Monday, October 10, 2016

Grandma Murdick's homegoing

My grandmother passed away on Friday.  She had a stroke a few weeks ago that began to shut down her body and she declined rather quickly.  When a person is 93, you submit a little easier that it was their time.  Not making their presence from this earth any less missed, but the culmination of a long life lived and the reality that these bodies were not made to last forever, eases this transition.  And most importantly, her Savior was waiting to greet her.  The picture of that moment of longing finally happening is so, so sweet.

January 2012
My childhood memories of her vary greatly. She lived in Florida for most of my growing up.  I remember the anticipation of her Christmas package that would arrive. She must have had a 10,000 square foot roll of a certain tissue paper wrapping. I still remember that it was white with holly berries and leaves on it. We received presents wrapped in that print for YEARS. I remember the several trips to Florida to visit her. I remember her visits during the summertime.  I remember not understanding why she didn’t think it was proper for me to be running around barefoot.  And I remember not understanding why she would always cry when she prayed. Thankfully, I get that now. 

My grandfather died when I was only 2. I remember when she got remarried. I was 10. And I wasn’t sure how I felt about watching elderly people kissing. :) 

I remember how when I was younger I didn’t understand why she seemed to always have an opinion about something or felt the need to make her thoughts known.  At times, it seemed quite critical.  But I also came to admire her strong convictions and unwavering faith.  And over time, I saw an incredible softening.  My phone calls and visits in the last 10-15 years were always extremely pleasant and left me thankful for the time and conversation.  

Several years ago, it was made known that she wondered if I would like to have her piano, an item that she cherished.  I certainly did.  And we talked about it several times.  But I also knew that I did not want to take it from her too soon – before she was ready to part with it.  Taking a piano out of one’s ownership is a little different than a book being handed down.  There would be a large empty spot in her room. And I knew my grandma would cry. And I didn’t want to be the one that did that to her.

After she had her stroke a few weeks ago and while she was in health care, it became clear that she would likely not return to her apartment in the retirement village.  I was encouraged by my aunt and parents to find the time to come and get the piano.  So, we hauled a trailer and drove the 2.5 hours to get it.
When I visited her that day, one of the first things she asked about was when I was going to come and get the piano. I told her we had already loaded it up and I was taking it that day. Her eyes squeezed shut and she began to shake and sob. I sat down next to her and held her hand, telling her how thankful I was to have it and that I would enjoy it for years to come. She calmed down eventually. We had a nice visit. It was clear that her mind was not what it used to be. But she was entertained by our boys wrestling and fidgeting in the small room. She even sang a little song from her childhood at one point. She laughed and joked.  She apologized for her condition and that she couldn’t get up from her chair. She asked about when dinner was.  A lot. And as we were getting ready to part with her, she looked at me square in the eyes and said, “Now when are you going to come and get the piano?”  So….I had to break it to her again.  And again, endure her eyes squeezing shut as she began to sob.

2 weeks ago
I’m thankful to have that final visit with her though.  And I’m really thankful to have such a treasured item from her.  My dad has asked me to play a couple of songs at her funeral on Saturday.  Mind you, I have not played the piano in front of people much (or even to myself) for years.  Makes me all edgy and anxious.  Playing in front of others has always done that to me.  But, I’ve been practicing on her piano these past 3 days more than I’ve practiced in the last 15 years. 

Its sobering to realize the brevity of our lives on this earth.  And most people don’t live to be 93. Thankful to have the time with her that we did.  And thankful to know that she is soaking in her heart’s greatest longing with the One that loves her the most. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

3-year Anniversary

Three years ago today our lives were changed in an instant.
We'll never forget. Much of our life may look "normal"....but we know and we feel it. There are still effects that Adam deals with on a daily basis.

We've moved this summer and are in a whole new community. It is a different feeling to be surrounded by people who did not know us pre-accident. They have no idea of Adam's physical-ness prior to his accident. They were not with us when we were faced with an unknown outcome. They did not watch our kids, clean our house, bring us meals, spoon-feed Adam, rake our leaves, send us encouraging notes, pray, pray, and pray some more. The people we are surrounded with now didn't know us then. I have a feeling they would have stepped up to the plate though. But still, its weird to have such a life-altering event not be a part of our history with our new friends and community. We can't visit the accident site and the altar we built at the 1-year mark. We don't pass the hospital where he stayed for 7 weeks. Adam has shared his story here......but its another thing to be surrounded by people who showed up when you needed it and saw you through such a vulnerable time.

