Sunday, February 28, 2010

10 States in 4 Days

*This post was supposed to start where the end of these pictures are (where I start talking about what I was going to title this post) but I didn't want to fix these pictures and put them exactly where they are supposed to go. So I didn't. It will bug me, so I know I'll have to fix it someday, but for now, it's out of order. Boo to that- I hate getting out of order :) Anyway, I hope you enjoy this incredibly loooong post of mine! It's pretty boring, so proceed with caution...
Somewhere along our journey.... flat flat lands ( I think it was Illinois?)

Our incredibly DIRTY car after we arrived from our 4 day drive. It rained since then and it at least looks black again instead of some sort of dingy gray... I really need to get it washed I guess
We crossed a bunch of rivers, but most of the time it was too dark, so this is the only picture I got, and I don't even remember what river this is. It was in Missouri. The rivers were all beautiful.

The Arch in Missouri (my parents have been up inside that.... it is much bigger than it looks)

Kiddos being SO good in the car

Stuff... everywhere

I think this was somewhere in Nebraska

There goes Andy! Haulin' our stuff- how he fit everything we own into that van and trailer, I will never know.... he amazes me with the strange talents he has :)

The boys in the girls jammies (You'll know why later.... I know, I know... the suspense is killing you)

The(goofy) man I love

Taking a quick break from the car.... yes kids, have fun playing with those rocks and sticks.

The kids travel bags, full of everything you can imagine, made with love by Grandma Collette (these saved my sanity)

I had a hard time coming up with a title post for our journey across our lovely (although very ugly in the winter-at least the states we drove through) nation. The Trek? No- that would be like comparing ourselves to pioneers, which I most certainly am not with a nice hotel bed every night and shower and hot meal every morning-not to mention a vehicle that moved 80 MPH the majority of the trip. Our Journey? No-too boring. Our Week in the Car? Ummm, that one's just dumb. So, I decided on the title that it is. Pretty self explanatory, but something that makes you want to read more. "What? Who drives through 10 states in 4 days?" We do folks, we do :) And it actually would have only been 3 had we not encountered some trouble along the way....

We of course started in Utah.... but there is no "Leaving Utah" sign, so I posted the "Welcome to Utah" sign.... I will miss living in you Utah, you are the best :)

We didn't end up leaving on Monday until about 6 PM due to some car problems. We took it to get the oil changed and they found something wrong with it, so we told them to fix it.... they called a couple hours later and found something else wrong, so we told them to fix that. I wasn't taking any chances here-I wanted my (13 year old!) vehicle in tip top shape! A total of 8 hours and $800 later, we were officially ready to take off. Our car,van, and trailer were all packed to the absolute brim. Our goal was to make it to Cheyanne (about 450 miles) before stopping. That would have been possible if not for the TERRIFYING weather. There was no falling snow, but it was SO dang cold that the roads were just covered in ice. I am convinced that Wyoming is the worst state in the U.S. SO ugly, miserable and frigid. They also had the worst fog I have ever driven through. I felt like I almost slid off the road maybe 20 times. Seriously, scary. And then I just kept worrying about Andy with the giant trailer full of everything we own and in a van with no 4-wheel drive. It was the worst day of them all. And I kept thinking "WHY are we doing this? What have we done? Can we still go back? Is it too late? And if we had to go, why did we choose February?" It was just a bad evening all around. But let me tell you.... we were so carefully watched over and nothing happened- even though we saw several accidents and slide-offs. I am so grateful we were blessed. Anyway, Andy pulled over to sleep, but we (my mom, me and the kids) continued on until 1 AM where we finally found a hotel in some podunk tiny town. We didn't quite make it to Cheyanne, but we got close. Our hotel didn't allow dogs, but I was too tired to find another one, so we snuck Sadie in, took off her tags so she didn't jingle, dressed the boys in the girls' spare pair of pajammas (their suitcase was in Andy's car... along with my toiletries :) and fell into bed exhausted (except Bear who was SO wired for some reason.... he giggled in his port-a-crib for 1/2 hour) Andy finally made it to the hotel the next morning at 7 AM and he went back to bed while we got breakfast and took the kids swimming. Funny story: Sadie stayed with Andy obviously while we went to breakfast. After we ate I ran a quick errand to the local K-mart (the biggest building in the town... hahaha) to get swim diapers. My mom had gotten the kids ready to swim and I was going to meet them in the pool. When I got back, I went into our room and I noticed right away that Sadie didn't greet me.... uh-oh. I called quietly for her (Andy was still sleeping) and then I heard someone in the hall whistleing and talking quietly to.... something. I didn't here the guy for a minute, so I peeked out into the hall and saw Sadie sitting several doors down looking in the opposite direction. I called to her quietly and she turned and ran to me. I shut the door and just then heard the same guy saying "I saw her in this hall.... maybe someone let her outside? She is a little black dog" And I looked out the peephole and saw hotel workers walking down to the door and looking around for her. They gave up quickly and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. A $100 fine on the company credit card would be hard to explain to Andy's boss... :)

