It has been so very long since I have written.

Much has changed. We have moved to a new state. Jason started a new job. We have lived in my parents basement. We sold our old house. We headed back for a quick trip up north to close everything out there.

We had all along been looking for a house here. And Friday the 4th, we closed on our new home here. Since then it has been very full days of getting it ready, (more on that process soon).

But, these pictures that I finally uploaded are from our first meal in our new house. Pizza, delivered by our new insurance guy, and eaten on our dirty dining room floor. It was perfectly chaotic, with Ruby smearing pizza grease everywhere and Judah eating his pizza off the paper towel like a dog. It was…just like home.

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Under the staircase, you can see the bare cement where there was once piles of things stored. There are no longer any books on the bookshelves. But heavy-laden boxes piled upon each other instead. Ruby’s closet is empty and her suitcase full.

Last night I filled out a forward address form on the USPS website. I hesitated just a moment when they asked me to declare whether this was a permanent or temporary forward.

We’ve booked a U-haul and my parents arrive a week from today to help us load and move.

Before bed last night, Jason and I were talking how everyday the move feels more and more real. It’s not that it didn’t feel real the day before, but there are somehow layers to the reality that keep growing thicker.

So today, I pack. While the kids entertain themselves as best they can. And I take a million breaks to kiss away “injuries.” And I find new things for them to play with or watch.

Judah packs his very own box full of his most essential items: favorite toys. I have to convince him not to tape it up, because I know in five minutes one of those toys will be needed for another adventure.

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A Prayer

The emotions of this transition time have caught me by surprise. They are so unpredictable (excitement one moment, mourning the next), and so intense.

I don’t think I was expecting it to be easy to leave. I guess I just didn’t know what to expect.

Today, at nap time, I am sitting with some chamomile tea and a prayer that my Spiritual Director sent me from Guerillas of Grace by Ted Loder:

Come, Lord Jesus,

startle me

with your presence, life-sustaining as air,

to open my heart

to praise you,

to open my mind

to attend to you,

to open my spirit

to worship you,

to open me

to live my life

as authentically and boldly as your lived yours.

 

Come, Lord Jesus,

Be with me

in my longing;

come, stay with me

in my needing;

come, go with me

in my doing;

come, struggle with me

in my searching;

come, rejoice with me

in my loving.

 

Come, Lord Jesus, into this time of goodbyes and new beginnings. Come, Lord Jesus.

Here We Go.

I distinctly remember the first time Jason and I drove into the Twin Cities. We were fresh back from living overseas and headed into our next adventure. I remember pulling out of the tunnel on 94 and seeing the Basilica to our right. Everything was new to us.

I was headed to work with at-risk teens and Jason going to work  in the office of a ministry. I really thought we would do it for a year and be somewhere around the world afterwards.

We moved into our tiny apartment, which was the “caretaker living place” for a ministry. I remember our first snow and the first time I tasted tator-tot hot-dish that year.

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What was thought of as a short adventure, turned into the past six and a half years. Jason got on staff full-time at Youthworks, and we stayed.

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From that first little apartment, to the apartment on Marshall Avenue. home sweet home 001

To owning a home.

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The pup that I convinced Jason was a great idea merely a few weeks after we moved in.

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We started our family here. Bringing first one baby home.

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Then another.

Last summer, we started thinking about next phases. We talked and prayed through ideas.

Then all of a sudden in early December, I briefly mentioned we had been talking about the idea of moving to St. Louis to my sister, Brandi. She mentioned an open position at Washington University in the Oncology Research Division where she worked.

Jason applied and we realized that moving closer to family was the way that we wanted to go. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since then.

When they scheduled the first interview over our visit to St. Louis in December, we started getting things in line here, just in case.

So most of December was painting and cleaning and prep work on the off chance that we would put our house on the market. We started having tough conversations around here about the possibility of moving. At some point we decided that even if this job didn’t work out, we were committed to this move and timeline.

Our house went on the market last Friday.

Yesterday was the second interview, and that led to an afternoon of filling out paperwork as a new employee of Washington University.

In three weeks, we will say goodbye to this place and the people who we have loved and learned from for almost seven years. Three weeks is a horribly insufficient time to say goodbye… but I’m not even sure what amount of time would suffice.

 

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It’s negative 20 out, right now. But the windchill is in the negative 40′s. We are staying in, all day today and entering survival mode.

For me that means saying “no” to the requests to play more and doing things that are more life-giving/refreshing like reading or relaxing by the fire (I know…what could be more life-giving than making a Buzz Lightyear talk?!). For the kids that means making a mess in the playroom (and then cleaning it back up later). It means more screen time and zero guilt about it.

We pulled out the couch bed in the basement and set it up for movies. (See above pictures). We loaded snacks into random toys.

For all of us, that meant a picnic lunch by the fire. (And regardless of the temps outside, I still cannot get Judah to keep his pants on).

It’s been so long since I’ve visited the blog. Much has been and is happening. A lot of change and transition are coming our way. More on that soon, but for now, it’s nap time and there’s a book and a cup of tea waiting for me by the fire.

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Fall Thus Far

Fall has settled in and now we’re so far into October that you can see November if you stand on your toes.

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November means the first snow and quiet slide into the winter season. I have no idea what winter, and lots of time in the house looks like between a one and three year old.

I’m sure that there are parts that will look very much the same as fall. Trips to the Y and library, albeit bundled in more clothes than we can currently imagine.

So far, fall has looked fairly routine. The dog continues to destroy what she finds around. Judah is pure imagination, energy and talking throughout the day. Ruby is our explorer, climbing about the house but still apprehensive about walking on her own. The chickens lay eggs daily and scratch and peck at the earth.

We still spend as much time as possible outdoors.

We celebrated our eighth anniversary.

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There are diapers, meals and dishes. Mornings, nap times, bath times and bed times. There are messes to clean and moments to dance. There is art. There are classes and homework for my spiritual direction training. There are fire calls and meetings for Jason. There have been visits from people that we love.

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But beneath all of that, there is a stirring. There are late night conversations and dreaming. There are prayers and waiting. There are ideas about where we are going and who we are hoping to become as a family. There is a deep richness and a little bit of fear.

Outside the trees put on a fine showing of color and disrobe, the pumpkins are turn orange in the garden, and the tomatoes give one last hurrah before frost.

Inside all our days are held lovingly in the gracious hands of God.

We spent some time last weekend “searching for treasure,” in the parks (geocacheing). Both kids were pretty enamored with the adventure outdoors. french park

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