Jumping Through Hoops for Keys

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Two more days to home ownership. I can’t wait! On Friday Heath and I left early in the morning to jump through a few more hoops for the house.

I had missed thunderstorms in the middle of the night but the rain lasted through most of the day. Have I mentioned how much I love rain! Having a rainy day was no problem at all. A rainy day in the middle of July just makes me happy. Oh how I have missed the rain. Heath has been telling people about the weather in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s simple. It rains from October or November to February or March. The rest of the time it’s sunny. Which is nice but I honestly got bored of it.

We had left early enough to get McDonald’s for breakfast. We went to the McDonald’s by our house. Then we met Jason at our house for a four hour tour. Luckily it ended in four hours and no one was marooned on an island. I loved the house tour. Jason was so easy to talk to and fun to be around. He went through a lot of info about the house – how to care for it and whatnot. I was particularly interested in the cleaning paperwork.

The tour part was mostly to look for any issues and tag them to be fixed before we close on Wednesday. Jason was awesome. He was so meticulous and thorough finding high spots on the walls or spots where paint needed to be touched up. It was like following myself around! I was extra picky coming from OCD cleaning my last house. I noticed so much more than I would have otherwise. Jason found most of the issues before I pointed them out.

I appreciated his attention to detail and the pride he took in his work. I’m back to nervous after talking with some of the neighbors on Saturday night and hearing horror stories of major issues when they moved in. A tub that wasn’t set properly, the washing machine tripping the breaker every time it hit the spin cycle. It had a lock feature so the lady couldn’t even get her clothes out! We heard about shower pipes not even being connected so someone basically watered their crawl space. Crazy stuff like that. I hope that these issues have been anticipated in our house. Our house was the last one built on the street so I guess we’ll see.

After the tour we signed paper after paper with a notary. My sloppy signature is legible enough I had to include an E for my middle initial. I hate signing my name and having to think to add an E was tedious. Writing the correct date turned out to be a bit of an issue too! I accidently wrote 7/16 instead of 7/22/16. I scribbled it out and tried again and still couldn’t get the 22 in there! Of course we both had to initial my idiocy.

That was when the notary said she didn’t want to say anything about people messing up dates. It only jinxes everyone. We were fine for a while until Heath accidently wrote 7/16. He was funny about it. He put the pen back in the jar and grabbed another one. Candy and I laughed because Heath kept saying it was a bad pen. When we were finished we found a bad pen in the parking lot that had been run over it was so bad! The best we could figure was that we kept messing up the date because Parker’s birthday is 7/16/05.

That night we went to see a community theater production of Mary Poppins. It was a cute play put on by teenagers. Gwen abandoned us for her cousins. They had had a rough day so I’m not sure how happy they were to have Gwen there all sunshine and smiles. Dayleen’s dad recently passed away. I had just joined Facebook when I found out and I couldn’t figure out what to say to her to let her know how much my heart was going out to her. Last night Heath and I invited her to our house to scream if she ever needed to. I know how she feels after dealing with three deaths in one year.

The good news was everything was official to get our house. We just needed to give the hoopers time to close it all and give us keys. The plan is to get keys on Wednesday. Jason left us with the impression that we could get them Wednesday morning. When Heath called ABF to get the trailer out to our house he found out we could get it there by Wednesday afternoon. I imagine we will still wait to unload. We already commissioned the Elders Quorum to come help on Thursday evening.

Wednesday will be our prep day. We will seal the tile and countertops. We’re going to Rain-X all the glass in the showers. An Amazon box full of carpet protecting plastic sits in the corner of the living room waiting for us to be able to put it down. We will also try to tape cardboard over the railings so they don’t get dinged by gigantic heavy beds, and carrying up our washer and dryer. The house is so close I can taste it! We can’t wait to movie in.

Vices to Get Through

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This is how I’m getting through this move. Normally I don’t buy my Diet Coke a liter at a time. The gas station didn’t have any smaller bottles. They had smaller Diet Pepsi bottles but that is not the same. Maybe we need to worry that I downed my liter in 90 minutes. True story.