Anyway, everything worked out and we were on our way by 11. The rest of our trip was much smoother and much less eventful. We drove and drove across some more ugly, flat landscape until we came to:

Another crappy state! Yay! We stopped for a bit and let the kids out to play for awhile. That evening we crossed through the corner of:
and then made it into:
where we finally stopped for the night at about 1 AM again. I think I sang "Baby Bumble Bee" to Baron about 100 times this day. He loves that song, and now he sings it almost perfectly. It's dang cute :) We stayed in a tiny town again at a Super8 that.... wasn't quite so Super (as my mom put it). It was horrid and gross. But we couldn't go on any further and it was the ONLY hotel in the town. Bleh. The next morning we were up and outta there by 10. We drove for awhile and then came to:

and then:
and finally (after many stops throughout the day) we came to:

Kentucky was by far my favorite state we drove through because my mom lived here for several years when she was growing up (her family moved a lot and lived in a LOT of different states) and this was one of her favorite places she lived. I got to here story after story, some I had heard before, but loved to hear again, about everything there. She pointed out places we drove by and things she rememebred about it. It was very fun and sweet to here all of her stories. I loved it. We spent the night in Kentucky at a great hotel. By now I had started noticing accents of different people we had talked to and a funny thought struck me- "My KIDS are going to get this accent!! Oh no!!" I told Andy and we laughed about it. Later that day we arrived in: Seriously-this was the most countryish, thickest accents, hickish place I've ever been! I actually had a girl at the gas station ask me "What can I do ya fer darlin'?" HA! I had to hold my laugh in. I am just not used to it I guess. We finally arrived in:around 4 and then we made it to our new home around 7. That last hour was B-R-U-T-A-L!! Even thought the kids did amazingly the entire trip (thanks to several wonderful travel bags and care packages, dvds, and Leapster games) and I can't complain about them at all (like really-I was shocked at how wonderful they were-like I said, we are so blessed and someone loves us very much and was watching out for us the entire trip), that last hour they were just ready to be done. And so was I. And so was my mom. And so was Sadie. I even called Andy and whined like a little kid and said "How much looooongeeeeer?" to which he replied "click" (as in, he hung up the phone ;) When we finally pulled up to our new house, the kids jumped out and ran in to explore and ran around like screaming crazies for the next 1/2 hour. It was hilarious. We got enough unloaded that night that we were all able to have a mattress to sleep on along with clean sheets and from there it has just been busy busy busy and unpack like crazy. My mom went home last Wednesday and I cried. I just love her so much. She is amazing and I want to be just like her when I grow up. She helped me SO much (unpacking, playing with kids, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning... just to name a few things she did) and I know I couldn't have done it without her. And I am also incredibly thankful for my sissy Rach, my mom-in-law Diane, my grandma Darlene, and my friends Mindy and Cris who all gave us incredible travel bags/stuff to do on the looong drive. We have felt so blessed these past few weeks with out-pourings of love, kindness, and generosity. I will miss my (yes, it is mine ;) Utah and everyone in it, but we really are excited for everything Virginia has to offer us. If you made it through this entire post, I am impressed! Stay tuned for a ton of catch-up posts from February because I was too busy to blog, and also for our new life here in the east! Thanks again everybody. Loves and hugs and kisses to all!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Quick Update

