Saturday, May 31, 2008
Let me start by saying, I hate chores. Who doesn't, right? Some people are just better at doing them. One of my very first posts on this blog was about one of those people who is great at chores.....my hubby. He is sooo good at taking care of business. His life motto--"Bust it out!" My life motto---"Put it off!" (I think his is better). One of the things that I have been putting off is getting my Arizona Drivers License. Booo. I did not want to do this. I have a very big dislike for the DMV.
About 3 weeks ago or so I lost my WA drivers license. I have no idea where it could have gone. I had it at the bank drive up window, I remember them telling me they were sending it back out to me and then I made one more stop before going to the store and that is where I realised I didn't have it anymore. Hmmmm. Weird. Long story short, it was lost. I waited a couple weeks thinking it would show up in my mail box...but no such luck. And with an upcoming flight ahead of me, I knew I had to get this taken care of.
SO, I had my parents send me the original copy of my birth certificate (a requirement to get my license here) and once it arrived I called Washington State DOL to find out exactly what I needed to do so that I could easily get my AZ license. They told me that they had to fax me a "status" letter. Basically, proof that I had a WA license.
Shoot, okay, let me figure out where I can have that faxed. I got the fax number to my closest UPS store and called them back (Wednesday). You know how it is calling these kind of places...hold, hold, hold, talk, transfer, hold some more.
I talked to someone who confirmed this sheet was what I needed and he took my info and said my fax would arrive in 2 to 24 hours. 24 hours? Fine. I'll take care of it tomorrow. Well, guess what? 24 hours came and went. Thursday, noonish I called WA DOL again. This time the lines were so busy they weren't even putting me on hold, they were just telling me to try again later. HOURS later, I talked to a person and re-told my story. Yep, okay, this is the sheet you need. They took all my info again and said, "Your fax should be there in about 24-48 hours." "What??!" The last guy told me 2-24."
"Oh, well I would never have said 2."
So, the next day (Friday) I stocked the UPS store. I sent Rand to check. I called and called, "Is my fax there? Is it there yet?" (I really wanted to take care of this and I had no assurance that they would call me if/when it came in).
Ok, finally they said "yes, it's here." So I ran down to UPS all ready to take care of business. It's Friday and all the DMV places are closed on Saturday. I really wanted to do this now! (nothing like last minute, eh?) I pick up the fax and low and behold, WA has faxed me someone else's status letter. I just about cried. I got on the phone again. hold hold hold. "I NEED TO TAKE CARE OF THIS ASAP. I HAVE TO FLY ON TUESDAY AND I NEED MY DRIVER'S LICENSE!" They assured me they would tell, whoever it is that faxes these things, that I need it. By late Friday afternoon I had laid it to rest and decided that I was going to have to do it on Monday. Friday night the UPS store calls me at like 7:15pm. They got my fax! Ha! Too late! The poor guy down there was like, "I know you've been really wanting this fax." He was even going to stay open for me to come down there and pick it up. I said, there was no rush now because there wasn't anything I could really do.
Friday night I searched the licencing locations in Phoenix online and found a DMV open on Saturdays and decided I'd better attempt to take care of it just in case I ran into problems. So this afternoon (after Rand's birthday lunch) I picked up my fax and headed across town to the place. I pulled into the parking lot and there was a line out the door of probably 150 people. Ugh! I jumped in line and waited with the rest of 'em. By the time I got to the door I saw a sign that says their debit readers aren't working and they won't be accepting debit cards. This could be a problem. I decided to keep going anyway.
OH! I forgot to tell you all that I have an eye-sight problem. I have poor vision in my left eye. Right eye, perfect. Left eye, not so much. This issue has always given me anxiety when getting my license because I'm always worried they are going to need some sort of special note from the eye doctor. (that has happened before)
So I get to the counter with all my stuff. I mean I am as prepared as they get. My application is already filled out, and I have every possible form of identification: my birth certificate, my SS card, my marriage license, a piece of mail....everything. I could tell she was impressed. "okay, let me just give you an eye test. Read column A, B, and C"
B and C...no problem. A?...Nothing. So she asks me just to read column A.
