Saturday, September 29, 2007

Its Over

I am finally home. I got back last night, and I was sure done driving for at least a week. But then tonight I had to drive to a church building kind of far for a church meeting. But at least I got to drive Matt's car. Not my van thank goodness.

I was planning on being home sooner than yesterday, but things came up that couldn't be ignored. At first I was going to leave on Tuesday. But my sister wanted me to stay so that we could do a little bit of book shopping together, and just hang out. So, of course I said I would stay. I love buying books. After we got home, about an hour or so later, we discovered that Andrew had diarrhea. Lucy had had it for a few days, but it wasn't too bad, and she was eating a ton of food and drinking. And of course, she is still in a diaper. So, poor Andrew wasn't feeling too good. Then about 11pm, I moved him from the living room to the hallway (he liked sleeping in the hallway. We couldn't figure out why) and he said that he didn't feel so good, and then proceeded to throw up on his pillow, his blanket, the floor and the stupid stuffed huge spider man that my MIL insisted on buying him. So, I wasn't going to be leaving on Wednesday either. He had toast and applesauce like crazy. And a banana too.

So, left on Thursday, and I got home last night. I had been gone for almost 3 weeks!! It was so nice to be with my sister and talk to her and discuss things. Last Sunday night we stayed up until 4 talking about stuff. And it was nice to be in California again.

I do not think that I will ever attempt to do that much driving again by myself for a while. Or ever. But it was worth it this time, and I may not have the chance to go back again for a while. Hopefully my kids have some good memories out of it.

I've got tons more to say, but its late, and I'm tired. I wonder if any of you are even still reading my blog? Oh well, even if no one but Shell is reading at least I get this stuff out of my system and I feel better at the end of the day.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Still alive

Hello all. I am still alive and still not home yet. I am just dreading the drive home. It is so boring. It is all desert and absolutely nothing interesting to look at. At least my kids get to watch movies, I only get to listen.

My week in California was busy and fun. Lucy had a fever on Monday, so we kind of stayed at home and didn't do much. Tuesday I drove all the way out to Beverly Hills to go to the Beverly Center. The H&M there was the closest with not only women's but children's clothing. I don't think I have ever seen so many high end stores in one place other than walking down the Champs Elysées in Paris. Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Coach, and many others were in there. Felt a little out of place. But I got some great stuff!!

Wednesday we went to the LA County Fair. The kids got to see lots of animals and I got to eat my Hot Dog on a Stick with Lemonade, Cotton Candy and the cinnamon rolls that they always have. Yum.

Thursday was a bit of a this and that day. But that night my best friend and I got to go out to dinner by ourselves and then watch a movie without our kids. It was nice. Although she fell asleep before then end and I had to keep waking her up.....

Friday was a crazy day between packing, going to lunch with my dad, going to see Matt's dad and driving to my sisters. But we made it in one piece. Although tomorrow I have got to get some new windshield wipers for my car.

Yesterday my sister and I went to a Time Out For Women put on by Deseret Book. I would link it but I'm trying to type fast so that I can sit and talk to my sister for a while. It was great. I had another whole Saturday without my kids. I will go into more detail about it when I get home, but if you are LDS, and there is one coming near you, you should go.

I will be back at the end of the week with pictures, lots of opinions and some rantings. I don't know if I'll catch up on reading all of your blogs, but I'll try.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Update on our trip

We have been having a great time here. Friday we went to the restaurant that I worked at for four years. That was a lot of fun. My best friend, her two kids and her husband went with us. It was a bit of a circus, but the food was good. Lucy was the garbage disposal, eating her dinner, finishing Andrews, and helping one of my best friends boys to eat his food too. Not to mention her ice cream.

Saturday my FIL came to get my kids, and kept them all day. I went to the wedding, and it was so amazing to be without my kids for so long! My friend looked beautiful, and I got to be around adults for an amazing amount of time. Although when I start to talk about Europe, I get diarrhea of the mouth. I just can't shut up!! Need to work on that.

Yesterday we had a party for my kids birthdays. Matt's family came, and some of my family. They got so much stuff, I'm glad I didn't pack too much when we drove out here. Hopefully I'll have plenty of room.... My grandma brought a spider man cake, and he was really excited. I got to see some of my cousins too, and that was nice. I won't be able to see them for a while. North Carolina is pretty far to go from the west coast.

I will post pictures later. I'm on my parents computer, and I am not seeing a USB cable to upload pictures on. I'm luck I can even get online!!! This week is going to be busy! Lots of friends, family, and places that I need to go. I think today I'm going to go to a store called H&M. There are two fairly close by, and since I haven't been to one of those since Germany, I am way way excited!! Have a good week all, and I will catch up on reading you this weekend when I'm at my sisters house.

Bonne semaine!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Nous sommes arrivés

We arrived at our first destination!!! I drove almost 1,000 miles all by myself with two kids. And I survived. Nothing exciting to report other than we did it. I am glad I won't have to drive anywhere tomorrow. I will probably not post very much while on my trip. Hopefully I will be so busy that I won't have time to type very much. But when I get back I will have a lot of pictures. We did see some lightning, but no rain. It was really cool, and it kept the kids occupied for a little bit. We watched a lot of movies, or rather they did.

