Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Weekly Happenings #317 (April 20-26)-- Our Last Full Week in Brooklyn (SOB)

This was our last full week in New York. I don't know what to say except that it's been very bittersweet. And cold and rainy. Fortuantly, this week has been better in regards to the latter.

I slept super late on Monday and when I did get up I had a bad headache. It was raining and I desperatly needed to do laundry. I got that going and straightened some and talked to Peyton. It took me awile to do all the laundry and then I took my bath (we had no towels clean).
rainy day leftover packaging material fun (this is what Peyton did with the kids all day)

We had lunch and I ended up taking a nap when the kids rested. Peyton talked to his dad on the phone and cooked me eggs and then we all got ready and had an early evening trip to the library. We got home and fed the kids dinner and read to them and then got them to bed. We planned the next week some and I sent an email and went to bed.

Ways I'm weird: I woul pick an Orla Kiley collaboration ove ra Lilly collaboration any day. (An it's not even that I don't think Lilly is cute it's jut too predictable and too restor wear for me personally.) Whoops...did I just lose all my Southern girl cred??

Tuesday was a fun, full day. We got up and got ready and headed out to the Museum of the American Indian. 
Native Americans are one of AP's biggest fascinations. Here she's pictured with a Choctaw coat from Missisissippi. 

We spent a couple of hours there and then road the train up into Queens. We ate an early dinner and headed home. 
The second item on our agenda was another something off Annie's NYC bucket list. She had let us know many times that she'd like to spend some time riding as many of the trains that go outside as possible. The J is almost totally elevated (as opposed to being below street level in the tunnels) and it was a tri-borough affiar. We rode it from Downtown (Manhattan), all across Brooklyn, and into Queens! I enjoyd the bird's ey view of different neighborhoods myself! 

We ended the day with trying Tibetan food for the first time (suggested by Peyton's precious coworker who escaped over the Himalayas, NBD). 

I had such a bad headache and so when we got home, I rested a bit. Peyton got the kids fed and I read to them and we got them to sleep. I sent a couple of emails and read a few blogs and went to bed later than I mean to.

We got up earlier than usual on Wednesday and got ready and headed to the Bronx Zoo. We got there around noon and had a WONDERFUL time. 

Wednesday's adventure! (Plus we accidentally got off the train at the wrong stop and got to walke about a mile through an adorable little neighborhood we never would have aquainted ourselves with otherwise. So...Bonus Adventure!)

On the way to the zoo in the Bronx. Graves goes "Wait, WHERE are we??" This looks like Mississippi. Sweet city boy doesn't know what to do with trees and grass. 

One of these days I'll be a minimalist. This was certainly not that day. 

Right as we were getting ready to leave, around four, it started raining. We headed back to Brooklyn and stopped at Target for a few things. I had another headache and was really feeling awful. Peyton fixed the kids dinner and cooked some chicken for us and we had BBQ sanwiches and talked. I read to the kids and got them to bed and then got on the computer a bit. 

We had a really low key day on Thursday. We had planned to hit some parks in Brooklyn, but we ended up not going. I slept pretty late (Peyton had left open a window and I think I woke up shivering every twenty minutes) and then I got my bath, read some, and had lunch. 
I'll remember this tweet forever. It totally represtents everything about a really hard stage of parenting (and the ugly ways I often dealt with it). Graves had just been born (and was the only experience with a high needs newborn I'd had) and Annie was changing from a very sweet little girl into a moster who was so MAD at me for bringing this extra person into our family. Or so it seemed. And I was vague tweeting hurting things in my stress. I was so insecure in my parenting that I was legitimately paranoid. You guys know the rest of the story- Annie returned to normal and her Baby Graves is her best friend. Graves grew out of his dairy intolerance and can now us words to tell us what is making him sad. And my best friend- not only wasn't judgmental about anything, but was faithful to forgive the vague tweets...and to hold my hand through about a million other hard momma days and remind me of the incredible grace that is available every time I screp up. Thankfu for God's provision in all these areas. And for Peyton, who sitll brings me Cokes over ice when the world seems to be crashing down around me and I've lost all concept of reailty. Timehop, some days you make me cry. 

We got ready and were going to go over to the Piers but it was SO windy and cold. I was freezing just walking outside our building and we knew it would be colder by the water. And we had none of our heavy coats and stuff. We ended up going back in and reading books all afternoon and then ordering a pizza. 
Last Liberty Pizza! Graves was stripping down to his skivies on the side. Peyton needed to. He got grease all over his shorts. Poor Papa needs a table. And the sweet guy that we love there told Peyton "I know the Mississippi River....we have the Nile; America has the Mississippi River". 

We ate and played with the kids and got them to bed. I sent a few emails and went to bed. 

