Let's Get Silly

Sunday, April 1, 2012

♪Here Comes The Sun...Doo doo doo doo ♪♪

One year ago today we woke up 1,000 miles away, got in the family truckster and rolled into our new city in Texas at 4am.  We got into the car wearing winter jackets, and shed them the second we exited the car.  We wouldn't wear them much in the next year.  

We walked (trudged) up 4 flights of stairs (seriously?) to our temporary apartment. Although we had never been to the apartment it felt slightly familiar, as G.R. had been living there for a few weeks and Nora had requested a complete tour each time we Skyped with him at night. 

The apartment was empty, except for the unfamiliar furniture the relocation company had furnished it with.  There were no pictures on the fridge or preschool art on the counters.  It looked like it was a place for a family, but it felt like we had walked into a strangers home.

 I remember Nora ran immediately to the bedroom the girls would share, to look for the Toy Story sign G.R. had hung up and to find the surprise I had ordered and shipped to the apartment to greet her upon arrival.  A stuffed animal that also served as a sleeping bag you could wrap up in, a meager offering to her after taking her out of preschool and moving her away from her friends and family.  

We were happy to finally be back together after a three week separation, but the arrival in this strange place at 4am was too much.  We quickly looked around and called it a night.  G.R. slept in the girls bedroom with Nora, and I brought Evie into ours. 

We woke up a few hours later in the day, and began day one.  Because as anyone reading this knows, life is about getting up and starting day one. We do it after high school, college graduation, when a relationship ends, for new jobs, the day after a loved one dies, the day after a loved one is born, the list goes on and on.  Good or bad change, you just keep putting one foot in front of the other and figure out the new way you will begin to live.  

So, that's what we did.  

This part of our story reminds me of the wedding I attended of an old friend. She, always having been far cooler than I, had the most amazing reading at her wedding.  While the rest of us had "Love is patient...." she had The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.  There have been many times I have thought of this reading in my own marriage, but never more than that morning as we faced our new reality.  G.R. and I were in it alone, really for the first time.  

That morning I googled the poem, because I wanted to read these lines again:

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

365 days later I look back at the ups and downs and feel sort of bad for those people starting day one.  There were a lot of lonely moments during a long hot summer where no one really came out of their houses, exhausting amounts of putting ourselves out there to meet other people, and lots of stress as we moved into a new home.  Oh, and our baby had major surgery in this new place. 

But I'm a "fake it till you make it" person, so that's what I did.  I set out to be happy, take the opportunity and to create a happy life.  That may sound brave, but really it was my only choice.

Some days I rocked it, pushed my limits and met people.  Some days I failed miserably and would tear up suddenly while driving and would spend the rest of the day watching Mad Men seasons on Netflix.  

Either way, one day faking it stopped and we had made it.  Which was no surprise, because to me that's sort of the secret to life. 

Looking back I'm equally amazed by how well we stayed in touch with the people we have always loved, as I am amazed with the people we've met.  It's an incredible blessing, that I don't take lightly, to be able to say such a thing.  

I don't write this blog to be all about me.  The point of it is that your past year was likely exactly like mine.  You may not have moved, or had a kid with medical issues or woken up in a strange place.  But in some way, you too had a day one and kept going.  Again, it's what this life is about and we will all do it over and over again.  

I've learned  important things in the last year.  

When you want to say something mean about a person, but also seem like you are not doing it, you can say "bless her heart!".   This is an awesome southern thing that is absolutely the best.  For example, "She is so loud, bless her heart!" or "She has quite an assortment of tight dresses, bless her heart!".  

I've also learned one of the single most important lessons of my life- to go to church not so I will be saved, but because I have been saved.  

I've learned that fire ants hurt like a b*tch, and that I love not being trapped in the house for 9 months of the year due to cold.  Say what you will about the Texas summer, but humans need sun to feel mentally well, and when you can get out year round you just feel better.

 I've learned that it can be a stressful thing, but the best thing for a marriage, to leave and make it on your own somewhere without a safety net.  When you have no one else, you depend on and appreciate each other in a way that is new and different.  You also tend to define what is important to you when you are trying to introduce your family to other families, and that is a blessing too.  

Lastly, I've learned that if my husband comes home any time in the next decade and tells me it's time for a relocation, I'm going to react with the kind of crazy Britney Spears channeled when she'd had enough of the paparazzi and beat the hell out of a photog's car with her umbrella while sporting her recently shaved head and best crazy eyes.  Bless her heart.

Life is good!

Our Texas Bluebonnets


Belinda said...

Great post!

Amanda M. said...

Wow. That was such a great post. You are such a gifted writer and human being. The way you see things (and then share them) just makes so much sense and is so thought-provoking. I wish we were closer than 5.5 hours because I really need you to be my life coach on a lot of days. Maybe, probably, all of them. :) XOXO
P.S. "Bless her heart" is the best Southern invention ever.

Sharon Boswell said...

I love your verve and am so blessed to have been a part of a couple of those "important things" this year and to call you my friend (& twisted sista) .

Olivia Chiu said...

Thank you for this post and your kind words to me during my recent transition. This is such a wonderful outlook and I love that you point out that it doesn't take a relocation to need the day one. I am smiling today!

Starle said...

What a warming post! It's been 3 years since I emigrated, but you put my feelings into words so much better than I could have!

Adrienne said...

Love your attitude! :) Great post! Stopped by from the SITS FB link list today.

Megs said...

My mom is giving me strange looks because I am laughing and tearing over reading this on her computer (we are visiting them right now). Amazing blog, I can't tell you how much I love your writing and your approach/attitude toward life. So proud of you guys and all you have done and been through this year-the good and the more challenging. Texas is lucky :) I love the whole outlook of "day one" and I love the stuff about marriage and the poem. And I am going to pick up "Bless her heart" and use it in the midwest.

Unknown said...

You are neat and inspiring in so many ways Amanda. I have missed you and at the same time been so excited for you guys so many times each in the past year. I can't wait to hear about your next adventures, and when you buy your first gun rack. :)

Amanda said...

Thanks, everyone!
I appreciate the nice comments, it's been quite a year.

Unknown- sounds like you know me- who are you? Want to make sure I tell you when I get a gun rack : )

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Well, bless your heart! I'm glad you like your new location.

Julie said...


This post RIGHT HERE is why I love you.


I know that might sound like an exaggeration, but it's not. I really am that crazy.

(Feel free to bless my heart now.)

Shell said...

That bless your heart thing is so true!

And I need to be somewhere with sunshine or I get incredibly cranky.

What a year it's been for you!

Robbie K said...

Thanks for sharing this! Our family has been living apart for way too long (18 months) and we are getting ready to move. This isn't our first move, but the 1st in 6 1/2 years and I am not sure if I'm ready to put myself out there and meet new people, find new stores/parks/fave places etc.

Nicole Buckingahm said...

Oh, you are silly-- and I like it!

I'm your newest follower via the bloggymom hop.

Sending tons of Aloha from Hawaii and localsugarhawaii.com. Come Join The Ride.


Jonathan & Kaethe said...

I think there is a special place in heaven for moms who move cross-country with little kids. There better be. Thanks for putting many of my thoughts into words. Really funny ones.

Hubba said...

Just found you on a Sunday blog hop! I'm a new follower and excited. Feel free to follow me at: http://iheartpears.blogspot.com

Annabelle Archer said...

Today is my day one. Thanks for the pep talk.