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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Life changes and eating an elephant

We spent all day Friday moving into our new home. Fortunately we had lots of strong and able men with big trucks who helped make it just a two-trip move, which was completed within three hours. We had a small group of women who helped me make everything sparkle at the old place, making it look pretty darn fantastic. We also had two doting grandparents who were happy to entertain the boys at their place for the day, so as to shield them a bit from as much of the chaos and confusion that can come with a big change like this.

By the end of our very long Friday and coming home to boxes stacked so high that it felt like we could have opened it up to the public as a cardboard maze and charged a small fee for entrance, I had come to the end of my frazzled rope and declared with more gusto than I knew was in me - "I hate our new place."

I didn't, really.

I was just exhausted. I was telling Marc later that I had never felt more tired than I did by the end of that day... except for maybe the day I labored to bring Hugh into the world. And, I felt even more exhausted just thinking about the task of unpacking everything, while still taking care of my little family. But, I think I was mostly overwhelmed with fears of how I would help my little boys adjust to their new environment when I felt so sapped of all energy and optimism myself.

I had to remind myself of the answer to that silly riddle - How do you eat an elephant?

I'm guessing you probably know the answer.

So, that was exactly what I did. I focused first on the most important priority - getting my boys settled safely and peacefully in their new (shared) bedroom for the night. Then, I tackled the boxes. One at a time. I couldn't look at the entire house filled with boxes. It just made me want to cry, if I did. I had to force myself to focus on the one box in front of me. One at a time.

And, before the end of the night on Friday our cardboard maze was completely unrecognizable and I was slowly seeing our home becoming more recognizable.

We went to bed much too late, which turned out to be a bad idea since Hugh ended up having a really rough night. He was up three times and ended up asleep on my chest twice when I got the feeling his lack of sleep had more to do with not feeling well than anything else. My intuition turned out to be correct when all day Saturday he was fighting a fever.

But, last night went so smoothly. Both boys went down for bed so easily - in bed by 6:30pm - AND they both slept through the night, though 5:30am will probably always feel just a bit too early for me.

Today I found myself thinking of all the things I like about our new home - the sound of the morning doves and other birds singing throughout the day, the park across the street where kids today were out playing baseball with their dads, the random cat wandering the very quiet neighborhood, the secluded feeling of living on the outskirts of town, the view from our kitchen of the hills. I really liked our other place and had felt quite sad about leaving it, until I realized what we were getting in its place.

(Our other place was smack-dab-in-the-middle of downtown, with the near-constant sound of traffic, sirens, airplanes, with the "drug-dealing" park down the street and the random transient wandering our neighborhood. Not to mention our neighbor's raging outdoor parties during the summer that commonly started at midnight and ended about four hours later. Definitely won't miss those.)

We're not completely settled in yet, but we're getting there. And, after a weekend of General Conference, I'm feeling encouraged and renewed. I'm anxious to go back and, in my studies, gather my own list of little personal prophetic epistles, as referred to by Elder Holland. Lots of gems that I want to hang on to and live by. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to work on areas of weakness and inabilities, but I suppose personal improvements, just like settling from our move, require the same answer to that silly elephant riddle.

Taking just one day at a time. And, that's exactly what I'll do.


Carson said...

Where did you guys move to? I hope the move went as seamlessly as it could! Thanks for the comment on the blog! I hope to see you in Vancouver around the time of my farewell! My cousins are cute as ever! I want to meet them in person.

Mindy said...

You have a much better attitude than I ... Because all I keep thinking is, "I would never eat an elephant!" :) Good luck with the unpacking! I don't envy you one bit! I think it's bad to move and I only have my stuff. :)

Kaija said...

One day at a time! Yes! Me, too, as I near the completion of my dissertation. Conference was indeed so renewing, and every word of Elder Holland's talk among my favorites. Please email me your new address. And when we moved into our current apartment a few years ago, I felt EXACTLY the same, declaring when everything was in and the missionaries were helping us move some furniture -- "It's all wrong, this living room will never work!" It of course did work the next day. But exhaustion can make one crazy. Enjoy settling in to your new home. I look forward to seeing photos on the blog :-)

Kelly said...

I'm glad you're getting settled in! love ya!

Mandi said...

Moving is a pain, but sometimes made easier by OCD tendencies! We'll have to Skype soon so that you can take me on a tour of your new house!

candice said...

I just love your posts, can I just tell you that? :)

(my kids are currently asleep on the couch after a long evening, (and more to come) of puking)

Thanks for the positive thoughts.

Allred Mom said...

I've been thinking of you and hoping that all went well! I almost called today to see how you were doing!
I'm glad that the elephant is disappearing one bite at a time! I love ya tons! Looking forward to seeing your new place!

Stout Ranch said...

Moving stinks! Unpacking stinks even worse!! Glad you like the new place.

Georgilee said...

Hello :-) I'm so glad your move went ok and that you are settling well into your new home. When I was reading your blog I was reminded of the film under the Tuscan sun with Diane lane, I don't know if you have seen it but it's one of my favourite films and after a broken marriage she spontaneously moves out to Italy and buys an empty shell of a beautiful Italian house and then suddenly thinks oh my goodness what have I done, as it's all rubble and she has no possessions, but she decides to take one room and make it her own and it's such a beautiful film. you should rent it out if you get a spare minute!!! Anyway best of luck with everything, hope your son is a lot better too. X

Joelle said...

Just getting caught up on a few weeks of blog reading...because, oh, life has changed :)
Congrats on the move...I'm sure the boys are settling in fine since they have mom and dad close by.
(and meant to say thanks for the nice comment you left on my blog after I announced the twins always have the nicest things to say!)