Suitcases, Santa & More

Oh. My. Goodness. The last 2 weeks feels like an eternity! E.T.E.R.N.I.T.Y. And just think....we only have about 3 1/2 weeks of living out of suitcases to go! We are so blessed to be able to spend this time visiting friends and family and i don't want to forget that. But DANG! I am so ready to find our next house and make it a home. To settle down and put this away for a while....

I'm going to do my best to sum up everything that has happened over the last couple of weeks but forgive me if this post ends up a lil long!

Last Monday we checked into the hotel that would be home for our last week in Oak Harbor. The "room" was amazing! It was a 2 bedroom suite and was so spacious....which was such a blessing! With the stress and emotion of the move we really enjoyed having room to spread out and relax and unwind each night. The boys had their own bedroom so John and I could still have our time in the evenings and we were able to keep the routine pretty much the same! Another huge blessing in the room.....a laundry room! We were able to do all of our laundry before hitting the road which was so nice!! And the tub in the master bath...check this thing out....need i say more??

Things with the movers went really well! They had everything packed and loaded in 2 days which gave us plenty of time to clean and run last minute errands w/o rushing! We had more offers from friends to help out than we could even use and we are so very grateful to all of them. Last Thursday we turned in the keys to the house. The home that so many memories were made in. The home where our boys grew and learned so much. Where I grew to be the woman, wife, and mother that i am today. Colby went to school for the last time in the school where he attended his first day of kindergarten. It was very hard. Very emotional for me. It seemed all day long there was a continuous stream of memories going thru my mind. Good, bad and everything in between. Then we went and picked Colby up from school and got to stand outside the classroom for the last few minutes of the school day and hear all of his friends saying goodbye. We helped him pack all of his things into his backpack and we walked out while listening to Colby talk of all the special things his teacher and class did for him that day. The one that really touched me the most was that his teacher made time in the day for his classmates to write letters to Colby. Each of them was so special and i know this meant so much to Colby. That evening we had dinner with our closest friends which was such a blessing. It was so hard to say goodbye but such a blessing to have that one last evening with all of them.

Then last Friday we hit the road! Said goodbye to Whidbey Island, WA and all it has meant to us and we said a teary eyed hello to what God has in store for us. The drive was fairly uneventful. We learned that Brayden is not as great a road tripper as Colby but with a little patience and distraction we were able to keep him pretty entertained most of the way. We oohed and aahed at the wonder of God's creation as we made our way south through Washington, Oregon, and California! We got to stay in southern California and have dinner with some wonderful friends who moved a few months ago which was alot of fun! The kids exchanged Christmas gifts and we enjoyed catching up! Finally on Tuesday we crossed the Texas state line!! And the most ironic part of the trip by far is that we drove through several mountain passes in the northern part of our trip and didn't see ANY snow! We drove into Texas and hit a pretty good snow storm. In West Texas. SERIOUSLY?!? We couldn't help but laugh at the irony! And late that night we made it to John's parents house. Exhausted and ready to be out of the car but thankful that we made it safely!

We haven't been back home to visit since we moved to Washington so it is fun to be back and to see what has changed and what hasn't! The boys are thoroughly enjoying being spoiled by Grandma and Papa Culka(as they call them) and Uncle Eric! Poor Uncle Eric lost all rights to privacy or relaxation and gained two little admirer's and tag alongs! The boys just can't get enough of their Eric!

Wednesday night we decided to go to dinner and then come home and open gifts! The boys were sooooo excited and even more so when they came home and found this.....

That's right! A note from Santa's elf Jingles explaining that Grandma and Papa 'Culka had written and asked if Santa could come a little early to their house! The guy in the big red suit couldn't make it as he was busy building toys but he happily sent his best elf Jingles with a little something special!! And what might that little something special be you ask?? It's a......

And oh yes...there has been a lot of wii playing going on!! We LOVE it! Best money spent in a long time!! I can see many family nights spent playing the wii together! Santa also sent a wii fit for Mommy and Daddy which i am really excited about! All of it is great.....i have nothing bad to say about the system so far!

Tomorrow, John's mom is throwing a huge party and has invited all of the extended family and John's friends! We are expecting about 75 people!! There will be a bouncy house for the kiddos to play in, lots of food, and lots of catching up! It should be a good time...we are looking forward to it! I'll do my best to snap a few pictures and post them in the next few days!!

And thats about it for now! It was tough to try to remember and write all that the last two weeks has held! Thank you all for your sweet comments and patience while my posting has been so unpredictable!!


Quick Update

We made it!! Over 2500 miles and 4 days in a car together and we actually still pretty much like each other!! We made it to John's parents house in small town Texas late last night and have spent today just relaxing! We are going to dinner tonight and opening presents when we get home. I have lots of pictures to share and i have a usb cable to use now, so i'm hoping to find time in the next couple of days to share pictures and write more! Hugs!


My Heart Hurts

Words fail me. My heart is broken. Into a million pieces. There are sisters that are by birth and then there are sisters that God blesses you with along the journey of life. I said goodbye to two of those sisters tonight....two amazing women that God brought into my life a few years ago. We have been through one of the most unthinkable, heart breaking and gut wrenching tragedies together. We have experienced the high of absolute joy and happiness together. We've cried. We've laughed. We've loved each other's children and watched them grow. And we've done it all together. And while my head knows that this isn't goodbye forever, only for now.....my heart isn't there yet. The goodbye hurts. So bad.

Sarah and Crystal~ Thank you. I am so very grateful for the last 3 years. For the memories, the heartache, the laughter, the tears, the joy. For the beginning of a lifetime of friendship. The two of you are a such a blessing to me and to my family. I am a better wife, mother and woman because of my friendship with you. I love you and will miss you more than you know. New York City or Bust ladies.......2010!!!!!

For all of my wonderful bloggy friends.......my amazing friend Sarah has started a blog and you have to head over and show her some bloggy love!! I still don't know how to do that whole click here and it will link to something else trick (if anyone wants to help a sista out let me know!) but you can find her at Every Which Way but Home on my blog list to the right!! Shower her with a great big welcome to the blogosphere!! Hope everyone is having a fantastic week and i will be back soon with updates!! Atleast written updates...i kinda accidentally let the movers pack my usb cable so pictures will have to wait until i can get a new one. I miss keeping up w/ everyone and hope to be back in the saddle again soon!