Friday, June 29, 2012

PROMISED and-recap-of-whirlwind-crazy-month PICTURES

Hello beloved!

I have internet access! Woot Woot!

There are not enough exclamation points to express how happy I am that my life just got a lot easier. It is tough to manage my home from my phone. So now that I am done paying bills, I can post some pics for you. I am also going to give a brief update on our wild lives. We slept in six different states in ten days! My man and I have exchanged looks a number of times these past couple of weeks and declared, "Never again!"

June 1-16: Pack, welcome a new niece into our hearts, pack, disperse furniture to friends & family, pack, sing happy birthday to lots of folks, pack, survive major overhaul of bathroom with lengthy visit from plumber, pack, tow car, pack.

June 17-27: Here is a super brief summary of the places we stayed and (thrills we experienced.)

June 17: KS house (pack)
June 18: MO Papi's (everything loaded in truck)
June 19: OH hotel
June 20: OH apt (everything unloaded from truck, welcome in-laws)
June 21: OH apt (unpack, blow house breaker at new place)
June 22: WV hotel (play in pool)
June 23: MD house
June 24: MD cottage (shatter window in car - vicious tree)
June 25: MD house (catch grandmother from falling down the stairs)
June 26: PA hotel (rush T to ER)
June 27: OH apt (zoo, move boat after fire to neighboring apt)

*for those of you counting - yes, the longest we spent any one place was two nights in a row at the apartment when we first moved in*

*explanation on T - we went to eat at a restaurant in Pittsburgh and allowed T to have table food for the first time. He had a little bit of bread. We went to the mall after dinner. When we got there he had a large, dirty diaper. About five minutes later he vomitted. Soaking his backup outfit sent me dashing to a store for a new onesie. About five minutes after that he developed a rash on his chest in the area where his clothing had been wet from vomit. Thinking we had another eczema flare on our hands we continued on to play & buy me a non-wet, non-vomitty shirt. About ten minutes later M sent a text saying his skin was getting worse. He stripped T's new clothes off. I focused more. About five minutes later he called to say it was getting really bad. But his breathing was fine. I hustled. When I got to T he was one giant hive. When M handed him to me he crumpled in my arms. We power walked/jogged to our car. I prayed outloud. We flew towards the hotel to get to our antihistamines, all the while scanning for an easy access pharmacy en route. I sat in back. I had to keep shaking T and saying his name to get him to stay awake. He wasn't crying. At the hotel M flew inside before me to draw up a double dose of meds. His phone fell, popping apart in the parking lot. He kept moving. I ran behind with both boys in tow. T woke up enough to take his medicine, but immediately started fading into unconscious again. A friendly man returned M's phone after reassembling it. I slapped a cold wet cloth on T. He woke for about two seconds. He still didn't cry. His skin was so red his pink/red eczema patches were yellow in contrast. We decided to run to the E.R. The concierge gave us a map. M ran red lights. The hospital was only two blocks away. T quit responding to all my irritating stimulants.  I ran in the E.R. saying we had an eight month old male with allergic reaction, unresponsive. The registration desk got his name and date of birth from me. A nurse grabbed him from me. M & N ran in. I asked if I could follow T. She said yes. The nurse who had him ran into the Peds trauma bay. The room filled with personnel. When the nurse set T down he woke up and started to cry. He vomitted again. He cried for the next hour. He was stable. He survived three IV attempts, oral medicine that made him violently ill & being up way past bedtime.

The doctors were trying to understand how he could have such a severe reaction & go into shock without his airway being compromised. They asked lots of questions to figure out if I was forgetting to give any details. A number of nurses chimed in describing how sick he was. One described him as "a limp, red bag of potatoes." When we were checking out a few hours later a number of people checked to see how he was doing. Several E.R. staff stated how scary it was when he came in.

Emergency health care providers were scared.

I was terrified.

I think I am still in shock. I've been running too hard to slow down & process. As of right now I am deeply grateful that I have been allowed to keep my son. I am also recommited to being neurotic about his food. Until Tuesday night he had only eaten organic baby food with new foods being introduced every three days. We're going back to that. I will check with the pediatrician next week about getting him allergy tested. His flares find me much more watchful. His silliness delights me even more. His eyes melt my already liquidy heart. Everything is "more" now.

