Monday, May 21, 2012

Sleeping to Dream

Jason Mraz has this amazing song that I discovered while Josh was deployed, named Sleeping To Dream. The chorus says:

     Sleeping to dream about you
     And I'm so darn tired
     Of having to live without you
     But I don't mind

I found that the song pretty much said it all in the midst of Josh's deployment. I would sleep just to dream about having him home, but usually I wasn't so lucky. 

I heard "Sleeping to Dream" on iTunes earlier and it occurred to me that I have been dreaming about our impeding move. A LOT. I dream that we are already there. I dream that we are in the process of moving and our landlords continue to be insane (which is actually fact based). I dream that I can't get our new couches to work in the space. I even had a dream that I tripped and broke a box of treasured items.

I hope when I fell up the stairs yesterday (that actually happened), it was the last time. I'm so ready to get out of here and be done with this house, this ridiculous corner lot with the crazy fast drivers in this neighborhood, the millions of solicitors, the stupid stairs that I fall (up or down) at least once a quarter, the irritating landlord emails, and all the ridiculous landscaping issues that come with this house. I can't believe we are moving down to the beach Friday --which happens to be in 4 days-- not that I'm counting or anything. 

I am in the process of cleaning and packing the rest of the goods this week. I'm thinking the days ticking by on the calendar will be all the motivation I need to get it all done by Friday. Until then bear with me if the only things I'm capable of discussing are wall colors, forwarding mail, security deposits, insane landlords, boxes, bubble wrap, or the logistics of moving our million dollar framed diplomas without getting any nicks/scratches. I'm apologizing in advance. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Too much sun.

Getting too much sun is pretty easy to do when the weather is so nice out. And you are the whitest woman in North America... A lesson I have managed to learn once more as I sit here with lobster arms.

Fletch is going through his totally awesome annual 'summer shed' phase so my house has been covered in the never-ending aftermath of a Fletch hair tornado. To say that I'm completely sick of his hair covering every square inch of my house and everything I own would be an understatement. Ok, maybe that's just a touch dramatic. However, having to vacuum every other day is no exaggeration. 

Today I couldn't take it anymore, so I took him outside with some de-shedding shampoo and a couple of brushes. I'm not sure if you are supposed to wash a dog and brush him at the same time, but it seemed to get a lot of hair out. I dried him off a bit and started brushing. I'm not even kidding that after an hour of Fletch washing/brushing he was still losing hair like I had just started. I'm pretty sure I've never seen anything like it. Apparently I didn't get his neck well enough because a little scratching and now I need to vacuum upstairs again. 
This is not his happy face. 
Long story short, after grooming Fletch for over an hour then planting/watering some new flowers in the yard I could play Sebastian on Broadway!

Happy Monday! 

At least I got almost all of Gray's room, all the linens, and some random things from our closet packed up today after I baked myself in the sun. I'm officially out of boxes, so tomorrow the packing continues after a trip to Walmart for more moving supplies! 

I'm still holding out for legitimate offers for help with packing and moving.

Anyone? Anyone?

Yeah, that's kind of what I thought.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The days are long, but the years are short...

Today was the 3rd Mother's Day I've celebrated as a "Mom" and I'm pretty sure that it just gets better every year. Josh was fantastic as always and super attentive. Gray was more generous with hugs and kisses. It's not about the cards, flowers, or gifts but I have to admit it's nice to have a whole day to be appreciated for something you love doing anyway. 

I know I don't have all of the answers. Well, I'm pretty sure I only have a few of them, but I know that I love Gray more than I thought I could love anyone. I tell him I love him at least a couple times every day. I love his imagination, his contagious laugh, his big brown eyes, the little freckles that are starting to show up across his nose, the kisses he sometimes gives me when I tell him I DO NOT want one, and just about everything about his personality. Sometimes he irritates the crap out of me and I need a break, but most of the time I love sharing my days with Gray. 

