Thankfully I didn't really start crying until we left the stake center... My head hurts, my eyes are red, my nose is running and I feel like a huge dork because I can't seem to stop. I'm not talking loud bawling or anything - just quiet, trying-not-to-cry tears. Trying to accept things that I cannot change tears. Trying not to upset the children tears. Digging DEEP for the faith I know is there tears. If I'm being honest with myself, selfish tears.
I grew up in a military family. We moved every three years and that's just the way it was. I always made new friends at each new post and many, many of those friendships have lasted into my adult years. I haven't completely put my finger on why this move is so hard for me but I guess it's because we didn't move. We're still here but our sense of here is now completely changed.
We moved to Texas in July of 1999, almost 9 years ago, and have been members of the Arlington 5th ward since then. Cara turned one here in this house - that's how long ago we're talking. To some nine years may not sound like a lot but, for me, to be in one ward that long is a true record. We live here with our closest immediate family a 20-hour drive away - the 5th ward has been our family. I've been the Primary president, in the Young Women presidency, and now in the Relief Society presidency in this ward. Bryan's been in the Primary, Financial clerk, Executive Secretary and Elder's Quorum presidency in this ward. We have history here...
Today our stake realigned boundaries of 5 different wards and created a new ward. People from the 5th ward were reassigned to 4 different wards, including some back into 5th. We are now members of the Arlington 4th ward. I knew that we would probably be going to a new ward but I didn't think we would be the only active family from 5th ward to be moved into the 4th ward pretty much by ourselves. (There are 2 active single brothers who are also in this boat with us.) All of our other friends from 5th ward had a large chuck of people they would stay with as they transitioned into a new ward family. This is where the selfish part comes in...
The stake president, whom I highly respect and have much love for, asked each ward to stand and sustain the new bishoprics one at a time. When we stood, I looked around to see who else would be in the 4th ward and saw maybe two people I personally know standing with us - none of which were from 5th ward. I don't think I've ever felt more alone. I couldn't help it - two tears slipped down my cheeks as I raised my hand to sustain this monumental change. Now they won't stop.
Sorry if this post is a downer. I know, just like when I was growing up military, that I'm not losing friends, I'll be gaining new ones. I'm just trying really hard to get over the intense feelings of loss I have right now. I do have a testimony of the gospel. I know the church is true. I get it. I'll be relying on that knowledge and faith to get me through this until I come to grips with our new reality.
The aunts and uncles (minus Aunt Hil)
The cool fish in the blue water centerpieces that Bryan keeps mentioning. :)
Walker Wedding #2 will be in June when Beckie's oldest, Amanda will wed her Beau!
By Wednesday we were doing things like this:
I did not get in the pool because, as I explained to the kids, I am not crazy. It was in the high 70's, low 80's but the water in the pool was super cold. The girls thought ducks at the pool was pretty awesome.
Thursday we planned to meet our friend, Eric, at the Houston Temple. He was going to an early session and then would take the girls back to the condo so Bryan & I could do a session.
Literally 4 minutes from the temple Jordyn puked.
Not sure who's idea it was to let her have Coco Puffs and chocolate ice cream for breakfast but she now had a blanket of disgusting choclate vomit all over her and her car seat. Whoa. We stopped at CVS to clean her off and clorox the van out. The smell was over-powering... I also found an adult size long-sleeved shirt there, cut off the arms, slipped them onto her legs and put the shirt on her. I think she thought she was stylin'... Needless to say, we were not able to stay for a session but did walk around the temple grounds for awhile. Cara and Sarah kept oohhing and aahhing about how gorgeous the Temple is. I have to agree!All in all, we had a fabulous time! It was nice to get away and spend time together. I finished two books, a 1,000 piece puzzle and a cross-stitch pattern I started when I was pregnant with Cara while we were there... So that's what I used to do before the Internet... hhmmm...
5:00 am - Alarm goes off - snooze once - shower
5:45 am - Leave for doctor's appointment in Dallas with my rheumatologist
6:30 am - Arrive for 7 am appointment (they request you get there early...)
7:00 am - Lab work
8:00 am - Actually meet with the Doctor. He says he'll start to taper down the prednisone next month but then increased the dosage of Azulfidine to 2000 mg/day. Blood work looked just fine.
9:15 am - Back in Arlington - went to Dollar Tree sans children for a few Easter basket goodies
10:00 am - Pick up Jordyn from my Visiting Teacher's house. Her daughter was having a difficult time sharing with Jordyn and cried a lot while she was there but then cried again when we had to leave... The joys of 4-year-olds...