I asked Jory, a youth pastor friend, who was with Adam when he had the accident, to recall that day for me. To walk us through what he alone experienced on that day. To allow us to pause, be taken back to that day......and ultimately to give God the glory for being faithful in our lives, extending to us His peace, and to recognize what God did in our lives and hearts. Here's Jory's words:

"It was three years ago, but when I allow my mind to drift back to that day it feels like it was yesterday.

It was a Wednesday designed to be the centerpiece for the “National Week of Prayer.”  The day was to begin with students, parents and youth pastors gathering around flag poles to pray for their schools and our nation. It was to conclude with a prayer rally uniting youth groups from across West Michigan as they again cried out to God on behalf of their communities and our county.

Adam texted me early that morning – checking in to see which school I had gone to for prayer and what my plans were for the rest of the day.  With the prayer rally later that night taking the place of our regular youth group meetings, we both had unusually empty schedules…Lunch? Lunch. Qdoba? Qdoba. Better yet: mountain biking and Qdoba!  

By mid-morning our bikes were loaded into Adam’s truck and we were headed for Merrell Trail.  It started like all our rides together - Adam would race ahead and then patiently waiting for me to catch up (I could never match his speed and athleticism). Half way through “mix-master” I caught up to Adam waiting by an A-frame that tracked between the split in a y-shaped tree.  Neither of us had ever ridden the A-frame before but Adam was determined to conquer this obstacle. His attempt was anything but reckless; rather, he was methodical and cautious.  He made multiple approach runs, each time going further up the A-frame than the last, until finally he had made it to the peak. The next attempt was going to be the one, he was going for it.  The approach was true but he didn’t gain enough speed causing his gears – or was it a pedal? It all happened so fast – to catch on the wooden ramp.  In an instant Adam was flipping over his handle bars falling straight down head-first.  

Running up to where Adam lay, still straddling the bike with one shoe clipped to the pedal, I asked him if he was ok…I knew it was a stupid question but it was all I could think to say.  Adam confirmed the stupidity of my question even before he told me he had no feeling in his body and that I needed to call 911.  911? That’s for emergencies! As I dialed the phone I asked him if he was sure we needed to call 911 – it was a desperate grab for hope, that maybe it was a fleeting sensation and he just needed to catch his breath. To call 911 was to admit something terrible had happened. I hit “call.” Help was on its way.

It would take time for the EMS unit to make their way along the trail to our location, so after I hung up Adam took charge. I actually remember thinking, “He’s the one hurt, I should be thinking clearly and talking him through it.” But that is Adam. First, he asked me to call his wife and let her know what happened - she didn’t even know we went riding that morning. Next he instructed me to park my bike sideways up the trail so any other bikers would not ride up on him in his vulnerable position.  After that there was nothing else to do so I sat down next to him and we prayed. I prayed with a desperation I had never prayed before. I prayed for a miracle, for healing, for Adam’s peace of mind, for contentment in life, for Becca, for their kids, for healing, for this all to pass over and be a lot of nothing, for healing.  For the next hour, as we waited for help to arrive - in between calling the dispatcher back, redirecting a few bikers, trying to comfort Adam as he dealt with the pain, and shouting to the EMS unit to help them locate us - I prayed.

It was the fire department with a four-wheeler that reached us first. Once they had secured Adam and began evacuating him it became my job to get the bikes back to the trail head.  In my flustered state I had forgotten Adam had changed the gearing on his bike so when I shifted gears the chain popped off…repeatedly. Uh!  It’s such a trivial matter but in that moment I just wanted to throw my hands up and scream, “Really? Are You Kidding Me!?!” I walked his bike back and then ran back along the trail to get my bike.  Once I finally got the bikes loaded I set off in Adam’s truck to meet him at the hospital.  

Half way to the hospital my eyes caught sight of my bike in the review mirror at the moment it was sent spiraling across the expressway and into the path of an oncoming SUV.  A bolt on the bike rack had sheared off.  For the next 40 minutes - as I endured the wrath of an angry driver and as I answered the questions of the state trooper - I prayed. I prayed for self-control, patience, peace, and mercy.  I praised God that no one else was hurt that day.  I prayed for Adam. Finally, the state trooper cleared me of any negligence, substantiated my story with dispatch, and permitted me to proceed to the hospital.  She could have ticketed me but instead she wished my friend well – her husband mountain bikes too.   

