Thursday, September 02, 2010

we believe

Tonight, Charlie and I are sitting in the bathroom of our hotel, on pillows, drinking a bottle of wine and devouring a caramel fudge brownie. We are sitting in the bathroom because we are sharing a small hotel room with four children who are mildly asleep. Which means, if they roll over and groggily realize that Mom and Dad are eating a caramel fudge brownie, they will be quickly awake and want some.


So we hide.

In darkness.

In the bathroom.

While sitting on pillows.

And whispering.

Today, Charlie registered the children for kindergarten - which begins next Tuesday. During the registration process, he learned that the school's open house, "Meet and Greet" was an hour later. So I cut out of work early - drove to the school - and met the two women who will be teaching our children over the next 10 months. I toured their classroom, cafeteria and playground and learned all about the bus schedule, which our children are encouraged to take to school each day. It picks them up at the end of our street.

Now, I must admit ... I have mixed emotions about loading our wee little ones on a bus each day. But I think I'll quickly get over it. Especially once I see how much THEY enjoy it.

I must also admit that I am very excited about this new chapter in our lives.

I am very excited that tomorrow, we are going to close escrow on our new house in Virginia. Our new house, which just so happens to be approximately two times the size of our house in California, and which also - just so happens to be - situated on one of the most beautiful plots of land, in one of the best public school systems in the entire United States of America.

In our school district, the average SAT test scores for last year were 1664. Which is approximately two times higher than my score in 1989. (It's sadly true.) (Although, for what it's worth, I did maintain a 4.0 in graduate school.)

The timing of this move is really impeccable, what with our children starting school in a few days and all. Did I ever mention that I was recently looking over the website of the school where our children will soon attend and realized that THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES was there, talking to the Kindergarten class? Apparently, the Commander-in-Chief sometimes takes tours to local schools.

How cool is that?!


Despite all the awesomeness of this location, tonight, I read through the County's Student Handbook and had to choke back tears because MY BABIES ARE GOING TO SCHOOL. And as frequently as I might think to myself, "Oh my GOSH, would someone please take these children AWAY for a few hours!" the fact that it's now happening has me very sad.

Because the chapter after, "How to be an advocate for your Elementary School child" was followed by a chapter on, "How to be an advocate for your Middle School child", which was followed by a chapter on, "How to be an advocate for your High School child" and there was all kinds of language about insuring your child takes their PSATs and SATs and ACTs and .... boo hoo! ... very soon, my children are going to be SO MUCH smarter than me.

And bigger.

And then I'll blink and they'll be moving off to college.


All of that, "Time moving far too quickly" aside ... the stress of the past few months - the stress of selling a house, and moving cross-country and starting a new job, and managing multiple escrows, and coordinating finances and living out of a suitcase, while keeping four children healthy ...has just about vanished.

We're absolutely sure this was the right move for us.

Today, when I was at work and realized that I really LOVE my new job and am so excited about what I'll be doing, it gave me a a whole new perspective. Things will be very good. Especially once we're all on a schedule, and I'm able to get in early - and get out early - and volunteer in the children's classrooms a few times a month over my lunch hour.

(Because I signed up to do that, today.)

I also signed Charlie up to be the "Art Volunteer" who goes in to the classroom every week to set up art supplies and participate in projects with all of the children. Additionally, I signed him up to volunteer for the Fun Run in October and Field Day in the Spring and Team Dad for Little League, and Girl Scout's captain. And you know what?

My husband is thrilled.

Everything is awesome.

Tonight, while sipping wine on the hotel bathroom floor, we were talking about Stephen Hawking's new book which is set to be released next week. And while it troubles us that this world renowned Physicist, who we both highly respect, concludes that God was not involved in the creation of the Universe, we still believe that God exists. We believe that God is perfection. We believe that God is hope. We believe that God is the positive force that drives us to be the absolute best we can be. We believe that we are part of the Universe and God is a part of us.

We believe God is in everything.


Especially in our 2008 bottle of La Crema, Pinot Noir.

(And our caramel fudge brownie.)