10:10 am - Arrive 10 minutes late to Visit Teach Gwenette - at least Sandee, my companion & good friend, was on time
11:00 am - Buy Jordyn a Happy Meal - she eats approximately half - this drives me crazy...
11:15 am - Drop Jordyn off at Robin's so I can go to RS Lunch Bunch at Kincaid's Burgers
11:30 am - Aforementioned Lunch Bunch with 6 others. A junior burger is PLENTY... and Yummy!
1:00 pm - Pick up Jordyn and head home - try unsuccessfully to get her to nap
3:20 pm - Cara comes home - no homework - phew!
5:00 pm - Go to Cici's school fundraiser pizza night
6:00 pm - Cara's Open House at Amos Elem. - Talk to all the teachers & librarian - They love her :)
6:25 pm - Bryan flew to Utah for our niece, Ashley's, wedding this weekend - thank goodness Brandon dropped him off at the airport! - Will come home Sun. afternoon
7:30 pm - Visit Teach Debi - arrive on time this time...
8:30 pm - Take children home - put to bed - they beg to sleep with me since Daddy's out of town - cave in to the request - immediately regret decision
9:00 pm 'til 3 am-ish (not to be confused with Amish) - Jordyn repeatedly kicks me in the back - I hear every creak and groan of the house - get up and look around with my trusty bat in hand - dog wakes up and follows me around - put dog out 3 different times - finally left her outside close to 2 am...
6:30 am - up again for a new day
I'm pretty sure I really over did it. Days like that never used to bother me, in fact they were somewhat routine but now I'm totally wiped out by a day like yesterday. Today I was so tired I didn't even shower until 3:30 in the afternoon. I laid in my bed reading/dozing while Jordyn watched a movie or two. I know - lame... I also scoured the Internet trying to find a last minute fare that would get me to Utah in time for the wedding but had no luck. It would have been fun to just show up and surprise them all!
I dug deep and found enough energy to take the girls to see Horton Hears a Who tonight. We all really liked it! We also stopped at Kohl's and found Easter dresses for both Cara & Jordyn on the way home. One more thing to check off my list. :) They are both short-sleeve dresses so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some good weather next weekend. It was 87 degrees today but Texas weather can change on a dime...
I've had this tree since before we moved down to Texas way back in 1999 and I can't remember the last time I put it up. It might have come out once but even Cara couldn't remember ever seeing it.
My mother is queen of the holidays. I'm pretty sure she has holiday decor for every occasion. Mom would even send me holiday packages while I was in college and the family still lived in Germany. It was awesome!! My girls now look for a package from grandma when Valentine's Day, Easter & Halloween roll around. She's never dissapointed them and they love it!
I used to decorate. I don't know what happened... maybe just life... but I slowly stopped decorating for any holidays except for Christmas. Christmas is the one holiday I will go all out for. I love getting those boxes out and sorting through all of the red & green. I'm not saying we don't celebrate the other holidays; it's just that those boxes don't usually come down until the night before and by then it's too late to get the stuff out only to put it back again the next day.
Our ward is having an Easter egg hunt this Saturday. If you planned to participate you had to bring a dozen filled plastic eggs per child to the church this week so that everything could be hidden before the hunt actually starts. This is a good idea considering the whole Mormon Standard Time thing - however anyone willing to bet there will still be people who show up Saturday with a sack full of eggs? :) Bryan got down the Easter box from the attic for me and the girls and I spotted the Egg Tree.
I'm so glad. We pulled it out and decorated it together. The girls took their time placing each ornament on just the right branch. Then we all stepped back and admired each other's work. It was another blaring reminder for me to enjoy life and take advantage of these years when my own children are home and only want my love and time together.
Photo taken at least a year ago...