What Mom doesn't want to go to the grocery store alone sometimes (or the bathroom for that matter)? That said, I'm convinced that this moment is the 'good stuff.' I try not to wish time away, because I know every age has trials. No one time is harder (teething or getting a learner's permit) than the next, but one times isn't better than the next (first words or first prom) either. I miss Gray's little coos and big toothless smiles and I miss watching him learn how to walk. The flip side of that is that now I see him learning how to count and build 'houses' out of everything from legos to PlayDough to pillows. What's next? Who knows? But I'm totally ready to find out! 

I'm so blessed to be Gray's Mommy, but I also have the most amazing Mom in the world. In a word she is amazing. She is one of my best friends. She gives great advice. She is smart, beautiful, caring, compassionate, funny, giving, supportive, and adventurous (to some degree). My sister and I couldn't have been more blessed than to be born into our little family because we truly lucked up in the parent department. 

*That said, my Mom acts like a 14 year old with her cell phone, but that is a whole blog post in and of itself so I won't get into that at the moment. 

Josh asked if I had any idea about what I might want for Mother's Day. I naturally responded with something like "Of course, I've got some ideas!!" I had been eyeing some antique stained glass windows (pulled out of old homes) for basically forever. Antique pieces can be kind of pricey (and sometimes hard to find) and I couldn't justify just going out to get one, but if it is a special occasion... 

We looked around at some antique shops in Ocean Beach and couldn't find anything but I had one more place in mind to try. I accidentally discovered a little salvage place in Little Italy, so we looked there yesterday. Low and behold, there was not one but several pieces hanging in the window! I narrowed it down to a few different ones and finally decided to go with the first one I looked at. I am so excited about hanging it up in the new house, but have decided to prop it up with all of the other wall decorations that I've already taken off the walls. I'm slightly bitter that it's not hanging in a window somewhere casting the most beautiful/colorful shadows, but it doesn't make much sense to hang it up just to patch the holes in a few days. Soon it will be hanging somewhere near the beach, so I guess I can wait a week or two to enjoy it.
Loving my gift!
Go read this article "Am I Mom Enough?" because Kara Baskin gives a great "Mommy Wish List" with all of the things she hopes that her children will be/do as they grow into adults. She hits the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned with what is important. I would have loved if she would have added something about children choosing to attend church later in life, but otherwise it was basically perfect. 

Here are a few of my favorites taken from the article... 
-"I hope I raise a child who says “thank you” to the bus driver when he gets off the bus, “please” to the waiter taking his order at the restaurant, and holds the elevator doors when someone’s rushing to get in."
-"I hope I raise a child who realizes that life is unfair: Some people are born rich or gorgeous. Some people really are handed things that they don’t deserve. Some people luck into jobs or wealth that they don’t earn. Tough."
-"I hope I raise a child who is open-minded and curious about the world without being reckless."
-"I hope I raise a child who knows that he’s loved and special but that he’s not the center of the universe and never, ever will be."

Happy Mother's Day! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pacific Beach. Here we come!

I did a quick Google image search and found this image taken in Pacific Beach to show you the beach near our new digs. I think this photo may be a little misleading, because every time I go down to the beach at PB there is a lot of seaweed and even more people to be found on the sand. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful photo of the pier in Pacific Beach. 

Amazing sunset.  
The first time we drove down to PB, I remember seeing Brody Jenner! I almost yelled out to my old friend (I think that is a fair term, because I know him better than most of my FB friends), but quickly realized it was his doppelgänger. Then I spotted Brody again, only to find out that 96% of 20-something males in Pacific Beach looked just like Brody. Since that was one of the first days we were here in San Diego, I did not understand that there is a style out here unlike any other I had seen. Shockingly, Brody Jenner isn't the only boy in North America who wears flat brimmed hats. Or tank tops (Think West Coast tank, not white trash tank. There is a remarkable difference.) Or entirely too much black. Or sunglasses that are clearly (at least in the deep south) made for women. It's actually the norm around here. Who knew?

But seriously, Brody does live just a couple hours north of here. Plus he doesn't have a real job as far as I can tell, so it could have been possible for me to run into him. Stranger things have happened... All of that is to say that "West Coast Casual" is real and I am loving it. We wear jeans to church half of the time, I can were flops basically anywhere. I'm loving California! 

