July 13, 2016

Reflecting


Even though it seems like we were planning and preparing for this move forever, it still took me by surprise.

Weren’t we just shoe-horned into our tiny apartment? With a place for everything, and everything in its place? Wasn’t I just snapping photos of my boys on our bed, in front of that window? Hadn’t we just rearranged our furniture for the zillionth time, trying to carve out a tiny bit more space?

We were striving with every bit of our being to follow our dreams and purchase a home. There’s been blood. Sweat. Tears. Surprise. Fear. Frustration. Angst. And ultimately – relief. Peace. Amazement. Gratitude.

And still, the disbelief persists.

We had 11 people come to help us move. The majority were friends from work, which speaks so highly about so many things. Two flew in – one from Austin, TX and one from Chicago, IL. Isn’t that fantastic and crazy and marvelous and humbling? It reminds me of those barn raisings from the 19th century. Families and friends and communities would come together to help raise or rebuild a barn – knowing full well that many hands make light work. It was incredible.

The move itself was done rather quickly. We began at about 8:30 AM, and everything was done – all of it – by 2:45 PM. All of our belongings from the apartment and the storage room were in our new house.

After nearly 1,000 days in our tiny apartment, it’s hard to believe it’s done – just like that. I know Alan doesn’t fully understand the why – but I need space and room to process this incredible change. Yes, this apartment was always supposed to be temporary. Yes, it’s been frustrating and annoying and cramped and low-quality. But we’ve also grown into our familyhood here.

Alan chose this apartment for us while we were still packing up in Phoenix. This was our landing spot – the place where we started anew as a Colorado family, not an Arizona family. James ate his first food here. Took his first steps. Alan started his new job here. We’ve decked the mantle and halls for holidays. We’ve trekked back and forth across the apartment about a million times to tend to littles. We dreamed here. I labored here. We brought Thomas home here. We’ve learned about ourselves here, and while I’m so excited about our new start… I also need to honor this apartment for everything it’s meant to me – to us. It’s a million tiny moments, sewn together to create a life. In the very best way, this tiny apartment was home for us.

I can’t wait to see what adventures and memories we have in our new house. But…

Thank you, apartment – for everything you gave us, and for all the memories. Hope your next family lives and loves as much as we did.

Nothing left

Today is a day when I have nothing left.

I’m still here, so there’s got to be something – some shreds of me, fluttering reluctantly in the breeze. I don’t exactly know how to go on – how to make it to the next step.

We’ve all heard that moving is one of the most stressful things you can do. It’s true. It’s a great thing, and wonderful, and I’m so thankful… but I’m so exhausted. I don’t know where any of my stuff is. I don’t know where a bobby pin is – that was the straw that broke me this morning. So stupid.

Yesterday, I struggled to make it through the day. I was so exhausted, my eyes were dry and prone to closing without my permission. After weeks of not really sleeping, and then packing and moving and finally being here – in our own house – I knew that I needed to tap out.

I went to bed “early” at 8:30PM after finally getting Thomas down. I left James up with his dad to do whatever they wanted to do and figure out bedtime. I got about 3 hours of sleep before the night started – Thomas up 4-5 times through the night to either eat or droop exhaustedly over my shoulder or melt onto my chest. James up 3-4 times with nightmares, finally I pulled him into my place in our bed and went to sleep in the same room as Thomas. 

After “waking up” and scrambling to get bottles filled, boys changed into clean clothes and diapers and undies – I’m sitting at work, the lowest-ebb version of myself. Not showered (no time). No makeup (can’t find it). Haven’t eaten (no food yet in the house). Worn out and feeling like a terrible spouse, terrible mother, terrible employee, and terrible to myself.

I thought I was at my lowest point yesterday, but now with even less sleep and nothing to show for going to bed early… there’s even more “to do” with even less of me.

Of course I’ll “make it through”. But that’s not what I need to hear. I just need to get this out, so I can try to figure out how to survive the 10 hour shift in front of me, followed by an evening/bedtime routine, and then possibly another terrible night of sleep. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. And somewhere in there, trying to unpack. Find a place for our things. Slowly turn this house into our home. And find it within myself to take care of myself. And then take care of my guys. 

All of that is simply too much to be confronted with right now. My heart is trembling. I feel raw – exposed – like my insides are on display. There’s no armor left. I want to curl up inside something safe, but I don’t know if that’s an option. 

I’ll just have to go on, taking one small step at a time. And hope that’s enough.
 
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