Monday, December 5, 2011

I'm Such a Loser

I will deny it if confronted, but I'm not ashamed of it.
Yes, being a loser makes my life so much easier.

For example, my daughter's 6th birthday was last week.
A kind friend gave her this.
I think I lost it within hours of the first time she played with it
(and got the hair colors all over herself, the table, the floor, the counter...) 
I'm pretty sure I will never find it again.

I've been known to lose really annoying noise toys.
I've lost toys with lots of little parts that I'm tired of picking up.
I've even lost whole collections, like the popcorn kernel one. (Don't ask)

Sometimes its clothing that I lose.  You know, the shirt that someone else gave them that they love and want to wear all the time, but its so ugly that you can't bear for them to be seen in it and hope that no one thinks YOU bought it for them?  Yep, I've lost a few of those.

But while I'm not ashamed of it,
I do hope no one ever realizes what a loser I am.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fess up Friday: Your momma dresses you funny

I'm not a typical female.  I only own a few pairs of shoes and almost all of my clothes fit in a 1/3 of my very small closet.  I do try to dress nicely, and for the most part I think I succeed.  I just don't have a lot of clothes or shoes to do it with.  Its not for lack of funds, its just the way I am.  Cheap  Frugal.

Unfortunately for my children, I am also in charge of their wardrobes.  What this means is that when we moved to Korea from Hawaii a few months back, each of my boys owned a single pair of shoes.  Flip-flops no less.  (Since Asha went to school she also had a pair of tennis shoes and a pair of Mary Janes.)

When it comes to their clothing, I do care about quality so I do shop at some name brand places like Old Navy, Children's Place and Gymboree, but only when their sales are super amazing.  Not only do I not buy very many clothes, I also only shop the clearance section.

It occurred to me a while back that this means my kids only wear clothes no one else wanted to buy :/

I may have picked out these clothes,
but I did NOT pick out these outfits!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Thankful

I am thankful for parents who loved me and raised me right.

I am thankful for a husband who loves me and supports me.

I am thankful for three beautiful, happy, healthy children.

I am thankful for a place to live, clothes to wear, and food to eat.

I am thankful for my country and the freedoms it provides.

I am thankful for my husband's job serving our country in the Air Force.

I am thankful for my friends, most of whom I met through the Air Force.

I am thankful for technology that keeps us connected during separations.

I am thankful for the tickets the Air Force is providing for us to travel home in December for three weeks to see our friends and family.

I am thankful for the fact that since we will be gone for so long, I will not have to bake any Christmas goodies or decorate for Christmas this year!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

House Hunting International

So we aren't even quite moved into this place when we get the news that we are moving in about 7 months.  Let me point out first that this is not a complaint post.  We are excited about the move and even the timing of it.  But it is odd to be unpacking boxes in Korea while shopping for rentals back in the U.S.

We are moving to Alabama in June/July to attend a year long training class.  There will be many other students in this class all moving at the same time and so the mad dash to get the housing that you want before someone else gets it has already begun.  The internet makes house hunting internationally SO much easier, but it is still a challenge to get information to make decisions with when you are on the other side of the international date line.  It is even more challenging because my husband has been on a trip to Hawaii for the last week and will turn around and fly back out to Florida two days after arriving home.  We've been house hunting via Skype.  I love Skype!

Here are the options that we are looking at.

The walking path
Yes, please!

1. Student housing on base is fairly crappy while still taking up all of our housing allowance, but it is super safe and super convenient with the bonus of a good Department of Defense school.

2. A much cheaper house just off base would let us save money and still be fairly convenient, but is not nearly as safe.  It would have the option for Daniel to attend a Math, Science, and Technology focused magnet school, but we wouldn't know if he was accepted till after we moved and Asha would have to attend a separate school.

3. A nicer house in a nicer neighborhood with a creek at the edge of the backyard and a beautiful walking path just behind.  It has a good school within a mile and a new YMCA nearby, but the drive to base for my husband each day would be 20 min instead of 5-10, and we would not save any money on rent. 

Which one do you think will win out?
*Did I mention option 3 has a private Jacuzzi hot tub out back?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Home again, Homeschool again, Jiggity Jig (Part 2 of 3)

Daniel's birthday is December 30th.  In most of the 50 states, that would set him to start kindergarten at 5 1/2.  In Hawaii, though, the cut-off to start kindergarten is turning 5 by December 31st.  It was a perfect place for us to be stationed when Daniel was 4 1/2 because he was more than ready to start then.

