Once Emmeline was born, things got a bit hairy-scary around here. Big surprise, that...The blessing day arrived like a whirl-wind full of family (thankfully!). My mother, sister-Stephanie and her darling brood, and my mother and father-in-law were able to make it down here. Things worked out, due to them being on their spring break, that we were able to spend a little bit of time together. We, of course, hit the thrift store and scored big on summer clothes...I sure LOVE when that happens! I am always amazed at how fabulous it is to spend $40 at the thrift store and I walk away with over 2o items...ahhh...listen to the clink of my pennies as they fall back into the piggy bank...We also planned to attack the outlet malls, but in traditional style, things have a way of not working out just as I have planned. On our drive to Foley (an hour away) with 6 of the 7 children divided between my mom's van and my own, (Gunner stayed home with Kit who was awaiting the arrival of his parents) armed with snacks and personal electronics, my car decides to give a smell of burned rubber, the steering becomes hard to maneuver and the battery light comes on. So I pull to the side and call my brother-in-laws (thank you Phil and Spence!) If you are like my brother-in-law, Spencer, hearing those symptoms means only one thing-serpentine belt broken. We call Kit to meet us on the side of the road and he heads our way with a new belt, tools and the missing seventh child. A quick fix...or at least it should be. Traffic is running like molasses in winter (not a Mobile winter, a northern Michigan one) due to a large accident on I-10 so it takes him over 2 hours to reach us. It ends up taking FOREVER to get the belt on, in fact, we end up leaving Kit with the car waiting for his friend to come help him put it on after more than an hour of me and him working on it-getting covered in thick black stuff-due to gunk all over my engine because a line has a small leak and the fluid burns to think black blugghh (now my husband is more than ready to find the leak and get it cleaned up after trying to remove the black from his skin-it didn't come off easily-I looked like Crank the Mechanic on Sunday for the blessing). I strap Gunner and Emmeline into Kit's car and off we go attempting to enjoy shopping with all of the children now. Hmmm...how do you think it went? My children (they really didn't deserve the term- let's call them demons instead) were horrendous! All the poor kiddies were tired of their personal electronics and had eaten their fill of the snacks long before now. We were a spectacle-Come one, come all and see the crazy ladies and their babies!! Seriously, we garnered more looks, most incredulous, a few smiling, than I EVER want to earn again. *Sigh* The deals were good, but not THAT good. What's even crazier, is that thinking back on it, I kinda smile, simply because I got to spend time with my mom and my sister and how we could chortle about the whole situation, 'cause if you don't laugh about it, you'll sob!
Oh, whatever happened to Kit stuck on the side of the road? Well, his friend made it there less than 10 minutes later and they had the new belt on lickety-split, Kit went home to meet his parents and enjoyed a lovely meal out-with NO children!!! Ugggh...he gets all the luck! ;)
The next day was Emmeline's blessing day. Emmeline was darling for her great debut. She was beautiful in a lovely white blessing gown, simple, but PERFECT and to top it off, her little toe and fingernails were a demure pearl pink, courtesy of her Auntie Steph. I was not feeling quite so fabulous...we arrived to church late-despite the fact our Sacrament meeting is last. I know, I know! In my defense, 3 women and 7 children all needed to be gussied up (in 1 bathroom) and my dear husband was long gone due to his calling obligations. Also, fabulous spring forward happened to fall on same day...oh joy...But, my sweet ward has gotten used to us by now and smiled and chuckled just a little. Thank you for the smiles, they stemmed the tears about to burst when I walked in. It was wonderful to have her blessed in this ward surrounded by the people we love and who love our crazy family. Our ward is simply an extension of our own families. Her blessing was beautiful. There was a slight moment during which I wanted to scream "Stop! Not another child with a strong curiosity of the world!! Please!!! Look at all of the others...think before you speak such words, man!!" But the urge was tamped down and I enjoyed the rest of the blessing. It truly was beautiful. She was blessed with the innate knowledge of her Heavenly Father's love and that through knowing her, people would know of His love and she would bring love to those in need of it. I love how each of my children's blessings are so different, yet aspects are the same (a curious nature, for one). I am so thankful for a Heavenly Father who knows each of us individually and guides us and blesses us with special gifts of our own. We all came back to my tiny home and enjoyed spending time together. Emme's Grammy and Papa couldn't get enough of her. I don't think she spent a single moment outside of someone's arms!
We are so thankful all of you who could come did! There was plenty of hair-pulling, laughing and memories made, so thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Stephanie with her boys, Cooper (8) and Greyson (5)
Grammy (Kit's mother) holding Emmeline
Cousins, at an old fashion soda shop
Stephanie's daughter, Ella (2), enjoying her ice cream coneThe next momentous occurrence was our trip out to Yorktown, VA. Kit has been there a few times for training in work, but this was a first for my children and me. We left Sunday and drove straight through (over 16 hours). Not the best trip my children have had, but at least Emmeline was a super-star! We stayed in a cabin on the naval auxiliary base, thank you military moral, for cheaper than in a hotel. It was cozy and the base has trails to hike, a playground and other amenities. We were in high spirits, until we started looking at homes. Uggh! House hunting is NOT fun, let me assure you! It is stressful and can be disappointing. Housing on the east coast is...well, expensive. A bit more expensive than it is in Mobile. Our basic allowance for housing goes up when we move there, but not much. We are still pretty low on the pay-scale totem pole. But, the Lord hears and answers prayers and we were blessed with finding a home on the next to the last day we were there. Our bid has been accepted and now we're just waiting for inspections, etc. to work out. Uggh, uggh, uggh! I will say I am getting excited to start thinking about color schemes and such, 'cause believe me-it needs a good paint job!
The boys on the first day of house hunting
Sleeping in the cabin (they always choose to sleep together, whether the bed is a twin or a king)We had some fun, too. We visited friends who moved from Mobile to Yorktown (thank you Chris and Suzanne for the yummy dinners, advice and babysitting!), Kit celebrated his 33rd birthday and we hiked around on the base. I even got to see the dog-deer! I never believed there were deer about the size of my dog, Lloyd (a LARGE yellow lab); in fact we refer to them as the mythical dog-deer, but they are real! Imagine that-deer the size of a large dog. When I think of deer, mule deer and white tail deer come to mind, not these tiny little runts! Josiah and Gavin were sure they spotted fox under every bush and bald eagles in every tree and were keen to avoid the "Rabies King" racoons they felt were lurking around the bend (a post on this will be coming soon).
My handsome 33 year old husband
Happy Birthday, love!
Happy Birthday, love!
The trip home was much better. We decided to stop for the night in Atlanta, GA and spent a few hours visiting with my Auntie Stacy, Uncle Eric and their darling children. Despite living only 5 hours away, we haven't gotten together enough. I hope we can find a way for them to come here, visit the beach (without torrential downpour this time) and enjoy the sun before we move.
Now I feel like time is ticking away. It will fly past as I get the house ready to be packed up, (hooray for movers! Ahhh, the knowledge that someone else will be moving my belongings is fabulous) school finishing up and dealing with new housing issues. I am so excited for the change, yet also so sad! I've been feeling a bit nostalgic as I soak in the site of the dripping Spanish moss and realizing this was the last time our family will make it down here to visit. Mobile has been so good for our family. We love you and will miss you!
Whew! I'm trashed from having sat down to write this and I'm sure you are worn out from reading it. I hope it calmed the raging, chanting mobs! ;)