Sunday, December 7, 2014

The season to be sick

I apologize that I haven't written in eons.  I am much much improved but still visit the doctor at least once a week to be poked and prodded.  I am grateful for this actually because I get to be extra vigilant in watching this baby that I worry so much about but cannot yet see.  Today I just wrote a stream of consciousness and then it felt a little like a post so here it is...

It’s times like this that I am totally floored that I am the adult in the situation.  When my 20 month old daughter sneaks 2 cupcakes and then throws them up in the middle of the night.  When everyone is miserable and has a fever. And I don’t even know how to clean.  Do I spray everything with Lysol?  Is that stuff hazardous how far do throw up germs sink into the fabric of a bed or pillow?  Are there such things as “throw up germs?”  If so, what are they really called?  Should I keep everyone at home?  What could we possibly do for 12 hours without hurting each other?  Don’t we need fresh air?  Am I a terrible person for bringing them into public and sharing said, “throw up germs” with the world?

So, because I feel so overwhelmed and pregnant I finish off my half gallon of milk for the day and lay on the couch to watch a mystery that can be solved in 53 minutes.  


Wow, I need God and yet I am so slow to turn to him, so weak in my passion for him.  I am truly grateful for him and all he does to take care of us, but have I yet discovered that he is beautiful? I pray that I do.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Commonly unspoken questions about suffering

As I announced last week, we are expected another sweet baby.  And also, we are going through another high risk pregnancy.  Here are some questions I've been wrestling with.  I know most of you may not relate but I figured they are the same darn questions that spin around in my head whenever I am hurting (minus the baby part):


1. Are the baby and I gonna make it?
2.  What is really gonna help me and what is a scam? (For example the $1,000 ER visit for fluids and all my meds especially zofrane (anti-naseau @$100 a bottle).
3. How much is this about mind over matter?  


Our pastor preached a great sermon yesterday about how we are not ok, and we need the Holy Spirit at all times.  We just notice it most during hard times.  Well, I am noticing that is for sure.  


And then just to blow my mind  I was watching Running Wild with Bear Grylls and Deon Sanders was the celebrity guest.  Of course he was asked to do things that required trust, strength, agility and skills he didn't think he had.  
Think about that...... Deion Sanders...the Deion Sanders.....only man ever to hit a major league home run and score a major league touch down in the same week didn't think he had it in him!!!!  


Do you know what he did?    I couldn't have guessed.  He started praying...in tongues.  He called on God Almighty in a personal and desperate way.  And God answered.  


Deion got calm and then he did it... he completed his mission.  This is Prime Time!!!!  What?!!!  So if you are like me and need some help, suffering in big or small ways, call out to God.  He will hear you.






Monday, September 8, 2014

Bed Rest


Bed rest doesn’t seem like a bad thing at first.  It seems like a good thing and it is.  With my first baby, I spent my time of confinement learning sport stats to impress my husband and watching re-runs of Walker Texas Ranger.  

With my second baby, my friends (who are also saints) watched my toddler and I indulged in long naps and re-runs of Murder, She Wrote.  (I hope you’ve noticed my fine taste in television.) Still, the days seemed to last for weeks and the minutes for hours, just waiting for time to pass.

This time around, everything was more intense.  The “morning sickness,”  the lack of independence, the fear of having to survive another day.  It was hell.  Then, one day I dragged yourself to the door and my neighbor was there, she was taking me to the ER.  I was to weak and confused to argue so I went.  As it turned out I have/had hypermesis gravidarum. I was super dehydrated and losing weight at a frightening rate.  

Hypermesis gravidarum has been made famous by Princess Kate, Dutchess of Cambridge who had it with her first born.  Ironically, Charlotte Bronte (my favorite author) also suffered (and eventually died) from it.   All this to say, I was in bad shape.  But it seems to me that it is when we are in the worst shape that we see the best in others.

Here are some examples and thank you’s (certainly not exhaustive) of the love I’ve received:

-My neighbor baking me cookies, buying ginger ale, and lollypops that somehow really do magically take away the nausea for a little bit.

-Friends who coordinated so that every day one of them took my kids, changed their diapers, dressed them, fed them breakfast and lunch and often dinner too!

-Get Well cards, flowers and balloon.

-Someone to pick up all my multiple prescriptions.

-My brother driving me home and making sure I kept my electrolytes up with gatorade (electrolyte imbalance is the #1 threat to the baby)

-My sister letting me drink all her gatorade while juggling a job, another job and oh yeah another job.  

-My other sister holding my hand and telling me it was gonna be ok, plus changing innumerable diapers and “accidents.”

-My parents for watching over me and cajoling me into actually going to the doctor.

-My friends who did my dishes and cleaned my kitchen.

-My friends who sent me music.

-Those who kept me amused with their blogposts, instagrams, and tweets:)

-My whole family in CA for offering to take the kids and for flying my sister in law out to take care of the kids, the house and me.

-All the offers I didn’t even get to take people up on because I was so flooded with help.

-THE PRAYERS, life is a miracle.  This little one inside me and my own because I know I would have died on my own.  Thank you all!



Asking for help is hard.  
But it is worth the risk.
People probably care way more than you can imagine  (especially if they know Jesus because that is exactly what he was like...he cared and he did something about. )

Friday, September 5, 2014

Dancin'

First,  I apologize to each and every one of you for going MIA for over a month, no phone calls, no email, no posts, heck...besides my kids and husband I doubt I've seen many of you.   It's a long story that will have to be told in installments but the short version is...I'm on strict bed rest and the meds I'm on make my mind almost incapable of writing.  (Imagine how random I am anyway times 100.)

The good news is that I'm okay:)  I'm just having another baby!  Yikes.  It definitely doesn't feel real yet.

The other good news is that I made this video when my son found some old tap shoes to cheer myself (and hopefully everyone who watches it) up:)





...I wonder where he get's his unbelievable skills?.....


....oh yeah, like father like son.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Going Home: Our love story and the CDP Nuevo


Ok, so far, in this love story, David and I met, I confessed my feelings for him and we started dating.  Although this felt like my whole life, in reality it was really only a few months.  It was right around thanksgiving when David invited me to come home with him.  

I was the first girl that David ever brought home. 


He’d obviously dated other people but he’d never brought them to meet his mom and see his land.  
I was determined not to ruin it.  Although I knew this would be a little tricky since David had mentioned his mom had cats, like around 20 of them, and I was horribly allergic.  Of course, not ruining things required me to act like having 20 cats is totally a normal everyday thing I was used to, not a threat to my ability to breathe.  
Before we left Santa Barbara we had breakfast with his sister Kalli and her husband.  They prayed for our trip to Nuevo...after which I was like, “Where is Nuevo?  I thought you lived in Riverside?”  I had a lot to learn.
Come to find out Nuevo is the name of the CDP (Census Designated Place) they lived (it’s not technically even a town...no police...no city hall...just land, land and more land) in Riverside county.  It’s population and it’s total acreage both hover around the 4,000 mark.  David’s family making up a good portion of the population and owning the majority of the land.  
No place on earth smells like Nuevo, CA with the pungent smell diary farm manure and the rich earthy alfalfa, sod and sundry other crops covering the land.   It is completely wide open, I kind of gasped when we made it through the mountains and looked down on the expanse below.  It was brown, baked in the sun with little hints of green olive trees lining the main ways.  I felt out of sorts without the green refuge of trees I was so used to.  
The streets were mostly unpaved and I was happy to be bumping along in David’s cherry red F150 rather than my hand-me-down minivan.  It was obvious from the moment the land came into view that David loved it.  He pointed out landmarks and places he and his dad had farmed, fished, hiked.  His shoulders relaxed; he was clearly at home.    
As we pulled into a dirt driveway I fell in love with the place. It totally harkened back to my early 1990s obsession with the movie Overboard (with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.)  The rusted out cars in the driveway, the enormous springs and tractor parts strewn about the backyard bore put me at ease.  
I noticed 3 more things as David escorted me inside.  #1. The oven was held closed with two shoestrings that seemed to be slightly singed.  #2.  David’s mom was even more gorgeous than he had told me with long blond hair and piercing blue eyes. She looked more like his older sister than his mom.  #3.  The “shower” was in truth just a over-oxidized pipe sticking out of the bathroom wall.  
As we took the tour of the house, I saw the cats.  It was hard to keep count because David’s mom only took in black and white cats.  Or rather she took in a cat named, “Fat Cat Moo Cow” who’d  sired most of the rest. 
As much as I despised the cat’s hair I was impressed by the way David and his family cared for animals.    Their compassion knew no bounds, it extended to humans and ran over onto every living creature God made.
The next morning we went to Beverly Ann’s donuts which had been bought out by a chinese restaurant but still sold donuts.  Much to my chagrin, Fat Cat Moo Cow and his brood seemed to have reign even over the tiny shopping complex down the road.   By the time we left.  My nose was completely plugged up.  My throat was a straw sized passage that I wheezed through and my eyes were hard to keep open both because of the constant watering and the extreme puffiness.  But I was happy, I’d completed phase 1. His mom’s house, now it was on to Hemet and the rest of the family.  


Monday, July 14, 2014

Words of Wisdom


This was a writing prompt I was given a couple weeks ago and it was pretty fun to write:) 
"Write a letter to a seventh grader that is becoming an eighth grader with advice about what to expect, what to do, and what not to do."

Dear Seventh Grade Me,
Don’t take that dare to wear a tiara during your History Presentation.  Or if you must take the dare find a way to relate it to your topic.  Don’t worry though, the detention is probably worth the laughter in the end. 
I'm not really sure what to say about this picture except "YIKES"
Do take the opportunity to do higher math and don’t worry about how it affects your grade.  It is as important to understand numbers as it is to understand words.  
Enjoy ska and punk while you can.  It will be a somewhat guilty pleasure later in life so get to every concert you can.
Work harder at soccer.  Try to understand the sport, not just get through practice.  Seriously, you have a chance to be really good.  Watch professionals.  
Focus more on singing than on the trumpet.   
Get over the fact that you did not get the princess part in the play but were forced to be the evil stepsister.  You are not in fact, going to go into acting as a career. Besides the prince and the princess holding hands will be priceless blackmail material soon.  

Spend more time with A.  In 3 years she’ll get pregnant and have a baby.  You’ll lose touch and then she’ll get cancer.  One morning you’ll get the call that she died.  You probably won’t be able to change the way things happen but at least enjoy the time you can before she’s gone.  Same for L and E.  They all die young and you’ll miss them more than you expect.  
Have fun, these are some of the sweetest years of your life.  Learn Mrs. Wright’s memory verses and learn to conjugate latin verbs but don’t let a dead language kill your joy.  
Be yourself!  You turn out pretty well and believe it or not you do get married.  And to someone you never could have dreamed up... not to mention the 2 adorable kids you get to raise.  
See you on the flip side,
 30 year old me

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

World Cup Update: #BRA vs #GER

We interrupt the normal Wednesday guest blogger for a moment to consider the historic soccer game that took place last night.



As I stated in my first World Cup post, I am no soccer afficinato.  I own only two jerseys.  They are the official 2006 Germany jersey (the year that they hosted) and this year’s official Brazil jersey.  Talk about ironic.  In 2006 Germany went to the semi-finals only to lose to the Italians (who would go on to win the whole thing). Germany, at home, had to settle for third place. 

And now this.  Are there any words for what happened last night?  In case you are not a soccer fan.  Brasil lost to Germany in an unprecedented 7-1 defeat.  And to put salt in the wound, Miroslav Klose (#GER) passed Ronaldo’s (#BRA) all time record for World Cup goals scored. 



 It was absolute craziness, the caption box couldn’t even contain the names of all the German’s who scored, and some scored twice!  

A friend tweeted, “Isn’t there a mercy rule in soccer?” 

 There isn’t.  I should know.  I was captain of  our high school soccer team my senior year.  Don’t be impressed my senior class was 43 people.  We played in a prep school league that had some hard hitting teams though and it was not unusual for us to lose by double digits.  That hurt.  And as the eternal optimist at the end of each game I’d think 10 minutes left okay we just need to score 1 goal per minute.  5 minutes left, okay people score in under a minute...2 goals a minute.  Under five minutes I started to lose hope, by the bus ride home I was crushed.  That was the last season I played soccer.  I applied to Westmont hoping to make their nationally acclaimed team but didn’t even try out after the defeat of my senior year.  




I didn’t handle disappointment and embarrassment well.  
I regret that.  
Obviously, this is a sliver of a microcosm of what happened last night.   

So, back to the World Cup.... Germany settled for third place again in 2010.  In fact, they have never won as a united nation.  Yes, West Germany has won 3 times (1954, 1974, 1990...hence the 3 stars on the German Jersey). But even the 1990 win preceded reunification of Germany by 339 days. And so they’ve waited and rebuilt and waited.  Taking third or fourth place over and over again.  And last night they struck.  

It was a very hard blow for Brasil.  Too hard, some may say. 
It was excruciating to watch the players suffer.  They seemed shaken to the core of their identities. 

And soccer player or not, we have all experienced that sort of soul searching, that realization that we have been beaten, badly, by an opponent who was clearly our superior.  And we wonder:
What could I have done to become better than the best? 
How could I let people I care so much about down?
How do I live with the anger and humiliation of being outclassed? (especially in front of the whole world)
#DavidOBrasilTeAma

But here are some things I’ve been mulling over:

-Brasil did not have to qualify, they were granted a spot automatically as the host.   It’s not as if they would not have qualified.  They always have.  But the process of qualifying refines a team.  Sometimes we feel we have a destiny that we are meant to achieve but it doesn’t just fall into our laps. And if it does, we should be all the more wary.  

-Many did not expect to win without captain Thiago Silva and top scorer Neymar Jr. and certainly not after the first 3 goals went in.  Any team can win on any given day.  Yes, Germany is the better team, clearly.  But there is always a chance.  Even if you see no way, you must believe that “God provides a way where there seems to be no way.”  Never stop searching for that way.  Never ever, ever, ever give up. The people who love you will believe in you even when you fail.  That is why I love that #WestillProudofyouBRAZIL and #Brasilnuncamorre have been trending since the game ended. 

-They still have to play for third place. And it will be a very very hard gamehttps://twitter.com/hashtag/BRA?src=hash.  Whether it is against the Netherlands (a fantastic team) or Argentina (their hated  enemies) the game must be played well.  And I think that  President Dilma Rousseff’s response was apt, "Like every Brazilian, I am very, very sad about this defeat. I am immensely sorry for all of us. Fans and our players," she wrote on Twitter yesterday.  "But we won't let ourselves stay down," she said, before quoting a Brazilian song: "Brazil, get up, dust yourself off and move forward."  This from a woman who was captured and tortured as a young woman but is now,  “One of the most powerful heads of state” according to Forbes.com

So, “get up, dust yourself off and move forward.”

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

More of our love story


Ok, reviewing the “love story” posts I’ve written for the blog I realized that I missed a pretty crucial part of our relationship...right in between when I found out David’s name and when I left for the East Coast.  

Someone told me once that the song “Ironic” was misnamed and really all the frustration Alanis Morsette spends 4 minutes 6 seconds outlining are really just “unfortunate” events not ironic.  As an English teacher I have to disagree.  There is some amount of dramatic irony in a man overcoming his Pteromerhanophobia (fear of flying) only to die in a plane crash.  Although I admit that the irony of finding a black fly in my chardonney still eludes me.  In any case, the tragedy that struck David Lauda only weeks after I met him makes the misfortunes of Ms. Morsette look like mere annoyances.

Probably a month after I first laid eyes on David our church held baptisms.  Now, the church connotes a whole host of images, from cathedrals to big tent revivals.  Let me assure you that whatever you are picturing is not what our church was like.  We met in homes, on the beach, in a theater, wherever people let us really.  We were a band of college kids and young adults on fire for Jesus.  We’d worship anywhere and everywhere.  So, these particular baptisms were held in a friend’s backyard in his hot tub, which was exactly as awkward as it sounds.  

The first thing that amazed me was how many people wanted to baptized.  We held baptisms every season and each time there would be 5-10 people whose lives had been completely turned upside down by their new faith.  The second thing that amazed me was that David chose to wear tie dyed zebra print short shorts and what James refers to as a “hoop ball hat” (aka a sweatband).  I’m not sure if anyone had told him that this was not traditional baptismal attire but he stood up there without a care in the world.  

Oh yeah, those are the shorts..yikers:)
Finally, it came time for the people getting baptized to give their testimony.  People had a variety of long (really long in some cases) stories chronicling how they had made this decision.  Then the pastor called David up.  He asked David for his testimony.  David looked out over the crowd, “My testimony?” he asked.  I waited with baited breath because I heard that he had a very dramatic conversion.  “My testimony is that I am a terrible sinner but Christ died for my sins.”  Boom.  Just. Like. That.  #Truth (although this was like 15 years before hash tags).  



After the service was over I somehow I finagled a way to get a ride back to school with him.  On that 40 minute drive he talked more than I have ever heard him speak at one time.  He told me all about his faith and his family.  He told me that since becoming a Christian he had forgiven his dad and was back in contact with him.  In fact, his dad was getting released from prison in only a few months.  He was super excited because he and his dad had been inseparable before the 10 year sentence came down.    


I got back to school and I got caught back up in school...obsessing about making B+s into As.  I didn’t forget about David, in fact every time I saw him I felt more and more amazed and taken with him.  But we didn’t get a chance to talk.  Until I was talking with a friend, weeks, maybe a month later.  “Did you hear about David Lauda’s dad?”  she asked.  “No,” I answered hoping that maybe his release date had been moved up and I could meet the man, the myth and the legend Jim Lauda.  


“He died this week,” she announced.  And I felt sick to my stomach.  Just before getting released?  It couldn’t be true, she couldn’t know this.  But when I saw David later that night I knew it was true.  I didn’t know what to say or do.  We were all acting like he had the plague...too awkward to ask about it, too big a deal to not ask about it.  I finally ended up talking to his sister and he came over.  I held my breath. “You know what song   I have stuck in my head?” she asked him.    “Don’t pull on superman’s cape, Don’t spit into the wind and you don’t mess around with Jim.”   Kalli quoted.  David laughed. 

It took days, weeks, years to piece together Jim’s death.  He died fighting wild fires in Northern California (Inmates on good behavior can volunteer to do that in emergencies).  I wasn’t close enough to go to the funeral.  But I was at the spreading of his ashes the next summer.  We built an ebenezer of stones up at Lake Shasta so as never to forget him.  5 years after that our first son was born... James, after Jim.  


But back then, back when the grief was so fresh and raw, I could only marvel at David’s courage and faith.  Two qualities that only those who've lost loved ones can understand.  They are what held us together that long summer and our first year of dating.   They are what hold us together still.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Yard Sale Generosity


Our yard sale this weekend wasn’t a huge success, not by any stretch of the imagination.  My gross income totaled a grand $21 and a scarlet sunburn to boot. 

Still, there were two things that made it all worth it in my mind. 

First, was that J--- sold her Vespa.   She and D-- had bought it for $1,500 in Colorado ten years ago. It had 5,000 miles on it.  Baby blue with some wear on the leather, double seat for hot dates and a compartment beneath the main seat perfect for a six pack of beer.  

As soon as she rolled it out there was a lot of interest.  She was selling it for $500, a steal, with the lock, two helmets, oil and cover included! But everyone was trying to haggle her down.  $300 cash now, $350 cash in a little bit... and so on and so forth.  She got numbers gave out numbers and then these two brothers came up.  They were young. The first brother who turned out to be only 18 want to buy it for his older brother who was turning 21 and had recently moved to Roxbury.  The first brother was a talker, hipster glasses, a graphic tank top, smooth latino skin and perfectly coiffed hair.  The older brother was rougher, wearing his old grey sweatpants and a white T.  The looked like half brothers, same dimples but completely different style.  Although they both did have sleeves of beautiful tattoos.  The lettering was perfect and the icons indelible.  La Vida, the Boston Bruins spoke, and two newly tatted spades, fresh shiny ink.  


At first, they couldn’t do $500.  But J--- and I wanted them to have it.  They were young, unattached; basically the perfect age for Vespa adventures.  I wanted them to experience all the laughter and sights and madness that I’d shared with David.  It really was a deal, ours sold for much more and since this one was 50ccs you didn’t need a motorcycle liscence to buy it.  

In the end, they came up with the money.  I’m not sure how.  No 18 year old should be carrying over $500 on their person but this guy was.

And now for the second and more amazing part of the story.  At the end of the day when my shoulders were burnt and we were all hot and worn out from haggling, we packed up our stuff and lugged it back into our respective houses/apartments.  And just as I was dragging up the unsold antique high chair, C--- walked up with an envelope.  She and S-- had pooled the money to give to me and David for the move or whatever else we might need. It meant so much, so much more than I could put into words then or now.  That is God’s blessing, not even just the money but good friends who care and will spend all day frying in the sun, not for themselves even but for you, even if you don’t know it! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Spoiled by Simon Wha

http://sarahjhwangphoto.blogspot.com/2014/06/e-simon-christine.html
Last night, my fiancĂ© and I were sitting down and watching musicians practice for our rapidly approaching wedding ceremony. As we were watching them, she said something profound. She leaned over and said “Gosh, we’re so spoiled.” And in that moment, there was 100% agreement. If you were sitting down with us watching these friends play music, you’d know what I’m talking about. If you put a book down in front of me and asked me to read it out loud, I’d surely slip up with some sort of reading mistake.

 (Funny side note, I always read the word “misled” as "my-zulled.” I don’t know why. It’s a gap in my brain).



Anyway, these friends of ours could look at a score of some classical piece and play it better than I could read “Cat In The Hat." No mistakes, no hiccups. Flawless. So of course in that moment, yes, we felt spoiled with friends who love us and want to play music for our ceremony.

As I walked away from that practice, my fiancĂ©’s statement hit me harder than I had anticipated. During this past year, I’ve been continually reminded of how much God actually loves His children and that we are utterly spoiled. When I say “children”, I don’t mean all of humanity. I mean His adopted children who were once far off but are now near. 

http://sarahjhwangphoto.blogspot.com/2014/06/e-simon-christine.html
The reality for God’s children is that everything in this life is a giant-ass cherry on top. Consider what your sins deserve. Consider your tendency towards rebellion. Consider your subversive disposition. Consider how by nature and choice, you’ve sinned against a Holy, spotless, perfect God. And then consider that even in all of that, God has spoken the words “I love you and will not treat you as your sins deserve.” Consider that He has given His beloved Son in your stead in the midst of your rebellion and has secured your future forever.

God has given what you could never attain. And yet, day after day, He gives gifts upon gifts. He has given me friends that support me financially, He has given me a soon-to-be wife who loves me despite all my flaws, He has given me parents who work tirelessly to provide for me in places I can’t, and the list goes on and on and on. Spoiled indeed.

This is not to neglect or undermine a life filled with serious hurt, trauma and struggle. But as a loving Father, He has rhyme and reason for all of it. One day, He’ll let you know why. One day, He’ll undo every ounce of torment in this life. One day, He’ll use all of it to remind you how amazing He really is and that He actually knew what He was doing.

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” -Rom 8:32

http://sarahjhwangphoto.blogspot.com/2014/06/e-simon-christine.html
Paul’s basically saying, “You’re freaking spoiled.” Believe it. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Big Plans: The year long decision we didn't make

Last September we had a choice to make: should we continue to go to the church we have been attending for the 8 years we’ve lived here or should we join the group from the church who was planting an urban church near our neighborhood.  

The decision we kept coming to was “neither.” Honestly, both were really good options but neither felt right.  We both felt dis-ease and unsettled in our hearts.  So we started looking into moving, like far away, like back to CA or anywhere warm really.  David had been in Puerto Rico with his best friends from growing up and we both realized how much we miss the surf and sun.  

Almost as soon as we thought about moving David got a job offer from a company in TX.  He turned them down but we decided we should check out the opportunities there.  I immediately began to freak out.  Then I started the following dialogue with David (a monologue really since I never gave this to him or read it aloud...cause that just seemed weird):




--------
"I know in my heart that we should go.  I can just sense it.  
I heard it in my mom’s voice...  “It’s an idea whose time has come.”  I saw that through her grief at losing her only two grandchildren that she still felt peace and trusted God who is the author of all great ideas in the first place.  
I knew it on our 7 year anniversary, when I wrote our vows out from Ruth, “Where you go, I will go...where you die, I will die.  Your people will be my people and your God my God.  May God deal with me ever so severely if anything but death separates us.”
I knew it when I read Glimpses of Grace Chapter 9 about hardship and how God takes away our pacifiers so that we can have him.  Even if we are happy with our pacifiers, they aren’t the best God has for us.  
I knew it when the dark started coming earlier and earlier and the cold let us play outside less and less.  And J.Wynn screamed about his gloves falling off before we even got to the bottom of the stairs
I knew it when  people who would cut off their arms for us to stay said that we should follow the lead of the Spirit and not quench it.  
When you went to TX randomly walked in on a board meeting at ---- Homes and then the CEO emailed you back even though I wrote a very open ended/ badly written email to him.  When he wanted to see your resume and references and has space for you.  
I still get sad to think about our amazing neighbors...not to mention the best land lady in the world
I hate the idea of leaving when:
A friend gives an unbelievable talk on gospel and I realize I have so much more to learn.
I meet a host of new people who I’d love to get to know but don’t feel I have the time. 
I sit at the park with other moms watching our kids enjoy the neighborhood and their friends.  
But I have to let them go.  It has taken a year to come to this decision but here we are.  At the crossroads."
--------------------
Once the spring arrived, I narrowed my rambling thoughts down into a list (as I am wont to do:)

March 19th, 2014

Here is why today I think we should move:

  1. David is more important to me than any friend.  Leaving my friends will be hard but it will drive David and I closer together if we let it
  2. The guy actually emailed him back with three exclamation marks!!!!
  3. We would be closer to CA and could do PC as a family!
  4. Having David home is more important than any friends the kids have
  5. I want to take this scary plunge and have a life of adventure together
  6. 5 amazing properties for rent within our budget
  7. I am excited about my homeschooling ideas to supplement whatever school they have there
--------------------------------
Next, I started planning

If I move to AUSTIN...
I get the opportunity to start over, totally fresh and there are not many opportunities to do that in life.  So if I move to Austin.... I will:

-Count 1,000 gifts
-Take time to be outside every single day
 -Learn to be honest and accurate when I tell stories
-Not create the piles that drive David so crazy
-Put up family photos!
-Pray every day with David
-Get up with David to make breakfast and lunch
-Learn Spanish
-Limited Screen Time and buy a battery operated clock with alarm.
-Be a Hands Free Mama
-NOT be a gossip or news bearer

Not forgetting back-up plans:

And if we don’t move...
   So if Austin falls through, then what?
Was it to get me to officially quit my job and use my retirement to pay off some debts?
Was it to teach me how to submit to my husband even when I am not sure what is best?
Was it so that I would un-enroll J.Wynn from pre-school?  
Was it so that I could appreciate with fresh eyes the beauty of the community on our block and the greenery of the trees that the abundance of lakes and water?

Wherever we go what I truly care about is:
  1. Prayer life, being led by the Spirit
  2. Quality time together as a family ( I think David and I need to talk about what this looks like for us.)
  3. Quality time as a couple.  (again...need to discuss)

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Finally David actually went there and came back with a great job offer.  
So we decided to move...and the first ones to find out where David’s best friends who live there, who we were super excited about being neighbors with...

March 31st 
The reaction:
It was the night of the big decision and it could have gone either way.  We called up David's friend M. and his family.
     Junior was wanting him to go watch Casey at the Bat.  M. put on his cowboy hat and his best texas drawl.  Then he invited his wife in from cooking dinner to convince us too.  Once they were all in there saying how they wanted us to come I had to tell them.  David and I had just been fighting about it being his decision.  But it is mine too.  I want this adventure with him.  It is going to make us closer, more loving, better parents.  I am excited.  But M., he was dancing around the room like a maniac with Junior.  I was cracking up:)  
What was most inspiring to me was David’s stoic response amidst all M.’s craziness.  He took it all in stride and let his best friend wear himself out.  Then later he and M. talked a bit more on the phone but I was so happy to see that I am not the only one he doesn’t give a reaction to.  

April 3rd
It's funny that now that we know we are leaving we are freed up to do all kinds of fun things.  I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from David’s shoulder’s.   Tonight we had Korean food with our neighbors and just sat talking, laughing and eating together.  It was priceless.

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And suddenly, 3 weeks before we were planning to move.  It all fell through.  I’d been praying for a sure sign and this really felt like it. Every door that had seemed opened slammed in our face.  It didn’t feel good.  For as happy as I was at the prospect of staying it didn’t feel good to have our whole world turned upside down again.  The spinning cycle of uncertainty threw me into a panic.

1. How can we go on with David working 50-60 hours a week and commuting 10-12?
2. Why doesn’t it seem like we are growing in our faith like we want to be?
3. How can we afford to stay?

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Last week (when I realized that we will almost certainly be living here for at least another year)... God did an amazing thing!  

He showed us his love through all of you.  Seriously, every: kind word, morsel of food, load of laundry, prayer, penny, hundred dollar bill, word of wisdom or moment together we have received with inexplicable gratitude.  

Thank you for showing us how God loves us: here or there, near or far, poor or rich, good or bad.  So, if you are far away we still miss you and would love to be closer.  And yup, if you live near us you are stuck with us at least a little longer:)  That’s the story of us and the lone star state.