I wanted to start him in a little Christian school, but they held to the standard of turning 5 by August and would not hear of making an exception.  This was very disappointing, especially when they gave me the very condescending "You'll see.  Next year he will be bigger, stronger, faster." speech, sure that I was just a naive parent who didn't really know what was best for her kid.  But while it maybe true that some (maybe even most) kids are more ready to start at 5-5 1/2, Daniel already was big and strong and fast.  He was plenty mature physically and emotionally, and already advanced academically.  He ended up dis-liking kindergarten at the public school and I feel it would have been different in the private school setting if only they had been willing to consider it.

After a disappointing year of kindergarten at the public school, we brought him home to homeschool for the 1st grade.  Then I found out about a private school for gifted students and he went there for the summer session in a combined 2nd/3rd grade class.  Since the school was more than we could justify spending for the regular school year, I was hoping that maybe he could try the public school again and that the gifted program would keep him from being bored.  I had thought this would fix what he didn't like about kindergarten.  His teacher at the private school advised me that she didn't think this would be enough though.  She believed that he should skip 2nd grade altogether.  This meant we were back to homeschool because I was not naive.  I knew that he was not ready for a 3rd grade public school classroom at 6 years old.

For homeschool that year, we started a 3rd grade curriculum and I knew that we had made the right choice because he barely blinked at any of the work.  He hardly ever needed any help with math or spelling.  He liked reading, poetry and art.  He loved  the Science curriculum and would beg to do it first and do extra.  He did need a little help in Social Studies, and while he understood all the grammar concepts, he hated writing.  Homeschool was good for him because it let him excel at his strengths and get extra support for the subjects that he did not excel at.

I'll be honest though, with my husband deployed for the second half of this school year, it was not an easy one for me.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fess up Friday: A Round Tuit

I'm the 'Go-Getter' in my family.

If you know my family though, you know that isn't saying much.  We have trouble getting around to stuff.  I'm not saying we never get stuff done, we just get to it 'eventually'.

The back of my van right now is an example of this very thing.  It has been jam-packed full of things on their way to the thrift store for 3 months now.   I cannot bring myself to cart it all back up 10 floors to my unit and I can't bear to throw it away, but I cannot seem to get around to going to the thrift store when it is open.  It is only open on Tuesdays between (well I can't seem to remember the times), and one Saturday of the month (will it surprise you when I say I don't remember which Saturday either?)  This means anytime we need to bring stuff home in the van, it goes under our feet or around us on the seat.  My husband was patient with me at first, but after 3 months I think he's about to drop me off at the thrift store.

I sure hope he doesn't get a round tuit!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Moving On (Part 3 of 3)

Even though it would be our 3rd move in 1 year, I was super excited for our next assignment.  Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii!  Yeah!!  I think this was payback for the year of moving.  When we arrived there, we lived in a hotel for the first two months.  I'm not complaining about that...with a new baby in tow, having a maid everyday was wonderful!

The complaint starts when the only available housing on base were the houses that were set to be demolished in 6 months.  Really?  This is already our third move in one year!  I took what was given, but with the promise of a brand spankin new house as soon as they were completed in 6 months.  Scratch that.  8 months.  No, wait.  A year.  Okay, how did we end up being the last family in the neighborhood?  They already had the construction fences up around our old house.  The construction workers were knocking at our door asking when we were going to leave.  We'll leave as soon as we have a place to live, darn it!

When we did finally get to move into our new house in Hawaii.  It was fantastic.  Great location on a little cul-de-sac with fantastic neighbors.  There was even a little park built just a few yards away.  I could see the kids playing there from almost every window in our house and almost every day was a perfect day for playing outside.

After 3 years in Hawaii, and 2 years in that house, it was time for our next assignment.  Korea.

Wow.  We were not expecting that.  To be honest, I was disappointed.  Hawaii was beautiful and wonderful, but it was too far away from family and I had hoped to move closer for a while.  Like it or not though, we were going, and I was grateful.  Grateful because the assignment was originally just my husband going there for a year without us.  We got permission for us to go as a family and in the process it was changed into a 2 year assignment.

The housing on the base in Korea is in high-rise towers.  The unit we were given was one bedroom short of what we really needed.  So just to be consistent, the housing company waited until a month after we moved in -to offer us another unit with more bedrooms.  Really?  We would have happily waited in the hotel for a month to get the bigger unit, but now that we've moved in, and settled?  No, thank you!  We've already moved 16 times in 16 years.  We'll make it work.

