This is a moment that I have longed for, for quite some time.
Do you want to know what moment I'm talking about?
I'm talking about the moment of being settled in.
Almost every box is unpacked.
I have a favorite spot, with my favorite reading materials close by, I even got some sewing done last week, and it all feels so very good.
There is something very unsettling to me about the moving experience.
I am a creature who loves to set up camp and stay in that camp a very long, long time.
The camp fire embers can be nothing but smoke and I would still linger there.
My Giant moves things.
He's a mover and a shaker.
I'm a camper.
Together we make a great team, because really who wants camp fire smoke all up in your eyes and all over your clothes?
There is a time when moving makes sense and it is necessary, and good, and even something that I want, but still it shakes me to the core.
Does that make sense?
Are there any other campers out there??
All that to say,
It has taken quite a lot out of me these past few months, actually really this whole year, and I'm just now feeling that settled moment, and I'm glad I get to share it with you.
I want to share something else with you.
This past weekend was my 20 year High School Reunion.
Yep, I'm OLD!!
I wasn't able to go because we had a family wedding to go to, but I have been having moments of nostalgia all weekend.
It was so wonderful to be with my Giant and his clan this past weekend. I got to hear him and his cousins reminisce about their youth and we laughed so hard, but there were also "THANK GOD" moments where they each realized how far they had come, and what they have been delivered from.
It's a very pivotal time, ones youth, don't you agree?
Thinking about my youth makes me happy, because I had a really good Jr. High and High School experience. I thankfully, don't have many regrets from that time in life, and so I look back on it with a tender memory in mind. It's also the reason why I would have enjoyed going to my reunion, I think?
But, it also kind of really trips me out at the same time because I can hardly believe that I have children who are 15, 13, 11, and almost 9.
Like, really... When did that happen?
I am the mother of teens and tweens and this brings up all kinds of emotions.
We are having a lot of firsts in the Monosco camp.
First time your oldest drives off in a car with friends who are boys.
First time your 11 year old boy goes off to camp where there wont' be someone there to remind him to wear deodorant or behave.
First time there might be a serious boy, girl relationship looming.
First time for crushes, and permits, and dances...
Ya know ... stuff that you deal with when your kids are no longer kids but young adults, being shaped and molded by more people than you can count.
I find myself in this weird position of sitting back, but at the very same time, actively putting holes in the carpet on my knees in prayer.
I know this makes perfect sense to those of you who have pioneered before me in these teen and tween years.
And let me just take this moment to say, please share your wisdom, share your encouragement, but keep the horror stories to a minimum please.
I said please ;)
It's a time where you have to sit back and hope and pray that all you have planted inside of them will begin to grow, and not just that, but that it will take root.
I pray for very DEEP ROOTS.
"Hang tough lil roots"
This morning is a moment I'm feeling settled but unsettled all at the same time.
Let me explain.
My older three kids are off to church camp this week.
When I don't have all my baby chics under one roof it feels strange. Those of you who have lils, as much as you long for the day that you can sit back and relax because you're not constantly in shear panic mode from that two year old that just won't sit still, just remember this;
Right now you know exactly where that two year old is.
(Or at least I hope you do)
You know where they will go to sleep tonight.
You know what they will eat.
You know who they will talk to.
You know who they will drive with,
You know that as long as they are with the momma bear they are safe.
But, when they get older something very strange happens.
You can no longer control all of this, and it's unsettling and at the same time it is very healthy, and normal, and necessary to let this process happen.
Because I mean, no one wants a Smother Motha!!
I do so solemnly swear;
I WILL NOT BE A SMOTHER MOTHA!!
Still, I honestly don't know how people without the reassuring presence of the Holy Spirit are able to get through this season in parenting.
This morning in my prayer time for my three older kids who are at camp, my Heavenly Father God gave me this reassuring scripture;
"For He has strengthened and made hard the bars of your gates, and He has blessed your children." Psalm 147:13
For this momma bear who would like nothing more than to keep those babies behind bars protected from the world outside that could hurt or harm them... this was exactly what I needed this morning. To know that the GOD of the universe has got my kiddos in the palm of His hands settles my spirit like none other.
Don't go reporting me to CPS just cause I want to put my kids behind bars just to keep them safe. I swore up there I wouldn't Smother remember?
No, I think instead of smothering this is the action I will take;
"Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance, and in everything, by prayer and petition(definite requests)with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's PEACE shall be yours." Phil 4:6-7
That's right, we made it 50 miles outside of Seattle before our first break down and you are never gonna believe this when I tell you, but Ripleys' Believe It or Not show would have had a field day with this because, we only made it another 50 miles when we had our second break down!
It was as though the Uhaul trailer we were given could only go 50 miles before it lost all its gusto!
Not at all like the lil train that said, "I think I can, I think I can!" This trailer just flat out said,
"Peace out SUCKERS, I'm donskies!!"
But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.
So there we are Monday morning in beautiful Kent WA. ahem... cough... cough...
