Cardboard Boxes, Tape & John Mayer

When we grabbed hold of this opportunity to relocate to Texas we knew that it would mean a lot of change to things that have been so normal to us. Over the past few weeks we have gone out to the city, spent a lot of time with family, taken more pictures, visited friends we haven’t seen in ages, and just try to soak up all that we love about California. Our reality is going to be changing and it hasn’t felt real until this week.

This week we said our final, “I’ll be seeing you,” to my parents, my In-law’s, and my best friend. We also got about a million cardboard boxes and several yards of masking tape to start packing AGAIN. This part of my life seems to be on repeat. This year alone we have moved twice already (including this move). By the end of the year we are hoping to make our final move to our new home. Three big moves. Part of me knew this would happen and the other part of me feels so overwhelmed by moving that I don’t know where home really is anymore.

When we met with every person that we have said our final,”I’ll be seeing you,” we have always left it without goodbye. We don’t feel like this is goodbye. This is our home. California will always feel like home to us. We were raised here and are familiar with the people, the places, the smells, even the ugliness. We know California, so when we start taping up our cardboard boxes we can’t help but reminisce.

I box away baby clothes for Parker, see underpants that Peyton just doesn’t fit in anymore, or find Prestons old do-do-ded (his word for Mickey Mouse, we have no clue how he came up with it) and I see how our life has so quickly changed, that it does scare me a little for our next change. Can we stop life for a minute? Can I just relive some moments and bask in their glory a while? Our walks around Chico and lower Bidwell Park… Our trips to the flea market and the Pacifica Pier…Our wedding day and all the rain… The birth of our children… Our first house… Reliving these little moments make me feel better as I pack away the memories.

My Mom and Ben has always loved John Mayer at times like this – where change and life is just filled with new and uncertain adventures – and they always refer to his song “Stop This Train”. I am at the point of feeling like his lyrics:

Stop this train

I want to get off and go home again

I can’t take the speed it’s moving in

I know I can’t

But, honestly, won’t someone stop this train?

I know the lyrics all too well. Our future is right around the corner and as anxious as I am at times to get to where I want to go, it can feel like I am traveling at the speed of light. I feel like my life could use a good pause every now and then, but I remember:

“Don’t stop this train

Don’t for a minute change the place you’re in

And don’t think I couldn’t ever understand

I tried my hand

John, honestly, we’ll never stop this train”

My train is moving whether I like it or not. With every sealed and labeled box. With every roll of tape exhausted and box lined against the wall I see my train move. I am scared. I am not scared of making the move. I am scared of what it will mean when we are done. I am scared of the future. I am scared of not knowing what will happen next. My “Type-A” personality is begging for some hint or vague idea of what will come after our move.

I guess it’s just time to ride the train and see where it takes me.


1… 5… double digits… 13… 16… legal… cheers… 29?

Every birthday has some kind of small significance, but there are a few that tend to stand out. First birthdays are always a big deal, more for the adults than the kids really. When you turn five and are now the proper age to be out of the home and functioning in a school/educational setting. Plus, it’s the first birthday that isn’t totally about the adults in your life. You get to invite classmates and friends, and you actually care about themes, cakes, presents, etc. When you hit double digits too… I mean you survived a whole decade of insanity and your parents feel like they survived too. Then you hit thirteen and the teenage years dominate attitude, hormones, popularity, etc.-the most overwhelming birthday I feel like. When you turn 16 it is almost bittersweet. You can drive a car! Woohoo, freedom! Well, kinda… You spend your days terrifying your parents behind the wheel of a known killer, and you have to find a way to fund your new found “freedom” which is also known as a J.O.B. The joys of aging… Responsibility and financial concern. Then you turn eighteen!!! Woohoo, you can vote! It was far more mundane than the hype, but please don’t let me ruin the level of importance it is… You are now a contributing member of society. You help make the decisions around here and you want to acknowledge the transition from young and stupid to grown and mature (don’t kid yourself, this doesn’t happen overnight). Then you turn twenty-one… Omg, my age is now officially hyphenated and I can legally drink alcohol! This birthday is the most fun and the one you are least likely to remember. The only evidence you will have that you had a good time was the embarrassing Facebook photos and videos that you try to untag yourself from and the massive hangover the following morning/days.

In the past week I have celebrated two different birthdays. My daughter’s early 1st birthday and my 29th. Her birthday was filled with purple decorations, her cute little tutu, candy favors and cake with far too much frosting. We video taped it, we memorialized it with photos and personalized gifts. We enjoyed good food, good company, and a park that occupied what few children (her brothers) were in attendance. She opens bright colored gifts and toys that are bright and loud (oh the obnoxiousness).

Now, my birthday was a little different. I wore jeans and t-shirt to a crowded restaurant. There was good food and good company (hubby and Parker). No pictures or cake. My gifts were of the technological theme, but it was very practical. Nothing whimsical or fancy, it was very adult. It made me think that maybe all the fun will be over. I was worried that life had got too “practical”, then I remembered that this year is a year of excitement and change.

At 29 I will be venturing with my little family to places unknown. We secured an apartment until our house is built and now we are plotting out our road trip there. This year and our move will prove to be an insanely intense year. As we are seeing our friends and family for the last time it makes me realize how this year, September 2015 to September 2016, will always hold great significance for me. Even the following year will. 29 will be a year of new. New location, new house, new schools for the kids, new health insurance, new roads to drive, new friends to make, new adventures in new places.

Our official move date is September 26th. We will be making the trek through Arizona, New Mexico, and finally Texas. We have never made that kind of move before. We certainly have never made that drive with children before. I just don’t know what we will manage. Plus, our itty-bitty chihuahuas. It’s going to be a really long adventure, that is for sure.

Each year of life we are blessed enough to experience will hold some kind of significance. If you were to look back on it as a whole it seems a lot like a blur. If I break it down you can see the little things…but, this year, 29, I will remember this year. This year is the lead into more. It’s my last year of my twenties and my first year of being… a Texan!