Today once we got to my sisters, the kids had a great time playing with their cousins. They all were exhausted. It is nice to see my sister again. Have a good week everyone, and check back here and there.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


I don't know if any of you have noticed a link I have called GoodyBlog. It is a blog associated with Parents magazine. It has giveaways, and all kinds of links to articles, and advice for parents and all kinds of other stuff. So (I'm not getting paid for this, just thought you all would like to know) head over there sometime. I find it interesting, and I'm sure some of you out there will too.

I know you won't believe it

There is another country in Europe that I am fascinated with. I know, you thought I was a loyal France lover. I do love love France. But I also love Ireland. I think it started with meeting someone from Belfast area while on my mission, and getting to know him a little. Then my last companion was raised in Derry. And after spending six weeks with her and hearing her stories of Northern Ireland, I was hooked.

Last October, the weekend before we flew back to the states, I booked a flight on my favorite European airline Ryan Air, and flew to Dublin. Took a bus up to Derry, and spent the weekend with my friend and her little family.

I would post pictures, but the computer place still has the disk (and the computer) with our hard drive information on it.

While I was there I saw how the curbs of the sidewalks were painted different colors so that you would know what part of town you were in, Protestant or Catholic. They had flags flying also so that you would know for sure where you were. We walked the old wall of the city of Derry. It was so cool. From there we could see Bogside, where Bloody Sunday occurred, and the sign that says "You are entering Free Derry". It was so fascinating to hear stories.

While I was in Germany, I was at our little shoppette that has a small book area. I found this book by Morgan Llewelyn called 1916. I picked it up, and read it and then bought the other two, 1921 and 1949. I LOVED them. They are historical fiction, and I love me some good historical fiction. This author has done her homework. They are so well written. There are of course some love scenes. I try to skip those and read the meat of the story.

I found a Half Price Bookstore here. Of course I go all the time. Unfortunately I have about 8 books in my room waiting for me to read as a result. But I didn't pay full price for them!!! Anyway, while I was there, I saw a book that had as its title 1972. I bought it, and I finished reading it last night. January 30, 1972 was when Bloody Sunday (the one sung by U2) occurred. It goes through the 20 or so years before this happened, and also what is going on throughout the world. I couldn't put it down. I am fascinated by the history and of what is still going on to this day in the North of Ireland. I have a whole different opinion of the IRA and the other groups in Ireland that are fighting for the Six Counties in the North.

I highly recommend these books. There is one more coming out in February of 2008. You can be sure that I will be reading that one too.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I figured it out

Last night I was turning lights off and getting ready for bed, when I saw another cockroach!!!!!!!!
I looked around for my shoes, which happened to be fairly heavy and would do the job well, when I saw it go for the front door, and go out through a small space underneath. So that is how they were getting in!!!!! Now I either have to call maintenance and tell them the problem, or figure out how to block it so that they stay out. Maybe it was those bug noise things that pushed this one out. Since I've gotten them, every time we find a cockroach it is in the same area, right by the front door. I'm pretty sure because of the angle of the rooms and where I had to plug in the bug things, that is the only place they could handle. At any rate, those bug repeller things are never leaving our house!! They will follow us everywhere we go.

Friday, September 7, 2007

So sad

Well, it is official. Our computer is dead. They had it from August 15th, and everything they tried didn't work. As a result, we will only be using Matt's laptop. Which means that I will be without Internet and computer ALL DAY until he gets home. How will I survive?? I already stay up way too late reading blogs or watching Law and Order.....

The positive of this is that it will end at some point. Once we are out of the schooling part, he will not need the computer at the hospital, and it will be mine!!!!! But that will happen sometime in January.

I will be leaving in a few days and where I'm going I may or may not have access to a computer. I will post if/when I can, but don't hold your breath or anything. I may be so busy I won't have time for it!! Hopefully I will have some great pictures to share when I get back.

I have a question for all of you out there. How do you deal with your in laws??? I was talking about this today with a friend, and we have essentially the same problem, and it involves our husbands too. There is a very very small chance that we might move to Vegas instead of Fort Bragg. (very very very small). Which would only be four hours from home. Matt has a sister that lives in San Diego. Only about an hour and a half or so from where his mom lives. She hardly ever goes to see her daughter and grand kids. Maybe once a year. Matt's sister is always driving up to see her mom. Matt's dad only came to see us here because he came on business. I think I could count on both my hands the amount of times both of them called us while we were in Germany. I think they have called two times since we've been here. My thought is, it doesn't really matter where we live when it comes to them. They won't make the effort to come no matter where we live. That is just not how they function. But I can tell you that my best friend and I would be back and forth, trading off every other month going to visit. I know my parents would come out fairly often. Maybe its just how we were raised, or maybe its how we feel about our families that gives us the lack of or the motivation to make the effort. It is not my job to make him have a good relationship with his parents. He is a big boy, and it is not in my job description. I refuse to buy his parents mothers or fathers day cards. Birthday cards too. So, obviously they don't get them, and I even have to remind him to call. But from the other end, Matt's aunt died, and we would never have known if Matt hadn't called his dad about something else.

