Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Our Last Days in Sacramento

Our last couple of weeks in Sacramento were such a whirlwind.  Spurts of packing were interrupted by last minute get-togethers and good-bye parties.  It was such a bittersweet time because it became abundantly obvious what an amazing community we had gathered around us over the years.  Very very hard to say good-bye to so many amazing people.  The first good-bye was to our dear friends... the Taylors, when we had our last "Thursday Swim Date".  We have had these swim dates for a few years every summer.  We have gone from having NONE of our kids swimming to having four out of five of them swimming.  So hard to say goodbye...


Steve's work also threw us a fabulous "good-bye" party and his bosses spent hours making our favorite home-made tandoori chicken on the BBQ.  It was obvious what a big part of the COAC family Steve had become.  His boss gave a touching speech and I couldn't help but get a little teary.  We are so thankful that they found another awesome engineer to fill his shoes.  Again... another hard good-bye.
 

Then of course we had to say good-bye to Charlie, our fabulous nanny that has watched the kids every Friday morning so I can work on my photography business.  She had become an extension of our family and the kids LOVE her.  Another hard good-bye...

 

And last but not least we had to say good-bye to our church family.  We attended Sanctuary Covenant Church for ten years and they have been so great to us.  They brought us upfront and prayed for us on our last Sunday, and then our friends the Edwards' threw a huge ice-cream party at their house for everyone!  It was such a blessing to be surrounded by all those amazing people that we have walked through life with.  Yet another hard good-bye!


We had a ton of help with our packing.  The Quayles and the Lin-Delcollos took turns entertaining our kids for us, which was such a HUGE help.  Faye even took all SIX kids (her three and my three) to go to a movie at the theater!  And Brandon and Logan (Steve's cousins boys) help load the heavy furniture into the moving pods.


It was surreal watching our whole life get packed up and hauled away.  We had a HUGE vehicle transport service take Steve's grandfather's old Lincoln.  We befriended the sweet Romanian family that ran the transport service, and for a ridiculously low price they offered to take Steve's pick-up truck as well so that he could drive with us up to Oregon.  They also took about 6 extra bins of stuff that we weren't able to fit in the pods which was such a HUGE blessing because we may have had to leave them behind!  The two pods that we had were not quite big enough to fit all our crap (I mean "precious items").  It was amazing to watch them pick up those pods (which each weighed between 7000 and 8000 pounds when filled) and see them put them on their trucks and haul them away!


Despite the complete and utter chaos, the kids did amazingly well.  After all our furniture was packed up there were still a few days before we drove up to Oregon, and they enjoyed "camping" in the house and having "picnics" on the floor.


And of course we had to make sure that we enjoyed as much In-n-Out Burger as humanly possible since they have not yet branched out into Oregon!


Then Saturday arrived.  We ran around like CRAZY people cleaning and making sure the house was ready to be shown to realtors, and then we all piled into the van (four hours behind schedule) and started our trek northward.  I was amazingly emotional saying goodbye to our first home... the house we lived in as newlyweds and brought our babies home to.  Although I'm not really sure if it was true emotion, or whether I was just so utterly exhausted from the previous week.  Who knows...


We drove all day, and landed at Steve's sisters' home around midnight.  I don't think I've ever been so exhausted in my life.  And that's where we are now... a week later.  Scott and Christie have been abundantly generous letting us live with them for a couple of weeks while we prep our house for "move-in".  We are painting, having hardwood floors re-done, and having the carpets cleaned.  It is going to be so nice to move into a clean house and we can't thank them enough for letting us live with them that long.  It's definitely awesome to see the cousins reconnect and hang out together.  What a blessing to know they are going to get to grow up together!

And of course our kids are thrilled to be able to play with all their cousins toys!!!


A couple of days after we arrived, Christie's family took off for a week long vacation.  This allowed my parents to come down and help us out.  They worked their tails off and painted all three of the kids' rooms, the laundry room, and our huge play room.  It was so amazing to have their assistance.  Their last day here, we went to the zoo with the generous zoo membership that Christie and Scott gave us as a "welcome to Oregon" gift!  It was so great that the kids got to spend time with their Nani and Papa.