*This just in!  During my husband's promotion ceremony yesterday, the general announced that my husband was selected for a training school in Alabama.  When we leave Korea this summer (after only one year here) it will bring the tally up to 17 moves in 17 years.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Difference

"I aspire to grace, I aspire to generosity, I aspire to kindness. I have my moments -- shiny and effortless.  But then, I stumble and fall.  I don't write the letter, I don't reach out the hand, I don't give up the grudge whose sense evaporated long, long ago.
And so I'm vowing to try harder to become the person that I want to be.  The person worth remembering in big and small ways.  And soon.  Oh, soon.  Before it's me to whom the doctor turns and says, I have bad news.  And I'm confronted with the cold truth that a paper hospital gown is poor protection for what lies underneath. "

It's not the kind of inspiration that I expected when I went here this morning, but I was inspired none the less.

When it comes to who we are, it doesn't really make a difference who we wish we were, or even who we intend to be, does it?  No, the difference is made by who we try to be.  The difference is made by the effort.  We may never fully achieve our goal, but we are never closer to it than when are to trying to achieve it.

And so I'm vowing to try harder to become the person that I want to be.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Home again, Homeschool again, Jiggity Jig (Part 1 of 3)

It's not how I hoped it would turn out,
        but probably how I suspected it would.

Asha started a special needs preschool 3 hours a day when she was three.  She moved on to full day Jr. Kindergarten the next year to continue receiving speech and language services.  This year she is still receiving services in Kindergarten.  School has always been good for her in more ways than one.  She loves school!  She loves her teachers, she loves her friends, she progresses and blossoms there.  She had a hard time with our move to Korea this summer, but I knew all would be well as soon as she started school.  And it was.

Daniel went to preschool when he was little, but it was not much of a structured place.  More creative if you please.  He didn't really play with the other kids.  On the playground he often stood next to the teacher talking.  Talking, talking... and the questions, ohh.  This kid has never been at a loss for questions!  His first word was 'Dad', but Lord help me if his second word wasn't 'Why?'

While he enjoyed the creativity of the preschool, he didn't really learn much there.  He knew his letters and numbers back when he was 2.  He was reading at 3 and skip counting at 4.  He was very excited to start Kindergarten but I knew it would be a lot of stuff he already knew.  After the novelty of going to school wore off, he started to dislike going.  He would beg me some mornings not to make him go.  I assumed it was because he was bored.

We stuck out the year but the next year I purchased homeschool curriculum and gave it a go.  He was an easy student and finished all his school work in 2 hours a day.  I knew this meant he was not challenged enough.  I knew he needed more.  I heard about a school for gifted students nearby.  We applied for the next year and he was accepted.  He attended the summer session and loved it!  They did a lot of science and math.  Both of those were right up his alley.  I found it interesting that even though he was now around kids who were just like him, he still did not play with them on the playground.  He mostly stayed to himself.  I found it interesting because he lived to play with his friends in our neighborhood.

It didn't matter much though because the school did not come through with financial aid for the regular school year and their tuition was much higher than we could justify paying for a 2nd grade student.  I need that arm and leg, thank you!  We already knew the local public school did not work for him, so back to homeschool it was.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fess up Friday: Possibly ironic

Technically it is already Saturday here in Korea where I am writing this, but since it is still Friday there in the US where most of you will be reading it... it still counts, right?

With all the moving that we do, I kinda keep waiting for us to be somewhere for a while before we go get nice things.  Ya know, so I know they'll fit into the house that we'll finally be in for more than a year, so they don't get messed up in the move...etc.  But it never happens, so I'm left with a mish-mash of stuff that is left over from decades ago, and careers ago, when we lived in tiny apartments as young people with no money to buy anything nice thing anyway.

And it looks like that.

Factor in my lack of decorating skill and after 3 months of arranging,
this is the best I could come up with for my living room.
                             Pretty darn sad.

And yes, the TV is sitting on top of a coffee table...
the one the movers put the end table legs on.

My new friend came over the other day to provide some much needed help.  In a few hours, she had done what I could not.  She made my crappy furniture look not so crappy!

I still have curtains to hang and decorations to pull out of boxes,
and please ignore the toys, books and the wreath stashed on top of the bookcase,
but its already 1,000% better.

