Monday, August 30, 2010

Routine and a Weekly Menu

There is nothing like chaos to make me crave routine. My life has been full of chaos for months now and I'm so ready for routine I can taste it.
This move has kicked my butt and I am still struggling to find a schedule and routine here.
Nick is in full swing of his school now, so that's step one in setting up the schedule. He's out the door by 7:30 and this is a very good thing. Alex's schedule is a little more crazy with two a day football practice every other day for a week, once a day the other days, and then last week having only afternoon practice. This week he's back to afternoon practice only and starts school on Thursday. FINALLY! I can't wait to have everyone out of my house by 8:00 and be able to get some things done.
Another step I take toward routine is to make a weekly menu. It makes grocery shopping easier and it frees up precious brain power daily. After last week's crazy week of moving Callie into her dorm and five days of fast food and junk food, I am craving a normal menu as well.
This week's menu:
Sunday- Taco Soup with Cornbread
Monday- Roast beef with potatoes, carrots and spinach
Tuesday-Roasted chicken breasts with Pomegranate and chipotle sauce (thank you tastefully simple), rice and roasted asparagus
Wedneday- Leftovers
Thursday- homemade pizzas
Friday morning Alex's mother flies in for the weekend. I have no idea where she's staying or what her plans are because she's chosen not to share them. She's flying into Boston and I don't know if she plans to stay up there, or is driving down here. Alex keeps saying "I think she's going to look for a place to stay here in the area"  I truly hope she has already booked a room because this is a huge tourist area and it is Labor Day weekend. Every hotel and Inn has been booked here all summer.
 I also hope she realizes the boy has school on Friday and won't be available until late afternoon. She hasn't bothered to inquire of his football schedule or if he needs to be anywhere over the weekend. I'm dreading this weekend because of her visit, but trying to remain positive because we will be kid free and it's our sixth anniversary.
So, in spite of my excitement of routine coming back, after writing this I realize that my routine really won't start until next week. Ex-wife coming to town = chaos to me. Prayers please that I keep it together.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Going Home

Today I leave my newly enrolled college student and fly back to Rhode Island. This is hard for me. I knew it would be but now that I'm hours away from getting on a plane, the reality is setting in.
I have been this way with all three kids.
I took my son off to college when I was a young 37 years old. Yes, I had him when I was WAY too young. I took him three hours away and cried all the way home. I wondered, "who's going to take care of him"  My middle child left home in a rebellious huff when she turned 18. She lived in town and we had a rocky relationship. She made bad choices and I grieved through it all. We managed to grow close through this, even though she wouldn't take my wise advice and come home to attend school. I left her to move to Hawaii two years later and it was the hardest thing I ever did. I cried.
Here we are, several years later, and the baby is leaving. Y'all.. I haven't been without one of my kids (the ones I birthed) in my house with me since I was 18 years old.
Callie is doing well. She's more prepared for this than the other two were and that's thanks to having a father figure in her life that the other two missed out on. She's confident, strong and oh so smart. I know she'll be fine.
She's crowded into a dorm room with two other girls and that's stressful. She's ready for classes to start so she has routine.  She has her brother down the road as well as his fiance. I KNOW she'll be fine. It's still hard.
I will cry today. (who am I kidding? I've been crying already!)  She's taking me to the airport. I'm leaving her with all the tools she needs to do well. I'm so stinkin' proud, but it's a bittersweet time.
It's a good thing I have a 15 year old boy at home who needs me. I need to get back, get him started in school and make sure HE has the tools he needs to leave home in a few years.
Thanks for letting me have a pity party. I'll be ok, I just need a moment.

On a more positive note, I am ready to be home and to sleep in my own bed. I need routine. I crave it. I haven't had routine in months now. If I don't get my routine back soon, I may lose it. Next week, Alex starts school and I can figure it all out!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Move-In Day

After weeks of preparation and 19 (almsot 20) years of growing and maturing, my Callie moved out today. I won't lie, it was stressful and exciting all at the same time.
We started out with a meeting with her financial counselor. The FAFSA application we put in for the pell grant is STILL being verified and there is no answer. The nice lady says "It sure looks like she's eligible for the full Pell, but no guarantees"  Meanwhile, the first payment of tuition was due yesterday. Guess what came out of our savings?
After that we swung over to the residence hall and grabbed the big orange bin to move her stuff in.

