Monday, June 29, 2009

Father's Day In the Mountains

I know this is a bit late but it seems like everything I do lately is a little out of whack! Our Father's Day was really great this year! I was sad to be away from my Dad, since it is the first time that I have ever lived away from him on Father's Day, but I wanted to make it a memorable one for Jimmy so we headed up to Grand Lake, CO to stay at my Aunt & Uncle's! We left Sat morning and made the 2 and half hour drive through several small mountain towns before making it to the one lane, dirt road that leads to their house. Now this is no ordinary house, I spent several summers there when I was a teenager so it holds a very dear place in my heart. It sits on lots and lots of land tucked back in the woods, with horses, elk, bears, raccoons, moose, roaming through their property. My Uncle Lyle built the house 19 years ago for them to retire in and they made it big enough to have family come and stay, which makes it great for us!

I knew Jimmy would love the area, as he is kind of a mountain man, no people, no traffic and plenty of fresh air! We pulled into their driveway and the kids and Jimmy were eager to get out and explore, they have a giant swing set and teeter-totter, the Colorado river is a mere stream running through their land, all kinds of birds fly around singing songs, and the amazing mountains that surround this wonderland seem to stand watch over it all. I have never felt so close to the clouds without being in a plane, a reach, and a small jump should put the soft white fluff in my hands. The wind blows just enough to move my hair and bring in the afternoon showers, it took us all away in just a few minutes of being there.

We had a wonderful dinner with Marylin (my aunt) & Lyle and then the kids played and played until the sun went down. Lexi loved walking out into the pasture to stand by the fence and talk with the horses, they would come right up to her like they had been friends for years. Grace spent her time swinging, or begging for someone to join her on the teeter-totter. James just ran around following his sisters where ever they were headed. We all slept in one room, the room that I slept in all those years ago, the girls made a little camp out with sleeping bags and blankets, while James found our bed to be the most comfortable! The next morning we ate breakfast and then took a walk up the dirt road, there were many lakes and paths to explore but with little legs, come shortened walks, so we headed back before Jimmy and I would be carrying all of them. My cousin Lyle (their son) and his son Brian had come up as well so we chatted with everyone for a while before packing up the car and heading back to Parker. I was sad to leave but felt renewed and happy knowing I can come back much more often now that I live so close!

Something about the Mountains of Colorado that relax my soul, in so many ways I feel Home, perhaps it's the fact that both my parents grew up near by, or maybe that I lived here when I was little, it could possibly be that I spent time as a teenager under this sky. But you know I think it's because I have the four most important people in my life around me, not a new town, not a new house, can take that feeling away when Home is who you bring along.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Don't Have Lots of Time...

But I wanted to give everyone an update on the Kelley Family! So for the last week I have spent every waking hour looking at houses, either online or in person and I believe we are very very close to finding THE ONE!!

Jimmy has been working and working, he has had a few projects that have kept him up late researching! So proud of him! When he isn't working he is mowing the lawn, playing with the kids or going on long walks with Me!!

Lexi left Tuesday Morning for Las Vegas and has been having a great time visiting with Grandma, Grandpa and the Anderson's!! Can't wait for her to come back to us though!!

Grace spends her days playing with the little girls that live on the street and the only time she comes inside is when it is time for bed!! She has been forced to spend a few days in the car with me driving ALL over Denver looking for houses, my favorite was yesterday when we got in the car after a showing and she says "Mom, let's move on cause that house didn't have a backyard!"! I really need to do a post about all the funny things she has said lately cause man she cracks me up!!

James has been my little buddy through all this, just hanging in the car seat as I drive around and then he helps look at the houses!

The last year has been full of changes for our family and we are all very excited to get settled and have a place to call Home!!

Today there is one more showing while we wait for the paper work on another house to be processed!

