I took a two week hiatus because first week Andy was closing on our house in GA and I happened to get super sick that weekend on top of it, so blogging was the last thing on my mind. But I made it through alive as did  the kids. Andy made it back to us Tuesday with some minor set backs with the sprinkler system and a canceled flight. The past two weeks since then I have been super busy. The house was put back on the market right before Andy left for GA because our second buyers withdrew their offer the day after the contingent period. We think it had something to do with their credit, but anyway, it was a pain, then after a weekend back on the market, we got another offer. An inspection and negotiations later we can breathe. We got to work packing away and prepping for the movers. My house went from immaculate to total disaster in a day. It’s clean, but chaotic. I am excited to get moved into our new house so I can put stuff away and breathe a bit. I taught my last lesson to the YW today. I have the QUIETEST group of girls. I dearly love them, but I think they need a teacher who doesn’t talk so much so they can come out of their shells. I try to ask questions and do activities, but it still seems to be me filling the void. We ended today about becoming more Christ-like and my testimony of what I know of Christ. I hope something I’ve taught them in the past six months makes something of an impact. I’m supposed to give a talk next Sunday. No big deal, just in the middle of moving (insert emoji pulling hair here– you say it doesn’t exist? It should). Happy belated birthday to My sister-in-law Sara, Adrienne, Dad, and Jennie. And happy mother’s day to all the women in my life. Andy spoiled me with chocolates, flowers, and breakfast in bed. He wrangled the kids all day and even came off the stand because he could see the kids were giving me a run for my money. We attempted to take a nap together but goodness Mav is a loud kid. Funny quips from the week: Max: “At school you’re supposed to tuck in your shirt, but I just fold mine under like this if I see a teacher coming. I fight the man.” Not really sure where he got the saying from, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d heard it from his father…  Max is still usually my sweet heart, but he’s definitely learning to stand up for himself. I kind of miss my innocent obedient helper. Bevy loves to help. This week, she pushed a stool up to the sink, climbed in and literally did the dishes and sat them on the side of the sink. They were good enough to that point that I could just pop them into the dishwasher. She is also is my biggest mess maker, so I guess it evens out. Mav is my character. He practices facial expressions in the mirror and uses them any chance he gets. He knows exactly how to get someone to adore him. And he is the kid that has no intention whatsoever of cleaning up after himself… but occasionally he’ll surprise me when I ask him to do something he’ll say, “Yes, mama.” Like I said, he’s a charmer. I miss my family a lot. I was able to talk to my mom today on mother’s day and I am so excited that she and my dad will be able to come to Andy’s graduation this weekend. We’ll really only get two full days from them, but I’ll take what I can get. They have to rush back to help Cait with her surgery and I will be pretty busy with the packers that come the following Tuesday. We’ll make the most of that quick trip. I get my father in law for even less time! He gets in so late Thursday that I probably won’t see him till Friday morning and then he leaves early Saturday. His calling and work keep him pretty busy (plus I think he has to make a “stop” on the way home in Bullard to take care of his home there). Luckily I get my mother- in-law for almost three weeks! She’ll be sick of us, but luckily she’ll have her grandbabies to entertain her (she adores her grandkids). I am super grateful that she’ll be helping us with the move. She can entertain Bev and mav that last week of school while I focus on the packers and then she is going to sit in the back of the Traverse while I make the driving trek to GA that Friday/Saturday. We’ll try to be generous towards her to show our gratitude, but she does it out of love and doesn’t expect anything in return. So speaking of mothers, I am grateful for both my mom, mother-in-law, and all the women who have mothered me or my children in my current ward and other places in my life (Mission mom for one). I struggled to keep back the tears in church today because there are so many good women and families that treat my kids as their own. My kids were pretty crazy till dad rescued me, but the whole ward supports me. They’d climb across the pew to Marni, to the pew behind  us (the Lyons) or the pew in front of us (the Worthy’s) and get and give kisses. They are loved and love these women so much.  There are so many more women who have become sisters to me, Geri Briceno, Sabrina Wells, really the list could go on, I will greatly miss them all.