I remember all that in vivid detail - far more than I have even described here - but the rest of the day becomes a blur.  I switched vehicles and picked up my wife in case she was needed to help care for Adam’s kids.  When we finally made it to the hospital Becca was already with Adam.  I couldn’t stay long, I still had to take a group of teens to a prayer rally.

I learned a lot about prayer on that Wednesday. If I am honest, I might say I learned to pray anew on September 25, 2013. Not at a flag pole, nor at a rally, but sitting in the dirt in the woods next to my motionless friend. I learned to pray on the side of the highway.  I learned what it meant to call out to God when truly powerless to do anything else. In the days, weeks, months and, yes, even years, that followed I continued to pray for Adam and his family.  We all prayed for Adam. Somewhere along the way my prayers changed again, from requests for healing to thanksgiving.  Now when I pray for Adam I pray for our continued friendship, for our fellowship as ministers of the gospel, for his faithfulness in praising God, and for God’s healing hand.

Adam - Thank you! We are praising God for you and we are excited to see how He continues to work in you and through you.  The next time we are together Qdoba is on me."   

“Give thanks for the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.”  ~Psalm 107:1

This day brings so much gratefulness. Along with my eyes leaking a decent amount. Thanks for taking the time to re-live that day for me Jory. And thanks be to God for making Himself so known to us during that time. We are reminded of our frailness. We are reminded of our dependence on Him. And we continue to lean on Him for the big things, the small things, and everything in between. This life is not about us. Its all about Him.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

13 year anniversary.....and revisiting the proposal

We celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary last week.  Sometimes I still feel like the young adults we were when we got married - 22 and 23 years old. And then at other times, I look around us….and look in the mirror - and the evidence shows otherwise. 

There was no fanfare this year or a big trip…..not even a date. But we both talked about it beforehand and were good with that. We know its important for the two of us to connect and we don’t want to minimize the “essential-ness” of time for just the two of us, but we also just felt like we’d be doing it because we were supposed to…and trying to squeeze it in when we felt like other things going on took a bigger priority in this season.  So, instead we hosted an end-of-the summer cookout in our backyard with youth. Isn’t that what everybody does on their 13th wedding anniversary?! (If not, you are missing out!) Our life and our marriage together is not just about us.  We’re here to glorify God and to connect others to Him - and that really is what we want to be about.  Our marriage feels stronger when we are on the same page about that.  

Upon our agreement to not spend money on gifts or do anything big, Adam still managed to make a point to show me that he knows my love language and that he loves me in extravagant ways. 
I have shared on the blog before about my strong love for movie theatre popcorn. Well, he went to a local theater that afternoon and told them he wanted to get popcorn for his wife for our anniversary.  It was a new request for the staff and they indulged his request and filled up not only a typical bucket, but a large trash-bag size for him as well.  

And that’s my Adam. He has a track record of doing thoughtful, occasionally over-the-top things for me.

I’ve never recorded his proposal on the blog before and since this serves as a bit of a log of our lives, it probably should contain the not-so-typical request for my hand in marriage that he planned.