Parks and Rec on the laptop on the windowsill. Us on a pallet on the florr. Fancy. 

We got up Friday and were slow to get going. We had baths and breakfast and then Peyton ran in to the city to visit his old store one last time. I had lunch and fed the kids and wrote a blog post. He got home and we got ready and headed to the Hall of Science in Queens. 

One of these astronauts is inattentive. (Okay, two are. But one has had thirty two years to learn to manage it.)

Bubbles are Graves's love language =)

with a whole sheet of 'em!

We ate at the Tibetian restuarant again and came home and got the kids to bed. We watched a show and got to bed ourselves.

Saturday was a busy day. We got up and started getting ready. Peyton ran to the store to get some sand paper and sanded the closet where Graves had colored on it. After that, we left and headed to Penn Station to catch the LIRR to Long Island to visit our friends Barb and Kim. We had a fun time- we went to a dog agility show (the kids loved that!) and a farm and then picked up Kim's husband and drove down to Greenport which is sort of a vacation town on the shore.
"City kids" excited to love on a cow. S weird to try and think of it from a perspective of ture city kids who've always lived her versus my childhood (see also: grown friend who have never learned to drive versus Minnie who tried not to learn as a teenage and told her daddy "there'll always be someone to take me where I want to go"- she still had to). Such a different experience of childhood and adolescence. 

Sweet little baby lamb. I love Springtime newness!

We walked around and and ate dinner and then headed back for the train. By the time we got back to Brooklyn it was after ten. 
These jaws used to be a snow plow in front of a train! 

This picture is the essence of Annie! 

sleepy boys on the way home!

Anybody remember last year's trip to Long Island where on the way back at like eleven o'clock at night I was carrying Grave sand fell face first on the sidewalk of Clinton Avenue because he was so limp and like a sack of potatoes and wash't used to holding him without him "helping me"? This year was so much better. First of all, we got the Tula shortly after. Secondly, Peyton figured out a much better way to haul carseats. And finally, nobody is anal about holding Annie's hand everywhere anymore. 

We got the kids to sleep and I put up some pictures of the day and sent an email and got to bed myself.

Sunday was both sweet and sad,  as I knew it would be. We got up and got ready to go to TGC. Our land lady was coming by for an inspection that afternoon and we didn't really realized how much we had left to do. For one thing, I had to clean out the closet really well where the liter box was. I mean SCRUB the floors. We did it all, but ended up being a bit late to church.

She looked so funky (and so causual for church, but what can you do with a limited two week wardrobe?), but she got so many compliments on her bow. My little belle in Brooklyn! 

Sweet serious girl. And Steggie. Always Steggie. 

It was a great service and we got to say goodbye to a lot of friends. We rushed home to meet our land lady and fixed the kids lunch. She got here and it went really quickly. Peyton left to go to a baby shower for two TGC dads and I played with the kids. Annie had a big meltdown and we talked some. I had my lunch and then they colored and watched their shows and I read a bit. Peyton got home and we got ready for Calvary. Graves was SO fussy. He fell asleep on the way there and slept through half the service. I got really teary at the end. Jake prayed for us and we said more goodbyes. We ran by Target and then came home and fed the kids supper and got them to bed.
They wanted to practice "for ten hours" to get ready for the trip home. 

Well, Graves seems to have it down.

I fell asleep for a bit and then woke up and chatted with Peyton. I stayed up pretty late on the computer.

I cannot believe this is the week we're MOVING HOME. What? It's so crazy to me that it's here! I'm excited but also sad, of course.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Our Second Home (and Thoughts on What Made the Adventure So Lovely)

Well, the emotions finally did hit and hit hard. Today and yesterday were great days, but there's a knot in my throat and the tears flow so easily. And I wonder if it won't be awhile until that's not the case.

Yesterday we were headed to a park and Annie brought up something Peyton had played with them at the same park months ago. Something silly and seemingly so insignificant. Peyton and I marveled a bit and she told us matter of factly "I have a good memory". She has an amazing memory, in fact, and it's one of the most fascinating things to me. I love to hear all the intricate details of mundane events she can recall. And I envy her a little bit. I envy her alot. In that respect, anyway.

I've mentioned before that I actually have a horrible memory. I'm thankful that the Lord (I truly think it's Him!) has given me tools to combat this lack. Ellis has a wonderful memory and recalls everything I'd ever want to remember (and then some) I have all my journals (as well as various AIM conversation that I printed out) from high school and that's been sufficient for that portion of my life. My childhood is pretty much left up to what I can recall, sadly. And now of course, I feel like through snapshots and through my words here I've made a pretty good time machine for myself and I can go back a few years and enjoy my memories whenever I feel like it.

