I should be unpacking. I most definitely should be unpacking. And yet, here I am, blogging. Avoiding the unpacking. TOO MANY BOXES! ACK!
Anyway. . . we made it to Michigan! The girls were superstars on the drive out here. I had packed all sorts of books and toys and treats (courtesy of the dollar spot in Target) to help alleviate the meltdowns, but I didn't even use half of them. Ella slept most of the time. Julia either slept of played by herself. It was astounding. Until we hit Nauvoo, and Julia exploded, but more on that in a minute.
Here is the very long travelogue. Seriously, it's long. And did you expect there to be pictures? Because there aren't any. If there is one thing you can count on, it's that I won't take pictures. (Though, I actually did take a couple of pictures, but they are still on my camera, awaiting the day that the cord surfaces.) So, if you make it to the end, you are either a saint of a friend, or really bored. And if you don't, no one is offended. You'll just fail the quiz next time I talk to you.
Kidding, of course.
We left our beloved St George on Saturday, October 23. The original plan was to clean on Saturday and then leave on Sunday, for one long day of driving to Canon City, CO. But the movers finished early on Friday, and we actually got a lot of cleaning done Friday night, thanks in part to the Hunts, our dear friends who also let us borrow blankets and pillows and a pack and play so we could sleep on our floor. Thanks, Hunts! After a night of sleeping on our floor (meaning NOT sleeping), I told Clark that we were staying in a hotel on Saturday night. And so we decided we might as well head out on Saturday and see how far we could go.
I walked through the house one last time to make sure we got everything, and I'll admit, I cried a little. A lot has happened in 2 years. Julia has lived practically her whole life in that house, and she won't remember a thing about it I'm sure. It's where Ella came home from the hospital. Thinking about our garden and our wonderful big kitchen and all the people who have visited us there, it made me sad to leave. And we were leaving St George, our home for the last 4 years! I have loved that town, and all the people in it. I remember when we moved there I was so concerned about the red dirt. There was going to be red dirt all over my house, what am I supposed to do about that red dirt? But as we were leaving, all I could think about was how much I was going to miss the red dirt. It's really grown on me. Not to mention all the friends we've made. So many people who have influenced our lives in so many ways. You will all be sorely missed.
And while we're talking about amazing people, let me just take a moment to say that Megan Haycock is my hero. Anyone who knows her will agree. Such an amazing woman, with a solid testimony. Visiting her the day we left is something I will remember for the rest of my life. She gave me such an outpouring of the spirit to take with me on this new adventure, and I will forever be grateful. Thank you, Megan.
So. We left. We drove to Green River, UT, and then decided to stop for the night. The next day (Sunday) we drove to Canon City, and got there by lunchtime. Which was great! More time to visit with the Shaefers! Carrie was gracious enough to let us eat her food and sleep in her camper. Julia and Lauren pulled out every toy in the house, and had a marvelous time doing it. Zachary got to sit and watch Ella, who spent most of her time lying on the floor, kicking and gargling. Our very own little Chewbacca.
Monday we drove through the vast wasteland that is Eastern Colorado and Western Kansas, and spent the night in Salina. We ate at McDonalds for dinner. The moment we drove into the parking lot, Julia said, "Oh, we're going to get ice cream cones!" Grandpa has trained her well.
Tuesday, we drove a whopping 2 hours to Lawrence, KS, and went to lunch with my friend Angela. And after that we headed to Olathe to visit the Calls (our old roommates). Let me just say that I love old friends. Years can go by without seeing each other, and when you get together it's like no time has past. Though, I would not like there to be years between visits next time, because I love these people. The Calls were kind enough to let us invade their house and sleep on their air mattress. We also tagged along to their ward trunk or treat, which was chaos, but a very fun chaos. Julia and Tyson kept calling each other Addie and Boy. Someday that short term memory will kick in, right?
Wednesday we went to Omaha to see the houses Clark's mom grew up in, and then headed on to Nauvoo. It might seem crazy to drive 3 hours out of your way to see a bunch of old houses, but it was totally and completely worth it. We also stopped at the Winter Quarters temple, cemetery, and visitors center. Julia got to dress up like a pioneer girl and play with a few toys. At one point the sister missionary asked Julia, "Do you know what we do in the temple?" I was sure she would have no answer, and was feeling like a failure as a parent, when she busted out, "You get married." Hooray! I've taught my child some sort of gospel truth! A while later, I asked Julia who Jesus loves, fully expecting to get the answer of Everyone, because she's had that lesson in nursery. Instead she said, "Heavenly Father." Well, yes, that is true, who else? "Joseph Smith." Also, true. Who else? "President Monson." Ok, yes. You are right. In fact, Jesus loves EVERYONE! I was pretty impressed that she pulled that out, though, and I think the missionary was impressed, too.
So, we spent Wednesday night in Nauvoo, and planned to spend all day Thursday walking around town, seeing what we could see. Thursday morning we got up and went to the visitors center to plan our day. We visited a few homes, the print shop, the gun maker shop, the brickyard, and then the meltdown began. We went to John Taylor's house, and she started to get antsy. We decided to see one more house (BY's), and then go have lunch and naps. But right in the middle of that tour, she just fell apart. Tears! So many tears! So we left to get some lunch. We walk into the restaurant and she starts bawling her eyes out because she needs a drink of water. AND SHE NEEDS IT NOW! It was not pretty. We got her water and ordered her a hot dog. She ate maybe half of it, and then started crying some more. Then she started telling us her throat hurt and she needed to see a doctor. Over and over again, "I need to go to the doctor." Which worried me a bit, as you can imagine. Julia has been to the doctor 2 times, other than well visits. Once when she was 2 weeks old, and once a year ago. This is not a kid who gets sick. So we went back to the hotel, and put her down for a nap, hoping that would help. When she woke up, she seemed a bit more chipper for a minute, but then it was back to, "I'm sick, I need to go to the doctor!" And the sobbing. Oh, the sobbing. Then I noticed the rash on her arms. And legs. And stomach. I may have flipped out a little bit about finding a doctor, in Nauvoo of all places, after hours. But Clark assured me that it didn't look that bad, and we could wait until the morning. Lo and behold, by morning she really was better.
Friday we drove from Nauvoo to Midland. It was a long day.
For the last week, we've been living in a hotel, waiting for the truck to arrive with our stuff. It came on Sunday afternoon. There has been much rejoicing. Except I'm not sure where my camera cord is, and it took us 3 days to find the blessed DVD player, and the drain on the bathtub is impossible to work, and I've been unpacking every day but there are still boxes and boxes full of stuff that has no place to go.
Speaking of which, I should go attend to at least some of that. I've got to find some food so we can have dinner tonight, because you'd better believe we aren't going out again. Too much fast food and too much sitting in a car/hotel room makes a Shanny fat and ill.
Instant Pot Beef & Sweet Potato Stew
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