Packing up

I considered several different options for moving my stuff, and finally decided to rent a storage space here in Frederick and keep most of my stuff there in between the time I move to Virginia, and the time I move into my own house. The great thing about this is, I can go ahead and move stuff into storage even now, and not just wait for moving day.

So, today my brother's youth pastor came over with a couple of my brother's friends and, in exchange for a donation to help with the cost of a summer trip, they helped me moved most of my furniture out of my house. The only large things left here are my bed, fresser, half my sectional, and dining chairs (because there wasn't room for the chairs in the second load). We also took quite a few boxes over - books, DVDs and videos, games, decorative stuff, and all of my Christmas boxes.

I'll continue packing up boxes (especially the kitchen - there's a lot to do there yet) and take things over during the next few weeks. I can even borrow Dad's truck for a larger run, if I want.

Tonight, though, I'm torn between shopping (which I'd like to do) and straightening for whoever is coming to look at the house tomorrow (not sure if it's another potential buyer, or an appraiser, or what). Moving has a way of throwing your house into chaos.

I should also start working on packing the kitchen, too, as tomorrow is the last (mostly) full day I have to do these things. I'll be in Virginia Beach Tuesday night through Saturday, then Sunday is church in the morning, our church's annual picnic, then my going-away party (my parents are throwing this for me). The next Saturday (my birthday, May 13), we move the rest of the stuff to storage, I pack my car, and I move into Nick and Heather's house.

Big sigh of relief

Well, I'm breathing a big sigh of relief, because the two things that were weighing most on my mind have been taken care of.

A family from my church is going to care for Dakota when I first move. Their kids have been asking for a dog for a while now, and caring for her will give them a chance to see what it will really be like to have one.

Also, I accepted an offer on my house tonight (officially). This means a couple things - first, that I actually need to pack up and move everything out of my house in the next two and a half weeks, and that I can look at houses next week and feel comfortable making an offer.

Here's the listing, from (though I have no idea how long it will be active):

Stimulating conversation

Tonight, Mom and Dad hosted an open for their old pastor and his wife, who were in town for the day visiting. This means that there were lots of people who haven't seen me or my sisters since we were very young. And since Dad asked that we be there, too, this means that my evening was filled with comments like:

"No, I'm Kristy. That's Kelli."

"Jacob is Katie's son."

"No, I'm the oldest."

"No, I'm not married yet." (Side note - the most ridiculous question you can ask a single person is, why aren't you married yet? Simply because, there is no really good way to answer that one.)

But the funniest thing was, Jacob kept running around and pointing out Katie to everyone. Half the time he said, "this is my mommy," but half the time, he said, "this is my son." I guess he was just echoing what he's heard her say?


You can not imagine how many details are involved in this whole process. I can't imagine, and it's staring me in the face. I bought this little 5x7 notebook, and I'm carrying it around with me everywhere like a security blanket. Lists and lists and lists, I tell you.

I know, in my head, that these types of moves happen all the time. I know that people sell one house and buy another and somehow manage to time all of that so that they're not living out of their cars. At the moment, though, it escapes me how all of those plans come together.


So, part of the reason for the lack of posts over the last week is not that there hasn't been anything going on, but rather the opposite - there has been a lot going on, and I'm finally at a place where I can talk about it.

I'm moving to the Virginia Beach area. I've accepted a position with a Navy contractor in Norfolk (still figuring out how to say that the right way) and I will be moving down there in three weeks. This, of course, leaves me with lots to do in three weeks. including listing my house, beginning to look for a house in Virginia, wrapping up things here, and saying goodbye to dear friends and family. My head is still spinning, and those of you who know me well will not be surprised that I have lots of lists. I'm not stressed out, I just can't turn my brain off. I'm also getting a glimpse of what it must feel like to have ADD, as even some of my lists are fragmented (here's a particularly interesting item: "Email Melissa about")

My current plans are to live with my friends Nick and Heather for a (short) while, until I can buy a house of my own. This leaves with the issue of what to do with Dakota. The best option, I think, is to find someone to "board" her (either in Virginia or in Maryland) until I have my own house. I'm also thinking about finding someone to live in my house in Maryland, including caring for Dakota, because I won't be moving all of my furniture and stuff out of it until I either have a house in Virginia to put it in, or sell it. Of course, this option may get tricky, depending on the timing of house settlements and so forth.

