Monday, June 2, 2014

Cross country with five children and only one parent

Although we knew that it was possible, even likely, that leaving Utah might mean a period of time where we would be split up as a family, I don't think Steve or I really anticipated how difficult that might be.  When Steve received a job offer for a position in Pensacola, Florida on the very same day that we received an offer on the house (just 2 weeks after putting it on the market), it seemed like this leaving Utah business was actually happening for real!  Little did we know all the drama that would ensue from there....

Desperately-needed morning offee at the Silver Bean coffee shop in Cortez, Co where we first went in 2007
After two weeks, our buyers backed out, so while continuing to prepare for Steve's departure, we were back to square one on selling the house.  Sixty plus showings later (& those were just the ones from before we left Utah), I can say that I've experienced last minute showings, showings that schedule & don't come, showings that show up early, showings that say they scheduled but I never received notification for, showings that were spontaneous from people just driving by & stopping to ask to see your house...   I *think* I've seen/experienced it all.  And...we still own a house in Sandy, Utah.  The irony??  I still genuinely like the house.  It was exactly the house we needed, when we needed it.  Why hasn't it sold???  Not sure, but God is still God, and He is good, all the time.  That is all.

Four Corners: Everyone is in a different state
And...Philippians 4:13 still holds true.  I never imagined just how difficult it would be to sell our house.  I never imagined that three of our kids would get a stomach virus while we were selling our house & having showings, even multiple showings, daily. And, despite so many showings, we still had to pack up & empty our house.  And yes, we pulled the house from the market to do that, so of course, people begged to see it anyway...  And, yes, despite begging to see it while it was off the market & touting that it was their #1 house, of course they didn't buy it.

And yes, 3,000 sqft of house is hard to empty & clean, no matter how much "prep work" you think you've done in advance, especially with 5 sweet kids.  So glad that Steve flew back to help, but wow, it was oh-so-painful, and altogether impossible I think, if our dear friends the Valdez family, didn't help us with the kids.  Wouldn't you know that Katie even managed to get sick & run a fever for the duration of the final emptying & packing up, just to make things a little easier...NOT!

Saying goodbye to the Valdez family before beginning our trek
As painful as emptying the house & cleaning it was, we did it.  It might not have been a pretty process, & I *might* have yelled more than I should have, but it did get done on the same day that I dropped Steve off at the airport to fly back to Florida/Alabama.  I only had 2,000ish miles to drive with five kids and one overstuffed van.  Still, it was a relief to drive away!  Little did I know that the next morning would include discovering that Katie's fever of the previous day was due to hand, foot, & mouth & Jake would begin his day cluthing his stomach & throwing up on his favorite, beloved Transformers blanket.  And, he would proceed to repeat the process numerous times throughout the day.  And no, he would not throw up into the grocery bags I always keep in the van for such purposes. I still went to the Four Corners, because I'd promised the kids we would, & at that point, he'd only thrown up twice. The kind lady who offered to take our picture for us never did manage to get a shot with all 6 of us in it at the same time. ;)  I bribed Jake & Genna to get them to pee in the pit toilets, but in the end, I settled for getting Jake to pee in the trash can.  Oh well... And, as soon as we took off again, Katie pooped. Once again, I pulled over to the side of the road in the middle of nowhere to take care of her. I was feeling pretty good because I had managed to maintain my sense of humor. That ended around Farmington, however, when I pulled into McDonald's to try to get some Sprite for Jake as he was still throwing up.  Wouldn't you know, they were out of Sprite!  I called Steve in tears & told him I couldn't go on. Do you think he was in agreement??  Not a chance!

Steve insisted that I could in fact make it to Bernadillo, New Mexico, and he told me he'd already talked to the front desk person at the hotel & they were cool with 5 kids in one room. Upon arrival, not so much, buuuuutttt, after the day I had, I wasn't exactly in the mood to play pushover, so the front desk guy acquiesced. ;) After venturing out for food to bring back because those of us that could eat were famished, I collapsed into bed with a still feverish Jake and a just fine Katie, after setting Genna up on the floor with a nice, comfy pallet made from the hotel bed comforter. Somewhere in middle of the night, I heard/saw Genna walking aimlessly around the room insisting that somehow she poured water all over her panties!  Seriously??!!? Recycled water, maybe...sure enough, somehow, after months of not wetting the bed, she did, & in grand fashion.  Grateful I had put the comforter on the floor, I threw it on the bathroom floor & sent her back to bed somewhat scantily clad & attempted to catch some rest once more.

Thankfully, Jake awoke the next morning, feverfree and with a bit of an appetite. We made it all the way to Flower Mound to stay with the Gordons. We may have been just a *wee* bit travel-weary, but we made it.  And we were delighted to hang out with good friends & family that were thankfully willing to risk our potentially yucky germs (fortunately, everyone was well again...& stayed that way) and rest up for our final leg of the journey to be reunited as a family!

After resting up & making memories with friends & family (check out the next post on our time in the Dallas area), we drove the final 600+ miles from Plano, Texas to Robertsdale, Alabama. It was a long day...and Katie was oh-so-done by the end, but we made it uneventfully (unless you count the explosion that Steve discovered when he extricated a rather distraught Katie from her seat upon arrival)! good to be together again!

Playing Barbies in the backyard shortly before the end.
Wheeler Farm with the Valdez's

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