The kids were told they could choose a drink or candy. The boys chose candy while Gwen was excited about some Gwenny sized orange soda. We planned on getting to our hotel as quickly as possible. Gwen needed a rest stop first. She was about to burst. I had just put away a full liter of caffeinated soda and felt fine. I can hold my water. Gwen was dying!

We stopped at the first rest stop we could find after she announced her emergency. When we were back on the road again is when I saw that she hadn’t even finished her drink! She hadn’t even had half of it! That girl has the bladder capacity of a thimble.

Chris came to visit on Monday. She came with two large Diet Cokes from Burger King. I showed up a little later because I was buying some last minute stuff from Home Depot, including Diet Coke! I love Chris. I love so much that she brought us the magic elixir that is helping us get through this move. Carla came to visit at the same time. She didn’t quite understand the importance of the Diet Coke. Chris said that we would visit teach together and then get Diet Cokes. It’s nice to have a partner in crime.

Yesterday was a long day. We got up early so I could not only shower, but do hair and makeup. The plan was to visit some friends in Oregon and get to our house by 3:00 for a walk thru. Seeing the house for the first time was really great. It was also a little overwhelming. So much to see and so many people talking at once. I had sensory overload.

Heath bought us some caffeine free Diet Coke when we went to Fred Meyer last night to buy Parker some pajama shorts. I was melting down a little. Well, kind of a lot. Gavin couldn’t find his phone. The boys were going to sleep outside in the tent trailer so Parker really needed at least a pair of shorts to wear to bed. We were on vacation while not really being on vacation. It was the end of a long day.

Heath bought me a pair of pajama shorts because mine were getting old. They had melted crayon stains and always felt like I was wearing them backwards! So he bought me a pair with Darth Vader saying “Call me the Boss”. Parker really wanted me to get them because he is obsessed with Star Wars right now. I just think Heath spoils me.

Heath worked from his parents’ back deck today. When he finished for the day we escaped to a local grocery store for some Diet Coke. He bought a six pack of bottles for the fridge and some cold ones for the drive home.

Tomorrow we will sign our names until we get carpal tunnel. Just a few more days. It’s like Christmas. We know exactly what we’re getting but we can’t play with any of it yet! In the meantime I am guzzling gallons of Diet Coke. It’s how I’m getting through it all. I credit my “sanity” to all the happy juice.

It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!

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My snuggle monkey is now 11. Parker’s birthday came and went with little acknowledgement. We warned him it would be that way. It’s hard to have a great birthday when you’re moving two days later.

We gave him gifts a whole week early to make up for his not so great birthday. The Gravity Falls book he really wanted wouldn’t be available that early. We got him one book and told him he could get the other one later. He also got some books from Amazon. That wasn’t really related to his birthday. He packed his Kindle and said he had nothing to read. Being the softies we are, we bought him some books to enjoy until we moved in to our new house.

My mom sent birthday cards to the boys with some birthday cash. She went to her post office to hand over the cards in person for delivery. She was a day late on Gavin’s birthday, making her ten days early on Parker’s birthday. Parker’s card arrived on the 12th. I went to my post office to see what happened to Gavin’s card. No one really had an answer for me. When I asked why I didn’t receive any mail I was reminded that I had put in a mail transfer request. Um, you’re holding my mail a week early? What? The supervisor guy went into the back once and handed me a piece of junk mail. We talked in circles some more and he went to the back again. He came back with a handful of normal looking mail. Just no Gavin card.

I left the post office being told that cards are processed by hand and do not go through a machine. Wait and see was the basic sentiment. I was not impressed since it had already been about a week since my mom sent the cards! Even though I was assured my mailman knew to continue delivering our mail until the 18th, we did not get any mail. We meant to go pick it up from the post office on Saturday and didn’t have time. Gavin’s card was delivered that evening. You know, after 5:00. Even though they swear my postman clocks out at 5:00. I have video evidence that says otherwise!

At least Gavin got his birthday gift from my mom. In the meantime, Parker cannot wait to move into our house so he can spend his birthday money! My boys are complete opposites when it comes to money. Gavin never spends his own but has no problem spending our money. Parker just can’t function with any amount of cash in his possession.

