February 6, 2018

January Days

I do love a snowy field/stormy sky picture. 

Aren't these adorable?! They were at the kids school. I am totally doing this next year with my school kids. 

Ice at the library

We had a lovely day of warmth and I took a walk. It was fantastic. 

Bright sunlight makes everything better!

Drippy eaves

I came back home to my little family all outside enjoying the above freezing weather. 

Justin made each of the kids their very own snow chair



Lily settling into her snow chair for a good read. 

January 27, 2018

Moving Backward and Coming Home

So our big news in the past months is that we are back in our house. You might not keep close tabs on what we are up to, but a year and a half ago, we moved out of our house to sell it and into a trailer on a lot we hoped to build on. The house didn't sell for the first few months, so we took it off the market so it wouldn't languish there through the winter months when no one buys houses. A friend from Canada was moving down here for work, so we rented it to her and we were all happy! Last October, the realtor called and said he knows our house was off the market, but someone was really interested, could he show it? Sure!

Once the contract was signed and sealed, we told our friend she would probably need to find a new place. She signed on a new apartment and our contract promptly fell through. 

Soo.... we had two houses, two mortgages, and two heat bills on our hands in the middle of a bitter cold winter. While it probably doesn't sound logical, we decided that we would move back to this house (space! light! no pipes freezing!) and just shut the water and heat off for the trailer. 

(It ended up that a woman who works with Mum needed a place to live, so she is currently renting our trailer.)

Our moving day picture. Mostly this was a joke to send to Lindsey--that this-is-our-new-house-we-are-so-excited picture that you usually take when you move into a new house. 

It was a long day--we moved most of our large stuff on one Saturday. Tempers were fraying, kids were exhausted, and Justin and I were questioning our sanity. 

But it was all worth it the next day when we had special meeting workers. 

That is our friend Theresa to the right, who had been renting this house from us. 

When I first found out our contract had fallen through I was outraged, frustrated, and ANNOYED. I had everything neatly planned out. How dare anything else happen? After telling myself to get over it, we plunged full tilt into plan B. 

Moving back into this house felt like moving backward, both physically and financially. And moving backward is not something I like to do. 

It was HARD moving out of here. (So much stuff. I hate moving.) And I get emotionally attached to places. This is where my kids were kids! Two of our babies came home from the hospital to this house! So why were we moving back in to it after I felt like I had made peace with selling my kids childhood home? What were we thinking? 

The equity we had in this house was already mentally spent in getting ready to build our new house. When will that house ever get built now?! 

I may have thrown my own wee little pity party for one--actually two (Justin had to attend too--part of the covenant of marriage I am pretty sure.) 

But oh. Once we were moving things in, it was hard to not recognize a feeling of coming home. This is where the jar goes for spatulas and whisks. This is the spot for the kids shoes. And over here is where we put the pen cup and plug phones in.

They were finally back where they belonged. And maybe we were too. 

SPACE! Justin and I could both stand on either side of our bed. Miracle!

BATHROOM! We had our lovely tiled, whirlpool, spacious bathroom again. I no longer hit the ceiling with my elbow in the shower. (Okay, that is a teensy exaggeration, but I did hit the ceiling with my hair and towel, so...)

SUNLIGHT. Do the manufacturers of trailers want people to feel depressed? Is that why they put the bare minimum of windows in? 

The first few days were were in here, it was exceptionally sunny (and cold). I was completely over the moon about the sunlight. 

I kept exclaiming and taking pictures. 

I exulted like no one's business. 

And the weekend Clover and Evan were up? We had our first company Sunday dinner in over a year and half. 

With a large family and college going on, I never had people over to the trailer for dinner. It was crowded and complicated. 

Back in this house, we had Clover 40th birthday party. Well we had cake anyway. 

(She is the first of us Vaughans to turn 40--how can I have a 40 year old sister?!?)

It was nice getting everything ready and having people to our house. I forgot what that felt like. 

Kids, comics, and SUNLIGHT on our bed. Did you notice the sunlight?!? Pretty great, huh? 

I am exclaiming and praising the space of this house, but it still is really a pretty small house. As evidenced when everyone lounged around the living room--no one could walk through without stepping over fourteen legs, give or take.'

So while I love being here for now, the house we want to build is still a very real thing. 

It feels rather surreal to be back in this house. We have owned this house for nine years, but I never went to grad school in this house. I never drove from here to my current job. Elsie never went to school from this house. Large chunks of our history happened in that trailer. 

But I am not going to start getting emotional about that trailer. Because.... well I am just not. I will just think about that shower. And the pipes freezing. 

January 22, 2018

Long Weekend in January

Oh hi. Two months without posts... Have no fear, I am not dead. Just rather silent. 

(Lily made a tunnel with some windshield snow.)

Last weekend, well the weekend before last actually, we had some weather. 

Friday afternoon it was 61 degrees. By Sunday morning it was negative 27 degrees. A 90 degree temperature drop with steady precipitation the whole time the mercury was falling. (Probably should change that expression. I wonder how many mercury thermometers are actually left out there.)

All of this resulted in a thick coating of ice and 18 inches of snow. Less than 24 hrs before this picture? No snow. 

It was rather lovely and dramatic. 

Hoyt getting a big chunk of snow

Snow piles are the very best

The thing about having a lot of female sisters and cousins? The extra snow clothes are always purple and pink (see Hoyt's gloves a few pictures back)

Doesn't bother these boys in the least.

A grumpy January sky. 

An adorable bundled up Abilene

And I AM going to put up three pictures that are just about identical because they are all perfectly precious in their own way. 

Wreathes with snowhats. 

Orianna has been on a snowflake making kick this year, so she made some for Grandma's windows.

At this point it was still above zero, but the wind was blowing, so it was brisk. 

As in I shoved my hands in my pockets every other picture or so.

Did I mention Clover and Evan and company were up? And Fiona? Well they were. Such a lovely time.

The older girls

Orianna was adamant that she did not need a snowsuit. 

Riiiight, Cold Leg Orby. 

But she is the only one left standing, so....

The flag was very frozen

Cows are such enduring creatures.

They need extra food when it gets cold, but otherwise, they make out okay. 

Since we didn't get to be outside much, we found a kids exercise video for the kids. 

They had a hoot. Mostly. 

After all that exertion, a little comfy reading was in order. 

Sunday was sunny, way below zero, and GORGEOUS. 

Allow me to bore you with loads of icy pictures

I love shadows on snow

This elm tree is probably not long for this world. A huge section of it fell off this fall.

So I took a lot of pictures. 

Just in case this is our last winter with it. 

Such a marvelous old tree. 

Tractor treads

The rain turned to slush and then ice so fast if froze on Clover and Evan's van like little fins. 

Monday morning the creek, that had been majorly flooded from the 61 degrees on Friday was steaming in the below zero weather. 

It looks like a hot spring. But I am here to tell you it was not particularly warm. 

It's a beautiful world isn't it? 

And then we wrapped the weekend up with a little bug bingo.