Monday, January 27, 2014

in limbo: move part 2

after driving all through the night (basically) and sleeping in a flea ridden motel (you never know, it allows pets after all), we arrived at brians moms house in alpine, ut.  it was the 30th, and we couldnt be in our place in co until the 3rd, so we had some time to kill. brian hadnt seen his family in a year and it was a perfect time to catch up with his brothers and sister.

since it was our anniversary, we decided to take his mom up on some babysitting time!  i had been feeling pretty crappy about my post-baby body not fitting into my clothes and feeling like the clothes that did fit were completely unflattering, so brian decided to take me shopping!  i dont shop for clothes often (like, maybe once a year) and he hates when i take him with me.  but he was so supportive and encouraging and didnt whine once-he even gave me good feedback!  now THATS an anniversary present haha.

other than that, we hung out with his family.  new years eve was spent with everyone over, playing games until the kids pooped out.
gratuitous naked baby
i love his chaotic family.  there are 6 hulme babies-more people than my whole family-and half are married.  i love the feeling of having so many people close by.  its cozy and warm and loud and obnoxious and awesome.  we had a lively debate, beat the pants off each other in games, we hung out and talked and caught up, and stuffed our faces while we did it.  its fun to see them all together, this big group of ADD-infused adults who are more alike than they know.  its like a secret we spouses carry, seeing reflections of our partners in their siblings.  and we love them all, whether because of or in spite of their similarities.

so after a couple days, it was time for us to hit the road again.

i dont remember taking the 80 eastbound past park city, but i know i must have as a kid to visit family friends who living in wyoming and colorado.  it was...what i expected haha.   pretty empty, and boring, and alot like northern nevada.  except there were more hills i guess.
the only exciting thing about wyoming was brian 

as the sun set, we neared Laramie.  thats when trouble started.

the temperature dropped, and it got really windy.  i had started to take a little nap, thinking i could drive from cheyenne to denver and give brian a break. but i was only asleep for about 20 minutes before i couldnt handle the tension anymore.

the signs kept saying "slick road--slow down" but it was hard to tell where it might be slick.  there was some blowing snow, but not much and it wasnt sticking to anything.  but soon we could see the wet-looking patches of black ice and they were constant.

and then the car in front of us slid a bit.  and i just about died.

you see, my car has summer tires on it.  there was no need for anything other than those in ca, and while my car was heavy enough with two adults, a baby, a dog, and stuff, it still is front wheel drive with basically grip-less tires.

the car slid a bit several times, and i could see the stress starting to build up in brian-he talks alot when he is stressed (is this funny to anyone else?).  and the snow was coming down harder and sticking, forcing us to drive in slick, snowy ruts.  we tried to keep another cars taillights ahead of us, but everyone was flying compared to us.

after a while, we lost the taillights we had been following, and between that and a one particularly bad skidding episode, i really lost it.  we pulled off at the next exit and tried to figure out how far we had to go til cheyenne and what the road conditions were like further on.

they were bad.  and there was still 30 miles left.

suddenly, we understood what the road-block arms were for on the side of the freeway.

for the second time in less than a week, i sob-prayed. but this time, i wasnt scared or sad for me.  i was terrified about getting in an accident with the baby in the car.  yeahyeahiknow, paranoid much?  way to look on the bright side, eh alex?  but ive driven through lots of bad snowstorms, and you are never invincible, no matter how prepared you are.

it doesnt help that the last bad storm we drove through, which was through parleys canyon late at night with a foot of standing snow and my little brother asleep in the back seat, was recently revealed to me as the scariest moment of brians life.


so after i got my shiz together, we hit the road again, determined to go as slow as we needed no matter how fast anyone else went/how long it took us.  and unlike that last storm-where i attempted to boost brians confidence/stifle my own fear by telling him over and over how confident i was in him and his driving abilities, but in reality drove him crazy-i kept my panicky compliment-blather to myself.

1.5 hours later, we hit cheyenne.  and the difference was as sudden as night and day.  the roads were instantly clear and the rest of the drive was a breeze.  but by then i was so wrung out emotionally that i happily hunkered down in the passengers seat with my french fries and diet coke and never offered my driving services.

so sweet of me.

brian was set to go back to work the next day, so we found another hotel that would accommodate the dogalog that was close enough to brians work for him to walk, and we fell into bed. and we swore we would never. ever. make the drive from laramie to cheyenne in the winter or at night or in a storm ever. again.

Friday, January 24, 2014

who i am.

i am an attorney. a wife. a sister, a daughter, a friend.  a woman with great accomplishments and great potential.

i am also a mother.  i dont really feel like a mother; i dont know what its supposed to feel like, but i guess i always assumed id feel old, absorbed, boring.  not that my friends who are moms are, but thats just what i was afraid of becoming.

but then, out of the blue, im suddenly struck by her.  her cuteness, her sweetness, her adorable smile, and unending wiggles.  

and im shocked by my momness.  i love her unconditionally, intensely, adoringly.  so much so that i worry ill never love another kid like i love her.  

and then im all watery-eyed and sentimental and pathetic. and i look at brian and he knows.  he knows and he laughs at me.  and then we look at our baby girl, and i know he is feeling the exact. same. way. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

goodbye, california: move part 1

my last post of 2013 expanded on the crushing heartbreak i felt about moving.

