Many, many changes are taking place around here these days. We're packing up the house currently....Well, I am. Nate's busy with work, either in his office or at job sites (of which he has a couple going right now). Hazel is doing pretty well helping me pack, taking stuff only out of certain boxes. I'm struggling to find my brain in all the chaos, though. I'm packing for three things: moving in with Nate's family for 6-8 months, moving into our new place following that (Gresham/Boring/Sandy area - you know what I mean), and then long-term (the stuff that won't be able to fit into the rental).

We've been given the opportunity to snap up an apartment being built by Nate's Uncle Richard. We jumped on it.

We were out visiting Joe's Donuts in Sandy several weeks ago when Nate suggested we drive by Richard's property to see the house and shop he's currently building. On the way, Nate told me about the two apartments Richard is building on either side of his enormous shop. One apartment is 800 square feet, the other is 1,000. Richard has had renters for the 800-square-foot apartment since the beginning, but the other one was available when Nate walked through it some time ago.

Nate told me that he had asked Richard to consider us as renters.

I balked.

What incredible timing! (Sense the sarcasm.) I'd just been thanking God for our house, how it has worked so well for us and fit us so snuggly. We have some really wonderful memories here. On the heel of thanking God for providing for us in such a huge way, here comes word from Nate that we really should consider moving.

I knew he was right almost immediately. As wonderful as this house has been, we've been having to count the cost of living here lately. There's rent and then wood or oil to heat the house, electricity to run the furnaces (and everything else in this heat-leaking place), trash, water, etc. All the standard utilities, really.

Nate went on to tell me how much the rent would be for the apartment....I'll just tell you that it's pretty sweet. And then he gave me the even better news that that rental price covered utilities also, as well as Internet and cable. Just trust me when I tell you that moving from our house to the apartment will save us between $1,500 and $1,800 a month in living expenses, easily. That includes the fact that we'll have to pay for a storage unit while we live there.

So now I'm packing. We've given word to our landlord that we'll be moving out and we agreed to vacate by the 14th of November. I've been getting some help with the packing from my best friend's mom and sisters, so that's been so wonderful! Laura (Leslie's mom) is keeping me focused and on track.

The organization is what's kicking my butt. I'd say I'm fairly organized, with a few junk drawers here and there, but I'm having to be ultra creative in how I'm packing right now. My long-term pile of boxes is currently pretty small, although it will eventually be bulked up by some furniture when we start really shuffling things around. We're going to have a moving sale not this weekend but the next (I think....It'll be joint with Nate's parents).

So we've been really taken care of on several fronts:
1. We have a place to go until the apartment is done being built. We'll live in the great room in the basement of Nate's parents' house. It'll be tight, but I'm feeling encouraged about it actually. Any suggestions, though, on how to get your kids to sleep comfortably and deeply in one room together, a room that is also serving as kitchenette and office?
2. I have help packing!!!
3. Starbucks just hired me back. I'll be working Wednesday mornings, Friday afternoons, Saturdays, and Sundays. As tough as it's going to be to head back to work, I'm so grateful that I can do this small thing to contribute to our household income.
4. Because the apartment on Richard's property isn't completed yet, we are able to make layout and design suggestions, which has been super fun so far. And that's just a bonus to all the gifts that God has lavished on us lately.

We are truly blessed!

Piper learned to suck her thumb. I feel very mixed about this. She'll use a pacifier if I give her one, but she's super thrilled about her thumb. I can't take that away in five years (if she's still sucking it then). She sure is cute while she's at it, though.

I snapped this picture on my phone the other morning. Nate came into the kitchen to say good morning to Hazel and the first thing she did is thrust "Green Eggs and Ham" at him and say, "Read to me! Read to Hazel!" So he took a seat on her stool and she climbed into Piper's carseat.

Okay, so just as a final assurance, things are good. They're better than good, in fact. We're excited for these changes, we're excited at how much money we'll save in our monthly budget, we're feeling very taken care of. We've been gifted with some incredible opportunities! The drawback is that I'm sprinting in circles. I might yell at you if you call me at an inopportune time. Just giving you fair warning. Amen.


POST 300 (aka "The Beach!")

The last time Hazel was at the Oregon Coast was, well, a LONG time ago. She joined Nate and I on one of our trips to Rockaway and she was 5 months at the time. That's too long. I've missed the coast, so I asked Mom if she'd want to go with me and the girls to visit again. This was the first trip where Hazel has been old enough to interact with her environment, and this was a plain old first for Piper.

I love all of these pictures. I'm just going to throw them at you. Take your time. I know, my girls are pretty.

I really did take some pictures of the, ahem, recently painted house (I can't say newly painted anymore because I'm just plain behind in posting the pictures). They're still on the camera, which is still attached to Nate's hip. I'll swipe them soon and post the photos. The house looks good. The deck looks amazing! Our weather is definitely Fallish these days, so I've been lighting fires in the family room fire place to keep us warm and motivated at the start of each morning. It's been cozy, especially when i trek outside for more wood and it smells like campfire around my house. I love it...

We have some big changes going on in the very near future, so I'll post about that pretty soon.


October 15th

Each year we attend the Remembrance Ceremony for lost babies at Portland Adventist Medical Center. I so totally didn't want to attend last night! I cried and dug in my heels. That's a funny story, though, because as I was crying and refusing to attend the ceremony, I was driving the car toward the hospital. Nate got back late from work so we met up at his parents' house where I dropped the girls off and he changed out of his work clothes. I heated up his dinner and we got in the Volvo to make the 10 minute drive up the freeway to the hospital. He ate and I drove.

He was more than willing to do with me whatever I needed to do, whether that was attend the ceremony or bail on it completely and do something different. We were still talking about whether or not to attend when we parked the car, walked into the hospital, got lost finding the ceremony, and then stumbled upon it in an open lobby.

Nate wanted to make sure I wouldn't regret not going. I was so conflicted but we attended anyway...And I'm so glad we did.

The hardest thing about the ceremony is always connecting with other parents who've lost babies but who don't have any hope of seeing their kiddo again. That leaves me so sad and heartbroken. The hope I have of seeing Nathaniel again someday is what makes the loss of him so much easier to get through. I know right where he is and I know that someday it'll be time for me meet him, in full and perfect health.

The best thing about the Remembrance Ceremony is hearing Nathaniel's name. I love that other people remember him. Lorrie called out his name at the ceremony last night and it warmed me from the middle outward. I honestly think that she is as excited to meet him someday as I am! (She was our day nurse and grief nurse during our stay at the hospital when Nathaniel died and was delivered.)

Going to the ceremony definitely makes me want to hug my girls closer. I'm glad that we attended last night. I always think that the next year will "be better," emotionally speaking, but it continues to be tough. Ah well, maybe next year will be better...

To sign off, here's a picture of my littlest one (or two pictures - couldn't resist).