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Ten Things of Thankful: Time for an Oil Change Edition

Two weeks ago, the minivan had an oil change.  Today, it's due for another one.  The past two weeks have been a massive western states road trip:  California, Nevada, Arizona (just a few miles), Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Oregon again, and back to California.  I already told you about the first week, which I spent in Utah for Education Week.  That accounted for the California, Nevada, Arizona (just a few miles), and Utah part of the trip.  This week's thankfuls will cover the second half of the trip, the leaving Utah, then Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Oregon again, and back to California part.  So grab a seat and enjoy (?) the 2015 version of the vacation slide-show of yesteryear!

As you know, youngest daughter and I drove from our home in California to Utah to attend Education Week at BYU.  What you probably didn't know was that John drove up with youngest son on Friday of that week.  Youngest son stayed in Utah for school. John, youngest daughter, and I participated in what I will dub, "The Moving Miracle," as we helped oldest daughter move from Utah to Seattle, where she is starting law school.

Photo:  Oldest daughter standing next to the sign for the School of Law at the University of Washington

Why is this "The Moving Miracle?"  Well, first a bit of contrast: When John rode up with youngest son to Utah, the Chevy Aveo they drove contained John, youngest son, one other person, John's bags, the other person's bags, and all of youngest son's stuff (with the exception of his bike, which I took up in the van.)  Youngest son is definitely a minimalist.  We're not sure where he got it, but it certainly makes relocation easy.  

Oldest daughter, on the other hand, has a few more earthly possessions.  The Moving Miracle is that we were able to fit all of her things--with the exception of the cat tree (sorry, Leela and Eisley)--into a Kia Optima and a Toyota Prius.  Once we unloaded everything into a storage unit in Seattle, we were even more impressed.  How in the world did all this stuff fit into the vehicles? (And don't forget that we also had suitcases and cats that didn't get put into storage!)  

Photo:  Oldest daughter's possessions, tightly packed into a 5x5x8 storage unit

The other part of The Moving Miracle is that oldest daughter actually found an apartment in Seattle that is close to campus, within her budget, pet-friendly, and available!

Thankfuls:  Thanks to my daughter-in-law's parents for allowing my daughter and her cats to stay with them for the week before the apartment is available.  Thanks for The Moving Miracle.  Thanks for the opportunity oldest daughter has to pursue law school.

We broke up the drive from Utah to Washington, stopping at a motel in Idaho, then we stayed two nights at my parent's house. The drive was smoky through Utah, Idaho, and Oregon, due to massive wildfires.  When we left Oregon and headed to Washington, we left youngest daughter with my parents.  

Photo:  Very smoky skies along the Columbia River, with a bridge faintly visible
Photo:  Bright yellow sunset in pink smoky skies.  Fir trees in foreground.

Thankfuls:  Thanks for firefighters, who bravely battle huge fires. Thanks for parents who welcome family.

Monday, we drove to Seattle.  Monday morning, oldest daughter learned that yes, indeed, she would be able to stay with our daughter-in-law's family.  Monday morning, she reserved a storage unit.  Monday morning, the apartment manager called and scheduled a showing of the apartment for Monday evening. Monday morning, I started breathing sighs of relief, when I realized that there was a plan in place.  Monday evening, after oldest daughter and her things were dropped off, John and I started a vacation.  

We stayed close to the Seattle Temple that night, and spent time in the temple the next morning.  The Seattle Temple is “our” temple:  the place we were married, and the place our adopted children were sealed to us.  It is also the place our son and his wife were married.  It was nice to return again.

Photo:  John and I in front of the Seattle Temple
Thankful:  for temples in general, and the Seattle Temple in particular.

The next few days we stayed on the Kitsap peninsula and had fun exploring the area.  We enjoyed seafood (there is nothing comparable to Dungeness crab!), visited a county fair, and soaked up the water views.  When we finally had to head back to Oregon, we took the long way home, via the Olympic peninsula, and hiked in the Hoh Rain Forest. 

Photo:  Peaceful sunset over Puget Sound, with boats docked in foreground

Photo:  Expansive Pacific Ocean, under a bright cloudy day.  

After another night at my parents' house, we (including youngest daughter) started home.  We spent Friday night at John's brother's house.  Today we visited with oldest son and his wife, then finished the drive home.  

Thankful:  The chance to see so many relatives these past two weeks:  John's parents; John's aunt; my parents; my grandma; John's brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew; almost all of our children and our daughter-in-law.  

Additional thankfuls:  My friends who watched Drexel in our absence.  Willow is now in phase 4 (of 8!) of guide dog training. Wear-all-the-time glasses that make life easier and clearer.  And, of course, John!

How about you?  Is your summer still a whirlwind of activity, or are you back to the 3-months-between-oil-changes schedule?  No matter how hectic (or not), what are you thankful for this week?

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  1. It was so good to see you and I'm so glad you had a mini-vacation tucked into all that traveling!

