Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Laila's grave

Our first Sunday here we drove down to Colorado Springs to visit Laila's grave.  It was weird.  I had been back two and a half years ago and Mike had been back once on a business trip but we had never all been together to her grave since we left and Felicity had never been.  She didn't really understand.  She was very interested in all the flowers and "gifts" that were left on headstones.  We used to come and have picnics and go for walks and it was sad but mostly peaceful.  The boys are too old to go on prairie dog hunts and they were kind of bored I think.  It just felt different.  We finally just sent the kids to the van and then Mike and I stayed behind for a few minutes and both cried.  It's hard to be back where all this happened and recall that this is real and not some story.  It's kind of strange to be back honestly.  Her entire row is filled now.  That is even more strange and sad.  So much sadness in that row of little babies.

Moving week/s

Our last week in Florida was a hard one.  I went to bed every night completely drained.  It's funny because even though the Military moves us, there is still so much to do.  Moving just sucks all around.  I shipped the kids off to friends' houses the entire week.  Will spent four of those days in New York and the other kids went to hang out with friends.  I tried to wait until he got back to send the big boys to their best friends' houses.  I think that week was probably a little unsettling for the kids but because they had friends to keep them busy, it wasn't that awful for them.  The last packers packed our stuff in one day, instead of the three they allotted.  We were way under our weight limit, which, of course, is good.  I don't like to keep unnecessary junk.  Even then, it felt like a lot to me.  The movers came a day early but we couldn't check out of the house for a few days so we were pretty annoyed with the miscommunication.  The moving company hired out another local company and the local company was not willing to change to the original date so the main moving company paid for a hotel and food for us for the day we were in the empty house.  We had to get two rooms to fit us all in and the air conditioning was broken in the boy's room so they ended up sleeping in another room on a different floor.  Thankfully, they are old enough to do that but I did feel kind of uncomfortable not having them near me.  

We dropped the kids off at friends houses the next morning and then I went to the empty house while Mike did errand that took literally hours.  Thankfully my good friend met me at the house and we cleaned until 2.  She left and I finished up.  We had friends bring us meals all week, which was so nice and not something that we usually experience (maybe a meal or two but not an entire week).  We had so many offers of meals that they had to turn people away.  They also had people offer to clean but we got the cleaning done early since the movers came early.  Anyway, by the end of the day it was 9:30 and the cleaning was finally done.  Felicity was falling apart so Mike took the girls and Will to the temporary lodging on base.  I was hoping for a place on the beach (of course!) but we got the next best thing--right on the river.  Eli and Isaac stayed with me to finish up the mopping and then we headed on base so exhausted.  When we got to the lodging Mike came to see me and give me a hug and I couldn't even talk.  I just started crying and asked for a minute alone to collect myself.  

We finally crashed into bed at midnight.  

Such a long week and such a long week ahead.  

We woke up the next morning and loaded the van and car and headed to the house to meet the owner.  He wasn't there.  We texted him after 30 mins to see where he was and he said he had just landed and was going to lunch.  ???  We reminded him that he had requested this specific time and that we were MOVING that day and waiting to leave until after he arrived.  He said he would be there in an hour and we were obviously super annoyed.  We dropped off a mop at a friend's house and then texted him and said we left the keys on the counter but we weren't hanging out any longer.  I am sure he was bugged but he ended up sending us all our deposit money and he seemed fine in the text back to us.  

After lunch we headed out of Florida.  I didn't cry.  We drove to Warner Robins the first night--it's in Georgia, about five hours North of Melbourne.  It was another really long night and we were all exhausted by the time we got there.  We took our time leaving in the morning and drove to Knoxville.  We got to Knoxville at about 3 and since it looked like rain, we met a bunch of our friends at Chick-fil-A.  It was so nice to see everyone again.  It honestly felt like we had never been away.  Driving through Knoxville was so nice.  I remembered how much I missed it and how much it felt like home.  Sometimes when I move and come back it doesn't feel like home when we return.  This time was not like that.  It felt like home and it ached to leave.  I love my Knoxville peeps and all the beautiful countryside.  As we were about to leave Chick-fil-A it started to pour and we all got alerts on our phones that there was a tornado spotted just a few miles away so we all hid out in the restaurant until the warning was over.  We drove to our friend's the Copelands and dropped off our stuff and had pizza, then went to the Cruze's house down the rode for a game night.  A few other friends showed up.  Again, it was so good to see everyone again.  We stayed up way too late and didn't get to bed until 1 in the morning.  We slept in this pitch black basement and didn't wake up until after 8.  All the kids were still asleep so we took our showers and quietly loaded the van with our bags then went and ate breakfast with the Copelands when the kids woke up.  We said our goodbyes and headed on our way again. 

