Well, Hello!

I officially rename the blog “But I swear I’m Still Here”

I’ll do my best to pick up where the last blog left off, and tell my story short hand with a lot of pictures.  One day, I woke up and my morning was like any other:


And then I got this fortune with my cookie and Chinese take-out:


…And the next day, this showed up at my front door:


And created a disappearing act in my family room (17 hours later, but let’s not get technical….):


In the process, we were quickly limited to living out of the pile that I had set aside for our cars (Yep. Plural.):


And my moving buddy and I set up post next to the heater vent at the front window to watch the progress (i.e. watching the day laborers chain smoke in their car.  But again, let’s not get technical):IMG_0078One of the world’s longest day’s later, and we were living out of suitcases in a hotel room.  I had sent Angel to the hotel with Lucas, and then fed and changed Joshua into pajamas and put him to sleep in his car seat in the only empty room of the house at 9pm (I kept him with me in case he needed to eat again since my adorable husband lacks the hardware to accommodate that need).  Come 2:20am (I wish I was kidding), Joshua and I left the house to go to the hotel to bed.  We missed the family North American record by only 10 minutes, however the record holders don’t have a truck breakdown at midnight.  Technically, technically, that truck didn’t leave my house until 19 hours later, and didn’t leave town until nearly 48 hours later, after what I was told included 4 more breakdowns: one of which was on the shoulder of I-94.  But I digress.  We’re in a hotel at this point, still in Michigan:


I took a picture of the only member of the family who wasn’t bothered by all that was going on at this point.  Also: it started snowing.  And not just snowing but snowing.  At least in my mind, I started to wonder if we were even going to be able to leave town the next morning because the roads were getting so bad.  At this point, the truck wouldn’t start in front of what was our driveway so the stress level was rising.

Alass, we left town the next morning a few hours late, after a Starbucks run (which I totally earned).  We left Starbucks and the gas station in our respective cars with our respective children.  Angel calls me to make sure that we are ready to go (we’re in the car following him) and I’ll never forget that we are getting on I-94 west and say to each other “let’s do it!” and there starts our 4 day journey across country.  In my car, I had the smallest Rivas and a copilot:


Who at this point was probably thinking “Seriously?  Again?”  Molly is a trooper.  She’s been through so much with me these last 8 years.

A quick stop for lunch (In Spiderman pajamas that he didn’t want to change out of and we didn’t see the need to fight):


And we crossed the Mississippi!  We were back on the right side of the country:


HOWEVER, I spent 2 loooooong days staring at this:


What is that?  Nothing.  That’s what that is.  It’s nothing.  Nothing at all.  It’s flat, farmlands, and nothing.

So I figured “What the hell?  There’s a second person in this car and I’m pretty sure that he’s taking more than his share of the naps”


I kid.  This was at a truck stop when he was hungry and there was no where to feed him but the driver’s seat of my car or the bathroom of a truck stop.  Yeah, it was a hard one for me to pick, too.

10 hours, one night in Omaha, and another 10 hours later, we were in Colorado!  We stayed put for nearly a week to let my parents spoil the boys with Christmas.  Because yes, this all happened during the holidays.  We skiied, and my mom was awesome and took both of the boys every single day for us.  This was the first babysitter that Joshua has had.  Ever.  He’s 5 months old at this point.  This is also why we decided to move back west, because it’s nearly impossible to raise kids when you don’t have a single family member in the same time zone, a joining time zone, or a one day drive.


So on Christmas Eve, Santa brought the boys matching pajamas that he probably purchased in early October when he started planning.  Why didn’t I get a picture?  Oh, that’s because the stress of all that I’m telling you right now hit me.  Like a MAC truck.  On Christmas Eve.  So the boys put on their new pajamas and Nana read them their new book, while I laid at the end of the bed wondering how many pages were left:


Because as soon as she was done, I put the boys to bed and went to the ER:


It’s Christmas with the family. Someone has to get sick.  Apparently.

But once again, Nana for the save:

A picture of the boys in their matching pajamas that Santa spent months on… While Mama laid out on the couch like a dead woman.

But then Christmas afternoon, word came down via smartphone that a storm was brewing (of epic proportions) in New Mexico.  So we packed up quickly, left the mountains, and headed back down to my parent’s house to pack up and leave the next morning.


We made it all the way to Albuquerque, in what is the worst drive through New Mexico that I have ever done (and I’ve done that drive so many times).  We were trying to make it just west of the city, but when Joshua woke up to eat just as the sun was setting, we pulled over at a truck stop and I started sliding all over the place! I panicked.  As I was feeding Joshua the sun went down and now it was icy, dark, and snowing.  I told Angel we were done for the day.  Hopefully we made it far enough that the morning wouldn’t be terrible with the storm rolling in, but i was done.  Done.

Oh, look!  Another hotel:


At least they still like each other.  Because at this point, with the weather conditions, the rest of us had very short tempers with each other.

The next morning started soooo soooo badly on the roads, but cleared up pretty quickly and soon I saw this:




Oh, look!  No snow!

We made it to the city, and when I saw the “Chandler City Limits” sign I burst into tears.  We’re home.  3 years and it’s over.  We’re home again.  We’re finally home.

Lucas didn’t skip a beat:


We painted his bedroom the next day and the following morning the clouds parted, the sun came out, and the tides turned.  Our moving truck arrived:


Hello, my friend.

Oh wait.  Not so fast.  I’m just trying to brush my teeth here:


The next week or so has looked like this, and that’s pretty much where we are at now.  Lucas now says “It’s in a box somewhere” when he asks for something, and he’s not far from the truth.  I’ve just started hanging things on the wall, which is the first sign that the tide is turning and we are finding the end of this process.

The boys, however, didn’t skip a beat:

So that’s life as we know it.  We’ve made it to Arizona and at this point we are still using moving boxes as trash cans, end tables, shelves, and (as far as Lucas is concerned) chairs.  I feel like I was making good progress at first and now it’s dwindled.  I’ve not only hit the wall: I’ve slammed into it.  So I sit here typing this for hours and pretending like I don’t remember about the moving boxes stacked inside the bathtub of my master bedroom.

Cheers to 2016!

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