The mind is a funny thing, though. Even if you go to great pains to document each event, experience, and season there is a selection process. An unconcious one, of course. You don't think of every detail of the thing, even as you're experiencing it. And of course you don't remember every detail. As time goes by, you remember less and less and that's why I've been known to do compulsive things like writing Graves's birth story about six hours after birthing him.

I've been thinking lately about what we'll remember about this time- these last few weeks. Will I remember the tension and the anxiety? Will I remember all the emotion and how hard it hit me at times? Will I remember how much joy I found in our last visits to certain beloved places?

I hope I'll remember all of that. I also hope I remember the details and the sensory things because those make a memory to me and those things take me back to the place and time. I hope I remember how I wore my bright coral Converse nearly every day and how I had a raglan t-shirt that matched them perfectly (knowing that's terribly dorky). How I fell asleep on the train a lot, as much from being mentally drained as from being physically exhausted (knowing not a thing to do for it but to push on through). How Annie talked incessantly about riding back home in "the van" that we rented and how I fantasized about one day owning a van and somewhat filling it up (knowing that's a weird as Hell fantasy). How almost every night Peyton and I would watch Parks and Rec with the computer in the windowsill and I'd try to memorize the way the brick walls of the co-op looked in the darkness (knowing how deeply ironic that was in light of how hard I had fought living here).

I've also been thinking about what we'll remember about the experience overall. I wonder often (and have mentioned before) if I'll remember how hard and challenging it was or how beautiful and exciting it was. My guess is that I'll remember specific things (like TRANSIT! and WINTER!) as really stressful and sometimes overwhelming almost beyond what I could bear, but that my general picture as I look back will be one of a place where I experienced adventure, and loved harder, and saw beauty more easily, and learned to find hope in such dark places.

Peyton and I find it enjoyable to analyze things and the other day we were talking about how vastly different the experience would have been had we wound up in Manhattan, or even in a different neighborhood in Brooklyn. I wonder about that kind of retrospective theoretical a lot. How different the experience would be if we had landed at different churches, if we had done it how we orginally planned, if I had gone into it with a certain mindset, if Peyton hadn't been really gracious and gentle in the begining, if we hadn't had visitors from home somewhat regularly and if our Mississippi friends hadn't been so faithful to continue loving us from afar. All these things have played a part in making this experience what it has been and they all play a part in formulating the memories we'll have.

This beautiful neighborhood- we have loved it so much. It has been a great set of spectacles to put on and teach us, and teach our children, a different way to view the world. It's been perfect because it has forced us to examine (and in many cases, alter, our world views) but there's been a measure of comfort and we hardly ever felt truly unsafe here. We've seen diversity in so many areas- in culture when I do laundry with a Haitian woman who tells me that doing it by hand in a tub got things much cleaner, in race and ethnicity when I'm the only white person on the bus, in sexuality when we wrestle with how to explain that a neighbor boy has both a papa and a daddy, and in age when an older gentleman tells me about how he remembers the neighborhood looking twenty five years ago. Moving here was worth that experience alone!

Our churches- our church friends from Trintiy Grace: Crown Heights and Calvary-St. George's have been our support system, our family, and our home for the last fifteen months. They have supported us in tangible ways and encouraged us when we were feeling down and homesick or frightened and unsure. They have loved me and Peyton, and loved our children, so well. These churches have been such incredible places of rest and rejuvination that the effort involved in getting there always seemed worth it tenfold. They have allowed us to hear the Gospel preached audibly with bold words and see it made visible through brave actions. These people have shown me Jesus and walked me to the foot of the cross. And they have weekly walked our children there- reading them scripture, puting the wafer in their tiny palms, bending down and asking them questions about their stupid plastic dinosaurs, and welcoming their noise and disruptiveness the way our Savior did. They showed us what it meant to join God in the renewal of Brooklyn and to preach Christ and Him crucified. And they let us be a part of it all. We will cherish this year forever largely because of the way these people loved us so.

Annie and Graves- I'm forever thankful I got to do this differently than we had planned. It pretty well known around here that the orginal plan was to do this adventure as newlyweds. Then SUPRISE...Annie! Truthfully, there are times when we pass a fancy resturant or a swanky bar or see a fun show advertised that I do think "Wouldn't it have been fun....". But it became obvious to me early on that the Lord's ways are abundantly better than ours. There is nothing I would trade for the gift He gave me of lettting me see this amazing city through the eyes of my own little girl and boy. There's nothing like a child's sense of wonder and I remain convinced there are but a few experiences that cannot be enjoyed more fully, more deeply, and more cheerfully with a small child alongside. There's another side to the coin with this, too, that I've only recently really dwelled on and here it is- while Annie and Graves do experience a personal sense of amazement about many things here, they don't have any sort of cultural conditioning about what it means to visit, or to live in, New York. They don't know the stereotypes- be it about lavish wealth or crippling poverty, about power or about pain, about cultural icons or about historical imagery. Their palettes were clean. They were, in this sense, a tabula rasa, a blank slate. Annie and Graves will not, for a few years anyway, realize the conotations New York City has to many people. They will not know, until much later, that they got to experience something for sixteen months that many people save and save to experience for less than a week. They have no idea that this isn't a normal thing and there's so much beauty in that. There is nothing about this experience that in any way relates to the image of themselves they want to potray to the world. And there's beauty in that. It's intriguing and it's convicting.

