I’m on a plane right now and when I get off I will be in Sacramento, Ca. And then making a car drive to my former town that I called home for 5 years, Chico. It’s been almost a year and a half since we watched the big moving truck drive away with all of the contents of our home and one of our cars. Then the husband drove away in the other car and the kids and I boarded a plane to the next stop on this crazy ride God has us on. Eventually we landed in what we now call home Carmel, IN. So I’m going back to visit what I affectionately call my “past life”. And did I mention I’m making this trip alone? Yep. It was my husbands wonderful idea: I go visit friends and he does full time Dad duty for 5 days. Isn’t he amazing? Hold your horses girls, he’s all mine.
I’m mostly excited for my visit to see some dear friends, visit our old neighborhood, see our old house (sniff sniff) and make a trip to some of my local favorites: Tin Roof, farmers market, Bidwell and Upper Crust to name a few. But there’s also a little nervousness to along with the excitement. A lot has changed, I’ve changed. Time just keeps matching on and holding on to the past just doesn’t work. I learned the hard way. When I finally “let go” in a sense of my Chico life and fully embraced our new life it was scary but good. He met me right there. I love what has come out of this whole process. I can sit here now and say I’m thankful for where He has taken us, where we are now and confident in His faithfulness for future twists and turns. Because there will always be those twists and turns to keep me on my knees. With all that said…I’m
a tad bit nervous.
But the closer I get the more the excitement and thankfulness takes over! Here’s to a great weekend that I am so blessed to have!
One year ago this past week we left what we knew as normal and comfortable. What we knew as home. We watched our house be packed and loaded up and drove away in a huge moving truck with our car being towed behind it. We were left with some suitcases to live out of for the next week, one VERY LONG trip across country ahead of us….and a lot of sad good byes to do. My heart aches just thinking of it. That heart ache stayed with me for a long time and still comes back every now and then. There are things and people that God put in my life that are so unique to Chico that can’t be replaced. Honestly, as much as I miss those things and certain people and places I don’t want to replace them. They are special in that time and place only. I hold on to those memories dearly. Our “Chico life” was finished and we were embarking on a very new and unknown adventure.
And we move forward.
Step by step.
We are slowly but surely building a new life here. And though it has been hard at times. Slower than I would like at times. We are really enjoying it. We have friends. Our kids have friends. We have a routine. I have running routes I like. We have our favorite parks and ice cream store. We have several Chipotles to choose from on Friday nights. We have a house we adore and feel safe and “at home” in. Neighbors that are friendly and helpful. We are finding the local coffee spots. Brian is home for dinner every night. We have family only 5 hours away and a part of our life in a new way. We have a church where people are starting to know us and miss us when we aren’t there. I don’t get majorly lost or confused on the numerous traffic circles I travel on daily and even have short cuts I use to dodge traffic.
So many of our questions one year ago have been answered.
My dear friend Stephanie from Chico came to visit me. It was a surprise for my birthday. A sneaky little plan set up by her and my mom. What a joy it was to sit with a friend from what I fondly call my “old life” and have her experience my “new life” or more accurately “my in transition life”. It was refreshing and comforting. It made me miss my old life some but I did notice that the sting is not quite as strong. It is fading some as my excitement and peace for what is to come grows. I am thankful for that. I feel so blessed to have had this precious time with someone who knows me well, who challenges me, encourages me and speaks truth into my life.
Our first real snow that actually stuck around came today! The kids were very excited and played in it for bit. We are not really “playing out in the snow” prepared as far as clothes go but we are working on that. They had fun eating and throwing the snow and Pa even took them on a quick sled ride which was loved by all! Hopefully the snow will be around for a little while and we can get out there again. In the meantime I have a wonderful friend visiting me from Chico so I’ll be signing off for a couple days. I am going to soak up every minute that I can!
1. Mason graduated from preschool this week. It wasn’t so much a graduation but more playing at the park and eating hot dogs and cookies and taking some pictures. None the less our first school year is done and I would say it was more than a success. He loved it, I loved it and even the girls liked going to school. I am so thankful for the preschool co-op we/God put together. Such a blessing.
2. The girls got tricycles for Christmas. Up until they have been pushed, pulled and a source of frustration. But as of this week both girls got the hang of pedaling. They cruise up and down the street now. You can tell they feel like “big girls” riding their bikes along side their big brother Mason who is zipping around them. It was such a gift to see the girls learn to ride their bikes before we left. Another good memory made:) Side note we really don’t make them wear helmets on these little bikes. I believe it’s a fashion statement.
3. Our neighborhood is the best. We will miss them so much. Here are most of the kids on our front yard after a fun night of playing in the street together. Ahhhh, I just love it!
4. The kids had a “Carly date” this week. Carly is one of the kids and ours favorite students. Mason calls Carly her his best friend. Sweet. The kids love her and she is in love with our kids. So it all works out nicely. She took the kids out to the park and for ice cream for one last special time. We will all miss Carly.