 We drove until just outside of Missouri that night.  We found this cute VRBO in the middle of nowhere.  We drove an extra 30 mins through farmland.  It was a cute little house and we had plenty of space.  We decided before bed that we would walk down to this cute little ice cream shop down the road.  We walked down and the shop was closed but the drive through was open.  We walked back and crammed everyone in the van and went through the drive through and only ate half of our ice cream and then froze them for breakfast the next morning.  Once again, we crashed that night.  

The next day we drove to Salina, KS.  We got two rooms connected together.  We were kind of cranky that evening.  Felicity had a hard time and Mike was irritable and I was tired.  We were all kind of trying to be patient with each other but were all pretty done by the time we stopped for the night.  We drove to Colorado the next day.  We stayed in the temporary living facility for a few days.  I can't even remember how long we were there--maybe four days.  It's all been blocked out of my mind.  Haha.  It wasn't bad.  We got into the house fairly quickly so that was nice.  

Every day of our drive we ran in some kind of bad weather.  In Indiana we ran into a Dercho and it was wild rain and wind and lightning.  We got separated for a few hours but then found each other eventually.  Crazy weather.  Thankfully, it was a pretty smooth drive.  the kids did amazing.  I had plenty of audio books to listen to and the cars worked great.  Our nights were always late and I worried about falling asleep while I drove each day but thankfully, that wasn't a problem.  Every day at 2 I'd get tired and have to turn off the audio book and listen to music or talk to whichever boy was driving with me.  Sometimes we would stop so I could wake up and then I'd be frustrated that we still had so many more hours to drive.  Restarting was always hard. That said, we had really long, good chunks of driving without needing to stop for the bathroom or eating or anything.  All in all, it went well.  I don't love driving across the country caravaning but we made it.

Colorado smells nice--like wildflowers, not like the yucky boiled egg sulfur smell of Florida.  It is also really nice weather.  It's hot here--in the 90's most days since we've been here--but the mornings are cool and the evenings aren't bad either.  It's such a nice break from the oppressive heat of Florida.  I miss the torrential downpours and awesome storms that roll in.  I miss the incredible sunsets (the most majestic of any place I've ever lived).  I ache for the beach.  I miss the wildlife and the palm trees.  I miss familiar.  I miss our homeschool group and our ward family.  I miss the pool.  I miss so much.  Colorado is nice too.  It's different and I wasn't ready for change.  Sometimes I will pause and think about walking on the beach and looking for shells or watching the kids and Mike surf and it actually takes my breath away.  It sounds so dramatic.  I have too many places to miss.  I guess that's not a bad thing.


I have not had a lot of success at keeping the girls out of my makeup.  I think they have ruined almost every tub or lipstick I have ever owned.  I stopped buying it.  This was one of those moments where I was busy and Felicity asked for makeup and I told her "no" but then went back to doing what I was doing, not noticing her sneaking past me and then sneaking past again.  I only found her when she went to show Isaac her work, getting it on the carpets and floors. 

Pictures with Steve and Carol

We spent a last weekend at Steve and Carol's house before our move.  I wanted to snap a few pictures with them and the kids so we could always remember this brief time we had to live near them.  It was so hot and at 5 PM in Florida, pictures are torture.  I didn't want to wait until right before sunset because we were going out to dinner.  I also didn't want to drag Steve and Carol to the shaded spot in their neighborhood because it was down a hill and didn't want to make Steve and his bad knees walk down there (he has needed a knee replacement for a few years now but refuses to get one until he can no longer walk).  Instead, I just had us walk down to open field at the end of their road, placed them with their backs to the sun, and hoped I'd get a good picture.  Eli and Isaac were in a fight so Eli was not cooperative and Piper stepped in a fire anthill.  We were also dripping with sweat so I snapped as many as I could in the shortest amount of time I could and we were back in the air conditioned house within 15 mins.  I'm glad I got a few that worked.