Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Our Christian boy is 6 months old. On Christmas Eve even! It'll be easy and fun remembering that Christmas Eve is his half birthday each year. :O)
Our little man is scooting around the house and more and more. He gets up on his knees and rocks back and forth trying to figure out how to get coordinated enough to crawl. He can sit up now but is still a bit wobbly so we stay close by. :) He is all smiles and he entertains us all day long. Right now he is pretty sick with a bad cold and has his two top teeth coming in so when he cries and tries to make any noise it is the most pathetic sad little squeaks. It breaks my heart to hear his sore voice. But even though he is sick he still is smiley and sweet. He loves his mommy and his three solid meals a day. Stewart tried to give him a bottle the other night when I was gone but Christian would not have it at all! I got a call while checking out at the store with poor Christian screaming in the back ground. I was starting to think about weaning him but not anymore! :O)
The other day when I was changing his diaper he peeped and it squirted him in his mouth, up his nose, and got in his eyes! Poor little guy got showered in his own urine! lol I know someday he'll think that is hilarious and so gross!
He has started to jabber and say "dadada" and "bababa" and things. Its so fun to hear those tiny emerging words. He really helps make our family feel complete. I am so thankful for my sweet little Christian. He's everyone's favorite.
Monday, January 9, 2017
Lately I've spent a lot of my mental energy processing that we will be moving to North Carolina. When I was taking these pictures I kept thinking that next year I would be taking these pictures with pine trees in the background! Ah, its going to be so different! But different might be nice since we literally took these in a dry river bed or dirt pit as the kids called it. LOL not the prettiest of back grounds but oh, well!
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Back in September after we adjusted to school starting, Christian's birth, and Stewart's fellowship responsibilities we started to realize it was time to start applying for jobs. We thought that this would be simple. We would simply apply to the two places in Tucson, interview, pray for offers, and then choose. Well, at least that was the hope. But all along I had concerns, the two groups had things that we didn't like but we felt like living in Tucson was THE option because it had felt more like home than any other place we had lived. Stewart sent out his CV to both groups and immediately got a call from Arizona State Radiology. We were threw the moon, so excited! He came in for an interview I think that very week. They liked him and more than half the group were Rads he'd worked with at UofA and really liked. They decided to give him a job right away but not for a long-term position just for some Moonlighting. When Stewart tried to push to see if it could turn it into something more they backpedaled a little bit and said, "well working for us is the best application." and then asked, "so where are you applying for a job next year?" As the days passed that question weighed heavily. And as we heard more information that they really didn't want to hire a new breast specialist in the next few years our hearts fell. It became clear that they were they weren't going anywhere so we started to think where else will we apply?
We kind of just started to talk about what we thought about different parts of the country I cannot live where it's very cold so that knocks out almost all of the country. With my hating the cold it leaves thong pretty limited as to where we could live. There was Nevada, California, Arizona, we sent out applications but only heard back from Reno. Reno was hard because I hate the weather there and we'd left there a bit depressed with how our short sale had financially ruined us. So we had to apply more broadly. I've always liked the idea of Texas so we threw in Texas ontop of the pile and then we started seeing listings for North Carolina. We looked into North Carolina a little bit. The weather was nice, people seem to like it a lot who had lived there.... and so we added North Carolina to the list of places we would apply. One day when Stewart came home from work he announced that he had sent an application to a place called Pinehurst, North Carolina. When he said that something magical happened, a little sparkly something on my heart went off...I don't know what it was but all the sudden I wanted to know everything about Pinehurst, North Carolina. At first it was just a fascination with how cute it was. It's this tiny little village, they actually call it a village. And the cutest little shops.... I felt like I was looking at pictures of the Gilmore Girls set. As the weeks progressed Stewart started getting phone interviews and they all went so well. Then he was getting invitations to fly out for real interviews and we got really excited and stressed, and excited and stressed! Stewart learned so much about all these wonderful groups in different places in the country it was a really exciting time to visualize all these locations becoming a possibility. After the phone interviews went well then he was issued more phone interviews and real interview invitations to fly out and interview in person. This is when it got REAL. We were moving. We were going to live in one of these places!
The first was Reno. When we got there we were nervous that it would just feel like going back in time which was not appealing to us. But we found new areas of the city that were gorgeous and we could picture ourselves living there with the access to the university, proximity to California and Tahoe, and the great group there. We could picture our lives there and it was a really awesome life. But as I sat at the dinner interview in the restaurant and looked around and took a moment to kind of process what I was feeling and where we were and what we were considering, I just felt this feeling that it was wrong. I knew that this was not the place. We were not going to come to Reno. That was really sad because we wanted it. We went there and we wanted it, i saw my old best friend, i knew the city so welll, itd be easy and happy! Honestly it waa the job and location that made the most sense. So I think that was why Heavenly Father let us know so strongly that it was not the right place for us.
