Tuesday, November 26, 2013

one of those days

It has been a rough couple of weeks, let me tell you. We're homeless, jobless, and now truckless.

You know that feeling of how you fold up all of your plans into a tidy little box and then every. single. thing. unfolds in exactly the worst possible way?

That's what has been happening here in Kentucky.
It feels really bad.
And it also feels scary.

It's like America said, welcome back, now everything's going to go wrong! and here's a cold.

So, Bessie. She has gone to F150 heaven.

She lived a good life.. for a truck.

The past week and a half has been full of frustrations and professionals who really make me doubt humanity as a whole.

Add in some unexpected snow and a couple of sore throats and you've really got a party.
Seriously, Forrest is sneezing his brains out over here. Literally.

I really hate feeling this way, like nothing is ever going to settle down and just be normal. I'm tired of transition and I'm tired of not having an address or a real cell phone plan.

I realize that I have a lot more things in my life to be thankful for than to complain about. And I try to remember every time I am frustrated or worried, but sometimes I can't get past the bad feelings.
So then, like today, I sit down and cry.

Because life is frustrating.

Sometimes it's really dumb and sometimes nothing happens the way you thought it would. And most of the time it works out anyway, but it sure does not feel good while it's happening. Or not happening.

Pray for us.

Tomorrow we're going truck shopping.

This is how happy we'll be when we find one.
Thanks for the picture, Derek!

And since Thanksgiving is in two days:

I'm thankful for cold medicine and tissues. And I still stand by my decision to decline the flu shot. I've never had the flu anyway.

I'm thankful for a sweet husband who is always there to calm down his (slightly) hysterical wife in her times of need (like today).

I'm thankful for my wonderful family who gives me perspective during this transitional time in our life.

I'm thankful for Derek and Sara who have not kicked us out of their house even though we have far outstayed our welcome.

And I'm thankful that Forrest decided to grow a freedom beard as he looks quite dashing with a bearded face (it's so much longer now than that picture!)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Hayleys

It's been eight days since we landed in Kentucky and we've had one Thanksgiving dinner, one broken truck, and one visit to the Creation Museum. 

Maybe someday we'll be adults and have reliable cars, but today is not that day. 

What can you expect really of a truck that hasn't been driven in three years? Not much is what I say. It turns out that we've got a mouse-squatter on our hands. A mouse who likes to chew wires. So now, after much trial and error (like a runaway truck when the brakes went out as we tried to load it onto a trailer and Forrest's dad having the steepest driveway in the entire country that no tow-truck can climb), Bessie is waiting at a shop to be fixed (fingers and toes crossed!). It was actually a pretty dramatic story that evolved over two days and ended with a tow-truck winching itself up the hill. 

We've spent the past week mostly hanging out with Forrest's younger brother Trevor, watching a lot of Harry Potter, and driving around his dad's truck. 

We finally met our adorable niece who is already two. She now refers to Forrest as Uncle Cozy-Toes. That's what he gets for wearing wool socks, I guess. Not that I have anything against wool socks. I'm actually wearing a pair as we speak. And most other days.

In other news, American food really is as good as I remember it and much more abundant than I recalled. I'm a little bit overwhelmed at having more than three choices for dinner on any given night. I don't even have to ask for ice anymore, guys! If you ask for ice anywhere in Europe, you will get a.) strange looks and b.) exactly one ice cube. Unless you are extremely persistent (like my mother). Then you may end up with two or three.

We took a few family pictures last weekend with all of these weirdos.

It sure does feel great to be back.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bury St. Edmunds


Happy Friday! Is it Friday? I'm a little mixed up on schedules/days/everything right now due to quite a long flight a couple of days ago and the absurd amount of sleep that has transpired as a result.

I meant to post this before we left England as a sort of tribute to our lovely little English town, but it turns out that moving takes a lot more time than one would think and blogging kind of gets thrown onto the back-burner. 