(Sorry if you live in Kent WA and feel it is the most beautiful place on earth)
We get the phone call that our trailer would be ready to roll by 10a.m and we set out to find where the trailer might be.
Now, we learned a thing or two from the first adventure.
The first thing we learned is that it's never good to set out on a long road trip with out car chargers for those smart phones. Most generally, adequately, smart people never forget these things, but sadly the day before we had. Not this time though. Moses went and picked up a charger for our phones, and the second thing we learned is that snacks and drinks are always a must, so he got some beverages and we were on the road again.
We did make one teeny, tiny mistake and that was to skip breakfast for a later stop down the road.
I guess Kent WA wasn't looking too appealing in the breakfast department or something?
It's fair to say then that we only learned 1 and a half things from the day before.
Learn from our mistakes, EAT PEOPLE! Eat BEFORE you set out on the road.
Yea, ok moving on...
As we are traveling down the road about 20 miles in I say, "Well, at least this time we have a charger, a snickers bar, and some beverages... not that it's going to matter because we will be just fine this time."
Always the eternal optimist am I.
Did I jinx us?
Well, I don't believe in jinxing, but if I did I would say I most certainly DID jinx us because only about 30 miles more down the road we get before a car comes zooming up behind us honking and waving us down to let us know our back tires were smoking.
It was at this point I may have said,
ARE YOU CUSSING KIDDING ME?!?!
CUSS, CUSS, CUSS!!!
I'm not admitting to anything.
But there we were with another bearing on the back tire blown out, and I was like ...
REMEMBER when we were JUST at UHAUL picking up our road ready, totally safe, very competent, VERY SAFE trailer?
Did I mention the word safe?
Oh... right ... wait...
Somebody else must have been given THAT trailer.
When I was finally done cussing, (it may or may not have been about an hour later) I looked over to hear my very calm, cool, and collected husband on the phone once again with Uhaul.
They said they would have someone out to us in no less than 3 hours.
Oh.. isn't that nice ONLY 3 HOURS!!
(Sorry for yelling, apparently I can still get a bit worked up over this part)
Someone did come to our rescue, or so I thought he was our rescuer and it was only about 2 hours later.
How nice, only 2 HOURS later!
I was feeling so relieved that we weren't going to be on the side of the road all day.
I was grateful it was almost all over and that he might even be able to fix us up quick like and in a hurry and we could be on our way.
Have I mentioned my eternal optimistic spirit ?
He came, he saw, he disassembled, and then he left us there.
I felt bewildered.
I felt betwixt.
I felt like another B word that isn't worth mentioning, but I'm just keeping it real!
This time we sat for almost 5 hours.
I was trying to find the bright side.
I did have a safe place to relieve myself this time so there was that.
But really, other than that, and the fact that my smart phone wasn't going to die I didn't have much else keeping the happy on my heart.
As the day had turned to dusk finally two gentleman pull up who said they used to work for Uhaul and now they are independently doing road side assistance for all the damsels in distress. I'm pretty sure I laughed out loud at this point, and I told those two fellas that they were genius. We were just about ready to employ these two fellas when I kid you not, a huge tow truck pulls up and takes the trailer of the hitch and sets us free to head into Centraila WA. to find a complimentary place for the night.
Oh how nice a complimentary room for the night!
Are you sensing my sarcasm? It's pretty blatant. It would be hard to miss.
But here's where the story takes a twist, once we realized that one of our very favorite places on earth is in Centralia WA.
We knew EXACTLY where we would be getting our complimentary stay, and we knew just what we would do too.
We enjoyed our time as much as two people who have just moved their entire lives into two hellish boxes on wheels that keep breaking, can enjoy the time together. Even though, we would have preferred to be there under different circumstances we did make the most of it.
See... enjoyment ;)
And here's the part where I tell you that I felt like God knew I was at my breaking point.
He also knew that Mo and I have always loved McMenamins.
He also knew that we needed some extra time together before we hit the ground running in Reno, NV with a new business adventure, and all kinds of busy with family and friends.
He also knew the very next day we would have to unpack and pack our trailer even though Uhaul said they would have guys out there to do this, but of course they didn't show up on time.
Turns out that unpacking and packing again was my breaking point
I didn't cuss.
That's how you know a real breaking point as opposed to an almost breaking point.
We did have one night of reprieve and then it was back to work.
As I was lifting and scooting boxes back and forth to Mo I thought about the value of customer service.
I thought about how it is that companies can get so big that they forget the little guy.
I thought about just wanting to get home to my kiddos and I dreaded the thought that after we were done packing this trailer AGAIN, I would have to get back into that truck and travel another 500+ miles to get to our final destination.
I'm pretty sure it was these thoughts and total exhaustion that brought on the tears, but then I remembered that this whole situation could have been so much worse.
I started to turn on that optimistic radio and I thought about the fact that both Mo and I were alive, we were safe, we were well fed at McMenamins and we WOULD make it to NV eventually.
