Sunday, July 23, 2017


I have pictures to upload but they are on my camera and my laptop won't upload pictures from my camera.  So this post will just be boring words.  We have finally moved.  We were sad to move but it got to the point where it was just hanging over our heads and we were just waiting.  It needed to happen finally so we could all get to getting our lives settled again.  We aren't settled yet but at least we are on our way towards that.  The boys headed to Scout Camp after the open house.  Mike went up for two days while I stayed home with the little kids to get the house ready for the packers.  It was a stressful two days because the baby doesn't like to be away from me.  She likes to be held or right next to me all the time and Mike and the two boys were gone so I had to rely on Eli and Piper for help.  Mike came home on Wed and it just felt like everything fell apart that day.  All the stress finally came to a head and came out in an ugly stress barf.  There was a decision we had to make and I told Mike I wasn't able to discuss it and we needed to wait to have the discussion later but he insisted we discuss it and make a decision and so I kind of fell apart.  Tears, yelling, more tears.  It wasn't pretty and I wish it hadn't happened.  Mike didn't yell.  He didn't cry.  Just me.  Anyway, we had the discussion and then it ended up being a moot point, which didn't help.  There were other not cool things happening at the same time that made for the perfect emotional storm for me.  Too much at one time.  Bleh.  

The packers came on Thursday and packed our house up in two days.  The two older boys came home to see their rooms packed and boxes everywhere.  We lived around the boxes until Monday when the movers came and loaded the truck.  We spent the night at our friend's house and then returned to the empty house on Tuesday morning to clean.  It was a fast and furious morning of cleaning.  At 1 we closed the doors to our house and drove back to our friend's house to shower and drop off the kids and then we drove across town to sign the papers and hand over keys to the house at closing.  It was so fast that there wasn't time to feel sad.  I briefly felt sad at one point when I was cleaning but didn't have time to dwell on it.  I guess I'm just sentimental but I kind of wish I had gotten the chance to walk around one last time before we gave over the keys.  

We headed back to our friend's house for dinner.  We had more wonderful friends come and see us to say goodbye and then we put the kids to bed and went to a late move with our friends.  The next morning, we got started late because we washed a load of laundry and repacked the van and car.  At noon, we finally left Knoxville.  We ended up reaching Atlanta at 5 PM, the worst time to try and drive through Atlanta.  I don't know how people manage living there honestly.  The traffic is so bad.  The GPS kept taking us on crazy routes making the drive even worse and at one point I couldn't see Mike's car anywhere.  I finally found him about an hour later.  Finally, at 10 PM we reached Warner Robins where we stayed in a TLF on base.  That night the two younger boys were pretty emotional.  Eli said his ear hurt and was worried it would get so infected it might have to be cut off and "what if I don't make any friends?"  He cried and cried.  Isaac was in Mike's car during the whole Atlanta traffic ordeal and Mike kept yelling and threatening to throw his phone out the window and poor Isaac was feeling the effects of all the stress so after we stopped for dinner he sat in the van with me and cried.  He missed his friends and wanted to go home.  I told him to hop out of the van and run two laps of the parking lot and he would feel better.  He ran them and he did actually feel better but he told me later that he wanted to cry multiple times in the car but held it back.  

The next day was better.  We made good time and arrived at our vacation rental at 8 PM. Isaac briefly got upset again and said he wanted to go home and were all the yards going to be so ugly?  Mike went to work the next morning and I took the kids to get some food at the grocery store in the pouring rain.  When Mike came back I told him that we needed to head over to the beach after the storm passed because the kids needed something happy to happen.  The rain stopped and we went and played in the ocean for an hour.  The kids were so happy!  The next morning we woke up, ate quickly and then headed back for an early morning swim.  It was perfect and again, the kids were so happy.  I really feel like going to the beach helped the kids have a happier outlook on life and their current circumstances.  

We went to church today and the ward is not as big as we expected and the primary is small.  It's small enough that they have combined Isaac and Will's class and Eli is also in a combined class.  There is only one other boy in Eli's class again and that makes me sad because he has been worried about making friends and I had been praying for boys to be in the ward.  We will just have to figure out how to find other friends in the neighborhood and such.  The ward was very friendly though.  Everyone was so welcoming and we have already had three invites to do things.  I'm hopeful that this can be a smooth transition.  

