Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This is How I Feel

I arrived on August 4 - it's now August 24 and I finally have a moment to breathe.

After house hunting all the first weekend, I think I looked at 15-20 places and familiarized myself with the area.  On Sunday I went to the tail end of Cburg ward and the start of Bburg ward (I blame jetlag, I'm really not a ward-shopper).  Summer from Cburg ward invited me over for dinner - it was super fun to meet her and her cute family (4kids! under 6).  Turns out she's from Thousand Oaks.  Sigh.  Small world!!!

Darik and Ellie arrived on Monday night (the 8th).  It was the longest I have been without her, it was not easy.  I pretty much tackled that girl on the airport escalators.  The picture above is of her crashing that night in the hotel.  It had been a full day packed with THREE plane rides.

The next morning I had set up appointments for Darik to see the top four home choices.  Two in Blacksburg (from now on Bburg) and two in Christiansburg (Cburg).  We wake up on Tuesday and both Bburg homes canceled on me - one rented over the weekend and the other (that I had already filled out the application to turn in) decided not to rent it out.  It was so deflating - I spent all weekend narrowing down the choices and we didn't have any more time to start over in Bburg!!  Apparently we were meant to be in Cburg.  It wasn't easy choosing but by 5 pm we were signing the application and putting a deposit for our new home in Cburg.  It's a unique situation where the owners moved to Costa Rica and their 23yo son lives in the basement.  More on that later.  Anyway thing were crazy because my SIL Laura has my old job in Ptown and I was on the phone with her helping all day while making sure we could choose a home by day's end.

Wednesday was register Ellie for school day.  Summer let her have a playdate there while we registered Ellie at Falling Branch.  The next morning (Thurs the 11th) we signed our lease to start on Monday the 15th.  Now that the important deadline-things had been taken care of we could just have fun together until Monday when daddy started work.  So we went to the movies (Mommy=The Help, D+E=Smurfs) and afterwards went to the Christiansburg Acquatic Center (which is SUPER COOL).

The next day we had open for vacation day - so we'd heard about a waterfall we could hike to - 4 miles roundtrip - just outside of Pembroke where our stake center is.  It was literally probably the most beautiful place I've ever been in my life.  The KILLER part?  I missed about a million kodak moments.  I got out of the car and asked D&L to pose for me by the sign at the start of the trail . . . . right as my batteries died and it locked my shutter.  For an amateur photog in one of God's most gorgeous places, it was torture to live through.  But I tried to just be in the moment and enjoy it instead of enjoying it through a lens.  Here's a google image of the place.

Saturday needed to be a school shopping day - both for school supplied and shoes/clothes for Elle Bug.  After a long day of shopping and $200 broker, we chilled at the hotel and hotel pool.  Redbox is our friend!

Sunday was our first official day at Cburg ward.  We LOVE our ward.  It's a small ward.  And Bburg has a pretty small ward as well.  The nice thing about this ward is that when VT students come - they are grad students or medical students and are staying for 2-4 years.  So when people told us it is pretty transient because people come and only stay for that long we laughed.  Transient is moving in 3 months 11th warders, right?  There are about 8 new families that all moved in the same week as us.  We spent the day scrambling to arrange to borrow air mattresses, pillows, towels, etc.  We wanted to live in our house when school started on the 17th so we could wake up and just put El on the bus that stops right outside our door - and she could get to know friends and stuff without coming in two weeks later as 'the new girl'.  Oh did I mention Ellie's the only mormon girl in 1st grade at her elementary?  Summer has a boy in 1st grade in another class.  There are 5 first grade classes.  Yeah, a little bit different that back home.  The rest of her primary friends from the Cburg ward go to the other two elementariness in town.

On Monday morning Darik went to work and El & I went to get the keys to our new place!!  We were SO EXCITED!!!!!!   We were not so excited when we walked in the place and found what was waiting for us:

"the owner’s items hadn’t been moved out, and it hadn’t been cleaned.  Kitchen cupboards were full.  Garbage was on the floor.  There was food in the freezer and everything was dirty.  Bathroom drawers were full of hair and filth.  Personal items were left in shelves, drawers, and closets."

I was quite frustrated.  It's a long story that might get it's own post . . . but it's been a challenge and it's been VERY stressful trying to deal with all of this.  Of course, for those who know me well, I had to write a letter.   Monday night was back-to-school night where we met Mrs. Dunkleman, E's teacher (again).

We had been meaning to paint the walls (with owner's permission) on Tuesday - but I kinda ended up dealing with the cleaning drama instead.

