What we did with our Summer Vacation

on 05 September 2014


Is anyone still out there? 

I know it's been quite some time since I updated, but I think when you read everything that's happened, you'll understand why the blog was relegated beyond the back burner, beyond the stove, and out to the deep freeze of things on my priority list.

As you know, our lease ended at the end of May.  We house-sat for some friends of ours for 2 weeks in their beautiful home, the kids had a BALL playing with their kids' toys.  After that, we stayed with my sister for a week and then out to my parent's house for 2 more weeks while they were out in Utah visiting my lovely sister.  I posted pictures of my kids strip mining my Mom's berry bushes and playing in the hose.

All the time we were house hunting.  Or rather, I was house hunting.  Chris has been studying to retake the MCAT.  He's taking it tomorrow afternoon and reapplying for med school.  We'll see if we go.  I'm cautiously optimistic.

So I was trying to find us a place to live.  It was pretty stressful.  Housing is fairly expensive in Durham, but I wanted to plan as though he was already in med school, so I didn't want to be too far away.  On July 1st we looked at 3 bedroom townhouse just down the street from our old apartment.  It's a small, quiet community and it had everything on our wishlist except a yard.  Which I was willing to sacrifice to stay in the same general area of town we had lived in before.  So on July 2nd we put in an offer.  There was some dickering back and forth, which I am NOT good at, nor patient with and hadn't anticipated being in charge of, but when I say Chris spent the summer studying for the MCAT, I mean he completely checked out of everything else (except work) and focused on relearning everything he used to know 7 years ago.  Anyway, on July 3rd we reached a deal and started the whole Mortgage nightmare.

I would just like to go on the record as saying that having a BABY is less painful than buying a HOUSE.  And the mortgage company we're using, they are charming and absolutely bent over backwards to help us and to make the process smooth, but it was still an arduous experience.

Luckily for me, I started working out seriously in April and kept it up until we moved, it was a fantastic stress relief.  I lost 25 pounds, y'all.  I was quite proud of myself, and then...

I spent 2 weeks gathering up 98 pieces of paper and delivering them to the mortgage company and writing checks.  Finally, FINALLY everything on our end was done.  Our closing date was set, my amazing sister, who let us live in her house rent free for the month of July, kept the kids so Chris and I could go sign a novella of papers and take possession of 6 keys and a garage door opener.

5 days before we closed, we found out that we were pregnant.  Crazy, huh? 

So we moved in on August 2nd.  Chris continued to study and I slowly unpacked.  The kids ran around the basement which is our school room/play room and rediscovered all of their toys declaring that they had MISSED them so much and everything, absolutely everything was their FAVORITE.  It was pretty funny.  I put my kitchen in order and went back to cooking fairly regularly.  The kids are in separate rooms, which is GREAT for me.  They're still having a hard time at night, I think because it's dark and the dark makes them nervous.  Chris' stuff is still in boxes, and the boxes are neatly stacked in the rooms they belong in.  He told me today that he would unpack next week, and I laughed and said I was willing to bet money that the boxes would still be there next summer.

The Boy and I started back to school this week and it's been a long week.  Our school day is much longer, and I'm not sure if it's just because we've added material or that we've been out of the routine all summer long.

But my favorite memories of this summer all involve watching my kids play in the Eno river and hike together.  The Boy was particularly amazing, even when he was tired, and the Girl was DONE, he would hug her and say, "Come on, Lilu, we can do hard things!  And we can play in the river when we're done!"  It was the sweetest thing.  And they both walked into that river up to their necks (fully clothed), and I'm sure that there are parents out there who would cry NEGLECT because I let them do it.  But childhood is hard enough without asking kids to pass by a river and a muddy bank on a hot summer's day.  We shall not discuss the Laundry.  Both kids fell in the Eno river multiple times this summer, it was both terrifying and comical.  And everyone is still alive.

My Boy shrieked with joy at the fireworks on the 4th of July, but my Girl hated them.  They're both still missing their cousins and periodically declare that they want to go back to Aunt Sherry's to live with their cousins.  But one morning this week, the Boy declared that the townhouse is "starting to feel more like home, Mama."

Which I'm taking as a good sign.

So what did you do on your Summer vacation?

The Boy's 6th Birthday

on 12 July 2014

My Dear Boy,

Six years ago today, you made me a mother.  I thought in honor of that strange event, I would sit down to thank you for some of the things that you're teaching me.

Thank you for teaching me how to sit still and wait.  Wait for someone else  to learn, to grow, to wake up, to get stronger, to be kind, to listen, to discover the magic in the ordinary world around them.  Thank you for sharing that magic with me.  I know that sometimes I get impatient, but you're very good at reminding me to WAIT. 

Thank you for teaching me that sometimes the most loving thing that we can say to someone is No.  I have worried that so much of my life with you has been about saying No.  I worry that by setting boundaries, I am some how limiting your experience of the world, or worse, fencing you in where you can be safe, but never grow.  I'm starting to see that by saying No, what I'm really saying is "I love you enough to want you to grow up, but we are all growing this way and I'd love it if you come along."

Thank you for teaching me that there are times to hold on (and tightly) and times to let go.  I'm still learning this one, and I suspect that I'll be learning it until I die.  If I loved you less it would, perhaps, be easier.  It will be your turn to learn to sit still and wait while Mama tries to let go.

Thank you for teaching me to laugh at myself, to dance, to sing, to wander and to wonder at the world that I've been living in for a long time now.  Thank you for teaching me that sometimes (most of the time) the point is the Journey and not the Destination.  Thank you for teaching me that sometimes it's ok to eat popcorn for dinner and leave the house messy and just play.  Thank you for teaching me how to hug someone with all the love you feel for them.  

But most of all Thank you for showing me that Heavenly Father never, ever gives up on us.  No matter how selfish or arrogant or rigid we may be.  He knows who we are and what we're capable of and He keeps on trying to help us to see that long after everyone else has given up.  You taught me that, my Boy.  And every day with you is a powerful reminder that He loves us more than we love ourselves.  And sometimes He does that by saying No.

Happy Birthday, son.  You and your sister are my greatest adventures, my hardest work, my biggest worries, and my sweetest joys.

I love you always,

Happy 4th of July

on 05 July 2014

Happy 4th of July, y'all.

The excitement was just too much for some of us. 

You will note, that there are no pictures of my Boy.  That is because he was running up and down the middle of my sister's street with sparklers like a crazed Independence day fool.

Clearly, the excitement was not too much for him.