So here I am alone in Forrest's brother's house with a bunch of time on my hands as Forrest drives down to Tennessee to pick up Bessie the truck so that we may have transportation once more. And everyone else is at work.

Why don't I edit some photos I thought! I'm finally almost caught up on sleep (thank you, melatonin!) and I have partaken in Wendy's twice in the last two days. Oh, Wendy's, how I have missed thee.

So here it is! A few thoughts on our town.

Bury St. Edmunds is the most adorable town in England. Of this I am sure. We lived on the outskirts for two-and-a-half years. Oh, it was a good time. 

I'm kind of already emotionally spent from the last week of saying goodbye and maybe I'm not as rested as I thought so I don't really have too many meaningful things to say. But I really never took the time to photograph around the town and really regretted it at the last minute. I took these about two weeks before we left and I sure am glad I documented it.

Bury has pretty much anything you could ever need in a town. It's the biggest town in Suffolk (which is kind of silly because it's really not that big, but that's Suffolk, I suppose) and a bustling little town it is. 

Forrest bought my engagement ring in Bury St. Edmunds at a jewelry store that has been around about as long as the U.S. has been a country. I looove that my ring is from England (where we also got engaged-in Bath). 

We watched the Olympic torch go through Bury last July and oh, it was exciting! I don't think I ever posted pictures from that on my blog, but I should.

We have taken every visiting relative to see the gigantic St. Edmundsbury Cathedral and the smallest pub in England (The Nutshell; it's tiny). It is such a great town for tourists because it's small and easily walk-able but oh so cute and full of fun things.

One time a parrot said hello to me in a British accent in the cathedral gardens aviary. I didn't even realize parrots could have accents until that encounter, but I sure am glad to know now.

There are so many unique things in Bury and so many English products that are made there. I feel a sort of pride for Bury St. Edmunds and I'm not even English. It's a special town.

I love Bury St. Edmunds and I don't care who knows.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

We are leaving England next week.

In eight days. 


We had our household goods packed up yesterday and we're camping out in the living room on an air mattress and some camping chairs. Our whole lives are now in a metal crate somewhere and now we get to live out of suitcases for three months which is kind of thrilling in a weird way. But mostly it's just something that makes me sigh a lot and hope for a new dresser in Seattle.

Tonight is our last night in our first house together and it's really sad. We have such wonderful memories here as newlyweds and as hosts to visiting family and with all of the friends we have made here. We've spent two Christmases here and three summers. We've had so much fun living here. 

My friend Rachel gave me a painting today of the best thatched houses in our neighborhood with this engraved on the back: Your first home together was in Hengrave; may you have many more happy homes together. May God bless you on your new adventure.

And I almost cried when she handed it to me because it was so perfect.

I will really miss living here! 

Everything took so long to happen and now it's all happening so fast I can't even remember what day it is. I can't believe we're actually leaving.

I always knew we were going to. I knew perfectly well going into this that we were here for two years and that was it. But then two years slowly stretched into two and a half and somehow it just seemed like it was all going to last forever and Forrest and I would be here in England, in this small fairyland, happy but not really content. 

We are ready to leave.

Now that all of our furniture and almost everything else we own is gone, it's finally starting to seem real. This move is something that I can almost reach out and touch. I'm not sure I'll be able to fully accept it until we're actually sitting on a runway.

I want to stay forever. 
But I wanted to leave six months ago. 

I can't quit the flip-flopping. I think I have some real problems.

This house has been good to us.

I learned how to cook in this house. And I learned how to knit. I learned so many valuable things right here in this little house!

Forrest and I learned how to be married here.

Even with all of the mold, and the too-thick walls so that we never have phone reception, and the weird shower, we have loved this adorable little ex-barn cottage.

We will never ever have another first home.

Goodbye, Grange Farm Croft. And goodbye, Hengrave. 

We're saying goodbye with pizza tonight for pizza has been a much loved meal in this house and will be forever and ever amen.

Now back I go to cleaning because our house inspection is in two days and I have cleaned exactly one room.