Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Long Haul!!

I'm Back!
After a ridiculously long torturous time without a computer and then no internet wherein I at one point actually did turn into a pumpkin as I suspected I would.
I have so much to share.
If you care to join me, I would love to take you on a photo tour of my last two weeks.

On the Friday before we left, a dear friend had a going away party at the park for our boys.
She suggested that their friends bring a book for them to take along on their new move to Montana.
It was a great idea and the boys have really enjoyed their new books and the sentiments from their friends inside.

I got to hug some of my friends goodbye too.

And Jackie Boy sure loves his buddies.

Mister Luke and his friends decided taking the pizza boxes and sliding down the grass would be a good memory to have.

And Toots enjoyed hanging out with his own gang.

My family and friends played some football

and we said goodbye to some very dear friends.

Then the packing ensued.

along with the loading of the beast.

Hottie Husband's Auntie came to his rescue and helped him load a ton of the furniture.
She is my hero.
Because it would have been me if she hadn't come by and I had a million other things to do.


Grandma Betty helped so much over the entire last month.
Here she is not happy with me for taking her photo with her hair messy, but she was doing something very important to me.
She was making a record of all of the heights we had recorded on that wall since the boys were tiny.
I wanted to cut out the wall and take it with me, but HH said it wasn't going to happen.
So she saved me and him.


Cowboy Tom came by with the best gift for the boys.
He said they all needed to have their own ropes if they were moving to Montana.

This picture was taken on the night before we left.
This group does not look stressed, but you should have seen HH and I.
It was 6pm and the 26 foot u-haul we rented was completely full. I mean packed!!!!
and do you see all that stuff surrounding the kids?
That stuff all still needed to go in.
As well as a piano, the boys dressers, our large round kitchen table, all of our clothes and the food from our pantry, all the large plastic toys for the baby and our patio furniture.
HH looked at me and said we had to leave it all.
Hmmm... a whole new wardrobe of clothes?
That sounds nice but NO THANK YOU!!!!

Once he understood the extent of our need for another hauling vehicle, we called and were able to get a trailer to pull behind the truck.
We were able to fit most of it, but alas there were many things still at the house.
Exhausted, we went to my mom's house to sleep and woke up early to get ready for church.
It was a big day and we needed to be there.
Little Bear was being dedicated and we were saying goodbye to our church.

After some tears, we skedaddled right after the dedication and went home to try to figure out what in the world we were going to do with the rest of our stuff.

Friends and family showed up and somehow it all got done.
We were so excited when our friends the Kims showed up with lunch for everyone.

It was such a blessing.
And anyone who came was not allowed to leave empty handed.
I gave away patio furniture, a piano, mirrors, clothes, bedding, an air hockey table and many things that I don't even remember.
It was madness and I was overjoyed when someone said yes, they would take it.

Little Bear got lots of love that day


and kissed his grandma goodbye.
She taught him how to give kisses.

We walked through each room of the home we had built over the last eleven years.
The place we had brought all four of our children home to from the hospital.
It was a place of wedding anniversary parties, going away parties, birthday parties and Christmas Brunch. It was a place of Easter egg hunts and football games and silly string wars.
It was a construction site that HH steadily turned into a magnificent place we called

We said our goodbyes.
They are important you know- the actual goodbyes.

Papa Keith drove the u-haul with Mister Luke as his co-pilot and I had the honor of riding in HH's truck with him, the three other boys and Destructo Dog at my feet.
Breathing on me and drooling on me and jumping around in her excitement. It was gross.

But, I figured it was only for one day, then we would pick up HH's mom aka Grammy and I would have the luxury of riding in her suburban for the rest of the way.

Except that it wasn't just for a day.
It was three days because of our multiple break downs of which I did not take a photo.
What was wrong with me?
Could it have been exhaustion, frustration, or just pure survival mode?

We went approximately 4 miles before the uhaul started having trouble.
We made it to Lancaster, about an hour from our house and then had to stop and call for help.
They could not make it until the morning so we had to spend the night, worrying that all of the stuff in the boat and the back of HH's truck would be looted.
It wasn't.

They supposedly fixed it and we made it just past Bishop before it broke down again.
I was just thankful that we were able to make it back to Bishop and get a hotel.
Did I mention that we had to find dog friendly hotels?
I now recommend the Holiday Inn Express as a clean dog friendly hotel.

While the truck was being worked on AGAIN, the kids and I found the most beautiful park and it was right next to our hotel.
The only problem was that once I saw how lovely it was, I started going into withdrawals because my camera was in Hottie Husband's truck and I could not get to it.
A call with a few hints to him about my sanity and he brought it right over.
Such a good man he is.

