Saturday, October 18, 2014

The town of Spectre

Today - we made the drive to Millbrooke Alabama. We had heard we could possibly gain entry to the old remnants of Spectre (From the film Big Fish). The town was built and left standing on private property on an island off the Alabama River.  The owners gladly let us in and talked with me for a bit.  The Island was used for Jennys house (no longer standing), the town of Spectre, and the enchanted forest. Most of the water scenes were filmed here as well. Today - the only inhabitants are the snakes :(

I really love the film Big Fish - easily in my top 10.  The lessons we learn in life are often too late to fully enjoy.  The town of Spectre is so unique. Does it represent heaven or hell? Are we in a hurry to get somewhere - just to arrive too soon? Do we build our lives to a certain point - only to be leave them behind? In doing so we get to make a choice whether to rebuild those positives or not.  

In the end - I love the message of Father and Son.  It's okay to embellish, to exaggerate, to have fun. I look fondly back at the stories my Father would tell me on our car rides together. Some of which were exaggerated, but that just tells me he really enjoyed those stories!

I often catch myself focusing on the day to day - instead of slowing down and enjoying the days like today!
Weekend Getaways

I made a promise to Natalie that we would get out every weekend and do a family activity. It is important to get to know our new home, and see the fun activities it has to offer. So far we have:
Desoto Caverns
Much like Timpanogos Cave (Without the hike), the cave was fun to walk around and remind us of something in Utah. The park also had rides for the kids and it was extra fun due to the fact that Grandpa Jim and Grandma Maureen were in town.

Historic Civil Rights March Trail

Much like the Pioneers in Utah, this is as historic a part of American History Birmingham has ever been part of. The famous bombing at 16th Street Baptist Church, along with the march to the courthouse that was victim of so many sufferings - This march was eery and a good reminder of how far we have come as a nation in such a short time.

Ikea/Cabbage Patch nursery in Atlanta

My oh my - I could go on and on about how cheesy this was.  We made the 2.5 hour drive into Atlanta a few weeks ago and stayed the night. The next morning we visited the Cabbage Patch Museum/Shop. It took everything possible to keep my composure and let the girls have their fun. We even witnessed Mother Cabbage give birth multiple times (Once she was dilated to 2 leaves apart). The girls loved it and that is what counts.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Everything is Falling into Place

After living in hotels for the past 3 weeks, everything is starting to fall into place.

Prior to leaving Utah, with no guarantee of a proper living situation or guarantee of when work would start producing a steady income, I reflected back on some of the hardest times in my life.  I realized that times would get the hardest when I was negative. I made it a goal to remain positive (albeit pessimistic), and NOT get frustrated when things didn't go as planned.

I have made a concerted effort to "put on my big boy pants" and get out of my comfort zone.  To smile and say hello to everyone we pass and is looking back at us. To set an example for our kids to follow. We are going to be asked questions - we already have. Our religious choices are different, our family is different, we talk different etc… The way Natalie and I react and respond is how our children will learn to respond as well.  

I am amazed at how much our children have adapted our mannerisms. I noticed before but this life change has given me the opportunity to spend SO much time with them.  

Keira - Keira is AMAZING! Her intellect on the gospel and humanitarian concern is LIGHT years ahead of mine.  The other day we unknowingly drove through a rougher part of Alabama looking for a flea market. It was unreal and embarrassing. People are living in filth, houses are little more than rubble, and the majority of businesses are Gentleman clubs.  My first thought was "Get out of here". Keiras 1st thought was "How come nobody helps these people? Why don't the rich people share their money so these kids can have nice things?" That was a difficult conversation. 

Andrew - Andrew is a FUN kid. He and Keira have become quite good friends. She said the other day "I'm jealous of Andrews future wife." How Come? "Because he is just so fun ALL the time!" He really is. He is so proud to be at all day school. Everyday we hear how much he loves school and the friends he is making.

Faith - Faith is devastated without her Brother and Sister all day. She sulks for about 1-2 hours after they leave for school in the morning.  She so badly wants to be at school with them. I have grown a special bond with Faith. She is my little Daddy's girl.  She loves putting on my hat, sunglasses, playing football and being sure to get my attention.

Everything really does happen at the time it is suppose to. I know that is hard but every hard challenge I have gone through was for a reason. I have no reason to ever doubt Gods plan for my family. I have enjoyed being able to spend so much time with my family before our lives get turned upside down. We have been blessed with so many individuals that have helped make this happen. 

It appears we will finally have our house. We are set to close on Friday. We will paint over the weekend and our stuff arrives Monday. Just in time because it appears like we will be taking over the 3 Subway stores the following week. 

Like I said before - everything is starting to fall into place!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Photos from our Road Trip

A sample of the road trip with our Dads.

The road trip wasn't that bad…I just wouldn't do it again.

The Positives:

- Spending time with our Dads. 
        It was neat to be able to spend some quality time with our Fathers. It reminded me of cleaning offices with Dad when I was a teenager. We had a chance to "just be" and this will be a time I will look back on and appreciate.

- The view of the Country

       We went through 9 States in 4 days. We saw corn, more corn, and then some more corn. We also saw Gateway Arch in St. Louis. The highlight was visiting Adam-ondi-Ahman again.  This truly is one of my favorite places on this earth.  Watching the kids run around and enjoy the landscape - highlight of the road trip.

The Negatives :

- Wyoming

       Jeep - 4 Rock chips. Honda - One rock chip. Thanks Wyoming.

- Long days = Whiny kids.

      The kids in all truth were awesome.  It was simply a lot of long days. By the time we made it to Alabama, they started rebelling having to get into the car again.