Parker also received a birthday gift from his best friend, Paul. Paul’s family had invited us over to celebrate the 4th of July. That’s when he gave Parker a gift. So sweet. Paul has a birthday later in July and was going to have a party on the 30th. I had to break the sad news to his mom that we would be gone by then. Paul was extremely upset that we were leaving. Julie was nice enough to rearrange the entire party for the 6th.

It was an all day deal too. In the morning I took Parker shopping for the perfect Infinity expansion pack that Paul wanted. Parker found a card that nearly had me in tears. It was the perfect sentiment considering the circumstances. We ran a couple more errands then got home in time for a sad raid-the-freezer-and-microwave-it lunch. Then I dropped Parker off at Paul’s house for the rest of the day.

They started out at Rock N Jump. Then they went back to Paul’s place for swimming and pizza. They rounded out the evening with a movie. Julie kept texting asking if Parker could stay longer since they got off schedule. He had the time of his life! Paul had only invited Parker and another friend from school. The boys got along great and had a blast together.

I made sure Parker’s birthday was recognized at church the Sunday before. I didn’t want him to be spotlighted the day after his birthday on his last day in that ward!

It was funny that Parker couldn’t sleep the night before we promised to give him early birthday presents. He still couldn’t sleep the night before his real birthday! We warned him that his birthday would be a bust. He didn’t care. He told us weeks ago that all he wanted for his birthday was a house. We tried to remind him that’s what he wanted and that his birthday would be a bust. He didn’t care.

I love my Parker. He is such a great kid. He worked his tail off all day helping us with random things. He helped his dad take furniture apart and pack things. He helped me pack things and clean. He helped all day long. We were very vocal with our approval. That boy is a lifesaver sometimes with how helpful he is.

A meltdown still happened. Heath and I could not feel worse. It was the world’s crappiest birthday. We warned him it would be. We did our best to make up for it by celebrating early. Saturday came and all ill warnings came true. It still hurt. A lot.

We were on the fence about stopping our progress to see a movie. That was the tipping point. Parker melted down into a puddle of tears buried in his dad’s chest. I took my sobbing boy over to the couch and held him on my lap for a good cry. Heath yelled and growled at the desk components he was trying to take apart. He was very proud that he never said any bad words! When he had beaten the desk into submission, (we both remembered what a pain it was to put together in the first place), he told the kids to get ready for dinner and a movie. Parker sobbed even harder. Every bit of moving stress erupted out at that time.

The movie tickets were purchased first. Then we headed over to On the Border for our very last meal. I was so happy to get one of our regular waiters. We made sure all the OTB staff knew it was Parker’s birthday. At the end of the meal a bunch of wait staff came by screaming and pounding walls OTB birthday style. They yelled out that it was Parker’s birthday! Our waiter set in front of him a huge platter of apple crisp a la mode. He poured caramel sauce on it that bubbled and sizzled on contact.

Luckily they brought out five spoons. There was more dessert there than anyone could eat alone. After dinner we watched The Secret Life of Pets. It was cute. Slow story but riveting enough that I never did fall asleep! All was right with the world once more. My boy had turned 11 and he was happy.

We made it to the cave!

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We are homeless. As of about 3:00 pm yesterday afternoon. Everything sort of happened at once. The movers were still loading our stuff. The Relief Society sisters were finishing up the cleaning party. The landlord showed up for the final walk thru. It was awkward and the strangest ending to the longest day.

The landlord asked for our keys before he was even finished wandering around. Want us out much? He asked when we could get all the garbage out. Then he asked us to lock up the house when we left. Hmm. Dude, you got all our keys and the garage door openers. You lock up!

We stuffed our kids into the very full van and made them hold garbage on their laps since there was nowhere else to put it. We drove up the Road to Nowhere for the last time. Instead of driving up to the light, we turned into the park in search of a dumpster. This time it wasn’t the dead of night. We were in light colored clothing dumping our contraband in broad daylight.

Heath had told Ron and Margo about our late night run to the dumpster a few days earlier. Ron said that we weren’t the first ones to do that. I’m sure not. But the recycle truck left us no choice. Who goes to all the trouble of removing large cardboard boxes standing tall and at attention, only to leave them on the grass? Between that idiocy and the passive aggressive mailman saga continuing with him holding our mail a week early! I was not in the best of moods. I no longer felt any spec of remorse with secretly dumping all kinds of fun stuff in a dumpster in the park in the dead of night.