But enough words. Here are some photos:
T's response to the Arch.

N's reaction to the St. Louis Arch. Notice the half eaten sandwich.

What the roadtrip looked like. The view caravaning behind my man.

The boys' new room. I've removed the changing table since taking this pic. The rest of the apartment is still a box-strewn mess.

Except our patio. This is put together.

Your eyes do not deceive you. Gus made the trip. And he's ready to celebrate Independence Day.
Hanging in the back seat with my N

Chillin with T. I could not get a steady picture for anything. Blame my man's driving.

The boys decided to take over the wheel.

Tired, but stable in the E.R.

Hives & Failed IV site. The hives had already been resolving for an hour when I took this.

Guess which parent thought a meatball sub in the car was a good idea. Almost home, though!

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

One Week In

It almost feels like I should write this post next week. I am not in my new home. We landed at our abode last Wednesday. We unpacked ~2 per cent of the stuff we brought, then hightailed it to my husband's native land. I stayed the night in my home just two nights. Now we are staying with M's beloved grandparents. They are beloved by my man, my boys and me. What an absolute blessing to receive more grandparents from God!

This week's prayer requests:

*May God reveal our new church,  grocer,  mentors, doctors, friends, mechanics, etc.
*May God's will be done in our family as it is in Heaven.

In the weeks leading up to the move I shared some of the things that I am going to miss. Now I want to put a positive spin on this future laid out before me. Here are some things that I am looking forward to:

*No weeding

*More family time

*Exploring a new town

*Awesome exercise facilites

*Being a day-trip-away from some really cool places. We are living in an area of the country that I have never visited before. There is much to experience.

*Making new friends

*Bike trails everywhere

*Having a garage

*Being close-ish to a safari adventure park

*Creating new healthy habits

*Ministering with my man. Actively supporting him in his work.

*Less toilets to clean

*Less floors to sweep

*Less everything to maintain

*Watching my man flourish

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


i am writing from my phone. so i can not capitalize or use contractions. the only punctuation that works is the period. yes i am having chest pain. shudders of horror convulse through me as the voices and faces of my high school english teachers materialize from the recesses of my memory.

but i want to keep you posted.

here is another indication of how wildly i love you. i had to download an app, then upload all two hundred pictures from my phone to post the images that follow. it is taking forever. and i compromised my soul by giving google permission to store my photos. sigh.

but here is a brief summary of the trip.

the house of my dad. hashbrowns. yum.

missouri. here is a photo of n reacting to seeing the arch.

and here is t.

illinois. when i think illinois, i think chicago. turns out chicago does not take up a whole lot of the state. now when i think illinois, i think farm land.

indiana. traffic. trees. pretty roadside art in indianapolis. traffic.

ohio. a fun, random bridge to welcome us.

it still feels like we are on a trip and just packed very thoroughly. we will see if reality settles in deeper tomorrow.

though it vaguely feels like vacation, the view should not be turned into a postcard. here is what i saw for the last six hundred fifty miles...

dude. nevermind. stinkin technology. i have been trying to load pics for twelve hours. i will just have to wait til my computer is set up. sorry.

more updates to follow once our pc is up and running. i am developing a twitch.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Moving Day!

We did it! We actually made it through moving day! And everyone is alive. And at peace with one another. Woo hoo! I refuse to dwell on the thought that we are going to be unpacking everything tomorrow that we just spent the last two weeks packing up.

Being the neurotic girl I am, I developed a system for keeping our boxes organized. (Of course I did!) Towards the end, though, the system sorta fell apart. It disintegrated largely because we started running out of time. But my husband being an artist at his core contributed, too. His boxes make me smile. He started out trying to conform to my system. By the end, though, he said, "We have to have a little fun." Can you see the drawings of the box contents?

Here's a close up:

The truck got to our home at 0830. The packers got there at 0915. They started loading things at 0930. They finished loading at 1630. Why on earth did it take three grown men six hours (subtract an hour for lunch & breaks) to pack our already boxed things? That would be because we had 10,220 pounds of stuff. Ten thousand two hundred twenty! That's five tons. RI-DIC-U-LOUS! 