My own preparation for this journey- I progressively got more and more excited leading up to our move but right after Peyton moved, a switch was flipped and I was in one hundred percent. It was totally the work of the Lord. And Bruce Springsteen, if we're being honest. I know if I hadn't gone into it with this mindset it would have been totally different. I want to go into all our adventures that way. Hook, line, and sinker. This involves a lot of thing- prayer, Bruce Springsteen (a joke- sort of), a certain confidence I never had before, and a real desire to look for beauty and to experience something new and different.

Peyton- there have been squabbles for sure and in some ways we've dealt with more challenges than ever before, but overall this has been by far the best year of our marriage. I know that my love for this place has had a lot to do with how much our love has grown here and the reverse is also true- our love grew as we experienced falling in love with a place simultaneously. I have to say he bookended this adventure perfectly- when we moved in and now as we get ready to leave I've felt more patience and grace and sensitivity from him than is typical and that's meant so much.

Friendships from afar- Our friends in Mississippi have been so dear and I don't know how I would have done this without the love from afar. Somehow (hint- God's providence) we ended up sort of staggering our visits from friends and family so that every month to two months we saw someone from home (or in the case of Cookie's wedding, we spent the better part of a month at home). This was instrumental in keeping my heart from breaking and my head above water. Perhaps more important, though, has been the correspondence. I have several friends I have emailed with regularly and they are a manifestation of God's grace in my life. Time and time again, they've made this year doable. I know it would have been a very different year without that support.

I talk about this all the time, but looking back I am amazed at the way God has provided for us and I'm amazed at the depth of love I have for this place. New York will always, always have a huge chunk of my heart and while I know we belong in Mississippi for now, I also know there will be a little bit of sadness and longing for it, possibly for the rest of my life.

We are so thankful for this city, our experiences here, and the friendships we cherish. I'm grateful we got to live our dream in such an amazing place.

See you on the flip side!

Friday, April 24, 2015

One More Week

Here we are. A little less than a week away from moving back to Mississippi. I'm sure there are ALOT of emotions under the surface that will come out over the next few days, weeks, and months. But truthfuly, right now, I feel this weird numbness. I've cried very little so far and I haven't gotten emotional at times I thought I would. We've been pretty busy and even on less busy days, I think being in such a weird environment (we have hardly any of our stuff, our apartment is bare, and my routine is WAY different than what it's been for the past fifteen months) has made processing it all a lot more difficult.

I've hardly had (or made) time to blog, but I have sat down a couple of times to write and the words just wouldn't come. I couldn't formulate many coherent thoughts let alone get them on the page. That's a weird sort of sensation for me as this is sort of how I make sense of it all.

I will say that I feel myself wound really tightly and while I'm enjoying the days, I have little emotional reserves left for anything else. I've also been struggling BAD with some sinus headaches and the weather is miserable. We had known it probably wouldn't be warm when we left, but it's been past "chilly" and downright uncomfortable. Especially given that we sent our true Winter clothes back to Mississippi.

I feel like all my effort goes into:
- making peace with my untraditional corridors (we are sleeping on the floor on pallets and I'm exhausted from not getting any good sleep, we sent home a ton of our kitchen stuff and have like one pot and it's making me nuts, I just like having my stuff close and this intense minimalist makes me super anxious)
- making peace with the absurd weather (including our lack of appropriate clothes and the fact that the co-op is keeping the heat off-- honestly there are few things I hate more than being cold INSIDE)
- trying to make the most of this last little bit here and push through some debilitating headaches that at on another day would send me to bed and trying to prioritize because I know we can't do it all
- trying not to feel guilty when we do have some down time and pushing back against FOMO
- trying not to feel guilty that Peyton has taken over a lot of the housework and childcare when we're home because I'm just trying to keep my head above water and not have a nervous breakdown
- trying not to stress over all the work we need/want to do (unpacking, minimalizing, installing floors, ect.) when we get home
- (this one is where ALOT of my energy is going) trying to remain patient with the children who are experiencing alot of the same issues as I am (not sleeping as well, FOMO, not having their stuff that they enjoy playing with, ect.)

