24 May 2012

Have You Met Our Mickey Mouse?

Flying J has a selection of Ollie sized Disney plush toys.

I know this because every time we walked into their convenience stores, Ollie made a beeline to see them.

At a Flying J in Nebraska, Oliver J. and I were standing by the Mickey Mouse and Pooh Bear toys when a man walked up and asked if he liked Mickey.

"Oh yes," I said.

It's true. Ollie is infatuated with "Mitney Mouoose" or "Hot Dog" as he sometimes likes to refer to all things Mickey (from a song from the show, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse).

The man then picked up one of the toys and carried it towards the front of the store.

Ollie immediately followed.

(This concerned me because it showed me just how little regard Ollie has for staying close to his mom when there are Mickey Mouses (Mice?) about.)

When I caught up to Oliver, Mickey (priced at $25) had been purchased and handed to Oliver.

We told the man "Thank you very much" and everyone went on their way.

Oliver was so excited to have a humongous Mickey Mouse friend, and Jesse and I were so amazed at the kindness of strangers.

Mickey sat next to Oliver for the remainder of the trip.

20 May 2012

2,150 Miles: The End

We were scheduled to unload at 8:30 am. Jesse went out a little early to open things up and make a game plan. As soon as he opened the door of the truck, the four missionaries living across the street filed out their front door and came our way to help. At 8:30 a few ward members, including the couple who fed us the night before showed up. We were completely unloaded by 9:00 am.

We returned our moving truck, which was a HUGE relief.

We worked so hard on Saturday that I thought my legs were going to fall off right at the hips.

I had one melt down because the oven wasn't working and I wouldn't be able to make the dinner that I had planned...I was not OK with the idea of PB and J. It was kind of what you might call the straw that broke the camel's back.

The bishop and his wife showed up with cookies only seconds after I got off the phone from crying to my soda POP about the oven (Jesse made me call and talk to him because he knows I like my dad a little bit ...I was trying to put on a brave front and suck it up). They stayed and talked for a while. She gave advice on where to go for cheap groceries. He told us some of the things worth seeing in the area. Both were very kind.

They left after a while and I continued to fret about what to eat. I had resigned myself to a bowl of cereal and then to bed when we got a knock at the door...


Someone had pizza sent to our house from a place called Dino's.

I happen to know that the someone was the bishop because he had mentioned Dino's Pizza was the best in town. Only I submit that Dino's Pizza is the best pizza anywhere because it was the best pizza I've ever had, EVER!

That could be just because I've never been so grateful for the love and thoughtfulness that a person showed for us in the form of a pizza.

We scarfed down our pizza, sent Ollie to bed and slept through watched some Netflix before we sent ourselves to bed, where we slept well for the first night in a week.

I'm so happy that this move is over. It has been one of very best and very worst experiences I have ever had. I will, however, declare it a succes and say that I'm grateful to anyone and everyone who helped to make it so. We could not have done it alone.

19 May 2012

2,150 Miles: Going Home

The last leg of our trip took us through Pennsylvania and then to our new home in Maryland.

After a week on the road, we were so ready to be done in the truck that we only stopped once to gas up...

We finally got to our new town home, put Ollie down for a nap in his travel bed and laid ourselves down on the new carpet in the dining room to take it all in.

It wasn't long before we had a knock on our door.

One of the members in our new ward had noticed our moving truck and stopped to see if we needed anything. He invited us to dinner.

It was amazing. They served gnocchi from a nearby restaurant called Squisitos (sp?) that was so yummy. Then they made milkshakes and sents us home with airbeds, clean sheets, clean towels, a bar of soap, and even a loads worth of laundry detergent so that I could get a head start on laundry.  We didn't even need to ask.

17 May 2012

2,150 Miles: Ohio

We drove our way through Ohio today.

We passed every exit.

Do you know how much money it costs to drive the entire length of the Ohio Turnpike in a 24 foot moving truck with a car attached at the back?

Only $37.75.

My Grandparents said, "What happened to the FREEway"

That's what I'd like to know. And NOW.

We got to our motel in Youngstown and found that, when the online reviewer said that there was a nice restaurant within walking distance of the motel, they must have been talking about the strip club across the street...

By now we all know that means our dinner options amounted to....

Sing it!

Peanut Butta Jelly Time! Peanut Butta Jelly Time!

If I never eat another peanut butter sandwich, It will be too soon.

2,150 Mies: Illinois and Indiana

This post is long because Indiana was rough.

I mean really.

By this day a general feeling of ennui (that's for you, Ashley) had settled in.

We were tired of going, sick of stopping, and we abhorred the idea of another peanut butter sandwich.

That's how we started the day.

Then we drove FOREVER.

Straight through Illinois to the far end of Indiana.

At some point my phone died...this meant two things:

 I couldn't text my grandparents...which I had really been enjoying.
And I couldn't refer to the exit information that my Grandpa had given earlier in the day.

Our GPS was set for shortest distance. The consequence of this being that it took us off the freeway a whole hour early. (Don't worry friends, there was a freeway exit not five minutes from the motel).

The driver's side mirror started to adjust itself...meaning that Jesse couldn't see a whole lot.

There was a couch in our lane. Which we did hit. Which terrified me, but (THANKFULLY) did not affect us, or damage the truck.

We finally got to the Motel 6 in Mishawaka, Indiana, and were so happy to have stopped for the night, until we got out of the elevator on the second floor...

There were no lights on. All of the wiring was exposed. It smelled bad. SO BAD.

We walked into our room and were a little bit relieved until one glance in the bathroom told us to be very afraid.

