Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lasts and Firsts

The month of May was filled with lasts.  It was a busy, mixed-emotion month!  Goodbyes are awkward and hard and sad.  I lived in Pullman longer than I've lived anywhere my entire life, so despite moving closer to family, it was really, really hard for me to leave other "family" behind.

The road to and from Moscow is a well-traveled one.

Josh and I had one last date night before the moving craziness set in.  A ride out to Moscow for dinner at our favorite place - Sangria!  We'll miss our go-to babysitters:  Amelia & Brittany!  

Oh, these cute, cute Beehives!  I LOVED teaching them.  They were always so willing to participate, share an experience or their testimony.  They were also so kind to eachother.  Not everyone is like that, and I took it for granted.  My "original" Beehives are now seniors!  I can't even begin to believe that one.  What a privilege.  

Speaking of privilege - these two ladies are two of my dearest friends.  I find that those with whom I serve often become my closest friends.  We bond in the trenches of service, you see.  We weren't a YW presidency very long, but I've served with them for almost four years!  There was a very short list of things I wanted to do before we moved, and going out to dinner with Darcell and Marie was on top of the list.  I'm glad Marie worked it out so we could go before her trip to Japan!  Marie and I were part of a co-op preschool together when we first moved here!  I can't believe those kids are 5th graders now!  She taught me to sew and bake bread, and their kids gave us Christmas gifts every year.  She's like my sister, and I love her so much.  Darcell is a 2-time cancer survivor, and as strong as they come!  We moved next door to her mother-in-law, and our families became really good friends.  They are both lovely inside and out, and I grew in my testimony by associating with them.  They are amazing mothers and strong women.  I admire them more than I can express, and I get teary thinking of how much they mean to me.

Speaking of teary - Diddles' preschool teachers Miss Aleta, Miss Ashleigh, Miss Krista and Betsy.  They love her and see her goodness and potential.  They push her to improve, and they rejoice in that improvement.  Miss Aleta has been with her from the time she was only three, and took great pains to meticulously write her IEP, so she could have everything she needed going to her new school.  I cried REAL, sad tears on our last day of preschool.  We left the next afternoon!  Aleta wrote us a card that I keep in a safe spot and read when Diddles and I have hard days:  "It has been my privilege and joy to work and play with your extraordinary daughter.  Please stay in touch so I can watch her grow and become the intelligent, gifted, creative loving young woman I know she will be."  -Aleta

Lest this become too much of a depressing post - Maggie the Labradoodle is here to save the day!  Josh went to pick up this tiny little puppy on May 17th.  She is what I think of when I think of a puppy - tiny, fluffy, floppy ears, and a waggily tail.  The kids were enchanted with her.  It's been an adjustment, I'll be honest.  Puppies can be a challenge, and our timing in getting a dog while in the throws of packing and moving were less-than-ideal.  HOWEVER, Josh is a wonderful, dedicated pet owner and dog trainer and works daily with Maggie in walking her and training her.  She brings a lot of life and joy to the house.

Kierra, Meg, Boo, Lillianna, Lily

The other thing I wanted the kids to be sure to experience was being able to have a little party or get-together with their friends.  Boo chose to have frozen yogurt with four of her closest friends.  They talked and laughed and then danced spontaneously in the downpour that arrived out-of-the-blue!  If that doesn't scream pre-teen, I don't know what does!  

Monkey chose to have a little afternoon of play with his good friend, P.  They've been buddies since Kindergarten, and their yard backs into some woods, which are ideal for a dart-gun war and exploring.  They had a water fight, whittled wooden guns, and had a pizza party.  Monkey has said many times that he "likes where we moved, but I really miss the people.  I wish I could take the people and my school and just move them all right here."  

I didn't get a picture, but Diddles' dear primary teacher Sister Campbell threw a little farewell party at the park with her primary class.  She had snacks and games and took LOTS of pictures.  She presented Diddles with this little memory book with photos of our house, the church, her class, etc.  It was SO thoughtful, and she still talks about it often.  "My class had a party for me?  Because they will miss me?"  Yes.  

We were blessed to have movers actually MOVE us this time.  It was amazing not to have to box and pack and move every item we owned!  It was stressful, and I'm glad it's over.  I felt really rushed to get the house spotless and the yard pristine, since the house was then to be rented by some friends in the ward, and we were vacating a day earlier so they could move in before Sunday.  I felt self-conscious about EVERYTHING, and I hated feeling that way.  Blah.  I hope we don't move again for a long, long time!  It was a great house for us.  A manageable yard, close to friends and school.  Enough bedrooms for everyone, and a nice, cool family room to use.  I loved having two kitchens and space to finally buy a piano!  Boo's made amazing progress and I'm excited to see where she goes with her talents!

We hit the road and drove through the rolling hills of the Palouse one last time.  Farewell Pullman and the Palouse!  

We arrived in Providence and the Painters had not quite vacated the house.  I didn't want them to feel pressured to leave, but we were REALLY excited to get into our home - our first real home!  I love everything about it.  The yard, the bedrooms, the soft carpet, the kitchen, the GARAGE!  It's just so wonderful!  I'll go on and on in another post. 

Diddles loves the chickens.  They are her pets.  She feeds them and waters them and collects their eggs.  She also holds them like stuffed animals and wants to walk them like dogs and often forgets they have feet and can walk where they like.  It's a constant battle to monitor her treatment of the chickens!  We love the fresh eggs, and I love watching them walk around!  I hope we can keep them alive, despite their "caretaker"!  

Once the house was emptied, we learned our moving van wouldn't arrive for a couple more days.  The Painters let us borrow their tiller and we planted corn!  Dad supervised and advised on the entire process from plotting the rows to choosing the varieties.  We could tell he was just as excited as we were, if not more so.  It felt appropriate to be planting literal and figurative seeds here at our *new* home.  Laying down roots, staking a claim, turning the soil to start a new chapter of our family.  

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