We were in our senior year of college.  Recent conversations had identified that we both were on the same page about this heading toward marriage.  But recent conversations also led me to believe that this guy had no money for an engagement ring and that he also seemed to be on a slower timeline trajectory toward marriage than I was on.
And his gift of a promise ring to me on my birthday in September of that year really threw me for a loop and left me thinking that a proposal would not be anytime soon. (1. He knew how I felt about promise rings….not a big fan. And 2. Why would he waste money on a promise ring when I was ready for the real deal and he should be saving money for that?!?!)
But come October of that year, I had planned what I thought was initiated by me a weekend with a couple of my hometown girlfriends and our significant others.  Little did I know that he was the one that initiated all of this. 
While we were all hanging out Friday night, my friend’s dad who had a small plane, offered to give rides if any of us were interested.  My one friend really wanted to, but no one else was showing a ton of interest.  It was only a 4-seater.  Adam said he thought it’d be kinda fun and asked if I wanted to. I had never rode in a small plane, so I said sure.
The 4 of us headed to the airport and I honestly had NO idea or inclination that this was anything special.  Completely clueless.
As we flew over our small town, we were looking out of the plane windows and able to identify some areas of our town. I saw my parent’s property, the local schools, etc. It was cool to see the lights that lit up a small town and I was just taking it in…..and also trying not to be nervous about the fact that we were in a 4-seater plane way up high in the sky.
At one point, my friend’s dad asked if I had noticed anything out my window. I was just taking it all in.  As I glanced out my window again, my eyes were drawn toward a “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” message lit up on the ground.  I honestly, honestly thought, “That’s cool. Someone is getting proposed to tonight.”  I really truly had NO IDEA that it was me. And then I looked over at Adam.  He was looking at me and had a ring box open. 
Shock hit. He tried to get out some words over the sounds of the plane and his nervousness.  I could hardly listen and my mind was just blown and trying to understand how this had all happened and had been planned.
Turns out this guy had already talked to my parents. He had asked for the airplane ride. He had talked to my hometown friends about this.  He had mapped out how big letters would need to be to be seen from the sky.  He had bought the ring (at the same time as the promise ring….just trying to throw me off any scent that I might have otherwise picked up). He had driven the two hours from our college campus to my friend’s house in a previous trip to map out the message.  He had bought all of the supplies (hundreds of candles and candlebags).  He arranged for my best friend/college roomie to be along also. He had recruited and prepped the others to put out all of the candlebags once we headed to the airport.  He had this all planned out….and planned out well.  With me not having any sort of clue (I promise, I’m actually a pretty intuitive and intelligent person).

And that’s my Adam.  He knew that my heart wanted the affirmation of a somewhat public show of his affections and intentions and that it would mean a lot to me for it to include the help of people that I was close to.  We had known each other for over a year and a half at this point, dated for a good chunk of it (with a 5-month breakup in between it all) and had even agreed to hold to the decision I had made shortly before meeting him to not even kiss again until I was engaged. 

And that’s just some insight into my Adam.
He’s thoughtful.
He’s great at keeping secrets (making me a little uneasy at times!).
He isn’t embarrassed or afraid to show that he loves me.
He can plan and execute his ideas.
He often goes above and beyond expectations.
He is so good to me. (Note: I did not say perfect). :) 

And there you go. Now you know how this guy proposed to me if you didn’t already. Written down for the archives as we celebrated 13 years of marraige.  (Sorry, no pics.....this was before the convenient age of digital photography). Those hundreds of candles were used in our wedding reception to decorate the tables as we celebrated our vows with over 300 witnesses that we were going to commit to love each other for the rest of our lives. 

And so far, so good. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Camping Trip 2016

We are fresh off of tent camping for the past 4 days.  Fresh might not be the greatest word choice.  Everything, including myself, has a scent concocted of bug spray, sunscreen, dirt, mildew, and campfire smoke.  

This was our only summer vacation trip. Due to spending a lot of our time travelling back and forth between Grand Rapids and Mishawaka, we just didn’t really have much time to squeeze much else in.  And we didn’t leave ourselves much time, school starts for us next week!

We loaded up the van and trailer on Sunday afternoon and headed to Pokagon State Park. (Adam has the boys somewhat convinced that it is pronounced Poh-Kee-Gon – thus sounding a bit like Pokemon….and yes, they managed to play PokemonGo multiple times).

We were rather surprised to find the campground area extremely empty. I mean, we knew we were going mid-week and towards the end of the summer, but it was  s-p-a-r-s-e. Apparently, we are still living in the Michigan culture mindset and consider August a month of summer still….and apparently, people around here don’t think like that. It was almost spooky empty. There was only 1 other site in view of ours that was occupied during our stay.  After going to take a shower late the first night and momentarily thinking that the camp axe murderer had barricaded me into the shower building (only for me to realize I was pushing on the wrong side of the door)(What?! Am I the only one that makes up axe murderer scenarios in my head?!)….I decided that I would only visit the restroom when it was still light. With the campground being so empty and there not being hardly any lights anywhere… was just a bit too creepy dark for me. After walking around some of the other campground loops during the day, we found one that was a little more occupied (plus, had a WAY nicer bathhouse than ours) (Note to self if we go to Pokagon again: Loops 3 and 5 have way better bathrooms).