Oh and yesterday was really really great! After looking at two houses I got to spend the afternoon with a little piece of Home (Las Vegas), my friend Rachel lives here in the Denver area and she invited us to come over and hang out! It was so great to see her and her girls and catch up!! Thanks Rachel for giving me a reminder that I am not all alone out here!! So then it gets even better, as I am leaving her house Jimmy calls me to ask me where I'm at and how soon I will be home, I ask if everything is OK and he tells me that he has arranged for a babysitter and he is taking me on a date!!! Now that is what I call romance!! I got home and fixed myself up a bit and then he took me to see The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and we laughed the ENTIRE time!! I love spending time with him!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Remembering & James is Growing Up!!

Well today is a day of reflection for our family, it was 2 years ago today that our friends Kaytee and Kenzee were killed in a car accident. Lexi actually flew to Las Vegas yesterday to be with the Andersons today, it helps her and them to be together this time of year. I often reflect on both girls and I thought I would tell something about them that made them special to me.

Kaytee May had the most incrediable laugh, I have a thing for laughs and hers is one that I can still hear in my mind. She was a funny lady, tough as nails but also with a tender heart and she loved her family.

Kenzee was often quiet around me but when she and Lexi thought I couldn't see or hear them her silly self would come shining through. She use to call our house over and over again leaving messages for Lexi hoping that we might pick up on the next call. One day she left 16 messages in a row, I actually had saved one of them just because her voice sounded so cute. Lexi loved her so much and I will never never forget the day I found out she was gone, telling Lexi was one of the most painful things I have had to do in my life and as a Mom. Time doesn't make it hurt less but it just means there is less time until we see them again!

We miss you girls!!

Today is also a happy day cause my baby boy is 17 months old!! A few stats

12 teeth with more coming up
23 lbs
20th Percential
Had his first hair cut a few weeks ago (I buzzed it)
Size 5 shoe
Size 12 months clothes (some 12-18 months)
Sweetest smile on the planet
Thinks he is funny as heck!
Totally a BOY!!
Loves to throw balls/rocks/dirt/toys/food!
Loves his sisters
Loves Chicken w/ Rice Soup/Doughnuts/Water/Cheese/Bananas/Grapes/Gold- Fish/Hot Dogs

Wants to be outside all day!

He really is my little buddy and I enjoy being his Mom more and more everyday!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Going Through the Storm Was All Worth It!

After a quick shower and a great breakfast Thursday morning, we piled into the van for the last time and headed to the freeway! I was beyond motivated and excited by the fact that we would finally be seeing Jimmy after 6 LONG WEEKS (I know for you military wives that is nothin, but for me it was a lifetime)!!! I only had one wrong turn before finding the freeway, stupid round abouts, and as we finally got on our way the clouds looming over head and off in the distance seemed only partially deterring because I was insistent on making it to Parker! I knew we had about a 4 hour drive ahead of us so the kids were set up with snacks, movies and fun work sheets to keep them entertained!

About 25 minutes into the drive it began to sprinkle and then it stopped and I thought "Bah, those clouds had nothin bigger!!?!" k well I should not have thought that because soon enough there were HUGE drops of water falling from the sky which morphed into sleet and then as the altitude rose and the temperature dropped it was now snowing!! HUH? There's no Snowing in JUNE!! Not where I'm from, no way!

As the road became less visible and the winds were howling around the vehicle Lexi and Grace were talking about sledding and then Grace yells from the back "But LEXI left the sled at Grandmas!!", as if I was even contemplating pulling over and letting them get out in the blizzard!! The van was being blown about and I was focused on seeing through the white and keeping us in our lane while big semi's seemed hardly fazed by this Summer Frost! Then the words "Mom, I have to go to the bathroom!" echoed in my ears, are you freaking kidding me, we are in the middle of a snow storm, it's 28 degrees outside, there are no city's in sight and no way to pull of the two lane road, and you have to go to the bathroom?!?! Nice timing!! I told Grace she would be holding it until we could find a place to stop, which once we made it over the pass there was a small city to get off the freeway in. (I know I'm as mean as Ms. Hannigan)

It was still really cold and the snow was mixed with rain which made for lovely slush on the roads, lucky for me I had Lexi who was kind enough to take Grace into the grocery store while I waited in the warm car with James. One of my favorite moments was as I was waiting for the girls to come out a guy pushed his motorcycle into the parking lot and was trying to start it over and over again, when he finally surrendered and went into a coffee shop near by to wait, not sure if it was for help or for the storm to let up, but I thought "Who the crap buys a motorcycle to ride in the Mountains of Colorado?" I mean there are maybe two weeks out of the year to ride it, in the higher elevations!