Like I said.....nothing. I told her, I have poor vision in one eye. She sort of laughs and says, "That's okay. You can be blind in one eye and still drive." I was half relieved and half totally offended. "I'm not blind in that eye!" Who cares. I have my number. I passed.
I waited about 45 mins. When my number got called I told the lady my story and gave her ALL my paperwork. First thing she says to me, "Is this a fax?"
"Uhhhh, yeah. This is what they told me you would need."
"Yeah, we can't accept faxes. Only original or certified copies."
"I called them 3 times and they assured me this is what you would need. What to I have to do?"
"Well, either call them and have them mail you a CC or you are going to have to take the written and the road test."
"Well I would really like to avoid doing that."
"Yeah, no kidding."
"Look, I have to fly on Tuesday and I really need my drivers license ASAP!"
"Oh, you have to fly? Hmmmm, let me see what I can do...."
She gets up and leaves and I start praying like a crazy person. She comes back and "someone" has signed off on the fax. Interesting. And the credit card machine was working.
Thank you Lord!
After that I just waited for the picture part and then the printing and now, I have my official Arizona Drivers license. Phew! I did it.
Now, I know there is a lesson to learn here, but which one is it?
1. The DMV is bad, very bad. Do not go back there if you can help it. Everything that happened this week is just confirmation and a very good reason for putting things off and avoiding it again in the future.
2. Leaving chores until the last minute will give you stress and headaches. Better to take care of things right away so that you don't get yourself in a jam.
I don't know. There's pros and cons to both. :)
GOOD NEWS: My new license doesn't expire until 2042, so unless I move or something, I shouldn't have to go back for a long time!
BAD NEWS: Chances are, I will be moving! :)
Thursday, May 29, 2008
When she was a puppy she took 2 trips to the ER. Once for eating mouse poison...not really her fault. And the second time for eating a whole bag of chocolate chips...not really her fault either, but I was still mad at her. She has gotten into chocolate at least 3 other times, none that required emergency room treatment but definitely made her very sick and made a huge mess. Sammy has run away countless times because she is the greatest escape dog ever. The police came to my door twice because of her and I had neighbors who video taped her doing her business in their front yard. (There were days I wanted to kill this dog). She once escaped from our backyard (which we doggie-proofed) by moving a huge bag of dirt, 2 boards, some boulders and digging a hole. She was even hit by a car after one of her escapes and made it home without injury. In fact, a man who saw her get hit by the car tried to pick her up and she ran home. He followed her to my house and rang the door bell to make sure she was ours. I was dumb-founded because I had no clue she wasn't in the back yard still.
Our youngest, Wyatt loves animals. He just loves Sammy but unfortunately, Sammy doesn't love the tight hugs around her little neck. She growls and growls (she's never bitten anyone luckily) and I'm always having to break up the conflict between Sammy and Wyatt.
Also, thanks to Rand, Sammy is very protective of her food and doesn't appreciate anyone pretending they are going to eat it. She's never sure what Wyatt is going to do, so she usually growls if he gets near her food. And this brings me to the story that has inspired this post in the first place....
The other morning the boys were in the kitchen eating their breakfast. Sammy was with them, as usual, waiting for something tasty to hit the floor. I was at the counter not really paying attention. I heard Sammy growl and then yelp and I was instantly mad at Wyatt for bothering her. "Wyatt, will you please leave Sammy alone!" Out of the corner of my eye I see Sammy flip-flopping all around. I was like, "What the heck?" I took a closer look and saw that Sammy had a little pair of children's scissors attached to her ear. Oh my gosh! She knows I'm the only one who can help her so she sat down, kind of shaking, and allowed me to undo the scissors. (She did the same thing when she jumped on a cactus and had huge burrs attached to her legs and feet. She couldn't get them out and she just laid there like a child, "Please help me!") It was so sad. The scissors were completely closed on her ear. Luckily they weren't very sharp. She had a little nick out of the edge, but mostly her ear was just folded.