Anyway, I'll be sending out an email to local friends and family about this in the next couple days. In case of any of you are reading this though, and you have any ideas along these lines, let me know.

Grace, again

I've posted about grace before, because my women's Bible study is reading Phillip Yancey's What So Amazing About Grace. The reason I was really looking forward to studying grace, is because it seemed like such an elusive to concept to me. At heart, I'm a perfectionist and don't extend a lot of grace to myself, so I think that's part of what made it difficult to understand. Also (and I've said this before), I think grace is something that's more easily understood in it's expression that it's theory.

So here's what I find more amazing than anything - that it is just so unnatural. Grace (and forgiveness, because the two concepts are irrevocably intertwined) goes against every natural law of our hearts that cries for justice and balance and fairness. And yet, at the same time, it's the only solution. Without grace and forgiveness, especially on a national/societal level, there can never be peace. We will continue to seek justice and revenge for the wrongs committed against us, and when we think we've achieved it, our victims will rise up to demand justice and revenge against us. It's the story of every conflict in human history, and the only end to it is for someone, one country, one people, to extend grace and forgiveness and accept that the scales of justice will remain unbalanced.

And while all of this is true on a global level, I think it also applies to us individually as well. Grace feels just as unnatural whether its extended to the perpetrators of the Holocaust or to a friend who has hurt my feelings with selfish words. And yet, without it, there's no peace, no resolution.

Celebration Sunday/Special Music

For anyone who actually reads and follows these stories of my life, our Celebration Sunday service went really well. It was exciting and energetic and exhausting, but so much fun. The praise team sang "Gloria" by Paul Colman at the end of the service, and the children joined us. The boys had shakers and sang on stage with us (which mostly meant they just sang "Whoa-oh" really loudly and slightly off-key) and the girls danced with ribbons around the front and aisles of the auditorium. It was a really great way to end the service.

In a couple weeks, I'll be singing "Reaching" by Carolyn Arends for special music. I posted the lyrics to the song over here.

New favorite dessert

I think I might have a new favorite dessert. I love chocolate chip cookies, especially fresh from the oven, and this Award-Winning Uno Deep Disp SundaeTM (from Uno Chicago Grill) was soooo good:
Vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream heaped atop a giant chocolate chip cookie freshly baked in a deep dish pan.

Easter Egg Hunt

I babysat Jacob this morning, while Katie, Mike, and Mom were all at work. His daycare was hosting an Easter egg hunt as a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish foundation, and since his daycare is right beside my condo neighborhood, we walked over to join in.

I had hoped to get some good pictures of Jacob with the Easter Bunny, but things were a bit chaotic, and Jacob wasn't cheesing as much for the camera as he usually does. I did get one really good shot, though, before he attacked me with an Easter egg (this might account for that grin on his face).

Living alone

Here's one reason why it can be a pain to live by yourself - whenever you need to move something large or heavy, like furniture, you need to ask someone to come over and help. Or figure out how to drag things around in order to do it yourself.

I did the latter this evening, moving my desk back into my office after the carpet in that room was replaced. I'd have loved to have moved all the furniture, but while I might be able to handle the file cabinet (with a lot of grunting), there's no way the bookcase is going anywhere without another body.

Hmm, Mom is coming to pick up Jacob tomorrow after I babysit - I wonder if it's too heavy for both of us? Probably. Maybe I can convince Jon to stop by briefly on Sunday afternoon?