Monday, May 30, 2011

Spring Catch-Up

He's a big fan of graham crackers.

OMG, I love this picture so much.

He loves to eat.

This face is priceless.

So happy he can give himself a bottle.

He loves this hat. Whenever I put it on him he happily wears it all day. Vessel always pulled his hats off.

Mike with our two cute boys at Russel Park.

There's nothing greater than seeing your kids smile.

It's official, Jacob hates the swings. Even when one of us is holding him.

I told Mike to act happy so that maybe Jacob would act happy too...but to no avail.

He liked the ladybug toy though...

I love Vessel's dimple.

Close up!

One of the first warm days of the year (this was a few weeks ago.) I introduced Jacob to grass and he HATED it. So he just stayed on his little blanket the whole time.

Blinded by the light!

Snot and drool really compliment this photo.

Sampling the wood chips.

Kind of looks like he's smoking a joint....not that I would know what that was like....

Vessel loves the swings. And he loves "comfy" pants. He would wear this Puma sweat suit everyday if he could.

The boys had a blast playing on the boxes I collected for moving.

Sweet smile.

Naked boys.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Story

Most of you know we are moving. And for those of you who don't know, here are the deets.

Last summer after Jacob was born, Mike got the idea that we should put our house on the market and buy an investment property (like a 4-plex or small apartment complex) and live in one of the units. That way we would be able to have other tenants pay our mortgage and we could save some money and make some extra money outside of Mike's regular income. We figured we would be around Great Falls for the next few years. So in September we listed our house and looked around Great Falls for various real estate possibilities. We had several people look at our house in the beginning, but as the weather got colder and winter began approaching, people stopped showing an interest. All winter we had no calls on the house. It wasn't frustrating for me, necessarily. I had faith that it would all work out in the Lord's time and I didn't feel rushed to sell it immediately.

As the months passed, things started to change. There was more talk about Mike being moved to Portland for work. But the time frame was never really discussed. For all we knew, it could've been a couple years from then, or it could've been a few months. Nothing seemed certain. And in the field that Mike is in (finance) he is constantly up to date with the latest news concerning the stock market, the economy, the housing market, etc. All the stuff he had been reading about lately from all the financial gurus who predict stock market trends and housing trends were saying things were going to get real bad again real soon. So spring came and we thought, we need to sell our house a.s.a.p. in case things hit rock bottom again and we aren't able to get out of our house when we need to (because at that point, we didn't know when we'd need to since everything was so up in the air.) We made some necessary repairs on the house and put some fresh paint on the walls. Eventually, with the change in the seasons we started to get more calls on the house. And before we knew it, we got an offer and we took it. This was April 14th. The closing date was set for May 16th, only a month to find a new place to live, find a storage unit, pack, and move. And the process began...

We started looking for a place to rent, but guess what? There aren't a lot of options here. Most of the rentals in this town are dumps. And those that aren't, are more expensive than our mortgage for a much smaller amount of space. But, again, I had faith it would work out. Of course I was stressed though. And nervous about what was going to happen. We didn't know if we should be looking for a place with a year lease or something less. We had no idea how long it would be before we moved to Portland. So it was hard to know where the right place to live was going to be. But I can attest that prayer really works. I know Heavenly Father answered my prayers, even during a time when I felt like I didn't deserve to be listened to. Within a day or two, Mike's head boss in Portland called him to do his bi-annual evaluation over the phone, and he told Mike he wanted us to move to Portland in September. Bingo, now at least the uncertainty of "when" had been resolved. That helped us narrow things down a bit, because we knew that we had a find a place that we could rent month to month. I ended up talking to an old friend who lived here who was in the same boat as us and she gave me a few numbers to call. I ended up getting a hold of an apartment manager that happened to be a member of our church and she said she had an opening in the complex she and her husband managed. Right then I went to look at the apartment and we took it! It's only a two bedroom, but we can make it work until we move in September. At least it's not a dump, and it's sooooo cheap it blows my mind. We rented a storage unit and will be storing pretty much everything we own and only taking the necessities to the new apartment (beds, table, computer, couch, dishes...) I don't even plan on hanging up pictures or decorating the place.