5. Well friends this is it. My last post out of Chico. Boxes fill our garage. Random but organized piles are everywhere. Ziplocs of all sizes filled with all kinds of things. Suitcases piled with summer clothes, an empty fridge and pantry. Yep, our time is done here. We are doing ok, tired and slightly overwhelmed but all things considering we are doing ok. So here we go!
I was raised on the other side of the country. I did life there for 23 years and I loved it. Then I moved to Southern California, the other side of earth. Atleast it felt like it at the time. It took me awhile to adjust to California life, especially Southern California life. But I embraced it. Looking back I can say that I have transformed into a California girl and I love it! And I love that I love it! Of course I’ll always be a midwest girl at heart (pop will is still called pop, not soda or coke). But I like the “Cali” flare I have picked up. I am thankful for how God has used my time in California. I grew up a lot in the last 9 years, became a wife and a mom. I now know that I needed distance and space for God to grow me into the woman I am today. Now after 9 years almost to the date I am moving back to my roots. I am sad to leave the state I have grown to love. But I am excited to go back and to take my family with me. I am thankful for this unexpected door that has been opened for us and thankful for the opportunity to share my California flare with my midwest family and friends.
1. This week I made some cute skirts out of jeans I got from the thrift store. It took me all of 30 min to make 2 skirts and they are adorable. My girls are in a “all jean” phase. So I’m trying to get a little crazy on them and get them to wear jean skirts! They did like them and I did too.
2. We visited my friend Kyra and her kids this week. It was a full of 24 hours complete with a trip to the park, movie night with popcorn, sleepover and a trip to the train museum and picnic the next day. Whew! Did I mention the five 2 year olds among the six kids that have just been potty trained? Yeah, you can only imagine how much time we spent in the bathroom. Quite hilarious:) We had a great visit and will cherish these special memories. I love doing life with Kyra. Here are the twins and triplets in the tub together. Can we say splash zone?
3. This is our last “real” weekend in Chico. I say “real” because next weekend our house will be packed up into boxes upon boxes upon more boxes. Oh, my heart aches thinking of it. Anyways…we are sticking to the normal routine and making our rounds downtown: bakery, farmers market and candy store. No lie I may cry when we leave the candy store. The owners have become our friends and they love our kids like their own grandchildren. So sweet. No pun intended.
4.We went out to dinner to our favorite restaurant with our staff team for the last time. This has been the best group of people to work with. I love them!
5. This little bug has been giving me a run for my money these days. I just took this picture of her. She is supposed to be in bed sleeping like her brother and sister. Instead she hopped out of bed, went into the kitchen and helped herself to a cheese stick and decided to hang out with us. Ummmmm? No. But still very very cute:)
1.Last weekend as I mentioned was our marathon weekend of celebration: time in Chico with our family pictures, bridal showers, baby showers, special time with friends and students. Whew! It was fun but we were tired at the end. I think it took us till Tuesday to recover. I wanted to share a recipe I made for the baby shower. They are called Oreo bon bons. They are yummy, simple and a hit with everyone.
Mix a package of crushed Oreos with package of softened cream cheese.
Roll them into golf ball sized balls and chill them for 10 minutes or so in the freezer.
When firm dunk them in melted chocolate and return to freezer to hardened.
I added sprinkles just to make them extra fun.
2. Our family pictures went great! Our photographer was Kimberly Stone who is new to Chico. She was fun, easy going and very creative. We loved her and can’t wait to see our pictures, hopefully next week. Here is a sneak peek!
3. Last week I made a purchase that was out of necessity. A sober reality. A sign of the times I guess. I am getting older. *sigh* Out of nowhere a couple weeks ago my left heel started bothering me, to the point where I couldn’t walk without limping badly. Running was out the door. I concluded that I have plantar fascitis. Basically it’s just inflammation from over use, going barefoot a lot and wearing super cute non supportive shoes. Guilty as charged. With the hot weather approaching I new I wasn’t going to be wanting to wear supportive shoes like my running shoes everywhere so I purchased a nice, supportive pair of flip flops. To be honest they aren’t the most attractive, trendy pair of shoes. But they do the job and I’m able to run again. I wear them in the house all the time and occasionally out and about. I figure if I do this then when the time comes for a cute pair of shoes my feet can handle it. That’s my story of my body getting older and my “orthopedic” flip flops:)
4. After 5 years of giving talks on many Wednesday nights at Chico Cru Brian gave his final talk. It was a bittersweet time. Tears of joy in what God has done and tears of sadness in what we are leaving were shed. It is an amazing experience leaving somewhere we feel so loved and where God is working in great ways! I had the privilege of being there as he spoke for the the last time. He delivered it very well. With much grace, humor and wisdom. I must say over the past 5 years my husband has become quite the speaker. He really is enjoyable to listen to. I walked away being challenged myself to look up and forward. When so often our tendency is to look down and back. I am so proud of Brian.
5. Dare I say it? The girl are potty trained. They haven’t been in diapers (excluding nights) in the last 2 weeks and have had few accidents. We’ve even had several days of NO accidents! Wow. I’m still holding my breath, waiting for a backslide but I think we are over the major hump. Whew! sigh of relief:) Now I’m either toting a portable pink potty with us in our car or noting where the bathrooms are in each store!