Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Reflections on our journey

We have been on a long, strange journey that will soon come to an end.  It all started in November of 2012 when we moved out of our home in South Jordan, UT.  We were supposed to move into the home across the street from us, but it all fell through at the last minute.  Not knowing what to do, we quickly put our belongings into storage and started off on a very long adventure.  At the time, we had NO idea that we would be without a home for the next year and a half!  And I'm so grateful that we didn't know!  Knowing that would have been discouraging, to say the least.  It was all very stressful and hard to deal with as it was.
Part of the problem was that we were at a crossroads with Adam's business and so after careful contemplation and prayer, we decided the best thing to do would be for him to end his business and to look for a job.  So not only were we without a home, but we were also without an income.  
Since that time, where have we been if we haven't been in our own home?  We started off in a hotel, positive that the job and home would come quickly.  
From there we went to stay at Adam's sister's house.  We were living at her house when George was born (only about 2 1/2 weeks after we got there!) and we stayed there for just shy of 2 months.  
Next we went to stay with a friend of mine from college.  She and her husband have 5 children of their own and so there were 4 adults and TEN children in that home for 3 months.  We just stayed there until school got out.  
Small interjection - I'm humbled and in awe over both of these families, who so willingly and lovingly allowed us into their homes.  It was hard on everyone involved and they were so kind to invite us and to help us for so long.  I'm sure they were both abundantly blessed for their service to us.  
At this time our journey took a small turn and we headed west to live with my parents in California.  The funny part about this was that we thought that our journey was ending and that we had found our destination.  BUT it wasn't and we hadn't.  It was just another step, all the while getting us closer to our goal.  
In January of this year, Adam got a job!  We were ecstatic.  He moved up to the Bay Area and we stayed back here, in hopes that we could join him within a few months.  But we didn't realize that finding a home would prove to be so difficult!  We looked and looked and looked.  Most of the homes were either too expensive or already taken by the time we got to them.  We looked all over north and east bay.  
Adam traveled back down to visit us every 2-3 weeks and he would stay for the weekend.  This was both good and bad.  It was good because we got to see him and be with him.  It was bad because it was an emotional roller coaster for the kids.  It was pretty hard on them.  
After a while we finally figured out a good city to live.  It had a good reputation and good schools.  Plus, it was a little pocket of less expensive housing.  All good things!  We looked there for a while until we finally found "the one".  I about had a panic attack when I first saw the listing.  It fit all of our criteria almost perfectly.    We were the first to submit an application and we got it.  Move in date was June 2nd and Adam just took our belongings up there yesterday.  The kids and I will join him Friday.  
Some interesting things from our journey: 
-We had a baby in the middle of all of this!
-When we first left our home, Sam was only 18 months old.  Now that we are moving into a place once again, George is about 17 months old.  That is a crazy idea to me!
-We potty trained TWO children during this time - one at the hotel and one here at my parent's house.
-Before we left Utah we had a yard sale and sold many of our belongings, which included most of our furniture.  
-Most of our belongings have been in storage for a year and a half.
-I've lived out of a suitcase for the majority of the last year and a half.  I can't tell you how excited I am to have my own closet and dresser!
-We have been blessed beyond belief in every way possible.  I know that God's hand has had everything to do with that.  I believe in a God of miracles and I'm grateful for every blessing and miracle that we have received.  
-We experienced 1 Christmas in the hotel and 1 Christmas here at my parent's house.  Both Christmas's were times of high financial distress and so any presents that the kids were given were brought to us by the goodness of others.  Another humbling and miraculous experience.  It's amazing how quickly and thoroughly people are willing to give.  
It feels like our journey is now coming to an end.  I hope that is the case.  However, I look back at this time with a softness of heart and with gratitude for a loving Father in Heaven who has blessed us so much.  We have grown in many ways and hopefully become at least a little better and stronger through these experiences.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Updates from the last post


I know, it's a lame post name, but I guess it accomplishes it's purpose.  
Let's just go down in the same order as last time:

1.  Sicknesses - just before we took George to the doc yesterday for his pink eye, Sam's eye started showing signs.  But George by far has had the worst case of it.  He looked so terrible.  His eyes became very swollen.  He hardly looks like himself in the picture.  
My nurse neighbor came over and helped me get him all cleaned up.  She also gave me some...eurythromyacin (something like that) to put in his eyes right before bed.  When he woke up this morning he looked so much better!  
Yesterday was a long hard day and all I wanted was a good night's rest.  BUT then at 3:30 Gracie came into my room a little upset and as I was holding her and  walking her back to her room she threw up all over the 2 of us.  I have this weird "save the carpet" mentality when kids are throwing up on me and so I try to catch it all on my body...I know, kind of odd.  It just happens.  So that was interesting.
She hasn't thrown up since, but MY stomach has been growing more and more uneasy all morning...dun, dun, dunnnnn.  Hopefully this isn't a bug that gets passed around! I'm really very much done with sicknesses!
Sam is fussy and just wants to be held and so he, Gracie and I will just rest and watch movies today - as much as we can!  