Well the girls came out and I swooped them up and it was back to the freeway, the clouds continued to provide slush as we drove on but I was stronger than the rain/snow/wind and then as we got closer to Denver there was this twisted cloud funnel thing and I thought "Hmm, now in the movies they call those tornadoes."

It was quite a bit in the distance and seemed to be staying that way so I wasn't too worried but I do remember picturing the car being picked up by the tornado and taken back to Las Vegas, oh there's no place like home!

(Now none of you better be wondering why I didn't take pictures of this stretch of the drive, just in case you are let me refer you back to the previous paragraph)

The kids were very excited as we came up over the last hill and you could see into the Denver Valley, and so was I for that matter! It was strange to be the odd license plate in a sea of Colorado ones, I kept looking at them and saying to myself "Stupid Tourists!", oh no wait that's me! We made our way to Parker, which is the City in which my in-laws house resides and is just a 30 min drive to downtown Denver and coming off the freeway it looked like there was snow EVERYWHERE, I guess I just figured that somehow the snow storm had hit here as well, until we came to a stop at a light and I realized it was just hail, oh wait, I mean HOLY CRAP it was hail! Of course, how silly of me, I was totally expecting hail to welcome us into our new home town in JUNE!

We pulled into their driveway around 3:30pm and in our first conversations, found out that indeed a tornado had hit and left the hail in it's trail (I was a poet and didn't even know it), good times I tell ya what! Many of the houses had minor damage like torn window screens, trees shaved down to their skivvies looking like it was fall, debris all around and chipped roofs, and some areas had a bit more serious damage but heck me and my kids were safe and sound and I was pleased!
(So far all I have seen is White or Gray, pretty dang Colorful there Colorado)

We took some of our things in the house and then chatted with my sister-in-laws who were the only ones home and then the clock struck 4:30pm and I knew Jimmy would be on his way, the kids and I couldn't sit still so we made our way to the front yard to wait his arrival!! He called as he entered the neighborhood so I pulled out my camera to capture the event, his white Suzuki Forenza rounded the corner and the girls began jumping and squealing with joy and then James figured he better join in! Jimmy barely made it out of the car before the girls were hugging on his legs, James was a little confused, I think he thought Jimmy was now only available in voice form on the phone, poor boy! Well as you will see in the video it is shut off after just a few minutes because I had to join in the fun too, I couldn't wait to get my lips on that boy!! It was quite a ride but thanks to some new tires/brakes, some visits with good friends and family we arrived to our destination. This adventure is just beginning and I pray you will all come along with us as we become acquainted with a new City and new people! Love to you, especially those holding down the home front!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Love Always, The Desert

"My plan" was to leave in the morning on Monday June 8th but on Sunday night June 7th Grace began throwing up and somehow I knew that "My plans" had just changed! I decided Monday morning that I would continue to pack up the car and get things ready so that I could leave early Tuesday morning. My earlier plans had included a stop in St. George to see a friend whom I had known since I was 6 but had not seen in years, who just happened to have driven in from Arkansas and then stay the night at another friends house in Cedar City. This plan was accomplishing a couple desired outcomes, One, I would get to visit with some good friends and Two, it would break up the long drive to Colorado! Now since the plan had changed I had resolved to perhaps not getting to visit with friends and that I would just make the mad dash to Grand Junction to stay with Jimmy's Grandparents on Tuesday bypassing the stops in St. George and Cedar. Then my handy dandy friend in Cedar (Mari the Amazing) offered the kids and I a room in their hotel, this would now enable me to still leave Monday and not get anyone else sick in the process.

