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It’s gone.  Every hair tie, ballet shoe, baseball, and race car is boxed and shipped.  It is a bit sad to see the house that was so full of life, now so empty.  On the other hand, when I think about the new adventures that lie ahead it feels more exciting than sad.  It is the start of a new chapter.  The craziness that we are feeling now, will surely give way to a stronger more confident family unit. 

It was not until everything was out of the house that I really noticed how dirty everything looked.  How embarrassing.  Why doesn’t anyone tell me these things?

Although I am still a bit fearful about the cold, I am ready to embrace the challenges of a new environment.  I expect that sware words will surely fly when my tired and cold butt has to rescue a vomiting baby, strike that, rescue a big kid, in the middle of the night during a snow storm.   I am lucky however.  There has only been one incident of vomiting that I can remember, when Andy has not been by my side helping to clean up kids and puke or in the bedroom changing sheets.  My mom was with me on that occasion.  It was a good thing she was able to come over.  I was sick first.  Within an hour Maya was throwing up too.  Man, I have good throw-up stories.  Like the time we just dropped in on Papa after Maya threw up black olives and pasta sauce all over herself and the car.  We were down the street and she wasn’t showing any signs of stopping.  Papa’s was the closest house.  Lucky for me he was home. We got her all cleaned up and got back on the road.  If you ask Maya, she will probably only remember that Papa gave her 7-up to make her tummy feel better!   Grandma’s and Grandpa’s always seem to have what is needed.

When I think about stories like those I realize how wonderful it is  to have family nearby.  I didn’t hesitate in either situation or stop to wonder how it was going to work out.  I knew that we had back-up.  Not having family  nearby, I’m sure will be a bigger challenge than the weather.  Maya and Ethan have grown so accustomed to seeing everyone, that they do not know what it is like to not have big family holidays and not have their cousins so close at hand.  What will Ethan do without Chase?  We have purchased enough warm jackets to fill every closet in the house, but we cannot figure out how to outfit ourselves with family that can be nearby in Minnesota.

As moving becomes reality we want everyone to know how much they will be missed!