The past few days I’ve been wondering when the human body and mind finally cross that very fragile line of extreme exhaustion and enter a state of complete insanity. I think I may be getting to that point if we don’t slow down soon.
Last Tuesday Ryan spent the day and night frantically working on his two flip houses, trying to wrap up loose ends before the move. The kids and I spent the day packing like maniacs trying to surprise dad when he came home later that night. We managed to pack the garage full of boxes.
It was actually a really rare (lately) joyous time for me with the kids. I gave them all a pep talk about how exhausted dad was and how we could be really helpful to him by pulling it together as a family and busting through some chores. The boys unscrewed everything and took pictures down from the walls while the girls packed and cleaned. Funny, in the middle of it all, it started down pouring outside, and the girls and babies ran out to dance in the rain while I snapped pictures, being once again reminded that life does bring seasons of rain but the sun always shines again.
I decided to surprise Ryan on Wednesday and hired a babysitter for the younger kids so that I, along with Tate and Caleb, could offer our services and be at his beckon call throughout the day. The three of us went to one of the flip houses where we picked up trash, mowed lawns, bought appliances, swept, cleaned, and scrapped this awful crap off the basement floor for hours so it could be stained later. Tate asked a very intelligent question in the middle of our third hour on our hands and knees, making very little progress with this stubborn, sticky stuff, “Why doesn’t dad get an easier job like working at Lowes or something?” Honestly, I was thinking the same thing in that moment, but we all put our happy faces on, possibly somewhat fake, and proceeded to grind through. The boys were rewarded with unlimited video game playing time when they got home that night.
I also discovered earlier in the morning that the garden had yielded a huge crop of beans, almost overnight, so I had the girls pick them, and then put Mya in charge of the “cleaning and snapping beans project,” overseeing the little ones. I mentioned to Ryan later that evening how excited I was over how Mya has blossomed, almost overnight, from this child who desires to help with everything, being somewhat helpful but not really all that helpful as I have to hold her hand through most tasks, into a genuinely helpful person who just owns the task and completes it with very little direction or supervision. I didn’t have to remind her about anything with the beans. She took the whole pile of them out to the deck, snapped bottoms and tops, broke them in half and proceeded to share her wisdom with Josh, Jada, and Mabel. YAY for me!
Thursday through Monday Ryan and I said goodbye to the kids once again as we made our last excursion to Tennessee without them. We brought the boat down, one car, and a trailer full of stuff. I don’t get overly emotional about many things, in fact, I usually tear up one day a month, usually occurring with undeniable accuracy according to the hormonal shift arising in my body, but as we pulled away this time, 6 little ones running after the car, waving frantically, I chocked down a lump in my throat. I miss my kids. On the flip side, Ryan and I have spent a WHOLE LOT of quality time together. We spent our days and nights unloading, painting, tacking, priming, and working to exhaustion every night and then falling into bed only to get bitten all night long by mosquitos. I almost felt like we needed to sleep under a mosquito net.
I also had the job of picking out knobs for my kitchen cupboards. This, in the past, has proven to be an insurmountable task for me for some reason. I had about 15 choices from Hobby Lobby, narrowed down to about 10, then the final 2, and then I actually choose the winner. That is until I went to Hobby Lobby back here in Michigan, a different Hobby Lobby than I usually go to, and found two more options. So now I’m down to the final three. Stay tuned….
My husband paid me a really nice complement as we worked our rear ends off saying he’s never met a girl who worked so hard at manual labor and how I could be a really strong asset for him if I wanted to go into flipping houses. I thanked him kindly and then very wholeheartedly declined his offer - 7 kids, household duties, and mosquito prevention methods will probably be adequate in filling most of my days at our new house.
Tuesday, we headed home, exhausted and excited to sleep in our own beds. I spent most of the 11 hour drive home hacking through my “to do lists” and Ryan drove. As we pulled away from our new home sweet home, I snapped this photo of a little guy sitting on my husband’s shoulder.
Would have been cuter if it was a lizard or something, but I guess he attracts moths while I attract mosquitos… Now we need a moth prevention program as well.
Wednesday was pick up the u haul day. We had a few friends and my aunt and uncle come over to help us load up. This day was intense. We loaded, ate on the floor, and sweated like pigs in Michigan’s insane 90 plus degree days of total humidity.
Finally, Thursday! Ryan and the boys are on their way! Tate said when they stopped for the first time, “Dad, it just hit me, we’re not on vacation, we’re really moving!” Yup ,Tate, I’ve had many moments like that as well…
Just keep livin!!