We were kind of cutting it close with the closing date so soon, but it all worked out. I just needed to trust the Lord. And as usual, everything fell into place. I just think about how impeccable the timing was for everything. Mike wanting to put the house on the market when he did (even though it was for a different reason, he still felt inspired to do it.), being able to sell our house before the housing market dropped again, being able to find a nice, affordable rental so soon, etc. etc. I could go on and on. I have seen the Lord's hand our lives as he's directed and guided us in our choices and in this whole process. And even though life for me (for several reasons) has been a struggle these past couple of months, I can't deny my blessings from a loving Heavenly Father who knows my needs and understands me personally.

Anyway, now we are just a week away from when we need to be out of here and I feel like I have so much to do. I just hope my body and mind cooperates and lets me get something accomplished this week. It's been a battle to get everything done that I need to with being incessantly tired and sick . My poor kids probably feel neglected as well. I will be happy when this move is over and I can just try to have a carefree summer before we move to P-town.

Screw you, Mother's Day

Today at church the women received flowers for Mother's Day. I was given an orange flower. Not that it should be significant in any way. But orange was my mom's favorite color, so obviously I thought about her and missed her more after they put it in my hands.

In other news. It's been a pretty hard couple weeks for me. So many things I haven't had time to talk about. I've basically fallen into a dark hole. It's a combination of events and thoughts that have sort of pushed me to the edge.

I actually wrote this awhile ago in my journal, but it seemed fitting being mother's day and all:

"Pregnancy and my body just don't seem to get along. Being pregnant is one of the hardest things to endure (at least for me.) Don't get me wrong, I love my kids to DEATH. But pregnancy is a less than desirable experience. Of course there are awesome parts, like feeling the baby move or seeing the baby on the ultrasound. But I don't like not feeling in control of my body. Like my body is not my own anymore. Being sick, throwing up, having no energy, & being an emotional wreck isn't on my list of "fun" things. I am so tired of feeling sick everyday. Pregnancy wipes me out. I wish husbands (or men in general) understood what it was like. Mike is very supportive, but a part of me wonders if he thinks pregnancy is just an excuse for me to be totally lazy. I curse those women who feel absolutely amazing during pregnancy, because I certainly don't. It's one of the worst feelings. Most nights after we put the kids to bed, I crash into my own bed still wearing my clothes and practically fall into a coma until 3 or 4 in the morning when I have to pee so bad I am forced to get up. At that point I realize my mouth feels like something died in it because I didn't brush my teeth before falling asleep. And it sucks because many things have fallen by the wayside, like scripture study and night time prayer. Night time is when I feel the worst. That's when the nausea and exhaustion hit the hardest. On top if that I have so much packing and preparing to do, but everyday I feel so tired. It's hard not to feel like a failure. I'm lucky if I even take a shower or put on clothes other than sweat bottoms. I rarely fix my hair or put on make-up anymore. I feel so slobby. And unattractive. It's a real downer to my self esteem which only adds to the horrible feeling I have already. In fact, I cried the other night because I am just so tired of feeling this way. I'm in my second trimester now, so I thought I might be feeling better. But nope. At any rate, I am looking forward to some kind of relief."

I know this is all about complaining. I'm sure I'll get flack for that. Some woman can't even have babies. And isn't motherhood wonderful! Motherhood is a divine calling! It is a precious gift to bring children into the world and raise those children. (At least that's what was pounded into my brain at church today.) Most days I believe that. But when I feel like roadkill everyday, or like my brain is only half functioning, or the kids are cranky or disobedient, it's hard to have such a positive outlook. And when Mother's Day rolls around, I get a little bitter because it's just a reminder to me that I don't have a mother. It's also a reminder of all the ways I feel like I'm failing as a mom. I should feel happy, right? (yay, a day just for me!) But I just feel like nobody understands. "This too shall pass..."