Monday, February 28, 2011

Southern Skies

The weather we arrived to has only gotten better. It has been high 70's-80° with the most gorgeous blue skies every day. The one rain (60° rain! not snow!) we had lasted an hour Friday morning at 7 AM: it was a frog strangler - over half an inch in 20 min! But then it was beautiful, again. We spent a good part of Sunday outside practicing t-ball with Will & soaking up vitamin D, after building a long new backyard tie-out for Bonnie Blue beagle.


We're wearing *summer* clothes & sandals. I can't get over this! It's been warmer here than it was a few days in June & July up north! I truly DON'T mean to be cruel - had I read this from anyone else several weeks ago, I would have cried & felt the horrible hole in my heart expand; but honestly this is my heart's cry of the last 5 years realized, & I can't be thankful enough!!! :-) I am in awe.

Everyone keeps saying, "Yeah, but you'll be miserable in the heat this summer." Nah. I'm Southern: I know what it feels like, & I actually don't mind it hot that much. (Why do people not bat an eye when someone says they love snow, but it seems ridiculous that someone could enjoy summer heat?) I didn't even mind being 9 months pg with Will in July (he was born Aug 6th) last time we lived here. I'm the girl who gets into a hot car parked out in the sun & DOESN'T turn on the AC for several minutes, soaking up the heat, [esp. when coming out of an overly air conditioned (yuck!!!) place!] Plus, we even have a pool at this house. (We're not special - EVERY home, big & small, here has its own pool!) There's not enough money on earth to make me trade 4 months of 90's for the threat of snow Oct-April & temps to go with it!!!

1st Weeks of New Schools

My kids (are forced to?) take after me: we jump into life right away wherever we are! Annelise started her new Montessori last week and absolutely could not be happier! She is bursting with pride over reading. She read Go, Dog. Go! *for real* last week!!!

Will also began his new first grade, and I am so proud of the way he is transitioning. For whatever reason, Annelise's new start seems like no big deal - it's still individualized Montessori, and she wasn't quite as close with the kids in her class. She's also more go-with-the-flow (unless she's upset) than Will is. He is WAY more sensitive & has wrapped so much of his identity up in his "being a First Grader." I was nervous for him - on top of the fact that his new school is light years ahead of the one we just left curriculum-wise; it makes first grade up north seem like Kindergarten. There is a lot to catch up on, and I didn't(don't) want him to get frustrated.

So far, so good! He had his first spelling test Friday, and his sweet new teacher emailed me right afterwards that he did great! (LOOOOVE that communication!!!)

His class (along with 2 others) also gave a big patriotic music program Thursday. Apparently they had been practicing for weeks and had all made these red eagle shirts using their handprints.

They did everything to include Will equally, even at the last minute - including making his own handprint shirt Wednesday. I was SO IMPRESSED! (And I have honestly never heard a hoard of 1st graders ever sing so clearly & beautifully!) It made my heart want to burst with pride, watching him sing all the words & then seeing how he's already made friends in his class. :-)


I love the principal, too - at the end of the program, she even gave Will extra props, saying "Up on that stage right now is a boy who just moved & came here 2 days ago, and he did so well to learn the whole program so fast!" Yay!!! Go Will!!!!!

FOUND!

Y'all may remember my dismay over not being able to find my super nice electronic toothbrush last year after our last move. A whole little box of our last-minute bathroom stuff was missing, and it drove.me.nuts. I refused to spend the $$$ on another fancy one, b/c I was so sure it would eventually show up. It never did...

...Until this week! The whole box from our Naperville bathroom was all together this time in our unpacking! NO IDEA whatsoever where it was all the while in our last house, but at least I have it back now!!! And the electronic toothbrush base was even still charged - after 10 months. Told you that thing was awesome. ;-)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chatty Southerners

I have missed Southern culture & attitudes so much. I love how total strangers chat and actually want more than a "fine" in response to, "How are you doing?"

At Sam's, a lady stopped me to ask where I'd gotten my shoes. (They're these Onesole things, and I had a picture of Charleston's Rainbow Row on them.) I told her Charlotte; she was disappointed that she wasn't going up there any time soon, but she had actually lived in both Albemarle and Mooresville before, so she knew exactly where I was from and welcomed me to the area. We chatted for 10 minutes, all b/c she liked my shoes.

Tuesday, Annelise & I were having a snack out. I had reprimanded her for making a mess, but said that *she* wasn't bad; we just needed to clean it up. [DISCLAIMER: I am totally not saying that I'm always (or even usually?) so level-headed in my discipline!!! :-P] A man sitting beside us said, "I just have to tell you, you are a great parent. The way you handled that and made sure there were consequences to her action, but you didn't tear her down - keep that up! I work in counseling, and I can't tell you how many kids and young adults I see that could have avoided my office completely with parents like you."

I about burst into tears - what blessed encouragement for a mom trying to glue all our lives back together in a new place! The two other people sitting near us knew this man, so we all four ended up talking, and I got all kinds of info on Will's new school, which lifted me up, too. I love the feel of Southern small town life where everyone knows everyone, like where I grew up.

I'm thankful to have my hometown girlfriend Jamie here, too. We even got to have a double date night last Friday! Which lead to more chatting Southern strangers ending up in a smaller world: at one local place, a guy beside us struck up conversation. He said he knew of Davidson. Wow, I thought. How? He was on the national board of JB's fraternity & knew about the Davidson chapter! After the fraternity brothers & Davidson connection, Jamie & I said that we're from Concord, (which is close by, so he'd be familiar.) He said, "Well, I do some business with a little packaging company there..." *MY* family (my grandfather started it; my mom's brother & his kids run it) owns a little packaging company, and you guessed it - he works with my family business! Finally, it gets even weirder. We talked further about moving around, and he said that he actually lived up north during high school in a place called Naperville. SERIOUSLY?!?!? So then we talked Naperville, and we even emailed our dear friend from church there to ask if she knew him, b/c they had gone to that same high school about the same time.

Now I'm not saying that this kind of thing can't happen up north, but I didn't experience it, and surely not on a daily basis like here! The South is all about connections.

Starting South Georgia Life

We're alive! We're just without internet set up until next week still. I'm at Sbux (of course!) to post this, (and if I didn't have my iPhone for FB, I would be *dying* in cyber-isolation!) I feel like I could fill up 10 pages with tid bits about our first full week here...

Living in the hotel (4 nights/3 days) wasn't horrible...even with the dog! She was great, although she's not doing so hot today. (A toddler dropped bag of trail mix with M&Ms at t-ball practice right beside where we were sitting with the leash. *Sigh* Isn't it always something?)

LOVE the new house! The movers delivered everything on Saturday. The downstairs is pretty much done, (except for the new family room couch coming the first of next week.) The upstairs is...insane. This is my first home ever with the master down, so I'm thinking outta sight, outta mind, since I don't have to go up there - at least until the weekend. ;-) The classic paint in this house goes with all of our stuff so beautifully. Maybe I've just accumulated things with a Southern eye? So glad to be out of an all-white home & into COLOR!

Will's t-ball is awesome, but it is no joke! 3 practices a week - Mon, Tues, & Thurs from 5:30 until almost 7. He is loving it, but I'm going to have to get extra creative with dinners. They don't necessarily want to eat their full dinner at 4:45, but we don't have time once we get home. (They have got to go to bed immediately, b/c of our new early mornings. More on that next.) I'm going to start doing "picnic" dinners that we can eat at practice & on the way home. [Anything to avoid disgusting McDonalds! Suggestions welcome!] Hey, how's this for irony: his team is the...Yankees. *eye roll* :-P

Our new mornings...suck. Will's bus comes at 7:08. Have mercy... His old bus came at 8:25, and we usually slept until almost 8. (This is why they have to go to bed earlier than 8 PM now, since we're getting up over an hour earlier in the morning.) Annelise doesn't have to be at her school until 8:30, but even though Will's bus comes to our front door (SUPER YAY for that! :-)) of course I still have to get up with him.

He has a LOT more homework now, too. TONS more than his last school. That's OK, (b/c I honestly didn't think his last school pushed him quite hard enough,) but I do worry about the transition for him. I don't want him to get frustrated & decide he doesn't like school now, b/c there's so much more work. Please pray for him re: this...

The weather is DREAMY!!! High 70's every single day we've been here!!!! And SUNNY!!!!!! I have suffered through six northern winters in places that I knew were not my "home" culture, so I am going to revel in EVERY SECOND of this gloriousness that *finally* feels so right. (And I know this is so cruel, but when 10" of more snow fell up there this week, I looked around here at the green grass & down at my feet in SANDALS in February and sang a song of praise!) Our coats have been completely banished to the guestroom closet.

