 22 hours of driving, but getting the second truck ruined 'The Plan'.

It took most of the day to load but at 4:30, we had a brief respite at David & Jacque's, where we showered, then at 7:30pm we hit the was a very long day...but the night was longer. We drove until 1:30am, stopped at a Motel 6 and slept until 5:30am Tuesday morning and then we were back on the road. Greg didn't let us stop to eat breakfast, Tyrant. Lucky for Nathan, we had a cooler filled with food. We stopped at 12:30 for lunch and drove straight to Arizona until 10:00pm, it was a 16 hour day of driving, following the 6 hours of driving the night before. I'll do the math for you.
Here's a picture of both our moving trucks on the road. Greg is driving the truck in front, pulling the corvette. Josh is driving the second truck and we pulled up the rear in the Honda Pilot.
Glass Half Full:
If you know me or talked to me during the brief time to prepare for this move, I fretted over this drive with Nathan quite a bit. Grandpa David got us a new car seat that could recline and face backward while Nathan slept but the seat could also face forward during the day. I was banking on that 'new experience' for Nathan to occupy him for a while. I also bought a bag full of new toys, I borrowed a portable DVD player and I already mentioned the cooler full of food. I was mentally preparing for a fitful toddler in the car but it turned out I worried for nothing. Nathan's restless moments were brief and short lived. He handled the entire trip like a sailor...or trucker in this case. He was GREAT...even when we were marooned on the side of the road, twice.

I could put this bit of our story in the Glass Half Empty section but because of the outcome, it actually fits here. Through the 'mountainous' terrain of our trip, Greg's truck, which was packed to capacity and towing a car, overheated and the engine shut down. Our small caravan pulled to the side of the highway and waited. I admit, I panicked the first time it happened. My mind went into overdrive mode while I mentally mapped out our action plan and next 5 steps but again it was wasted energy. Greg kept his head, let the truck cool for about 15 mins, then restarted the engine and we were on our way again. I really love my husband in times of crisis... because he doesn't act like me - Kudos to Greg!

For grins, here's a blurry video (I don't why the camera wouldn't focus) of our 2nd time on the side of the highway.

After about 18 hours of our drive...we finally saw the 'Welcome to Arizona' sign, only 4 more hours of driving to go.
Tuesday, 7/15, at 10:00pm CST we pulled into 1852 E. Pinto Drive and we were greeted with another 'Welcome' sign. With the little energy I had, I was able to muster up a grin when I saw it. It was 8:00pm PST-Arizona time which is why the sun is still up in the picture below. This was the end of 2 very long days of packing, loading and driving. Exhausted doesn't even describe how we felt at this point. Lynn, at some point during all of this seriously said to me "If you move again, our friendship is over." It's that hard.

On Wednesday, 7/16, Greg and Josh went back to work unloading both trucks to our storage unit, while I took care of Nathan and got our belongings settled into our temporary home at the Norton's. Another long day but we were rounding the last corner and close to the end.

Thursday, 7/17 Greg worked diligently at getting our computers set up and online in our temporary office which is the Norton's dining room for now which is how I'm able to write this post for the blog as Nathan naps!

Gas Note:
Our gas bill for both trucks and car came to $1,500. Yeah. The slang term I would like to use for this little bit of information is not even appropriate for me to put in writing.

Josh & Lynn - We love you. Thank you for being 'those kind of friends'. It's alot to ask and you deliver every time we do, we'll stop asking now. Except for one last question...

David, Jacque, Mom, Nana & Grandad - Thank you for praying and supporting us in this decision even though it moves us physically further from you. You are the best parents and we love you.

Gary & Elaine - Thank you for welcoming us into your home, it is alot to ask and yet you have done it with such love and graciousness. You are also the best parents and we love you.

Greg, my hard working husband - I admire you more than I can put into words. Your strength and resolve to trudge forward no matter how difficult the task is nothing short of amazing. Thank you for doing all the heavy lifting, then turning around and helping me with the small stuff. Thank you for always staying positive, no matter what the circumstances are, you are such a great role model for our son and I love you very much.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Saying Goodbye is Hard To Do...

When you don't have a flexible schedule! Texas folks...due to our aggressive moving schedule and the inconvenient business trip I'm on next week, we're not able to meet up with folks to say goodbye, which is just a bummer. If you would like to come to us though, come on then! Saturday, July 12th, anytime between 3:00p-7:00p is the best day and time for us. No need to rsvp for this shin-dig, just show up. If you have your own things going on and you can't make it...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Signs of Moving....ServPro Boxes.

Here we go again. Our move date has been scheduled for Monday, July 14th. We plan to load the truck and drive out that evening. If you've been around for any of our moves, you've seen these ServPro boxes and you know what they represent. We are in serious packing mode. This is our 5th time to move with these ServPro boxes over the last 6 years.
On one hand, I've come to hate these boxes. Every time we pull them out it symbolizes another move and interruption of life. On the other hand, I love these boxes because they have made each of our moves as efficient as a move can be. It's only when boxes are the same size that they stack so neatly as in this picture. If the boxes were all mismatched sizes, stacking them would require more time and finesse.
As we started packing this week and we pulled these boxes out, I just couldn't believe we are doing this again...and if the boxes had a spirit I felt they would have cried, "Please, not again. Just let us rest for a little while longer". Sadly, each box shows the wear and tear of each and every one of our moves. The cardboard is not quite as stiff as it used to be, it's more pliable and actually has a 'soft' feel to it. There are multiple labels on each box, evidence of every move, every life change. In a weird way, these boxes are like a map of the last six years of our lives, I can tell you by the labels where we moved from and to. Admittedly the labeling system has become much more simpler over time. There are layers of tape at the seams from taping, retaping and retaping them. They really just look 'tired' to me and like they are ready for retirement.
Although these ServPro boxes have served us well over the years, the day we throw them away will definitely be a significant day. It will mean, 'we're done', 'we've decided to stay a while', 'we're going to settle and grow roots', 'we're going to be content and happy right where we are'. It's certainly been a journey, trying to figure that piece of our lives out but I think we finally have.
Throwing these boxes out will be so symbolic, that I'll probably cry as we throw them away. I'm feeling a little weary myself so I hope that time is not to far off.
Please send good thoughts and prayers our way as we trek across Texas and back into Arizona.