This time around was full of as much desperation. The movers had fizzled out by the end, adding two hours to the four we planned on paying for. They quickly lost their tip. Especially when they were packing so tightly and well that we thought we could save space on the trailer and they finished off with us gaining space. Ugh. So when we had to literally carry out garbage and items we expected people to take for us, we stopped caring. Extra packing supplies and all went straight into the dumpster. Ironically it was the dumpster near the playground closest to our house. Yes we drove two miles to get to a dumpster ten or so houses from where we used to live. What are you going to do?

There are so many stories to share. I’m not sure where to begin. Maybe I won’t today. We reached out to Paula, our home builder contact, to let her know we wanted to swing by the house tomorrow on our way through town. She agreed to meet us at the house and let us walk through. I am so excited! We still have our 2-4 hour tour scheduled for Friday. The kids can see the house tomorrow. I think we’re having a big party tomorrow with Heath’s parents and Aunt Chris and Uncle Charlie joining. I can’t wait! Who buys a house sight unseen? Only us!

I think we have officially made it to the cave. On Sunday Gwen said, “We made it to the bathrooms! Tomorrow we will be at the entrance to the cave!” Driving has been the easy part. I’m on pins and needles for the walk back up to the bathrooms. Then again, maybe not every cave hiking metaphor will manifest itself.

Tell them Mike Sent You

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Saying goodbye is hard to do. Especially real goodbyes. It’s not like I’m dying or anything. After all, I did join Facebook in order to keep in touch with friends. Still, I’m leaving.

Yesterday I had a wonderful long lunch with the Primary presidency that was just lovely. I would post the pictures here but I still believe in the Bogeyman and I don’t want him to know so easily where I live! I love the women in Primary I work with. They are so wonderful.

Being the secretary hasn’t been my favorite. It took a lot of time to get used to my responsibilities. None of it came easily to me but I have gotten better over time. I will miss the people more than anything. Last Sunday I was knocking on doors with my buddy. The president saw him race through the halls for the door around the corner. She looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and said I was going to miss him. Yes I will! I love that boy! He is my pet.

Today I went to a pool party for visiting teaching. The kids had a lot of fun splashing in the pool while we women sat around talking. My friend Vicki is feeling a little abandoned. Both her visiting teachers are moving and her neighbor across the street is also moving. The other sister we visit teach is also moving. Poor Vicki was probably tired of being reminded of how the ward is rapidly emptying out. Yesterday the presidency counted about 15 or 16 kids that are moving out of Nursery and Primary. That is significant loss!

At the end of the pool party Pei-Ting hugged everyone with individual words of encouragement and love for each of us. Vicki almost sounded angry as she tried to put on a brave face to say goodbye. Her words were, “I refuse to think of you moving. I will see you on Sunday.” Chris more or less had the same sentiment. She said she would see me on Sunday and she would visit me on Monday before we leave. No need for real goodbyes yet.

Part of me wants to stay home on Sunday. Not go to church. My heart has been ripped out every Sunday these last couple of weeks. I see everyone and I realize how much I will miss this ward. Up until now I have been all smiles. I think this Sunday my smile will crack and I may leak a little.

I almost leaked a little at lunch today. We went to Chili’s to see Mike one last time. We haven’t seen him since the last day of school when we asked him and his wife to pray for us. He knew we were coming in one last time with the kids. He was afraid he had missed us since it had been so long.

Lunch was great. Mike was fabulous as usual. Instead of a steady stream of two mugs, he would bring three mugs to the table every time. Two Diet Cokes and a Sprite for Gavin. The manager came by at one point. Mike has introduced us to him before. I love Mike. He can’t say enough nice things about any of the Chili’s staff. Same thing today.

Mike walked away to take care of his other tables and Sergio, the manager, stayed behind to talk to us for a minute. He asked us about our move. Was it a job change? Those types of questions. We talked to him for a minute. Then he shook Heath’s hand and reached out to shake my hand as well. He wished us luck in our move.

I didn’t think anything of it. What a nice guy was as far as my thoughts went. A few minutes later Mike came by again and told us to ask for Sergio when we were ready to leave. He went on and on about what a great Christian Sergio was.

