a cross country adventure

soooo....it has taken me over a month to finish writing this post.  ridiculous, i know!  

we've been in spokane for 51 days, and there has been a lot of emotional ups and downs dealing with the ohio house...and the waiting.  oh, the waiting!  aaron has already started work in seattle and he has been coming back to spokane during the weekends.  it's definitely not the ideal situation for our family, but just like any other challenge that's come our way, we have been able to deal and make things work.  we know that looking back a year or two from now, this will all seem like a piece of cake!  right?


if you follow me on instagram, then you already know that we've made our cross country move.  it took us 6 nights to get from ohio to washington.  it was an interesting experience traveling with four kids crammed into a little MPV, but we all survived and had fun.

the movers came the day before we left to pack everything up.  that was when reality really hit me.  our move was really happening.  our home was a forest of cardboard boxes.  it felt full and empty all at the same time.

we spent that evening out with family and friends...saying our last good-byes.

photo credit: jenna 
photo credit: jenna
the next day we watched the movers load up all our stuff into the moving truck, and said good-bye to more friends and family.

by the end of the day, all the rooms were empty, the trunk of our car was packed to the brim, and our hearts were full from all the love and encouragement we received from everyone.

it was a little surreal when we finally pulled out of our driveway and said good-bye to our house.  there were lots of memories made there.  we brought home all our babies in that house.  we celebrated birthdays there, had cook-outs, enjoyed the company of friends and family, filled it with laughter, and shed tears of sadness and joy.

but we were ready.  ready for a new adventure.  ready for a new chapter.

here's the day by day experience...

DAY 1:

the original plan was to do a short 2 hour drive on the first day so that we can have some family time to reconnect with each other.  but since the movers didn't finish loading up until 5 p.m., we didn't even leave until 7.  SO...we decided drive all night.  talk about a LONG drive.  it was a little INSANE, but it ended up working out.

we rolled into minneapolis at 9 in the morning and bummed around a bit before checking into our hotel.  we found a nature center and the kids had a chance to check out some animals inside and then run around like wild things outside (they needed it!).  and then we had this crazy idea to check out mall of america.  wow.  that's all i will say about that.

the hotel was fantastic.  i think everyone loved the fact that they didn't have to spend the night sleeping in a car.  those beds were heaven!

DAY 2:

after our trek from cleveland to minneapolis, the 4 hour drive to fargo was a piece of cake.

my cousin nick and his wife heather were kind enough to take us in for the night on their farm.

we did take a little detour before we got to their house, which involved purchasing 3 bags of freddy's lefse at the grocery store.

it was great to visit with family that we haven't seen in a long, long time.  the kids have never met their uncle dan and aunt kay, some of their cousins or their great aunt kathy (except emma and gibson, but it was so long ago that i don't really count that).  what a treat to be able to get together with everyone.

DAY 3:

we spent another short day driving (4.5 hours), which was nice because we got to spend a little bit of time in the morning hanging out with heather and aunt kathy and didn't have to feel rushed about getting back on the road.

our final destination was the western end of north dakota in dickinson. oil country.  it's weird to see random oil pumps scattered across fields of (probably what used to be) farm land.  it's like a gold rush, except with oil.

i'm a little skeptical with this whole fracking thing...from what i've read it doesn't look like the long-term environmental impacts from fracking are great.  not to mention the community impact.  our hotel in dickinson was about $50 more than our hotel in minneapolis, plus it was smaller (studio suite in dickinson versus a 2 bedroom suite in minneapolis).  the front desk lady at the hotel we stayed said that rent here was ridiculous and just as expensive as living in seattle.  except...you're not in seattle.

but i digress.  we had plenty of time after we got in for a little dip in the pool.  it was a great way for the kids to burn some energy and get their appetites ready for dinner.

