Saturday, June 28, 2014

What A Difference A Year Makes

June 28, 2013

One year.

We've lived here one year today. Admittedly, Kevin has been here much longer, but we have been here together as a family for a year!

At times, time dragged. At others, it flew.

I can hardly grasp it's been a WHOLE YEAR!

I remember pulling into Williston, North Dakota and feeling thrills of excitement and also apprehension. 
Could we make it here?
Will we survive the winter?
Would we be okay without our extended family?
Would the boys make friends?
Would I make friends??

The answer:


We made it through the winter. It was cold, cold enough at times for ice to build up inside our house. But we made it!

We've made so many great friends; ones that have rallied around us in times of struggle, times of worry, and times of need. They've become our family.

We have become active in the Church again. I'm grateful my children are going to church, learning and growing, and Kyan is eagerly awaiting his baptism when he turns 8 in October. That alone is worth the move.

People had varying reactions when we spread the word we were pulling up stakes and heading to ND.
"You will HATE it there."
"There's nothing to do up there."
"It's too cold to live up there." (These people may have had a valid argument...)
"You are better off getting a divorce and letting Kevin go up there alone."

Well, guess what?
We're together.
We've grown closer.
And I would do it all over again!!

I started this journey with a mantra:
It will be what we make of it.
I've stood by this and repeated it to many.

We won't live here forever and probably won't retire here,
but we have made it home.

June 28, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tucker's Fifth Birthday!

My middle child is five. I'm blown away. Five wonderful, amazing, precious years with the boy who hold the middle piece of my heart!

Tucker Douglas Hiatt~June 25, 2009~6 lbs 4.8 oz~19 in. He came three weeks early.

Tucker decided he wanted rainbow pancakes for his birthday breakfast. Mommy doesn't have squeeze bottles for batter (that will be quickly remedied!) so this was the best result. His five year old heart was satisfied!

We have such amazing friends here! Nikki text me to see if we'd be home. She and her kids brought a box of donuts and a 5 shaped candle for a mini-celebration for Tucker. He was thrilled!

From left: Davis, Tess, Tucker, Kyan, Collin, Kyan's friend Cash, and Nikki
We made plans to meet our friends the Merkleys to go bowling. The bowling alley here participates in the summer program Kids Bowl Free. You sign up your kids and they can bowl two free games daily during the summer! Sweet deal. I am sad to say this is the only time we went. Next summer, we will bowl more!

Books and money from Grandma Kirk
Skylanders alarm clock from his brothers
This face!
A few days later, we had a little party for my Tucker. We just had pin the tail on the donkey, a Mario Kart tournament on the Game Cube, and tons of stick-on tattoos. Of course no party is complete without cake!

Nikki giving Collin a hard-core throat tat!

Jaxon, Davis, and Edison playing Mario Kart
Tucker and his cute friend Isaac from preschool
Beyond excited that the McBrides gave him Skylanders!

The Merkleys gave him a MILLION Airheads. They are Tucker's favorite candy. He got a bunch of fun stuff.

Tucker's little party was fun, easy, and mellow. Proof kids don't really care how fancy a party is as long as they get friends and sugar! Plus you get to wear a really sweet balloon hat after everyone leaves. :)

I love this kid. He is sweet, thoughtful, funny, friendly, and so intelligent he blows me away at times. I'm so grateful I get to be his mother. Here's to many, many more happy birthdays, Doodlebug!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Boston 2014: Day Four: Faneuil Hall, Holocaust Memorial, and Symphony Hall; and The Really, Really Long Drive Home

Day four of Boston was Friday, our last day. We woke up and Kev got ready for the day, we went down and had breakfast together, and then he headed off for his manager meeting at Faneuil Hall. I went back to the room and slowly made ready for my day. I made friends with someone new on the elevator who asked me if I knew where I was going; I said yes, and voila! New friend. She said she was nervous taking the subway and wasn't too sure of directions so asked if she could tag along with me. We went around the corner to Au Bon Pain for some caffeine before we headed to meet our hubbys. 

After we made it to Faneuil Hall safe and sound, we chatted with a group of gals and then met up with our significant others for a group history panel inside Faneuil Hall. It was totally amazing inside and I could just about feel the history oozing out the walls. Faneuil Hall has been used as a marketplace and a meeting hall since 1742. Samuel Adams and many others gave inspirational speeches here that ignited America's desire to obtain independence from the British. John F. Kennedy also gave the last speech of his presidential campaign on Election Eve in 1960. It was awesome and I could totally imagine the words of great men being whispered all around me. I know, I sound nutty, but I love history!

After the history panel, which was a mix of Faneuil Hall/Boston history and the history of the Savage company, the wives and/or significant others were treated to lunch with the senior management team at the Durgin Park restaurant in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace. So good!

 After lunch I met up with Kevin and we browsed the shops for a bit and got a few more souvenirs for the boys and some thank you gifts for my mom for being so willing (or crazy enough!) to watch our boys. We wandered through the New England Holocaust Memorial not too far from the Marketplace and it was both stunning and startling at the same time. The glass towers are breathtaking and beautiful. There are 6 glass towers with a total of 6 million numbers etched in the glass  representing that tattoos given to Holocaust victims. Six million Jews lost their lives before the Nazis were defeated in 1945. Even though the memorial is outside, it was such a place of reverence and wonder, sadness and grief. It made me pause and wonder why such cruelties have to exist.