I forgot to mention that in the middle of all of this I've been looking for a job.  Part-time, full-time, accounting, secretarial -- anything!  On monday Leisa the Payroll Mgr at VT called me.  She didn't have any jobs posted, but another manager in accounting had my resume from a job I wasn't hired for.  Vicky had passed my resume to her because Leisa needed an emergency hire in payroll to help process I9s into the Dept of Homeland Security Everify database (a mandate from the VA governor starting June 1).  She asked if I could start Wednesday - and that it could be PT/flexible, but that the pay was crappy.  I took it so I could at least make $ while I continue to look for a job.  On Tuesday I was called by Donna at the student union building for an interview for a fiscal assistant position.  Still pt-flex (only work while ellie is gone) and it would be in accounting in stead of data entry!!  ((I'll find out about that tomorrow)).

So Wednesday was E's first day of first grade.  We put her on the bus and the bus driver Miss Jayda promised she'd take care of her.  I cried.  She'd never been on a bus before!!  What if she got lost and couldn't find her class??  That morning over Cheerios she said, "Remember when I cried in Mrs. Marley's class? I think I'm gonna do that again."  So I was on worry-overdrive-mode all day long at MY first day at my new job.  And the next day I have a job interview for a new job.  Sigh.

By now with my job time starts flying by - all we have time to do is get ready for the day, go to work and school, I come home at 330 to be there for the bus at 4, check email (no internet at work), turn around and go and get Darik from work.  Come home, eat, homework, bathe, bed, clean, crash.  Wake and repeat.

Did I mention we have 0 cars?  And that the moving company forgot to make arrangements to move our car?  We are borrowing a car from Darik's boss Sandy.  We don't know when our car will be here or how we will work out 2 jobs with 2 schedules from 10 miles from campus (way cheaper down here in Cburg).  You see why I wanted that house less than a mile from campus??  Sigh.

Saturday comes and it's finally painting day.  Bright yellow and red walls gotta go.  We only have enough $ to paint the one main room - so the red stays in the kitchen and yellow stays in the rest of the house.  We are quite the colorful family in this home.  So to celebrate and relax we head to campus to watch a soccer game.  Sandy's car gets a flat on the highway.  We pull over and put the spare on.  Guess what.  It has a flat, too.  And I've lost my ipod and my cell phone is dead that has all my new friends' phone numbers.  So we have D's work cell with no #s in it.  His boss was at a funeral, no answer.  We were totally stranded.  Eventually we looked up RS pres #, no answer.  Sigh.  My parents looked up the bishops # and he was on his way to help.  He dropped E&I off at the hotel and took D back to see how they could fix the car and get us going so we wouldn't need a ride EVERYWHERE.  They pumped up the spare - eventually - and we were good to go.  Problem?  It's bedtime...  I swear if it's not one thing it's another.  I've tried very hard to smile through everything.  After this experience I told D Satan is really trying hard to discourage me.  Ellie says, "Yep, it was Satan who popped our tire!!"  She always can make me laugh.

Did I forget to mention this house comes with a dog?  Marc from downstairs has a dog, Lisa.  I'll add a pic later.  Nice that we can let her upstairs for Ellie to play with for a little while and then send her back down when we are done with her.  Just wish we could fix that broken electric fence outside so we wouldn't have to chase her back home.

Sunday:  Cburg Ward, home, eat, rest, clean, Dave Ramsey Class at local pentecostal church.
Monday:  regular busy day, daddy stuck in traffic jam on way home, too late to go swim at hotel
Tuesday:  150 pm felt a 5.9 earthquake, the epicenter was 2 hours away.  last night at hotel, swam and said goodbye to all our friends (workers) there.

Are you starting to get the picture here?  Sigh.  There's more drama in there too I couldn't fit in.

The upside:  We have needed TONS of help and have received it every step of the way.  It is very humbling to be in this position.  All we have had with us for 3 weeks is what we could fit on our bags on the plane.  I'm writing today after we checked out of our hotel last night.

OUR MOVING VAN IS SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE TOMORROW!!! IT'S A MIRACLE!!!!  I'M SO HAPPY!!  We don't know when our car will be here, though.  :-)  We'll figure it out, I'm sure.

Ellie has only had two all-out "I miss Idaho and just want to go home" meltdowns - which is actually better than I thought she would do.  She is making friends it's just that none of them are next door - it will take some effort to get connected with moms and get playdates going.  Not quite as easy as being surrounded by BFFs all next door.  We do have fabulous neighbors I know we will LOVE!

PS  I just downloaded pics from last 2 months and I think I have over 1000 to sort through and blog.  Be patient with me :-)


  1. I'm so excited you're blogging again! Somehow I forgot to check. I love your attitude about your experience and love to hear every bit of it!

  2. Holy drama girl!!! Then you have hurricane drama on top of all that! Sounds like an adventure going on everyday!