Anywaaayyyy, back to my original post. PB is famous for young people who love night life. Luckily our new homestead is a few miles away from the beach in a quiet little neighborhood so we aren't surrounded by hooligans (man, I've really aged a lot in 5 years) at all hours of the night, BUT we are close enough to enjoy all the exciting things we have been missing out on living 'inland.' Josh and I are both so excited to get moved and settled in, so we can really get to know the area. I can't believe we have less than 20 days until we pick up the keys to our newest home. Actually 18, but who is counting? It's like moving to a whole new city, but without having to make new friends! It's going to be awesome!! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Moving on up.

Fish don't fry in the kitchen. Beans don't burn on the grill. The Gates' are moving on up and here is the super-short version of our impending move. 

Picture it. It's January 2012. Your husband is deployed deep into the middle of a combat zone. He is working 12 hour days/7 days a week. He hasn't had a single day off in months. You are preparing for his homecoming, and are getting more and more stressed as the days slowly move along. I'm sure you are wondering, "Why would you be stressed that the love of your life is coming back into your arms after months and months away?" Simply put, people were losing their minds by the minute. Then the landlord decides to lose her mind (presumably) to keep the ball rolling. 

I get an email wanting to know if we will be renewing our lease... at the end of May (keep in mind it's mid-January). Oh and BTW we are going to be going up on your rent by $400/month.   

No. Really.          

That. Just. Happened.

I politely informed our landlord that Josh wasn't really in a place (literally or otherwise) to discuss such important things via small scraps of phone conversations that may or may not be interrupted by another Marine asking about the latest round of low light quals or whatever Marines talk about at work. I told the landlord that we would be unable to tell her anything for quite some time, or at the very least until he got home from this deployment. Apparently your husband being in a war zone isn't a valid reason for not telling someone if you plan to stick around after your lease ends in over 4 months. (I told you everyone was losing their minds.) Long story short, they put the house on the market and it was rented about .05 seconds later. Awesome. I love to move. :(

After being on the base housing list for about 15 months, you would think that being next in line would be a sure thing. Obviously, it wasn't. I spent several weeks looking at all of the wrong places, that were nasty, small, in the wrong location, had no yard, didn't allow pets, were available too soon or too late, etc. I also saw a few of the right places, but they were naturally rented before I could write a check and turn in my application. (Obviously those landlords weren't waiting on the right tenants. "Um! Hello! We are over here!!") 

I was beginning to lose hope, but I kept telling myself that God knows where we will be in 6 weeks and I kinda doubted it would be in a van. Under a bridge. With a collection of shopping carts. And old tattered quilts. 

But deep down I knew that couldn't be the outcome... 

because we don't have a van. 

Needless to say, there is some kind of loophole in the 30-day notice policy for base housing. A couple bought a house and vacated within two weeks, so we got their house! I went down and signed the least yesterday and when I dropped my friend off back in the neighborhood (she lives the next street over!!) I noticed the cleaning people were there. I may or may not have gone in and taken about 394 pictures to show Josh. 

I'm sad about leaving the most awesome neighbors a girl could ask for, but I won't miss our looney landlords, the worst "gardner"of all time, the super slick stairs in this house, or the most insane water bills in the free world (I'll never believe that sane people pay more than $125/month for water.). I'm also stoked about having a back yard Gray can actually play in and enjoy, plenty of room for Fletch to play friz, carpet (Oh how I have missed you!), being so close to a "tot lot,"potentially painting some rooms, and the new couches we are on the verge of buying! Oh and Josh's favorite part. He will be thisclose to the beach. Now we can all be happy! 

Well, that's it for the longest post ever. I hope that you have learned something from all of this, because I think I have. I kept telling myself to 'wait upon the Lord' (this amazing song that we sing at church almost every week) and don't worry because if He is going to take care of the birds in the field, our little family would be A-OK. All the while getting a little more stressed as each acceptable place was snatched out of my grasp. I suspect that God knew all along that we would be moving into that cute little yellow house down by the beach... Maybe next time I will be better at waiting upon the Lord, like that song says. 

Now, please excuse me as I'm headed out to buy some boxes. 

*We are accepting all help offered in the upcoming move. :)