Here are a few from that day-




It turned out that the mechanics in Bishop were the smartest as they were able to finally fix the problem.
It was a wiring problem that kept telling the computer to stop the vehicle.
Sometimes computers do not make things easier.

A few more hours on the road and we finally made it out of California.
We felt as if good ol Cali was trying to hold onto us a little longer.

We made it to Reno, enjoyed an evening of hanging out with HH's sister and family and spent the night at Grammy and Papa's house.
Laundry was done so we could wear non-dirty clothes for the rest of our journey.
Then we hopped in Grammy's suburban with her dogs to take them to doggie camp on our way out.
Meet Barney and the backside of Mugsy.

As we traveled along, we needed to bundle up more and more.
Grammy nicknamed Little Bear- Nanuck of the North.

Things got better after our stop in Reno at Grammy's.

And this is what we looked like going down the road.
See that large thing on top of the trailer- that is the Softub we picked up at HH's parents house.
Don't we look classy?

And then we made it to the place we were headed to.
I pulled over to take a picture of the sign.
Then the baby started crying.
I nursed him in the car on the side of the road on the continental divide.
Isn't that the way all good people initiate themselves into a new state?

When we got there, my dad was waiting for us with my new car that he brought from Spearfish SD for us. I'll show you pics of that later.
It was so good to see his face and to have him there on those first few days in this unfamiliar place.

Then we went to the house we were going to be renting.
We had only seen pictures of a few of the rooms and we were both nervous about seeing it.
We left the u-haul at the hotel so as not to scare the owners with our Beverly Hillbillyness.

The owners were very nice and it looked like the home would be fine for us.
Except that it turned out there had been some miscommunication.
They had said only a few rooms were furnished and the the kitchen could be emptied.
There was a lot more furniture than we expected and the kitchen was full of their stuff.
You remember how much stuff we had with us?
Look at those vehicles again!

After some negotiating, we worked out what to do with the furniture.
And I had the lovely task of packing the kitchen before I unpacked mine.

I just kept taking deep breaths and smiling.
See all the dished in the bottom cabinet? Those are the ones I packed up for them and mine are going in on top after emptying that one.
It was ummmmmmm... frustrating and time consuming.

But, my sweet mother -in -law was a big help

and the kids found their guitars and started rocking out on the deck

and the Direct TV guy (only carrier that has the Dodgers) got our TV's working

and Toots enjoyed some snow

and Papa gave lessons on splitting wood

and Detructo Dog ran around in the snow
and it started to feel like home.

That sounds like a good place to stop, but remember I have been without access to my blog for a LONG time now so I still have more to show you.
Come on, stay with me here!!!

We enjoyed breakfast at the Buffalo Cafe, one of the best places for breakfast in Whitefish and said our goodbye's to Grammy and Papa and thanked them for delivering us safely.

We said goodbye to grandpa at the airport and thanked him for delivering our car and helping us unpack and settle in.

Then we enjoyed the new hot tub
and prepared for Thanksgiving.
Thank goodness my mom was on her way because I had never made a turkey before
and I still haven't.

She made this lovely turkey that Little Bear only got to look at for his very first

I have no idea how that picture got so big but if I go back and change the size, this may never get posted.
So enjoy the big turkey pic.

We gave thanks as a family for our good God, our Provider.
We gave thanks for the blessing of our sweet and loyal and loving friends.
We gave thanks for our families whose love and support holds us up.

See that glass Toots is holding?
It promptly dropped after the photo, shattered everywhere and Hottie Husband and I worked to get it cleaned up so the food would not be cold by the time we ate.
Then he enjoyed his turkey leg.


We thanked this sweet mama of mine for cooking and cleaning and doing laundry and decorating.

Then I took pictures of HH's backside as he hung some pictures at the direction of my mother and I.
Isn't that paint job on my bedroom walls just delightful. I also have an orange sink I need to share with you at some point.
The house has some quirks, but it has large rooms, many windows and an open floor plan

when you are sitting in the hot tub on the deck, looking at the moon shining on the lake

and you have made it through the journey of a lifetime,
there really is nothing to complain about.


Kathleen said...

The picture at the end says it all. Amazing.
Loved every bit of your story. The fact that you are not on the car floor drooling along with the dog is a testimony to your strength and trust in God. Go get 'em, sister.

Alisa said...

It is so great to see pics of where you are now. What a beautiful view!! Your boys look happy, and it sounds like you are settling in just great. I'm so proud of you girlfriend. Your story made me laugh and cry as do most of your blogs. Thanks for sharing your adventures. Can't wait to hear more. Love you my friend!! xoxo

New England Girl said...