It got me thinking though...
I wonder if it would be considered 'ironic' that I am pretty bad at decorating yet pretty obsessed with decor related blogs and magazines.
I think I've been tearing images from magazines for 15 or so years.
I've got a big fat file of them.
And now I scour 'shelter' blogs like nobody's business.
But why?  It obviously has not helped me.
The only time my house has looked nice is when friends have helped me out.

I'm thinking what I should start scouring instead is gift magazines :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Before and After: Sitting Pretty

It is well established that I am not good at decorating.
I'll have a spot or two in the house that looks right, but that's about it.

I'm not very crafty either.
But every once in a while I do have a project that works out well.

We recently moved from a house with a huge patio.
I loved sitting out there.  It was my happy place.

Now we live in a highrise with a patio that is 1/4 the size of the old one.
I still love sitting out there,
but all of the furniture we had on our old patio does not fit.

Since we don't have enough storage space for the extra chair from the set that won't fit, and since I didn't already have an office chair, I decided to use it for that.  But it would not work as is.

Besides the fact that the current outdoor fabric didn't match the indoors,
it had also been outside for years, so I set about trying to remedy that.

 I decided on new fabric and ordered it.
I was so excited that as soon as it came in, I sewed up the new cushion covers and new pillows right away.

I'm pretty pleased with the results.

Now what to do with the rest of the house...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Moving On (Part 2 of 3)

One year after our 3rd move in 3 years,  it was already time for our next assignment.

Back to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

The housing at Vandenberg was split into two locations.  One group of houses were on base, the other group of houses were just outside the base gate.  This was the group we ended up in, way back in the back.  I loved it because we were on a corner lot just across from a nature preserve.  I could see the mountains and trees from my kitchen window and thoroughly enjoyed the occasional encounter with the wildlife.  We lived here undisturbed for 3 whole years!

And then...

The base decided to close down the housing outside the gate so they moved us to the housing on base.

And then...

The military decided to turn the housing on base over to be run by a private company, and that private company decided the street we had just moved to four months earlier (and just finished painting) would be the first street of houses to be torn down for new ones to be built.

So then...

They moved us to yet another street.  On Christmas Eve. 
My husband left for a 6 month training in Nevada a few days later.
We already knew we would be moving to our next station when he returned.  UGH!

This would be 3 moves in 1 year.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Growth Chart

There are the obvious times when we are proud of our children.
Like when they learn to tie their shoes or score a great goal.
Those are times when they have learned to do things
that others may see and take notice of.

But then there are the more subtle moments.
Like when you overhear your toddler saying,
"Yes, please." and "Thank you so much."
- completely unprompted by you!
    Or when your children,
who normally fight loudly with each other,
instead quietly say to each other,
"I don't like it when you do that.  Please don't do it again."

While I am certainly proud of big moments,
like starting 4th grade,
I am more proud of little ones,
like learning to solve conflict with a classmate.
Because when it all comes down to it,
I am not as proud of the kinds of things my children learn to do,
as the kinds of people they learn to be.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Hawaii

When I found out we were moving to Hawaii, I was beyond excited.  I didn't want anyone to pinch me in case I was dreaming.  When I got there, I found that it was all I had imagined it to be and more!  We loved every minute of living in paradise and everything about it suited us just right.
Well, almost everything...

Now that we've moved away here is a list of ten things I do and do NOT miss about Hawaii.

I do NOT miss:

1. The cockroaches
Need I explain?  EEW!

2. Geckos and gecko poop
Now I don't have a problem with critters.  In fact, we caught a few lizards in the yard and kept them as pets.  One mother laid an egg that hatched and we enjoyed watching the little baby grow up.  I was so super sad when a gust of wind knocked the cage off the porch into a nest of fire ants and they all died from the bites.  But the geckos, they come out at night and 'chirp,' and the noise really bugged me.  And the poop!  They poop on everything and it is SO hard to scrub off.  EEW!

3. The fly poop
During the rainy season, the flies migrate indoors by the hordes.  They leave little clusters of brown poop 'spots' on random places on the walls (just out of reach but right within eyesight) and in the corners of the windows and it is hard to scrub them off!  Plus, just EEW!

4. The smell of mildew on the towels

If you don't move the clothes from the washer to the dryer within like an hour of the end of the cycle, your clothes will smell like mildew.  Its hard to get the smell out and it really gets fragrant when you sweat.  Eew!

5. The red dirt

I know it made a lot of money for the Dirt Shirt company, but it cost me a lot of money replacing all the the clothes that got stained with it because it does NOT come out.