Then Stewarr was off to Texas. He turned down an interview to San Antonio and opted to just go to Austin for an interview. I wasn't able to come but he was blown away. It was his favorite interview I think. People were so kind, that combination with the wonderful the group, amazing accomdations, the smooth practice they had set up....it was amazing... He could picture our lives there and I could kind of a picture it too and really liked it. It sounded so fun and so comfortable and just a place you really want to live.
I decided I really needed to come to the other interviews because it was hard for me to not actually have gone to Austin so we flew to North Carolina for two back-to-back interviews and then it was straight onto Visalia, California for a final interview.
At this point it seemed so unreal that one of these places was where we were going to live and it was overwhelming and exhausting but exciting but super scary! We just prayed so hard that Heavenly Father would tell us where he wanted us to live and every night before scripture study we sang as a family the hymn I'll go where you want me to go dear Lord. This is also when we really explained to the kids that we were infact going to have to move and Tucson was not an option. We told them that we might live in North Carolina or Texas or California or possibly Nevada. There were tears but I was impressed with how mature they were about it.
So on to Greensboro North Carolina we went with my sister watching my kids fir me! Bless her heart! The most striking thing about Greensboro was that it was absolutely beautiful and I fell in love with the southern people. Their kindness, their warmth, their accents, they're talking about going to church every Sunday,...I was sold fresh out of the gate. I love everybody I talked to there. What was strange about Greensboro though is that I felt like a visitor. I felt like I was playing pretend as I drove around with the kind secretary who showed me around cute neighborhoods and shopping areas I felt kind of fake. I didn't know what that meant at the time but I did just feel like a visitor. Then that night after the dinner, which I wasn't invited to :-( , we drove to Pinehurst. On the way Stewart said during the dinner he felt the spirit tell him that it was not Greensboro. He was sad because he liked it so much, but he knew it wasn't going to work out.
I had been anticipating the interview in Pinehurst more than any other interview, something about it when we talked about it, when we looked at houses online, whenever we prayed about it, there was a bit of magic (aka the spirit touching our hearts). To think of it was different than the other places, something exciting and warm. I wanted to be there and see what I'd feel when I was there in the flesh. I didn't know if something magical would happen and so I just really was so excited to get there. When we drove into Pinehurst it was really sweet. We rolled down the window on the dark night and i we could smell sweet pine trees. When we drove through the downtown it did seem like a set on a movie, it was so cute. The hotel we stayed in was so old I swear I thought it was haunted it was a little creepy for me but it was also an adventure. The most striking thing though was the feeling of the place. In the morning when the realtor picked me up and she drove me around all day I did not feel like a visitor. I did not feel fake. I felt like I was at home as I looked around it was like, "huh, okay so that is going to be the kids Elementary School and that's probably going to be their middle school and okay there's the chapel we're going to go to... I felt like I was meeting my new home and it felt like home. This really scared me so I kind of burried it down and I didn't want to influence Stewart's decision-making unnecessarily. I really wanted this to be his choice but I kind of I felt like it really was home when we were in Pinehurst. But I wasnt totally sure and I wanted to give every other place a good chance and let Stewart make his choice. One night when we were there and as we were talking in the hotel room after our lovely day I asked him if he remembered what happened after his initial phone interview, He said he didn't know. I reminded him that after his phone interview we went to bed it was late and he said he'd woken up in the middle of the night and couldn't go back to sleep and he just got so excited and happy and he had this thought repeated in his head "you are moving to Pinehurst" he said he didn't remember that. Lol But that since I had brought it up now he did remember it. I was glad I brought it up because to me that was very significant. I remember when he had that phone interview we felt so excited. It was just a magical thing every time Pinehurst came up.
I think what also made it so stressful.and hard was that our next interview was in Visalia, California. Visalia is a special place to us. My parents lived there for several years and Stewart's big brother and his beautiful family live in Visalia. That's where he is a surgeon and the thought of living in the central California Town surrounded by farmland and being so close to all of our family Stewart working with big brother at the same hospital was what we wanted. we wanted all that convenience and all that comfort and we just weren't ready to say yes to Pinehurst.
Visalia was still an option and we had to go and we had to try and we had to pray and see what God wanted for us.
