We made it to Las Vegas! Right now, we are living in a casino. Here is a recap of the last 2 weeks or so, for anyone who is interested.
April 27-29: The packers and movers came to our WA home and took away all our stuff. We slept those first two nights in our own house and then the third night got a hotel on base. (Air mattresses and I do NOT agree, especially when I am pregnant.)
Fri., April 30: After cleaning and totally emptying our home, we pulled out of town around noon, leaving that beautiful place with a few tears and lots of great memories. As I left the house for the last time, I leaned on the counter and imagined all the good times we had there. I saw myself pulling meal after meal out of the oven and standing over the stove countless times. I saw the kids sliding down the stairs on their stomachs at top speed, laughing hysterically. I saw Leighton learning to crawl and walk. I saw Andrew caring for our backyard, planting our garden, and aerating every chance he got. Good times. That night we stayed in Coeur D'Alene. We ate dinner at a yummy Greek restaurant (the chef's name was Eva) and slept in the HIE, our home away from home.
Saturday, May 1: Our longest day of driving. Andrew somehow forgot Leighton's allergy to dogs and let him pet a filthy one at the hotel in the morning. After him screaming for a while, we found a little mountain town to pull over and found his little eyes almost swollen shut. After we realized what caused the reaction and I was sufficiently angry with Andrew, we gave him Benadryl and were back on our way. (Separate cars the whole way was NO FUN.) We drove through never-ending Montana, stopped in Missoula for a terrible lunch, and finally made it through snow storms and rainclouds to my sister Kim's house in Idaho Falls. Her little baby Sam was a week old that day, and it was fun to meet him and see my mom, who was still there helping out. We ate Cafe Rio for dinner and once again slept at the HIE.
Sunday, May 2: We went to most of sacrament meeting at Kim's ward and left after eating Mom's delicious chicken noodle soup for lunch. (I had 4 bowls.) We made it to Utah that evening and had fun visiting with all the Webbs. 5 of the 8 siblings were there, and I was reminded how lucky I am to love all my in-laws so much. Annie made us a good dinner and we had a good night's sleep in a comfortable bed. Oh, and at this point our allergies were in full swing. Eva was the worst and was sniffy and sneezy and wheezy - the worst for a car ride.
Monday, May 3: We stopped to see my sister Cami at work for a minute and then went to a late breakfast at IHOP. Of all places, that is where the greatest miracle happened on this trip: we got the phone call saying we got the final approval on our house. After I got off the phone I couldn't hold back the tears. Minutes before getting on the road to Las Vegas, we found out we had a house to call our own. Better late than never. The drive wasn't too bad that day, as we were so excited just to get there. I was pretty surprised by the heat so early in May and wished in my heart for the cool WA rain. (It wouldn't be the last time I wished for rainclouds that week.) We went to our friends' the Culvers' house, where we were staying while they were out of town. Our house is in their neighborhood, so we got to drive and walk past it a couple times that day, wishing we could just go straight there. But it was so nice to sleep in a home and not a hotel. That night we went to Clay and Kara Noyes' house for dinner, and I felt SO grateful to live near friends that feel like family.
Tuesday, May 4: Andrew reported to work, and I waited all day for 5pm to come. At 5pm we walked around the corner to our house and got to go in for the first time. I was pretty nervous, considering I had only ever seen 5 pictures of it and had no idea what condition it would be in. When I walked in the kitchen, I had to hold back tears, for real. It was PERFECT. The whole house is perfect and I couldn't have hoped for anything better. What a miracle that it's ours. (Or it will be, if we can ever close. And if I can ever learn some patience. I'll be patient AFTER we get in the house, I promise.) As it's still occupied and still full of someone else's stuff, the kids didn't last too long in there. We made a good celebratory dinner of fajitas and ice cream and talked about the house all night long.
May 5 - Friday, May 7: Tried to pass the time while Andrew was gone at work. Friday afternoon the Culvers got home and it was so fun to see them. We gave them their house back and went to eat dinner (purchased from my new favorite grocery store) at an awesome nearby park. (Okay, the weather here in the evenings is blissful.) We spent the night at yet another HIE.
Saturday, May 8: Went to Home Depot to shop for Andrew's birthday present. Leighton was not acting very appropriately for a public arena, so we gave up and went to the Culver's. Hung out there in their amazing backyard for a while, then went to do some more shopping at Target. Late afternoon we got frozen yogurt from a cool place called U-Swirl. We stopped at Costco so Andrew could get my Mother's Day present, then went to the Noyes' ward luau, which was the coolest ward party I've ever been to. (Sorry to my old ward, but you know what I mean.) Good food, great weather, dinner on a blanket on the grass, and hula dancers that inspired Eva to shake her hips the rest of the night. Awesome. We moved to our new temporary home at the casino hotel, where we have a great view and a beautiful pool.
Sunday, May 9: Mother's Day. Let me be honest: it's not my favorite day. I'm not sure why. The talks in church always bother me, my kids always act terribly and make me wonder why I am a mother in the first place, and for heaven's sake I'm always pregnant. Except last year. Throw on top of that our first Sunday in a new ward, terrible allergies with watery eyes included, and you can guess my mood yesterday. Less than stellar. I did get to talk to my missionary brother for a few minutes and then had a meltdown in the car that was brought on by hunger and not getting a treat from the boys handing them out at the door (to mothers). The third hour of church improved my outlook significantly. Sometimes all I need is to be with some other women, I guess. We spent the afternoon in our hotel calling our mothers and doing nothing (a theme in our lives right now - makes me long for our house even more!), then went to the Culvers' for a delicious dinner. By that point I was able to appreciate my gift of a Shark Steamer (I really shouldn't watch infomercials...it's all I wanted since I saw it!) and my kids a little more.
Monday, May 10: Still no closing date yet, grrr. But we did get to spend the morning at the luxury swimming pool, which is always nice. Lunch at TGI Fridays and a lazy afternoon waiting for Leighton to wake up from a much-needed nap. Now he's awake, so maybe I can convince Andrew (who has the week off) to let us go somewhere. I've never longed so much for a kitchen to clean or a sewing machine to make a skirt for this heat.
But all my housing impatience aside, let me be honest: I love it here.