Poor Sammy! She was shaking for about 20 mins after that. Once again, she survived. I was glad that Wyatt didn't get a hold of my sewing scissors which could easily remove an entire appendage. (Don't worry, my sewing scissors are not in sight or reach of little children. Their kid scissors however had just been used for cutting paper in school, hence the experiment on Sammy's ear)
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Next Tuesday (the 3rd) the little boys and I are flying to Seattle. The original plan was that we were going to stay for 2 weeks and Rand was going to meet up with us at the end of the trip and we would all fly back together. That is still basically happening, but it is a little more complicated now. Without going into too much detail, Rand had a phone interview with a church near Philadelphia, PA looking to hire a Pastor of Outreach in their church. They liked the info he sent and apparently like what Rand had to say during the phone interview and now wants us to fly out for an in-person interview. Scary, exciting, nerve-racking, faith-testing.....yes!
So the plan is as follows....
I fly to Seattle on the 3rd. On the 6th I will fly out of Seattle to Philadelphia...leaving the kiddos at Nana and Papa's. Rand will fly out of Phoenix on the 6th and we will meet up in Philadelphia. We'll do whatever we are going to be doing there???? Meeting people, talking (hopefully mostly Rand will be talking :0) ...okay, you have know me to understand meeting all new people for like 2 days is not really my cup of tea. Rand = good first impression Kaylee = acquired affection over time :) )
On Sunday the 8th, I will fly back to Seattle, Rand will fly back to Phoenix. On the 14th Rand will fly to Seattle and then on the 17th we will ALL fly back to Phoenix together. After that, who knows??! Crazy couple of weeks coming up.
Rand is excited about this possibility. I'm mixed (that's the short version) but definitely willing to see what God has in store. The job sounds great and something that I think would really "fit" Rand. As for any of the rest of it, I guess we will just wait and see.
So, prayers much appreciated. Rand needs a job soon, but we want to make sure it is the right job for him and that it is what God wants. (Did I mention Rand just got put on graveyard shift at the resort?? Yuck!) Prayers for the church bringing us out, too, that they would receive clarity by meeting us in person and know the next step that they need to take.
I will leave you with a little laugh....
One of Rand's friends recently pointed out an interesting theme in Rands employment:
Pastor of a dying church (hope that doesn't offend)
Hmmm what next??? I think we are about to turn a corner! :)
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
This is the part where people wonder why in the world you would live in Arizona. I have to say though, it is true....you get used to it. It's not nearly as bad as it was last year.
Monday, May 19, 2008
So, Saturday we left early for the 5:10 game. We found out we could bring in our own food and drinks and hit the grocery store first so that we wouldn't have to spend $50 dollars on a couple of hot dogs. We got to the stadium around 3:00 which gave us plenty of time to watch some batting practice and find the kids play area. We got cheap parking close to the stadium because we were there so early and got our nose-bleed tickets. We got through the gates and received 4 bobble heads. Sweet! We came on bobble head night! Bummer, we had to carry around 4 boxes with us.
First things first, we walked down to the field and watched some hitting. The boys loved it. They just didn't understand why they couldn't get out on the field and hit some balls too. They both decided that when they were 14 years old they would be on the field hitting and we would be watching them. Cool.
After watching for a while we went upstairs and found the kids play area. There was a batting cage (a miniature field) for the little kids, a batting cage with a pitching machine for the older kids, a grassy area for the kids to run around and a big play set with slides and places for climbing. They went on the play set first. It was soo much fun because there weren't that many people there and they could just play and play. Then Brendan and Wyatt took a turn at bat with the whiffle balls. After that they ran around the grassy area and practised sliding.
Sounds great, right?
Well this is where things went bad.
