Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Happy Trails

We've done this scene so many times before. Getting together at someone's house. The kids running around playing. Tons of food and a drink in everyone's hand. A football game on - jokes, chatting, kisses on cheeks. There was a time 5 of them were in diapers and high chairs were lined up. It's always chaotic but the look of the chaos has changed over the years. You would think I took it for granted, but I never really did. I always told the kids how lucky they were to grow up with their cousins. And that group of 9 kiddos is really a special group. A wide range of ages that doesn't matter at all when they get together. It's nothing but love. I love watching each of them interact and how much they all impact one another's growth. And this was the last get together (well as us as California residents anyway). Like everything lately, it was surreal. I kind of felt like I was watching it in the third person - floating above it all, observing. It was like any other get together, except that a heavy sadness weighted the day. 

The kids painted frames and gave them to their cousins as a good bye present. Nathan painted Ryan's red and yellow because they are his favorite colors - I love how excited Ryan was about it. 
I'm bummed for Nate because he's kind of getting gipped in time with the group. :(
A typical scene
Krissy (as always) did a fantastic job planning this going away party for us. The kids had a blast with the front yard water fight!

Love this! 

This is a miracle - we took two photos on auto, one turned out blurry...and everyone was looking in the in-focus one. Everyone!
The kids were out playing in the front yard and I went outside to watch for awhile. I love this memory of the evening. It was so peaceful, at sunset - a perfect childhood moment.

They bought us this awesome piece of art, so we'd always be reminded of Ca. I love it. It hangs in our office and we've had multiple people comment on it. 

I learned that night that I really could not say good bye. It was the start of me saying, "I'll see you next summer". Which was my mantra to get me through the many good byes we had to say over the next few weeks. Luckily the kids and I got to see everyone one more time after this. It was really hard watching Adam say his good byes though. 
Such a special day with a special family. We really are so lucky. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

ready, set, GO...

So we're moving. Quickly.

It's been HECTIC. Like chaotic in a way I've never felt before. There is so much to do, and I cannot shake the feeling that I'm walking through mud. It's weird. Surreal, really. In the last couple of weeks, Adam went to Austin to solidify the deal. It was Thursday, September 7th. I was waiting to really get started with packing until this day happened. It is signed and sealed. We are going. While he was there he met with a realtor and found a neighborhood he thought looked good for us. It's called River Place. The realtor sent us links to a few houses for lease in this neighborhood and by Monday we signed the papers and had one set up to move into the very next week. After much deliberation, and some major pushing on my part, I convinced Adam that I would NOT be ready to go by September 26th - the day he is leaving. We still have bathroom renovations we are finishing up, need to pack the house, say good bye to so many friends, tie up loose ends, and get the house rented. So, the plan for now is, he and his dad will drive out with the first truck on Tuesday September 26th. Adam will begin work on October 1st. Then fly back on the 12th and we'll all leave with the second truck on Friday October 13th. My mom is going to come with us and the three of us will rotate driving the truck, and my car. Figuring this out made me feel so much better. At least I have a little time.

And so, the last couple of weeks we have started saying good byes and packing the house. My mind is focused on September 26th and getting as much ready and organized for the first drive out. Which will be the biggest truck and take the majority of our furniture. The kids and I will be roughing it - lawn chairs and air mattresses for our final 3 weeks in CA!

Something has changed in me to since learning of the move - I've had the hardest time picking up my camera. I've tried documenting as best I can, but so much has gone undocumented. I think it is because I am sad and completely overwhelmed. Anyway, here is what I was able to capture from the  the last couple of weeks.

Leah, Zoe's mom sent me this one of the girls. I have completely removed myself from volunteering or being involved in school. I just don't have time. It feels really weird to be so out of it. Luckily I have friends sending me pics of the kiddos from when they volunteer! I appreciate things like this so much!
I don't really love going out at night, but have been since learning of the move. Trying to squeeze in time with girlfriends. 
Tracy and I - high school together in Park City, college together in San Diego and room mates after. A wonderful person I'm lucky to have as a lifelong friend!
The next night I went to dinner with Dana and Carrie in Encinitas. As I was driving there, the Coaster flew by and I just lost it. Started crying uncontrollably.  It hit me like a ton of bricks that in a way, I am leaving the kiddos early childhood behind. All of the wonderful things we've done in San Diego (the many, many coaster rides), the great memories with our friends. It's just too much for my brain to wrap around. I pulled it together before dinner, but had the hardest time concentrating that night. I just felt so sad. 
Baby Beach Days. We were just starting to get into a good rhythm with Trevor and Nate. It took a few times of playing together without the bigs to learn how to play together without the bigs! These two just crack me up. Now they see each other and just run off, leaving Jaime and I to chat and of course, document it all!
Feeling the limitations of our time, Jen, Jaimie, and I are obviously trying to squeeze in as many days as possible. It's so surreal though - trying to have a normal day with the thought that our days are numbered. It is the worst feeling. This was the day after Adam went to Austin and it really became real. I forgot my camera for the first time. I couldn't believe it. I never forget my camera. Luckily Jaimie was on it! 

Friendships like this come around once in a lifetime. 

Lots of evenings at the park with neighborhood kiddos. I will miss our Friday night pizzas with this crew. 

In my mind, I want to try to take Nate to all of our little adventure places at least one more time. But, I just know it's impossible to squeeze it all in. We started right away with the Aquarium. Always a fun, quick little outing to break up the morning. It was empty and we had a particularly fun time running around. 

Group selfie ☺

He was having so much fun following this sting ray!

This face.

On the way out, an employee offered to take our photo. At first I said no - no makeup, looking pretty ratty, but then I thought, Yes! Why not. So glad I did. Love this little guy and our time together! 
Checking out the hotel construction on the way to the car

Beach days. Obviously trying to squeeze in as many of those as we can too. I cannot believe we aren't going to be 5 minutes from the beach anymore. At least I know I never took it for granted and took full of advantage of the California lifestyle. 
We met the Abbott girls on a Wednesday after school and enjoyed some fun in the sun! 
This was lazy picture taking, sitting in my chair so I could chat with Krissy. 

We really should re-name this dolphin beach because we see dolphins every time we are there.

accidental photo, but I love it.
Tower 33, you've been good to us. 

More baby beach time. I love these days so much. They are so relaxing. I walk away feeling so rejuvenated. Although, I think this is due to the company more than the sunshine. I remembered my camera today. ☺

Not pictured: packing. Which is funny because Offset Artist recommended I document the move - there is always a need for stock photography in this area. But, I literally just cannot bring myself to do it. Which really is such a bummer. Less than 4 weeks left here. The countdown is definitely on and I'm feeling the pressure. 

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