\N Ok, not only is it June, June is halfway over! It is kind of like Christmas. You anticipate it for so long that once it’s over you look back and are amazed at how quickly it came and went. Mostly I’m surprised I survived. Especially when the day after the movers dropped off our stuff we were hit with a vicious sickness. We all got sick. Of course the immune powerhouse (Mom, Andy, and Mav) were better after a day. Bev must be like them too, because she didn’t get sick except a little bit of a runny nose/ cough. Max got it first (typical) and shared the wealth with the rest of us. His started with pink eye and progressed to throwing up (teaching kids to puke in a bowl or the toilet is so fun). He got better pretty quickly despite getting it worse than the others. Apparently my body likes being sick. This was two weeks ago and my throat is still sore. I was the last to catch the bug but it hit me hard. At midnight, after a day of cleaning up the kids’ sickness. I hung out with my porcelain throne till about 7 AM and then crashed hard. I tried to get up and face the claustrophobia that was sinking in due to being surrounded by wardrobe sized boxes, but I’d get up and then fall down real quick. This was our closet. They literally put anything they weren’t sure where it was supposed to go into the corner of our closet.    Luckily my powerhouses were feeling better and helped take care of the kiddos while I sulked in the middle of my sheets, questioning my life choices. ‘Course I didn’t really choose to get sick day after delivery. But it happened. By saturday I was starting to feel normal again and I was grateful because Caitlyn was coming the next day. I loaded up on sudafed on Sunday and felt pretty ok. Not great but way better than the death that had crept in a couple of days prior. She came, we celebrated with a game of phase 10. This is when the larger-than-I’m-used-to dose of sudafed started to fade and I got loopy. Like break into tears and then laugh my head off. It was weird. I was totally aware of what I said and what I was doing but didn’t seem to have anyway to stop it from happening. So like loving family they pulled out their cameras. That’s exactly how I feel after coming off anesthesia so I am pretty sure my body can’t handle the larger (still not above recommended) dose of sudafed. Monday I stayed away from the sudafed, which may have been a mistake because I felt so dizzy. I was in a haze from Monday to Wednesday. But Caitlyn was a trooper and didn’t seem to mind. We’d wake up late (thanks Andy), eat, shower, run errands (it is really weird driving while dizzy… probably shouldn’t have done it), then nap, then unpack a bit, then watch a show and hit the hay around 10. That was pretty much Caitlyn’s vacation. By Thursday I only had a bad cough and congestion and was no longer dizzy (HALLELUJAH!) So here we are a bit over a week of being sick. It’s cool. The first day Cait was here she managed to unpack nearly my whole wardrobe. Then I slowly picked away at organizing my closet and it is now finished (at least my side). We have about a dozen boxes left to figure out what to do with four or five of them being books without a bookshelf. When we start getting paid we’ll go get a cheap little target or overstock bookshelf and call it good. The best part of that week was hanging out with Caitlyn. She was so fun to talk to and of course my kids adore her. She is so pleasant and positive and always willing to help despite being in constant pain. Andy and I got to introduce her to some classics, like “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “Never Been Kissed.” She introduced me to “The Bachelorette” and now Andy and I are hooked (thanks a lot Cait). It only took us 15 seasons to get into it. I was really sad to see Cait go and even more sad when Mav broke down in tears the entire drive to drop her off. Now Bev’s bedroom is called “Cait Cait’s room.” And will probably hold that name for a while. OK Bachelorette fans– doesn’t Grant look like Bill Pullman???After Cait left, my energy was finally coming back so Andy and I buckled down and got to work. We are pretty much done with the hanging and even added a traeger to our family. I’ve got some cute flowers in my pot on the porch and it is starting to feel like home. I was feeling pretty down on Sunday. We moved into a very large ward. That’s a huge contrast to the less than 100 in sacrament meeting ward we moved from. We were greatly needed there and loved and were loved in return. My Houston family will always have a piece of my heart and I’ve already tried to keep in touch with them. I am super grateful for social media and am learning how to utilize it for the positive stuff and refrain from going down those social media rabbit holes. I came home from church in tears. At the time I kind of blamed it on that ward. No one said hi to me. Someone even sat by me in RS but didn’t introduce themselves. And before you say, ” why didn’t you say hi to her??” I know. i should have. But by that point I was already defeated. No one said hi to us the week before or the week before that. We hadn’t met the Bishop and I only met people that I reached out to. The first week I said, “Hi! I’m new here” to about five or so people and mostly they were super nice, only one person threw me through a loop by saying, “I don’t think you’re in our ward,” when I told her where we lived, “That’s pretty far out there.” You also have to understand that there’s a bit of a weird stigma with neighborhoods here. We live in a FANTASTIC neighborhood, but it is brand new so not a lot of people know about it AND it’s close to Grovetown which is known for bad schools. We are zoned to the higher rated schools, but our vicinity to Grovetown may be off putting for some, like this lady. But I love our house. I have heard GREAT reviews about Max’s new school and I think we’ll be really happy here. After going home and throwing myself a pity cry I prayed and grew strength to let go of the hurt I felt and try again this coming Sunday. Andy said, “Elise, I think this is stemming more from the loss of your friends.” He was right. I do miss them a great deal. One of my friends, Mindy Zollinger texted me and said, “Ok, you’ve had your fun, come home.” I texted back, “I know. I don’t feel like I’m permanently gone. I feel like I’m on vacation and I’ll be home soon and then reality sets in and I cry.” Ok, enough pity party. So I ready this Facebook post on Tuesday about another recently moved resident’s wife feeling exactly as I did, so I responded to her, telling her I know how she feels and that I decided to change my attitude and try again. I said more, but anyway, someone else in that group who lives in the neighboring ward saw my post. “I told you you should’ve moved into our ward!” then she texted me and I assured her I was ok and I was going to reach out and I was just trying to help the poster. She must’ve rallied the troops because after texting her I got two separate texts from some sisters in the ward. One invited me to a pool party and the other wanted to do a play date. I only had time for the pool party this week with Mav and Max’s swimming lessons, so I rain-checked her for another time. Day of completion of their swimming lessons. Max now swims like a fish and Mav is more confident in the water without floaties (but still not swimming on his own). He is drinking less pool water, so that’s progress.   The pool party was exactly what I needed. The ladies were so nice, their kids got along with ours and even Andy made some friends. When we left I felt a lot of hope for this area. Then today we hosted a BBQ for some of Andy’s colleagues so he could get to know them and they could celebrate Green Beret birthday (we invited all the Special Forces in the area). We ended up having two waves of BBQing because some could come earlier in the day and some could come later, but it was great. The first batch brought some young kids, so our kids were pretty excited about that, the second batch are going to be in Andy’s intern year, so it was good for him to get to know them. I really think we’ll be very happy here and I am loving my home. One of them Andy even served with, and they all knew a bunch of the same people.  The SF world truly is a close knit group.

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