Those of you who regularly read my blog know that we have a fun family tradition of Daddy Trips, where my husband takes some of the kids away for a few days to a week every so often, giving me a relaxing at-home vacation, while he has a chance to create great memories. This past weekend, my husband took the six youngest girls to Park City. It was Cami's first chance to go on a Daddy trip and she loved every moment.
The girls did crafts at the resort and went swimming every day. They also drove over Guardsman's Pass to Silver Lake.
2. Mountain color
I thoroughly enjoyed a calm, quiet Friday and Saturday with just my oldest three and Benji at home. After taking my high schoolers to school on Friday, Benji and I drove up the canyon and found a lovely overlook behind Squaw Peak where we stayed and watched the sun rise together. It filled my need to see and photograph the fall colors and was a lovely start to the day.
3. Talk like a Pirate Day
On Saturday, my three boys and I went over to Krispy Kreme, where they were handing out a full dozen donuts to each visitor dressed in full pirate garb. I'm proud of myself for only eating two of the donuts and I'm pretty sure that Benji is the cutest pirate ever.
4. Spinning My Wheels
Ever since school started, I've been having a hard time feeling like I get anything done during the day. Part of that is the change in my exercise time. The last few years, I've been getting up early to get in my exercise before scriptures every day. That gave me plenty of time to shower, get the kids off, start the laundry, and clean my kitchen in the morning so that I was ready to tackle the rest of the to-do list by 9 or 9:30 every morning. Now, with exercise happening later in the morning, it's 10 or 10:30 by the time I get the kitchen clean and by then, Katie really wants attention.
The rest of it is that I'm spending a lot more time sitting, talking to, and nursing my little baby. Add on the imperative need for an afternoon nap and I'm really feeling the squeeze on my time. It's been 3.5 years since my last baby, so I'd gotten used to having more uninterrupted time to do the exciting things like pay the bills, deal with insurance, or deep clean a bathroom.
I wouldn't trade it for the world, but it has been an adjustment to realize I am just not getting to every thing I want to or used to get done in a week. I've had to mentally reset my expectations. For several weeks, I would hear my internal dialogue say often, "I have so much to do. I have so much to do." The last few weeks, I've just been trying to change that and say to myself instead, "I have plenty of time." I don't have the time I used to, to be sure, but I have enough to do the important things. And I'm really soaking up this time when my little one is so sweet and squishy.
5. Goodbye Baby Girl Clothes
I took time while my husband was gone last week to go through all our girl clothes from newborn to size 4. I'm not positive that our family is complete, but I have thought since before Cami was born that she is likely our last girl (and if not, I can always go begging for hand-me-downs). I started by getting out the fall and winter clothes for Cami's size 4T/5T, then I went through about eight or nine file-size boxes of clothes. I kept a few of my favorites in every size and then gave away the rest. I was surprisingly unsentimental about it. It was fun, sure, to see those few outfits that somehow made it all the way from Lillian to Cami, and to remember how cute the twins were in those matching satin dresses, but I've taken so many photos over the years that I felt no need to hang on to clothes just for sentiment's sake.
6. I miss having a running partner.
It's nice to have a regular time to talk to a good friend, and I miss Marci a ton, but it's also been nice to run alone, because I've been able to listen to some great podcasts and interesting audiobooks while running. Yesterday, I listened to this address and loved hearing from this father of nine, especially the story about finding his home in the desert. We have our own miraculous story about how we ended up in the home we built, so it felt so familiar to me.
We traveled to Tucson to find our new home. Upon our arrival in Tucson we met with a real estate agent. After days of searching we could find nothing in our price range that even came close to meeting our family’s needs—as far as location, neighborhood, schools, and so on. I wasn’t used to “desert landscape.” The homes had cactus and rock gardens instead of trees and grass lawns. My faith that this move was the right decision began to waver. We were out of options and out of time. The agent suggested that we pick one or two of the homes we liked, revisit them, and make a decision. The problem was that I hadn’t liked any of them. I was depressed and heartsick. I needed help. I couldn’t sleep.
