Wednesday, August 31, 2016

New Adventure

Life feels surreal right now. I just applied to rent a house in Alaska. My current home isn't even sold, yet we are moving next week.

In May our life turned upside down when we accepted an offer to check out a job opportunity in Alaska. Our initial response was, "No, we are fine, we like our life in Idaho and are not looking to relocate to Alaska." However, it wouldn't leave us alone, in the back of our minds we were still thinking about it and finally decided to at least look into it. So off we went on an impromptu trip to Alaska. Jeremy spent his 40th birthday on an airplane traveling to Alaska.

After a brutal week of listing the pros and cons and none of it making sense we choose to go for it - to turn our lives upside down, to move as far away as possible from family (as if Florida hadn't been far enough away), to move to the cold and the dark and for what -- a feeling, a deep burning feeling that it is absolutely the right thing for our family.

For the first week after our decision I felt absolute peace, a calmness and was sure that we made the right decision. Unfortunately that feeling didn't stay and major stress replaced it. We had an emotionally rough summer - June, July and August were tormenting months and I (and Jeremy, we took turns) no longer felt the same certainty. It seemed like if we were making the right decision for our future that every thing should just fall into place and it would be easy.

But, not all good things are easy and smooth sailing. Much of my emotional stress was my own fault - I was trying to force things to fall into place, like wanting our house to sell sooner (that's been the biggest stress by far) and trying to find a decent place to rent. Looking back I shouldn't have given any thought to those two things until now, starting too early on those things just brought unneeded stress.

The other major stress has been how to get us and our stuff up to Alaska - a moving company, going by ferry, driving through Canada. We've decided to drive with our stuff through Canada on a five day moving trip. Is that the best decision? I don't know. One thing I know for certain is that there have been no easy answers, no obvious answers, every question, every decision has been thoroughly talked over multiple times and each time we come back to the beginning not knowing what decision to make. Just typing this up makes me feel the stress of it all again.

The one thing I know right now is that when I applied for the rental I felt good about it and I feel good about moving next week. People keep asking me if I'm excited about moving. I haven't been able to feel excited because I've been too stressed, had too many decisions to make. I think next week I'll be able to start feeling excited about it all.

I am looking forward to a new adventure. However, I leave Idaho with a heavy heart. We have made so many wonderful friends here. Florida wasn't as hard to leave. We have and had many wonderful friends there, but most of them were students, like we were, and they too left and moved on to other places. Here, in Idaho we are the ones leaving and I'm sad, my kids are sad and it's harder.

So, to all my Idaho friends, I love you, thank you so much for loving me, I will always love you and I'm not leaving you, I'm taking you with me in my heart.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

day 2 thankful for...

I am thankful for photos, for memories, for the opportunity to reflect back on things that have happened. One thing looking back does for me is put today in perspective. If my kids are being hard to deal with, looking back at photos helps remind me how cute they really are and now is just a small moment and looking back I'm only really going to remember the good things.

Now that it is cold (and yesterday was snowy), I am grateful for pictures of summer to remind me of the warm days and beautiful green grass.

Charlie and Jeremy got to go to a BYU game and had seats on the second row. Charlie's favorite thing was the "cougar tail" (giant maple bar).

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Blogging Again?

I don't know if I'm really going to get into blogging again, but I have a post for today anyway. I've missed being creative and doing things with photos - i.e.. scrapbooking. Last week I spent a marathon day getting over 400 photos into a photo book (printed through My Publisher). It was awesome to get it all done in one day and the kids love looking back at photos. But I still crave the creative side of embellishing and using fun papers.

Here is a fun page that I did - it is a photo of when I was a kid - from the year 1989 (or so). I was dressed as a punk rocker. It's fun to look back and see photos of when I was a kid. I spend so much time with current photos that I haven't taken much time to look back at photos from when I was growing up. I must be in a bit of a nostalgic mood today, because this morning as I sat to read my scriptures I saw my journal on the shelf next to me and picked it up and began reading. It was my college-age journal (18-21 years old). I read for about an hour.

This is the other page I created today. A picture of Jeremy with Henry and Matthew looking at books. The pages I'm currently working on are centered on "thankful for...". I'm thankful for books and that my children love books.

Going back to digital scrapbooking felt a bit awkward because I'm rusty and out of practice. I also realized how far behind I am in Photoshop Elements editions - I have version 6 and version 14 just came out. I bought version 6 in 2008. It's time to upgrade. I tried to today, but I failed. I purchased a download, but didn't pay attention and got the Windows version instead of the Mac version. I have to wait a few days for them to refund the Windows version and then I will buy the Mac version - so frustrating.

So, what's new with us since the last time I posted a year and a half ago? Nothing big. We are still homeschooling, kids are getting bigger and older. We still live in Idaho, we still travel to St. George regularly to visit family.

