Monday, October 5, 2009

Question Marks on the Horizon

we had smoothies for dinner on Saturday; somebody really liked them!

"look mom! I made my cheese into a sunshine!"
and now that October's here, we hung our homemade Halloween decorations

I can't separate this week into days. All seven of them just blend together in a frenzied blur of ambivalence (my mom explained that word to me this week; it captures my emotional state perfectly -- thanks mom). If you didn't gather as much from my big hint in last week's recap, we're planning to move out of our house soon. Like this weekend (maybe...probably). And while this is a tremendous blessing, something we've prayed and planned for, change is hard.

I'm not worried about the three months of tiny-apartment living that stand between us and Oregon (that's the final destination). Once we're settled in, I know it'll be fine. It's the boxes, the half-packed closets, the dusty bookshelves, the thick haze of prevailing disorder that's so unsettling.

Sunday afternoon it all came to a head when, on top of all the disorder and discord, someone had really smelly gas. Every room was defiled. I was disproportionally irritated. And I let the perpetrator know it. I knew I was overreacting, but was too stubborn to come off my high horse. And then...thank goodness for little kids, Henry started singing an original Henry composition:

"farts in the kitchen
farts in the living room
farts in the office
farts, farts, farts in the whole wide house."

...I wish you could have heard the tune; it was perfectly innocent and spritely.

*incidentally, we don't usually use the f-word to describe flatulence, but he had just heard his mother say laughter was the only response I could give such a hilarious, albeit crass, little ditty.

Probably goes without saying that I've been pretty Jeckyll and Hyde lately. Up, down. Calm, frazzled. Excited, sad. As is often the case in these kinds of crucibles I save the most childish displays of overwhelmedness for Nate.

Here's an excerpt from a Tuesday e.mail (mine to him):

"i'm sorry i hung up on you. i feel like a toad. it was the "overwhelmed" that hung up. i didn't mean it. i know i need to be strong. i'm just sad and anxious and nervous and weird-feeling about moving into an apartment. change is so unsettling for me; you know this. so i called seeking moral support and reassurance - "you need to be stronger" just wasn't quite what i expected to hear. though it's probably more along the lines of what i needed to hear.
p.s. i've been eating cinnamon bears all day. comfort food? emotional eating? need to put those suckers away. love you"

I am in madlove with him even when I'm being dumb. Even in the moment I hung up on him. There's a secret pocket of calm in the skin on his neck - the smell of nothing in particular and everything safe and strong, to me. I've spent a lot of time in that little pocket lately, regathering myself, finding enough to keep on. In the face of uncertainty and difficulty I am brought back to the most basic parts of myself - principally, love of God and love of family.

I'm listening to this song while I type - you should listen to it, too. It will make you want to kiss your man's neck. He's sitting on the couch across from me, also typing. Just looked up and winked. Maybe the song makes him want to kiss, too? (Thanks for introducing me to Lisa Hannigan, Sarah -- I am in madlove with her also.)

Anyway, moving on to more of the same subject...I got through the week on wings of anticipation of a Friday night date. Nate did not disappoint. Thursday afternoon he called from work, "I want to be your boyfriend. Will you go out with me tomorrow night?"
"Yea, do you want me to get a sitter?"
"Don't worry about it. I already took care of it."

The half-light of his charm carried me through a very busy Saturday that began with twenty eggs, a loaf of bread, two pounds of sausage, several potatoes and half-a-dozen hungry seventeen year old boys in my kitchen. Nate had some of his young men over for breakfast. Honestly? I loved it. Loved having my house full. Loved the diversity of personalities: the jokester, the tech-geek, the brawny pull-up competition juxtaposed with the delicacy of the tune Daniel teased from the piano. And Carl (*sigh*) -- oh, Carl. Loved knowing that we were feeding more than their stomachs. I don't care if we ever live in a "dream" house. But the thought of a big, sturdy table just sends me over the moon. It could only be more perfect if we build it ourselves.

In other news, I am conquering my fear of yeast one successful baked good at a time. This week put cinnamon rolls and pizza crust in the books.

Em: 2
Yeast: 0

could not have been more timely. I wept when the choir sang Come, Come Ye Saints. And when Elder Holland testified so unequivocally of the Book of Mormon. I marveled at the insight of Elder Bednar, the wisdom and charisma of President Uchtdorf, and the sincerity of Elder Scott; I want to know what they know. I cannot wait to get my hands on the transcripts of the talks. I feel an ever-increasing need for spiritual guidance; so thankful I know where to get it.

Once again, it is silly late. And this week, I'm a day late. Definitely time to wrap up...with another e.mail excerpt (mine to Nate) that pretty much sums up the ultimate wish of my life:

more than anything, i just want to grow old with you. and feel the joy of our little family for a long, long time.



  1. Really cute halloween decor. Henry is all boy. Kids can lighten any dark mood. Boo for moving but yea for staying three months. And I love that you are so in love with your husband.

  2. I suppose I should get our fall decor out soon. Blah. Not feelin' it.

    Love that song. Thanks!

    Very excited for you to be able to be in Oregon. I know you have wanted that so badly. Sad for Texas, though. I'm sure it will miss you. Texas still rocks...

    Wasn't conference the best!? Jane went with her dad to the Sat. Morn session. So happy she got to see those talks you mentioned and hear Come Come Ye Saints. It was a really great experience for her. I have already downloaded the talks to my ipod. It's a great way to really get the boost I need. Sometimes conference weekend is information overload for me. Having them on my ipod for the next 6 months is so great. I love it.

  3. I wish I were there to help you in any way I could. Leaving what you call home can be so sad and happy at the same time. I wish you the best, and if you ever need someone to talk to, I'd love to chat.

  4. How wonderful for you to move back to Oregon. You will never regret living close to family! Good luck!

  5. i'll bet you are soooooo excited! good luck with everything!

  6. Hi, just came via Mormon Mommy Blogs.

    I wanted to leave a comment because I totally know how you feel. We just moved across the country about 6 weeks ago, and the entire 4 month period in which we were preparing, buying a house, packing and actually moving, I was a basket case and I hung up on my husband more than once. :)

    Good luck with everything! It's not easy, but it will eventually be over, and (hopefully) totally worth it!

  7. Oh Emily, how exciting for you as I know your heart yearns to be in Oregon. I agree with anon that you will never regret being near family. But I HEAR YOU on having trouble with change. I am like that too. Think of it as an adventure! My boss lived in 350 sq ft with his wife and 2 kids (6 and 3) for over 6 months while there new house was being built. He said it was a challenge, but it brought their family much closer together.

  8. Big Tex is going to shed quite the Big Tear for your little family's absence I can promise you that!! (remind Mr. Henry of big tex for me would ya, see what he's got to say about him.. might be amusing ;)

    I’m just so happy for you em, look at you and nate, getting you and yours to or. and just makin’ it happen! It’s the stuff dreams are made of. And there’s no other way of putting it.. MOVING STINKS. I am actually the president of the I Hate Moving Club. Do you want to join free of charge?

    You guys will make it work and when it’s all said and done, you just might find an old friend perched out on your crisp, emerald lawn, carpet bag in tow, wanting a simple nights rest out in the country. Under the starry sky, next to your chickens and freshly planted vegetable and herb garden you’ll find her… To Zion We Go!

  9. and yes, those pictures of lily stopped me right in my tracks. right in them I tell you.

  10. Emily, how exciting for you to go back home!! good luck with the move!

  11. Em, feel pride in the fact that your children are beautiful and your home, wherever it may be, will always radiate warmth. I can almost feel it through your writing and photos.

    And Oregon, ohhhh how that's been on my list of places to go! Change is so hard. As you know we've made a move too and adjusting to the differences is hard, the packing is hard, the consolidating is hard, the furniture and all of your favorite things in storage is hard! But in the end, if you have your family around you then all is well.

  12. Hold the phone -- you're coming home? YIPPEEEEEEEE! I mean, I feel for all your Texas friends because losing you would be quite painful, but what joy! What rapture! Hallelujah! Can't wait to see ya'! Will Henry be in my Primary class again? That was so fun hanging out with y'all at Rob's reception! Random thoughts flowing through my brain -- sorry. But this is the best news I've heard all week!

  13. Oh my heart! That Henry is a dear :) Hail the fart song!

  14. Hang in there with all of the moving stuff. I'm so excited for you to be with your family in OR--but the ward is going to miss you so much. You guys are such an asset. Change is good, but I like you, get really anxious and nervous and excited and all of the above. You can do it, Em. Keep your chin up. I LOVE your fall decor.