“He’s a believer too. He doubts a lot but he’s a believer. He fell in love with your family and has paid for your meal.”

I have never felt more stunned or humbled at the same time. I have never had anyone pay for my meal like that. He wanted to pay for our whole family. What a blessing to know people who exhibit the best of humanity. The only way we knew to pay it forward was to give Mike a generous tip as we left. He gave both me and Heath a hug and wished us well.

Earlier in the meal he came by to say he didn’t think he had big enough to go cups to get us all the way to Seattle. Maybe a town just down the road but not all the way to Seattle! He suggested we stop off at every Chili’s along our route to refill our to go cups. “Just tell them Mike sent you!”

There is so much I am ready to leave behind. Those things prove to me that the time is right to move. We are ready. But I will miss so much all the people we have grown to love here.

Is that a scuff mark on my soul?

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I sat on the stairs of my new home, a pair of pliers in hand. I pulled staple after staple. It was depressing work especially when I could see people working on more exciting demo projects. I would have loved to hammer the tile. Or at least scoop it up.

Peeling wallpaper was another job I could do. Wallpaper and staple removal were about all I could do in that house. Modified bed rest during pregnancy is hard enough. Buying a fixer upper house while on modified bed rest is torture.

I did the best I could with the few jobs I could help with. My pride never hurt so much as it did when the carpet layers essentially told me I had wasted my time with the staples. They said all we really needed to do was hammer in the staples flush with the stairs. Great, I got carpal tunnel for this?

My fingers are sore from scrubbing all morning. I have scrubbed baseboards, doors, windowsills, and mopped floors. That was just the laundry room. It’s not like I am even scrubbing off nine years of dust and grime either. I have attacked that laundry room many times. It still took hours.

Heath rescued me when he saw me scrubbing the wall and baseboards by the stairs again. I have problems. The extreme perfectionism I suffer from gets a little ridiculous when I clean. Once I start I can’t stop. I work until my blood sugar drops too low or Heath rescues me. He was a little annoyed because I had already spent hours on the stairs a couple days ago.

Scuff marks taunt me. Nine years, I tell myself. Nine years with young children growing up in this house. I find myself scrubbing harder. I have learned that if you are patient enough and scrub hard enough, one of two things will happen. The mark will disappear or the paint will come off. Even with mild soapy water. I have problems.

The worst spots on the walls seem to be right where the texture is the most intense. It’s not like I haven’t been a good housekeeper over the years either. I have! I just can’t stop nitpicking when I know our deposit is at stake. I know more likely than not we won’t get our deposit back regardless of me scrubbing my fingers to the bone. I still have to try.

It’s strange prepping a rental house for a move. I have scrubbed this hard in apartments that I lived in for much less time. Not surprisingly I got the full deposit back. This is a house though. That we have raised our kids in for nine long years. I didn’t clean this meticulously when we sold that first fixer upper after four years of occupying it.

Selling a home is different from walking away from a rental. I look at this house that we have lived in for a significant period of time and think it just needs to be repainted. If it were my home I would repaint baseboards in a heartbeat. That’s the only way those scuff marks will ever go away.

I would do a better job painting too. The more I clean the more original mistakes I see. Drip marks, sides of door frames that never got the second coat they needed, knots in the boards, paint bleeding onto the walls or wall paint bleeding onto the baseboards. I know. I need to stop. Someone else’s work is not my problem. But it’s not perfect so it is my problem!

I don’t know if they are selling the home or renting it out. There are a lot of unfinished projects the handyman will finally have to finish though. In the meantime I am killing myself scrubbing because I can’t seem to stop. The worst part of all this is cleaning rooms we still need to use!

Heath joked that the Relief Society sisters will come in and wonder why we need help cleaning! That’s the hope. No, I do need help. I can’t get behind some places until things are moved. Like the refrigerator, the washer and dryer, some of the heavy furniture. My conscience won’t let me not keep working until this place sparkles. That and the promise of Diet Coke. I work for simple pleasures.

Where Have the Years Gone?