2.  Adam's job - Adam started his new job yesterday and it went great!  And he will move into a house with roommates tonight (he's been in a hotel the last two nights).  Kind of funny that he will be living with roommates for a few months.  Back to the bachelor life for him.  Well, kind of, at least!
The kids are REALLY missing him and Henry skypes him on his phone all the time.  They've all kind of gone downhill in behavior since he left, too.  I guess it's a stressful and confusing thing for all of them.  
But the job is going well - yay!

3.  Dad/hospital - Dad is still in the hospital.  They have figured out that he is bleeding internally and they think it's his stomach.  His low red blood count is very low.  And last night in the middle of the night his numbers dipped so low that they gave him a blood transfusion this morning at 5.  The next step is to look in his stomach with a scope, but apparently they can't do that until tonight or tomorrow because they're waiting for his blood thinning medication to wear off.  So for now we just wait!  Hopefully life in the hospital isn't too rough for him.  

Even with lots of craziness, we are still being blessed so much.  Last night our good neighbor from next door brought a delicious BBQ meal for me and the kids.  And my parents have good friends that have been visiting them in the hospital. 

Now if I could only pry Sam off of me for 5 minutes so I could use the restroom... :)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

What a day.

Wow - today has been very...full.  Let me explain why:

1.  For the last 2 weeks I have been sick and I can't seem to kick it.  This last week has been the worst part - I just feel so crummy every day.  But the problem is that I haven't slowed down at all.  And I'm up coughing half the night.  That's probably why I'm still sick!  And today is no different.  I still feel lousy.  This morning was amazing, though, because I stayed home from church with Gracie and George and I slept off and on through a movie I watched with Gracie and it felt wonderful.  But once noon hit, I went back to full speed the rest of the day.  
A few of the kids are sick, including 2 who now have pick eye (2 of us are already almost over it). Poor little George has swollen, gunky eyes.  

2.  Adam moved up to San Rafael today to start his new job tomorrow.  It's exciting and sad all rolled into one.  The house feels empty without him here.  Henry was pretty sad after he left.  Here is a picture of the kids all giving him a hug right before he left.
This will be a hard few months apart!  

3.  My dad went to the ER this afternoon and got admitted to the hospital (remember that we live with my parents right now).  He had trouble walking and was short of breath and very pale.  They ran a bunch of tests and came up with no conclusions.  They'll do one more test in the morning and then go from there.

So - that's it.  I'm sick, the kids are sick, Adam moved and my dad is in the hospital.  That's pretty much our day in a nutshell.  

Monday, January 06, 2014

Potty training!

Sam started potty training today.  I don't really want to potty train a child right now, but we decided we needed to do it since he keeps taking his diaper off and peeing on the ground.  So today was a good day to start.  
We got a potty chair and some reward candies and toys.  We also got some underwear out of storage and we were set.
The day started out a little rough, but he got the hang of it after a while.  And by the end he was so sad when I put his diaper and jammies on.  
This picture depicts what potty training is like for child #4 - his business has become everyone's business!


Plus, another upside to all of this is that once he is officially potty trained, we will then only have ONE child in diapers.  Geesh!  That will be nice.  
Here's hoping that he does this quickly!  
Go Sam!  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Clarks!

Tomorrow is Christmas and we wanted to take a minute to express gratitude for a multitude of blessings that have been poured out upon us this year.  In the midst of many trials, we have felt an over abundance of love, support and blessings, almost like a cushion surrounding us and protecting us.  We thank our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ for these blessings and we know that all of the good things in our lives are because of them. 
We hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and we hope that the new year ahead finds you all happy and well. 
                                                                  Love to you all,
                                                                    The Clarks

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Confession

Here's my confession (which is probably stating the obvious):
I do not miss the Utah cold winters.  At all.  Not even a little bit.  
I love, love, love the weather we've had in California.  It's my kind of climate!  A week or so ago it was a little colder, but it didn't seem to get below 50 during the day and the nights were just below freezing.  But yesterday it was in the 80s and today is in the 70s and I love it!  The slight fluctuation is great.  
People often tell me that they like the whole boots and sweaters thing or how they love 4 seasons, but I'm perfectly content in this weather!  
These pictures are from our walk yesterday morning.  It was a beautiful day.  
I really couldn't be happier with our current climate and I am so grateful for it - no matter how short or long we get it.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Avila Beach

We've made it to the beach a few times since we've been here.  It's best if either one of us goes with the 3 older kids, or both of us go with all of the kids.  A few weeks ago I went with just the 3 olders and it was pretty fun.  It was actually nice to be somewhere without the stress of the younger kiddos.  I quite enjoyed my time there. 

I thought this was a cute house on our walk from the car to the beach.  I love the siding style and color.

Cute little beach walk.

Gracie, Henry and Ella.
The kids absolutely love it - they love all of it.  The water, the waves, the sand. 
The weather has been perfect for the beach.  Hopefully we can get a few more trips in before school starts.

Oh Budget!

We moved to San Luis Obispo 2 months ago.  The move was a crazy time, let me tell you.  It took us 3 days and we had an interesting run with the budget truck.  But we made it.  Moving is a beast, I tell you! 

Here we are as we were leaving South Jordan.  We had to pull over even before we go to the freeway because the DVD player in the car wasn't working... (major problem, I know!)
Here we are driving through Las Vegas.


Here we are in San Luis Obispo, parked in front of my parent's house.  We made it!