We knew our seats were super high. No problem, we really didn't mind. As we were walking around to the other side of the stadium where our seats were, we noticed that the field was getting brighter and brighter. We looked closer and realised that they were opening up the roof. And low and behold, we are in the section of seats facing the sun.....at the top of the stadium which would be last to receive shade. UGH!!! Note: this was the hottest day we have had all summer so far....around 100 degrees and it was about 4:30 in the afternoon. (It has since been hotter, up to 109 today and tomorrow.)
So we climbed the mountain of stairs slowly, gripping the hand of our kids and carrying a backpack full of food and water AND four boxes of bobble heads. We sat down, wiped the sweat from under our sunglasses and tried to see the field below the intense glare of the sun that was about eye-level. The kids were hungry, so we got out the food and ate in the blazing heat. Our entire section started chanting, "Close the roof! Close the roof! Close the roof!" Amen! What were they thinking?? Our tickets should have cost us about 2 dollars. The kids were getting cranky and I was getting beyond cranky.....more like extremely ticked. We finished eating, packed everything up and decided to go back to the play area for a couple hours until that sun was gone.
We got to the play area and it was a mad house. Kids everywhere! There was a big line to get into the play area so we got in line. They were only letting about 10 kids in at a time and there was no time limit. Parents were just putting there kids in and then turning around and watching the game. I was pretty peeved. The kids and I waited patiently in line as it slowly moved forward. I swear we waited about a half hour and finally we were next. Brendan went through and I put Wyatt down and the "guard" said, "Is he three?" "Almost" I said. "Well, he can't come in unless he is three." I was speechless. I really couldn't believe it. I picked up poor Wyatt and carried him out of the crowd and tried to explain to him he wasn't old enough to play. IT WAS AWFUL! He had already been in there and so he really didn't understand. I let Brendan play for a bit and then pulled him out and thought we could just go over to the grassy area and run around. We went over, Wyatt ran in and they stopped Brendan and told him he couldn't come in because he was taller than the sign. I'm not kidding, he was maybe an inch taller than their sign. Again, no one had said anything earlier. So Wyatt ran around a bit and Brendan had to wait. In the meantime, some kid had pooped on the floor and people had been stepping in it and dragging it all over the area we were standing. I am almost in tears because of how terrible this is turning out and Rand and I were looking at each other, seriously considering leaving and never coming back.
We looked across the field and noticed that almost all the seats over there were in the shade so we decided to give it another go as far as watching the baseball game. We ended up having a really good time the rest of the night. The boys got into all the clapping and yelling, "Let's go D-backs! Let's go D-backs!" We ate peanuts and had a fun time in the warm shade at the top of the ball park. After the game Trace Atkins came out and gave a concert, so we didn't even have to deal with the end of the game rush. We listened to a couple songs and went home.
So if someone asked me how the game was, I would have to say, "good, bad, really bad and good again." I'm glad we didn't leave and that it all ended on a good note.
As always, here's some pics.
already drawing a crowd
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Today is month 13. Another one. As most of you know I went "home" last month for the one year anniversary of my dear brother's extraction from Earth. Does that sound too alien-ish?? Well it's how I see it. Body left behind, but the boy I knew and loved gone...in a flash...straight to Heaven.
The one year anniversary was so anti-climactic for me. I was dreading it for so long. And then we decided to make a big deal out of it by setting his marker and viewing it for the first time on the anniversary..actually the day before. I went expecting a repeat of last year. Lots of people, lots of crying. There was lots of people. And there was crying, but it was different than I expected. I think I would have to attribute it to healing. A year makes a difference, even if it is just a small difference. It's just as sad as it ever was. I guess I can just breathe through the pain a little easier.
I've been thinking back over this last year a lot lately. Where we were. Where we've come. The things that have happened. The things that are going to happen....
I am so stuck right now. Like, literally, right now. I have this problem with this topic. It is too big to tackle and put down in words. I've really never had that problem before. Generally, I express myself best when writing. This topic, however, is somewhat trapped inside. I really wanted to write something a month ago, but I couldn't. All I did was post those pictures of the marker. Still today, I can't quite articulate what I'm thinking/feeling about all this. Perhaps taking on this whole last year is too much.
