I posted this quote in January of 2016 on Facebook.
Life is crazy.
I originally started this post several months ago when a big change happened. I started to read what I had written and It blew my mind how I had no idea what was in store in the coming months.
My original post was about our ward boundary changes moving us from the Wax 1st ward to the Mt. Creek ward. While that change was extremely difficult, it was also getting me out of my comfort zone for a much bigger change that would come. It took me a while to realize this. It wasn't until my mom and I were in our van with my three kids driving to Utah with a moving truck behind us containing Paul and my Father-in-law that it really hit me.
The ward changes were pretty close to devastating for me, but I decided I would make the best of it and I'm so glad I did. I met some really wonderful people in our new ward. People who really have had an influence on me in such a short time.
In the months leading up to the slew of holidays that makes life seem like a jumbled mess of celebrations Paul and I kept having the thought of moving to St. George. I kept pushing it away because this Texan was not about to leave everything and go to Utah. As it kept coming up in conversation we decided to handle this prompting once and for all- we would fast about it. So just to squash all the annoyance of the promptings, we fasted together as a couple the first Sunday of October
As the day progressed I remember thinking how wonderful it was that I was feeling the spirit so strongly. It had been a while and I hadn't necessarily given myself the opportunities to feel it so strongly. Without sharing too many personal details, just know that we knew the answer we had been fighting was what we needed to do. I actually avoided talking with Paul about how the day went because I was hoping I was crazy and Mr. Peter Priesthood would have a different answer. But no, we knew this would be a great opportunity for us even though it would be really, really hard.
In one month we had our house on the market. A week later our house was no longer on the market. We listed our home high hoping it would take a while to sell... but to no avail, we received an offer quickly and we accepted.
This was our first experience selling a home. I think if we would have stayed in the metroplex, it would have been a bit easier. But the emotions wrapped into leaving Texas, my family, Paul's family and our dearest friends was a serious reality check. We had a couple small snags a long the way with the buyers lending but nothing huge. It really all went very smoothly which I am so very grateful for. Our original close date was set for December 16th but the buyer was generous enough to let us push the closing back to the 29th.
Paul and I traveled to Utah to look for a home to buy the week after Thanksgiving. We couldn't find a thing which was so frustrating at the time, but now I am thankful. I think trying to buy a home in a new place and lining up closing dates (when it never really happens on the date you think it will) would have sent me over the edge. I found a brand new house online that was for rent in a really good area so we rented it online without ever seeing it.
Once our house was under contract it really started to sink in that this huge change was about to happen. We decided very last minute to escape the craziness and go to the traditional Johnson Thanksgiving camping trip. We are SO glad we did this. I was a great way to forget some of the stress and to have a wonderful time with our family.
Then came Christmas. The days leading up to Christmas were stressful and just downright hard. I was feeling ill and we had a lot to do. On Christmas Eve day I went to the doctor and got meds for strep. I get this all the time (once every two months-ish) but this time it really kicked my rear. It didn't help that Paul was starting to feel sick as well. Christmas Eve night we spend with my family celebrating. It was such a fun night even though I felt pretty horrible. I love spending Christmas Eve with my family. We have a few really fun traditions and mom and Beth always knock it out of the park.
Christmas morning was spent at church and then we headed to Sandee's house to celebrate with the Johnson family. It's always such a good time with them. Jordan and his family were in town and we hadn't seen them for several several months, maybe even a year? So we are grateful for that time with the family for sure.
The Monday after Christmas Paul went to the doctor- He had strep as well. He got meds and hoped for better days soon. After four days on meds his fever still was going strong and he was getting much worse. I woke up at about 3 am and realized that last time he had this same prescription it never worked. He called at got a new prescription but this wasn't until Thursday.
A little rewind to Monday- my SIL texted and said that everyone who was at her house, with the exception of two, had a horrible stomach bug. I was so glad my kids didn't get it! But I spoke too soon. My wonderful sister, Beth, came down Wednesday morning and got my kids to keep them for the day. About an hour after she left they had arrived at my other wonderful sisters house and Izzy started puking. Soon after, all three of my kids were puking at my mom's house. I was 45 minutes away trying to get the house packed and feeling so helpless and defeated and guilty for having my sick kids at my moms house. Beth, being the amazing person she is, knew she was already exposed and decided to keep the kids up there over night. Izzy was puking so consistently that there was no way they could make it back to our house with nearly an hour drive. So they stayed, and I lost it. I wasn't there to help my babies (even though they were well taken care of my Mom and Beth), my husband was feeling horrible, we were leaving in just 2 days and it was just too much.
But guess what? Thursday still came and the sun still came up. That morning angels showed up at my doorstep. Two dear friends and my mother in law who had been so sick the day before she could not get out of bed. After Paul called and got new meds, my sweet friend sent him to her home to sleep until the men got there that night to load the truck. So that day, we got pretty dang close to finishing up the house. Miraculously, at about noon we were ready to start cleaning. It was nothing short of a miracle. Wednesday some close friends came to start loading the large furniture and some boxes in the truck so we were about halfway loaded when the rest of the troops showed up Thursday evening to finish. Which was met with saying goodbye to friends, my brother Kurt, sister Heather and their kids.
I wanted to take a minute and point out that we know and we appreciate all those who wanted so badly to help but couldn't because of sickness (nearly the entire Johnson family) or because your time needed to be with your kids while you husband or yourself worked (my sweet sister Chelsea and my wonderful friends) or because you just flat out lived too far away (my Dad, brother Beau and some wonderful friends.) We felt your prayers. And I could write a whole blog post about feeling so uplifted by prayers in times of real, true struggle. Thank you. Thank you million times. I know and you have expressed that you wish you could have helped more but I wish you could truly know how much you did help.
After we signed, My mom and I drove off with the kids while Paul and Steve waited about 2 hours for someone to come fix a flat on the truck. Our kids did so awesome. They are great little travelers and I am so thankful!
Paul and Steve drove straight through while mom and I stopped in Albuquerque at a hotel where Abby got sick again. Thank heavens she didn't get sick in the car! Saturday We drove into Flagstaff where Beau met us for lunch! It was so nice after such an emotional day to see Beau. He always keeps it light and fun and is always such a joy to be around. And the kids loved using him as target practice for snow/ice balls.
Sunday Steve left to head back home. Another hard goodbye.
I'm so so grateful my mom was able to stick around till Monday as we explored and spent a little more time together. Then Monday afternoon we said our last hard goodbye as she headed back to Texas.
We literally could not have done this move without my mom and Steve. Paul was so, so sick. I was still on the mend and we had two vehicles to drive. We understand the love of a parent and the sacrifice I know they would make again. We are so, so thankful.
My heart is so full as I write this post. It has been so long since I've blogged but I wanted to remember as much as I could about this experience. It has changed me. It has changed our family. It is forcing us out of our comfort zone and into a new adventure.
I have this sign outside my bedroom on a wall that is directly across from my door. I found this right before we moved and I knew I needed it. I'm very much a "words" person. While I'm not always the best at using them (my foot is in my mouth regularly) I love to be inspired by them.
Our blessings are so many. It has been almost a month since we moved. It has been a good month with many blessings and a few really hard moments and sometimes days... but I can feel my blessings around me daily and they literally keep me going.
I am so overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you again, to all of you who helped/wanted to help/ sent blessings and good gives our way. We will never be able to thank you enough.