A flurry of activity (at the end of the day)

We took it easy this morning, but we ended the day with a whirlwind of unpacking and organizing. The girls were up past 10 pm because my project was in their room. I have been meaning to get all of their toys and clothes completely unpacked for days, but Mary sleeps so much that I just can’t seem to get it done. (That’s my excuse, at least.) Tonight I got all of their boxes unpacked and sorted, and I am crossing my fingers that the late bedtime means the girls sleep in tomorrow.

Our new dining room chairs came! I need to take a picture, but they look kind of strange with the old dining room table. The chairs are perfect by themselves, though. Mom, you will like them. They are very light, comfy and have rubber feet so they won’t scratch the floors.

Here’s a picture of Abe and Lydia rolling up the rug so they can put the chairs in place. (At the time, we thought the boxes were full of the new dining room table, so we moved everything to get ready for that, and then we realized the boxes contained our chairs.)

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Nativity

Here is a summary of Mary’s day:

dec1She slept the whole day. Yesterday Lydia woke her up from her nap, so I guess Mary needed to make up for lost sleepy time. She threw a tantrum right after breakfast because I wouldn’t let her nap right away, so I gave in. In total she took a nap at

9:20 am Wake up

10 am-11:50am NAP

1pm-2:15pm NAP (in car, in grocery store, at home)

2:30pm-6:15pm NAP (Lydia woke her up).

It’s a rough life.

Lydia had her first day of her new preschool today, and she seemed to like it. We made a last minute decision to pull her out of Challenger and enroll her in the preschool around the corner. It turned out to be a great decision–I was running very late today, and we still made it in time!

Chelsea, Derek, Camden, Carter and Liv all joined us for dinner tonight. It was so reassuring to know we have friends we love so close by! Chelsea found out about a live nativity that takes place the first Monday in December (today), and so after dinner we all headed out there. It was a beautiful experience.

The night was clear and not too cold, and we all had to walk through various stations of Christ’s birth. At each station people in costume would read scriptures, bear their testimonies, and lead us in Christmas hymns. One really striking visual image occurred near the end when a whole choir dressed as angels sang hymns. They were standing on really tall hay bales with spotlights on them, so it looked like they were in the sky. Lydia watched with mouth agape.  We also really liked the man who played Joseph. He actually got teary delivering his part, and what he had to say about Jesus was so moving.

And now we are happy and exhausted. I actually just fell asleep while typing, so that’s my cue to sign off.

Yay for 11 am church

Church was great today. Our new ward is over the top friendly, and it is much, much smaller than our last ward. It will be a lot easier to get to know everyone because of that. We also walked to church, which felt luxurious. Our ward boundaries cover only four blocks (!!!!! — such is the density of Mormons in Orem!), so we left 9 minutes before church started and arrived before the opening hymn finished. Aria gave us a wonderful jogging stroller the other day which made that possible.

Everyone except Lydia took absurdly long naps after church, and when we got up, we drove to Lehi to visit Abe’s cousin who was recently in a biking accident. When we were done, we came back home, ate dinner, and enjoyed the first leisurely evening we’ve experienced in our newly cleaned home.

Here are some pictures I took this morning. We have church at the best time ever: 11 am!! That means we all get to sleep in AND we all still have time for an afternoon nap. I hope our schedule stays the same in January.

Sruthi gave Mary a dress that looks like an Elsa dress, and when Mary's other Elsa dress got milk on it, the only way I could console her was by showing her Sruthi's present. Mary refused to take Sruthi's dress off for the rest of the night and made us put it on over her pajamas. It was the end of the world when I explained she would get too cold wearing that to church, but here she is before I broke the bad news.

Sruthi gave Mary a dress that looks like an Elsa dress, and when Mary’s other Elsa dress got milk on it, the only way I could console her was by showing her Sruthi’s present. Mary refused to take Sruthi’s dress off for the rest of the night and made us put it on over her pajamas. It was the end of the world when I explained she would get too cold wearing that to church, but here she is before I broke the bad news.

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Black Friday

I gave into Black Friday this year. We just moved into a new house, and in the transition, we’ve discovered we have furniture/housing needs, and it just so happens that Black Friday is a great opportunity for filling those. After today’s purchases, we will be almost completely settled in. Hooray!

We also went back to the old house and cleaned it out. As I walked through the empty rooms, my heart filled up with memories. I am grateful for the time I got to spend there, and even though I am happy to be in my new house, I will always remember 604 G Street and the Avenues with great tenderness. I loved that house.

I took a couple pictures today, but most of my blogging efforts went to revamping yesterday’s posts. Tomorrow I will take down the million iterations of our family photos (I’ll leave the best one up, Mom!), and I will put the photos from the day in order. But today I worked on throwing in some extra pictures Mom sent me, and on recording my notes on all the food we ate so that I can remember them for next year.

Here are today’s pictures:

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Abe worked hard to clear a space for the car. This garage was PACKED with boxes right after the move.

Abe worked hard to clear a space for the car. This garage was PACKED with boxes right after the move.

