Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Moving on...

...and seeing the light through the darkness

Moving on...
I have gone back in forth in my mind many times on whether or not to write this post. 
I'm often afraid to share my heart, especially in an on-line blog, but this is my journal, my scrapbook and this is a time and place that I don't want to forget.
This is my story, my experiences, and my truths from the past two years.
Two years ago, after relocating here from Denver and searching high and low, we finally found a great house in a great neighborhood to begin our new lives. 
We had big hopes and dreams for our new neighborhood. 
About 3 months into our new home and community, I had a "sick" feeling.....we made the wrong choice, this isn't home.  

Early on, one mom in the neighborhood decided our Jack was a bully and would tell anyone and everyone that would listen.
Really... a 40 something year old mom telling everyone a 10 year old boy that just moved in to the neighborhood, is a bully?
Hmmm?  Who's the bully?
Jack then went on to make other friends in the neighborhood.  Things seemed great for a while, then those boys abruptly stopped playing with him. 
I knew the moms and had asked them what the problem was...
I always got the same trite answer.
Lucy tried making friends with some girls her age that lived on our street.
She would ask them to play and always got an excuse...
we're getting ready to eat
we're getting ready to leave, it's too late, etc.
Then 5 minutes later these same girls were playing with other neighborhood kids.
One day Lucy came inside with her little lip out and said, "I don't think anyone can play with me."
Have you ever tried to pick up your kids' self-esteem on a daily basis?  
Let me tell you, it's not easy!
Olivia never made any neighborhood friends either, just a bunch of teen boys coming around trying to talk to her. 
These boys always got their kicks from "ding dong ditching us" and breaking one of our windows last summer.
Jeff and I would occasionally sit out on our porch and watch Jack and Lucy play with each other in the front yard.  
Other neighbors would be out talking and laughing, kids playing and we would get what I call, a head wave. 
The little girl who lived a few houses down would walk to the mail box everyday and if she saw one of us out she would repeat something she's obviously heard from home..
"my mom wants to know what you do ALL day"
"Jack never has friends over anymore."
"Why do you leave Jack and Lucy home alone?"
All I can do is shake my head on this one.  :)
The moms on the street would talk to me if they saw me out, it was friendly, but more "I want to be in your business friendly rather than I want to get to know you friendly."  
I still have no idea why these events happened.  We had many many friends in our previous neighborhood. And for the record we did have a few families in our neighborhood that we absolutely loved.  We became great friends with the "empty nesters" on our street.  We relate better to the 50+ crowd.  :)
Okay, now that I've vented.... 

let me tell you ALL the blessings that have come from this crazy time.
We found our school!
If things hadn't been so crazy with the neighborhood, we may have stayed at the local schools.
And my kids would have missed the most amazing place of learning.
I would have still been "playing" with my photography.
Instead, I threw myself into it.
Great art comes from depression.  HA!
We grew so much closer as a family.  We have learned to lean and depend on each other.  
We have deepened our faith...
I cannot count how many times I've been on my knees in the past two years.  
My kids now realize God can bring good to a bad situation and that he answers prayers, like selling our home for full price before it was listed!  
I am grateful and thankful for ALL the life lessons I've learned over the past two years.
I'm a different person walking out of that house, than I was walking in.

We are now in a 1200 sq ft 3 bedroom apartment with most of our stuff in storage and we feel so free!
We signed a 3 month lease and now we are thinking of staying for a year. 
We want to be in the right place for us and I have an overwhelming feeling that God wants us to wait. Maybe now he's teaching me patience.  HA!  :)
Things have financially lifted for us and we are now able to take a family trip, invest in my photography business and just relax, by the pool no less!  :)
Plus, all those cute houses I pin on Pinterest..... yeah, they don't exist in Spokane!  
I'm confident we will find the perfect home for us, until then we are going to continue to enjoy life's journey and wait for the next chapter of our story to be written. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Goodbyes are never easy....

Sorry, I have been MIA. 
These past weeks have been a blur...
we said goodbye to our sweet Capi, we moved and we moved my mom here from Kansas City.
Lots of changes, lots of goodbyes. 
It's never easy.
When we got the call from our school the first week of December asking us to be a host family for a young French girl we talked it over for a few days and said, "yes"
We had hosted Sali from Japan just this past summer and we adored her and had such a great experience we thought it would be fun to host again.  
A month later sweet Capi arrived after a long journey from Brussels to Spokane.
We were immediately captivated by her.
She was so excited to be here and walked around with a big smile on her face.
Over the next few weeks we bonded as a family. 
She became one of us.  
She was laughing at the dinner table, watching countless episodes of Downton Abbey, dancing to Just Dance and joining the rest of us around the homework table. 
Capi and Olivia would come home from school, lock arms and giggle while going upstairs to do homework and hang out together.
Capi made us countless treats. 
I bought more eggs, flour, and puff pastry in 3 months than I would normally buy all year.
I was well worth it.
Capi's creations were delicious!
Capi was an unexpected blessing to our family.
She has left a permanent mark on our hearts. 

 A family photo taken of us in Seattle

 Since Capi was leaving to go home just before her 16th birthday, we decided to have a birthday party instead of a goodbye party. 

 Each of us said "goodbye" in our own special way.
We gave Capi an "S" pendant necklace to remind her she's now a Schaefer too! 
We miss her dearly and think of her often...
but don't worry...
we will be reunited again, hopefully soon!
BIG hugs to our sweet Capi!
We love you!