We have arrived!  After 5 days in a U-haul we made it back cross-country.  There may have been cheering at various points in the trip, such as

  • getting through the mountains in California
  • making it through Nevada … I hope never to see Nevada again in my life time
  • making it through the mountains of Utah/Western Wyoming
  • making it through the wind of Wyoming in general
  • the end of Nebraska
  • Crossing the bridge into Council Bluffs and seeing the “Iowa Welcomes You Sign”
  • Making it through the storm in most of Iowa

I think our days of cross-country moving have come to an end.  Ben started in his new store today while Mom and I enjoyed a little bonding time.  Tomorrow we have help coming to unload our Uhaul and then we can start making my folks’ basement feel a little more like home.  I’ve got an interview on Monday and some other job-finding related work to do.  Also my first appointment at the new Ob-gyn.

I’m glad we made this decision, even if it will take a little while to settle into this new, not so private life.

I’ve been bad and haven’t taken a single belly picture yet.

But I don’t think there’s much to see so far – I just look like I’ve had a really good Thanksgiving dinner.

We’re nearing the end of our time in the West.  It’s a sad, but busy time.  What’s making everything feel worth while is the overwhelming feelings that we’re making the right decisions.  With a lot of stress off my back (and sickness – while still present – lessening every week) I’ve been able to finally start to focus on the baby and what I’m looking forward to.

1.  Growing Up – Sure every now and then I feel a little twinge for my wild, pack up and go mid- 20’s that are soon to be a thing of the past.  However, I’ve always known I didn’t want to try and stay in that point of my life forever.  I’ve known too  many people who’ve tried well into their 30’s and 40’s and truth be told, yes they’re still free and unattached, etc., but so few of them are actually happy.  I look forward to the challenge of maturing without loosing who I am as a person.  It will be a challenge, but I feel ready for it.

2.  Facing Fears and Being Awesome – Okay I’ll admit it, the thought of labor and deliver freaks me out and always has.  However I keep trying to remind myself of when I’ve faced my other fears and what I felt like afterwords.  Example – I’m terrified of roller coasters, but in high school on a trip to Disneyland for a marching band trip I made myself go on Space Mountain, Splash Mountain (is that the right name) and even The Tower of Terror.  I did it –  I also cried, swore, hyperventilated and contemplated jumping out of my seat on more than one occasion and run screaming from the ride, but I did it!  I actually loved Space Mountain – probably because I couldn’t see much and you’ll never, ever get me to go on Splash Mountain or the Tower of Terror again in my life, but I did it.  So perhaps sometime after February 11th I’ll have done it, faced a fear and perhaps I’ll want to go on that ride and again and perhaps I’ll never want to go through it again, but I’ll have done it at least once and that will make me just a little more awesome… right? 😉

3. Crafting – Yup, I’m one of those ladies.  I don’t really care what it’s bedroom/nursery will look like, but I’m looking forward to knitting sweaters, toys and all sorts of other projects like it.  On my list so far for various ages and stages.

4.  Giving to my family – This one sounds a little strange, I look forward to giving the grandparents a gift of a grandchild and I can’t wait to see the kind of grandparents they become.  I look forward to seeing my parents in particular give us and the baby the kind of love a support one of set my grandparents never seemed that interested in giving (in defense, my other set of grandparents are amazing);  there is so much they are already willing to do and support because they know first hand what it’s like to be on the other end of that.  I also look forward to the relationships it can foster between my in-laws and some of my own blood-relations who I’m just starting to get to know.

5.  Books – The baby’s ear’s and auditory sense are almost in their final stages and I’m so excited to know that soon it will be able to hear and can’t wait to start reading to it or at least finding ways of surrounding it with the written word.  One of the joys of theatre work is if it can hear right now it’s already been introduce to Jane Austen and Shakespeare.  I made my mother keep most, if not all of my books from childhood and I’m itching to dig them out of the closet when I get home and put them back on a shelf.

6.  Seeing Us become parents – I have to say I feel pretty darn confident about Ben and I as a couple, but if anything were ever to change that (sorry, sometimes I can be un-romantically realistic) I feel that we’d both stay dedicated parents and I’m excited to see what that entails.  We can already see that Ben is the worrier and I’m the planner, so we know who will stay up all night for every date and who will start planning college prep around the 5th grade.