my first post of 2014 is an apathetic hello from our new home.  but ill save the apathy for later.  for now, this is the in-between-the-old-and-the-new-home post.  or, one of them.

during december, brian worked from denver while i stayed home in ca, doing my thing and trying to pack.  that didnt really happen, to be honest [and i felt lots of bad-wife guilt for that but whatever].  mostly i palled around with my friends and ate dinner at my parents every night and tried to not think past christmas.  and for the most part i was successful.

christmas baby!  a recreation of a picture of me at my first christmas
christmas was lovely, with my brother and his wife coming in from utah, getting to talk to my other brother via skype on christmas day from his mission in ga, and an adopted brother on his mission in pa.  we gifted, and caroled, and ate, and skyped, and played, and it was quite merry. just the way christmas should be.
Rudolph. im a horrible person.
but the day after, it was back to the grind stone and packingpackingpacking.  our truck was dropped off on friday, and we had some guys from church come help with the loading of the truck with my dad acting as supreme-truck-tetris-player on saturday morning while my grandpa enjoyed baby time, and some girl friends came and helped me clean in the afternoon while mommasita (my mom) and granny (her mom) wisked off the baby.  it was a very very long day, but made so much more bearable by all the help we got from friends and family. we camped out in the empty house that night with sleeping bags and a packnplay, went to church on sunday, stopped at my parents house for goodbyes and dinner, and we hit the road.  we planned to drive to slc and stay a day with brians mom-we would leave in the evening so that baby would sleep and we would go as far as we could go before stopping for the night.
bye bye, little house. 
it wasnt so bad, saying goodbye to my friends, but only because i didnt have to do the tearful hugs [mostly-one friend left a few days before and after a last breakfast together, i sobbed].  i mostly saw them at church and because we were so busy with herding kids/husbands or being herded by kids/husbands, it was more of a "see you later" kind of thing.  which at first i was disappointed by, but then i was thankful for. as youll read about in a moment.

however, saying goodbye to my family was much harder than any time before. ive always walked out the door with a hug and a wave and "see ya" when the time came to move to the next place.  as we picked up the sweetness and our stuff, my mom reached for her for one last hug and kiss.  my eyes welled up watching her love a little girl that i know reminded her so much of me as a baby.  instead of watching them, i turned to hug my dad.  which was a bad idea.  as he told me everything would be good, his voice caught, and i struggled to hold back tears.  and by struggled i mean i failed.  but i held it together for the most part with just a couple errant tears leaking down my cheeks. 

by the time we got into the car, i was totally fine.  no scratchy voice, leaky nose, or anything.  but as we got onto the freeway, brian asked me to say a quick prayer that we would be safe as we drove.  that was a bad idea.  here we are, brian is driving down the freeway in the dark, the baby blowing bubbles in the backseat, the dog scrunched in the trunk with some luggage walking around in circles trying to get comfortable, and i have my eyes closed, my head bowed, and im blubbering through sudden tears.  quite amusing, and im sure  what brian was thinking as he reached over to grab my hand with a little smile on his face.

i asked for peace, that i would be able to let go of the sadness of leaving my friends and family, and that id be able to make new friends.  and at the moment, i was SO glad i didnt have a chance to spend too much time saying goodbye.  cuz then this ridiculousness would have happened multiple times.  

so we drove.  sweetness fell asleep before we had even crossed the bridge to benicia, so we just drove more.  and drove and drove.  we found a hotel that would take a dog, and we tried to sleep on the craptastic, tiny bed they called a double but was really pretty much a twin.

did i mention that the next day was our anniversary?  5 years of matrimony.  that day dawned to a bed shared with a dog who wouldnt stop whining at 2 am and had his dreams come true when brian let him on the bed.  the three of us, squished into a tiny bed, were quite a sight.  i had somehow become the third wheel  during the night and was barely clinging to the side while brian and the dog were cozily cuddled together.  brian laughed as i got out of the bed to cuddle with the baby, asking "did you ever think when we got married that in 5 years youd wake up to a baby buzzing her lips to herself and your husband cuddling with the dog in the bed of a gross hotel?"  
happiest dog in the world.  

nope, cant say i imagined that. i also didnt imagine id be moving across the country on that day either.  but im so glad thats how that day started-i needed this new adventure to start with something i could laugh about.  i needed to feel hope and happiness with the people [erm, dog] i already have.  if i couldnt laugh and be happy with them, i was going to be awfully lonely in colorado.  that morning i was able to look around and say "its going to be ok," and believe it.  
5 years. whew. 
as we piled into the car and got drive-thru hashbrowns and egg-foodstuffs and got on the freeway, brian in an uncharacteristically giggly voice pronounced, "we have the cutest dog, and cutest baby.  how did we get so lucky? i have the best family."  and all i could do was smile and nod because my voice had suddenly decided to get all scratchy again and my eyes were in danger of leaking.  this time not because i was sad. this time because i was thankful that i was taking this cute and awesome family of mine with me on this adventure; thankful that the peace i so desperately needed was coming; thankful that the next five years were starting with even more love than the first five years did.
batdog, the sweetness, and us.
and just like that, we were halfway to our new home.