And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Operation Relocation - Day 1: Saturday 06/23

So this day has been lurking in the distance now for quite sometime and I have been in a bit of denial that it would ever occur.  Well rest assured, it did happen, and it happened today :( what a sad day it was too!  Many goodbyes were shared and tears were shed.  It's just so hard to leave when you have such a good thing going; family, friends, a home...all the fixings of a great life.

Anywho...onward and upward right!  So our first day went a little smonthing like this: up at 2am and on the road by 2:30am (not bad by Papenfuss standards!).  Tj started off driving and Dominik and I slept until 4am when much to the dismay of his parents Dominik woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed.  TJ and I were quite pestimistic at this point because frankly a 2 year old has the power to make a break a trip very quickly.  However, Dominik surprised us when he was quite pleasant and enjoyed looking out the window and making random comments about who knows what.  Around 6am we decided to stop at the Wild Horse Casino gas station and HOLY COW...thanks to all those who gamble their money away and provide the means to create this beautiful gas station and rest stop.  It was so clean and organized that I didn't even care when Dominik walked around and touched things without having to sanatize his whole body immediately after.  There was even stuffed bears and deer that Dominik LOVED hugging.

After we got all our wiggles out and enjoyed our oh so delicious bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit from McDonalds, we were back in the car and on the road by 6am (with me in the driver seat and TJ resting as the passenger).  Dominik promptly fell asleep and TJ followed suit shortly there after.  About 78 miles later TJ asked me how I was doing driving and I told him that I was too tierd to keep my eyes open :(  TJ has always been the driver in the family and I am just not used to it!  It is SOOOO boring!  I also only had 2 hours of sleep the night prior (TJ only had 3), and driving was just too difficult (I'm such a baby).  Luckily I married the BEST husband ever, because he had me pull over so I could sleep while he drove.  I think he was just too terrified that I would fall asleep and kill us all for him to even think of resting.  By the time he got back on the freeway I was already in REM cycle of sleeping...I really was tierd ;)

Our next stop was in Jerome, ID where we got some lunch and stretched our legs.  TJ and I got Subway and Dominik enjoyed his absolute favorite McDonalds cheeseburger (he has to be pre-diabetic at this point).  We ate in a nice grassy area and basked in the sunshine outside of the car.  After lunch I drove to give TJ a break; unfortunately for TJ, I only lasted about 28 miles this time before I saw a GIANT spider only inches from my head.  My normal reaction is to completely freak out, but there must have been some divine intervention because I was able to semi-calmly take the next exit and pull over before jumping out of the car and doing my spider freak out dance.  In case you were wondering, TJ drove from this point on ;)

We rolled into my grandparents house around 3:30pm (2:30 pacific standard time), and grandma had delicious snacks ready for us, just like she always does.  The rest of the evening was spent with some good ol' rest and relaxation; just the ticket after 12 1/2 hours in the car.  Day 2 is shaping up to be pretty restful as well, and better than time in the car at all!!!  All in all a pretty great start to our trip!

This is the water bottle that we forget about and rode on top of our trunk from Jerome, ID to South Jordan, UT.  It completely screwed up the paint job on the trunk and left a 2 foot long white stripe...oops!

The Final Days

       In the final days leading up to our departure from the great Northwest, a LOT happened...usually moves are rather stressful and bring to pass some of TJ and I's biggest arguments, however, this one was rather pleasant.  The movers arrived at 8am on Monday 06/11 and in 8 hours flat (this included many breaks) they had our whole life packed up in neatly stacked boxes.  It was crazy to see our life changing so drastically, but even more crazy that I got to watch it all unfold from my front yard instead of in the thick of it inside.  It was such a blessing to have the Navy do it for us!  Rather than add the HUGE stress of moving, we were able to avoid it completely and spend the extra time with family and friends.

         Once or house was all packed up we decided it was about tie that we move in with my parents just up and over the hill in Happy Valley.  It is a full house with my two brothers living there as well, but being so close to my awesome family was well worth being cramped.  TJ's family also came into town on the 12th, so we were able to spend lots of quality time with them also. 
         Some of the activities on our itinerary were: TJ's graduation and promotion to lieutenant in the Navy, trip to the fish hatchery, motorcycle riding up by Government Camp, Father's Day celebration (spent with all three fathers, TJ, my dad, and Mike), lots of eating out and BBQ's, and our sweet little nephew's birthday party. 