DAY 4:

after two short driving days in a row, the 7 hour drive to bozeman seemed long.  and after driving over halfway across the state, we realized that it's a pretty big state.  it seemed to go on forever.

but montana was the first state that we had mountain sightings.  that was an exciting sight, and emma and gibson were fascinated by the sight of REAL mountains (with snow caps and all).  i forgot how much i missed the mountain view until i actually saw it again.

we made a quick lunch stop about halfway through our trip at a teeny-tiny town which pretty much only offered a dairy queen as their prime restaurant hot spot, unless you want to grab lunch at a gas station. i think in hindsight, we should have just grabbed snacks at one of the gas stations, and stretched our legs in the parking lot.

we made it into bozeman close to dinner time.  we stayed at one of my most favorite houses ever: my uncle wayne and aunt lou's house.  thank you, thank you uncle wayne for taking us in!

the kids LOVED the fact that they were going to stay up on a "mountain."  the minute they got out of the car they wanted to climb "the mountain" behind my aunt and uncle's house.

we had a great dinner with more family, and the kids got to meet more cousins that they haven't meet/seen in a long time.  but dinner was when the fun ended, because aaron, emma and i spent the rest of the night leaned over the toilet seat or the garbage can (now you understand why i said we should have just grabbed the snacks at the gas station instead of eating at DQ). ugh.

DAY 5:

getting food poising/mystery stomach bug was definitely rough, and even gibson did not get away unscathed.  except his timing was not great.  we were already on the road and ended up having to make a clean-up stop to change his clothes and wipe down his car seat (picking up what i'm laying down?).  i'm just glad cash and lani didn't have any issues.  THAT would have been very bad.

did i already mention that montana is a very big state?  even on our last day of driving, we still had to drive through montana!  the overall trip from bozeman to spokane was uneventful.  everyone was still recovering from the day before so all we cared about was getting to our destination.

rolling into spokane felt a little weird.  it was strange to be back to the place where i spent the remaining years of my childhood (do you really count high school as childhood years?).  when i left it was just me.  and now i'm back with a whole crew.  but i know the kids will totally dig being in the house where mommy "grew up," and going to some of the places where mommy went to when she was a kid.

being in spokane means new beginnings are on the horizon.  this will be our stopping point until we get our house in ohio taken care of.  yes, it means it's another transition process, but with all the transitions we've been through the past 1-1.5 years what's another one to throw in?

we are anxious to see how God is going to work everything out.  i admit that it will definitely be another test on my patience (and i definitely need to work on that), but He has seen us through from the beginning of this whole moving process.  so i know that everything is already in place up to the very end...we just have to have faith and wait and see how He moves.



my dear gibson,

4 years ago today, i met you for the very first time.  you were so precious and sweet, with that baby soft skin and newborn baby smell. i fell in love immediately.

and now...you are mr. big boy off doing your own thing, and getting into stuff like my very own curious george.

how can it be that you're now 4 years old?

you are a helpful, kind-hearted and loving boy with a sensitive nature. but you balance those qualities with a little bit of rough and tumble and a crazy-climbing-all-over-the-furniture character.

you like being part of work that the grown ups are doing, whether it's baking or raking.  and hey, i'm not going to say no to free help.

it's important to keep your mind engaged, because when you're bored your curious george quality takes over.  and usually that means something ends up needing to be fixed or thrown away (you should ask me about the torn library book pages sometime, or the time when you put caulk on the bathroom wall).

you've taken more of an interest this year in doing "school," asking for your own work to do when emma does her table work.  and when you do your table work, you really don't need me around to help you, because you already know what you're doing.

when you aren't moving and running and jumping all over the place, you like to enjoy some quiet reading time like your big sister.  i'm sure that once you know how to read, i will probably find you lost in a book at least once a day much like your sister.

i love watching you be you.

remember that mommy and daddy love you so very much!  may God do great things through you my little agent gibs.

happy birthday!


wordless wednesday :: when boys play dress up

little mexican wrestlers and firefighters take over...

more wordless wednesday here, here and here.


wordless wednesday :: a little boy and his train

cash loves trains.  and by love i mean LOVE.

going on his first train ride made his day.  it didn't matter that it only went 5 miles an hour around a park.  it was a train. and he was on it.  and he did not want to get off.  ever.

more wordless wednesday here, here and here.
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