Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Midnight Noise

So the thing about getting a new roof is, it is REALLY noisy. I knew this in theory, of course. But as the pulled the old roof apart and hammered the new roof in place, we all kind of went along with it.  I was super amazed that the girls managed to sleep in and at first they seemed kind of amused by all the banging. It was like music and they danced around and turned in abrupt circles in a sort of jerking motion and laughed. Fun. Getting a new roof is fun. And then they napped like champs and we were all thinking, "Wow! These girls! Amazing!" 

And then five rolls around. And then six. And then Charlotte had enough of all this business and she was NOT happy and she made sure we knew. She'd reached her breaking point with all that noise. Almost 11 hours of that constant racket had us ALL on edge by the time the roofers finally left. 

And then we got the kids ready for bed and I hugged them all extra tight and maybe I got a little emotional smelling the girls clean hair and reading them their favorite stories. Maybe I worked extra hard not to let the big kids hear my anxiety and that little strain in my voice when I asked them to take care of each other and the babies and Nana and Baba while we are finding our house. 

Mr Cool (Finnie) has been so laid back about this move - "Let's go tomorrow. I'm ready!" that I've been watching him closely, waiting for his breaking point. Waiting for all the noise of moving to catch up to him. Today it did, in little ways. As he tried to reach the lock to let Nana in. As he tried to comfort Charlotte but then they both fell and got hurt. As he struggled with writing about school for homework because, he's "always working" and "it's not like it matters what (he) writes about his school because it's not like anyone will remember who he was anyway." And with every thing I could see he was feeling weighed down and sad because - this is a lot. He's incredibly smart and mature and handling this move like a champ, but today there was too much noise for him. I get it. 

And then there's Zoe who wants desperately to come with us tomorrow. She wants to make sure we find the right house and she gets the perfect school and what if she has "no kids to play with in the neighborhood" or what if "no one has room for me in their Girl Scout troop". She's sad to miss out on being on a plane and seeing Meg and all the fun things. "When we drive to California can I pick where we eat? Can I choose the music sometimes?" There's a strain in her voice. I can tell she feels like she has no control in all of this. She is my mini me and I know exactly how she feels. She wants to control the noise, but she can't. Sometimes you have to sit back and let the noise settle. Find peace in the fleeting moments.

And all of this is spinning in my head and I just want this to be quick and easy and for everyone to be happy. From my parents all the way down to that damn parrot who yelled, "Stop it. Sit down!" many times today. I want everyone to feel comfortable and happy. 

I'm always a little nervous the night before a flight. Going through my checklists and trying to remember every little thing like we're going to be far from a Target, or something. I should be sleeping now instead of writing this, but finally there is calm and the noise has stopped and I feel ready for the next few days. I needed to enjoy this peace and quiet for a bit.

You guys. We're going to find our next great home sometime between now and Saturday and it's going to be exactly the way it should be. 

Thursday, April 07, 2016


"I do not think you will ever have it this good, ever again."  

He said it with an approving smile and in complete sincerity as he looked around the new home he was helping us move into. The home was beautiful: open floor plan, high ceilings, three bedrooms, two bathrooms. The backyard was huge: plenty of room for our almost crawling Zoe to eventually run around, a pool, gorgeous roses and citrus trees. The front yard had huge hydrangeas and roses and other flowers and the front of the home was covered in vines - there was a fountain. It was beautiful. It was perfect for our family of three and just as perfect a little over a year later for our family of four. We held many parties and hosted dinners and hat parades. We danced it out. That house was filled with love and friends and good memories and we were grateful our friends rented it to us and grateful that we had the opportunity to purchase it (escrow went through on April Fools Day, 2010). It was the first home we owned and it didn't feel like it could possibly get any better.

We were comfortable, and if I've learned one thing in nearly forty years (What?!?!) it's that when you are comfortable, life has a way of twirling around and keeping you on your toes. In May 2012, Daniel got a job offer for Houston. We were leaving the place we'd met, fallen in love, become partners/newlyweds, had our children. We were leaving friends we'd adopted as family and a theatre community we loved. I cried for months. I cried off and on on the way to Texas and I had some serious homesickness for almost a year.

But Texas became our home. I remember driving around our new neighborhood about a month or so after moving here and laughing to myself: "I do not think you will ever have it this good, ever again."

This house was filled with old friends and new, awesome neighbors, and family. We had parties and living room camp outs. We started new traditions and got involved in new communities. We set down roots and were grateful for every new experience we had. 

We lived through a scary pregnancy and brought two more beautiful girls into this world. Charlotte benefited from being near one of the best pediatric hospitals we could be at when dealing with her CHD. 

The Biggies thrived within our neighborhood and their school. Their teachers were nothing short of amazing and we love that they love to learn. They have been surrounded with love and acceptance and have so many people here who have helped shape them into these smart, inquisitive kids.

Times are crazy right now in Daniel's industry. Around the holidays we knew we might be facing some big changes. In February he was researching jobs because a large chunk of employees would need to reapply for a position. In March he put his name in the hat for four jobs. One was here, three were in Bakersfield. Worst case scenario, Daniel would be left standing and have no job at all. We lost a lot of sleep worrying and stressing. Today we got the official word: Daniel has a job - in Bakersfield. We don't know all the details yet, but we know we are going and we feel sad to leave what we have built here. It's comforting being close to Texas Children's and we feel invested in this community and the kids' school. But we are so excited to reunite with old friends and become invested in Bakersfield again. 

Home is where Daniel and Zoe and Finn and Molly and Charlotte are. No matter where we are, we are living the best life because we are living it together. California. Texas. Indonesia. Kazakhstan. Home is where your family is and memories can be made anywhere. Will we ever have it THIS good ever again? Maybe not. We will have some other good. Life is good. Life is an adventure. I might be nervous and sad, but I'm ready and I'm happy and we're going to be just fine - no matter what.