  1. I'm glad you're reaching a feeling of peace about your move. The school district sounds wonderful, but my geeky inner self insists on telling you that the SAT scale changed in 2005. There are now 2400 possible points, up from the 1600 on the previous version of the test. So the school district's average is only 50% higher than your score, rather than 100%. There, don't you feel smarter already?

    (And man, does that brownie look good!)

  2. I would love to tell you that the drinks in the bathroom ends when they are x years of age - but it sure isn't before 11 years of age - we are still sneaking in there when they go to sleep while we are in a hotel room.

    Sounds like everything is coming together. You are well on the way to loving your new home.

    I had 3 removalists today to give a quote to move back to Aus. One of them said I was the first person to ever look happy about moving out of Indonesia. I have decided he must be pulling my leg?

  3. You guys crack me up! I'm glad things are starting to fall into place for you! The kids will love school and you will too - change is good sometimes!

  4. Jen,

    So glad you are finally at peace with this move. It will be great for all of you. Having lived in the D.C. area for a few years, I'm sure you will grow to love it as I did!


  5. So glad things are coming together for you all! However I chose to believe that god did none of those things. You did, well, not the whole create the earth thing. You guys had the strength to move your whole family. The power was withing you all. We give too much of our power over to a god who really has never helped anyone.

    I've recently learned that when I attributed everything good to him, I should have given the praise to myself or my family or the doctors.

    With that said once again so glad that it's beginning to look up for you guys, and I love that you were able to have a lovely moment in a hotel bathroom on pillows with your hubby. That's the stuff you will always remember and be able to giggle at later.

    Best of luck!

  6. OMG. I love when you drunk blog. Drunk blogging from the bathroom floor is EVEN BETTER!

    Let me tell you girlfriend. SCHOOL IS SO AWESOME. You guys are going to love it. Absolutely LOVE IT!

  7. Can I just say that I absolutely admire you guys? Because I do. I found your blog a while ago and have followed your story since.

    I celebrated for you when you announced your pregnancy, and cried when you lost it. I anxiously waited to hear your verdict on your move and must say I was very pleased with your choice! Reading your struggles through the move, I kept hoping that things would turn a corner and you would be rewarded for such a brave decision.

    This post made me smile and laugh and I am just so happy for you guys.

    I know I must sound really creepy, but I promise I'm not. Maybe just a tad. But nothing that should scare you. :)

    Anyway, keep on keepin' on. Keep living a story worth telling. Your family is truly inspiring!

  8. Beautiful post! I am so happy that things are going great for you guys! I can't wait to see pics of the new house.

  9. I know the "sit on the bathroom floor" situations for hotel stays. Big Daddy and I did that many many times during our travels through Europe with our boys. The hallway is another good place... less gross (mostly), although you do have to explain things to passersby.

    Glad to hear you're loving the job and feeling good about the move.

    Hey, why do the kids have to go on a bus? Their school is super close, and while I understand that walking is troublesome given your weather... can't Charlie drive them and walk them to their classroom? That's a huge deal with kindergarteners, that moment of arriving at the door and lining up and shifting their brain from home to school mode. Especially the first few weeks, when everything is so new. If Charlie can at least do the drop-offs for a few weeks, it could really assist in the transitions. You'd be surprised how many excited new kindergartners cry at that moment in the beginning days, even if they smile when they get inside the classroom. Taking Henry along will give him a feel for school, too. The little siblings who drop off their older siblings at our school really look forward to it. Just a thought.

  10. Soooo glad it's all coming together for you all Jen. I can't wait to hear about your new adventures. Once again your positivity through the tough times has been inspiring.

    Good luck with the next chapter.

  11. Ahhh...La Crema. Not a pinot or chard that I don't love. I'm sooo glad you've found some peace in this chaos. I knew it would come, but that's the luxury of looking in on your scenario from the outside. I am tickled with what you believe...I agree with all of it. :-)

  12. God is Good! Look at how far you've come this summer! I'm beyond thrilled that you now have a home and school and that you are finding joy...even in the bathroom! LOVE this! Thanks for sharing!Blessings as you move on!
    Don't I know about how fast the grow! But they're ready and I get to sit back a little more now and watch one walk up the steps to the High School and put on a football uniform...yikes! And one starting Middle school with lots of excitement and hope! And one finishing elementary. It's crazy, but they're ready!