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My Gavin is officially a teenager. Yesterday he was a 12 year old boy and today he is a 13 year old man. He is taller than me, is starting to grow facial hair, and is a great kid.

He woke up on his own this morning and got in the shower before I was ready to emerge from my own comfy bed. He even fixed himself breakfast without being asked. All the kids are self sufficient with breakfast. They sometimes have to be reminded to eat when they sleep in. He said he decided to do all of that because he is 13 now.

I can’t believe I’m old enough to have a teenager. This is a new phase of parenting for me. It’s kind of exciting that all three kids are entering adolescence at the same time. It’s also quite scary too. Last week while Gavin was at Scout Camp, I took the other two kids to the doctor for their well child checkups. Gwen should have gone around her birthday but I got busy and forgot. Parker hasn’t been for a couple years so I figured we could fit it in before we moved.

Gwen is becoming a little woman, much to her father’s dismay. Have the gun control laws made it harder for fathers to protect their daughters? Two days later I took Parker to the doctor. The doctor made a big deal out of Parker reaching that next stage. He suggested that Parker announce to his father that he is becoming a man. It’s been a big thing in our family for days now. Parker still can’t say the words with a straight face though!

With the craziness of this move, the boys aren’t going to have very exciting birthdays. On Saturday we took Gavin to Best Buy. We told him we wanted to get him the Madden 17 game. It won’t be out for a while though. We let him shop and decide what he wanted for his birthday.

My only fiscally responsible child decided he didn’t want anything. He wasn’t sure he really wanted the Madden 17 game and he wasn’t interested in anything else the store had to offer. Heath and I convinced him to take his time. Research what he wanted before spending the money. He was fine with that. Although I better make sure he does something with the gift card. Gavin has a tendency to forget about money. It never burns a hole in his pocket. I’m more likely to accidently wash it.

We went out for lunch at a Philly cheese steak shop. It’s a place Heath and I have loved going to when the kids were at school. The kids weren’t so sure. I think they decided it wasn’t as bad as they thought. Gavin ordered a King of Philly, which is a very large sandwich. He struggled to finish it! Finally the kid was full! It was a birthday miracle!

For dinner we are having spaghetti because it’s Gavin’s favorite food. He doesn’t really care to go out to eat. He loves homemade food and spaghetti is his all time favorite. I love that when he was talking to my mom he told her that we weren’t going out for dinner. “Dad says we have to save money and stuff.” That’s partly true. But way to miss the point kid! We are having spaghetti because it’s your favorite.

Parker worked really hard on a Lego creation for Gavin last week. He creatively wrapped it in a toy bin with paper taped to the top that read: “To Gavin from Parker Do Not Shake!” I love the creativity involved with a special homemade gift.

Gavin is very creative too. He signed up for the rifle shooting merit badge at camp. The boys were supposed to hit a target a certain number of times within a small distance. I guess the first day Gavin didn’t qualify. I don’t know if they ran out of time or what the story was. He was going to have another chance on the last day.

The night before he said he was sitting around the campfire and noticed something fall into his lap. It was the lens from his glasses. The pin had fallen out causing the lens to pop out of his frames. I had the same problem about the same time which is kind of funny. Gavin kept the lens in a safe place and walked around with only one corrective lens in his glasses.

He wasn’t sure what to do about the rifle shooting. You’re supposed to aim with your dominant eye but that was the lens that was missing. So he turned his glasses upside down to shoot! He qualified for the merit badge. We have seen his target paper and his shots are very close together. Nice shooting!

Happy birthday Gavin! We are so grateful you are part of our family. We missed you like crazy last week when you were camping. We love you so much! I’m sorry I was the only one to get presents on your birthday. A new insulin pump, glucometer, and new supplies isn’t much of a present though.

One Grain of Sand

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I was talking to a friend recently. She wondered if God really remembered her. “I’m just one grain of sand.” I assured her that He remembers her. He knows her name. He knows the desires of her heart. And I promised her that her miracle will happen.

She had been praying about something for quite some time. The more she talked about the journey and how it has humbled her family, the more I could see that the Lord, in His wisdom, was teaching them. She told me that on one of her many trips to the temple she felt the impression that she would receive a miracle.