Clearly, she's not happy with me and the camera.
We get into the room and the reality of three girls in a room designed for two is really crowded. I won't go into detail but it was a bit stressful and we left two hours later with a dejected college student. We had to re-group and redesign our plan. We were off to Walmart to get plastic drawers and some other storage solutions.

Once again, she's not happy with me. This was taken with my phone because she wouldn't let me pull out the camera.
After we spent way too much money and had some lunch, we felt refreshed, renewed and re-energized. We hit the dorm parking lot and snagged one of these....again...

When we got back to her room, things were much calmer. The girls got together and divided up the space and were doing so well at working together. I was so proud. Callie truly is blessed to have two sweet girls in her room with her. I spent a few minutes putting together this little jewel.

Yes, I'm using baby scissors instead of a screwdriver. I didn't have a screwdriver. If there's one thing Army wives are good at is adapting. I'm not sure if my engineer husband would be proud of this or if he would cringe.

It's lovely, is it not?
I sat as Callie was putting her clothes away and chatting with her roommate (one had gone off with friends) and I realized, I'm the fifth wheel. I need to leave her with "C" to go exploring. They had already made plans to attend the block party/BBQ and I knew I didn't need to be there. I left her and made my way to the jiffy lube to get her car serviced and inspected so I can get Texas tags for it tomorrow.
I will hit the DMV in the morning. Please send positive thoughts and prayers that the stars are all aligned and the DMV gods are smiling on me.
I'm proud of Callie, but a little sad that she doesn't need me. But then, isn't that what I've been preparing her for these last 20 years?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cranky Pants

That’s been me the last few days. I’m not sure why that is. It could be a number of things. I’m stressed about taking Callie to Texas to start her first year of school away from home. The school informed us about two weeks ago that they had over booked the dorm rooms and would be putting a third girl in a room designed for two. Stresser! She’s not happy, and I’m not happy. Hopefully it’s temporary and she can settle into her room without being moved, which is a possibility at this point.
I’m a little stressed having the teenage boy with us when he’s never lived with us before. I knew this would be a transition and it is. I need to remember that as hard as it is for me, it must be harder for him. I’m the adult. I am supposed to know how to handle these things. He’s had a huge change in his life, definitely for the better, but a change nonetheless. He’s not a boy that expresses himself at all. This surprises me. I knew him as a child when he wore his heart on his sleeve and every emotion came bubbling up like a volcano. What happened to him to make him repress his feelings? He shows no emotion. I don’t know how to deal with that. His habits are not one of a boy that has lived with us and it irritates me. It’s a work in progress and I need patience.
My house is still not quite right. The washing machine that was damaged in the move is hard to use. My dryer went completely out yesterday. It’s been acting up for days and then finally died yesterday. Not great timing since I was leaving today and as I was leaving, we had old friends coming to stay with Nick and Alex for a couple of nights. No laundry, I need to pack and clean my house and oh my gosh, I don’t have enough groceries or beer and wine for company!!!
I walked away from it all. In my cranky state, I left knowing Nick would struggle with the washing machine and that he would have to find a repairman or new dryer without me. I relished the thought. It’s ugly and I’m not generally an ugly person.
As I sit in the airport in Detroit, awaiting our flight to Texas, (which is delayed AGAIN) I know in my heart what’s wrong with me. I’m sending my baby girl off away from home. I’m going to miss her terribly. She’s nervous, scared and unsure of herself and that makes me jittery as well. Hopefully we’ll both feel better after getting her into her dorm room and meeting some fantastic roommates. Even if there are two instead of one. Even if they are crammed into a small room.
Say a prayer for all of us; I could use one right about now.
On the bright side, I will see all three of these people while I'm here. (of course I brought one of them with me)  I won't see them all together, but anytime I can see my kids it's a plus!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Baseball, Football, and Mexican Layer Dip

What a combination!
Last night we drove up north of Providence to attend the Pawtucket Red Sox baseball game. They are doing very well this season and the best seats were only $11.00 per ticket so it was a no brainer!

 Unfortunately, our Sox lost this game.  We still enjoyed ourselves. We had amazing hot dogs, cheese fries and beer. I do love ballpark food. Who am I kidding? I love all food!

They had a vendor selling "fried dough"  No, I'm not kidding. It smelled heavenly. I wanted so badly for Callie to go get one of these carb laden wonders, but alas, I still have not experienced this version of fried dough. I did see one child with a plate of it and it resembled a funnel cake made the lazy way. It was a flat piece of golden fried dough. She then took it over to the condiment table and loaded it with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Be still my heart!