Basically, this blog post turned into one big complain session. And we've really had some great times over the last few days and made some great memories even here at the end. I want to blog more about those and I will.

But it seems like when I do get a few minutes to try to write something down, this is what comes to the surface. [Aside: I have been having this insane anxiety about being home with the kids by myself because everything feels out of order and I can't handle trying to keep them entertained by myself. Peyton left for a couple of hours this morning to go say goodbye to his coworkers one last time and the kids have been FINE. I project a lot of my anxiety and nervousness onto them.]

I've been standing up blogging at the kitchen counter and eating raw fruit and veggies for the entirety of my lunch witht the kids at my feet. This is NOT how I do things. I like to compartmentalize and I like to write when the kids are resting and eat my lunch in a chair. But I feel better now that it's out there.

One big theme of my life this year has been seeing the ways God has provided for us. Here again I see it. I'm actually thankful that there's a numbness and a weariness that's taking the edge off some of the more powerful emotions I could be feeling about leaving. There will be time for those and they will come, but I'm glad I'm able to enjoy these last days here without an overwhelming sadness that we're leaving a place that is so very special to us. I think the days would be much harder to get through were that the case.

I think next time I open up the computer to blog, I'll be prepared to write about the adventures we've been having, the parts I have enjoyed about this simple, the things I've been learning, and the things I'm looking forward to back in Mississippi.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Weekly Happenings #316 (April 13-19)-- Packing Pods and Mockingbird Fun

second to last family picture in BK

Wow. I haven't blogged in over a week. I'm not sure when the last time that happened was. I'm sure I didn't slow down that much for either of the kids' births. Last February, when we moved up here, I let things go a lot on the blog, but even then I was more regular than I have been this past week. When we moved last time, I was at home with the kids by myself and then I was here by myself a good bit while Peyton worked. So when the kids napped and went to bed, I had plenty of time. This time, Peyton's taken off the last two weeks here and we've been on the go ALOT. I've just been exhausted by the end of the day. Anyway...

Last week was major. MAJOR. We packed the moving cubes with nearly all our stuff to send back to Mississippi and then this past weekend was the Mockingbird Conference. It was such an amazing weekend and I'm so grateful for it.

Peyton and I had stayed up until like three the night before packing and chatting and Monday started out kind of rough. We did our usual breakfast and shows and then the kids played. They have been spending a lot of time in their room (and in the apartment) with all the packing but they were so restless and needing something every few minutes. I got on the computer and emailed a friend and had breakfast and folded up the couch and then Minnie called. She had tried to call Graves on his birthday the day before but we kept missing each other. So I tried to let him talk to her. Um he ended up running to the fridge and trying to get a cupcake and then jumping in my bath water. WHAT?!? We called her back and then I took a bath finally. I played with the kids a good bit and they ate lunch and had rest time. I consolidated some things and packed and did dishes during lunch, While they "rested", I read a few blogs, ate my lunch and rested a bit. Then Graves locked all of us out of the bathroom. I managed to get the knob off and get us in and played with the kids until Peyton got home.

I was a little flustered and I knew we had a good bit to do. I stared laundry and the kids and Peyton had oatmeal for supper. He packed up some and they danced all around him (he's so laid back...I'm not so much). I read a little in the laundry room while I was waiting to change it over. The children finally went to bed and I ate supper and folded and put up laundry and we watched a show and did some packing and went to bed.
Moving is such hard work! 

Tuesday was a lot better. The kids ate breakfast and Annie wanted to watch a legit animal documentary. She asked me to please listen and "open my eyes". So much for dozing off! Haha, it was neat and I enjoyed explaining things to her that were harder to understand. The kids played and I talked to Ellis and texted with some friends and got on the computer. I took my bath and afterwards we worked on packing up more of the kids' toys. They had lunch and I did dishes, cleaned out a craft cabinet, and consolidated all our clothes we were keeping here to one closet. Graves and AP had rest time and I read a few blogs and ate my lunch. When they got up, I did some more packing and they had supper and I bathed them and got them to bed. I got on the computer and read some and then Peyton got home. We had frozen pizza and watched TV and then packed until four thirty in the morning.
We spent most of the night packing and Graves got up and joined us at one point. But we did it! It was kind of an intense thing to get everything totally ready because the moving cubes could only be here for a few hours because of restrictions. 

Peyton actually got up before me at like seven something on Wednesday and I got up around eight thirty and we got ready for the movers. We spent the morning just consolidating things and directing the movers.
This thing was packed TIGHT. We used the same company as when we moved in and one of the movers was here both times and remembered us. They were really great. Our friend here told me that if I was going to Instagrom this to be sure and get his good side! 

