home, give or take 500 miles

I shared in my last post that our family planned to relocate to the Sacramento area by the end of the month, and somehow, it actually happened!  I remember looking forward at the three remaining weeks of February and thinking, yeah, we'll just see about that.  I guess when God moves you, he moves you.  I'm sitting here in my new "home," of course surrounded by boxes and still just shaking my head at the whole thing.

The last week of February consisted of many bittersweet goodbyes and last times.  I was blessed to overflowing at how many people made extra efforts to say goodbye to our family, and I marveled over and over at the many wonderful friends we had made in just three years.  Thank you, people!

Since this was a corporate move, we had packers come in and pack up most of our stuff, and then load it all up and drive it away.  Due to the short notice and other limiting circumstances, this meant that, except for what we could pack into our cars, we didn't have our belongings for about a week.  Yes, having other people pack my stuff was really weird, and yes, it was totally worth it, even if they did pack the coffee separate from the grinder and the french press parts separate from each other.

Post-packing, we headed south by way of Sisters to say another round of goodbyes, and then broke up our drive to California into two parts - the first chunk at night, when the kids were supposed to be sleeping.  Grant drove with Wyatt, who was nice and fell asleep, and I had the girls, who apparently didn't know what to do without their brother to pick on them, so they picked on each other.  To make things more fun, Charlotte declared that she had to go to the bathroom, so I had to pull over in the middle of national forest land.  In dealing with this, I realized what she really meant was that she already had done her business.  The car was packed full and the guinea pig was riding shotgun, so I was left doing a standing diaper change on the center console of our Tahoe.  During this process, I saw an ODOT incident response truck go past, whip around, and pull up behind me, lights flashing.  Charlotte was standing naked from the waist down between the two front seats under what amounted to a spotlight from the overhead light.  I gestured at her while I explained that, no, I did not need any assistance.  And then, another car pulled up next to me, and I realized it was a state trooper, also checking to see if I needed assistance, to which I also responded with a point at my half-naked child.  Both of these young men left laughing.  After the state trooper left, I muttered that I was embarrassed, and Ava asked why.  I looked at her, and said, "You know what?  You're right."  And now it's funny.

There's more about the drive, but it's all pretty much the same: bickering and roadside bathroom incidents.  Anyway, we made it without any car trouble or major mishaps and I'm very thankful.

 The following week, the first week of March, was spent between the Holiday Inn Express and our new house.  We had the keys but not a stick of furniture beyond a step stool.  It might sound awkward, but it worked.  Grant was working, so the kids and I had breakfast at the hotel, then drove over to our house for lessons and wild running around - because how often do you get to scamper all over a totally empty house?  Among the things I stuffed into our car were the kids' scooters and an umbrella stroller, so we made sure to walk around our neighborhood every day too.

One day we explored a nature area just outside of town, and on Thursday (March 6th), we went to our new Classical Conversations group.  I was very thankful we were able to transfer our registration down to California and not really miss a beat.  The Classical Conversations model emphasizes certain methods that keep each campus closely aligned with all the other CC campuses nationwide, so my kids walked into a totally new place with new people and but had the comfort of familiar structure and content - and instant friends.  Wonderful!

(This time might look good in pictures, and it was, but it was also very, very challenging as my children demonstrated in all kinds of creative ways that they were somewhat stressed by all the changes, and I failed to always respond in love and grace.  I have decided not to recount any of it, but I did want to mention - just in case this move somehow looks like it went down as a well-run operation with well-behaved little cherubs. . . it didn't.)

Thursday also happened to be the day the moving truck meandered into town, but Grant was very sweet and managed most of the unloading alone so we could go to our CC meeting.  So from then on, we've just been unpacking and attending to all the details that go with moving.  Tomorrow, we will go on a field trip to Safetyville USA.  I have no idea what that really is, but someone invited us and I jumped at the chance.

So that's my recap.  When unpacking is about to drive us all batty, we wander around outside looking dazed until someone asks, "just move in?" or they see our Oregon license plates and say, "Hey, what part of Oregon?  My aunt's sister's cousin lives in Oregon!"  People have been very friendly and the particulars of the move have gone very smoothly.  Many, many heartfelt thanks to those of you covering us in prayer.



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