We were waving good bye to the truck at 1700. We hopped in our own cars and headed to my dad's house at 1830. He is a good stopping point on the journey. We will likely be spending many nights with him throughout the years as we travel between our new home and the old one. We pulled into his place at 2300. We fell into bed at 2345. We then woke up again at 0400 because T's top teeth decided this would be a great time to break through the gum line. Simultaneously. Seriously. 

Here are some ways to pray for us this coming week:

*Smooth transition to new time zone & culture. (Yes, it really is a different culture. Though our new area refers to itself as the Midwest, it is wrong. Having lived in the Midwest the first 33 years of my life, I believe I am qualified to identify it. We aren't there anymore.)
*A continued sense of security for our children.
*A deeper knowledge of Jesus through this next chapter of our lives.

A prayer for today:
*Safe trip as we journey throughout the day in separate cars, hauling a boat, a toddler & a teething baby.

And because the other posts involved lists with stars marking them, I have created another one. Here are some lessons we learned throughout the process so far:

* You fill whatever space you have. So for the sake of your sanity, your marriage & your physical health don't ever, NO NEVER buy a house with 3500 square feet. Plus basement. It will be stuffed so full of stuff you will get nauseated as you contemplate having to deal with it all.

* Find one type of lotion that works for everyone in your family. I discovered seven different types of lotion in our house. Come on, now. There are only four of us who live here.

*Don't put maps on the wall with tape. If you do, have new drywall available when you remove them.

*Cook ahead and freeze. The chef clocked out when the packer-girl clocked in. Our GI systems are most unhappy with a diet of restaurant food for a week. And the worst part? We're staring at two more weeks of the same.

*Try to move before having children. If you can not avoid it, then duct tape them to a chair far away from whichever spot you are working in.

*Contact paper sticks to nothing but itself.

*Caffeine is your friend. Sugar is, too.

*If you ever find yourself saying, "Look at all the storage!" when contemplating buying a house: RUN! Flee temptation.

*You need about 500 more boxes than you think you do.

*Invest in your relationships. That way the folks that love you will bring you food & company. Even when you leave them. 

Here are some more pics from the day to brighten yours:

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 11, 2012

T - 1 Week

My goodness, the last week went by fast! We have accomplished quite a bit. It has been fun, in the midst of the madness, to purge. Finding so many things to donate to others has increased my resolve to live more simply. Right now I feel like I never want to buy anything ever again. Hopefully I'll retain this mindset when we buy our home in the next year or so.

Here are our prayer requests for this week:
*Grace and favor as packing wraps up.
*Hearts willing and able to stop for divine appointments.
*Protection of the hearts and minds of our dearly loved ones as we prepare to leave.

I suspect this coming week will be ever more like a whirl wind as we still have much to do. There is a lot of packing that remains, as well as tying up loose ends. Oh, and we still have to parent. And love each other well. So far my man and I have not attacked each other as the stress mounts. We actually are having quite a bit of fun together. He took off a day and half last week. He'll work just two half days this week. It is so nice to have him home.

But I'm rambling. Actually, I'm stalling. I so don't want to think about the beautiful people that we are leaving behind. I keep reminding myself that it could be much worse. It could be the wagon train days; when brave women followed their husbands with no hope of ever seeing their families and friends again. I get to sit down at my computer or grab a phone or even hop in the car occasionally to connect with my precious ones.

So here's the list:

*My sisters. To know and be known, throughout my life. My sisters. Enchanting, infuriating. My sisters. Companions through the chaos. My sisters. Sharpening, crushing, sacrificial, selfish. We share parents, chins, memories, cowlicks and determination. My sisters. Mothers to my cherished nieces and nephews. My sisters. I love them wildly. I will miss them more than I can express.

* Childhood friends. We can start a sentence with, "My dad. . . " and immediately have decades of context. We've seen each other through adolesence, marriage, and children. And now a time-zone-changing-move. Our babies will grow, menopause will be suffered, and we'll still be connected.

*My nephew. The first to steal my heart. His dry sense of humor and incredible wit. A wonderful playmate for my sons.

*Our entire church family. The untold faces and hearts that encourage, inspire & delight me.

*My brothers-in-law. Husbands to my sisters, daddies to my nieces and nephews. Masters at the grill. More patient with me than I probably know. Fun, warm, devoted. Almost as handsome as my man.

