Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

I can't believe it's been one year since you have been gone. One year ago today you took your last breath. After struggling to breathe for so long. There are so many images from the last couple weeks of your life that will forever be embedded in my brain. I spent the last several weeks that you were alive sleeping on the couch in your room. Those nights are precious memories to me that I will never forget. Time that I will always cherish that we spent together. We laughed, we cried, we bonded. I got the chance to say things to you that I had never said before. I am so glad that the end of your life was spent with me and my family in my home and not in some hospital, you know how much I hate hospitals.

My whole family misses you so much Mom. There is not a day that we don't all make some 'grandma' reference. It is like you are with us all the time. Sometimes I am convinced that you are. Even now, since we moved 3,000 miles away from home and all the sights and sounds are unfamiliar to us we still see, feel and hear you every day. The girls miss their grandma so much. Allison has taken so many of your things and put them in your room. She loves to have your stuff with her, it gives her comfort. Gianna wears your nightgown to bed and talks about you every day. She has also made friends with the 'grandma' that lives behind us, I know she likes to spend time with her because it reminds her of all the time she spent with you alone in your little house. She misses you so much.

The only people in the world that will ever understand what our relationship was like are the four people in my house. The times we had together as a family, as an extended family were/are so precious to me and I will cherish them always.

I don't think I ever said it to you mom, but you were a great mother. You and I had our differences but at the end of the day we always had each other. We went through so much together and lost so many we loved and through it all we were a strong mother/daughter team with a strong bond.

I love you mom and I sure hope that you, Dad and Mike are all together somewhere and enjoying being back together.  (I am almost sure you are and the three of you played a key role in getting my family to this new wonderful place we call home)


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Couldn't ask for a better situation.

Tomorrow will be one week since we moved to South Carolina. It has been the best week I have had in at least 2, if not 3 years. I have not smiled this much in ages. This is it. This is where we were meant to be.

 When we moved to Virginia 6 months ago we thought we were doing the right thing, we thought it was the right move, we realized fairly early on that it wasn't, but we tried to make the best of it. Little did we know that things could be so much better for us. We struggled making friends and finding our "place" in Virginia. Here, we are already well on our way. We have met so many of our neighbors, I had coffee with my new friend (who also happens to be our awesome real estate agent), we went to dinner with three other couples/families last night... we didn't even do ONE of those things in 5 months in Warrenton.

The girls have started school. That was the only part that hasn't gone as well as we hoped. For Gianna, it wasn't bad but Allison had a little bit of a bumpy start but we are going to see what we can do to make that a better situation.

I have spent the better part of the last week unpacking and getting settled in this house that we are really liking ALOT. We never felt comfortable in the house in Virginia, again we just did we could to make it work. Here are stuff is fitting better and it just feels like home. I took a few pictures, nothing is 100% done but I was too excited so I went ahead and took pictures anyway. I want all of our friends and family in other places (mostly California) to see the place.
Before I post the pictures I have to say that we had no idea that we signed the lease on this house before we ever saw it, we had only seen the pictures that were online, which of course there are never that many. When we got here last Sunday night we were surprised to find so many rooms and closets upstairs. It's great! I didn't take a picture of the living room yet or the master bedroom.... they aren't as finished as I would like, although none of the rooms are!
Oh well here it goes, the 'virtual tour' of our new home...

kitchen looking toward the front of the house


Gianna's room (she just got all of Allison's old bedding and decor, she's thrilled!)
Allison's ridiculously large room... we will be adding wall art and knick knacks soon.

What will be my scrapbook room (very soon)

Office upstairs, it's a mess but you will notice that Chris does have his computer hooked up!
I have been trying to add more photos, but it isn't working so well... so I will leave it at that for now and will add more in my next post. The next time I post pictures I will be sure that things are a little tidier around here!

I really just want to say that change is indeed good. We needed this. Our lives in California were not good. We miss our family and friends so very much but this is going to be a much better place for us. Our time in Virginia was tough at best and I am pretty sure there were a few times where I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown but while we were there we did meet some really great teenagers that were so wonderful to my girl and some great 5th graders that made Gianna feel so welcome. For those things I will always be grateful. Chris and I also each had the opportunity to live closer to one of our best friends from high school. Each of our friends lived about an hour away from us but we still got to see them and got the chance to get to know their families better and spend some much needed time with old friends. Those are the things I will always be grateful for when I think back of our time in Virginia. I will also be thankful for how close it brought our little family. Moving that far and not knowing anyone definitely made for lots of 'family' nights for the Brittons and we are closer than ever.

For those of you who follow/read my other blog (Laughter at the end of the tunnel) I will be updating it soon with pictures of my new scrapbook room and I will share my plans of expanding my little etsy business to selling stuff here in South Carolina.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

This time we are really going country!

I don't have a lot of time to write a long post... mostly because I am tired and also because I have so many things going through my mind that I can't possibly get them all out.

Yesterday morning movers showed up at our house in Virginia. Four men got out of one truck and at 9 am they got to work on those boxes and that furniture as if it was nothing. They loaded and got out of there so fast I couldn't believe it. When we moved to VA from California it took 6 guys 11 hours to pack the same amount of stuff so we were expecting a similar experience... not so much. They were done by 3 pm. Leaving us with all the dust, trash and the extra 'where do I pack this?' stuff and an empty house. We finished cleaning the house and we stuffed and shoved all of that extra stuff into Chris's truck and my 4 Runner and we headed out.

I wanted to write this tonight before my memory of the whole experience isn't as clear as it is right now. The feeling of 'it's over' was overwhelming. Knowing that we were moving on and really moving further south, which was what we had hoped for in he first place, felt so awesome. We looked like what my mom liked to call the "Farkle Family". Two cars packed with so much random stuff it was hysterical. I had a shoe rack, clean laundry, dog pillows, about 7 pieces of luggage... the list goes on and on. Oh and a dog and a kid. Chris had Lucky and Gianna and I had Allison and Patches.

We had Kid Rock playing in the cd player in my car and Chris had Garth Brooks playing in his truck. Our caravan began.

We drove and we drove and we drove... from 5:30 to midnight. We didn't stop until we got to Mooresville NC. We found a pet friendly hotel and crashed. I have never been so happy to stay in a cheap hotel in my life. It was great. The beds were comfortable and for the first time in a long time I didn't even worry about hotel cooties or bed bugs. I didn't care. I was moving to South Carolina.

Today we spent the day with Chris's cousin and her family. We are only going to live 107 miles from them when we move. The 6 months we lived in Virginia we didn't have any family nearby. We are so excited to live close to them.

Tomorrow we will drive to our new home in Simpsonville. We haven't seen it yet. Only pictures on the real estate web sites. I have found a real estate agent sent down from the heavens above. She has been so helpful. She has gone above and beyond. We are meeting her tomorrow to get the keys and see the house. I am so excited. I can't stand it. The last two years have been a crazy, stressful time in our lives. It's over, I know it is. I have said it before, but I didn't feel it. This time I feel it. I know it's going to work this tme. I am ready to get my drawl on and become a bonafide southerner.

I will take pictures tomorrow and post them soon.