Winter is here already. Today was the first snow day of the year and my kids made the most of it. Even before they had breakfast they were digging out snow clothes and suiting up. Snow pants, socks, snow boots, scarfs, coats, hats, mittens - oh my so much required. My kids love it. I, however, prefer warmer weather and flip flops. It's a good thing they went out first thing in the day to enjoy the snow. By afternoon it was mostly melted and gone.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Family Outing

In April we went as a family to Orange Leaf Yogurt. The kids had earned coupons, an ounce for each A they got on their report cards. We had not gone to Orange Leaf before, so it was fun to try a new place. The kids were able to get 3 different flavors in their cup and add some toppings. I loved how fun and colorful the place was and I ended up taking many photos.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February week 2

*Stake Conference last Sunday, I sang in the choir, up on the stand for the whole 2 hours, and Jeremy bravely sat with all six kids. I enjoyed Stake Conference so much!

*I love Henry's red and white candy stripe jammies, too bad he has outgrown them. Henry is 5 1/2 months old. He has fuzzy hair and the cutest smile ever. Lydia described him as "a cute, fluffy puppy"

*I sit in my rocking chair that is in my room to feed Henry. Matthew comes in and sits on the footstool, and gets his finger prints all over the mirror.

*I love the cute crafts that the kids make at school.

*The girls went to play at a friends house and they came home with the most awesome face paint scenery that I have ever seen. Their friends will be greatly disappointed when they come to play at our house, I don't have great fun things that I do when friends come over - I just send everyone to the backyard and let them play.

*Becca had her 100 day at school. To celebrate they had to bring 100 small food items that could go in a class "trail mix". She brought Mike and Ike candies. Becca also decorated a tshirt to wear with 100 stickers. (Although the package said 100 stickers, I think there was only 98, I figured we were close enough and did not go back to the store to buy more.)

We had a multi ward Valentines Dance for the adults. Jeremy was in charge of the table decorations, which really meant that I was in charge of the decorations. Jeremy didn't know how much money he could spend, so I bought stuff at the dollar store to keep it thrifty. Thankfully the dollar store had some great stuff and I think we did a great job.

You can click the pictures if you need a bigger version to see the detail better.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

January week 4 and February week 1

Some weeks it seems like not much has happened, but taking time to capture the little moments reminds me that life is in the details. Like the pictures of Henry and Becca reading together. The look on his face as he adores her is priceless. As is the picture of Tom and Matthew eating breakfast together. These photos really highlight the relationship between siblings and how much the little ones look up to the big ones.

The picture of Tom doing a handstand on his bed is random. He came to me and said, "Hey mom, come take a picture" and then he did his trick.

My favorite moment from this week is Jeremy putting in the new furnace. We finally got all the step done, gas line in, gas line turned on, new furnace installed. Making fires in the fireplace was nice, but it didn't really heat the whole house. It is so nice to just set the thermostat and not worry about it and the house is warm. This process of putting in a new furnace has sure made me more grateful for things of convenience such as our furnace and everyday I am so grateful for it.

Jeremy took Charlie and Becca and they went to St. George for a quick weekend trip. Jeremy and Char went skiing at Brianhead with Jeremy's brothers. Becca stayed in St George and played with some cousins. This was Charlie's first time snowboarding.

February is here and it brought snow with it. I was starting to wonder if we were going to get anymore snow this winter. It came all day long on Friday, gently falling, softly, quietly. I love watching the snow fall. I even took a video of it. It's so calming and soothing. The kids had a great time playing in it on Saturday and luckily they took advantage of it,  because by Saturday afternoon it had melted off and instead of a gorgeous white backyard, we had a lake of water.

I loved watching the Winter Olympic opening ceremony. I served a mission in St. Petersburg Russia, so I feel a bit of a kinship towards Russia. I got my kids to watch part of the ceremony, but I was the only one to watch the whole thing. Watching the Olympics is a nostalgic thing for me because I remember watching them when I was a kid. It was a big deal because they didn't come on very often and when the Olympics came on there wasn't much else to watch, with only 3 stations to choose from. Even now, I would spend more time watching the events, but it doesn't seem like they put much of it on network tv, so disappointing. Ice skating is my favorite to watch.

Monday, February 03, 2014

January Week 3

It's been a little bit more like winter around here. Just when I was getting used to the 40 degree weather it turned cold and despite the weather forecast saying it was supposed to warm up into at least the 30's during the day, the past two weeks have been much colder. Last week we had fog every day that left the trees frosted white. It was lovely. 
This week the wind has been blowing and making it feel very chilly. Although this is our second winter in Idaho I still prefer the warmer winter days to the cold snowy ones.

We have been working on getting our furnace replaced, Jeremy has been doing it. Two weeks ago the gas company came and dug to put the gas line to our house. They had to dig up the bushes along the fence line, which we were very happy about because we didn't like those bushes and since they had a backhoe it was quick and easy for them to do.

It's awesome to have a new furnace that works so well. The air pressure with our last furnace was poor and the upstairs bedrooms didn't warm up because the air barely trickled out the vent. It now blows out nicely through all the vents.

Saturday the 25 was a busy Saturday. Charlie had robotic competition at the college all day long. His team did awesome and they got 2nd place, out of the 47 teams that competed.

Tom had Pinewood Derby. He designed his car himself and did much of the work himself. He won first place in two of the rounds, but overall got 4th place.