So we said to ourselves:  "We will be fine." "This will be fine." "Everything is fine." And set out for dinner.

The elevator got stuck between floors one and two...just long enough to get us nervous before it rattled its way back up to two and let us out...we used the stairs from then on.

We dashed across a very busy street (there was no other way to go) and headed to Burger King, where we found the coolest fountain drink dispenser ever. It was all high-tech with a touch screen and about 8 billion options. We handed Ollie a cup to take a sip of orange soda from the straw and he flat out refused to give it up until the drink was gone. All 21 ounces of it.

After dinner, the four of us (Jesse, Me, Oliver J. and his drink)  retired to our motel room where we all cozied up on the king sized bed and watched TLC until we fell asleep. Well, the boys fell asleep. I stayed up late intending to watch the final episode of Desperate Housewives on Hulu because I was dying to know how it ended. Dying, I tell you!

However, I ended up grabbing my phone and calling the police to come put a stop to the ridiculously loud argument taking place in the parking lot involving two cheating women, a cheating man named Adam, and a pregnant rabbit.

The following is an excerpt from said argument:
Girl 1:  

"Adam! Adam! Please don't leave me here. Don't leave me for her. I don't have anything or any place to go!"

Girl 2:

"Maybe if you hadn't cheated on him he'd stick around!"

Girl 1:

"You cheated on him first!"..."Adam, please Adam!"

Then there was a CRASH

Girl 1:

"What are you doing!?!?!?! She's PREGNANT!"

(I say to myself, OH MY WORD! What is happening! What am I doing in this place? Then I hear...)

"Adam! Do something! She's trying to hurt my bunny, but it's pregnant!

Finally two of them decide to walk away, and Girl 1 is left sobbing on sidewalk in front of the motel until a policeman arrives and straightened everything out.

In the morning, we woke up early, skipped the shower option because we weren't interested in running the risk of acquiring any diseases, and loaded up the car.

On one of our trips back in, we saw a big man with a little dog on a leash yelling into a room about how loud they had been all night, and how filthy their room was.

Outside we saw a group of three men standing in a circle and yelling some chants, I'm assuming it was to pump them up for the day...what they were pumping up for, we never saw because when they were done they walked back into the motel, and we drove out of the parking lot faster than you could say "That's right yikes!"

When I told my grandparents about the night, I asked them to remind me what all this nonsense was for.

Grandpa said, "So you can have wild memories of your youth."

15 May 2012

2,150 Miles: Iowa

The next morning we packed up our homemade pumpkin muffins and jumped back onto I-80 headed East to Iowa.

During the trip, Ollie graced us with a few hundred rounds of the ABC's (minus H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, T, U, V, W, and X)

He also announced every seven, four, zero, circle, and star that crossed our paths.

14 May 2012

2,150 Miles: Nebraska part II

After two very long days in the cab of the truck, we took a day for ourselves in Omaha with my Aunt Louise and her family. They gave us the star treatment.

Bike ride around the nearby lake. Cherry turnovers courtesy of Gina. Smashburgers for lunch. SO DELICIOUS. Feeding the geese and fish. Playing at a park. Kickin' it with my young cousins. Ribs for dinner. Conversation on the deck. and so much more.

We had such a fantastic time.

We loved it so much that we wished we'd never gone.

13 May 2012

2,150 Miles: Nebraska

The second day of our trip was spent driving from one end of Nebraska to the other.

On this day:

Jesse drove. and drove. and drove. (He also drank a WHOLE LITER OF COKE...which for Jesse is a really big deal).

Oliver watched for trains and called out "VROOM!" every time he saw a truck and/or remembered that he was, in fact, in a truck...which was often.

I let go of my disappointment about missing the giant Abraham Lincoln head, Ames' Pyramid, and the Archway Museum in Kearney, and decided to just accept the fact that I probably wouldn't see any silly roadside attractions this trip because of the size and speed of our ridiculously over sized truck. I'm over it..

We pulled onto my aunt Louise's street somewhere close to Omaha where she ushered us in with great big hugs. And sent us off to bed.

12 May 2012

2,150 Miles: Moving Day

We said goodbye to our home in Malad.

Moving day started early at seven with breakfast in our empty kitchen.

With help from the Jenkins', some church friends, and my extraordinary family we loaded up, lunched, and left town by 2:00 pm.

After a very long drive and an hour with a screaming Ollie, we rolled into Laramie, WY just after 11:00 pm and fell into bed. We were so very tired, and so very, very happy to be done for the day.

02 May 2012

Is She Cute?

A kid from the ward came over the other day to introduce us to a new online shopping experience that would change our lives...

After the pitch, he asked if we had any siblings...we assumed that he was trying to get to know us.

No. He was fishing.

"So how old is your sister?"

He asked.

"Can I have her number?"

He pushed.

"Is she cute?"

He continued.

"She looks just like me."

I said.

We all know it's true.

In fact, remember the picture I posted awhile ago with my favorite head scarf? Yeah...even my Mom admitted to almost asking me why I had a picture of Heather on my blog for a post about my Monday. She wasn't in Malad that day, was she?

So this kid says.

"Yeah, but is she cute...what would you say Jesse?"

This young man was not deterred by the six hour drive from Malad to Cedar City. He was not concerned when I told him that Heather would, very possibly, be spending the summer in China.

"So, can you give me her number?"

He pressed.

I took his number and facebook page name instead.

"Do you think she would like Horses?"

He asked on his way out the door.

After he left, Jesse and I laughed about it ALL. NIGHT. LONG.