Everything was going fine into our stay until early Monday afternoon when we started getting poured on while out enjoying the bike trail. We knew more rain was in the forecast thanks to our fancy phones. We hunkered down in our tent, played a few card games, and I even had a slow cooker meal going for dinner. After dinner, we decided we were getting stir crazy. I dropped Adam and the boys off at the Inn that is a part of the park. We knew there were several lobbies and lounges that they could hang out in and watch TV (and they mostly wanted to catch Pokemon). And I hit up the outlet mall that was just a couple of miles away. Every campground should have an outlet mall close by. It was small, but easily entertained me for a bit. By the time I made it back to the guys, it had been raining harder. The TVs were interrupting Olympics broadcasting with weather reports and tornado warnings a couple of hours south of us with the storms heading in our direction. We figured we should at least inquire if there were any rooms at the inn for us to potentially stay in.  There was and we both easily agreed to go ahead and stay the night at the inn. (This is not typical behavior for us. Adam doesn’t give up on things easily. And I don’t like to spend money. One night at the inn was still costing a little more than what we were paying for all 3 nights of camping. We were doubling what we were spending for lodging). By the time we headed back to our site, splashed around in some large puddles and heavy rain to gather overnight items and try to stack and protect things in the tent in the event of flooding, we were finally nestled into our room at around 9:30pm.  We could hardly hear the rain falling outside. Easily the best night of sleep during our trip (apparently, I don’t make up axe murderer scenarios in my head while staying indoors) (And no, I do not watch scary axe murderer movies….this is just how my mind operates). The Inn lost power at some point in the middle of the night for a couple of hours. And something went awry with the park’s water pressure-something-or-other during the storm, which made all water at the park unsafe for drinking and cooking unless boiled. But we enjoyed the pool and hot tub in the morning and by the time we left the inn, the rain had stopped. We felt good about our decision to stay in the inn. I’m not really sure how anyone can deny that a spacious hotel room with a TV, small table, bathroom, coffeemaker and an additional vanity sink is way better to stay in than a tent. Especially during storms.  Pretty thankful that we picked a park that ended up having an "indoor" option. 

I must say that doing life (and in this event, tent camping) with Adam is pretty awesome. He typically handles stress extremely well. He’s a get-it-done, hardworking sort of guy. He rarely ever complains or worries. He does anything that is asked of him. He is knowledgeable and capable of doing so many things. He is selfless and rock steady. Even after we returned home on Wednesday afternoon and unloaded our van and trailer trying to beat a heavy rain that was on our heels, he then left to go help a family that had experienced very significant flooding in their home. This guy. Wow. I hope our little boys are paying attention. 
Photo credit to Landon.
This is me enjoying a peaceful campfire while Adam took all 3 boys for showers.
Having all boys certainly has its perks at times.
I mentioned that the water at the park was affected. They barricaded all drinking fountains and spigots throughout the park. There were signs on every building and bathroom warning of it. They were providing bottled water at the inn, but nothing at the campground that we ever saw. This lasted from Monday morning thru when we left on Wednesday afternoon.  BUT, our campsite happened to be positioned quite close to a trail that led to the Spring Shelter. We had discovered the day before that it was called the Spring Shelter because there was a natural artesian spring at it. So, we had easy access to safe, clean, natural drinking water even though the park was having issues with their water safety! 

We had perfect weather the rest of our time camping. We enjoyed bike riding, hiking, swimming at the lake, visiting the nature center, and in general, doing camping sort of stuff.  Overall, a great trip and the boys are already asking when we are going to go camping again.

Here's a few more pics to satisfy your desire of pictures:
A really cool tree we found while hiking.
I made some pretty good camping food. Here we are enjoying breakfast burritos.
3 year olds are so cute.

Heath and I 'nuggling (snuggling).
Frogs like to take showers also.

The Inn had a gameroom.
Bird watching at the Nature Center.

So….do I LOVE camping?  Love is much, much too strong of language to describe my feelings towards it. 

BUT I do love to watch my boys enjoy the outdoors. I like hiking and biking. I like campfires. I definitely like s’mores (especially when you add some peanut butter). I love taking in God’s creation.  I like vacations that cost less. I love family time.  

I’m sure we will go camping again. In fact, I hope so. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Officially and finally

A bit overdue. But hey, what's new?