*My niece. Full of life and mischief. The first one I could bedeck in pink. Her almost obsessive love of my husband.

*Church leaders who quietly stand as warrior shepherds between me and the enemy.

*My nephew. More love and life is squished in that small body than thinkable. He is so winsome, he makes me smile even when he's not looking at me. The brightest ray of sunshine I've ever loved.

*Cashiers at the grocery store who congratulate me when I save a lot of money.

*My niece. The matching half to my soul. Passionate, tenderhearted, hungry. I'm pretty sure she is thrilled with the bows, ruffles & pink she gets to sport.

*My mentor. Turned friend. She breathes life into me with each conversation. She prays life into me faithfully.  Kneeling before The Throne longer, harder & more passionately than I suppose.

*My niece. Tiny, peaceful, cherished. I am already in love and won't ever, no never, stop. An absolute delight to my soul.

*My new friend. I planned to grow my faith and family alongside her. I am thankful for such a deep connection so quickly. One of the shining jewels in the middle of America.

*Sunday evening fellowships with my church. Weekly fun and food. My sons have a pile of  friends, fifty grandparents and one hundred parents. The riches of the Kingdom.

*The waiters at the restaurants we frequent. The familiar unknowns. The simple pleasure of being recognized and wanted.

*Having Holy Spirit use Pastor to illumine Scripture to me.

*Neighbors. Friendly chats over the fence. Marvelling at how our children are growing. Ready assistance any time we get locked out of the house.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 4, 2012

T - 2 weeks

We are two short weeks away from our move date. In just 14 days the moving truck will be loaded with our boxed belongings. June 2012 was always so far away. Now that we're finally here I find myself rather under prepared. Somehow the mere five boxes that are packed will multiply into dozens. The real trick, though, will be getting this place packed without sacrificing my parenting or wifing. I have no idea how people do this without the Spirit of God to guide & strengthen them.

Speaking of which, last year my man and I wrote out our prayer requests for this season of transition. I'm glad we did. It is one less thing for me to focus on now. If we come to mind this week, here are some things to ask Father God about for us:
*wisdom, peace, patience, endurance & rest while packing
*prepare hearts & relationships in our new community.

Last year I also wrote of the things I will miss most. Here are some notes that were jotted on my yellow note pad-

This town has been my very own longer than any other. Coming home quickens my heart, calms my nerves. Though it is not really home, it gives me a glimpse of my true home. Peace, joy, knowledge, heart wide alive. I shall miss:
* Walking through thick morning air, the brilliance of the fresh morning sun promising a thrill when I summit the Esplanade. Knowing it's coming, yet still gasping, choking out, "My God how great Thou art," when I behold the distant hills shimmering, glowing gold past the silent, curving river.
* Crisp morning air that whispers promises through the changing leaves. The sun's heat now welcome on my face.
* Lying in the inexplicable stillness of snow, watching countless flakes fall toward me.
* Wild flowers lifting riotous heads along the roads.
* Being caught, paralyzed with pleasure, by the perfume of flowering trees
* The song of trains whistling as their clacking trucks hum over the tracks
* Thunderstorms that shake my house
* Knowing where every magnolia tree in town is
* Lightning that out wows any light show created by man
* A back yard visited by, and populated with, squirrels, cardinals, chipmunks, robins, slugs, blue jays, worms, sparrows, rabbits, black birds, skunks, bats, cats, opossums, and dogs.
* Picking mulberries in the back yard
* Lightning bugs filling the twilight
* Knowing where all the best flower gardens & Christmas lights are
* The smell of fire wood burning
* The smell of meat smoking
* Creaky old floors that serve as a home security system
* Church bells chiming the hours and ringing hymns throughout the day
* Harvest celebrations at the pumpkin patch
* Waving at train engineers at the Riverfront Park
* Knowing the back roads
* Grabbing treats at the farmer's market & local sweet shop.
* Declaring the name of every river we cross like pro wrestling announcers
* Hitting the bump on Thornton
* The house which became home as it hosted our engagement, N's homecoming & T's birth.

Ah, the comfort of treasured memories. Next week will feature the people I will miss deeply.

Now to see about getting those belongings boxed. . .

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.