Monday, May 30, 2011

Just a little update from the last 6 months

I had almost given up on the blog but I have overcome my own ambivolence in order to preserve the memories I know I will miss dearly when, 20 years from now, I realize I haven't printed a single picture or scrapbooked a single page since Si was 16 months old. I am not going to be that mom.

We have quite a lot to report too. Many of the events over the course of the last 6 months certianly fit toward the top of the list of most stressful life changes so I am happy to report that we are doing quite well and very excited for where life has taken us! So here is the update in sinewhat chronological order:

January 2011: Caleb and I began to pray together and with our small group for a change. We knew we were discontent and feeling like some major change was needed. We asked the Lord to show us a new path and to give us the courage to follow him if we needed to make some drastic changes.

24 hours after said prayer: Caleb was layed off from his job in AZ and learned his last day would be Jan. 23.
One week later: We made the decision to put our house on the market and move back to the northwest so we raise Josiah closer to family.
One week later: My parents flew down to help us pack and make last minute decisions. The first of many sacrificial and crazy generous gesters by my folks in the days, weeks and months to follow.
February 11: My last day of work and the last day in our AZ house! I took some pictures of the empty house but the ones below actually mean more to me. Below are the trees that will be dearly missed. The ability to grow citrus is a luxery I will miss, goodbye dwarf grapefruit tree. The evergreen was our first Christmas tree which we planted in our backyard and have watched quadrupal in size over the last almost 5 years.

Road trip: All packed up, we said goodbye for the last time to Arizona and started our 4 day road trip to WA. Road trips are super exciting to me. This one however, started with Josiah throwing up 6 times on the way to Santa Barbara and our arival time looking more like midnight than the original ETA of 6:30 pm. The following day Shep got sprayed for the second time in a year by a skunk (see post of our camping adventure from summer 2010). In hindsight, we had a great trip and it was even somewhat relaxing; however, it did not strike me at the time as a great opportunity for picture taking. I think this is our only pic from the trip. We are at a little dog-friendly motel in northern CA feeling terrible that, as gross as that type of motel is in general, we were making it so much worse by housing our skunked family member for the night. Josiah didn't seem to mind the smell of his best friend.

We arrived in Yakima (my parent home and our new temperary home and storage facility) in mid February.

One week later Caleb got a position with Columbia bank in Tacoma. We were thankful for that position for a couple of reasons: 1) employment 2) our overall goal was Tacoma and 3) we had no lapse whatsoever in medical insurance. (Thank you, God!)

One week later: I got a job with an eye bank in Seattle called Sightlife. Caleb and I both feel very blessed to have gotten jobs so quickly and to really like what we are doing.

The housing came to us a little slower but definatly worth the wait. We lived for two weeks with my parents, although Caleb was only there for a weekend. Once he got the job in Tacoma he stayed with a friend there. The long-term plan was to rent a home in the Proctor area in Tacoma very close to Casey's house. The catch was that the house was occupied and we spent an extra month at two other locations (homeless really) while we waited for the house to be available. It was worth the wait and we now are a tiny more settle having been in the house for almost two months now.

We have been spending tons of time with family (making up for lost time) and trying to find a church here in Tacoma. We love our little neighborhood and have been taking family bike rides almost nightly scoping out the area and making ourselves at home.

This picture was taken before we cleaned up the back porch area. We have a bit of a space problem right now as the owners of the house still have stuff in a storage room and we also have a ton of stuff to squeeze in now that we are down a garage. (no garages in Proctor) I mentioned the graciousness of my parents: they still have one whole stall in their garage filled with many of the contents our our AZ home.

We are starting to reconnect with friends here in the northwest who have kiddos Si's age. Fun that Ashley and Si are only a week or so apart in age and have some fun pictures side by side at several different stages. Fun to get to see them grow up together now.

One of the best parts about being back in the northwest....despite the incredible stress, did I mention I cried almost everyday for the first month or so? (it could have been the stress or the fact that I didn't see the sun at all in that time frame.) Anyway, the best part about being back is having these 4 kiddos living 7 blocks away from one another. Si loves his cousins so much and we are cherrishing our time together.

Maybe I will start posting a little more often! I am trying to convince myself to get my camera out once in a while and maybe if I have my mind set on blogging I might just make that happen. We are certainly looking forward to our future here! We have a wonderful, vibrant, loving little buddy who will be 2 YEARS OLD in about a month! I can hardly believe how fast time flies! What a blessing we have here with our life, health and family. We miss our adopted family in Arizona dearly and hope to vacation there a ton in the future! I kind of think I left a little part of my heart there, espeically the part the craves sunshine daily! If you are in the northwest, we hope to see you much more often than we have in the last 5 years! A huge thanks to everyone, family and friends alike, who have taken care of us physically and emotionally as we made a huge leap of faith that brought us back to where we started. We are very thankful.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

You can learn a lot from a gingerbread man

I read some ground-breaking research the other day having to do with gingerbread men. It seems the way you eat a gingerbread man may better help us to understand a person's personality. For instance, according to this researcher (probably from Yale or Harvard) if you bite the head off the gingerbread man first, you likely display leadership characteristics in your work/life/family. Not the first personality characteristic I'd have imagined for a person who instinctively bites the head off a cookie, but who am I to argue with science? I didn't take the time to educate myself on any of the other points made in the article but now I wish I would have. Here's why:

After reading said research and subsequently bringing home some gingerbread men from church last week, I decided to do a quick study on my husband. I told him about the research after he bit off a ginger-leg without any hesitation or consideration for any other appendage.