We finally signed to close everything on our GR house at the end of July.
We decided to spend the night and enjoy our home there one last time. 
This is officially and finally the last posting about leaving GR. 
I promise.

Had one last pool party with friends!

Took a beautiful evening stroll one last time through downtown GR.
(And yes, these boys were hunting for Pokemon)

Certainly a bit sad about the finality of no longer having a place to lay our heads in GR. 
That house was such a blessing to us. (And of course, we miss our friends and family there)
But we only have good wishes for the new homeowners.
They got immediate possession at signing. We even left a message in the driveway for them.
They've already told us they are loving the house, enjoying the pool, and that they've lost track of how many kids have been over. 

I am missing the scenery of taking quiet walks on the Blandford Nature Trails that were so close to us. I took a few photos of my last walk.

I've been taking quite a few walks in our new area. But there's nothing like this within walking distance from our house. I'm dealing with a lot more pavement and traffic. Not nearly as serene. 
But we do enjoy the location of the house we are staying in.
A quick walk to church. We'll likely walk to school most of the time.
The library is close. Several parks are within easy driving distance.
We have a good backyard and can easily have groups over.

My mom came last weekend and helped me have a garage sale.
I had a garage sale back in May. But we didn't get rid of nearly enough before moving. 
We were stowing 7 extra lamps in our living room. :) They've all been sold now.

We are really enjoying connecting with people and making new friends. We are people that like to connect and be connected. Seems to be quite a few others here that feel this way too.
We are starting to get things lined up and the school year schedule is winding up to begin.

Unfortunately, I just haven't taken too many pictures of our activities here yet. 

But just wait....we are squeezing in a quick camping trip before school starts.
Anticipate the adventures. :)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tate turned 7!

Our Tate turned 7! 

We threw him an early birthday party back in June so that he could celebrate with his kindergarten friends. So fun! Dinosaur themed. A backyard of kids playing. My favorite part was when they sang "Happy Birthday" to him. I had them sing it my favorite loud and as off-key as possible. I thought a few of them were going to bust a vein in their heads. It was loud. And hilarious.

My handsome game leader.
Dino Bones, Cavemen, Dino Eggs, Dino Claws, Fossil Cookies, and Jurassic Juice. Oh, and cupcakes. 
They were making dinosaur faces/noises here.
And then on his actual birthday, we had fun opening gifts and cards from family.
And we went out as a family to Buffalo Wild Wings, his choice. He LOVES eating, they have tablets there that we let the kids play on.
All the way from Colorado!

Tate still loves chickens. Gma Vig crocheted this little guy for him.

Landon bought a digital camera at a garage sale awhile back.
Thanks to his Lego-loving Aunt and Uncle!
And Tate's one long lingering birthday request has been to go fishing. So, while we were in GR this past weekend doing a final cleaning of our house there, Adam arranged for him and Tate to go out on the boat with the semi-famous Stormin' Norman, fisherman extraordinaire. (Ok, he's not really semi-famous....but he's a fun guy we know).  They were picked up at 7 a.m and didn't return until 1 p.m.

Tate said it was the best day ever. 

At 7 this is what our Tate is like:
- He has a strong affinity for dinosaurs, sharks, sea creatures, Star Wars, Legos, and chickens. 
- He is doing great with reading and I think he's very ready for 1st grade. Because we had him do a Young 5's program, he feels like this preschool era of his life has lingered just a bit too long and he's really ready to go onto bigger things!
- He is showing to a be a bit sensitive at times.....focuses on hardships, a little bit of anxiety, life not being fair, and gets his feelings hurts. I pray a lot about knowing how to nurture him, make him feel safe, help him be tough, and for him to know his worth and how much he is loved. 
- He is such a hard worker! Especially when he is working with dad. But also does really well independently at times (mostly depends on the job and how motivated he is). He will pick up sticks and haul logs all day long. 
- Loves being outdoors and looking for frogs, turtles, lightning bugs, etc. 
- Still showing tendencies of being an introvert. He likes other kids and likes being in social settings, but a lot of times he will retreat and its clear he needs some time alone after busy days. 
- He is still the same heighth as his older brother, although his limbs are longer and I think he will end up being taller. He still needs to grow into his body and gain control over it. 
- He is adorably sweet, thoughtful......and a bit crazy. And we love him so very, very much and are grateful he's been given to us! 