    1. Thanks, Mom! It was good to see you, too, and we appreciated your help. :-)

  2. Seems like you've had a very busy time in the recent past. Thank you for sharing your blessings and the lovely photographs. Your daughter is ver lovely! :)

    1. Thank you! Yes, it's been a busy couple of weeks. :-)

  3. Wow Kristi! That's quite a ride in The Moving Miracle and what a delightful journey! Funny how a space can pack in a lot of stuff! Experiencing it right now with the seemingly never-ending purging! :) All the best to your daughter! And thank you so much for coming by my blog. Happy to become a part of 10Things of Thankful! With love, Vidya

    1. I need to do more purging here, too!
      So glad you've joined the TToT!

  4. Wow - such a lot to do and all accomplished! Reason enough to be thankful - and great photos too!

    1. And now to get back into a stay-at-home routine!

  5. Wow, Kristi. You sure got around these last couple of weeks. Does this mean you have an empty nest? When I dropped our youngest off at college several years ago, I couldn't go back home. Hub and I spent a few days in Amish country because I couldn't bear to go back to an empty house. Fast forward nine years - she's back living with us now. :) Hope you settle back in after a long trip.

    1. Oops--I forgot to say we picked up youngest daughter from my parents' house on the way back home! No, we aren't empty nesters. I'll update my post when I get on the computer. (I'm replying from my phone.)

  6. Now that's a lot of driving! I'm glad you got some leisure time out of it.

  7. Wow wee wow! Are you the "Mistress of Multi-tasking" or what?! lol
    I marvel at how everything worked out so well for all of you. Isn't that the best? When events just seem to..synchronize :)
    How exciting for your daughter to begin law school and that all seemed to go in her favor with apts. and such.
    I'm jealous of your road trip Kristi!! I love the pics. In particular the Puget Sound one.
    As to packing seemingly too much for space allowed - excellent job! And that's coming from someone who, when a friend helped me move boxes from (1 closet only), asked if I had a secret compartment in my closet...the boxes kept coming!
    btw, that's an excellent thankful. The one for firefighters. Unless you've experienced massive wildfires threatening your home, it's difficult to imagine the incredible risk and work that goes into trying to protect people and their homes and wildlife...

    1. It was so nice to have everything come together--and it really helped me be able to relax and just have fun afterwards!

      The sad thing is, several firefighters lost their lives in Washington this month fighting those fires.

  8. Sounds like your life has been a fun filled whirl wind! Things are crazy here getting ready for school but it is all local so no extra oil changes required!

    1. The back-to-school season really is a busy one!

  9. You've had lots of windshield time this summer! I'm thankful you had safe travels.

  10. wow law school! Impressive! You couldnt pay me to take that on!!! hahahaha! I must also say ... cutest haircut ever on oldest daughter! AND so glad cats were not put into storage! Lol.

    1. Who knew that an undergrad degree in Art History would lead to law school? :-) She's always been capable of whatever she sets her mind to, though. And she does rock the pixie cut!

  11. Busy! You can't argue with an apartment that is "close to campus, within her budget, pet-friendly, and available!" That is awesome!
    Love the ocean pics - I'm finding that I love and miss being near the ocean more than I knew. Sigh.

  12. yow!
    roadtrip par excellence! many miles with much variety kinda doesn't get much better!

    1. And I don't think we heard a "Mommmmmm! She's touching me!" the whole trip! :-)

  13. Sounds like a wonderful trip. As a graduate of the UW, I am so happy for your daughter. I hope she really loves that place the way I do. I so wish I was going back up there. I am sure time at law school will fly by.

    1. The years probably will, but I imagine the days might be long sometimes. I'm sure she'll love the UW--it was her top pick!

  14. Love the pics.
    I so appreciate your descriptions. Thanks again for doing that. Love ocean shots.

    1. I'm glad the descriptions work for you! :-)

  15. Kristi, you're amazing.
    Anyone tell you that?
    That is quite the adventure that I honestly don't think I could handle. I mean you did it!! Packed all of it and did it! Bravo!! I would have been crying because my baby is leaving. Crying because packing. Crying because traffic and crying because crying and crying. HA!!
    Good for you!! And congrats to your daughter and I hope for lots of success and a smooth transition!!

    1. Well, truth be told, oldest daughter has been living on her own for years, and she packed the boxes--we just packed the van with the boxes. And the traffic got better the further we got from home. But thank you for your kind words, even if I don't think I'm quite as amazing as you might think. ;-)

  16. What a great trip! I have never had Dungeness crab.

    1. Best. Crab. Ever. Hope you get a chance to try it sometime!

  17. Somehow I missed this blog, but glad I read it now..
    Sounds like I should hire John and you to do our moving house; all that stuff in two medium cars?! Respect!
    The trip you took sounds just wonderful and might be somewhat like the one we will take next time we're visiting the US. From Seatlle to California, without the family visits though. I'll be sure to go to see the Seatlle Temple too. We saw the Salt Lake City Temple too and would love to see where you and John got married.
    I hope we can make that trip next year..... now that we sold our house!!!!!! (visit my blog to read all about it and then some...)
    Welcome home by the way! Drexel must be glad to have you back.

    1. When you start planning that trip, let me know! I'd be happy to help give you suggestions. :-)
      Congrats on the sale of your house!!!!!


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