The kids all show subtle signs of the stress from the move.  They are a little more sensitive and get irritated at one another quicker.  Piper cries more easily.  The baby isn't sleeping again.  We finally got her sleeping without much effort at night time and now we are kind of back to square one.  She is tired and cranky and confused.  

We are in this vacation rental for ten more days and then we will have our stuff delivered and get in the rental house.  Hopefully we can rest up and make the next few days happy and fun and do some exploring and take more beach trips before life has to be stressful again.  

Moving is so tough.  

Monday, July 10, 2017

Saying goodby

We have one more week here.  I have competing feelings of sadness and gratitude. A few days ago I happened to say, "Ya'll" and it just rolled off the tongue so naturally.  I couldn't help but smile.  I finally talk like a southerner and I have to leave!  Just kidding, I still don't sound like a southerner.  

When Mike was applying for schools we had pretty much decided that Texas A&M was where we were going.  When Mike got accepted to MIT of course we thought we were probably crazy for turning that opportunity down and we thought Texas was the next best choice for our family but Tennessee kept popping up in our minds.  I felt so much peace about moving to Tennessee.  We had looked for houses on the other side of town where everyone told us to live and none of those houses felt good to me.  I looked at a few on this side of town and each time I felt so much peace but we thought Mike was going to have to work at Oakridge and he did not want to drive an hour to work.  We put an offer on a house on the other side of town and when the house had termites we pulled out of that offer.  Then this house popped up and without even seeing the house we put an offer on it and hoped for the best.  Mike decided that if he had to drive an hour half of the week he would just deal with it.  (He ended up only having to go to Oakridge ocassionally).  When we moved into the house we discovered that it was in the exact area that I had felt good about when I had come to look at houses.  In fact, it was in the subdivision across the street from my favorite house on our house search.  At the time I thought, "I guess this is where Heavenly Father wants our family."  Three years later, I don't have any guesses, I know!  I feel like we were in the ward He wanted us to be in and we have made such incredible friends here.  

I feel so sad to say goodbye but I feel like Heavenly Father has placed the best of the best in our path everywhere we have lived.  I feel so grateful for the experiences he is giving us.  While I do not like to move and I'd be perfectly happy staying right where I am, I recognize that if I stayed in my comfortable little life, I'd never meet these people!  I've worried that maybe we won't make friendships in Florida like we have here.  Maybe they won't like us.  Maybe they will think we are weird.  Or, maybe they will think they already have friends and they don't need more.  Last night at the open house they had for us one of my friends came up to me.  He shook my hand and said, "Adrianne, if you stay as the person you are, you will have no problems making friends."  I had never told him my worry about not making friends in Florida so he couldn't have known how I was feeling and his comment made me feel so thankful.  I hope he was prompted to tell me that because it meant the world to me.  I hope we leave Florida with as many good memories and friends as we've made here.

Best friends!  Mike and Conan served together in the bishopric.  If Mike could hang out with anyone, it would be Conan

The Copeland's.  They have another cutie red-head not in the picture.  We love this family and have learned so much from their example and friendship.

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Mandy and Dani are niece and Aunt.  I love these two beautiful ladies.  

Camryn, Cally, Paul.  I can't wait to see what happens with Camrynn in the future.  I hope my little girls grow up to be like the Young Women in this ward.  I loved Cally from the minute I met her.  Will told me yesterday that when he met her he thought, "Mom is going to want to be her friend."  He was right!  

Dani Cruze.  Dani is quite possibly the coolest girl in the world.  I love her.

Isaac with his class of boys (one boy missing).  Brother Hughes is Isaac's teacher and Isaac loves him.  These boys have become Isaac's best friends

The Finstad's.  Emily F. and Cally C were the first people I met when we moved here.  They showed up at the house and welcomed us.  Bishop Finstad served with Mike and Conan and then Mike was his counselor when Nathan got called as the bishop.  

Two of these sweet girls were in my class last year before they headed to Young Women's.  Such sweet girls!