Tonight we have our first social with Nick's small group at school. He has some classes/lectures with all the students and others with just his group, called his "seminar". He signed me up to bring an appetizer and I have to tell you, I struggled with this.
I'm particular. I want it to be tastey and memorable. No cheese and crackers for this girl. It's not terribly close so I wanted something that didn't need to be kept warm. So, after digging through my cookbook of favorites, I found my Mexican Layer Dip. My girlfriend/boss taught me her version of this when I lived and worked in Texas. It's been a favorite in my family and I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner. It's been ages since I made it and I'm so glad I did!

Notice the jalapenos on top. I mentioned I'm a Texas girl, right? I do love my jalapenos. I had some ingredients left over so I made a small one for Callie. (No way Alex would eat this) She LOVES this dip.

As you can see, I didn't even get to the final touches before Nick and Callie got into it. She loves her jalapenos as much as I do, so I know she'll be adding some to the rest of this.

Lastly, let me mention football practice. It exhausts me and I'm not the one on the field!  We got in a little late last night so we were late going to bed. Nick is not feeling well at all so he dragged himself to class without awakening our young athlete. By the time I realized this I knew we'd be pressed for time. I get the boy up and get him started, go downstairs to start his breakfast when the doorbell rings. (I'm in athletic shorts, t-shirt and sans make-up...lovely)  It's the maintenance man that I was expecting this afternoon. No worries, I'm nothing if not flexible, so I showed him to my downstairs bathroom with it's loose toilet seat and tissue holder half falling off the wall. This cost me some precious time and Alex is starting to freak. As I'm pouring his beaten eggs into the pan, he says "We don't have time! We have to leave... like NOW"  I assured him I was making a sandwich that he could take on the road. I threw together an egg, bagel, slice of cheese and a piece of bacon and he was a happy boy. Does he think this is my first rodeo?
Saturday practice tomorrow after he does his paper route. I'm tired just thinking about it. Thankfully, his father will be home and can take him back and forth for a change.
Recipe for Mexican Layer Dip
Layer 1: Refried beans with garlic powder and salsa mixed in
Layer 2: Ground beef with taco seasoning mix
Layer 3: Guacamole
Layer 4: Sour cream
Layer 5: Grated cheddar cheese
Layer 6: Sprinkle chives, chopped tomatoes, olives and jalapenos as desired.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Football Practice and Feeding an Athlete

This week was Alex's first week of football practice. When I say first, I mean first. He's never played a team sport before (swimming, but to me that doesn't count) 
My oldest son, J.D., lives in Texas and is a middle school football coach and math teacher. (I'm so proud) He was also a HUGE football stud when he was in high school, so when I needed a refresher on food, equipment, etc, I called J.D. Now if my husband was going to football practice, he wouldn't eat. He doesn't like to work out with anything in his stomach, so I Alex this way?  So I asked my son the football coach, "Should I feed Alex breakfast before practice?"  He said, "yes, but no sugar and no dairy."  Ok then, no "normal Alex breakfast" of sugary cereal and a quart of milk. (baby steps people, I can't take all his vices at one time"
Alex was thrilled with scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast. I added some grapes, or other fruit and a glass of OJ.
First day, there is a small lunch break and then back for more practice. I pick him up, bring him home, and he makes a PB&J sandwich and has a banana.  Ooops.. bad mom, our jelly is packed with sugar.
So, day two:  scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast, chicken strips and mac & cheese with fruit for lunch (begging forgiveness now, I can't tell you how long it's been since I made a meal like that and it almost made me gag) Dinner that night, shrimp scampi with angel hair pasta. I added diced tomatoes and spinach to the scampi. He ate around the spinach.

Bad photo, I know. It was taken with my phone. This is after day two. He is sitting up in the chair and still holding his glass.

Yesterday: eggs and toast for breakfast, beef hot dogs and baked tortilla chips for lunch. Oh wait, add a banana, and a granola bar, and a half gallon of gatorade. Then I took him back for afternoon practice. Last night's dinner: rib-eye steaks on the grill, baked potatoes, and broccoli. I put cheese on his broccoli to make sure he'd eat it. He cleaned his plate, ate Callie's leftover steak and most of the whole steak that was left over. Holy shopping trip, batman, I'm going to go broke!

After day three of practice. He got a cleat to the hand. When he called his big brother (the coach) to brag on his first battle wound, JD said "keep your hands off the ground!!"  Typical.