Well that looks different (this was our living room/dining room/mine and Peyton's bedroom) 

I also swept and mopped all the floors and ran to Walgreens around lunch to get a some Cokes.
Moving day plus being flat out of Coca Cola means I was out in public in this clown garb. Living in NYC mean there'll always, ALWAYS be somebody with a weirder style than you even if you're wearing purple argyle trouser socks with coral Chucks, leggings as pants, and a janky but So!Comfy! eBay Northface from circa 1999 probably (I'm looking at you post guy in the white BMW and matchign white suti and hat atop the matching aqua shirt and huge studs in your earls and girl in knee boots, fishnet hose, and tiny piece fo floral fabric you're using as a skirt). Wonder how I'll radjust to the Land of Average Dressers. Probably not very well. Fair warning, Mississippi Target patrons. 

I fed the kids lunch and Peyton went to work. They rested and I rested and then we went outside and played with bubbles. We came in and they had supper and I got them to bed early. I talked to my mom and got on the computer. I did go to bed pretty early, but not as early as I should have.

Peyton was off all day Thursday and I slept SO late. I had a terrible headache pretty much the whole day. I got up before lunch and got going and took a bath and he went to lunch with our pastor from TGC, Rashad. I played with the kids, got on the computer, and cleaned up some. I just straightened and changed liter and folded up blankets. The kids played with Play Dough and I started cooking some chicken spaghetti.
Steggie has been to "The Pink Hat Store" here in Brooklyn. Annie tried this one on her and said "Ahh, that looks AMAZING!". I asked AP if her shoes were for the rain because we see doges here in little rain boots constantly. She looked at me like I was nuts and said "They're just to be fancy!". Then she saw me getting ready to Instagram the picture and I go to this filter and she gasped. She said it looked like a candle was shining on Steggie and oohed and ahhed so I obviously had to use it. She makes me laugh. 

Peyton got back (he had gone to the grocery store, too) and we talked and then ate and then we all got ready for Mockingbird!!! We dropped the kids off in the nursery and headed to the conference (the nursery was at Calvary and the conference was several blocks away at Saint-George's- two different churches make up the one parish). There was registration, a welcome time, one speaker, and then supper. We picked the kids up and it was almost ten and we had to go to Target. The kids visited with a lady on the train. They were so sweet and polite but I know she thought we were nuts since it was so late (especially since the kids looked sort of rough and Graves told her he was going to get WATER! at Target, ha). We hurried and got a few things and then came back home. My head was hurting SO bad. I went right to bed. The kids and Peyton did pretty quickly too.

Friday was the long day at the conference. We got up later than we should have and HUSTLED. We made it to Calvary to drop off the kids, but there was only one babysitter. Peyton stayed and I went on the conference. I was SO sad. I missed part of the first talk but I heard part of it, the second morning talk, and then got to go to a breakout. After that, someone came to help out with the kids and Peyton got to come to the conference. We had lunch and then went to the afternoon talks and breakouts. SO good!
Yes. Yes. Amen. Weep. {rinse and repeat} The Gospel is so good!

There was a big break, so we ran by Peyton's store. One of the girls texted Peyton that Graves had had an accident so we ran over and helped with that.
PZ entertaining the masses. Graves is a huge fanboy, obs. 

We talked to some friends and headed back to the conference to hear the keynote speaker and eat dinner.
Nadia Bolz-Weber. So awesome to see her speak. "It's really hard to know why the Good News is so good if we don't know why the bad news is so bad"- on why spiritual maturity looks like being open and honest about our personal sin.

We got home super late again and Graves fell asleep on the train.
worn out

AP ate some cereal and went to sleep herself.We went to sleep basically right after her.

Saturday was fun and busy. We got up and got ready quickly and headed back to the conference. We heard another speaker and a discussion and then had the closing time just before lunch.
What a weekend! Such a beautiful talk from Dave Zahl about "laying down your weary tune" (something I'm decidely bad at) and a couple fo resources to enjoy back is Mississippi. It was incredibly bittersweet but would have been inexplicably more so if Peyton didn't tell ever person he shook hands with that we were going to make this an annual trip. 

We picked up the kids and headed back to Brooklyn and ate at SmashBurger. On the way home, we stopped at the Brooklyn Flea and then we all came home and rested. I took a nap! Peyton left after a bit to go out with some of his friends/coworkers from his pharmacy. I cleaned up around the apartment and fixed supper for AP and Graves. I bathed them and got them to bed and then got on the computer until Peyton got home. We talked and went tobed pretty late.

Sunday was more fun and busy. We got ready and left for church. It was an AMAZING service with the Bishop's visit and lots of baptisms and confirmations. After church, we headed out to Coney Island for the afternoon. We had some snacks and let the kids do a bunch of rides with their birthday money. Graves got scared and ended up only doing two.
It was a little cold and windy for a boardwalk, but we had to get one last trip in! 

