happy new year

Writing amidst boxes and boxes, I sit, exhausted. Thankfully, my awesome mom is on her way to help us out for 10 days. My mom is the most productive and generous person I know. She keeps saying things like now leave some stuff for me to do! which is funny because, oh mom, there is PLENTY for you to do.


I am feeling ready to nest in our little apartment. I lay in bed at night dreaming up space saving ideas, imagining my family in our cozy, sunny space. I scored a solid wood bunk bed at a thrift store last week and we just downloaded murphey bed instructions. It’s fun to thoughtfully pick which very few items we’ll bring with us and the process calls attention to the things we can probably do without all together.

It might sound a little crazy but I am excited to live in this small apartment. I am sure in five months, I will be really ready to spill into our new home but, now, I look forward to this adventure in sharing everything with my family. With most of our stuff packed away, we currently live out of a few suitcases and very little stuff. I really notice how little we need.

It’s a good challenge to encourage this transition to feel fun and interesting to our kids, instead of scary and unsettling. I’ve felt both sides and I think it is necessary we all feel what we need to feel but I am also realizing so much is about looking up from the chaos and laughing. Really, how lucky are we?

Thanks, Uncle Trav and Crystal for the epic crayon assortment. 

When we got home from Minnesota, Andy had moved all the furniture in two days. He came home a bit early and, with the help of his dad, poof. The girls curiously and cautiously explored every room (and I stood behind them, mouth dangling open) asking questions about where their stuff had gone and when they could join it, what it will look like, where they will sleep, if the the chickens get to come. I spent that afternoon cleaning and packing their room, creating a comfortable, playful space. I placed their mattresses together on the floor and heaped all their blankets and pillows into a colorful island in their empty room. It worked, they loved it and cuddled right into this transition.


Over the last few days, their bed has become their play spot. Their sweet imaginations have turned it into a tower, a boat, a tent, a school, a grocery store. I love that they have each other through this.

The creature taking the move the hardest is Alice. Our dog has so much anxiety, the only home she’s ever known turned inside out. She sleeps in between Andy and me and I regularly tumble over her because she is four inches away at all times. I repeatedly assure her it will all be ok.

Oh baby, let’s go for a run tomorrow and sort this out.

With all this work I am doing to keep our flock hopeful and secure, it works for me too. When I ask my animals and kids to trust this wild current, I tell myself too.  And I believe it with every cell of my being.

“Mom, will you please take a picture of me with Alice? I love her.”

In this week’s mama digs I wrote about our New Year’s Eve. It was funny and fun, a perfect entry into 2012.  Click to read mama digs: catching life.

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all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com

25 Responses to happy new year

  1. m a r y says:

    Wow. I think living in a smaller space would be lovely for a while (Europeans do it all the time, hehe.) I have so much ‘stuff’ that I don’t need and I look forward going through it and donating and tossing what I haven’t seen in ages! As always, love the photos and your writing! Here’s to a fab 2012!!! xx

  2. Oh, this is so beautiful. The capacity for imagination is endless with less and although I know this deep in my heart, I’m surprised I don’t purge more and often. Cute image with the girls safe on a mattress boat, piled with blankies and lovie stuffed friends. I remember the anxiety dogs feel in a move and I still wonder if it’s the unfamiliar cardboard odor, sprinkled with the hurried sighs of work in a move or if it’s just that dogs truly can read our minds. I think the latter, personally. I’m sending some big hugs your way and I hope Cowboy bunny is all snug for his five month slumber in the dark. Love you.

  3. Lois Lane says:

    Thinking about you guys. So glad mama hilt is coming. So in awe of how thoughtful you are about enjoying the transition and chaos. Lots of luck in this big amazing move xo

  4. Oh Alice. Yes, the pets have the hardest time sorting out what a move entails. When we moved to Annapolis, our neighbor took Buckley and brought him over to the house, cuddled him up with a blanket and a stuffed animal. And then my neighbor shared a big bowl of popcorn with Buckley. And it helped. But I’ve been there…the face of worry and the complete confusion.

    So thrilled for you to have mom come out to help.
    Good luck. Keep breathing!


  5. Catherine says:

    Yes, we truly need very little… I realise this since we are here in Costa Rica for 5 months and 5 suitcases, and we have plenty. Nonetheless, it sure can create some anxiety for all of us to be in a different space, with less possessions. And just like you, reassuring my girls, I reassure myself and calm my anxieties…

  6. Kelsie says:

    A murphy bed! What a wonderful idea!! I love how the girls ended up in totally different sleeping positions from how their beds were set up. Good luck with the move…well I should say good luck with the final cleaning (yuck!). 5 months will go like a blink of an eye.