3 pkgs. Duracell AA batteries
8 pkgs. frozen Steamfresh veggies
4 pkgs. Bic 4-pk razors
4 pkgs. Hungry Jack instant potatoes
2 rolls Pillsbury cresent rolls
2 rolls Pillsbury Cinnamon rolls
2 lbs. fresh broccoli
2 lbs. pears
2 lbs. apples
4 Stouffer's Frozen Entree Dinners
1 gal. milk
2 boxes Honeycomb
2 boxes Fruity Pebbles
4 bags Bridgeford frozen rolls
8 Pillsbury cake mixes
3 cans Pillsbury frosting
1 box Barilla lasagna noodles
2 bags Jet Puff mini-marshmallows
4 boxes Betty Crocker fruit snacks
3 boxes Total cereal
2 boxes Reeses Puffs cereal
1 box Cocoa Puffs
1 box Multi-grain Cheerios
1 French's spicy brown mustard
1 lb. hamburger meat
2 Jennie-O Turkey Tenderloins
1 lb strawberries
1 Softsoap liquid pump soap
4 boxes Wholly Guacamole
1 loaf sour dough bread
4 pkgs. No Nonsense pantyhose
4 Sunsilk styling products
Total cost before coupons: $259.03
Total spent: $84.28
Total saved: $174.75!! (68%)
I love saving money. I seriously get a rush watching my totals come down on the grocery store registers. The sad part is I think the most expensive single item was the milk - $3.50/gallon...
The morning after the Stars game Bryan discovered that there was something terribly wrong with our house's sewer system. You might wonder how one makes a discovery like this... It seems that when your sewer is backed up all things related to water in your home exit through an exterior access pipe. Ours happens to be in front of the house in the flower bed. Floating on top of said freshly weeded flowerbed was copious amounts of toilet paper and other unmentionables. Awesome.
Bryan goes off to work saying, "Call the plumber. It probably just needs to be snaked." Snaked? Okay.
The plumber comes over and says, "I'll just send the snake down and clear the blockage. It'll be $188.16 to do that." Gasp - okay... The plumber, named David, sends the snake (long, hose-looking thing with a blade on the end of it) down into the access pipe searching out the evil obstruction. Nothing. He sends the snake in again. Nothing.
He rings the doorbell, a flustered look on his face and says, "I can't figure this out. I'm gonna need to send the camera down there and take a look. Whatever is down there is taking hunks out of the metal blade on the snake. I'll waive the prior fee but sending down the camera will cost $292.50." Yikes. He sends the camera down and discovers that somehow the pipes that connect our house to the city's main sewer are now offset. His fancy camera sends a signal telling him that the problem is 6 feet down and one foot UNDER our driveway. It'll cost - gulp - $2,484.00 to dig down and fix the problem. Oh, and because of the impending storm they won't be able to do it until tomorrow...
We get this all lined up and scheduled. David, the plumber, leaves. Next the refridgerator repairman (named Steven - a greasy, odd-looking man with thick glasses) shows up. Our freezer seemed to be working fine but the lower half of the fridge wasn't cooling. Some repair men come, do their job, get some money and leave. Not Steven. He wants to talk. Great. Apparently the thermostat on the freezer had over heated and was not automatically defrosting and it needed to be replaced. An hour and a half, $130, and another $15 under the table to fix my ice maker later he left. (Thank goodness...)
Meanwhile the city has come by to make sure the main sewer lines weren't the problem and the rain starts to fall. Other cities about 45 minutes away got up to 9 inches of snow. We got cold, pounding rain. This did not help my poor exterior access pipe much. You never realize how much water you use in the house until you have to weigh every choice to use it. "Hmm, this is going to have to be the world's fastest shower. No laundry. No dishes. Careful and creative moderated use of the toilets... Not fun.
The next day David-the-plumber was back with a crew of 3 guys to dig the hole. This took ALL day long. Six feet is deep. They piled all the dirt onto plywood on the lawn and sank lower and lower into the hole.
You can see the guy's shovel at the top of the wheelbarrow. The three of them kept trading places until they were finished. I realize only one guy could be in there at a time but it was frustrating watching the other two stand around.
This is David-the-plumber. He doesn't look happy to be standing in our sewage, does he?
The new and improved pipe and the huge mound of dirt that wouldn't all fit back into the hole they dug it from... why won't it ever all fit back in?
I'm happy to report that we can now flush, shower, launder & wash dishes once again. Did I really miss the dishes and laundry part?? And, yes, we are currently accepting all donations!
Eating cotton candy... Can you see Bryan? :)
The girls (Brenna, Cara, Gabrielle & Jordyn) on the train ride home.
I know I made this sound like it was a horrible night. It wasn't! We did have fun together as a family and strengthened our relationship with our neighbors. I think next time, though, the money used from driving our own car and arriving and leaving when we want to will be money well spent. :)
It's very indicative of finicky Texas weather because just Saturday night looked like this:
Notice the short-sleeved shirts and shorts? Crazy. It's supposed to be in the high 60's again by 3 pm...
She designed the new look for my blog. I love it!!
It's not very often I come accross another Hilary - especially one who spells her name correctly... :)
Thanks so much!