move, moving, MOVED

We've moved! And just to prove that we did, I didn't blog for a whole seven months!

Getting our family moved from one home to another one 1,000 miles away had three stages:

1. The "Really? Are we really going to move?" stage

2. The "Get me a drink; we're moving and I'm on the edge" stage

3. The "I think we're finally moved." stage

As of a few days ago, our move is complete, since both all of our stuff and all of us are in our new home in California. 

Because for a while, it was me, our stuff, and the kids in our new home, and Sean still working, full time, in Washington. 

And "for a while," I mean three months. 

Yeah. A full 90 days of solo parenting--90 days of bath time, dinnertime, tantrum time, middle-of-the-night puking time. Ninety days of staring at the microwave clock at 5:35 p.m. every weekday, thinking, "Doesn't something usually happen at this time?"

But, that's over now. When Sean arrived home last week for good, I broke into all four verses.

So. We moved to California, bought our first house, and now live within shouting distance of my parents. All in all... I'm not complaining. [Any more.]

We left a lot behind in Washington, though. Family, precious cousins and best friends, friends that were family. None of that was easy. You can box up your junk in Uhaul boxes. You can't box up the people you love so dearly. 

But coming back to California was a long-standing dream of mine--as is owning a house with a palm tree in the back yard. I can't believe that after nearly seven years of living in the Pacific Northwest, I've finally come home to the sunshine. 

Pinch me. 


7 top clicks / 11

SO MUCH good stuff this week. And only two of the seven below are Fifty Shades related. You're welcome. 

Stay clicky, my friends!

1 /
If this movie is coming to your town on St. Valentine's Day, go see it (because it sure beats seeing a movie about sexual abuse, ehh?).   (Life Site News)

2 /
I shall eat Honey Nut Cheerios again in this lifetime. (WSJ)

3 / 
Fifty Shades began as Twilight fan fiction. Well. It takes one (brooding vampire) to know one (sadistic businessman), eh? (Life Site News)

4 /
This just in: Raymond Arroyo apologizes for false story about being hit by cannonball during the Battle of Lepanto :) (Eye of the Tiber)

5 /
"Everything is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power." (Patheos)

6 /
Okay, Hozier, I'll take you to Church:

"Christian children are being crucified and buried alive by people who compare us to dogs, like you do. You say “Take Me to Church” but I wouldn’t want you to take you to their churches, because people really are sharpening their knives there, with my people as their targets."

Tom Hoopes. Boom. (CatholicVote)

7 / 
Jenny writes about the persecution that's coming (nay, already here) for those of us that will chose to defend marriage.
It comes down to three little words (as it nearly always does): Be not afraid.  (Mama Needs Coffee)

Linking up with Kelly.


baby gear that's still useful years later

I live in a small house that's short on storage space. (Hashtag: first world problems.) And since getting married, I've moved four times. (Hashtag: U-haul adores me.)

Purging unnecessary stuff comes as second nature by now--as does striving to make sure everything I've moved from house to house has value and purpose, or possibly duel purpose. Here are my all-star purchases that have survived each move, AND gotten more useful with time. 

Baby bath with pedestal - It's just a humble little bathtub, I know. But three years ago, that bottom pedestal became Joseph's step stool for potty training and washing his hands.

Why it's still useful: Since it's so wide, both boys can stand on the pedestal together to brush their teeth at night, or wash their hands before dinner. 

Activity gym - Everyone already has one of these, but we've used it for a lot more than just infant tummy time. 

Why it's still useful: Drape a blanket over those crossed bars and you've got a perfect tent for toddlers (or for little boys on the small end of the growth charts). This is especially valuable to families like mine that have mothers who do. not. camp. and therefore do not have real tents. 

Used Halloween costumes - Every year since she became a grandmother, my mom has hit up her local Once Upon a Child in July or August to start scouting out the best of the used Halloween costumes for the kids. Of all the good stuff those stores carry (and there's quite a lot), I'd say Halloween costumes are the tip-top of the "barely used/basically new" list.

Why they're still useful: Playtime is that much more interesting when you're wearing a dog/dragon/giraffe suit, right? Sometimes the boys won't wear them for a month, but sometimes they're all they wear for a week straight. 

Changing table - Traditional changing tables get a lot of hate from the "we just use a low dresser instead" crowd. But I see a changing table as essentially the same thing as a dresser, except you don't need to pull open a drawer to get at your wipes. 

Why it's still useful: Our lightweight (key word!) changing table works as a toy organizer/storage in various rooms (in various abodes). Granted, it's now being used for its original purpose, but when Gussie's bigger, I'm sure that we'll once again move it (without wrenching our backs) to another room and fill its baskets with Legos instead of diapers.

Or heck, maybe not Legos, but My Little Pony things. Or doll clothes. Ahh... 

Baby books - Do moms still keep and update baby books? My mom filled our baby books to the brim with weight and height charts, vaccine records and sickness notes, plus pages and pages of hand-written anecdotes about our childhoods. 

I'm keeping books for our three, though I know that I'm not nearly as good as she was about writing down so many precious memories. 

Why it's still useful: Even if I can't write down everything I intend to, the books do provide a great space for stashing those little tidbits that will be treasures later on: the ticket stub to Amby's first baseball game; a brochure from Joseph's dream visit to the Sacramento Railroad Museum; cards from grandparents and godparents for birthdays and baptism. If I didn't have the books, I know I'd haphazardly stash that stuff in nooks and crannies and lose track of it all. 

What's the best stuff in your house that serves a duel purpose? 

Linking up with Jenna


7 top clicks / 10

1 /
Be careful when/if shopping at Target. You might just run into their "adult health" section, which shelves their 50 Shades of Grey themed sex toys. Yowzas. Ugh. (CNN Money)

2 /
Before they changed their name and became a medical clinic, this pregnancy resource center saved 100 babies a year.

Now? Real Options Pregnancy Medical Clinic saves 700+ lives each year. Amazing. (Life Site News)

3 / 
My hero (aka Abby Johnson) wrote an epic takedown of Planned Parenthood's hiring practices. For instance: Are you a single mother, desperate to put food on the table? Or so in need of a job, you'll compromise your values? Perfect. You're hired.  (National Review)

4 / 
The American Papist gives us a sign of hope for our Church: The Under-35 Priest. He's not going to kick out your current heterodox, aging pastor... he's just going to outlive him.  (CatholicVote)

5 / 
How simple and beautiful is Sheena's wall collage with her homemade "take and eat" art? Talented (and crafty), that girl. (Bean in Love)

6 /
My favorite salad at the moment: Cold Peanut Noodles. Add 1 tablespoon extra brown sugar to the sauce; top with diced chicken. (food.com)

7 / 
I've tried to take the advice of allowing "4 minutes in the nude" in the morning to let my lotion soak in and all that, thinking that it might be something rather beneficial for my skin.

Thus far it's been about 45 seconds in the nude before someone shouts "MAAAAAAH-MEEEEE! He stole my Rescue Bot!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

And by then, I better damn well be dressed. (Modern Mrs. Darcy)

Linking up with Kelly.