There are two more events in this story that are worth mentioning.
One is that after we were about only 250 miles away from NV the truck started smoking.
It was at this point that I started laughing.
Remember up there when I said I had hit my breaking point?
Well, it was really true, because this time I didn't freak out.
I just laughed.
What else can you do when in a situation like that?
If you are a Moses you can be your normal, amazing, genius, super HOT, awesome self and lift the hood to the Uhaul truck, find out what is wrong, fix it and slowly move along on the road again.
If you are a Noël you can laugh out loud and take a picture like this
The second event that happened before we made it safely to NV is that we almost ran out of gas.
Don't believe the sign that says 32 miles to services right outside of Susanville.
It's a lie.
Our Uhaul truck said we had 0 miles to empty for about 5 miles, and we coasted into Susanville on God fumes, but we made it and we are here now, and
Here's the story of our Lemony Snickets series of Unfortunate events, journey back to Nevada.
I'm not even sure I know where to begin, but let's start with what that Sunday was supposed to look like.
We (meaning mostly Dan and Moses) loaded up the Uhaul and by around noon we( again, Dan and Moses) were mostly done. The plan was to then go over to Dave's house and finish a tattoo on said friend Daves arm and eat more of Dan's no sauce pulled pork, and then get on the road.
Mmm Mmm... Dan that pork is still making my mouth water!
Wait ... where was I?
Oh yea, back to our Lemony Snickets Story.
Ahem... well the plans at Dave's house got the ka bosh when Mo realized he had forgotten a very important item. Note to all tattooist, when setting out to tattoo don't forget the needles. Not like you can just go down to AmPm and pick one of those puppies up. Course....maybe you could in some parts of the city... but Ew yucka! Needless to say, we found ourselves with some extra time, and thought why not get an early start on our very long, very slow, 14 hour car ride.
All packed up and feeling sad, but ready to get back to our kiddos we hit the Seattle freeway and got 50 miles down the road before we hit major traffic, and our first breakdown on the trailer.
We were on a very busy 5 lane freeway and slowing down for accident traffic up ahead when Mo realized the trailer tire was smoking so the safest place we could get to was a median by the on coming traffic ramp. Now, here is where I tell you I was for the first time in my life grateful for the traffic because had it not slowed us down a bit, who knows what might have happened.
Here's also where I tell you that our reaction to this first break down was calm, cool, and collected.
For realz, it really was.
My Giant called the road side assistance number for Uhaul and we sat and waited.
And waited some more.
It was about 2 hours in when I realized I really had to go pee.
So my calm was starting to leave.
I felt a bit trapped being that there were cars flying by now on both sides of us, as the accident traffic had cleared the cars got faster and faster. I thought, it would have been a bit like the game frogger to get off to the road side and go pee.
So I waited.
By about almost 3 hours in I really, really had to pee.
So my cool was starting to leave.
And well my collected.... Was this thought... Hell, if Sandra Bullock in the movie 2 and Half Weeks Notice can find relief on a freeway... so can I.
My relief was a bit less dramatic than hers, and all I'm going to say about that is thank God for dixie cups, hand sanitizer, and Kegel exercises.
Ok moving on... that was really the only action besides the freeway traffic that kept whizzing by and rocking our truck every 5 seconds.
It was around almost the 4th hour when Mo decided to move the truck to a safer spot.
He talked at length with Uhaul about this, but apparently all they really cared about was their truck and NOT OUR VERY LIVES!!
So we very slowly found our break in the traffic to get off the road and we took our chance.
Limping along we made it first off on the side of the road and then he decided the next exit was where we needed to get off.
4 very LONG hours later we were at a 76 station I was relieving myself further, and Mo was getting a sandwich.
We were stinky.
We were tired.
WE WERE NOT CALM,COOL, OR COLLECTED anymore.
But we were safe and
We were ready to get out of that damn truck, but we couldn't just call a cab and move on we had to wait for Uhaul to the rescue.
So we waited, again only this time in a some what safer spot.
I mean somewhat safe, it was Kent WA after all ;)
The rescue truck pulled up about 5 hours later and the ONLY solace was a motel room of our choosing, that they still had to approve for us to be checked into.
So we waited again.
Are you catching that waiting on Uhaul was the theme for the day?
There we waited in a Best Western lobby for about 45 minutes just so that someone from Uhaul could verify that we were the people we said we were.
Umm.... like anyone would lie about going through what we just went through so they could a free Best Western room.. psh Doh Doh heads Uhaul!!
The wait would have taken longer until the hotel clerk said to the guy from Uhaul "I'm going to check these two in for the night I think they have been through enough for one day"
Wow, finally some customer service!!
A very tired, sleepy MoNoSco hit the sack around 10:30 p that night.
We didn't make it far, but we were glad that day was behind us and happy to be safe and sound in our BW bed for the night.
We were awoken by a 9a phone call that said our trailer was ready and we could get back on the road again by 10:30.