Well, we made it. I wasn't able to do as much blogging as I thought I would on the way here. We have been SO busy. We didn't end up leaving until Monday night because of some car problems, but more on all of that later. We arrived Thursday night and now we have just been busy busy busy unpacking and dealing with.... stuff. I have SO many things to catch up on.... I hate getting behind. It is so cold here and there is a ton of snow. We really like our rental home. Andy did an awesome job picking one without me. It has a lot more room than our old house and 2 more bedrooms- perfect for guests, so.... COME VISIT!!!!! :)


Monday, February 15, 2010

GOODBYE!!!.... But Not Forever

Well, the time has come. It's time to go. I can hardly believe it is really here. I have had such a great week seeing everyone I love one last time. The kids have had a blast playing with their friends one last time. It's been great. I'm sorry I didn't get to see every single person I wanted to. I have tons of stuff to catch up on and lots of pictures to post. It'll all have to wait until we get settled I guess. I'm going to miss you all SO much. I cried a lot today. But it was still a great day. I feel very loved and it makes me happy. Okay, hopefully I'll be posting tomorrow night in Nebraska. Wish us luck because I'll need it!! Goodbye for now.... but not forever :)

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day! Mine was especially sweet....

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ready To Be Done- Post Edit

I'm not trying to complain, but actually I am.

I am SO ready for this to all be over.

I'm SO tired.

I am SO busy.

I'm SO sick of packing and cleaning.

My house is ready to be moved into by our renters..... well, almost :)

I cannot say "thank you" enough for you who have helped me. Again and again. But I'll try.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

We're so close and it is weird. Still kind of surreal.

Today is the kids last day of school. They are sad.

So am I.

Ta-ta for now, I have to go be busy some more :)
*Post Edit: I forgot to mention a couple things. Frist, I didn't mention how incredible and hard-working my babealicious hubby is. He has been working twice as hard as me, plus he's also been going to into work every day. He has been functioning on an average of 3-4 hours of sleep a night. I don't know how he does it. Thanks babe, you are amazing. Second, I may or may not be (but probably am) addicted to diet coke again. I kicked the habit years ago and rarely ever drink soda because it is SO bad for the bod.... but I have been drinking it by the gallon in order to keep up with everything. Bad..... I find myself craving "the burn".
What's a girl to do??

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What About Roxy?

In case you didn't know, we had another dog before Sadie named Roxy. She was hit by a car a couple years ago and we were all so sad. My dad buried her in our backyard for me (Andy was out of town at the time) and we had a special FHE about resurrection to help the kids understand death and to help them feel better about everything. Anyway....

A couple days ago Laylah asked me what we were going to do about Roxy when we moved. I asked her what she meant and she said "Well, aren't we going to dig her up to bring her with us when we move so she'll be with us when she's resurrected?"

Ummmmmmm, no.

Friday, February 5, 2010

RSV=Really Stupid Virus

Bear has RSV.... and bronchitis.... and a double ear infection.
He is miserable.
I am tired.
When I hear him cough it makes me cringe.

Poor Bebe....

Now all my kids are coughing.
I am feeling sorry for myself.
Especially because today is my birthday.

Ahhhh, the birthday of a mother.
But you know what?
I wouldn't trade it.
I love my coughin' kiddos in all their snotted up, sniffly, hacking glory..... but could someone kindly send me some earplugs?

Thanks :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Please Hang Me

FYI to anyone who might be interested- I have 296 of these bad boys:

What a waste of boxes to pack them all up. And really- how is it even possible that we own that many items that need to be hung? It's seriously time for a D.I. run...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Dear Mom and Dad...

Andy and I found a letter from Laylah left for us next to the kitchen sink. I thought I had kept it, but amidst all the packing and craziness, I must have misplaced it. However, it went along the lines of something like this (imagine it with a lot of cute misspellings and such):

Dear Mom and Dad,

I love you so much. I love my house and my school with my friends. I like my room and my toys. I really like my teacher. I like to live here. I do not want to move to Birjina. I will miss my family and cousins. I want to stay here. But if we move, I will come with you. I love you.

Love, Laylah

She's a keeper :)