I have had my own experiences with feeling those impressions in the temple. On one such occasion I had the thought that I would get my miracle. It would come in a way I would least expect it, but I would get my miracle. Two days later I was floored by the crazy circumstances that led to my miracle. He knows. He is in charge. We just have to trust Him.

God loves all of His children. He remembers each and every one.

Friends of ours found out they got the home they were hoping to move to. They have a few weeks to move from their apartment to the larger home before their lease is up. They are excited because they are only changing their address. They will be in the same schools and the same ward congregation. The community they love will not change.

Another friend is expecting. She has travailed through the lonely trail of infertility and miscarriage. After much fasting and prayer her greatest dreams are coming true. There may be an amazing story there that I don’t know about. All I know is this is something she and her husband have wanted for years. When she told me the happy news I got goosebumps.

I found out that another family is moving to Utah. It was interesting talking to him about it. He said that they look back and realize living here was not about them. It was for his sister in law. She needed help establishing herself here as she started her business. I wondered what would happen to her. She has built a great clientele and it would probably be silly for her to leave at this point. He told me she moved out several weeks ago. She reached the point where she was financially able to go out on her own. She will stay while they leave. God obviously had His hand all over this one!

My favorite story involves prayers, furniture, and Facebook. Signing up for Facebook was a big deal for me.  When the thought occurred to me to advertise my things there I thought maybe it was meant to be that I sign up at this time. Just before I left for church I checked my phone for messages. Any last minute changes in Primary that I needed to know about before I walked out the door.

Instead it was a Facebook comment. It very simply said, “We will come get them.” This was in response to the photo I posted of my living room furniture.

The story about giving away the furniture is interesting too. Heath tried to talk me into giving it away before we moved here. I flat out refused. He tried to tell me that we may not find a home with both a living room and family room so why not get rid of the extra furniture ahead of time. No. I wouldn’t do it. I loved that whole furniture set. I would not compromise. Gratefully the home we moved to had both a living room and family room. My furniture was safe.

Yesterday he tentatively suggested I consider giving away my living room furniture. He wasn’t sure how I would react. To his surprise, I said I would be fine with that. It felt like it was time. He promised me new furniture when we got to our new house. He promised me double the price we originally paid. I was fine with it. I hated to see my stuff go because I have loved it so much. But it was time and I was okay with it.

Someone contacted me about picking up the bookcases and she wanted the living room lamps as well. I commented on my own Facebook posts updating the status of the items I had advertised. For the living room post I just said the lamps had found a new home but the rest of the furniture was still available.

Circle back to the comment this morning. “We will come get them.” I will admit I thought she must have misunderstood. She must have only wanted the lamps or something. Not the whole furniture set. It couldn’t be true, right?

Heath was walking down the hall towards me and the kids as we walked in the door. Way before he got to us he said, “Our living room furniture is gone!” Chills and goosebumps all over again. He had been talking to the lady who commented that she wanted it.

She was so excited about the furniture and so stunned we were giving it all away that she asked him for a hug. After Sacrament Meeting she hugged me too. Actually just before the meeting started she waved at me with a huge grin on her face. I mouthed the words, “I love you!” Because when I make a decision I expect execution. The fact that she wants this furniture will probably save us $200 in space on the moving truck.

She and her family recently moved here. They have been using camping chairs and other outdoor furniture in their living room. The best part is we have a similar taste in furnishings. She loved everything about the furniture down to the shape of the couches. That was always my favorite part too.

This story is a real life example of what I used to tell the young women I taught years ago. “If it’s important to you, it’s important to Him!” The Lord wants us to be happy. So much so that He will orchestrate events like this. These are not mere coincidences. This is the hand of the Lord blessing the lives of His children. He chooses most often to bless His children’s lives through other people.

Does He remember you? I promise He does! When you have those moments of doubt and think He can’t possibly remember you because you’re only a grain of sand on the beach, remember this. He knows you. He knows what exactly what you are going through. He experienced it all when He atoned for you. He knows and He cares. More than you will ever know.

Fashionably Late

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I have been blogging for nine years now. As time marches on I see that blogging is becoming outdated and old fashioned. I don’t really care. I just like to write and I have an obsession with documenting my life.