There's no Costco here. Only Sam's. (No beloved Trader Joe's, either, but I'll stock up there next time in ATL or CLT.) Yesterday was my first complete Sam's exploration. Overall, I was...not as impressed. Could any of you Sam's members out there share your secrets with me? What are your best buys there? What would you never choose there? It's a hard conversion for this Costco devotee. There were no samples. And their rotisserie chicken was dry. And I don't hear people RAVING about their house brand like people do over Kirkland (Costco brand) stuff. I don't have a choice here, so y'all help me get into the Sam's spirit!

There IS Publix here, though, and the beautiful brand new one is right up the street from us. YAY! "Where shopping is my pleasure!" (For any new people here, grocery shopping is truly one of my most favorite things in the world.)

Our next-door neighbor, who is a fashionable young grandma with 5 kids & 7 grandkids, baked us a chicken casserole & a chocolate cake to welcome us! We certainly haven't had that happen...ever? Get this - she also makes hairbows! :-D I need to unpack some thank-you notes ASAP...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Welcome Home!

I took the kids over to our new house this morning and actually remembered to snap some pictures! Come on a tour!!!

How gorgeous is the beveled glass front door???

Do a 180° from the front door to see from the dining room across the kitchen and into the family room. I love the open floorplan! (And all the wainscoting!!!)

Kids' rooms - how gorgeous is their bathroom wallpaper?

Upstairs playroom, bonus area, & office area: 

Even the guest bath is gorgeous:

Walking out back from the family room...

Every house down here has a pool, since pool season runs from March-November! Our new neighbor (who is actually the neighborhood developer) told us people heat them for parties Dec-Feb, too. :-) Just...wow...

On the bridge over the lake in our backyard beyond our fence:

And finally, it may be cliché, but spanish moss in the trees is my ultimate dream come true...

Messed Up

I have NEVER been so happy to have messed up packing! I packed us for the 60's and am roasting!

Oh, home sweet home!!! THIS is what I want February to feel like! :-)

Canine Commotion

Rewind to Tuesday at noon. Three hours before the car taking us to the airport was scheduled to arrive. The kids had been whining to go outside & play = absolutely not with all the snowpack, even if it WAS above freezing for the first time in 2011 in Michigan. The movers had been working like crazy for 3 days and were trying to finish in time for us to leave. It was lunchtime. I opened the freezer...and saw a coke can had exploded EVERYWHERE. [Thank you, random mover. (Seriously, our movers are THE BEST, but the one new guy they got for extra help Monday forgot he put it in there. *Sigh.*)] That fridge belongs to the house owners & stays in the old house, so I had to clean it. Talk about a mess!!! My hands are still rubbed raw with red freezer burns (genetic sensitive skin!) and it took me about half a (COLD!) hour.

During this time of my preoccupation, my children took it upon themselves to slip outside. By the time I got back to focusing on & dragging them back in, Annelise's cheeks were purple. @#$%&*+?@%$!!!!!!! Of course, the Benadryl was packed. "I TOLD YOU NOT TO GO OUTSIDE!!!!!! I HAVE MY REASONS! THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU HAVING FUN!" My BFF Tina was coming to say goodbye, so I called to ask if she could bring any antihistamine with. She arrived & saved the day...and then she asked, "Where's Bonnie?"

Ummmmm...?????

Our garage & front door were open all day while the movers loaded the entire contents of our house. Bonnie was great staying wherever the kids were, even with the open doors. When *THEY* snuck out while I was buried in the freezing freezer, she thought she could, too. She was gone. Gone. And our car to the airport was coming in TWO HOURS.

Talk about freaking out.

We all screamed & called offering her treats. The movers ran around the house. Tina kept the girls & yelled off the front porch. I got in the car with Will & drove all over the neighborhood with the window down, calling her. I got three neighbors in on the search, too - which made me feel awful; I mean, what a lame way to tell your neighbors goodbye?!?! "Find my dog! We move in less than two hours!!!"

I finally texted JB - not that he could do anything, but to ask if we should take the flight or not, if we couldn't find her by 3 PM - and a neighbor had JUST called his cell phone in Georgia to say she had Bonnie. WHEW!!! We have his cell phone & my email on her collar.

Cut to an hour and a half later:

Bad girls who run away go to jail. (Or at least get crated for their first freaky plane ride! HA!) She made it. We made it. We're all safe & sound reunited back in Georgia for good. But, wow. What a way to go out, huh?!?!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Final Prep

I know I've been MIA, and unfortunately it's not quite b/c I've been "so busy" prepping for the move. I mean, I have...but I've really just been sick. I don't think JB realized how bad off I really was until he got back today. My eyes are totally bloodshot red, and I literally cannot stop coughing. I think he was kind of horrified when he looked at me in the car. :-P I've been on antibiotics for 36 hours so far, and while my ears have stopped throbbing, I'm still coughing so hard, I threw up several times tonight. Seriously?!?!? I'm terrified to wonder how else I could get sicker... Lord, have mercy...

This week's prep accomplishments:
* Delta notified that Bonnie Blue will be added on our flights.
* Will withdrawn from his elementary as of Tuesday. :'(
* Annelise withdrawn from Montessori as of Tuesday.
* Annelise's & my hair trimmed. (L'esprit! How will I live w/o you?)
* Will & JB's hair trimmed. (Thank you, Great Clips.)
* JB's car shipped on down to Georgia. (It even arrived before he flew back up!)
* Annelise withdrawn from dance/gymnastics & still got her 3rd session ribbon. :-)
* Bills paid.
* A BFF good-bye dinner.
* Vet visit for B's health certificate & 3 shots to fly.
* All laundry done.
* Fridge & freezer almost emptied. (Tina - I have sealed hummus for you Tues!)
* New crate (her old one is cracked - safe for the car, but not for strangers to handle) & "live animal" travel stickers bought for B.
* Playroom organized...again. :-P
* Salvation Army donations pulled out to the side.
* Kids' Valentines filled out for their last days of school here Monday.

The movers come tomorrow at 9 AM. I wanted to go to church one last time here to say goodbye, but I am just still too sick. No one should want to hug me bye like this; plus, our founding pastor was diagnosed this week with extremely aggressive intravascular lymphoma - blood cancer that's shutting down his vital organs FAST - so I don't want to be there hacking my head off during such an emotional service of prayer. :'( Even though it breaks my heart to bits... But with the in-laws up here half the year, we'll just make it a point to go to Trinity, too, whenever we come visit them. We have so many more connections here now, way more than even last time we lived here.

While the movers begin, I will finish packing us for the next week with everything we don't want the movers to ship - mostly clothes, my laptop, toiletries, important papers, etc. Oh - note to self: gotta dig Will's t-ball stuff out of the basement. Practices start THIS WEEK! :-D Still need to drop off Salvation Army donations, and hopefully JB can get someone here to pick up the old couches, etc. we want to donate & can't move ourselves.

The movers will be here through Tuesday, JB has to fly back down Monday, and I fly down with the kids & the dog Tuesday afternoon. Wish us luck!!!

Going to try to go to bed now. Pray for my eyes & ears to completely clear and for me to stop coughing! THANK YOU!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cold Urticaria TODAY

The TODAY show this morning broadcast a segment on a girl who is allergic to cold (cold urticaria) similar to Annelise. Major praise that Annelise doesn't have it as badly as this girl (if you missed our snow allergy drama in Dec, read here and here) and that we get to move South next week! (BTW: the answers to the questions of the moment are movers Sun-Tues and flying down Tues! :-)) Luckily Annelise doesn't have problems with ice cream, air conditioning, or even cold packs on boo-boos that I've noticed, (although the gel with the thick plastic insulated coating isn't as cold as actual ice; something to think of w/ potential future injuries.) Praying it fades completely like many report is possible over time, although I really hope we're never in a cold climate, again, to test it out!!! :-D Super praise for national attention & validation!!!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Don't Know, Yet

Whenever I don't have the answers to people's questions or positive things to share, I tend to clam up & avoid conversation; I hate repeating, "I don't know, yet," or explaining over & over [de facto dwelling on] what's wrong, so I haven't even felt much like blogging. No, things aren't horrible by any stretch - still so excited for the move; but I'm sick. No, I don't want any medical advice; I'm functional but just very uncomfortable with coughing & drainage. I paid the neighbor boy, again, to shovel us back out of the fresh 6" of snow we got Sat & Sun; the most snow in a single week of this winter counting back to the day we came back...and when JB's not here = not positive material to share further.

