The weeks after we moved into our new home were blissfully happy. I absolutely loved my new home and the space that we had. I loved being so close to Rick's work and saw him at least 3 times a week during his lunch hour. It was one of those times in life when you know you just have to relish in it because it is just a bit too good to be true. I'm glad I did relish those few weeks because my perfect life started to fall to pieces. Rick found out that he would be losing his job in a few weeks. The stress was more than I could handle. I regretted our move and wished I was still in a small home with a smaller mortgage. I was feeling sad that I was a in a new ward with no friends and missed feeling at home in my ward. And on top of it we all got the flue. Rick, myself, Connor and Abbie all had fevers and everything that came with it, for days. The house was messy. I'm not sure what we ate but I do remember hours of tv and the little kids running circles around the rest of it. Although the fever was gone in less then a week, it took a full month to recover. Connor's fever lasted for almost two weeks and ended in pneumonia. It was an awful time with some very dark nights. I allowed fear to take over but continued to plead with the Lord to help me have faith. His answers came through music, a patient husband, good friends, a sister who let me complain about every detail, and when I allowed it, His Spirit. I learned much about myself, both good and bad, and was once again reminded that the Lord loves me and is very aware of me.
Since then, it has been the immense good in my life that has helped far outweigh the bad. Rick was blessed with a temporary job and we continue to pray that things will work out when that job is done. When I hear my children pray for it I am comforted by their faith. I miss seeing him often but love our weekly trips to downtown Portland.
We are all healed and appreciating that health. I savor my runs with running group, my bike rides near my house that make me feel I am in Europe, and learning to swim better. I can swim a mile and get faster each time. I hope to do a triathlon this summer!
The kids are also keeping me engaged in all of their wonderful things. We were able to use our days and days of missed school to work on Science Projects. They all did a fabulous job!
Connor finished his season of basketball and is now busy with baseball.
Abbie participated in the regional Battle of the Books for the second year in a row.
Stephanie opened up her home to me and let me recover completely. We spent our spring break with her in Idaho searching for the missing sun. We don't see much of it here in Oregon.
We also spent our time eating. Lots of yummy food and lots of yummy chocolate. Visiting Uncle John's chocolate store was a highlight! My kids were so spoiled.
And Grant was thrilled to be in a pool. He didn't stop moving once and loved including Hazel in his fun.
Abbie did an awesome job in the 5th grade play about pirates.
And this little one makes it impossible to be sad. Even though he is more work then any of my other children were, he brings me countless hours of joy. He makes me laugh many times every day and I absolutely love hearing him say new words. This week he mastered shoe, doggy, bye-bye and many more. He is a delight.
He will go from this...
to this in a matter of moments if things don't go just right. We are well aware that he rules this house and we let him do it.
Easter was wonderful. It's always fun to dye the Easter eggs. However, I think I spent the majority of the time hovering around everyone making sure nothing spilled.
The kids discovered some candy on the stairs and were excited to see what more the Easter Bunny brought.
We also kept with a long tradition to get together with some good friends for Easter dinner and a hunt for the kids. Here they are anxiously listening to instructions about finding the Golden Egg with money inside it!
I spent many happy hours in the kitchen preparing my portion of Easter dinner. I really love to bake!
We were blessed with a beautiful, sunny day and our neighbors invited the kids to help them plant trees in the green space behind our house. It was magical to watch them prepare the soil and name their trees. I felt so blessed, as I often do, to live in such a beautiful place.
Watching the kids love each other brings me the greatest joy of all. Abbie was babysitting for us while we went to an open house at her school. We came home to the girls all dressed up.
And we are looking forward to watching Emily star in the play Sound of Music. She is thrilled to play the part of Gretl and will do a fabulous job.
And today we are celebrating Holly's birthday (more pictures to come). We woke her up singing Happy Birthday from all of us. And yes, she got to wear her princess dress to bed.
Lessons learned: There is so much goodness in life. There is also a lot of sadness. And that's ok. It's ok to be sad, and scared, and mad, and whatever else you need to be. Because the happy times will come back and you'll savor it all just a bit more.