In the motel room, in the middle of the night, I turned to the scriptures for help. I read from several places, including Hebrews 11, about faith. Nothing seemed to help. Then it happened. I was reading Ether 12 in the Book of Mormon about faith. I came to verse 32. I read, “And I also remember that thou hast said that thou hast prepared a house . . .”
I stopped. I looked up. The Lord had spoken to my soul. A house was prepared. I didn’t know how or where or what was to happen, but I knew a house was prepared. I didn’t say anything to my wife.
The next morning we met the agent and drove to a house out on Bear Trail that my wife remembered as being a possibility of something that might work. As we drove up on a rock driveway, an enormous reptile dropped off a saguaro cactus right in front of the house and scurried off into the desert. I remember thinking, “Is this reptile a future playmate for my young children?”
We surveyed the house. Debbie went inside while I checked over the outside.
I noticed the roof shingles were corroded from the leaking swamp cooler. The cedar fence was propped up by two-by-four boards. There was a crack in the foundation. The swimming pool was filled with black algae.
I thought, “Well, this is it. We need to decide.”
No one was near, so I knelt in prayer. I begged for the Lord to let me know if this was the “house prepared.” As I opened my eyes and arose from my knees, I saw a magazine stuck in a bush. Could the magazine contain direction? I went to the bush and opened the magazine. It was a pornographic magazine. I closed the magazine, put it back in the bush, went into the house, and announced to my wife, “This is not the house.”
My wife said, “How do you know?”
I said, “It’s a ‘bush’ thing. I’ll explain later.”
We then returned to the agent’s car to check out one new listing. En route to the new listing we passed through a neighborhood that reminded me of our home in Utah. There were sidewalks, lawns, and children playing. The street had such a good spirit about it. I asked the agent if there was anything for sale in this area.
She said, “No.”
We rounded a corner, and I saw a house with a “for sale” sign.
I asked, “What about this one?”
She said, “I have no idea. It is not listed.”
We copied down the number and made a call. The agent asked the owner why it wasn’t listed. She said they were planning to sell but that the home wasn’t ready to show. But for “some reason” her agent had come early that morning and posted the “for sale” sign. Our agent asked if we could come see it. She agreed to let us come right then.
After we pulled into the driveway and got out of the car, I said to my wife, “This is the house. I know it. I couldn’t be any more sure than Moses and the burning bush.”
She looked at me and said, “This bush thing again?”
We loved the house. Through the agent we made an offer. We returned to the motel to wait for the agent’s call. I was sitting by the swimming pool at the motel. The agent finally called and told us they had accepted our offer. I was ecstatic. I said I wanted to take pictures of the home to show our children, but I had no idea of the address of the property. I asked if she could give it to me.
The agent said, “Do you have something to write on?”
I did, and she gave me the address. The address was 1509 South Burning Tree Avenue.
I said, “Burning Tree as in Burning Bush?”The rest of the talk is also awesome. Check it out.
She said, “Yes.”
I about fell in the pool.
7. Favorite Child
I don't usually have a favorite child, and if I did, I wouldn't mention it, but right now, I have no qualms about announcing that this little squish is my favorite:
Why? So glad you asked. For the past month, he's been sleeping from 9-2, then waking again at 4 and 6 to eat. But last week, he skipped that 2 a.m. feeding twice. Not only that, but Monday morning, I woke up at 6 a.m. only to stare at the clock in disbelief -- he'd slept a full nine hours! Then last night, he slept until 5. I'm almost afraid to say it out loud for fear it won't last, but there it is. Not bad for a two-month-old Bartholomew baby. Most of my babies haven't slept through the night until they are nine or ten months old. The earliest one of my babies has slept through the night before now is eight months. So Benji is either really ahead of the curve, or just teasing me this week and will go back to waking up at 2 a.m. again soon.