So after a million trips up and down the stairs and what felt like hundred of trips out to the car I got everything packed/rather shoved into the van. We were gathering to have family prayer when Grace quietly left the room, on a hunch I followed her and found her once again getting sick. I asked my Father to give her a blessing and what a tender, sweet blessing it was as she lie on the floor, her body exhausted from being ill, he said such loving words and he himself choked up as he felt the Lords love and concern for little Grace. Within just moments of the blessing she seemed to regain a bit of strength and so we again gathered to say a prayer and said our tearful good-byes and loaded into the car.

I can't forget to mention the excitement my Mom was having while I packed. My van's light indicating "low tire pressure" had come on the day before and since I had just had some repairs done a few days previous I figured the sensor had just been bumped and I would stop at the tire shop and have them put a little extra air in the tires on my way out of town. My Mother being the good women that she is insisted she would just run it down there while I worked on packing, well a while later I called to see if everything was alright and she informed me that my two front tires were totally bald and that one of the back ones had a nail in it!! Lovely, just what I had hoped for, another complication, but we took the hit in stride and she returned with two new tires and one repaired.

Now the other issue with my van was that we had been told that as soon as I arrived in Colorado I should also have my back breaks done, so that was "my plan", well again my Mother was persistent and she took the van to yet another location to have the back breaks done!! This was truly a blessing, as my long drive to Colorado would soon prove some of the Lords little miracles performed in order for us to make a safe journey, my Mom had been in tune to the spirit and I am grateful for that!!

As we were driving out of the City I looked in my rear-view mirror and realized this was a picture worthy event, me moving from Vegas for the first time, so I pulled to the side of the road and took a quick picture and then proceeded to the freeway entrance. It was just after 6pm when we left Las Vegas so I was glad that we were only traveling as far as Cedar.

Just before entering the Gorge the Sun was setting and for anyone that doesn't know, Sunsets are one of my most favorite things, especially the ones in Las Vegas, well this Sunset brought a little tear to my eye as the entire sky was orange with streaks of pink, it felt like the Desert was giving me a goodbye gift, one last sunset for me to remember it by! I just had to take the last off- ramp before the Gorge to snap a couple pictures so I would always remember that moment.

We stopped briefly for food in St. George and then pulled into the Hotel at 9:30pm Utah Time (8:30 Vegas time). We took the few things in we would need for the night and quickly crashed in our beds, it had been a very long and emotional day.

The next morning we woke refreshed and enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the hotel, packed into the van again and headed down to St. George for a visit with my friend Kim Randall (Carter). Yes, I know that I was headed in the opposite direction of Colorado but I really wanted to see her! We ended up having a wonderful time catching up, her Mom fed the kids some lunch and we all laughed and laughed talking about the good ole' days!

The visit with them went a little later than planned so as we headed back to Cedar again my awesome friend Mari offered us a place to stay, this time with them since Grace was now out of the danger zone! It was so fun getting to see Mari and let the kids play in her fantastic basement!!

Wednesday morning we woke up, ate breakfast, and headed to Grand Junction, Colorado! Thus far the weather had been beautiful but as we turned on to the I-70 from the 15 the clouds grew a bit darker and the rain was on and off, however the kids were wonderful and we only made one very quick stop for gas so the total time to Grand Junction was just under 5 hours!! We were just in time to eat a home cooked meal at Granny and Grandpa Boogerts and then we walked to the park near their home so the kids could run around after being stuck in the car. That night I stayed up late talking with them about the kids and Jimmy and all that we had been up to since our last visit! They were so gracious to let us stay with them and the kids love getting to spend time with their Great Grandparents!!

(This Picture of Grandpa Cracks me up, that is not a real mustache, but the fluff that was flying off the trees!! Silly Grandpa!!)

Well that is enough for now but just wait, the second half of the trip is when it really gets exciting!! I will post later about the crazy storms, and the moment we saw Jimmy for the first time in 6 weeks!! Can't you feel the suspense building!?!?!

Love to you