No, I still don't know when the movers are coming or when our last day here is, and if anyone else asks, I may scream. Both of the kids' schools need to know for their plans. (I gambled - as we're guessing next Tues now - and went ahead & bought Valentines for their classes Mon.) Church wants to know - it's a true blessing to have so many people who want to be able to say good-bye, and the music needs to know when I can sing for the last time. (Again, assuming this coming Sun.) Annelise's dance/gym needs to know when her last class is, so I can sneak in early to see her last showcase of dances she's been rehearsing and so they can have her gymnastics ribbon ready. (Sounds silly, but this is actually urgent, b/c if everything works out the way we want, her last class will be THIS Wed.) Two sweet friends here want to know, so we can plan going-away dinners together; not to mention the family & friends who are just eager to know, b/c they're happy for us. :-) I need to know when to schedule a vet visit for Bonnie Blue, b/c a dog has to have a check-up less than 10 days before they fly. Even people in Georgia need to know - my high school girlfriend excited to hang out (me, too!), the director of Annelise's new Montessori curious as to when to expect her, and esp. the coach of Will's new t-ball team, who called Saturday to tell me about practices starting NEXT WEEK.

[Can you see that I'm being asked non-stop? It's like being 9 months pregnant and everyone asking, "Is the baby coming, yet?" Certainly a very happy occasion, but don't you think I'd tell you more, if I knew??? I promise, I want to know even more than you do!!! :-D]

I totally don't want to come off as snippy, ungrateful, or even unhappy! I'm just sick & tired (literally :-P) and we're more frustrated waiting for confirmation than anyone... but it IS worth it to have his new company organize & pay for everything up front! That is a gianormous blessing!!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Freedom

I have found a lot to whine about today, but I *hate* feeling pitiful. So I'm exercising my freedom to choose NOT to be ruled by my feelings & emotions anymore tonight. I will keep reiterating that everything will work out exactly when & as it's supposed to, because I'm praying about it & God loves me.

I took these great notes a couple weeks ago about freedom from 411God & Joyce Meyer - I think they are perfect:

"Freedom isn't simply about being free. It's like someone admiring the socket in their living room without actually plugging something into it and using the power that it provides. It's not there for itself. It's there to be used to make other things happen.

The Bible says that Jesus frees us so we can use it to get our focus off ourselves and do good. Paul writes to Titus about how God's grace brings salvation, and how this frees Christians to be distinct in doing good."

"The most spiritual activity you'll do today is to choose.

*We think we want the freedom to choose, rather than make the choices that bring freedom.*

(You're free to choose to drink as much you want...but a DUI limits your freedom; free to have sex...but a teen pregnancy limits your freedom; free to smoke...but being tied to an oxygen tank, getting cancer, or not even being able to run full-out with your kids limits your freedom; free to worry & complain...but it limits your freedom to enjoy every second you're alive; etc.)"

Yep. That last one & me today. Ouch. But right now I'm free! Free to enjoy my DVRed shows (30 Rock slayed me! :-D) and sip my cordial glass of ChocoVine before going to bed. [And I *think* the smoke detector chirping even just stopped!!! (It's still chirping, but only for a few hours a day, and never while I'm in bed...so far; so I'm not braving the 14' ladder alone.)]

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cruel Shovel

Q: What's the cruelest thing to do to a Southern girl?

A: Take her husband away to a new home in the South & leave her behind to shovel snow.

Y'all should have seen me this morning. Will missed the bus for the first time EVER, so our morning routine got kicked into warp speed in order for me to drive everyone to school & me to Zumba. The snowplow had completely blocked in the end of our driveway when it came through, & I only first saw the giant drift as I ran the trash out. We had no time. No time. So I told the kids to hold on tight, as I gunned it in reverse over the mountain & prayed, "Father God, pleeeeeease don't let us get stuck!!!"

He had mercy, & we made it over the huge bank. I dealt with it when we got home...and after Zumba this morning, too, I am going to be in major pain after a solid hour of shoveling.

"It's a cruel ... cruel ... cruel shovel
Leaving meeeeee ... leaving me here on my own
It's a cruel ... it's a cruel ... cruel shovel
Now you've gone...
"

The movers cannot be scheduled fast enough. This is not in my job description. I do not shovel. Ever. That was a condition upon agreeing to the initial transfer up here that took us out of ATL...and of course, snowmageddon happens when there's no other way out. *Sigh*

At least it was super sunny today, and the wind was calm while I had to be out there. :-) And think of all those extra calories I burned!!! ;-) (I just wish I would have remembered to put my ear drops in before I went out there! Owww!) There aren't words for how good my steamy shower felt this afternoon! Sweet heaven...

More praise: for a play date for Will this afternoon after school that perfectly coincided with Annelise's make-up dance/gymnastics class & her Montessori Mom's Night:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bitter/Blessed

This has been the worst day I've had in a long time. Why?