Over the years I have given people my blog address as a way to keep in touch. People don’t care! Blogging is outdated and old fashioned, remember? After being morally opposed to it for one reason or another, I have finally joined Facebook. The tipping point was knowing that I have so many friends here in the Bay Area that I had to do something before moving to the great Northwest.

I know that once my records are sent to my new ward congregation, I won’t be able to access the people from my current ward congregation. Everything is online these days. Signing up for Facebook seemed to make the most sense. Nine years in one place is a long time. Our roots are pretty deep and we don’t want to lose touch with our friends.

Already I have learned that people respond to Facebook faster than texts and especially emails. Emails are so 20 years ago! I sent out a whole bunch of emails with pictures of items we are trying to give away before we move. Only two were forwarded and with the holiday weekend, there wasn’t the same level of response that I normally get from giveaway emails.

The Relief Society secretary suggested I post the pictures on Facebook. I was already thinking of doing something like that because I don’t have time to wait for my emails to get forwarded to the group. We’re out of here in a little more than two weeks. I’m such a Facebook dummy it took a long time to figure it all out. With no responses to my antiquated form of communication I finally texted the lady who started the Relief Society Facebook page. Apparently it’s a closed group so no wonder I couldn’t find it! I have been invited and am anxiously waiting for takers of my items.

The pool is scheduled to be picked up in a couple of days. The bookcases and a couple of lamps are gone as well. At least that.

In the meantime, I am fashionably late to the Facebook party and I have no idea what I’m doing!

Blessings Abound

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It seems to be true that the more I recognize blessings in my life, the more blessings there are to recognize. Here are a few recent blessings.

Our air conditioner was fixed yesterday. Not long after the men left, the temperature slowly began to rise again. Heath left a message with them again. We have not heard back from them. Obviously there are other clients to take care of. We probably are in line for services.

The blessing part is that the windows are still open. I’m sure if it wasn’t so breezy today it would feel much hotter. As it is, I feel cool air circulating through the house just with windows open and fans blowing. That is a beautiful blessing!

The other day we came across a letter in the mail that was a strange blessing. It was instructions for Heath to receive over $900 owed to him by Google. Years and years ago he worked for a company that we lovingly refer to as the biggest mistake of our lives. The company wanted him to analyze click stream data. They insisted he use his own account for the clickable ads. So before G-mail was the household name that it is now, he created a G-mail account.

Since leaving that company, Heath has tried multiple times to get the payout. For one reason or another he could not get to the money. He has even offered use of the account to other people for a portion of the revenue, or even for free! No takers. Now out of the blue, we are able to access the payout. It’s a significant amount of money. Much more than the measly tens of dollars I earned from Google ads over many years of hosting them on my blog. Certainly another blessing.

Apparently the Brexit thing with Great Britain leaving the UK could affect our mortgage interest rate. We locked in a really nice rate but thanks to Brexit, it may go even lower. It’s crazy to think how well timed things have been lately. We cashed out our investment at the right time, we are moving at just the right time. We could not have planned it better ourselves.

Recently I was reminded that I inherited some Olympic memorabilia from my dad. When I got it I wasn’t sure what to do with it. He had a couple of things but not a lot. I really only wanted it because of my connection to the 2002 Winter Olympics. I loved learning that my dad had volunteered and had some cool stuff from that experience. The plan was to find our Olympic cow bell and put it in a shadow box with my dad’s pins and things.

Something had triggered this memory and I could not find any of the stuff I got from my dad. I had a sinking feeling that maybe it was another casualty of the robbery. The only place I could think of putting that stuff was in a jewelry drawer. It wasn’t there. I felt awful.

Yesterday while I was packing up picture frames I found my dad’s things in a plastic box from the garage. I saw that box on Saturday and even looked at some of the contents. I took the box inside to deal with later. There were quite a few picture frames that I wanted to wrap and pack with the rest of our picture frames. It was when I took out the frames that I could more easily see the few items left in the box. There it was. The lost Olympic box and two packaged pins.

I ran upstairs to tell Heath the good news! When I came back down Ho Hey! by the Lumineers was playing. Hi Dad. Every time I hear that song I think of my dad. Every time it comes on I say “Hi Dad.” I looked at the items in my hands and added, “I found you.”

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