7.  Influencing the Future – Somewhere a little evil laugh echos in my head when I read that, but it’s the truth – I’m excited that I have to chance to influence the future generation, even if it’s just one child.  Sure a big part of my responsibility is going to be keeping fed, clean and healthy, but I also get the chance to shape a persons moral character and what an amazing challenge that is!  It might be my decisions in the next few years that decide whether this new human being is the Good Samaritan or the one other travelers on the road.

p.s. To anyone still caring – I got my final scores back from my GRE’s – Verbal 590, Quantitative 680, Analytical Writing 4.5   – not bad, and definitely not bad enough for me to think of taking again!

We’re moving!  Not in a year, not in six months, not even in 2 months… but in 3 weeks back to the midwest.

It’s been a crazy few weeks, 2 weeks ago you could have found me curled up with my cat in a dry bathtub bawling my eyes out because the future was so unsure, and 2 hours later we had an answer and a moving date.  Ben’s work could transfer him to his own store as a manager if he can be there by mid-September, if not we were going to be on our own 2000 miles away from the nearest family as we went through this big life change, which kudos to those who have done it, but the thought scared us terribly.  Particularly because my contract would be up in October and Oregon has a terrible unemployment rate right now, so future prospects for work looked really grim.

So the notice has been given to the landlord and employers, and today I need to swing by the power and internet places.  Change of address has been submitted and one of two yard sales has been completed (v. successfully).   I’m sad that I have to leave my job so early, but it’s for the best.  We’ll be moved in with my folks for the time being before I get huge and uncomfortable, and yet it’s still early enough that I might be able to find a new job in our new area.

As for the moving part, dang we’re efficient having done this many times, but I’m getting ready to not be moving much more in the future.  Though on the bright-side I’ve been using this as a great reason to purge my house of un-necessaries.  If I haven’t worn it or probably won’t wear it for the next year, it’s gone.  Piles of crafting stuff for “when I get the time”, gone.  Extra nick-nacks, dishes, books, tons of stuff, gone.  We’ve even decided to sell our TV!  (one it’s huge and the dvd player is getting old, but we only use it to watch movies and it’s just not necessary right now, which I’m so proud of!)  I’m even getting rid of stuff that I couldn’t part with on our move out here… what can I say we were dirt poor and I apparently tried to hold on to as much of my “stuff” as I could so that I didn’t feel poor constantly, but this time it feels different.

Right now on our packing list for furniture is only Bed, 2 night stands, 2 dressers, 3 bookcases, the 2 heavy duty metal shelves, a rather large computer desk kitchen table and chairs and then the various boxes of stuff (which is already more mangable than last time!)

So far all the closets are cleaned out, bathroom sorted and most of the assorted “junk piles” gone through and we’ve still got almost a full 3 weeks left.  So like I said, our life has gone into overdrive right now, but we’re seeing lots of light at the end of the tunnel.  =)

Finally… after months of study I finally bucked up and took the darn thing yesterday.  I’m still waiting on my essay score (keep your fingers crossed) but I got a 1270 on my quant/verbal combined score, which should be more than acceptable to get into my program and hopefully might put me in the running for a scholarship.

All in all I’m happy so far, I was aiming for a 1300 but had a doozey of a verbal section.  I got three reading comprehension sections that were fairly dense and took more of my 30 mins. than I expected, making me rush the last 6 questions or so.  But surprisingly the math section went really well and made up for the average verbal section.

But that is over, all I have to do is locate my three letters of reference, write a short essay and get the rest of the paper work in order I should be all submitted sometime this winter, well before baby is due.  Strangely enough the baby and grad school stuff are both currently due on the same day.

I’m officially into week 14 and things seem to be getting better slowly, though I still have a limited interest in food and still getting sick a few days a week.  Whether its a good or bad thing it’s definitely making me reconsider how many times I want to go through this in my life, not that I always wanted a big family anyways, but this currently is not the most enjoyable thing I’ve ever gone through in my life though I know the end result will be worth it.

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

The real reason I’ve been gone from here so long…. I’ve been sick for about a month and a half straight.  Updated baby ETA is now February 1 and this past week we got our first peak at the little cricket.

Say a little prayer that it starts letting me eat more soon, I actually lost almost 7 lbs in a month because of the stomach stuff, but other than that everything is looking good!