I DO miss:

1. The sun
The first two weeks here in Korea were monsoon.  There was a blanket of gray clouds that hung just over our heads and blocked out any hint of the sun.  We've have many sunny days now, but it is just not the same.

2. The rainbows
The sun is always shining in Hawaii, even when it rains.  This makes for the most beautiful rainbows!  They never got old for me.

3. The air
Hawaii is listed among the best air quality in the world.  It is not just the quality though, it was the smell of plumerias and other flowering plants and trees that always perfumed the air.

4.  The beaches
We didn't go very often, which is especially sad because we lived 5 minutes from a great one.  But just being near them, knowing that we COULD go, and seeing them everywhere we drove, was perfect.

5. The color
Ahh, the color.  So vibrant, so beautiful, so plentiful!  The plants, the trees, the sunsets, the sky... 
Eye candy, no, soul candy.

This alone would have been paradise enough for me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Social Butterfly

Today is my daughter's first day of kindergarten.
 She went to kindergarten last year too,
but technically she was a jr. kindergartener.
 She could not have been more excited for today to come.
 I'm pretty sure she asked one or more times a day for the last
two months if she got to go to her new school 'today.'
She's a social butterfly and she can't wait
to be surrounded by friends all day!
"See my new lunch box and water cup?"
She's not even to her classroom yet and already she's socializing.

Spread your wings, Sweet Girl.
You are beautiful when you fly.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What do you do all day?

A hour after I had scrubbed the kids' bathroom from top to bottom, I returned to find it covered with a whole tube of toothpaste.  The counter had the most, but the walls, the floor, the bathmat, the mirror...they were all covered too.

My friend told me the other day, that the question was posed, What does a stay at home mom do all day?  and the answer was that they spend most of their day just trying to keep the children alive.

As I stood there in the bathroom that I had already cleaned three times that day, I thought to myself, She is so right!  The portion of the day that I do not spend trying to keep them from killing themselves or each other, I spend trying not to kill them myself.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Education of Me

My oldest son starts 4th grade today.
He's excited!  I'm nervous.

There are so many reasons why I don't think it is a good idea.
He will probably prove all of them wrong.
He's such a smart kid.  Way smarter than me.
I'm happy about this, but I don't look forward to the day he realizes it.
For now, he's happy to learn from me.
Though I'm sure I learn way more from him.
I am constantly amazed by him.

I took this video of him when he was exactly three and a half years old.
I had given him a set of post-it notes that have words written on them.  He made a sentence out of them.  While I was taking the video, he changed his mind and added a word below to rewrite his sentence.

How can a three year old read and "write"?

I know he's not a genius.
I mean, come on,  he may be smarter than me, but he did come from me.
He must take after my husband.
That's what my mom said when I told her about him reading this book just after he turned four.
Thanks, Mom. :)

The book starts out with simple sentences, but if you stick with it, you'll see the sentences and concepts getting harder.  He asks for help with only a couple of words and also asks a few questions about the concepts.

I posted this video on the internet for my husband to see while he was away at a 6 month training.  The author of the book happened to come across it and contacted me.  She was delighted to see a little boy enjoying her work.  I could not have been more proud.

This is the picture I took with my camera
at the school Meet and Greet this past Friday.
This is the picture I saw in my head.
My little kindergartener.
He's so much taller now, but he looks just the same doesn't he?

I'm so nervous that the teacher will not remember that he is still only 7.
I'm so nervous that the other 4th grade boys will remember that he is.
I'm so nervous he will be frustrated that the teacher will always be reminding him to be still.
I'm so nervous that he won't be able to sit still because he has so much excess energy.  (I obviously have it too, don't I.)
I'm also nervous that putting him back into school after homeschooling the last two years might be the wrong choice because he's super smart, but he's still only 7.

I'm nervous.  But he's excited.
And today I will probably learn that all my reasons to be nervous are just excuses, and that he is bigger and stronger than I already thought he was.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Moving On (Part 1 of 3)

Out of 16 moves in our married life, 7 of those were to various suburbs of the Dallas/Ft Worth area before we even joined the military.

I say 'we' because when one member of the family joins the military, everyone is in.
The military is not a job, its a life...
and life as a military family necessarily includes moving...
and moving...(which we clearly already had a knack for)
and moving again.

Even still, our story of military moving is unique.

I'll start at the beginning.