Off the top of my head I can tell you that over this past year I have felt almost everything possible. I have felt loved and supported by sooo many people. I have become better friends with some of you through this last year. I treasure some of my friendships like never before because of how you have been there for me.
I have felt rejected and hurt by the people who "didn't get it", who couldn't help me with my pain, either by choice or by just simply not knowing what in the world to say or do.
I have felt hopeless. I have felt hopeful.
I have felt abandoned by God and I have felt held by Him.
I have been happy and sad.
I have felt distracted and obsessed.
I have felt annoyed.
I have felt......
...a million crazy things. Mostly I kept a lot to myself...internally processing as I usually do. A couple dear friends have cared enough to keep on asking. Sometimes they would get nothing out of my tight-lipped efforts to stay on the top side of my emotions, and other times tears would start to fall. I have found comfort in other people who have "lost" and their ability to "get it" just because they've gone through it. I still feel connected to those people, even the ones I don't talk to that often.
Every day I think of him. Sometimes so much I wish I could stop. His face flashes in my mind. His "bigness" when he was in a room and his loud voice. His gentleness with my boys and his wonderful laugh and the things that just him and I shared.
I am a different person today...than 13 months ago. I hope that I'm better. I can see fruit in my life that is evidence of learning lessons that God has given me. Other areas of my life still are being worked out. I know that I am better now than I was. I'm starting to want to do things that I haven't been interested in for a year. Like crafts, and maybe having more babies, getting my hair done, getting my body back in shape...and the like.
I must admit that I have felt a tinge of relief that we have passed the one year anniversary. All of those "firsts", done. One year closer to seeing Willie again. I do look forward to Heaven like never before.
Back to the lessons thing: I know I am still learning my lessons, but I suppose that is Life. I have had to choose this year whether I will lean on God and obey Him or whether I will hold my anger towards Him and deal with this alone. I think I have to make that choice everyday. There is a lot of this process that, for me, has to do with Faith and Trust. I might get hurt again. I will, actually. But, I trust the Lord who loves me and loved Willie and who I will spend eternity with. Nothing that happens during my stay on Earth can take that away. I choose to hang onto it...even when I miss my brother so bad it's hard to breathe. Like I have said before, the thing that has brought me the most peace all year is that God IS, Jesus IS and Willie IS too. I find the most comfort in that truth. I just can't see him. But I know he is there. I believe what God said.
I guess that is all I want to say for now. Believe me, there is more. But this is enough for tonight.
Some things I think about everyday.
It is SO much more impressive in person.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I also got another nice delivery of flowers from Rand's Mom that day.
Then, Rand surprised me by giving me a card with a gift certificate to the Spa at the resort down the road. I scored a trip to the spa AND the salon! Thanks, hubby.
This morning we went to church and the boys made the cutest gifts for me in Sunday School. It is so weird to get a gift from the kids that they made...and even wrote their name on. I'll probably save them forever.
Believe it or not, there's more. Later this afternoon there was a lovely package on the front porch with a lovely card and pictures of the kids with our fabulous neighbors across the street. Sorry, the picture is a tad blurry.
All in all it was a fabulous Mother's Day. I felt very loved and appreciated by so many people. Thank you to my kiddos for being so stinkin' sweet and nice to mommy today...and most days. Thank you to my mother and father in law for being so thoughtful. Thank you to my neighbors across the street for being so great. Thank you to my friends and family who have said, "Happy Mother's Day" in one way or another. And especially thank you to Rand for making me feel like the best mommy on the block all the time and spoiling me with things I love.
So, if you are one of those people who HATES when people dress their kids alike, I am very sorry and please ignore the following pictures. :) I like it and so do the boys. In fact, this morning (because of the woman in the store) I let Brendan decide which of his new clothes he would like to wear and then I let Wyatt pick what he wanted. And, of course, Wyatt picked the same outfit as his favorite, older brother. So, here's some pics for Nana, who wanted to see their new clothes!
Here are my children's, on-demand, feeling faces: