Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Moving Days 1

Today was moving day #1. We loaded up almost the entire truck tonight with the help of several of David's former high school students who are now seminarians and also the help of my family. I CAN'T believe how much we got done, really, really. What an amazing group of hardworking folk. I'm so grateful! It was significantly more hectic and disorganized then I thought it would be because we had a very eventful morning instead of the calm morning of completing the packing and cleaning that I foolishly imagined.
I was overwhelmed leading up to today. The list just went on and on...But there's nothing like being overwhelmed to tempt God into adding one more thing to the pile so that you realize how good you had it before and how unreasonable you were being in wishing it to be simpler.
So here we were, already a bit behind - I was in a FOUL mood. No sleep + a pregnant brain trying to organize a cross-country move does not a happy woman make. And then we got a call from the hospital confirming that the x-rays that we spent ALL AFTERNOON getting yesterday were indeed of Moses' broken thumb.
That's right. His thumb is broken. He's got a cast. Which we spent all morning getting. Poor, poor boy. He got hit by a very fast, very wayward soccer ball on Sunday afternoon but he didn't seem nearly upset enough for me to think that it was anything more then a jammed thumb or something. I finally took him to the doc on Tuesday b/c although he wasn't complaining much it was still really swollen and bruised. Then we spent a really traumatic afternoon getting over our fear of the x-ray machine...the details are ugly and time is late so I'll spare you.
Anyway, today he is excited about the cast - thanks, at least in part, to the doctor who came into the examination room wearing an elephant nose.
Here are a couple of things that we discussed during this whole broken thumb business:
"How are they going to open my thumb to look inside it?"
"Which thumb do you like more? I like this one. (holding up the bruised, swollen one)
"I can't get my (insert anatomically correct word for boy anatomy) out!" (oh yeah, this is going to make potty training a blast!)
Me: "The bone in your thumb is broken."
Moses: "Oh! Wow! I didn't even know about that!"
Luckily the break is not at the growth plate and he should be out of the cast sometime after labor day, but no pools for the rest of the summer :(. At least we'll have a yard in the next 24 hours or so! No more pool but our very own yard...
OK, gotta run and finish up. I'm starting to really reach the end of my rope here, by the way. I'm just too run down to keep going but there's no choice! It's a cruel world...
Oh, also, we are returning our modem so I don't think I'll be able to post until at least Tuesday or so. Please keep us and our entourage in your prayers as we trek across the country.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ode to Ann Arbor

I would write an ode to my hometown, to my home...but it's just too much. I realize that is something of a cop-out. But seriously, I'm hormonal, and once I start thinking about it I will never be able to stop the tears and the wallowing.
I do want to say that my gratitude to God for letting me live here and be formed here through these relationships and surroundings is unbounded. I recognize the incredible debt that I owe to the people who have made this place the uniquely fertile ground for relational and spiritual growth that it is. The depth of relationship and the intricacies of the various connections in this community continue to astound me. This wedding today is a perfect example - the connections between the two families go back 3 generations and it gives the blessing, "may you live to see your children's children" all the more richness in this particular application.
The friendships that I've formed here have been so "real". In fact, I wouldn't even call it friendship, I'd call it family. My friends here are really family. Brothers and sisters. I believe that the community roots have struck deep into my heart, even though I moved here "late", and I just can't fathom life without it's influence. It's Catholic-life at it's best.
As excited as I am to accept this new adventure and opportunity from the Lord's generous hand I can't leave without in some small way acknowledging the uniqueness of this place and these people. There is a triad of influences in this area that I don't believe can be replicated anywhere else, they need to grow naturally from the influence of the Holy Spirit. There's the roots of deep, abiding relationships that grew out of the ecumenical community. There's the efforts of various organizations founded by a Catholic philanthropist, Monaghan. And then there's the charismatic parish-life that is sort of the best of all the good influences coming together. Unique. Other places are wonderful and will have their own triads, or whatever, of goodness but Ann Arbor is still my home and all of you are still my family. I am grateful to my core for what I've been given by living here. And I hope that God sees fit to bring me home again sometime.
It's dangerous to write anything while feeling emotional and I'm trying to not be mushy and stuff but what can I say...sorry if I'm grossing you out.
Frankly, I won't even GO into the particulars of the relationships that I'll personally be missing. You know who you are and you know that I'm not saying anything because I just feel it too deeply to communicate it. It would be a big, snotty scene and nobody likes a big, snotty, pregnant woman.
I love you all and I'll be seeing you soon. Keep some of your children available for marriage to some of my children please, we need to make this family thing official.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pregnant Brain

This is what could happen when you mix pregnant-brain, packing and potty-training:
You may be packing a box in the bathroom and you may write the contents of the box on the box. You may try to write, "extra toilet supplies" and instead write, "extra toilet surprise". You also may not want to think too hard about what that may mean.