Most of the renovations are wrapping up, and next the carpet cleaners and house cleaner will descend upon our home.  Then August 5th our pods will be delivered and we can finally load into our home and get settled.  I'm not going to lie... the transition has been truly emotional and exhausting.  Steve worked at COAC on the Friday before we moved and started his new job on the Monday after the move.  We have been living in a state of limbo for weeks out of suitcases.  And we miss our Sacramento community.  But there has been such an amazing outpouring of love and support through this transition that we can't help but smile.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Molly's 7th Birthday Party

It's hard to believe that my sweet girl is turning seven!  She's becoming such a wonderful little girl.  Since our life is a little crazy at the moment, we had an art party at a great company in Roseville called reCREATE.  reCREATE works with regional businesses to collect unwanted items - GREAT stuff like architecture and designer samples, cigar boxes, paper, and more! They divert that stuff from heading to the landfill, and use it for lessons in conservation and art!  Here's an example of an amazing art piece hanging on their wall, made completely out of cardboard boxes!


The party room only holds about 12 kids, so we had to keep the party small.  But between family and friends from church, school and SMOM, the numbers added up quickly!  It's so special to see all these amazing people that are a part of her life!


The kids warmed up with some drawing to get the creative juices flowing.


Then they got a short talk on conservation and the mission of reCREATE.  They toured the art supply area, which was really extensive.  They had bins of everything you can imagine.  As you can tell here, Christy was particularly enraptured with the bubble wrap.


Then the kids started their individual art projects.  They worked on a bug, and could use a large variety of materials to put it together.  They made everything from lady bugs to spiders to dragonflies to a preying mantis.


Then we sang "happy birthday" and cut the cake.  I knew with packing that I wouldn't have time to make a cake, so I had my friend Nina (a professional patisserie chef) make it for me and it went nicely with the "bug" theme.


Finally we opened presents.  Molly got both of the things she asked for... an American Girl doll (from Nani and Papa) and a rock tumbler (from Auntie Shelly).  She also got a box of rocks and a mineral guide from Auntie Tricia which she was equally thrilled with!


It is amazing to me that she is turning seven.  I was so proud of what a sweet and gracious hostess she was today, as she took time to thank everyone for coming and for the gifts she received.  When we were leaving the art studio she said, "I just really loved every single gift that people got me!  It was so nice for everyone to come!"  She really meant that from the bottom of her heart.  

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Independence Day

What a great 4th of July!  We took the entire day off of any packing and cleaning (except for a morning lawn mowing).  Molly had spent the previous night sleeping over at her friend Keilani's house.  So we joined their family in the morning to watch the parade.  It was SO hot (already 100F) and we kept cool by spraying ourselves down with water.  Despite the heat, everyone had fun!


There were a lot of favorite things during the parade.  It was cool to see the vintage vehicles and the kids loved the horse painted with the American flag and the tricked out cars!


After the parade, we went back to the Quayles house for lunch, and a visit.  Then it was back home for family "nap time".  We knew the kids were going to be staying up late that night, so we ALL laid down and had a 2 hour nap.  It was good for Mommy and Daddy too! After naps we loaded up the van and headed over the Aunt Nancy and Uncle Fred's house for an afternoon swim.  By this point is was 108F out and the pool was perfect.  It was fun watching Molly and Paige getting brave and jumping off the waterfall.  Molly was doing flips off of it by the end!


After dinner with Fred and Nancy, we went to Debbie's house to enjoy their community celebration in their cul-de-sac.  It started with the kids bike/scooter parade where all the children decorated their bikes and road around the street.  Then they all got prizes for the efforts.


Then they did a couple of relay races.  Here's Molly and Garrett in the sponge relay where they passed a dripping sponge over their head and down the line and wrung it out in a bowl.  The first team to fill their bowl won!


Paige wasn't into the relay races and decided that kicking back, watching the festivities, and chowing on a cupcake sounded like more fun.


The next relay race ended with the kids putting their faces in a plate of whipped cream to find the cherry on the bottom.  Garrett decided that he wasn't willing to get messy and used his finger instead.


And then of course, the evening ended with sparklers and fireworks.   We didn't leave Lincoln until 10:00 at night and the kids were all asleep in the car by the time we got home.  Molly sleep in until 9:30 the next morning, which is UNHEARD of for her.  Needless to say we created some wonderful memories of our final days in Sacramento!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Jelly Belly Factory

Today we went to the Jelly Belly Factory with the Quayle family.  It was on my list of things I'd like to do with the kids before moving from the area, and we had other plans with the Quayles didn't pan out.  So this seemed like the perfect alternative plan!  It was super busy, probably because everyone was trying to figure out something fun to do that was indoors and not in the 108F heat!  But the kids were very patient and enjoyed themselves (as did the mommies).  Molly and Keilani were stuck to eachother... it's so nice to have a friend that she gets along with so well.  And Garrett and Meigan were also stuck together... to the point that we had to remind them that friends don't kiss.  Sigh... at least he has good taste in young ladies!