          All these activities culminated into our graduation/going away party that we invited all of our family and friends to come and celebrate with us.  The day started off beautiful; blue skies and sunshine as far as the eyes could see.  The party was from 6-9 and included dinner (pulled pork sandwiches, watermelon, and chips), with cupcakes (thanks again Steph Dickey, Brandi, and Eric!), cotton candy, and snow cones for dessert.  There was also a variety of activities for the whole family.  We had a bounce house, badmitton, basketball, and lots of good conversations.  Not even the rain that showed up 2 hours into the party could put a damper on the festivities.  Everyone brought the food inside and the party just continued.  What a great time it was!  Definitely the best way to say goodbye!

          Through all these activities we felt so dearly blessed to be able to surround ourselves with so many family and friends.  These past four years came with many challenges, and through the love and support of those around us, our little family was able to come out on top.  We are optimistic as we head out on the adventure of a lifetime.  We are sad to leave our home and loved ones behind, but are excited to make new friends in Maryland and wherever else the Navy wants to send us.  Thanks again to all those who did so much for us; it would have been impossible without you.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Girls' Weekend!

You know when you have such a good thing going for you that sometimes it almost feels surreal?  I definitely have one of those things going for me with my "Real Housewives of Aspen Summit" clan.  There is 4 memers of this "clan" and 1 honorary member.  They are Kaci Adair, Ashley Finlinson, Jessica Atkinson, Lisa Williams, and Jackie Emmett.  These girls are kind, giving, and know how to have a good time! 

For the past few years or so we have tried to do girls nights where we ditch the husbands and kids and hit up a local happy hour for some cheap apps and good conversation.  Typically our conversations go straight to the joys of motherhood, and ALWAYS end up telling the nitty gritty's of nursing, birthing, and being a wife ;)  The conversations are enjoyable and a great chance to let-down and have fun!  I love these girls like sisters and I absolutely cherish the time that we spend together!

Since TJ and I are relocating to Maryland at the end of this month the Aspen Summit Housewives group dedicded we needed one last hurrauh before everyone starts parting ways.  Seattle seemed like the obvious choice because it was just far enough to experience something new without having to spend too much time in the car.  An overnighter seemed feesable and all the husbands at home were happy to play single parent for a night so we girls could go have some fun without the kiddo's. 

We decided to leave at 8am on Saturday June 1st in order to maximize our time there.  We stopped in Centralia to do some shopping at the outlet malls, and then arrived in Seattle around noon.  When we got there we pulled straight into the hotel hoping that they might let us check in a bit early.  Parking is ridiculous there and we only wanted to pay once.  We pulled up to the valet and they told us that we could park there and that they would take the car from there.  Unfortunatley Jackie had to pump and the car was the most convienent place to do so.  When we informed the young male valet attendant that Jackie needed to "pump," he looked like someone had slapped him in the face and then he replied with a "she what?" He proceeded to give us a parking spot on the bottom floor and told us to take as much time as we needed.  I'm pretty sure he was scared!

Once we got checked in at the hotel and carried in all our bags we decided to hit up Pikes Market Place for some fun.  Upon Jessicas request our first stop was the gum wall.  We all chewed up a piece of gum and stuck it to the wall in order to kick our weekend adventure off right.  After we all thuroughly sanatized our hands we perused the market and bought snacks to try.  The favorite was definitely the "Peiroshky, Peiroshky," which was found by Jackie and Ashley just standing in a long line simply because they knew a long line was a sign of good food.  In fact, they had no idea what was even at the end of the long line; but they were excited to find out!

Once our tummies were full and our feet were sore we headed back to the hotel to hang out and just chat.  Around dinner time we went a picked up something quick and went and saw Snow White and the Huntsman.  After the movie we went back to the hotel and hit the sack.  We all anticipated pulling an all nighter, but we are just not as young as we once were. 

Sunday morning was spent eating breakfast, packing up, and shopping.  The boys will never understand why we would travel 200 miles to go shopping, and they probably never will.  We had a blast though.  We finished the day with a quick trip back to Pikes and then took the long ride home. 

The weekend was an absolute blast!  I had so much fun with my girls and it makes me even sader to leave!  I feel so blessed to have them in my life and just feel fortunate to have even known them.