I just struggle with them. But I have realized that they are both so wrapped up in themselves and their own problems, that they either aren't able to, or choose not to make the extra effort. (i don't see it as extra effort. To me it is just something that you do and is totally normal) All I know is that I will be teaching my kids that it is important to make the effort. It is important to drive the two hours or whatever to see someone play in their soccer game, graduate from high school, or just to spend time with them. It is important to make those phone calls.

Anyone have any suggestions or have any experiences they want to share? I'm working on how to deal with this, because this isn't something that will just go away. And I don't want to resent them or avoid visiting them because I don't want to deprive my kids of grandparents, no matter how irritating they are.....

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


So, this day was one crazy day. I started out getting ready to take Andrew to a neurosurgeon. I had been waiting for this appointment for at least 3 months. I got a call that the doctor had to do an emergency surgery and that I would have to reschedule. AHHH!!!!!! (I have an appointment for when I get back from my trip)

Then the bishop called and said we needed to find some people to help this lady move a few things into her second story apartment. And that her husband was at basic or AIT, and that her two year old son was in a body cast because he had broken his femur. At least I think that that was what was broken. So, spent some time tracking down some muscles to help her out.

Then Matt called and we now know where we're going!!!!! Hooray!! We are going to Fort Bragg in North Carolina. I have a very good friend there, and I am so excited because now we'll be close and we can go and play and have our kids play.....and it will almost be like it was when we were in Germany and she lived above me. So, I've spent a significant part of my day on the phone between church stuff and calling family. I did take the kids over to a friends house. It was the friend that said she would watch Lucy for me while I took Andrew to his appointment. So, even though it has been raining on and off all day, they got to run and play with friends.

Now, we're going to be on the opposite side of the country of our family. They barely call us now. His dad only came to see us because he had to fly out for his work. His mom won't come out because she is way too wrapped up in herself. (she is going through her fourth divorce.....that is a whole other post) His dad has two little girls, 6 and 4, and is obviously busy with that. I guess what I'm trying to say is that no matter where we are, unless we're in Southern California, they won't be visiting. They hardly even call. It is so sad to me. And hard to understand. In contrast, my parents call me fairly frequently, and so do my other siblings. I talk to my grandma at least once a month, and I would call just as frequently when I was in Germany. Just raised differently, but I think there is an argument that communicating is always better than not communicating.....

Funny thing is that I've spent so much time on the phone today, between church and family stuff that my ear actually hurts. It really does. I need to make more phone calls, but my poor ear needs a rest. The price I pay for communicating......

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The End

The end of my life in Germany came last October. I was dreading and dreading that day. I wanted to live there forever. OK, maybe not living above neighbors that would wake us up at 2am with way too loud music or that would leave a cup of beer sitting on the inside part of our mailboxes. But what our life was there...

We lived in Heidelberg, a beautiful, old city. We were about an hour or so from the border to France on our west. Two hours or so south, we would be in Switzerland. Go southeast, and you would be in Austria. Go eight hours straight east and you would be in Poland.

Matt's job was a fairly easy job for him. He sang and danced for the army. He was in the USAEUR Band and Chorus. He would go all over Germany and a few other places performing. We got paid a ton of money, or at least it seemed like it to me, because he would be gone at least once a month for more than 12 hours, and we got paid extra for him being gone. Also known as TDY money. We also got extra to alleviate the exchange rate as the Euro was worth $1.20 or so. My friends and neighbors became my family. I had several women around that were always up for a trip somewhere, be it Poland to buy pottery, France to buy pottery or for me go to the grocery store and spend 100 euros on french candy and food, or just to go downtown and get some amazing German gummies.

What I also loved was the fact that we were so far away from our families, that we weren't involved in a lot of drama and problems. It was great!! I actually prefer to live far away from my parents. And from my husbands parents. The only problem is that when they do come, its for two or more weeks straight...

My daughter was also born there, both my kids had their first birthdays there, and just a lot of good times with the kids and their friends.

I love living in Europe. I don't speak German. I can say a few words, but that's it. I wish I would have been able to take a class or two. If we go again, you can be sure I will be taking classes.

The end of that time of our lives was very painful to me. I didn't want our lives there to end. And I keep hoping that when Matt is done with school that we get sent back. Some might say that you deploy more when you are in Germany. Well, Matt is going to be a Physicians Assistant. He'll be deployed no matter where we go, and I would rather be in Germany if I have to be on my own.

I have had a hard time accepting that end in my life, which is making it hard for me to learn to like the life that I have here in Texas. It is getting better, but I will be so glad when we move at the end of the year!!!!!

For more on The End, please go to Sunday Scribblings.