  7. Karen Gold says:

    Bunk beds make a great covered wagon if you want to be a pioneer!

  8. Kris says:

    Aww, poor sweet Alice. Dogs don’t love change do they? I am sure that your reasurrance is getting through. She’ll love her new home! And the girls are just so cute with their imaginations. It’s my favorite thing to do…sit quietly and listen to my son while he plays and imagines up such grand things with nothing more than a bath tub full of water and a plastic cup. Sweet. Best of luck with the move. Exciting things for all of you.

  9. Caroline says:

    This experience IS such a perfect life metaphor: it’s all in the framing, isn’t it! I’m so excited for you and your family, and your discoveries through this process. Here we go; this is going to be fun!!!

  10. ctb says:

    oh sweet alice. that nervous energy only a dog can have. she will adjust! its this limbo making her anxious. her home is with you, andy and the girls. once you are at the new place, she will center herself.

    such an exciting time for you guys! love love!

  11. Moving is so hard. But fun and exciting and scary and awesome too. Best of luck, and enjoy :)

  12. Jaim says:

    So glad your mom is coming to help! Moms are like no other…they just help by standing next to you and reassuring you that all will be fine(just like you’re doing with the girls). The help packing doesn’t hurt either! Good luck!

    Oh Alice, she’ll be so happy when she’s at the new place and can run and run.

  13. Happy New Year, Happy 2012. I’m so excited to keep reading your beautiful writing. Thank you, Erin

  14. Meaghan says:

    I love the picture of alice laying on the floor. she is so sweet.

  15. Karisa says:

    Thank you for this post. While our circumstances are different, so much rang true. My husband is about to deploy for a year, and my daughters (4 and 2) and I are putting most everything in storage and splitting the time between the grandparents in WA and MT. I just wrote to my friend that I too am so glad that my girls have each other as we face the year ahead.

    Best of luck to you and your family in this adventure!

  16. Dara says:

    I had to move during the holidays once. That was a totally exhausting experience! We had a work party to go to the day after our household goods were delivered. I had to bring a large lasagna and was so tired after an entire day of cooking and unpacking that I topped the darn thing with a bag of confectioners sugar instead of parmesan cheese. I didn’t even noticed until people started coming up to me asking if sweet lasagna was a Sicilian thing. I commend you for keeping it together during the big transition :) Great post, great photos.

  17. jessicav says:

    Oh Miss Alice – just wait until you have a new huge backyard and can run like crazy :)

  18. gelka says:

    We moved in August and our spaniel, Tanner, is just now getting over the depression. Poor Alice…luckily she has her girls to help her through this.

  19. CLP says:

    Happy New Year!

    In late December of 2008 I temporarily downsized from sharing a house with a friend to living in a van with my boyfriend for 6 months. Sorting out just the essentials from all the other things is thrilling experience. What I wasn’t prepared for is how overwhelmed by our stuff I would feel when we moved out of the van and took our things out of storage.

  20. rebecca... says:

    ,,,happy 2012 “dig”!,,,oh mothers they work their magic like no other women on the planet. and your mother, she’s no exception. i would like to meet HER and YOU some day!,,,until then…keep doing all that you do because it’s all GOOD!,,,

  21. Kelly Cach says:

    Oh my goodness….I don’t have the words to say how much I’ve loved your last few posts & your Mama Digs column….gosh, I just wanna cry. It’s all so beautifully written.

    Truly, your little space for the next months sounds dreamy to me :)

  22. Jill says:

    You are amazing! Girlfriend delivers…even with so many tings going on! I love this post and mama digs. Always look forward to Mondays to read your stories.

    Congrats on your move! Cheers to you!

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  23. I know you’re busy, busy and already a big fish in this blogging pond… but I follow and love your work. So, I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award. Love visiting your beautiful world… always makes me smile.

    My days in Montana this summer saved my life and while my recent posts have been darker (unavoidable), I am excited to start this New Year with gratitude and a bright outlook. So glad your writing is there to escape to.

    Check out the details below and then decide what you’d like to do with your cyber award.


  24. I think I could handle it for a month or two. I would love not having to clean so much. wishing you a joyous transition.

  25. Megan says:

    It’s amazing how much stuff we seem to accumulate isn’ it? It’s refreshing (and freeing) to realize that you can live without it.

    Best of luck to you and your sweet family in this time of transition! :)