Last Weekend

So, we are leaving with a bang! We drive away in one week and since there's nothing like leaving in a flurry of activity we are preparing to:
Friday: Attend a rehearsal for a wedding we are providing music for; Attend my brother's 7th birthday, complete with squirt gun "capture the flag"; David will go out for one last "guys night" in A2.
Saturday: Attend said wedding, sing and play, attend reception and say goodbye to most of the people we know (who are all gathered together very conveniently in a large group so as to make the parting easier - or maybe they are gathered together for that marriage thing...either way it's very convenient for me).
Sunday: Early mass, followed by my brother Nick's 24th birthday party, complete with Tiger's baseball game and dinner in Greek Town
Monday: Dinner with some of David's former students
Tuesday: Celebration dinner with a dear friend of mine who will be in town after making his final profession into the CFRs.
Wednesday: Pick up giant truck and start to load it.
Thursday: Continue to load giant truck in the evening after our help gets off work.
Friday: Drive in a giant caravan to MD and sleep on mattresses...

It will be busy and I'm hoping will leave me little time for reflection because it's a little too sad to think about right now. Just stay busy packing, stay busy unpacking, stay busy having a newborn and then one day I'll wake up and be "home" in my new home. That's my plan.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Moving Update

It's been a long time since this blog has seen any lovin'. We've been busy, busy, busy with packing and seeing people and packing and planning how to have lights, gas, tv, phone, etc., and packing some more. Tonight marks a major turning point in the packing and moving progress. We took down most of the wall decor. I put up a LOT of pictures - I must have some sort of latent fear of white walls. It makes a place home to me to have the walls covered in pretty things. Thusly, taking them down has been a sort of de-home-ifying process.
I'm tired but satisfied. I'm physically tired and I'm emotionally tired because of the strain of de-home-ifying this place that both my children took their first steps in and that we've lived in mostly-happily for the last three years. But I'm satisfied because now it actually LOOKS like we've been packing non-stop for 2.5 weeks and it reminds me that the end is near and soon we will be setting up a new home.
But to be honest, I'm mostly sad and a little scared. God is clearly leading us to this new place and he is good and there are so many good things that are going to come with this new place and new job but...
well, I am in the middle of de-home-ifying. That is a hard thing to do for any home-maker, especially this one.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The long-awaited train

So we're off-we are off to the toy store to buy a train. You know what this means, don't you? This means that we have had our first indoor, in-a-toilet-pee.
The occasion? David had to go to the bathroom. My 7-year-old brother was over helping us enjoy the pool (it's always more fun with David, isn't it?) and we had to run home because he had a bathroom situation that wasn't really suitable for the bushes, at least not for our particular species of animal.
Moses expressed great eagerness at the opportunity to go to the bathroom with David (we haven't seen him since Tuesday and peeing alone outside our building is getting old, especially to the neighbors who's window has a wonderful view of his favorite spot). So when David had finished his business, Moses and David went into the bathroom and shut the door (David and I are NEVER allowed to view the proceedings - a circumstance which has me on the verge of buying a video monitor). When they emerged a few short minutes later I asked if Moses had peed in the toilet.
Moses: No
David: Yes, he did.
Me: Did you Moses?
Moses: No
David: Yes he did, I don't know why he's saying he didn't. I saw him.
David occasionally tells a tall tale but it almost invariably holds some benefit for himself and I could not see why he would be lying. On the other hand, I couldn't see why Moses would be lying. But eventually, when told that there would be a train in the future for a boy who DID, indeed, pee in the toilet Moses admitted it. I tried to give him a high-five and congratulate him but he is insisting on keeping a low profile about the whole thing. No celebration, no applause, no parades, no BIG DEAL.
Which is why I think he lied about it. I made such a big deal last November when we nearly gave him a UTI by making him walk around the house without a diaper and overdid it with the candy and promises and just generally scared him away with all the attention. Moses often says to me, "I don't want anyone to look at me." He's just that kind of kid. So, we will quietly walk into the train store and play this off as no-big-deal and pray that it repeats itself again in the near future.
This success makes me think that I won't need to station bushes around our new rental home (a fact which I am sure our landlady will appreciate) but it looks like David will still be moving with us.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Opinion, anyone?

