Wednesday, October 30, 2013

And now for the pictures

 After the random assortment of thoughts I just posted, here is a random assortment of pictures!

First day of school, take 1 (in Michigan):
First day of school, take 2 (In Illinois):
Ella wanted her picture too, and who can resist that face?

We pulled out some taffy Aunt Kim sent us ages ago, and had a great time pulling it (and eating it).  Ella was less than impressed.  
 We went through quite the building phase a few weeks ago.  Legos were out every day.  Even the blocks made a reappearance, after being tucked away for probably a year.  Here we have a city, created by all of us.  It includes a U for Utah, the tabernacle, Dow Gardens, and the Fox River.  It appears to be a conglomerate city, adding components of Utah and Illinois and Michigan.  Sounds like a great place to live!
 The Cosley Zoo (a small children's zoo a short drive from our house) had a pumpkin patch section.  There were pumpkins for purchase (we opted out), and all your typical pumpkin patch stuff.  Including a cut-out for pictures, a miniature corn maze, and hay bales.  What a great way to end our trip to the zoo!

 Here are my Halloweenies!  Ella is Cinderella, and Julia is a black cat. 
 And I'm a witch.  Complete with a "wart" on my chin! (or really just a zit [I thought I was supposed to be done with zits in my 30s])
 And finally, the pumpkins.  The girls put their orders in, and Clark did all the carving.  Most of it after they went to bed.  Family togetherness!

This, That, and the Other

-When I was little, I loved Where the Wild Things Are.  There were few things finer in my mind than having my dad read this book to us, at night, on my parents' bed.  Because if we were on my parents' bed, we could really rumpus.  And as I read the book now, I realize that I always thought my parents were IN this book.  They were some of the wild things - my mom was the red-head and my dad was the guy with dark hair and a beard.  Did my dad have a beard?  No.  Do they look anything like my parents other than hair color?  No.  But still, that was them.  I mentioned this to my mom a year or so ago, and she said a lot of kids think that.  Really?  Do any of you remember thinking this?  Perhaps she meant books in general.  Thoughts?

-I've always thought it would be lovely to travel by train.  Though, to be honest, I probably want to travel by train in the 1950s.  The idea of having a dining car and a room with a pullout bed and riding a train overnight just sounds so romantic.  Not as in "lovey-dovey romance," but as in "dreamy and exciting." Like in the movie White Christmas.  I want to travel on that train.  Is that weird?  That I want to travel for the mode of travel more than the destination?

-And speaking of White Christmas, I love snow.  I love it!  I even want to wash my hair in it (not really, they obviously haven't ever experienced snow).  The thought of a good snowstorm thrills my little heart.  I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority on this one, but winter is loads better than summer.

-Another thing from my childhood: I always wanted a Teddy Ruxpin.  My friend Amanda up the street (a girl named Amanda on Amanda Ave, true story) got one, and she never wanted to play with it.  Meanwhile I was DYING to play with it. 
"Hey, Amanda, can we get out the Teddy Ruxpin?" 
"No, let's do something else." 
"Are you sure we can't just play with him for a minute?  Just one minute.  Please?" 
"You have to play what I want or we can't be friends." 
"Ok.  *sigh*  Bring on the My Little Ponies."
(You think I'm exaggerating, but this conversation happened more than once.  It's how I learned what the word "threatening" means.).

I've been told they are actually pretty lame, but how would I know?  Maybe they are every bit as exciting as I always dreamed!  Can anyone confirm or deny the awesomeness of the Teddy Ruxpin?  And was I crazy for wanting one?

-I'm a book lover.  Finding the library in town saved my sanity that first week in Illinois.  Going for 5 days without a library card just about killed me. 

-In related news, I was invited to a new book club here.  I went to our first meeting, and suddenly, Illinois was home.  Something just clicked.  We live here now.  I am breathing a sigh of relief.

Monday, October 14, 2013

So....moving is hard.

Ok.  We're about to get very real here.  Brace yourselves.

It's been about a month now since we moved.  From the get-go I've known that the first few months would be hard, that it takes time to settle in and meet new people.  I've done this moving thing a few times, and I knew that once the dust settled and the boxes were banished to the garage, things would start to feel like home. 

The dust has settled.  The boxes are banished.  This still doesn't feel like home.

There is so much to be happy about.  Clark has employment (HALLELUJAH!).  We have returned to a regular schedule, with Dad heading to work every morning, and Mom staying home with the kids.  Julia started Kindergarten, and has adjusted very well.  We have a plethora of restaurants in this town.  We're so much closer to a number of museums and zoos.  And I am very happy about all those things.  I keep trying to put on a brave face, and tell myself that this will all work out, to give it time.

But this doesn't feel like home yet.

I miss MY house.  Part of me wishes we could just move back in.  But I know that's not possible, so I want the house to sell quickly so we can move on financially.  And there is really nothing I can do about that except wait and hope and pray that someone sees it and loves it as much as we did.  I miss our old routine, our old preschool, all-day Kindergarten.  And most of all I miss my friends.  My dear friends!  Between our moving and the moving of other families we know, I've got little pieces of my heart scattered all across the country, and at this moment?  I feel like my heart will never be put back together.

And then the holidays are coming up.  Oh, the holidays.  What on earth are we going to do for the holidays?  Christmas was still a bit sad in Midland, being so far from family, but now?  How do I keep that happiest day of the year from becoming my own personal pity party?

Basically, what this all boils down to is: Wah.  Moving is hard.  Pity me.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cantigny Park

We discovered Cantigny Park a couple weeks ago, and we all love it there. The gardens, the prairie, the mansion, the tanks. Julia especially liked the military museum, and begged to go back the next week. Shocking, I know. Obviously it's a well done museum if my 5 year old girl wants to go back. We're starting to explore the area and find our new favorite places to go. And maybe, just maybe, this place is starting to feel a bit like home.