Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cleaning help

Someone contacted my dad a couple of months ago. She cleans my dad's neighbors house. I had that phone number, and I can't seem to locate it amongst all of my boxes and stuff. If you are still reading my blog, can you email me?

We are going to need cleaning help next Friday at the new house in the morning in order to get moved in sooner. Any help would be great!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Live from Sweetwater Drive

I am posting tonight from our house... our HOUSE! No, we aren't officially moved in. There is still a week and a half left until move-in. But we do have internet... and carpet... and pretty much everything else. All that is left is some touch up. The carpet today made the house feel like Home. We are almost Home. And just being here makes me close to tears out of happiness.

Packing plans

The plan is to start a major packing blitz next weekend. Please let me know if you want to help at life_after_the_fire@yahoo.com. We aren't entirely certain which day between the 9th and 13th we will be moving in, but if you want to help unpack, we will be doing that the next week.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Life carries on

I am having a hard time. I haven't talked to anyone really about how much I am struggling. I know we are moving home soon, and that gives me hope. But the fire has taken so much of the illusion of safety from me, and I feel like I am going through the motions of life more than living it right now. It's been difficult for me to post because I am having this internal battle, and I want everyone to see me as strong and not see the pieces that I feel I have become.

I am currently listening to Peter Gabriel's "I Grieve." The lyrics:

"It was only one hour ago
It was all so different then
There's nothing yet has really sunk in
Looks like it always did
This flesh and bone
It's just the way that you would tied in
Now there's no-one home...

I grieve for you
You leave me
so hard to move on
Still loving what's gone
They say life carries on
Carries on and on and on and on...

The news that truly shocks is the empty empty page
While the final rattle rocks its empty empty cage
And I can't handle this...

Life carries on
In the people I meet
In everyone that's out on the street
In all the dogs and cats
In the flies and rats
In the rot and the rust
In the ashes and the dust
Life carries on and on and on and on
Life carries on and on and on

It's just the car that we ride in
A home we reside in
The face that we hide in
The way we are tied in
And life carries on and on and on and on
Life carries on and on and on

Did I dream this belief?
Or did I believe this dream?
Now I can find relief
I grieve"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Relief?

Someone was talking about dealing with their past in the present the other day. I responded, "I lost my past in my present." They then suggested that this might be a little bit of a relief. I hadn't really thought of it that way.

Sentimentality can also be an obsession with one's past. And I think sometimes that obsession comes at a cost of failure to focus enough on the present. That pair of jeans that hangs in every woman's closet that she is dying to fit into one day. The letters from an ex-boyfriend. The wedding dress that you just can't part with even though you know you won't ever wear it again. We look at those things and we long for days past... and it's a futile battle.

I think of all the things that were destroyed in that fire and with some of those things I think, "I'm free." I'm free of their burden. I'm free of the emotions that they evoked in me. I'm free of their hauntings. I can never again open that box and unexpectedly find a letter that makes me cry or scream in anger. I have to be consciously trying to invoke that memory, and by doing it consciously, I am better prepared for those emotions.

I guess it is a relief to be free of the past. While I believe that people can make changes at any time they choose to do so, I have been given an opportunity to really make changes on a grand scale... because I am no longer tied to the burden of my past.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Everything We Own

I know what it is like to lose all your worldly possessions. We are fortunate to have each other and a healthy son.

I learned of a family who is auctioning off everything they own on eBay in order to pay medical expenses for their two special needs children. One of their children was just diagnosed with moderate/severe autism and is nonverbal. Having worked with young children with autism, I know how very important early intervention is... and how expensive it can be.

If you are able, and it is something you are interested in, donations can be made to the family at everythingweown.org.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Things we lost

Per Tracy's request, here are some things we lost that we aren't necessarily SAD about but are kind of bummed about:

- Calistoga Balloons pin. We went to Napa Valley for our honeymoon, and I gave Dan a hot air balloon ride as a wedding gift. I am incredibly afraid of heights and hate flying. Yet, I still went up. (We also lost the video we took of said balloon ride and proof that I actually went!)

- A signed drumstick. Dan caught the signed stick at a concert and then went up and had the rest of the band sign it afterwards.

- Rubik's Cube. I spent DAYS (weeks!) solving the Rubik's Cube when I lived in New York. When I finally got it, it was a huge deal!


- Signed Lewis Black DVD. I LOVE Lewis Black. We saw him the night before the fire. I had a short conversation with him, and he signed my DVD. I am a little amazed that I actually took the DVD out of my car that night. (Thankfully I still have the signed ticket!)

- TOPLI55 license plate. My VW Beetle Convertible had license plates that said Topless (essentially).

- Mo's collar. I loved my cat, Mo. He lived with me in D.C., NY, and Boise. He went missing one October day in 2006. But we had his collar.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Readers and lurkers

I have heard interesting stories in the last couple weeks of those who read my blog. So while I'm working on getting better, I would love to read your stories of how you found my blog or some of your story or a topic you would like to see my write about.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Circumstances

I know I have said this before, and I am sure I will say it again... we cannot let the circumstances of our lives determine our outlook.

Dan said something to me about how this year was supposed to be a great and lucky year. With the health issues I am still having, it would be easy to say that it isn't looking like it will be that way. First of all, it is only January. It would be hard to judge an entire year off of three weeks. Secondly, my circumstances cannot determine whether or not this year is great. Only I can decide that. If I allow my life to be great, regardless of that which happens to me, it will be. I still have moments of self-pity, but I really do want to choose to be happy and have a great life.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Apologies

Sorry I haven't written much. I really want to write (especially in light of the plane story, which I strangely feel very connected to). I've been dealing with some vertigo issues and have been going to some kind of dr. practically everyday. We are also trying really hard to get packed. This packing thing is even more difficult when the room doesn't stay still.