I realize that I am bound to pass on some of my opinionatedness to my children. There's just no escaping it. But don't you think that this is a little too much?
As we are driving away from Aunt Reenie's house...
Moses: I don't want to turn left, I just want to turn right!
Mommy: But if we turn right then we will be going away from our house and we need to go back home.
Moses: No left! Just right!
Mommy: (realizing that there are NO right turns all the way home but thankfully we have to take a detour that does give us a couple right turns) Ummm...OK, how about first we make a few lefts and then a some rights.
Moses: NOOOO!!!! Only one right!
We eventually do take one right (and one other that we successfully distract him from noticing) and he laughs and shouts with jubilation.

Jeez. Life could get very interesting with both of us under one roof.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

R&R - check!

We had a very successful trip home from the big vacation up at Long Lake. We even managed a stop in at Bronner's, the big Christmas store where Moses managed to score a B&O railroad Christmas ornament. People slept, people sang, people ate and AMAZINGLY no people pooped. Quite a feat. Lily has a very loud/painful diaper rash and so we were really aiming for a no-poop trip.
We had such a fabulous time with some of our Michigan friends and really got to spend quality time before we move away, which I'm certain would not have happened if weren't for the Mitzel's generosity.
The kids all had a wonderful time together - I don't know how Moses is going to survive without 10 other kids within a few years of his age to play with constantly. I guess that's what they call school. Too bad the poor, lonely fellow will probably end up home schooled. Just kidding - about the lonely fellow part. I really am surprised at how well they all played together - there were hardly any run-ins, at least that I was aware of.
It was a real calm before the storm for us. And we needed it. These next three weeks are going to be so packed! Packed with packing, packed with emotion, packed with goodbyes and hellos, my body is getting packed with an ever-growing baby, we are just a packed, packed people. This made us even more grateful for the slow-pace, great company, pleasant weather and fun of this last vacation.
There's a much better post about our vacation (which includes pictures and funny kids stories at the bottom!) over at our generous hosts, the Mitzels.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Their-cation: The sequel to the ever popular My-cation

I meant to post before we left on vacation but instead here I am with 3 days of vacation left and I've finally found my way around to the computer. We are on a Their-cation adventure! 11 kids all under the age of 5 in one house. You can visit Karen if you want the hosts perspective on this circus-act.

It has actually been really fun and there have been several relaxing moments so far. Today, I think that all but one kid was down for a nap/quiet-time AT THE SAME TIME for a couple hours. When this happens we crank up the baby monitors and party like it's 1999. Really. In 1999 none of these children were even a glimmer in our eyes. In fact, in 1999 I was in northern Michigan with this same group of people over New Years and when I think back to how different things are makes me very grateful. There are 11 little bodies and souls that have been born out of the love and relationships that were forged back then.

Several of my friends who are up here with us dated through highschool and college...actually, not several, all. I'm the only one who married an Outsider - someone I hadn't met as a minor. Anyway, when I think back to the fun we had in highschool and college I sometimes wish for that freedom - what parent doesn't occasionally? But today as I watched all of these new little bodies run around in the sand and splash in the water and collect rocks and bugs; as I watched them develop their own relationships and and preferences for one friend or another; as I listened to them tell their newly acquired knock-knock jokes, I was struck with the realization that five years ago not one of these kids existed, except in the mind of God.

11 little bodies and souls. Born out of the ordinary love of my friends and out of God's love and generosity to all of us. It's easy to think about how different life is now for our little group as compared to life five years ago but the really amazing thing is that there are 11 little people here who are alive at all. Someday, I pray, they will all be blessed by having their own little people running around and changing their lives for the better. Life is good. God is good.