Jun 27, 2016

To hoard? or not to hoard? that is the question.

I hate keeping things around that are not being used UNLESS those things have some sentimental value, there is room to store the items, or they are highly likely to be used in the very near future.

Keeping stuff that is not used simply because one is too lazy to sort through it or because at one time it was desired and purchased are not valid reasons to keep stuff.

And so here we are at that point where the last of our stuff needs to be evaluated and either tossed or hoarded.

We lost about 500sqft and an entire garage bay when we moved to this house.  And, as if that wasn't enough, we lost two built-in bookcases, and THREE closets.  Three.  We also lost two mantels and that huge area above the kitchen cabinets that were great spaces to display our treasures.

So as we were getting stuff ready for this move, keeping the above mention facts in mind, I was all about the trips to the local donation drop off.  There were some things that I thought would probably need to be donated but I wanted to wait until the stuff was all moved in to make sure.

I have made 4 trips to my local drive-up drop off location in two weeks!  I think there were at least that many trips to the donation spot before we even packed up as well.

I can honestly say there wasn't a single thing in any of those loads that I will miss.  Most of the items were small furnitures pieces, shelves, or decorative things that were purchased for a specific house somewhere along the way.  Many other items were things that I haven't used in over three years but just hung on to because I had plenty of space to shove the items in a closet or cupboard.  We also got rid of clothes, toys and books that were outgrown, out of date or just rarely used.

With each load of stuff delivered I felt a weight lifted, one load less of stuff to haul around.
One less load of stuff to find a place for.
One less load of stuff to repack when we move again.

I find peace in the offloading of the excess and stress in clutter.

So this brings me to the two members of our family who are not taller than 69 inches.
Lets just call them the Short Hoarders.

The Short Hoarders keep the most random things.  The Short Hoarders have boxes, and bins, and baskets of crap that: rarely is used, contains actual trash, are piling up into giant heaps of dust collecting disaster zones.

Yes I have a bunch of clothes and shoes, and pictures.
What I don't have is a 2006 Fantasy Football magazine, 36 hoodies of which I wear 4, dive gear that no longer fits and hasn't been used in 16 years, candy wrappers, broken race cars, empty mint tins, or anything else that you would likely see sifted through on the show Hoarders.

So, if you were to walk in to my house right now.  After I faint from embarrassment, I would take you on a tour and you would find some rooms are nicely unpacked and uncluttered and then you would find the Short Hoarders' spaces and you will feel my pain.

Don't Hoard.
That's life's lesson for today.
Don't hoard and people will like you more.

Jun 23, 2016

And just like that we have a Freshman in High School and a brand new Middle School kiddo.

When the boys got home on Friday after their last day of school - and by "home" of course I mean into our car - they each earned their new school hoodie.
I'm pretty sure the hoodies will be worn out before school ever starts.  But thats ok.

The hoodie is key because they are obviously super comfortable and they serve as a walking billboard advertising to everyone the kids meet "hey this is where I go to school".  When you are new in the neighborhood, it is a good idea to let people know where you are going to school in the fall.

My boys drive me crazy.  They argue and are not very nice to each other often.  They are picky, they eat a ton of food, and they are dirty.  I tried very hard to raise clean, kind, loving boys, but if today was the day of judgement on them, I failed.

But, I'm so incredibly proud of these kids.  They left their neighborhood and church of 4 years, their schools, their friends, their big comfy house, and they never looked back.  

Fearless.  They stood at the registration counter to sign themselves in to their Sunday morning classes at a new church we were trying out.  They each headed off to their own classes, alone, new, and they didn't seem bothered by it at all.
After service, the very first Sunday we ever tried out this new church, Eli asked us to send him to Summer Camp with the youth group.
Boldly.  That kid will head off to a 4 day camp with a whole bunch of people he doesn't know seeking friendships, a good time, and to find his new place.

Sure they  are  were Army brats so they are totally used to moving, however, this time was different.  This time the Army didn't decide we needed to move, we did.  This time they had dug deep, grown roots, dreamed about being in our house and neighborhood forever.  Eli rode past the High School every day and thought about what it would be like when he went there.  He talked about riding his bike to the grocery store or fast food place up the street for a first job.  This was their home and probably the most "home" of a home they ever had.

And now we are here.
In a beautiful neighborhood nestled in the foothills.
Not so far away from the friends that we'll never see them again, but far enough away to feel the distance and loss.

These boys haven't complained yet.
And it has been a whole week!

Jun 17, 2016


School is out.
Today was my last day of work.
We battled traffic, I missed my exit, and around 3:45pm today I finally came home.

Matt and I have been living in two different houses for four weeks, the boys and I were in hotels for the past two, we've been to every restaurant and fast food joint in Olympia, and today our family is back together and we are "home".

It doesn't feel like home quite yet, but I suppose it will get there.

Jun 12, 2016

This photo has nothing to do with my post today, other than it makes me smile and thats tough to draw up these days.