*Woke up at 4:45 AM, after two sets of flights north were canceled yesterday, to catch a 6 AM flight out of our new Georgia town to Atlanta, so I could run to a connection to Detroit, so I could run to a connection to Columbus, to retrieve my children & our van from my BFF.
*I then had to immediately drive 3.5 hours with the kids back to Michigan (seething over the fact that I had just flown through there) to catch the tiny weather window b/t the horrible ice Columbus got overnight before it started back up again this afternoon. Not to mention the SNOWSTORM OF THE CENTURY I was so excitedly (*dripping sarcasm*) trying to beat back to MI.
*Yeah, that. We all know how I feel about snow. And to purposely have raced back just to get trapped with the kids in our house, all alone with no JB, (today was his 1st day in his GA job! Yay for him! Bubbling jealously for me...) and no one to shovel us out from under a forecast 18" of snow in 40 mph winds??? Bitter doesn't scratch the surface...
*The other reason I hauled tail back up here was to settle our rent, (as it is the 1st.) I pulled right off the highway & into their bank...where they proceeded to tell me they couldn't deposit the check, b/c I didn't write it out correctly. You.Must.Be.Kidding.Me. I told them *their* branch told me to do it that way & that we'd been doing it since June! Nope - they wouldn't help me. I left with 2 bickering kids, having been cooped up in the car, & evil steam coming out of my ears, when I was then chatted up by a divorcée, hoping I was in his same boat. WHAT?!?!
*Came home to find Bonnie had pooped in the house several times & the dogsitter didn't clean it up.
*The TV wouldn't work.
*The smoke detector in our master was chirping...and is also 14 FEET up the cathedral-ceiling wall.
*And finally, the icing on the cake: I looked over at Will while I was scrubbing the carpet where the poop had been, cursing the chirping...and saw pink eye goop. On this, the first day that our old insurance with JB's last job has run out, and before he has our policy number for our new insurance (for which everything up here is out-of-network, anyway) and on the eve of being trapped in our house for at least the next 48 hours under over a foot of snow. And all after traveling since 5 AM, having been home for about an hour, AND with me now as a single parent until we actually move.
*I had to pay out-of-pocket for a minute clinic visit & eye drop script. Apparently Will's wheezing a little, too, so he'll be thrilled to sit with the nebulizer. (Again, sarcasm.)
*We couldn't even go out to our beloved cheap pizza place, so I wouldn't have to cook dinner, b/c the blizzard started as we were in the minute clinic.

It has been a Job day. No doubt.

I was so angry, I was on the verge of tears. Each new obstacle sent me to new heights of resentful/bitter/furious/pitiful.

I kept praying all day for God to help me, and even though the blizzard is still coming, He *DID* use some of this mess for my good:

*My flight to Columbus was the *ONLY* one in the last two days that didn't get canceled! We literally slipped in the weather window.
*I didn't fall asleep at the wheel, and I actually learned a few things as the kids watched their new "What's in the Bible?" DVD. (I know it sounds blah, but it's AWESOME! They laughed their heads off, and I actually gleaned some info, too!)
*I got an email from neighbor boys who want to shovel for money tomorrow. PRAISE with JB gone! They'll get my business.
*The other branch of that same bank took the rent check like they always do in less than a minute with a happy smile, stickers for the kids, & a dog bone for Bonnie. (In your face, rude loser branch! :-P)
*I guess I should've taken the divorcée's interest as a compliment? :-D
*My BFF Tina went out & bought Bonnie a new little bag of dog food, so I wouldn't have to, and was graciously willing to take her in, even though they don't do pets, if I got stuck somewhere in all the traveling. [I LOVE YOU, TBP!!!!]
*At least Bonnie's poop was firm & self-contained.
*I fixed the TV (after 20 minutes, but I still did it!)
*I haven't heard a smoke alarm chirp since we got back from the minute clinic, but I'm ready to get the ladder out of the garage & climb that mountain w/o crying.
*Snowmageddon works for us in just one way: no school until 24 hours after Will started his eye drops, and school has already been canceled for tomorrow, so fine.

Things could be so much worse. I'm blessed. Thank you, God, for covered airfares & automatic rebooking, a break in the weather, a van to drive, a house to rent, a minute clinic close by, a TV in the first place, and MOST IMPORTANTLY: THANK YOU for my BFF in Columbus & her family who took in our children for 72 hours!!!!!! That absolutely blessed us beyond measure!!!

(And thank you for letting me get all that out, so I don't churn with it nonstop. *sigh of relief*)

Keeping my eye on the prize: only a little while longer until we're reunited in a warmer place. :-) (And more happy details on that front forthcoming...)