They had a great time, though! We rode the train to Target to pick up a few things and then came home and fed the kids supper. AP was falling asleep eating and Graves went down easily, despite having had a nap on the train.
Six year old in a Tula, yo! Annie went hard and was such a trooper. A (really inspiring) two hour bishop visit, a last trip to Coney Island, a Target run and ten hours later, we finally made it home. On top of packing/moving and Mockingbird, we were all bone tired but so very grateful. Graves had gotten a nap, so he was mostly happy to share with this worn out little one. 

I read blogs a bit and got on Facebook and went to sleep by midnight.

This week has gotten off to a great start. We have so much to try to fit in and I'm excited about these last days here. Hopefully, I'll be able to blog a bit more frequently in the coming days and weeks!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Weekly Happenings Post #315 (April 6-12)-- Warming Up and (More) Packing Up

This past week was such a mix. We had some beautiful days but it was mostly rainy/cloudy. I felt like we made a lot of process towards the move, but I also felt really exhausted and stressed and just worn out and ready to be home.

Monday was a really good day. Peyton had to work the afternoon, but we made the most of the morning. We all got up around eight and got ready and met our friend Adam for brunch. After brunch, we walked to Prospect Park and talked a bit more while the kids played. We made it home just in time for Peyton to go to work and Annie was so upset because she wanted it to be "an outside day". I did feel bad because it was BEAUTIFUL and it was supposed to rain the whole rest of the week. I ended up feeding them lunch and taking them to Fort Greene park.
{Earmuffs for language} Signs your sun drenched stroll is occurring in Brooklyn: there's a dead rat in the middle of the sidewalk and a guy on the corner is yelling at people to "stop sucking the white man's dick". Totally worth it for two blissed out babes and a trip to the park that didn't involve snow. But don't think I'm not extolling the virtue of a backyard in the burds. 

We stopped by Walgreens on the way home and I bought a few snacks for myself. The kids had rest time and I ate my lunch, got on the computer, and laid down a bit since I had been up so late the night before. Annie played with Graves some and they had a bit longer naptime than usual. When they got up, I played with them a little and then did two math lessons with AP. I fixed them supper and bathed them and read to them and it was past ten by the time I got them to bed. Peyton got home and we talked and ate supper and then I got on the computer and did a few things.
Graves was here. Annie said "I was able to make sure he didn't get my panties, but I couldn't catch him before he snuck away and got his underwear. (He threw them all in a tub full of water. Ha!)

Peyton was off on Tuesday and we had a great day even though it was cold and rainy. We had a low key morning and then all got ready and dropped some books off at the library. We went back to Prospect Park and let the kids play and run around. We stopped for Mexican on the way home and the kids had a really late rest time. Graves fell asleep and Peyton decided we should just let him sleep. He woke up at like seven something. I did math with Annie and started some laundry. By the time we got them to bed it was AFTER ten. I called Minnie and got my laundry and we ate supper and watched TV while I folded. I got on the computer and wrote a post and then did my Bible study and devotion.

Peyton was off and we stayed home all day on Wednesday. Well, Peyton got up and tried to go get a NYC ID. The kids had breakfast and watched their shows and then I took my bath. I scooped liter and found a nasty spill under the kitchen sink that I cleaned up. I folded up the couch and ate breakfast and got on the computer. I started packing and Peyton got home. He played with the kids while I worked some more. I did laundry and ate lunch and returned some make up to Walgreens while the kids had rest time. When I got back, I got my laundry and we boxed up more stuff and labeled the boxes and I folded laundry. Graves took a bath and I did math with Annie.
With the exception of one lesson that requires an already packed measuring cup set, we finished math this week. And just like that Kindergarten (Round 1) is in the books. (We finished English months ago.) Educating Annie this year has been one of the most interesting, fulfilling, and joyful things I've done in my mothering jorney so far. Here's to a great year at the Schoolhouse in the City, a little respite, and the excited anticipation of first grade at the Schoolhouse in the Suburbs. 

The kids ate and Peyton played with them. I had a bad headache. We ate supper and watched Parks and Rec. I sent an email and went to bed.
I've mentioned it a bit on here, but a few weeks ago we got an eviction notice (it's kind of complicated but we never went before the co-op board for approval- somthing Peyton had no idea we were supposed to do when he signed the lease and something our landlady didn't tell us- so we have been illegal renters). Peyton talked to the lawyer and since we're moving at the end of the month, we're fine. Also, the kitties recently started teeteeing in the laundry and on Wednesday one of them did it in a car seat. The cat thing is super frustrating, but minor, even if I do feel like I'm about to lose my mind. It just makes me feel really DONE. But the eviction could have been a HUGE bump in the road had it happened earlier. I talk a lot about how I've seen the Lord's provision so much this year and here at the end it's even more ovbious that His hand has been all over this. 