This picture was taken in Taermina, Italy, a truly magical place.  We spent the afternoon hanging out at the beach.  When it was time to go, G just slipped on his Vans and called it good.  Why worry about changing your clothes when you can just roll through the streets in a speedo and Vans?

This past week was one of the toughest weeks of my life.

I could list all of the reasons why but I'd rather not relive it.
I'll just say this: the boys and I were living in a crappy hotel, I was working all week and I was busy cleaning out the old house for the renters, while spending every single night of the week at baseball games for E's EOS tournament, or the boys' band and orchestra concerts, or both!
The van was filled with all of the last minute stuff we had at the old house to sleep on and clean with, the hotel had sub-par laundry facilities so the amount of dirty clothes baskets was starting to overflow the cargo area, and it poured down rain for one of Eli's games so there was wet, muddy, gear making the place smell extra special as well.

I had hoped to go to my cousin's high school graduation on Friday night so I checked out of the hotel Friday morning, only to have to find a new hotel later that night when Eli's team won a game AGAIN.  All those wins meant more games causing us to linger in Olympia longer so we missed the graduation on Friday and the party the following day.

At the ball field at 11:40 on Saturday morning.
There were two outs.
Eli's team was down by 1, but we were home and had once last chance to take the lead.
The tying run on third, the winning run on 2nd.
Eli was up.
If he got a base hit we would at least tie, play more innings and have a chance at playing ANOTHER game.
If he gets out, game over, we go home.
I was so nervous for him.  Talk about pressure!!
Tears were rolling down my face.  The excitement and tension of the game coupled with my week was overwhelming, I desperately did not want the team to win and keep us in Olympia for another 3 hours.  But I also didn't want to have the loss be on Eli's shoulders.
Then the clouds opened up and God's mercy came down in the form of a risky move by the opponent.  They decided to intentionally walk Eli to load the bases and move on to the next batter who was statistically more likely to get out.  Their plan worked.  Eli walked, the batter hit to short and was out at first.
The season was finally over for us.
And the boys and I could go home.

6 days: 5 baseball games, 2 concerts, 1 house cleaned out, 2 hotels, and walking away from a house I love so much....finally we headed to Issaquah.

Jun 1, 2016

The birthday.

I didn't forget about Kaia's 15th birthday.
I just had to save that for an entire different post.

I made an appointment for Kaia and I to get a mani/pedi on the morning of her birthday.
It started on the morning of her birthday... and it ended on the afternoon of her birthday.

So I make an appointment for 10:30.

We leave a few minutes early because I notoriously get lost in Roseville.
After about a 15 minute journey we pull up to the nail salon and Kaia quietly says "we have NEVER gone that way to get here before".
I followed my GPS but now, I'm wondering if maybe it was set on "right turns only" because I'm not kidding we probably crossed 3 time zones to end up 3 miles from my sister's house.

Somehow, we arrived at the salon on time.
I'll spare the detailed timeline.
By 11:30 Kaia finally had her pedicure and was sent to wait in the corner.
We called it her time-out chair.
I finally was done and ready for my manicure by noon.
Kaia got back into the rotation and was allowed to leave timeout and get her nails done.
All said and done it was almost 1pm by the time we both had our manicures and pedicures.
We were amused by the happenings of the salon and giggled at how absurd this scenario was.
I looked at Kaia a few times and apologized for how long it was all taking, she looked back and said "I have nowhere else to be".
Love her!
Kaia is super easy going.

With fancy nails and  toes and what seemed like a good story to tell we headed out to the car.
I headed over to Kaia's side of the car to let her in because her nails were still freshly painted.  After fussing with the unlock on the key fob for quite a while I realized it wasn't going to work so I just unlocked the door manually.
Poor choice.
I get Kaia in the car and next thing I know the alarm is blaring.
Honking, screaming, violently screeching.... it was dreadful.
I am pushing so hard on the fob trying to turn off the alarm that I'm shocked I didn't break the thing.

Poor Kaia is just looking at me from inside the car with eyes of fear, embarrassment, and pleading for the madness to stop.
She gets out for the next 10 minutes that darn alarm kept going off.
We were mortified.
And deaf.

Finally I call my dad and ask for him to come rescue us.

He was about 30 minutes away, so we rolled into Round Table to catch the tail end of the buffet.
Bonus lunch with my niece.

Dad shows up and after about 5 more rounds of the great battle of the car alarm he gets it turned off, the car started and bids us farewell and parting instructions on how to not get trapped somewhere again.

Just as he completed his instructions I see a disaster striking just over his shoulder.
Some lady was backing in to Dad's new truck and she didn't look like she was stopping.
I start screaming and blast my horn.
Minor scratch.

Kaia and I finally are released from the insanity and manage to make it back to my sisters by a totally different route than we came and not surprisingly, about 10 minutes faster.
She looked at me and said 'it literally took us only 3 minutes to get home".
I know.

A few days later I text Kaia and thanked her for hanging with me on her birthday.  She said "thanks for making it more exciting".