Packing Up

I think I can finally emotionally commit to writing about the move. It's kind of a long story. And it was both really hard and really simple at the same time.

I think I've posted before about how Cameron's dad is currently battling melanoma. It was pretty far along before they caught it. Things weren't great, but he was fighting hard. He endured surgery and radiation and had moved onto the third part of his treatment plan, chemotherapy. Chemo was really hard on him, but at least from up in Utah, things seemed to be pretty under control. After the initial diagnosis, Cam and I talked about moving down to Arizona shortly after the boys were born. We just didn't feel right about it at the time and decided to let things be unless things got worse.

Things got worse.

One morning, I got a text update from Cameron's mother. His dad was in the ICU. His oxygen levels had completely dropped. They were in the 60s. [From my experience in the NICU, levels under 84 is reason to freak out the 60s is just crazy to me.] He was delirious. He had pneumonia and potentially meningitis.

I immediately sent a text to Cam and asked if we needed to move to Arizona. From a personal, spiritual standpoint, I already knew we were going to move. [And if I hadn't felt that intense prompting, the next week and a half might have actually killed me. How absolutely grateful I am for my testimony of personal revelation. It brings me such great peace.]

He thought I was over reacting.

I thought he was in denial.

And so, we fought about it for about 3 days. AndCameron finally wrapped his head around the situation and agreed to move once he found a job down here. As a new father, the desire and feeling of responsibility to provide for our little family is more intense than it has ever been. I married a wonderful man. He has his priorities completely straight. I loved that our little family was still at the forefront of his mind considering all that was going on. I still felt unsettled about waiting and knew that if we just went, he would find a job much easier and we would be taken care of. Every job he applied for said "well, come see us when you get here and we'll see if we're still hiring." But he just couldn't make the move without knowing me and the boys would be provided for.

He called his mother and sister.

I called my mother and sister.

His mother and sister kept reassuring him that we didn't need to move.

My mother and sister kept reassuring me that I wasn't crazy, and that Arizona was the right place to be.

It was all pretty frustrating. But the reactions make complete sense. Being a couple steps removed from the situation help to clear up any emotionally charged decisions or reactions.

The next Sunday, Cameron fasted to know what to do. I went to sacrament meeting with the boys and then came home. Cameron stayed for the next two hours. About 10 minutes after he walked in the door, his dad called. His dad said simply that us moving down there would be the very best thing for him and that he knew that if we moved, Cam would find a job and we would be taken care of.

Cam had his answer.

I was grinning.

We were on the same page. And it felt wonderful.

Scary as the upcoming week was going to be. Hard as it would be to leave our home, friends, ward, job, health insurance. We were on the same page. We were a team. And when you're moving forward together, things are a lot less scary. And a lot less hard.

So we made a list together of all the things we wanted/needed to accomplish in order to be on the road by the end of the month. We had a week. We needed to visit family members, mission presidents, friends. We needed to pack up our entire house. We needed a storage unit, because we're moving [again] to Texas at the end of the summer and wouldn't have room for all our stuff in Arizona anyway.

Once we had a plan. We called Cam's parents and told them the news. I called my parents and asked if we could spend the night there on our way to Queen Creek.

And then we held hands.

For Sunday dinner, we went up to Emilee and Adam's house. We are going to miss them terribly. We LOVE going up there. I get to tuck the girls in to bed when we're there. They were the best help at getting us through the nastiness of infertility. Gave us some kiddos to love on. And now that we have babies of our own, their kids love on them right back. I have never seen her kids as excited to see us as when the twins were with us, finally! Elisha waited outside for us to arrive and opened the back door to get a look at Gray before Cam had even turned the car off. Every time we sat down, the twins were passed from arm to arm. Everyone wanted a turn.

One of the hardest things was leaving before Emilee has her baby girl. We've become really close over the past few years. She's really a great friend to me. I never feel out of place when Emilee's around. I feel like she "gets" me. There aren't too many people in the world who do. I cherish that. We're all going to my aunt's cabin in Idaho in July and I will meet their sweet baby girl there. [Hopefully she'll have a name by then...just kidding Em! :)] I'm excited out of my mind for that.

The boys decided to be extra cute on our way out.

And remember how Emilee gets me? Yeah, she just e-mailed me the next picture. Pretty fantastic. There are about 5 things that I love about this picture.

  1. The obvious. It's Cameron.

  2. The other obvious. It's Cameron's bum.

  3. He is packing our sweet babies into the car.

  4. You can see his broken belt loop, so his belt comes up. He loves those shorts. To a fault.

  5. That man, and that bum is married to me. Boy howdy.

Inappropriate to print and put on my desk? Not sure.

After we left Emilee's house, it was go time. We needed to stop dragging our feet and get things packed up.

We packed up everything we could. A good friend works at a storage complex near by and helped us get a trailer on Friday to stop by and pick up all our stuff and drop it off at the unit. I am so grateful for all the help and support we had. Moving with new babies is hard... I felt like I was moving at 25% speed the entire time. Bethany Heldt came over and packed up the nursery, bathroom, and started the kitchen. I didn't touch the kitchen after she left...Danica Rugg swooped in a few days later and packed the whole darn thing up. I would still be there packing if it weren't for these ladies. On Friday, friends showed up to help us get everything into the storage unit.

AND we got that piano out of the house. And it only took 4 people to do it. Brilliant men. It made my whole day.

For the next 3 days, we camped as a family in our living room. Cameron made us a wonderful bed and the boys slept right next to us in their pack and play. Looking around, it really made me reevaluate the importance of "stuff." We were pretty darn happy with nothing at all. [...and Netflix...:)]

Saturday, friends came down from Farmington to say goodbye. We sat in camping chairs and ate mexican food. The simple life is pretty great. Sunday we went to church at our ward for the last time and it turns out we got a new bishop. It was kind of nice to see that our ward "ended" when we left and if we went back it wouldn't be the same anyway. After church, we went up to Emilee and Adam's for dinner again. Speaking of the simple life, it was sure nice to sit on a couch again! Monday, it was go-time.

We met up with a bunch of family, friends and neighbors for breakfast at Kneaders. Jessica works there now and I couldn't leave without tasting one of her creations...and it didn't disappoint. YUM!

Uncle Sam and Aunt Kiara (Cameron's Twin Sister)

Jill (first mentioned here) and her miracle, Emma

We didn't get pictures with the Ruggs or the Crocketts, though they came to see us off too. And we had to track down the Youngs again to get a picture with them... [My mind wasn't working very well at this point. I wish more than anything that we had pictures with them.] It was so fun to get together with everyone one last time. We didn't act any different. It was just like we were hanging out, like we always do. I'm so glad it wasn't mopey or weird.

We went back to our apartment to pack up the cars and finish the last little bit of cleaning. Which turned into a lot a bit of cleaning. What is it about moving that right at the end feels like you haven't even started? so. much. work!

Aunt Jess came over to play with the boys so I could pack and clean.

My little clementine tree all packed up tight!

Cam finished up the cleaning end of things.

Doug completely saved the day. He worked SO HARD to help us get on the road. He vacuumed, cleaned out our fridge, wiped down walls, took care of our turtle, anything we needed he was there to make it easy on us. Major thanks to his wife Melanie for letting us have him for the day. We couldn't have done it without them!

And just like that it was time to go.

Everything hit me at once. We were leaving our friends, our ward, Cameron's job, our health insurance, our house, everything that was familiar, our home. Our home where we built our bed, did projects, covered the couch, learned how to can, stayed up late working together. Our home where we cried when we found out having children was going to be much much harder for us. Where we cried when we didn't know if our babies would ever come. Our home where we fought and made up hundreds of times. Our home where we watched our friends' lives change forever with the birth of Hadley, then Stella, then Bronson. When Harley came home to his family. Our home where it was finally our turn. The joy and excitement in the air when WE KNEW we had a little baby coming to our home and Cameron and I were the only ones who knew. The tears that came from that. The elation that was shared in so many when we found out there were TWO little babes headed our way and then again when we found out they were boys. Our home where our hearts healed as we planned a nursery and worked together to make room for our sons. Our home where we came home from the hospital while our hearts were still in the NICU. Our home where we were finally able to be a family of four.

I cried as we drove away from that little red brick building. I kept telling my boys that we could be happy anywhere because we were together. I think I said it more for me than for them.

Next up: the drive [which was way more exciting than it should have been...]

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