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Gard’s Goodbye

Not much to post here in the ways of food lately. We’ve been super busy trying to finalize the stitching to our sweet home so that someone else feels super blessed to move into it. As a family, we have been living out of a cooler for well over a week now. On one hand, it feels like this rocky boat ride is almost over and we will soon set anchor, but I honestly think the boat ride will actually begin when we depart.  Really, what we have been doing for the last few months, is preparing for the ride; emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally.

In our best Gard efforts, we find this last week to be ultimately one that is both enjoyable and one that is full of accomplishments.  Nothing gets done by itself, and you must maintain being pro-active even when you feel like throwing your hands up in the air, and hiding beneath the bed to shield yourself from frustration.

We Gard’s wanted a lasting fond memory of our home; one that set the tone for our leaving and one that said something about us as a family. Our annual bathtub photo began just shy of 6 years ago.  Our home was much like a blank canvas, but was also the worst on the block.  Needless to say, the head high weeds in the yard was just the obvious of what needed fixing. Having a baby 1 1/2 days after moving in, was really quite an adventure.  It was not having hot water for 5 weeks following the birth of our second, and trying to remodel a dilapidated home, that really set the tone of our strong characters; smiling through the process.

Our bathroom was one of our first remodels.  We were so proud of it, and absolutely thrilled it was complete, that we chose to use it as the setting for our first Christmas card, in 2008-our new home. It has remained as our Christmas card photo locale.

With our departure so very near, we want to say thanks to all those who have come across our paths. We have truly felt blessed by our friendships. Thank you for giving us your time, and for enriching our lives.

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Tears.

I am a complete mess right now.  Today we picked up the Budget rental truck; all 16 feet of it.  One of our very best friends, Peder Beck and his kind friend Rink assisted in packing the truck in a Tetris style manner, as Kevin and I continued to pack up lingering items.  It was amazing to have their assistance since we didn’t start packing until 5 pm and ended at 9:30 p.m. Amidst the chaos, my children were unattended, and relocated at my neighbors home 2 doors down; who is also their ballet teacher.  We had a couple neighbors filtering in and out to see if we needed anything, and bringing us more boxes.  It made it that much harder having such kindness bestowed upon us. The feeling of gratitude was heavy.

Some of my favorite items did not fit. Though, the receptionist swore that 16 feet would pack a two bedroom home. I had to leave behind my vintage orange armchair with the love tear that is stitched together with blue thread. The children’s Christmas roller coaster did not fit, nor the front porch vintage recliners that I waited 8 years to have stained and find the perfect cushions for.  Many more things that were little just could not fit.  It was both saddening and a realization that they can stay behind and come at a later date.  What we are leaving behind that means much more, are our family, our neighborhood, the kid’s rad school, and our amazing church. Last but not least, friends. Particularly the ones that have become more like family. You know who you are.  We will greatly miss our gatherings, our late night guitar lullabies, potlucks, etc.  You have may this departure incredibly supportive, and we thank you so much for your support.

As I cried in the kitchen,  Kevin and I compared our tight chest and lumps in our throat. I pretty much lost it when my inherited sister called. But, I felt I needed to keep composure for the kids.  So, as I watch them sleep soundly in their sleeping bags on our wood floor, I cannot help but wish I was able to sleep.  I have never, in our almost 13 years of marriage been able to sleep without my hubby.  He departed this evening with our dog in tow.  A boy and his dog.  The girls and their mom.  So strange to be separated in this way.  Much of it felt surreal.  Now, I lay here with phone beside me, typing, and praying for his safe journey.  Praying for his safe return so we can finalize our move and set off together as a family, on this crazy journey.

 

 

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The Garden of Long Beach

This place is so dear to my heart! In the 2 almost 3 years we’ve attended, we have met some truly amazing people. It is a place that lives out what it preaches.  I will truly miss the depth of which I’ve grown in this time due to the solid teachings.  The lyrics below are part of a song that resounds in me.

 

With every breath I breathe
With every song I sing
I want to shout it out
Lord I am listening
To every word You speak
I’ll go where You will lead
To love the least of these
My greatest offering

 

*** The photo is from the annual church dodgeball team.  Best thing to do is sign up with a team of little kids; they come out on top.

 

 

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Three Arch Bay

The monument men saved art during the war, and I have a bit of my own history worth saving.

During my process of transcribing my children’s growth chart, that is penned in along the wood trim in their closet to a transportable board, I began to reflect on how stressful the last few months have been.

As weird as it feels to be living amongst boxes upon boxes and our comforting home now echoing, I also feel relief.

Some folks move suddenly and don’t go through as arduous pondering on their decision making. Having made this decision months ago, I’ve had lots of moments of anguish and feelings of doubt. Mainly, this was all due to the things and people I love so dearly that we are leaving behind.

I attribute this wait to strolling down the sandy beach with some of my best buds, with Three Arch Bay as a destination. The rock tunnel leads to scaling rocks to private pools, which then leads to a stretch of ocean you need to time correctly to get to the other side of more rocks you must scale, just to lead you to a rocky platform overlooking a 2 1/2-3 story high drop.

As you gather amongst your friends, some jump quickly and others linger either to enjoy the glorious view or because they’re afraid. The longer you hover there on that edge, glancing below, the harder it gets to make the leap. More doubt creeps into your mind.

But, if you don’t think too long, that jump into the frigid ocean below is rejuvenating and exciting. The brisk swim across the kelp filled lagoon to the shoreline, reminds you the trek was well worth it. This is especially true if this reminds you of how your marriage proposal happened.

The time has exceedingly sped up the last two weeks. That doubt that was stagnant is now obsolete and the anticipation of adventure far out ways the fear.

I know my love affair with California, is not busted. But, I look forward to entangling myself in the beauty of Washington and all it has to offer.

I believe this is a leap of faith; a jump worth the wait.