The next couple of months are going to be crazy.  I take my GRE’s on the 4th and we’re moving back to Iowa to be with family for this time in October.  This also means we’ll be taking a drastic cut in income for a while before and after the baby arrives, but with the support of our families and a little smart budgeting I think we’ll make it through until I start school again and hopefully get a paying graduate assistantship.

Life is a little crazy, but good… except for my new relationship with our toilet 😉

1.  I’m still here, still alive.  This month has been crazy, but in the everything and nothing is happening all at once so there’s not much to talk about.

2. We did it!  We paid off the last of the extraneous bills this week!  We only have our car and student loans to pay on and have a good chunk of money to put into savings now!  In October we had a credit card bill, one extraneous loan and a car payment, and we’ve payed off almost 50% of that debt in 8 months!

3.  We were going to try and pay off the car by the end of the year, but it looks like we might be speeding up our return to the mid-west and want to save as much as possible.

4.  It has been 25 days since I’ve had a Dr. Pepper.

5.  It’s starting to get warm here in Southern Oregon, that makes me sad.  I hate hot weather.  I would rather be surrounded by a foot of snow than a thermometer that climbs anywhere over 90 degree.  We might have to break down and finally get a window air-conditioner.

6. Because of the steadily rising temperatures I keep day dreaming about the colder weather holidays, my favorite time of year and this year we might actually get to spend it with our families.

7.  The Last Airbender comes out next Thursday and I can’t wait, I’ve been waiting for this movie for two years!  Go here to see it’s trailer,  so excited!

I know I often rant about my hatred of social medias like Facebook, etc., but there is one form that I really like… well most of the time.

The Text Message.

A great little form of instant media that helps us share little bits of information, check up on people or just pass on a funny joke that doesn’t quite merit an interruption of your friend or loved ones work day.  Of course I’m still guilty of interrupting many work days… but who doesn’t love an interruption to their work day?  Really?

Of course, I don’t love the little phone application when people are glued to them during dinners, or even at work – really put the darn thing away, it can’t be that important of  a conversation.  And I often find myself wanting to karate chop people in the back of the head in movie theatres when the little screens light up and distract my attention.

However, I do love that I can send a message to a friend or coworker out of concern without them feeling obligated to talk back immediately or without drawing the attention of those around you.  I can roll my eyes to a friend across the table without actually rolling my eyes…”Really, did she just say that?”.  I can stay in touch with people who hate phones and don’t really care for computers.

I also love that it gives those around me who are good with direct confrontation a way to express themselves.  I love my Dad, he’s been through a lot and sometimes because the things in his past it’s easier for him to choose distance over close attention for many reasons.  It’s often hard for him to express his feelings through words, but he can often do it well in a written way.

So after this last week, with a lot of ups and downs I get a text message as I am about to start work last night.  It’s from my Dad and all it says is

“You can count on me, love dad”

And I know I can.  He might not have been able to say it to me directly, but I know however it gets expressed he means it.

I just hope he didn’t write it in the movie theatre.

Here are few more of my favorites from working on that WWII photo album this weekendOn the back my Grandfather (the one on the far right) wrote “Lined up to wash our mess kits just outside the kitchen. We line up to do everything. No, the sweater isn’t G.I. but I get by wearing it.”

I kind of want to make a sweater like that.

On the back was written.

“Oct. 42 “Tiger” Luther the smallest fellow in the Btry with gas mask, gas cape and brush knives, Jack cannon(?) on right”

Just goofin’ around.

“Sept 42 My afternoon off know my girl.”

The mystery is we don’t know who his sweetheart was in 1942.


My Grandfather, Arlo Taylor, Veteran of WWII.

He was a Telephone Operator for the 151st Field Artillery Battalion and the 34th “Red Bull” Division.

A farm boy from Southeast Iowa.

He fought in Northern Africa and Italy.

He refused a Purple Heart for a shrapnel wound to the leg in Italy.

He told the officer in charge to “Give it to someone who deserved it more”.

He lived to return to Iowa, get married have two sons and one granddaughter.

We believe he was Bipolar, which worsened after his return from the war, his odd and erratic behavior clouding many memories we have of him.

However, he was kind to everyone, tolerant regardless of race or sexuality before it was socially accepted to do so.

When he died he had my school pictures in his wallet.

It wasn’t until high school that I found his photo albums from his time in the war.

These pictures gave me the first insight into the man my Grandfather really was, not what a mental disease turned him into.

My Grandfather, on the right, and two of his handsome buddies acting all serious in Italy.

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