What gorgeous photos! And my, what an exciting, worthwhile adventure you've embarked on. Of course, it will take some time to adjust, but you have gorgeous surroundings and a tight family bond that will adjust to anything! :) I am SO happy for you and your family. I've missed reading about your daily adventures, but I'm so glad you've rejoined us! :) xoxo.

Uncle Coreo said...

That was a super neato blog. Thanks for sharing.
Corey Young

Auntie Dedee said...

Oh,Brigetta, those pictures are too cute! By the way, NO need to unpack Little Bear's things, just keep everything packed, and when I get there I'll just "load up" my car. Do you know where I can get some snow chains?

Tiffany said...

You have some great shots and memories. I am so glad you all made it safely. Thanks for updating us!

Angelica Bays, TygrLilies.com said...

That took me through every emotion!
I'm sure ther'll be little tidbits you've forgotten and we're ready to gobble those up just as soon as they come back to you. Thank you so much for sharing!

JANET! said...

You need to write a book! This story is happy, sad, wild, crazy, hilarious and everything in between! GREAT post! YOU are a gem!!! SO PRECIOUS. You are all truly blessed!!! xoxoxooo

Leslee said...

I have missed ready your blogs, but kept up to date on your ahem...travels and tribulations via Twitter!!

So glad you all made it safely and yes, you are blessed with wonderful family and friends.

Oh, and the pic from the hot tub... GORGEOUS!!!

Love and Maple Syrup said...

Well, welcome home! The people who bought your home moved in yesterday... a HUGE Atlas moving truck moved them in after the painters were there for a week. Cate suggested that we stop by sometime and say hello. Too cute! Thanks for sharing the journey. Happy settling!

Foursons said...

First- my hat is off to you for posting all those pictures! I know what a hassle that is!

And thank you for posting them- I really enjoyed seeing them all.

I'm amazed you managed Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations already. Y'all are incredible.

I look forward to hearing more about your adventures and seeing that orange sink.

Anne Ericsson said...

I loved reading this even though I lived alot of it with you. I am sure all of your friends will want to visit all of you. I know a friend of Luke's from school wants a plane ticket for christmas to come up. I told his grandma today that if he goes up there, he will have a great time!!! If your friends from School want the names of the new owners they can call me anytime. (A little method to my madness) that way I get to see them again:-) I loved seeing where you live and feel that you are all safe.

Love you all, Mom

P.S. Dedee and I were at Costco today looking for Snow Chainsfor her car, but we couldn't find any so we bought Gas-X and Beano in the economy size instead:-0

Nessa said...

Stopping by from SITS. Wow! That is quite a journey you made. The last photo is absolutely breath taking.

I look forward to reading more of your blog.

Liz said...

Thank you for taking us all on your journey. Wonderful memeories! Fabulous views and it is really great to know there are so many people out there that love ya.

Plus, it helps that we all love the way you write and stay grounded. Absolutely hillarious!

campbell6 said...

You made it! Congrats! My hubby says this about orange sinks (and everything else that's absolutely wrong with the bathroom in our 'transition' house), "the water goes down people, the water goes down. What do we really need in a bathroom? Everyone together - the water goes down." So, here's to the new pad, and may your water go down and stay down. And may the yucky smell that comes back up our drains not grace your new home. :-) Welcome home, mama!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Girl, I am absolutely teary eyed right now revisiting the last few weeks of your life. What a whirl wind of change...goodbyes and new beginnings. I am so excited for you!!

Loved the pic of the baby on the wheely thing and by the turkey. So much has happened. Can you believe you made it?? You are really there:) Many congrats. I can't wait to see what lies ahead for you in MONTANA. That view is pure heaven on earth...wow!

Lena said...

Wow, wow, wow.... Amazing journey, amazing stories, hilarious pictures... I love it. Thank you for sharing your journey with me. I hope you are all settled in. (I love the view...:))

Life is good! said...

glad you arrived safely. what an amazing place to live! have i mentioned i love montana? i really do! hope you enjoy it!

Buddy and Krista said...

Aww...so good to finally hear about the past few weeks, and to see it, too. I was checking your blog every day to see if you'd posted anything yet :). I love how you ended your post--the wording and the picture. Welcome HOME my friend. Welcome HOME. :)

Anonymous said...

Well done!!!! I know I'm super late on the comment here, but I haven't read blogs in about a month because of a new job. However, awesome post! Lovely pictures! And most importantly, congratulations on getting there in one piece! Hope things are settling. Your sweet family is darling.