I loved this stone with the inscription from Isaiah 56: 5 "I will give them an everlasting name." I believe this memorial has done that.

There was also personal stories and words from survivors.

All the tiny white etchings are the numbers representing the tattoos given to concentration camp victims.

The following represent the six death camps that were in Poland.

Truly amazing. I'm so glad we took a small moment out of our day to spend some time here.

We caught the subway back to the hotel and caught a quick nap. Then we got ready to head to Symphony Hall for an awards dinner on our last night. It was fabulous! We had an amazing dinner and a private performance by the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra. Three Savage employees and/or their significant other prepared performances with the orchestra and we were all blown away! Such a great way to end a great trip! 
All glammed up!

By the time we got back to the hotel, it was probably 10 PM Boston time. We still had to pack to catch our 6 AM flight out of Logan Airport....6 AM...ugh. By the time we had packed, it was after midnight. I couldn't sleep til almost 2, and the alarm went off at 3:30 AM. We grabbed a quick shower, made sure we had everything, text Brent and Larissa(whom we were sharing a cab to the airport with) to meet us in the lobby, and headed down about 4 AM. I thought the airport wouldn't be busy that early...ha! It was pretty dang full.
Us at the airport. Kev is already sleeping.
 We got on the plane and Kevin promptly fell asleep. I would doze on and off, more than likely annoying the person next to me because I kept startling myself awake with my own snores! Ugh. We made it to Atlanta and grabbed some food and caffeine. Boarded that flight, and that was the best plane we were on between the four flights. We each had our own screen and we'd luckily brought headphones, so we watched a movie...or, rather, Kev watched the movie while I watched bits and pieces while dozing and of course, missed the finale. We finally made it to SLC. Only a three hour drive left to go! We ran to the mall and got Kev some new sunglasses and some caramel apples for my mom from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (so good!) After snagging some drive-thru Taco Bell, we hit the road for Vernal. Problem is, by then I'm running on maybe 4 hours sleep total since 7 AM Boston Friday morning, and it was 2 pm SLC Saturday afternoon. Kev and I had to stop and switch drivers about four times between SLC and Vernal, which is sad! 

We eventually pulled in to my mom's and our babies were thrilled to see us! Jaxon was feeling much better and apparently surviving pneumonia, thanks to my amazing mother who took him to the pediatrician's EVERY DAY I was gone for antibiotic injections. We pulled out the souvenirs and they were a hit!

Waiting for their last surprise.

Attack of the killer lobster sucker!
My mom took us out for Chinese food after gift giving. We had originally planned on loading up the car and starting for ND that night, but we were so exhausted and incredibly jet-lagged by then that there was no point. We spent the night at my mom's and loaded up not-so-bright and early the next morning. Quick stop at Kev's mom's to load up a cooler full of home-grown beef and we were off.
Flaming Gorge Dam
We hadn't gone 15 miles before Tucker started saying he didn't feel well and was going to throw up. Kev pulled over and I got him out and while we were standing on the side of the road a snake slithered away right under our noses. It was a false alarm so we were off again. Five minutes later, he needs to stop again. Still nothing. Another five minutes, pull over, nada. I finally dump my soda cup and say, "Here. Puke in this if it happens." In Tucker's poor little defense, this road is pretty twisty with lots of switchbacks. I've always felt carsick in the back seat, so I can't blame the little guy! We decided we'd pull into the convenience store in Dutch John to see if they had Dramamine we could give him. Right as we pulled off the road and into the parking lot, Jaxon (who had been completely FINE up to now), throws up all over himself and the car seat. Oh my....!! Mind you, we're in a compact Hyundai Tucson that is packed to the gills. Kev escapes inside with the other two and I got the pleasure of cleaning up that mess. No children's Dramamine, either. Boo. Kev did thoughtfully purchase a box of heavy duty garbage bags and some wet wipes. After I got Jax changed and the car seat as clean as I could, we hit the road again. For the record, the distance between Vernal and Dutch John is about 45 miles. We'd been driving for over an hour and a half. It was going to be a loooonng drive back to Williston...

Everyone said they felt well enough to stop for food in Rawlins so we hit the McDs because they have an indoor play place. We let the boys run and play for a bit and it improved morale immensely. Only 12 or so more hours to go!

Ky claimed to be starving when we stopped in Casper (I think...) not two hours later, so Kev got him a sandwich when we fueled up. He ate a few bites and picked off the top of the bread and said he was full.

Kev also bought a new hat.

Don't know what the appeal was, but there was a lot of fighting over Kevin's Charlie card (our subway pass from Boston). I finally dug mine out of my purse and they were satisfied.

Fuel in Sheridan, WY
It became increasingly apparent after our stop in Sheridan that patience was wearing thin. Kev and I got in a stupid fight over something about junctions to I-94, Jaxon was super tired, and everyone was sick of being crammed in the car. Well, everyone except maybe Tucker...

Montana sunset

We called it quits around 11 PM in Miles City, MT; maybe three hours from home. It just was NOT happening anymore. Tucker wasn't happy about going in the hotel room, Jax was ready to blare some cartoons, and Kev and I were just plain nuts by then. We got some much-needed sleep and finished up the trip early enough Monday morning for Kev to make it to work by noon.

There is just something so satisfying about walking into your own house after a long trip....aaahhhh!
Now to do this all over again in four weeks...I must be a glutton for punishment!