Monday, January 28, 2013

The Good and The Grief

A friend recently commented that she hadn't heard much from me lately. And she's right. With the exception of a few photos posted on facebook, I have been pretty quiet since the move. My facebook page, my blog, and even my own private journal lays quiet and empty. Because the truth is, I don't know how to process this move and I don't know what to say. 

I can't pretend I'm thrilled to be here, but there are things about being in Colorado that I have enjoyed. While there have been challenges to navigate around, I have enjoyed temporarily sharing a home with my brother-and-sister-in-law and their two awesome boys (my three-year-old nephew is a hoot and keeps us laughing every day with the crazy things that come out of his mouth). It's been good for Devin and I to have to lean on each other and figure out this new life as a team. We've gone on some fun outings as a family of four and I can't deny that Colorado Springs is a gorgeous place to live in and explore. 

At the same time though, I am incredibly homesick. But I'm trying not to think about it too much because I can't function under the onslaught of tears that missing home brings. I've got laundry to do and food to cook and babies to look after and a husband to love and a new life to figure out. Not being able to see or breath because I'm crying so hard isn't conducive to making life here work. 

I know I have to eventually sift through these emotions. I'm in a process of grief and I need to mourn. I know this. The grief is just really thick and has a lot of layers and it's hard to allow it in. Because I'm not just mourning the life I left behind, but also the life that I thought I would have. Experiences and memories that I planned on sharing with my Arizona family and friends as I raised my own little family close by. Those dreamed about expectations are gone. Or have, in the very best light, changed drastically. I suppose it's not healthy to dwell on the "what would have beens", but it seems almost impossible not to do so. So I just don't think about it because it hurts too much. 

I'm in a state of numbness right now- not fully happy, not fully sad, just moving through life day-by-day. Not a healthy place to be forever, but where I am at the moment. It's a survival mechanism I suppose, to hold me together until we can get into a place of our own that just might start feeling like home. Until I can unpack the last box and find a new routine and build a social life again. Until I have the strength to unlock the swell of emotions surrounding this move. Until then, I've got to just hold it together for one more day, and one more day after that... and find little moments of joy here and there to help fortify my hurting heart.

* * * 

So as to not end this post on a complete downer, I wanted to share some photos of a recent hike we took as a family that I really enjoyed. No doubt it is beautiful here in Colorado and a great city for outdoor, endorphin-producing activities. There are far, far worse places to have to move to. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

When Making New Friends Stinks

Imagine if you will, arriving at the home of a new acquaintance, whom you have never met face-to-face before, but to whom you were introduced through a friend-of-a-friend by way of an online blog comment. You've emailed each other and talked briefly on the phone, but this is your first time seeing each other.

Imagine driving to this new friend's house and, after cautiously navigating your way through the new city to which you have just moved, getting lost in her neighborhood. You've flipped so many u-turns and pulled into so many different driveways in search of the correct house, that your motion-sickness prone fifteen-month-old begins to throw up in the back seat. You pull over and rush to the other side of the car just in time to catch three handfuls (and I do mean full) of projectile mac-and-cheese-with-tuna vomit. Said child has however, already covered himself in mounds of the stuff, so you remove him from the carseat and stand him on the snow covered side road, strip him of his foul clothing, wipe down the carseat as best you can with baby wipes, and fasten him back into the smelly seat.

Oh, and while you're imagining this ridiculous scenario, add to it that the friend you are meeting up with has a broken cell phone that can receive text messages, but doesn't have the ability to accept calls. Texting back-and-forth at stop signs trying to tell her where you are and trying to understand her texted directions is proving to be a colossal failure, so your friend steps out onto her patio were she gets one bar of service and attempts through the crackle of her phone to direct your way.

Finally, you arrive, flustered and smelling of vomit. Your new friend meets you out front and without hesitation, you nearly toss your clean child (for you have twins) into her arms and carefully remove the other child, puke-covered, half-naked, from the car. Your first words of introduction are not, "It's so lovely to meet you," but rather a desperate, "Can I use your washing machine?" And this, this, is the first impression that will be forever seared into the mind of your new friend.

But, after she helps you clean up your child, she offers you coffee and chocolate and good conversation and all is right in the world again. You may be remembered evermore as the "smelly mom-of-twins", but you hope that it will be with a touch of fondness.

And if you are me, then these imaginings are actually the stuff of reality. And my new friend Erin, bless her heart, was as sweet as can be (having five boys of her own, including a set of twins, she was empathetic to my plight). And so completes my day of two big firsts: navigating (semi-successfully) my way alone through my new city, and making my first new friend in Colorado Springs. Here's to less vomit in my future introductions. I'm not sure everyone I meet here will be as understanding as Erin.   

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Well, we made it to Colorado Springs on Monday. I've been in a discombobulated haze ever since arriving. Processing that we are actually here for the long haul hasn't even begun to sink in yet. Mainly because the basement apartment we are renting didn't end up getting finished in time so we are in this weird limbo of not being able to settle in or unpack, and sleeping wherever we can all find space in my brother-and-sister-in-law's house while all our stuff sits piled to the ceiling in their entry way. Bless her heart, my sis-in-law has been great about all this. I would be losing my mind if I were in her shoes. Maybe she has lost her mind and that is why she is staying relatively calm. 

Being that I didn't pack for, "sooo... the basement isn't finished yet", we've been living out of a weekend bag for over a week now while the rest of our worldly belongings precariously teeter in the entry way. Trying to unearth anything is a bit treacherous unless it's needed badly enough to risk being crushed by boxes to retrieve. Thus, repeatedly wearing "cleanish" outfits from the weekend bag is our new way of life. It's been cause for some interesting creativity. Also, my standard of acceptable attire and cleanliness has been temporality lowered. Fortunately, my underwear drawer was accessible, so that's good news.

Someday we'll all laugh about the chaos that moving into my brother-and-sister-in-law's house has caused, but today is not quite that day. 

Beyond the madhouse of daily rearranging everyone, the Leaning Tower of Death-by-Stuff, and the normal strain of moving to another state (magnified by about ten), we've had a lot of fun with my brother-in-law and family. All the cousins (my two boys and my two nephews) are getting along great, and my sister-in-law, Shannon, and I have enjoyed keeping each other company during the long days of stay-at-home-momdom. Once the stress of finishing the basement (the carpet is being laid as I type this) is behind us, I think we'll have a really good time with this whole "communal living" experiment.  Until then, we're all learning some good lessons on flexibility and patience.