The Strickland's!  I admire AnneMarie so much.  She is a homeschooling mom as well and she is incredible.  I've loved being her friend.

Eli had a party in our backyard with friends.  Forts, water relay, laser guns!

These two cuties...


Crystal Copeland.  I will miss this amazing friend

an ice cream treat with friends!

swimming with friends 

Hayley and Piper--the ward's twin red-heads and best friends

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Worth it

In full transparency, seven months into this baby thing, I still feel like I'm getting my butt kicked.  This baby stuff has always been difficult for me and I always wish I knew how to do it better.

This past week I had Felicity, Piper, and Isaac home with me while Mike had Will and Eli.  While I sat down to get Felicity ready for bed, Piper asked Isaac if he would play with her.  He was not exactly excited about it but agreed and went to search for chalk.  After I got the baby in bed I went to see what they were doing and found them drawing masterpieces.  I watched (and snapped pictures) while they talked and played together.  Later, Isaac said, "You know, surprisingly, this is the most fun I've had all day."  Then he told me of a goal he had, "After buying my first car, I'm going to take Piper and Felicity to get ice cream on my first drive in the car."  

This is what makes up for the crabby babies.  These fussy-gussy babies eventually become awesome bigg(er) people that I adore.

Friday, June 30, 2017

7 months (almost)

Felicity is almost seven months.  She is getting better and a lot of people have been noticing that she is crying less and smiling more.  Her reflux is mostly controlled now.  Whereas before, she barfed every time anything went in her mouth and barfed throughout the day, now, she only barfs once or twice a day.  I'm not sure if it's the Nexium she is on or if it's just her growing up but either way, I'm thankful that things seem better.  Next month we lower her dose of Nexium and see if she starts barfing again.  It was pretty bad there for awhile and every time I'd lay her down she'd wake up five minutes later with barf coating her head.  

Now that she is starting to feel better she is also starting to sleep better.  She isn't an awesome napper but it's so much better than what we had that I'll take it!  She stopped sleeping through the night in April and there doesn't seem to be any pattern in her night time sleep.  I'm tired pretty much all the time now.  Her brothers didn't sleep through the night until about nine months so this is not something new to me.  I sure hope she starts sleeping through the night soon though because I feel like a walking zombie.

She is sitting up pretty well now and rolls over.  She is just as wiggly as Piper was.  It's difficult to hold her because she jumps and twists and turns and grabs and tries to get out of my arms.  She is extremely curious and loves music.  So far she enjoys most foods other than beans and peas.  

She loves water.  If she is fussy, I can get her in the bath and she will immediately cheer up.  She enjoys the pool and loves that her brothers will take her out in the water.  She also loves the swings and bubbles and pounding on the piano. 

I feel thankful for her snuggles and the way she lights up when I pick her up and thankful that we each month seems to be getting easier with her.  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sunday, June 18, 2017


This sweetie loves watermelon.  I love her. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Will has the craziest hair.  I guess it's not the craziest because it's essentially the exact same hair as Mike so they tie for the craziest hair.  Their hair does not grow out flat.  It sticks straight up.  It doesn't comb down well at all.  The last year we have been letting Will's hair grow longer on the top and have been trying to train his hair to lie flat.  It will only do that if it is longer.  For the most part, Mike has trained his hair to lie flat but like Will, only if it is longer on the top.  Not only does Will's hair grow straight up but it grows so, so fast.  It just gets so shaggy so fast.  The boys grumble when I cut their hair which makes me want to grumble so I'm not very good at cutting it as often as it needs to be.  And obviously, I'm not a hair dresser so I'm not really very good at cutting their hair.  I started cutting it yesterday and then we decided to change things up a bit and cut his hair like Mike's.  I let Mike take over and we gave Will a new style.  For the most part it turned out well other than the part in the back of his head that still wants to stand up.  Which, ironically, is the same place Mike's hair stands up in the back.  Will's new hair cut is super cute on him and makes him look so much older.  He doesn't look like a 12 year old, but more like a 14 year old.  Which, I guess makes sense since his body is the size of a 14 year old.