A few days pass and I get a call from Caleb who informed me that rather than cut up Josiah's dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets into tiny bite-sized pieces as is customary in our house, he'd decided to leave them whole (our baby's growing up). Caleb put six dinos on a plate and was amazed to watch as Josiah BIT THE HEADS OFF EACH AND EVERY NUGGET and then ask Caleb for more nuggets (request denied) before he'd take a bite out of any other body part!

It's a good thing I read the research or I would have been a bit concerned about the psychiatric well-being of our little budding leader! Now I am just proud. You really can learn a lot from gingerbread men it turns out.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving in Tucson

We are spending Thanksgiving in Tucson with the Fields this year. We have so much to be thankful for; good friends and family, a wonderful little boy who amazes us everyday and jobs and home that allow us to bless those who God places in our paths. We can't ask for too much more and are so excited each time we get a little piece of home; that is visitors to AZ! Here are some pictures of our holiday celebration so far.

We took a long weekend and are staying with Caleb's sister and our brother-in-law Patrick who are currently, albeit temporarily stationed in Tucson. It has been the best having some local relatives in AZ. They were excited to announce they will be moving to Germany in March for three years.The picture below is Patrick and his plane. Becky and Steve got a little base tour upon their arrival on Wednesday. Caleb, myself and John (Caleb's brother) arrived in time for dinner Wednesday evening. We've had plenty of food, football, fun and conversation to go around so far. What a relaxing four days we are in for!

We won't see these guys for Christmas this year so Josiah was surprised with his first Christmas gift almost as soon as we got our bags unpacked. Grandpa searched high and low for the perfect John Deer gear and Josiah was definitely a fan! What a cutie!

you may notice the monkey harness in this one: we pulled out the baby leash the other day in case I needed to use it in airports on my recent trip to WA. I didn't really end up using it, but once Josiah realized he had a monkey on his back, he wouldn't take it off. He wears it all the time. He is so funny. That is one of those memories that I hope I have documented well because I never want to forget this precious and silly stage!

We brought Shep to Tucson with us to hang out with his pal Coda. Turns out Coda is quite a talented sled dog!

Caleb smoked the Turkey on the Treager for Thanksgiving day and a brisket today. What a guy. Of course we brought the Treager to Tucson as well. Duh. Good thing we have a minivan. We were so packed full with the Treager, our bags, stroller, hiking gear, toys, etc. we barely had room for, well the adults, baby and dog.

I had a tiny role in dinner...I helped with the innards of the apple pie. Sarah did the rest, and John did most the sides. It truly was a group effort! We commented several times that there was really no stress for anyone. What a great way to spend a holiday.
Besides eating and football we managed to squeeze in a little "outdoor" time.

Tomorrow we are hiking. We also fit the hiking pack for Josiah into the car. Hard to believe there were actually a few important things we forgot including my inhaler for the cat allergy. After a rough day and a half, we finally got a replacement this morning. I am sure there will be more pictures to come from the next few days as we have a hiking trip, a Christmas card photo shoot (if I can talk the family into humoring me on this request) and a whole other family coming to stay with us on Sunday. We have much more celebrating to do!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lion cub

I personally think we excelled in the creativity department with our safari theme for Halloween this year! We tried to get Traci to be a giraffe (she graciously participated in our family theme night for Halloween last year), but declined this year for a better party!
We mistakenly assumed Josiah would refuse to wear some or all of his costume so we bought the cheapest lion we could find. Turns out he loves it! He has worn it several times, we've had to wash between wears (which didn't go too well), and he still roars every time he sees the pictures. Maybe next year we'll splurge a little since it appears he likes dress up!

I wonder if it is really the costume he loves so much or the association it obviously has with copious amounts of chocolate.
Halloween (check), on to the holiday season! Starbucks Christmas cups are back! I love this season. Even if I can't wear sweaters or drink hot cocoa or see snow gently landing on rooftops, it still feels like fall (at least when I am inside with the AC on).

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Zoo

We love the zoo! Most of our trips take us around the usual paths; the lions, tigers, monkeys. But lately we've found a new little section of the zoo that is just perfect for Si. The last two times we've been there, we haven't done anything else. A few weeks ago Si and I went with a friend and her two kids and we spent the whole time at the "farm". Turns out Si loves goats and cows just as much as he loves lions and tigers.

He also loves tractors!

This morning was "family day". It is really unfortunate that family day is rare enough to warrant a special name but between staggered work schedules and Caleb's class schedule, we have too few opportunities to hang out just the three of us! So, family day consisted of a trip to the Zoo and a lot of football on TV. Again, we spent several hours at the zoo and all of them at the farm.

It is so fun to see life through a child's eyes! Josiah is at a wonderful age as he soaks in life like a sponge. It is amazing how exciting life can be!

Si is peeking at a goat on the other side of the bench. The goat pen holds maybe 30 goats. All of them have little collars with their names and all are remarkably patient. We love the goats.

We recently brought home our first set of Little People. It is the Little People farm and matches the playground area at the Zoo Farm. It is a perfect toddler play area and Josiah is getting to be quite the expert on the slide!
Caleb was the photographer for most of Family Day Zoo Trip but luckily I snapped this quick one in the parking lot to prove he was there! We'd already changed Si's shirt because of a mud puddle, but it really was the same day. Love these guys!

I am so thankful for family days!