{I will forever miss my favorite spot in the entire house.}

Life as I knew it pretty much crumbled to a pile of mush nearly two months ago. Our future plans were erased and/or shelved for another, more distant time. I did not handle the blow of being transferred from Milwaukee very well. Obviously...

I tried to remain flexible with each day Tim would come home from work with no news, or even worse--bad news about our future. There was probably a five minute segment of my life when I actually felt excited about living in California. That occurred before we received bad news after bad news about the move. The move was difficult and exhausting to say the least.

This is our third move in three years. I know we signed up for this rotational gig, but let me be  completely frank with you...we did not know how truly difficult it would be to uproot our family time after time. I would not recommend this life to anyone. I sit in stupor when I think of the thousands of military families who have moved over and over and over again throughout this country's history. To just think of the heartbreak of all those children and those wives who have to quickly make friends just to lose them just as fast makes my heart sad. I understand you. I feel for you. My life will not always be this way (hopefully), but I know yours will.

Today as I sat in church watching my teething baby gum up my bright tangerine dress, I pondered my life for what it is and what it is not. It is so much more than I ever thought it would be and yet it is not at all what I thought it would be. It's a weird juxtaposition.

As I sat there completely distant from the lesson being taught, I couldn't help but feel an enormous amount of gratitude. If it would've been appropriate to cry, I would've gushed tears of gratitude all over myself, my new dress and my sweaty baby. Thankfully it was not appropriate. That would've been weird.

In no particular order, here is a list of all the things I am particularly grateful for this evening: 
  • For the man who spoke in church today who reminded me that to truly feel peace in this life, we must first come to understand the nature of God and our relationship with Him. I am embarrassed to admit this but I have become so distant from Him over the past two months. Rather than seek peace, I have let myself stew in anger and resentment. I am trying to change this, but oh how grateful I was to be reminded of how loving God really is to his children. 
  • For my Heavenly Father since I'm on the subject. I am a stubborn daughter. I try and do too much on my own and yet He still finds ways to tell me He is there. I love Him. I am grateful for the blessings he has recently given us, even though I feel so undeserving of them. 
  • For my family and Tim's family and for all the prayers in our behalf, extra phone calls at random times of the day and quick day trips to help ease whatever burden I was carrying. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 
  • For Bruce and Laurie and their amazing hospitality during the week we were homeless. Tim's aunt and uncle allowed us to bunk at their place for a week while we were in transition from Wauwatosa to San Diego. They showed us so much kindness and love and never made us feel like impositions even though we are a rowdy bunch. Thank you from the bottom of all five of our hearts. 
  • For Steve and Cami and for the real friendship we made over the past year. I was devastated when we heard we were moving because we finally made some real couple friends again. The kind of friends you call late--even though you know they are sleeping--because a child is sick or you need a favor. The kind of friends you can call last minute to do a BBQ or watch a movie. Thank you. I miss you every warm day we should be swimming together.
  • For Emily M., Nicole D., and Barb for all the help and friendship you extended throughout the year, especially in the last week. Emily came to my house four days before her due date to help me pack. Isn't that legit? I couldn't talk her out of it, but I loved her company. And Nicole and Barb visited me monthly as teachers and friends, but were particularly helpful when my walls and baseboards needed to be washed before the final checkout. Thank you.  
  • For Bethany and her mom who hugged me against my will when all I wanted to do was breakdown and cry. Two days before flying to San Diego, I dropped by Mya's friend Brailey's house to return some tupperware and pajamas and was completely overwhelmed when Brailey's grandma looked at me and hugged me without hesitation. I don't really hug and I never ask for hugs, but on that day...I really needed a hug. My girls had thrown so many tantrums, V peed her pants twice before noon, an entire water bottle spilled in my purse full of important documents and goldfish crumbs creating an orange mush and the line at McDonalds was so long that my girls felt the need to jump from bench to bench until one fell and hit her head. And it was only noon! I arrived frazzled and unkempt and tired of screaming. Oh...I screamed so much during those final weeks. I needed that hug more than anything else on the planet. And then she offered to keep Mya for a playdate. Mya never had so much fun. And then when Bethany got home, she insisted we do the same thing the next day. And we did. Thank you. 
  • For Lane and all your Trader Joe treats and your selfless act of service to drive over an hour to help me clean the house. You my friend are a rare one. I love you like a brother and you better visit me. 
  • For Jenny and every last minute favor I asked of you. You made my life in Milwaukee that much easier just by inviting me to things. You were always kind. You are the kind of person I only wish to be. I only wish I could be there to take your kids when your baby girl arrives. I don't think I would've liked WI as much without you. You seriously made all the difference.
  • For Krachel and Mya's much needed sleepover with Lexie. She talks about her endlessly and can't wait to show her all her new parks when you come to visit. And she does honestly think you are when are you coming? Thanks for taking the day off to play at the pool with us. I know your life is crazy busy too so that really meant a lot. 
  • For the branch book club and playgroup. I have never in all my life--no exaggeration--felt so loved so quickly. You took me under your wing and loved me and my girls. I don't know how to write anymore without crying so I won't. But I thank you all so much for the true friendship you gifted me with over the year. 
  • For my dad and grandma who met me here in San Diego and helped me get through the airport with six bags, three carseats and three children. And who made themselves available for the movers to arrive throughout the day. You saved us a week without stuff. Thank you.
  • For Whit and her daily texts of encouragement and sass. You are irreplaceable. I love you. 
  • For Kara and the last minute trip you took to visit us before we left. Mya tells everyone about Ben and his broken arm. We miss you both. We love you.
  • For my husband who endured countless (and I really mean countless) hours of whining, crying and yelling. I have to jot down this memory before it escapes me because it will, but there was one night I felt particularly low and I sat at the computer to type this post when sadness overcame me. I sobbed with my head on our desk and felt my body shutdown. Tim had been watching the NBA playoffs and was unaware of my inner struggle but quickly became aware when he saw me crying. He immediately paused the game, came over to my chair, turned me around so I could face him and he hugged me. He wiped away my tears. He kissed my cheeks. And then he made me a milkshake. This move has been hard on him too, but he never gave up on me. 
  • For my girls and their built-in flexibility. I know kids generally rebound fast, but my kids were born with special wiring. They have been mostly flexible during this whole experience. This is Mya's third move. She has made friends in every place she's lived and has had to hug them goodbye. She is resilient and brave in ways I am not. I admire her. And I am grateful for her forgiving heart. She tells me daily how much she loves me. She overlooks my weaknesses and sees my good. So does V. I hope Elle will too someday. 
That's a big list. And surely I've forgotten someone. But it's getting late and I ought to get to bed. V hasn't been sleeping since we moved here so there is no doubt in my mind that she will be tapping on my forehead in about two hours. And least she snuggles with me for a minute before banishing me to the very edge of the bed so she can spread out and get comfortable.

Things are starting to be familiar around here. We've found a couple of nice parks and visited the beach once. It is so weird to live in a gated community. We're not really the gated community type, but we're adjusting and trying to keep our screams to a minimum. Apparently you get a note taped to your door if you're too loud. We generally fall into the too loud category. Hmm. But there is one major perk of living in a gated community and that is enjoying its amenities. This place has an amazing pool tucked up on a hill that we are visiting almost daily.

1 comment :

  1. After reading all of your posts lately and then reading this one, I can tell, things are getting better. And that makes me happy.


"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley