What’s your sign?

What’s your sign?

Lately my life has been all about getting stuff done. This move is (obviously) top priority, especially with Cameron leaving for a week in just two days. As I’ve sorted, packed, donated, and so forth, I keep remembering my Gma Cole and all the moves she did with me. Honestly, in such a time of #businessbusinessbusiness, there hasn’t been much in the way of emotional self-support or self-care. So, of course, I think of my Gma and get all weepy.

A friend of mine is doing a Facebook Live series right now and one of her videos was on asking for signs and surrendering. So I thought, why not? Right? So during my meditation that night I cleared my mind and asked for my little sign. Something to help reassure and emotionally validate the paths I’m on. My answer? Star polygons. I struggle with just being still, I’m an anxious little busy bundle and when I was trying to clear my mind and ask for my sign, I clearly heard “just clear your mind, blank slate, like a night sky” and there they were. Hundreds of star polygons all laid out in front of me. I smiled with my eyes still closed and shortly afterwards drifted off to sleep. Surprisingly, sleep came quickly that night.

The next morning I geeked out online and started to explore what this meant for me. Star polygons, sure, I could see them but what were they called? The night before there had been all different types laid out in front of me. My brain is constantly in graphic design mode, what would look good done differently, done the same, would another medium fit more appropriately, etc. You can imagine what happens when I’m forced to read yet another menu in Comic Sans.There are so many of these gorgeous things! And even if you don’t immediately consider the design elements – just the different shapes! Endekagrams, enneagrams, pentagrams, decagrams, hectograms, octagrams, hexagrams – the list goes on and on. I know I’m supposed to be specific in asking for and receiving my sign but the generalized statement of “star polygons” felt right. It felt still and quiet, and that was what I needed. And to me there’s a distinction, obviously I could stretch and consider this to be any number of things. But my whole point in jumping into this exercise was that I was lacking and I wanted a nice reminder that we prayed, we searched the scriptures, we put ourselves out there and asked for confirmation that taking our family to Idaho was the right thing to do and we got it! I’m just great at forgetting that feeling and forgetting that we did the footwork (we still are) and that God can handle the rest.

So, determined to surrender and exercise some faith, I didn’t immediately go searching for the stars all over the place. I wanted to place my intention and allow myself to have the reassurance when it presented itself and just be still. Not easy! After a couple of days had passed, I was melted into my couch after a particularly rough day of packing and was zoning out while Cameron watched some show about repossession in the UK. I was feeling particularly ignored because I need a lot of chatter and action (from an adult, I obviously get plenty of exercise in these areas hanging around my kids all day), whereas Cam’s already had a day full of that and needs the stillness and quiet. So, anyway, feeling a bit down and discouraged after all my hard work that day, my eye was drawn to a spot on my PJs.

Now these PJs are something special. About a week ago I was meandering through the clearance in Women’s intimates and jammies at Walmart. If you like DC/Marvel/Star Wars/etc. jammies and fun two-piece sets, check Walmart! Especially their clearance! On the side wall there was a display (not clearance, of course) of Star Wars bottoms. I won’t go into how much I love Star Wars. We all know! So Cameron popped up… I can’t think of where he was, but he was off picking something up. Anyway, he pops up and I’m begging and pleading. My personal assets… or lack thereof… are in a no-spend month (aka, no spend ever, ugh) and let’s face it – I really, really wanted those PJ pants! Clearly – Cam gave in. Even he can’t resist the Star Wars! And I looooove these bottoms, I’m wearing them all the time. Real life mom style, I need to pack, and I want to be comfy! Pairing these with a Chewie tee and I’m set. It just works.

So back to the couch. I’m laying there, dejectedly, and I realize what my eye is drawn to:Do you see it? When I remembered this and decided to share it I was upstairs packing in the girls’ room and snapped a photo with my phone. Do you see it?oh. em. gee. guys.

They’ve been there all along! Seriously, everywhere. And just like when you buy your new car that you rarely see anywhere else on the road and it’s amazing and original and you drive off the lot and BAM – EVERY HUMAN IN EXISTENCE DRIVES THAT CAR. It’s everywhere, guys!

The Leia print I based my half-bath design on? I forced Hubbs to go along with my design plan for the Star Wars bathroom, and he even built the custom sized frame for my print. #hearteyesBut guess what?Hippy dippy power! I’ve had this print FOR.EV.ER. This is not something new. These things are all over, I’m drawn to them and I’ve never even realized it!

I’m not grabbing this and shouting it from the rooftops, and I’m not going extreme and saying the stars are telling me to do or not do something – but to me it just feels good. It’s still. It’s peaceful. They’ve been there all along, reaffirming me. I’m drawn to them and I didn’t even realize with what consistency. It makes me feel like Gma’s telling me I finally do have the good head on my shoulders that she wanted me to have back in my younger days, lol! It makes me feel like, even though it might seem silly, my Heavenly Father has got my back! He’s looking out for me and knows when I’m making good decisions.

Few more, just for good measure…I’m so thankful to have all the “signs” and direction in my life. No, not just the stars! I feel like there are so many signs around us in this modern world, and sometimes we get caught up on what they’re trying to tell us. When really, they can mean and reaffirm whatever we want them to.

Ultimately, I take these stars as a gift. I’m big on faith WITH works, without works faith itself doesn’t work. So, when you get your sign, you surrender and trust that it’ll be there when the time is right – it’s just like that. Faith lets you let go and surrender to God His part. That doesn’t mean you can’t do yours. After prayer, after studying, and even fasting for this big of a life decision, the little stars I’m running into each day now are a fun little reminder that I am on my Heavenly Father’s mind, and he does think of me and works to help me to know that I’m doing what I should. They’re sweet little reminders that He loves me, that my Gma is proud of me and loves me, a reminder that I should always fit in scriptures and personal prayer, a reminder that Sunday can and should be a rest day! Thank goodness I’m an overachiever and can afford to give myself that day off from packing!

We do what we have to do, right? But these little signs help remind me that I’m doing the right thing. Nothing wrong with that.

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Backward.

Backward.

So, while this is a little backward – I can’t just leave out our fun first trip to Idaho! Our first… very impromptu throw-everything-into-the-car-let’s-drive-out-of-state trip ever. But we survived, it worked.

We all piled into the Acadia, sans Liv who decided to forgo all the endless hours of driving and stayed with her Grandparents. We drove and drove and drove – not a great first trip with the constant traffic issues we battled the first couple of hours, and a late start, but we eventually got out far enough that the traffic slowly disappeared. Mostly.

And it was all worth it, because you go just far enough and suddenly you can get gas from a DINOSAUR. A DINOSAUR, GUYS.

Duncan remembered the Sinclair dinosaur from our Utah days, but the little girls were too young (or not even in utero yet!) Regardless, they were stoked and couldn’t have cared less why the giant green dinosaur was in front of the gas station, they just wanted their picture with it. And to announce its existence EVERY time they saw it.

I also made Liv send me a selfie so I could include her in our documented insanity… #hipmom! (She’s cringing as we speak.)

We arrived late in the evening at our hotel in Boise and all crashed pretty quickly. The next morning we met up with some friends in Meridian and they fed us an amazing breakfast. The kids quickly got to playing and catching up, and even skipped out on the house hunting with mom and dad… (thanks, Em & Shaun!)

After our breakfast we met up with our Idaho realtor and saw five or six houses. My favorite was already off the market, Cam’s favorite was available, and we prayed it would still be available when the time came.

After looking at houses and saying thank you (repeatedly! so nice looking at houses without kids, ha!) and goodbye to our friends, we packed up back into our very dirty car and hit the road for Utah. If we’re already in Idaho, and only 5-1/2 hours to West Jordan? Why not! It had been far too long since we saw our family there and decided to make the most of the short time we did have together!

We arrived in Utah late Friday night. We crashed, every day more miles, every day a new bed.

While visiting their Meme & Pops the kids also got to go swimming in the pool at the new condo! They were delighted to be out of the car for a longer period of time. But to be in the sunshine and playing in the water? Even better! And with a cousin!

And here’s Rachael, going to get back in the pool. Except it’s not. IT’S CHARLIE. Can you believe that she’s grown up so much? Every time I look at this photo I have to do a double take. If it weren’t for the suit, and the just-too-straight hair, I’d barely be able to tell the difference! Kinder this year, people. Where does the time go?

After the kids swam at Meme & Pop’s pool, we headed over to Tarra & Dane’s house for a quick, fun barbecue before we drove back to Idaho. While in Utah, Cameron took me to see a Tahoe (he’s been pressuring me for a switch for a while) and we loved it, so we went for it. Except now, that meant we were driving two cars home, not just one. Cameron had to be back in town the next evening (Sunday) and we weren’t sure we could make it in two cars and 12-1/2 hours with no significant driving breaks. We had to cut our visit just a pinch short but it was worth it to cut the drive in half, and you know, not die.

We so enjoyed the time we got to spend with our big family! Can you believe that this isn’t even all of my nieces and nephews? Not to mention Victor back in Oregon, and my sisters being pregnant! Eesh! Let me tell you – it’s a LOT of birthday cards! But it’s so worth it!

And then, in what felt like just hours since we were last in the car, we were in the car again. Back to Idaho.

We crashed at our friends’ house that night and left again the next morning. I brought donuts for breakfast and probably totally ruined their children for church… sugar high!

Eventually we made it back, safe and sound, and somehow I scraped together the energy to clean out the Acadia (which I drove the whole way home) and empty all compartments, seat pockets, etc. and Cam gave her a quick pressure wash. We put a few things into the Tahoe, while I grumbled about getting a bigger car that somehow has managed to have LESS storage space.

Out with the old, and in with the new!

Meet Hawn. Shiny.

So there it is! The story of us packing up our crazy lives on a whim, driving all over the NW, and then coming home with two cars.

Yeah, we’re nuts.

Adventures on the farm. Kinda.

Adventures on the farm. Kinda.

This last Tuesday we had our home inspection. Finally! I feel like every step on this path to selling our home and buying our new home feels so disorienting on how time passes! Logically, I know it’s all normal amounts of time that are passing for these kind of things to take place, if not less than normal! We are presenting a bit of a time crunch to our awesome realtors! But it all feels like – okay, next step is this. WAIT TEN YEARS FOR NEXT STEP. When in reality, time has passed normally and all the normal people involved are impressed with the ability to stay on schedule. I should also note that when I’ve never done something before, I tend to get a little over-analytical and anxious. Who would have guessed, right?!

So, back to my point. Inspection! It was another be-out-of-your-house appointment and without our trusty McDonald’s playplace back in business, I ran the kids over to Bauman Farms to play on the many play structures, slides, trikes, and even a mini barn with goats, chickens, and more tiny farm critters. We didn’t feed any animals as Charlie could barely handle the smell without incessantly whining about the “gross” and “dirty” things in the barn. (We must be related.)

But even she still had fun.

Here are a few highlights. (And yes, I’m noticing that even Rey is starting to escape the lens. Duncan was here with us [though not pictured] but Olivia was visiting her aunt and uncle in Independence. These nerdlings love hiding from me!)

Standees are Charlie’s favorite thing in the world. She loves them. Obsessively. “MY FAVORITE THING! Mom mom mom! TAKE MY PICTURE!” We clearly need to take this kid back to Depoe Bay and the many, many fun standees there.

So, even though mom may be lost in an endless, growing, what’s-next obsession – at the least the kids are enjoying the fun mixed in the chaos! 15 days to go!

 

Oregon to Idaho

Oregon to Idaho

Lately we’ve spent a lot of time in a next-door-neighbor state: Idaho. Our family will be relocating, sooner rather than later, to the Great ‘Tater. And while we’ll miss the big green state of Oregon, and all of our family and friends we’re leaving behind, we’re looking forward to this adventure and all the opportunities laid before us. Not to mention, there’s not much leaving behind when it’s just a 7 hour trip to my family and a 5-1/2 hour trip to Cam’s. Couldn’t have worked out better.

This last week Cameron had some business matters to take care of in Idaho and was flying out to Boise. We also found out recently (the night after we sold our house) that the home we were hoping to make ours was sold. The DAY before we sold ours.

Well, we just must not have sold ours fast enough, right? HA! No. We listed on Thursday, Open House on Saturday – and sold! We received an offer Saturday night and not only was it an offer. It was an insane offer. Here’s my Instagram post to see what I mean:

Sunday is a good day to reflect on the week, right? Let’s start with last Saturday.

Saturday: we find out that our company will NOT be moving us. We scramble to find a realtor and luckily find the BEST ones (@talulajoy & @micdee0z) at a recommendation of a close friend (😘 @emily080686). They help us quickly get our last-minute listing going.

Sunday: clean. A lot.

Monday: clean some more. And pack.

Tuesday: photos are taken of the house – and all my hard work! I’m deathly nervous but loving this minimalistic heaven we’re “forced” to live in. (🎉😈🎉)

Wednesday: more worrying. More nerves. More cleaning and packing. Cameron has a dream.

Thursday: our amazing photos (thanks, @micdee0z!) Go live with our listing. 🎉🎉🎉 Cameron tells me about his dream. (See text.) In the dream we sold our house for $313k. I tease him about the random number and push forward with my worrying.

Friday: nerves nerves nerves! More, albeit minimal because the kids have worked hard to not trash the place, cleaning.

Saturday: open house! Kids get Happy Meals and play at the Salem playplace for hours. Only two people come through the open house. Not gonna lie – felt awful. —

Saturday PM: while organizing my Roku channels (yes, this is a thing) I notice I missed a call from our realtors. Cam runs downstairs saying he got one too and calls them back. He excitedly tells me that one of the two people who came through has placed an offer and we’re going to meet with our realtors to discuss it. The offer is $313k. 😲🙊😲 Guys. I’m married to Lehi. #itslikeihaveespnorsomething 🙈😂🙈 We counter with an earlier closing date and tell them yes they can have our new fridge (😭) and they respond that same night. We email our realtor in Idaho and start the process there.

Sunday: die from shock. 😂😂😂 Did we win selling our house or what?! #tobecontinued

Can you believe it? 313 might be a lucky number around these parts for a bit.

So – we got our fast offer! But, sadly, our “dream” [no pun intended] offer came one day too late for the home we were hoping to snag. With Cameron needing to be out to Idaho already anyway, I called on one of my amazing sisters (we love you Sidney!) to come sit with my kiddos while I drove out to Meridian to look at houses. Again. But! We found one. Placed an offer, they countered, and we accepted. We are officially in contract and (inspection and appraisal passing) have a place to live after all the chaos, yay!

On my drive to and from Idaho, it was nice. Cameron was so worried that I would be tired, fall asleep, not be able to make the 7 hours twice in just over 24 hours. But it really was nice. I swapped CDs, found a radio station in Meridian that just might come close to replacing my beloved NRK, yelled at people who clearly don’t know what the left lane is for, you know… the norm.

Here are a few of the sights I saw during my 14 hours of driving in a little over 24 hours. Eesh.

Road Trip Essentials ^

Calcifer?   What’s Bob-omb?   What the heck is Samsonite?

Here’s to a new adventure!