I love being home to cook for him and take care of him. When my oldest son was playing, I was a single mom and worked full time. He was lucky to get Subway between practices and have a ride back to school. He did ok, I don't feel guilty.
I would love ideas on how to get veggies and other healthy foods into a boy that would eat cupcakes, sugary cereal and cookies 24/7 if I didn't hide that stuff. (yes I hide it, he has NO self control)
Tonight we go to the Pawtucket Red Sox baseball game. I see a hot dog and a beer in my future. Did I just write a post on eating healthy? Yes, do as I say, not as I do.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Perpetual Motion

This is something I posted on a forum for Army Senior Advisors (senior spouses who lead other volunteers)
It's a little long and may bore my "non-military" friends, but I think as women and mothers, we can all relate to it in one way or another.

Perpetual Motion

I feel as if my life is a constant transition. I imagine all military spouses feel this way. Just as you think you’ve found your niche, orders come and it’s off to the next thing.
Is that a bad thing? No, I don’t think so. I think if I remained still, in one place, doing the same thing all the time, I would become stagnant. I remember seeing stagnated ponds as a child and asking my dad why that water was so nasty as opposed to the beautiful creeks and rivers I’d seen. He explained to me that water must be moving to stay pure and when left without current, it becomes this green, murky, smelly mess. So, given the option of murky and smelly vs. clean and pure, I’ll take the latter.
My husband left battalion command in February then took a job as a staff officer while we awaited our time to transition to his year at the Naval War College. I had been so busy as the commander’s wife that I welcomed the change and the lack of something to do. I assumed that in a few months I’d grow tired of that stage and be ready to move on to some other busy something. It’s been 6 months and I haven’t reached that time yet.
We took a few months to visit family, move our home overseas again and get settled into our new area. I would say I’m 95% settled and am still not feeling like I’m being called to volunteer. I could make the excuse that there’s nothing much here to volunteer with, but that’s not true. No, there are no Soldiers here. There is no FRG or ACS. There is, however, a spouse’s club I just joined and opportunities to work in their gift shop or sit on committees and do other fantastic community building works. I’m just not feeling it.
My role as a mother has changed as well. I dodged the oncoming “empty-nest” bullet and have a teenage boy again. This was something a little unexpected but certainly not unwelcomed. I’m enjoying dragging out my years as a mom. I have thought about looking for something involving his sports teams. Fundraising, perhaps. I can sell T-shirts, hotdogs, tickets, etc with the best of them. But, this is a small school and so far, I’m not seeing much in that area either.
To be honest, I’m enjoying being at home. I’m relishing quiet. In the past I’ve wondered why more senior spouses weren’t involved. I’d heard “I’ve been there, done that, and just don’t want to anymore” quite a bit and wondered how you get to that point. Well, my friends, I’m there. I’m taking a break. I still love Army Families with all my heart and will continue to support them in any way I can. From home. And my computer. And on the phone. I will host events in my home for my neighboring military families, but it will be light and not heavy. We won’t have to discuss the role of the RDC or FRSA because we have an upcoming deployment. I won’t have to make sure the privacy act is on the rosters I put out for Bunco or social groups.
This is the new me. The old me will return, as needed, when Nick continues his career. If he finds himself in the position of commanding Soldiers again, I will step up and lead volunteers and Families again. Until then, you’ll find me playing the role of football mom. I’ll be the one getting crazy when my kid does something awesome. I’ll be the first lunatic on the field after a game. You can also find me outside, watching sailboat races and enjoying a glass of wine in my Adirondack chair. Doing just enough to avoid becoming stagnant.

I realized after reading this again, that non-military families who do not move around and stay in one place may take offense to this. You don't have to be physically moving to keep that "purity"  We as women are always moving and changing our roles. You get that, don't you?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hot Fun in the Summer Time

Ok, so it's not really hot. It is summer, but has not been hot this last week. As a matter of fact, my thin blooded daughter and myself have been chilly at times. That will all change as a weather system comes in and brings humidity. Oh how I hate the humidity. It's one bad hair day after another.
We've had some great family time the last few days. On Thursday night we took the water taxi into town and had a night out. We had dinner at a wonderful Irish pub, walked around the beautiful little town of Newport, then had ice cream while we waited for the water taxi to take us back home.
Nick and the kids on the water taxi. How lovely. Callie was already chilly.

Me with my girl as we walked around and waited for the water taxi.