My new washer and dryer. Mom took this picture and I think wants Grandma to see. Do you like them, Grandma?

My new washer and dryer. Mom took this picture and I think wants Grandma to see. Do you like them, Grandma?

just pictures

Sorry for the short post! Clark, Swathi, Abe and I went to see Mockingjay Part 1 tonight, and that sapped my energy for blogging. But I have some pictures from today!

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Mary sleeping with her stuffed animals. Can you find her in there?

Mary sleeping with her stuffed animals. Can you find her in there?

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Sabbath rest

Today was our last day in our ward. After church, we hung around the house and just rested from all of the packing commotion from yesterday. We watched some scripture videos, read some books, ate some Trader Joe’s food (our fare until post move because my kitchen is PACKED), and napped.

Abe snapped a picture for the blog.

IMG_0299Also, I found two new death records for my family history today! One if for my paternal grandmother, and the other is for my paternal great-grandfather. It was very exciting!

The hows and whys and way-too-long ramblings of this move.

I forgot to tell a Lydia story from a couple days ago. We were driving to the new house with Olivia, Chelsea’s daughter. Lydia was telling Olivia her whole life story, and Olivia listened attentively and asked appropriate conversational questions. I was blown away by Olivia’s interpersonal skills, especially because Lydia’s Life Story lacked any sort of narrative arc and kept coming back to this theme:

“I have a Daddy, and he’s really, really tired when he comes home from work.”

“Is that why your mommy has to drive him in her car?” — Attentive, sweet Olivia. (I was driving.)

“Yes. My Daddy is always really tired.” –Lydia, who then pressed on in her strain of desultory conversation wherein Olivia somehow managed to meet her.

Rewind to two weeks ago. Abe and I were in the temple, and Abe sidled up to me in the last part of the endowment session and whispered to me to pray about moving by January first. I was totally blind sided because, bad wife that I am, I thought he loved his commute and was managing to do it all: Doubling his work quota! Elder’s quorum president! 100% engaged father (changes all diapers when home, plays more with the kids when he’s home than I do during the entire day I have with them, etc.)! Unfailingly patient and kind husband! AND A THREE + HOUR COMMUTE FIVE DAYS A WEEK!!!

Somehow, I failed to look outside of myself for the two seconds it would take anyone else to realize no one could do the above list, which Abe has been doing without complaint since January, and not feel exhausted and broken. So there I was, realizing that all this time Abe had been holding in the pain of bearing so many burdens while I traipsed along obliviously. I felt so bad.

So we talked about it, and we decided then and there to move. On Saturday we thought we would find another rental. On Sunday we decided to buy a house. On Monday I found our house (in three hours). Two days later we put in an offer in, a day later it was accepted, and today our financing was approved. Our closing date is Thursday (Abe is going to try to push it to Wednesday), and I have movers and appliances scheduled for delivery on Friday.

I guess in my attempt to make up for the fact that I let Abe suffer so long, I pushed this process into turbo-speed mode, and it has been a little bit of a whirlwind.

Add to that the fact that I have gotten only a couple hours of sleep a night ever since the process started because I am kept awake by vivid daydreams about our new yard. I imagine putting a hobbit hole, a trellis swing, a bounteous English cottage garden, a small orchard–espaliered fences included!–, and a thousand individual plants that I can’t wait to get in that ground. Many of the plants have a lot of sentimental value and are related to you and my memories of your garden, Grandma! Because of you I want gooseberry bushes, hollyhocks, and zinnias. Because of what Mom’s gardens I want peonies, wisteria, clematis, grape vines, lilacs, cosmos, day lilies. I also have a million other plants that I want but won’t list here for fear of boring the bejeebers out of my posterity, should they ever encounter this post. But needless to say, I can not sleep at night because I can actually see the flowers and vegetables in my head, and I get so excited that sleep becomes impossible.

Anyway, all those sleepless nights caught up with me today, and I crashed. I literally did nothing except feed my children and entertain them–from bed. I put on exercise pants at 7 pm when Abe came home and didn’t even bother to change anything else. But I did come to life at Abe’s arrival! I got some more boxes packed, and we both played a bunch with the kids.

Here are some pictures of the girls I took. I took one from bed, as you can probably discern from the weird angle and lighting.

Lydia played dress up with my sewing scraps and embroidery hoop. This is the picture I took from bed. Sad, I know.

Lydia played dress up with my sewing scraps and embroidery hoop. This is the picture I took from bed. Sad, I know.

Lydia lit the way downstairs for Mary with her night light.

Lydia lit the way downstairs for Mary with her night light.

Mary was apparently happy to be shown the way.

Mary was apparently happy to be shown the way.

appliance shopping (i.e., toddler temper tantrum displays galore!)

I forgot to take pictures today! Nothing of note happened, though. I did buy a new washer and dryer for the new house, but I couldn’t have taken any pictures on that outing. Mary was a screaming, crying mess because her nap time was approaching, and I honestly started to wonder if Lydia was possessed. The last couple times I have tried to do anything except shop for groceries or check out books in public, the girls go bananas and lose it. It got to the point where they were tearing Christmas ornaments off of trees–and breaking them. I felt incompetent, and in response, we went home and had nap time/quiet time for the rest of the day. I REM’ed slept so much that it’s 1 am and I’m fresh as a daisy.