After my husband finished 3 months of Officer's Training School in Montgomery, Alabama, we received orders to our first station.  Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.  This was for about 8 months of specialized training.  Scratch that.  Clerical error stretched that into 12 months and a detour to a different specialized training.

Once that training was completed, we were off to our second station.  Cavalier Air Force Station, North Dakota.  Cavalier is a town of roughly 1,000 people up by the Canadian border.  It is otherwise known as 'The Official Middle of Nowhere.'  In fact, the nearest McDonald's is in Canada.  The winters are -40 and pretty much anything you ever need is 2 hours away.  We had such a fantastic time there!  Seriously, my husband talked about retiring there.  I'll be honest though, I was never convinced.

But here's where the real beginning of our military moving story started.  The ten houses on the station were under renovation and we were told ours would be ready in a month.  So we rented a house in town with an open ended lease.  Good thing too, because that month stretched on and on into a year.  My husband often worked night shift and the trek from our rental in town, to the station about 20 minutes away, was pretty dangerous at night, especially in winter.  So when the newly renovated house was finally ready, we jumped on it (Even though this time we had to do the moving ourselves.)

That's 3 moves in 3 years.  You with me so far?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Things they say

My children are three fantastic bundles of pure energy.
They get it from me of course.
And I mean that literally...they suck the energy right out if me like little leaches...

But they are nothing if not entertaining.  I watch in amazement as their bodies grow and their minds expand.  I watch and listen.  Sometimes what I hear just makes me smile, sometimes it makes me laugh outright.  Sometimes it just makes me go, "What?"  You can decide for yourself which ones are which.

Top ten things heard at my house recently...

Ethan (3 years)
Ethan: I almost getting my dressed on.
Ethan: I'm winning last!
Me: Do you want me to put you down?  Ethan: No.  I'm still picking you up.

Asha (5 years)
Asha: Mom, Ethan is peeing on the towels in the bathroom!
Asha: I can't hear you cause my eyes are locked.
Asha: Mom, What will you name me when I grow up?
Asha: Daddy, when Daniel and Ethan grow up, will they have no hair like you?

Daniel (7)
Daniel: Mom! Asha and Ethan got blueberry juice on the ceiling!
Daniel: I was playing and my legs are so tired because I didn't have any other mode of transportation.
Me: Daniel, did you forget I'm on video chat and Grandma can see you dancing around naked in front of the mirror?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Moving Sickness

 Moving Sickness: When you are disoriented and overwhelmed by moving.

There are boxes everywhere!
You'd think after moving 16 times in 16 years that I would be good at moving.  I'm not.
I love the new experiences, but the process itself is painful and highlights everything I'm bad at.

To start with, I don't like people touching my stuff.  By the time we are packed up though, the movers have laid hands on every item I own and are intimately familiar will all of it.  This also makes me feel exposed, which I really don't like.

When the movers come, it takes about two full days for them to pack up all of our stuff.  Its a crazy two days.  And very stressful.  I run around like a mad woman giving instructions, answering questions, and cringing every time I see them touching something I love (Please don't break it!)

There are boxes everywhere.

On day three they start putting it all on the truck. This part is actually pretty quick, and as they pull away, there is a sense of relief.  Its done.  I don't have to think about it until we get to our new house.

When we get to the new house, it only takes a few hours for the movers to unload all the boxes.  Then the real stress starts.

There are boxes everywhere!

But where is anything?  The pillows and blankets?  Where are the shower curtains and towels?  Where are the shower curtain rings?!?  There are labels on the boxes, but I cannot read most of them and experience tells me that it wouldn't matter if I could.  The contents are an odd mix of any thing, from any room, that would fit, and a random label that describes something that was somewhere in our house.  Its anyone's guess where anything is.

Enter the mindless unpacking of box after box after box.  Some of it is stuff I didn't even remember I had, but more of it is stuff that I should have gotten rid of a long time ago.  All of it is stuff that I don't know where to put.  Now there are boxes AND stuff everywhere.  And this is the part that I'm really bad at.

There will be boxes everywhere and stuff everywhere for months.

I will feel disoriented and overwhelmed for months.  I am not good at setting up house. I don't know where to put stuff.  It will feel discouraging to watch neighbors move in after me and get set up before me.  And even more discouraging to know that when I finally do get all the boxes unpacked and all the stuff put away, it will still look like I just moved in because I don't know how to decorate.  I don't really know how to arrange stuff to make it look like a comfortable home.  And by the time I think I might, its time to move again.

And once again, there will be boxes everywhere.