Friday, July 08, 2016

We made the move!

I believe we are almost officially Hoosiers. 

Even though I grew up in Indiana, I'm still not completely sure what a Hoosier is and why people from Indiana are called Hoosiers. The Indiana Historical Bureau did not clear it up for me much either.  But anyhow, we have moved nearly all of our belongings to our new place and just have a few things to tie up in Michigan (Michigander is kinda of a weird term also....but at least it ties into the name of the state better and is more easily explained). The cats, lawnmower, and our cleaning supplies are all waiting to be relocated down here with us. We are still waiting to close on our MI house, but things are still progressing and we are praying that all goes through without any hitches. 

Moving Day was was really smooth and great. Mostly because even though it was a holiday weekend, we felt immensely blessed to have such great helping crews in both towns. We are leaving some really great people in Michigan. But, its becoming clear to us that we are being received by some really great people in Indiana. 

Likely the last family pic in front of our GR house.
And it actually was super helpful that Adam's mom came and stayed at our house the week leading up to the move. The day of her arrival, I was admittedly a bit nervous (and possibly had a few moments of being overwhelmed) as she was also bringing 3 children with her (I won't get into the details of "why" as my blog post will already have too words for some of my family members). But it ended up being a huge help. Our boys were entertained and happy. Grandma took them on outings and put them to bed. She did the cooking. The other 3 kids were very well-behaved and polite. I had more time to pack and focus on those details. She was such a great blessing to have around! 

On the day of the move, our rental truck started getting loaded in Michigan at 9 am. By 11, the truck was strategically jam-packed full and the crew had gone. We arrived in Indiana at 3....and those that showed up at 4 had nothing left to do! 

We have worked on getting settled. There are still boxes EVERYWHERE! I thought I had purged a lot of our "stuff." But its clear that I did not purge enough. Nothing makes you feel hideously materialistic until its time to move. Its a little tricky as well when we were moving from a 3800 sq. ft. home with ample storage space to a 1500 sq. ft. home with significantly less storage options. I am currently avoiding our bedroom, except for the need to sleep, because I simply do not know how to make it work. I am fully aware I have too many clothes, too many shoes, too much jewelry, too much, too much, too much. (In my defense, they are mostly thrift store, clearance racks, gifts, and garage sale items!). We are just used to being immensely blessed/spoiled by our previous house and the space and amenities it had to offer. 

I am trying not to be stressed about any of it. Contentment and gratefulness is my aim. Some moments I feel like I am hitting the bullseye. And some moments I am missing the target altogether. I'm trying though. I know my aim needs to be on Jesus and all of our blessings.....which we have a lot of. 

Plus, in light of all that is going on in the world around us, it seems awfully silly to let an issue of "space" bother or consume me. I mean, seriously. Shootings. Bombings. Innocent lives being taken. And I have friends who are dealing with actual difficult things in their lives. Health issues. Marital struggles. Loss of loved ones. 

Anyways. We have tried to jump into life here and fully embrace what we have going on. 

We have some little projects going on at the house. I had already done some patching and painting in a few rooms. And I've already had a few projects for Adam. Plus, Adam tilled up some space for me and I got a garden planted. 
Me: "Adam, I would like some bracketed shelves on this wall."
I have bracketed shelves on the wall.

I signed up the 2 older boys for swim lessons. 

We've explored our new city a little bit.  We've found time to check out the library, a splash pad, and have a few gatherings with new friends. And I even threw a ball at a broken branch that was lodged in a tree for 40 minutes trying to get it down. Once you start something like that, you CANNOT give up. The boys were impressed with my aim and fortitude to keep trying (it was really lodged up there). And it may have even entertained our new neighbors?
Walking the Mishawaka Riverwalk area.

Exploring a new playground.
Adam assured me this equipment was safe.
Surely, it was strategically engineered that if a kid fell from the highest point, the ropes would slow down his fall as he plummeted to the somewhat padded ground.
The broken branch that we victoriously got out of the tree (finally!).
Its a slower pace of life for now with a lot less commitments and connections. But that's OK. I love summertime with our boys. We never managed to put together a summer bucket list like we have shared the past few years. But there's some things we've talked about wanting to, tie-dying shirts, going to a movie theater, a 10-mile bike ride....most of our list involves having a good transition, enjoying life, and making new friends. So, that's what we're gonna do!