Well, not really. Guess I better go to bed. Oh! Cooking school was fun, but for the last couple classes I have had to redo at least one, if not two dishes because I’m careless or impatient. Tonight I had to do my pastry cream twice, and since there wasn’t enough time to redo my pate choux, I’m redoing that first thing tomorrow.

Also, Abe got home! Yay! He had a really successful trip, and I’m really glad he’s back.

Sorry, one more P.P.S. in this disjointed post: I went to the dermatologist today. He confirmed that I had a bad outbreak of eczema because I’ve lost so much pigmentation in my arms. I basically have white polka-dot skin right now — I’m a walking, talking, Minnie Mouse dress! But in all seriousness, it was a good visit. He was very reassuring and I feel like I’ve learned a lot from this whole experience.

Now I’m going to bed and think about all the plants I want to plant in my new yard. That’s my favorite daydream–maybe tonight, those thoughts will replace the horrible nightmares I had during my REM nap!

baptism, more packing, and a wedding

This morning I took Mary to a baptism while Abe took Lydia to ballet. She was really good until after the actual baptism. While Peter’s dad was conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost on him, Mary lost it and I had to rush out of the room. She spent the next half hour literally running the halls and jumping up and down the flights of stairs in the church. When we got home, she took a four and a half hour nap. Guess that baptism wore her out!

Then I packed a bunch more. Our living room and dining room bookshelves are almost empty, a bunch of kitchen ware is packed, the dining room hutch is empty, and a couple paintings are bubble wrapped and ready to move. I only have to repeat this feat seven or eight more times, and we’ll be all set to move.

We had a minor scare trying to find a babysitter for this evening. I called every single babysitter I knew and even Abe’s parents, but it wasn’t until one of the people I called gave me a lead on a young woman in our ward that I’d never met before that I finally got someone lined up. That freed Abe and me up for a wedding reception.

We went to Cynthia Barlow’s wedding reception at La Caille (and you really need to click on the link to see what that means) and it was the first time Abe and I had ever been there. It was gorgeous. We should have taken pictures, but for most of the time I was enjoying visiting with my friend, Maria. She is so fun to be around, and some of her stories had Abe and me literally crying from laughter. One of my mission acquaintances happened to also be sitting at our table, and it’s always fun to bump into people like that. Overall, the reception was the highlight of our day.

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Flowers from the reception.

Flowers from the reception.

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While I packed, Lydia was outside with Abe collecting petals from all of the dying flowers in the garden. She meticulously collected each petal in this box...and then proceeded to accidentally spill them all. She carefully put them back in, one by one. This picture represents a good hour of her day.

While I packed, Lydia was outside with Abe collecting petals from all of the dying flowers in the garden. She meticulously collected each petal in this box…and then proceeded to accidentally spill them all. She carefully put them back in, one by one. This picture represents a good hour of her day.

Rat sighting.

As we were pulling in from church (and my calling was great today! I feel bad for making such a stink about it for so long.), I saw a GIANT RAT run into the rock wall by the driveway. It took my breath away. I screamed, and then Abe started asking me if I was sure it was a rat and if I was sure of its size. After I emphatically declared I was absolutely sure, he got really quiet and then said he had a confession to make.

Turns out he found a dead rat that was the size of a cat in our driveway THREE MONTHS AGO and never told me. He thought I’d go off the deep end. Good thing he didn’t! We wouldn’t have ventured into our yard once this summer, and we certainly wouldn’t have ever eaten outside had I any inkling we were but yards away from a rat nest. Anyway, I researched it online, and apparently it’s only a matter of time before they make it into your house. When I read that statement by the Utah Department of Public Health, I nearly had a panic attack.

If Abe saw one three months ago + it’s only a matter of time until they come in the house + I keep my window with a broken screen open all the time + most common point of entry is roofline–where my window is = THERE MUST BE A RAT IN MY HOUSE.

I would honest to goodness trade that for the apocolypse, zombie or otherwise.

I went straight to bed and shook under the covers until Abe gave me a blessing, and then I was able to sort of kind of function again. Did I mention I have a phobia of rats? Recurring nighmares of rats? Once again, Lily is Facing Some of Her Greatest Fears, and all I can say is, there couldn’t have been better timing for our move.

Off of the rats. So after I got it together, we had the Andersons over for dinner. I forgot to blog yesterday, but we have been on a dinner-with-friends marathon. Yesterday Rich and Misty had us over for dinner in a pumpkin (practically my favorite meal ever), today we hung out with our pals, the Andersons, and tomorrow we get to go to dinner at the Sonntags’ house. We sure will miss our friends here, although the Andersons go down to Orem all the time, so we entertain high hopes that we will at least still get to see them regularly.

Here are the day’s pictures.

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