We asked a nice stranger to take a photo of the four of us. It would be perfect if Alex was smiling. He is this way in almost EVERY SINGLE PICTURE we take.
Friday night was a potluck here in the neighborhood. It was the first neighborhood gathering we've been part of since we moved here. I have to say, these military families know how to throw a party. With only two days notice, we threw together a fabulous potluck with amazing food, games for the kids, and lots of wine and conversation for the ladies. What were the men doing? I don't quite remember. I think they were gathered around the coolers, drinking beer and talking about their upcoming school year and the best way to drive to base and avoid the horrible tourist traffic in Newport.
Quick facts to catch you up:  My husband and the others in the 'hood are here to attend a year of school. We don't live ON base, but in military housing in another area of town, thus the driving reference.
No photos of the potluck but good times were had by all, new friends were made, and lots of teasing because the women all had jackets or sweatshirts on by the end of the evening. Callie met lots of girls here that she is looking forward to re-connecting with during Christmas vacation. Yay!
Last night we had family night at home. We had dinner together here, then gathered 'round the firepit for s'mores and good times. I love nights like these.

Taken WITH the flash on. Lovely, aren't they? Oh my, Alex is smiling!

Taken without the flash so you can see the flames. Look at dorkboy with his socks on. Oy, this is an ongoing battle with us. "Don't wear your socks outside or I'll make you do all your own laundry!!!" 

Roasting marshmallows for s'mores. Oh look, he took his socks off. I'll probably find them in the backyard somewhere later today.

This was his face most of the evening. Shoving s'mores down his throat. I've never seen a kid eat so many so quickly. I could only eat two, they are wayyyy sweet.
Today the kids are meeting friends for a trip down to the beach here in the neighborhood. It looks like I'm headed to the commissary for groceries and my studious husband has a paper to write. This evening is the first football meeting for Alex. He has never played football before. He has never played a team sport before. Anyone else see challenges coming?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our New Digs

If you didn't catch the entry where I posted photos of the empty house, check it out here: The "New" House
Yesterday, I took photos of what we've done so far. It's still a work in progress but you can see I'm making some headway!
The living room and dining room are one long room. This was taken on the dining room end where the sliding glass door leading to the backyard is located. I didn't take a shot of the full dining room yet, because it's a wreck.

That cord in the floor is to my laptop which I thought I had so cleverly hidden behind the ottoman. Little did I know the cord was there!
Here is a shot of the couch (notice the right cushion all smashed down, thank you movers, I get a new sofa)
Someone PLEASE tell me how I'm supposed to hang a picture (or two) above this sofa with that big old thermostat placed right there in the middle? I'm struggling with the long walls and division of two spaces in one and hanging our artwork.
This is one side of the dining room. I will have to move the buffet down and center it below the picture, because I'm NOT re-hanging the picture. I am married to an engineer and hanging pictures around here is quite a project. It involves levels and measuring, etc. When I hang a picture, I eyeball and it move it several times if it's not right. Leaving little holes in the walls drives my OCD guy crazy!!


Here are a couple of shots of the kitchen. It's still a mess but I decided to leave the chaos out there for you
so you know how human I am!

Quite a difference from when it was empty, huh?

These two walls are still a work in progress. As I'm finding more of my Hawaiian stuff to display, I'm hanging it in here. (OCD/engineer man informed me that my Waikiki sign was pointing the wrong way)

Here are a couple of shots of the powder room downstairs. I've put my Americana stuff in here. Being married to a Soldier, we have lots of Americana stuff. I've got a few pieces in other areas as well.

Here is the front door and entry way from my living room.

And here we have the front door. Does anyone else think this looks like a trailer???  It's actually a row house with four units and mine is the second one in. It's nothing to brag about on the outside, but baby does it have a view!
Last but not least, is this shot I took of Callie outside reading her book. Notice the dogs out there with her. They love being outside here. It must be the nice weather and the sound of the sea gulls!

Notice the water just beyond that fence? It's lovely!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Birthday to our "Adult"

Today is Callie number 2's birthday. Did you know we have two Callies? Yes, I married a man who has a daughter with the same name as my youngest. It does get crazy around here.

Today Callie turns 18. She is the daughter we visited back in May for high school graduation. We're very proud of the young woman she is becoming.