Peyton worked the full day on Thursday and it was a good day. I think it was the only day I didn't have a headache the whole day. Anyway, the kids got up and had breakfast and watched their shows. Then I got my bath and emailed a friend and straightened a bit. I made a list for the day and read my devotion and had my breakfast. I played with the kids and we read and did their devotion and then had lunch. We read some more and it was rest time (it was actually pretty late). I got on the computer and read some blogs, had my lunch, and laid down for a bit. Annie did the iPad with Graves part of the time and they did really well. When they got up, they played and colored and I packed several boxes (some of the last dishes, a few more clothes of mine, and some homeschool stuff we had just finished with). I fixed them supper and had to unpack a box looking for batteries. They had a bath and I worked on a blog post and straightened some and cleaned up their table. I got them to bed and Peyton got home. We talked and planned our last two weeks here some and I put pictures on Facebook. I went to bed earlier than usual.

Peyton worked all day again on Friday and I had a bad headache all day. I let the kids watch an extra show and then they had breakfast and I did my regular morning stuff. I played with them and read to them some and then we had lunch and Graves rested.
Annie was so sad when we finished up the massive section on birds. (Honestly, I was pretty relieved.) She told me that she just loved birds and how beautiful they are (she's very observant of real ones in nature, too) and that maybe we could get a book about just birds next because they are one of her favorite creatures. Bless her heart. A few pages after the end of the bird section, we got to this one. She stopped me mid page and asked if we could save reading about the warblers until the next day. [This is also a relatively recent peculiar quirk- she also loves to save parts of her lunch. Most every day I put a place with a small slice of cheese, a fourth of a sandwich, or some plantain chips in the fridge and add her dinner to it. She will ALWAYS only eat half an Oreo and save the rest. Wish I had her self control!]

 I emailed a friend and ate my lunch. I tried to rest a bit but my mind was in high gear, so I packed  up some boxes and when the kids got up I did dishes while they crafted. I fixed them supper and then got them to bed. The day felt so long. I laid down a bit and Peyton got home. I read a few blogs and went to bed but I couldn't fall asleep right away.

Saturday was sort of tough (moving is no joke and moving without Mick and Minnie is ROUGH) but a lot better. The kids slept late and I woke up feeling really good. They watched their shows and had breakfast and I actually worked on boxing some things. Then they played in their room and I got my bath and did chores and got on the computer. We went to the playground and then came home and they ate lunch. I got sort of frustrated with Graves and I overheard Annie telling him "You know no matter what you do, Momma will NEVER ever stop loving you. I mean, she will NEVER". I was simultaneously so happy she knew that and so sad she felt like she needed to tell him. They played together during rest time and I uploaded some pictures to Facebook, backed up some on the harddrive, and wrote a post.
You know you have the best friends when...[As an aside, yes sometimes texts go to my email. Because my phone is an absolute POS that thinks it's from like 2005. BUT we pay like $40 a month and you jokers pay hundreds. And I still use my iPhone for FB, IG, ect. when I have WiFi and take all my pictures on it. Basically, I use for everything except using the phone. Some days I want to throw the Motorola out the window, but in five years, total financial independence will be worth it!]

I packed more boxes and did dishes and then they had supper. I cleaned out the toaster and they took a bath. I straightened and got them to bed and Peyton got home. We had take out and watched TV and then did more packing. I cleaned the microwave and we boxed and labeled a ton of stuff. We went to bed pretty late.

Sunday was pretty laid back. I've been going to the early service at Calvary, but they weren't having the Forum and I knew I didn't want to attempt TGC by myself with the week I'd had so we just had a relaxed day and went to the six o'clock at Calvary. Oh and it was this guy's birthday:

The kids got up around ten and had cake for breakfast and I actually did a few things like scrubbing the kitchen counter where the toaster was. They ate and then we snuggled and watched their shows. I got my bath, packed up some lamp shades, played with them, and got on the computer.

Needed this so bad today. I laughed so hard. But it also made me really ready for home. Ellis does the best impressions and his Peyton voice is spot on. He says "Sweetie" JUST like P. It's hysterical. I just want to see my best friend. 

They had lunch and then rest time and I did a bit more packing/organizing and wasted a lot of time on Facebook and Instagram. We got ready for church and headed into the city. The kids both had such a hard time and we ended up needing to help usher. When we weren't doing the collection (which was the ONE time they both behaved) I was literally sitting on the floor with them (it's a very casual service). After it was over, Peyton met us and we headed home. The kids ate and went to bed pretty quickly and Peyton and I relaxed and then set to work on more boxes.

The moving cubes come on Wednesday and I think I'll be really happy if we can just make it to then!