  13. Ok, so I just spent some time getting caught up on your blog going back as far as Aug.18th...WOW, what a world win adventure you guys have been on. Your timing was perfect thru out this whole ordeal. Now you can move into your new home, the kids can start school, and it's almost like you haven't missed a beat! Back to schedules when it really, really counts!
    However, I will admit that I'm disappointed to hear Charlie was in town and we missed him. Heck, I would have done the dye job for free just to give you more to blog about. LOL. We also would have made him a home cooked meals and given him our guest room as a home base. Oh well…
    Did you get the pictures I sent of your “former home?” That sign in the front yard just doesn’t look right! Yet, I know you did what was right for you and your family.
    Enjoy this new season in your life and I can’t wait to hear about Earl ;o)
    Debra, Judd, Zoe-Baby and our 5 Turtles
    Aka: HilariousGivers.Org

  14. Congratulations on your move! It seems to all be working out just great! Don't get down on yourself for a low SAT score in relative comparison because the SAT scoring scale is now 2400. In 1989 the max was 1600. :)

    All the best,


  15. Excellent creativity, oooo LaCrema and a brownie, throw an another pillow on the floor I'm on my way.

    As for the bus, yes it's a bit intimidating that first day when you get on the bus with the "big kids"
    but when you live 3 miles from the school, then 6 miles from the school, then 13 miles from the school buses are a way of life. I cannot tell you how many English papers on wrote on the way to high school (13 miles) sitting backwards on the edge of the seat. I got A's TYVM

  16. HEY... that's our FAVORITE wine!!! Congrats on the house and for the all of the puzzle pieces fitting together! I knew this would happen for you guys! Can't wait to visit and see you all! Shayna starts school next Wednesday, so I have a little more time to prepare myself - well, actually, how to not show my child that I am a big cry baby!

  17. Hi Jen, I love the way you write and have been enjoying your blog since your littlest was born! I admire your courage to tell a story the way it is, rather than sugar coat events and frustrations.
    Anyway, I'm (finally) writing because I am so happy for you and your family. You have been through some trying times, to say the LEAST, and there will be more to come, but I am glad to see you make the most of any situation. (Even if it is out on necessity!)
    Good luck with the move and I hope that your family finds peace in your new (old) home!

  18. Hi Jen, I love the way you write and have been enjoying your blog since your littlest was born! I admire your courage to tell a story the way it is, rather than sugar coat events and frustrations.
    Anyway, I'm (finally) writing because I am so happy for you and your family. You have been through some trying times, to say the LEAST, and there will be more to come, but I am glad to see you make the most of any situation. (Even if it is out on necessity!)
    Good luck with the move and I hope that your family finds peace in your new (old) home!

  19. Glad to hear your life is looking up so much.
    Um, regarding the SAT scores - I think in 1989 the maximum possible was 1600 (perfect score, very few kids attained that nationwide, one of whom ended up in my dorm. Great example of brilliant mind completely lacking street smarts, but that's a whole other story). So if the average is now 1664 in your neighborhood, which is more than the previous maximum possible theoretical score, the scale must have changed? I.e., your historical score would probably look a bit better on the new scale.

    Happy moving in!

  20. LOVE this post! :) So happy to hear you're happy, and yes, God is good! I hear you, my "baby" is starting SECOND GRADE tomorrow and she's so excited! I am, too, but also a bit sad - time goes way too fast. Good luck tomorrow!!!!

  21. Wow!! It looks like you have your hands full of excitement. About the wall panels, ouch!!! I can totally understand the frustration. I've recently ordered wall panels and absolutely think you should check them out too. I covered some pretty unsightly walls with little experience as a "handy man"! At any rate, I recently bought the most beautiful wall panels (absolutely darling!!)I would have never considered purchasing anything of this caliber, simply because I didn't think that I could afford it. PHEW!!! Cheaper than what I thought. Yes, they even withstand the knocks and bumps from my teenage football star ;) If it weren't for a girlfriend of mine, I would have never looked into it. I'm completely happy with my buy. Added value and aesthetic beauty to what used to be my "ugly duckling" project.
    - Bela