This is Callie (on the left) with her BFF Tiff, at their graduation dinner.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I realized that I may have sounded very negative in my last post. I was having a hard time with unpacking way too much stuff in a small house and the fact that our movers had been careless with our belongings.
I'm not really a negative person. I have always looked for the positive and usually can find it easily. This post will be positive and will point out things for which I'm grateful.
I live in a beautiful place. It IS a small house, but it faces the water! I have a beautiful view and I listen to seagulls and Canadian geese every time I walk outside. I live in a fourplex, but we are in the only occupied unit, so it's like having four yards instead of one. We have even "borrowed" one of the outdoor storage units temporarily until we sort through everything.
We can afford to buy replacement things while we wait for the Army and the moving company to fight over how much will be paid and how long it will take.
We have custody of the boy my husband has ached to have with him for years. It's a wonderful opportunity to give him the benefits of living with two loving parents, a gift every child should be given automatically, but aren't.
I have my daughter here for two weeks and am financially able to fly back to Texas with her and get her set up in her dorm.
I have a husband willing to do a job that so many can't do. He risks his life to protect what's precious in this country and because of that we can afford to live the way we do and we have a roof over our heads, without paying for any untilities or taking care of a yard.
I could go on and on but I think I have covered enough to feel good about my situation.
I'm now going into my kitchen to make pizzas for my family and then I'm dragging them and the two dogs down to "my beach" to look for sea glass. I'm truly blessed.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Getting Settled

Wow, I can't believe it's been over a week since my last post. It seemed like it took forever to get our household goods, and then after they arrived, time has flown!
Our stuff finally arrived on Tuesday morning. It was bittersweet, because as they are pulling stuff off the truck, I'm realizing how little will fit into this "cozy" home, and how much is broken.
I posted about how much fun our Hawaiian packers/movers were. I was amazed at how fast they packed and loaded our stuff. Now I know why. They rushed through, they didn't pack well and my stuff was treated like it wasn't important.
I'm not a materialistic person. I don't really have expensive or nice things. Nick and I have made a decision to buy our really nice things after we stop moving around with the Army. Don't get me wrong, I do have things I'm attached to and would like to keep, but, for the most part, my stuff is just stuff and can be replaced.
The first thing that came off the truck damaged was a pine sofa table that I had bought years ago on my own. No big deal, I'll replace it.

 Then there was the Mexican pottery planter that a good friend gave me. I was a little sad about that because of sentimental reasons. Next was the bookshelf I had in a closet for storage. It was a cheapie and it was no big loss.

Is it any wonder this broke? It was stuffed full of heavy items and then shipped.
 Then there was a ball of paper that had been just added to a crate and not in a box. One of the boys unwrapped it for me and it was a resin cherub that my sister gave me years ago and it was crushed. That really made me sad. I've had it outside of every house I've lived in since she gave it to me. It was probably very inexpensive but I'm a sentimental slob and it bothered me.
The day went on and we found more and more things damaged or completely broken. My washing machine, my couch, my oak dresser. I won't go into details, but anyone with a little common sense would have known this stuff wouldn't make that trip having been packed that way.
My in-laws arrived Tuesday evening and we unpacked a little and played a lot. We ate a lot of seafood and did many scenic drives.
Yesterday, they went home and we got back to work. We worked like dogs yesterday. It was a power unpacking day and we really got lots done.
I had my meltdown yesterday. It was bound to happen with the stress of figuring what needs to be stored, finding places for the things I really "must" keep, and finding more and more broken things.
I was unpacking the guest room/Callie's room. I was putting some of her things out so she'd feel at home and found a heart shaped bowl she made in a pottery class a long time ago. It was broken. She had coins in it and a few other heavy things while it was in her room. The movers took it.. full of the heavy items, and wrapped it in paper to move it. Even I know that heavy items will put stress on a container as it's being shipped across an ocean and a continent. I lost it. I started crying and saying "People really should be careful with someone else's things." I said it over and over a few times when Nick finally hugged me and apologized. I think he feels guilty sometimes that our lives our so mobile and it's not always "normal"
Today I'm hanging pictures and curtains. I still have boxes to unpack but I needed some things on the wall to make me feel good. Besides, it gets those items out of my way.
Here are a few photos from the last few days.

I'm not sure it shows, but there is a big dent just above the knob. Now the knob doesn't turn well and I see a new washing machine in my future at the movers' expense.

This piece of glass goes in my china cabinet. Now I can't finish unpacking the dining room until this is replaced.

Steamers! They call these "little neck clams" I'm not sure what that means but they were delicious!

Steamer just before I ate it!

Stuffed quahogs. Aka "stuffies"  These are delicious!!

Three generations. My husband, his father and his son. Alex insisted they be in order of age. I think it's just precious that even at 15, Alex still leans in toward his dad for a photo.
My girl flies in tomorrow for two weeks. I miss her already and can't wait to see her!!