In Visalia we had so much fun with Stewart's family. We were beyond exhausted but it was really great. Stewart and I didn't have a chance to really talk about our feelings because it was so cahotic with all the kids and it was so short. So we finally talked when we were driving home. I was not sure what Stewart felt he was very depressed and I wasn't sure why he was so sad. Finally he told me that he was so sad because he knew it was not where we were supposed to go. This was so hard for us. Especially to dissapoint excited family members on both sides....ugh. it was a horrible feeling.
So we kind of pushed it away, we said " we'll see. we'll keep praying." But I think all along looking back now, we knew it was Pinehurst but that process was really important. We had a good interviews and to see it and to see what it felt like in all these locations,.... I'm grateful for that process it was exhausting and expensive and tiring but it was necessary for us to make such a huge life choice.
I don't know how long we're going to live in Pinehurst but it could possibly be for the rest of our lives...Anyways, when it finally came time for us to decide and we really had to say our final prayer and make the decision it was really hard. We felt so blessed he ended up with four job offers and a deadline in which we had to make the choice. We made a pros-and-cons list of every place ranking them from cost of living and location to family and location to Temple and all the other various things. Then we talked about what we wanted, what our feelings were, and finally after all the numbers and all the talking and all the feelings we settled on Pinehurst. We could feel the spirit really strong that was where we were supposed to go and so we knelt in prayer to do our final prayer of asking if our decision was correct.
Stewart said the prayer. He prayed sincerely and the spirit was very strong and I just felt so much peace and happiness. When I looked up I realized he was crying. I don't know how many times I have seen my husband cry. Not very often maybe he cried in a movie or two and at the birth of our children but not even every child birth....for him to cry was a big deal. So when I looked up and saw tears streaming down his cheeks and him saying to me, "Emily, I know we're supposed to go to Pinehurst" and feeling of the spirit filling our room and our hearts meant very much to me. I was so grateful that he made the decision that he thought and prayed and was seeking for what the Lord wanted because now as the months have passed we feel really scared and overwhelmed. We're so grateful that we had such a strong confirmation that that's where we're supposed to go.
Moving across the country far from family is really hard. But when I get scared, what I come back to to help me feel comforted again is the feelings I felt. I have in my head a luttle vision of what we're going to be doing in Pinehurst, what our life will be like, and I have this strong feeling that this is the career that my husband is supposed to have. This is where he's going to thrive and use all of his skills. I feel so excited for all the good he's going to be able to do in that community that he's going to really further their ability to serve women Against Breast Cancer. I feel like the community really needs him to do that. I'm so grateful that he's so well trained to provide that for these women in that area. I also feel like we'll be a strength to the church. The church is weak there but that we have service there that we're supposed to do. I feel like there my husband is going to really grow into his priesthood more fully. For myself when I was in North Carolina I felt so good. Everyone was so friendly, I felt like I was my favorite version of myself. Talking to people who I saw everywhere i went and talking about church and about Jesus Christ and bearing my testimony about how much I love my big huge family I just felt like I'd bloom there a little bit. I think we have missionary work to do there, that's really exciting because I've never been a great member missionary and I think that's going to happen for us in North Carolina. To feel like the Lord wants us somewhere to do a job means a lot to me.
For the kids, im not sure yet what the Lord has in store for them. I'm just praying so hard that they're happy there. I picture them running around all these pine trees and exploring nature and making friends and riding horses, getting involved in the small community, and being a blessing there and being blessed by the friends and people that they come in contact with. I'm excited that people go to church there and I like that that will be normal. My kids friends may not be LDS but they will be the kind of kids that have faith and say bedtime prayers.... I like the support that they have faith.
In the spring we'll be going back out to Pinehurst to find a home to live. It is starting to stress me out. I know it seems like it's far away but with how fast the months fly these days I know it's just a blink away so I'm trying to research areas, think about options: buying, renting, buying them renovating, renting than buying that same house. I'm not sure but I'm trying to be open-minded and not be house greedy.
It will be so exciting to move there but I'm scared and I'm also sad as I'm mourning the fact that my life here in Tucson is going to draw to an end. I love Tucson so much and I love the people here and our Ward family, the school community. I will be very sad to leave this chapter of our lives. it's been such a happy blessed time.
But I keep referring to Pinehurst as a gift, a gift from Heavenly Father. I know in the coming years we're going to be able to unwrap this beautiful gift and see the blessings unfold in our lives in big and small personal ways. I'm excited for that. I'm hoping for that. And I'm anticipating the meaningful experiences that will come. But since I don't know what they will be and it's in a location so new and so far away I often feel a little afraid.
But when it's all said and done I know the Lord wants us there, so it will be good.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
We had such a great time! Dressing up all theme-y is a blast and one of our favorite, although very cheesy, traditions. I adore my little tribe of people even if we are a bit like a wild zoo!