I do have to say that my husband is the greatest, seeing as he has taken Kellen two nights in a row so I can sleep. Doesn't seem to help the vertigo, but it does help my energy level a bit.

Projected move-in date is currently between Feb. 4-6. When I have more details, I will post them here. I know we have had a lot of people express interest in helping, which we will definitely need.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Gratitude

I've recently been presented with many messages of gratitude. I've been thinking about how I should spend 5 minutes everyday in pure gratitude. Even in adversity, there is much to be thankful for. I think that if I start looking at the world by giving thanks, my perspective will change.

I am thankful for my son. He is such a joy. I love that he talks to his toys and talks when he sees us having a conversation. I love that he laughs when I blow on his stomach or snort his face. Even when he is sad or upset, I am so thankful that HE is my son.

I am thankful for my writing and for having a place where I can go to write.

I am thankful for all of the contractors who have helped build our home. I am thankful that this happened during a recession so that we can get home sooner.

I am grateful for my body. Even though it hasn't been feeling so good, I am thankful to have it to continue this experience. I am committed to taking care of it, and I am grateful for my body's healing abilities.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Countdown

We are arriving at the end. It's at least the beginning of the end. We see the house coming along. Once the carpet is in, I will really feel like we are just about in.

I think I pack at least a couple boxes a day. For people who lost everything, we certainly have a lot to move. I blame Kellen. Seriously, how much stuff does a 3 month old need? (Our particular 3 month old is quite busy, so we need to keep much of it unpacked.) You could also blame my crafting. I have acquired more paper in the last several months. Unfortunately I haven't had time to do much with it yet. I am so excited to get into the house and get my craft room unpacked. Kellen's scrapbook is overdue. And I have so many ideas for it. I would think I would be more motivated to pack. But caring for a baby who is trying to sit, roll, and teeth (or rather is sitting, rolling, and teething) is taking up most of my energy.


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Sunday, January 11, 2009

School

I guess things are getting back to normal. Dan starts back at BSU in a week. We are working on his parking permit and have bought most of his books. He is still taking a reduced courseload because we still have a few weeks on the house, and then we have to actually move in!

I am a little nervous for next week. Dan's first class starts at 7:30, which is a dramatic change from our current sleep (or lack of sleep) schedule. We are trying to get his class moved, but right now the other sections are full. It also means that at night, Dan will have homework and be less able to help with Kellen. If I was healthy, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. But I am still healing (no blinking yet) and really tired by 5:00 everyday. Not to mention that the 5-7 shift with Kellen can be... challenging.

Overall this is a good thing. It's a sign of moving on, of getting past the fire. By February, we will be home. Things might be getting back to normal, but it's still a new normal. I don't think we'll ever find the old one.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Growing up

Kellen is getting so big. Yesterday he rolled over both from belly to back and back to belly. He can sit up in the "tripod" position, and he is working on getting his back straighter. He grabs at toys. And now he is eating cereal. Because of the reflux, the pediatrician recommended thickening his formula. Here are the highlights:














Thursday, January 8, 2009

Exciting Day!

Kellen slept last night from 7:30-5. This is the longest he has slept. Of course I woke up at 3:30 waiting for him to wake up and didn't go back to sleep until close to 5 (right in time for him to actually wake up!).

Our hardwood floor is in and looks GREAT! Tile work starts today in all of the bathrooms. Our kitchen cabinets also start today. Our kitchen is really going to take shape by tomorrow. I think our closet systems are also being installed. We are truly in the end phase of this rebuild. Moving in seems like it is so close... and yet, I am nowhere near ready (packed ready, not emotionally) to move.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Exhaustion

Dan and I are exhausted.

We sleep about 4 hours at a time. Kellen has reflux, and it causes him to excessively spit up. We have to feed him in smaller amounts, more often. This means more waking up at night.

If we were normal people, we would rest during the day. That's what all of the advice says about new parent sleep deprivation. Wouldn't that be nice!

Today we said we would have a low-key day and not go anywhere. That was before the phone started ringing at 8:30 this morning (as always). Someone wants to get paid. We didn't confirm the granite countertop color yesterday. We haven't picked out our lights and need to go back out to Meridian. The hardwood guys need a babysitter.

And Kellen has decided that he hates his car seat and wants to be held all day.

At some point I have to start packing. I got 5 small boxes done this weekend. Our house is a disaster. It desperately needs to be vacuumed.

Oh... I also need to pick out furniture. We still haven't ordered couches. While we have temporary stuff from the rental, I really want to be ready to move in when the move-in date comes. And that means having our furniture delivered.

Did I mention that I'm exhausted?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Pictures

It's time for more pictures.

The front (we changed the paint color so it didn't match our neighbors- we had to repaint the back)











A close-up of the front with the stone work around my office.












The family room











The kitchen (you can see the kid's room to the left. It is the space under the stairs and is just right for little kids!)












Kellen's room. The blue is much better in person, but I've never been able to get a good picture of it.











Our Master Suite. The back wall is a dark red.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Judgment

It's amazing how much we all judge things. I think we are all guilty of judging others for how they handle events and circumstances in their lives (even if that judgment is good). But I don't necessarily mean judging others. We judge those events and circumstances.

What if we didn't label events as good or bad, simply as opportunities? I'm not quite there- I can't yet see the fire as neutral, simply an opportunity. But maybe that's all it is. It is our preconceived notions of life (our expectations) that make an event good or bad, fortunate or unlucky. If we had no expectation for tomorrow, no expectation for how our life was supposed to go... if we just allowed ourselves to be blown where the wind goes, maybe suffering would be minimal. Or maybe we wouldn't suffer at all. We could simply be present and experience all that is put forth... whether it be "good" or "bad."