Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Let me just start off by saying Brad and I have some amazing friends.
We have received so many offers from friends to help us with this new life change
& quite a few people have offered me to move in with them while Brad is off to Chicago.
We couldn't be more blessed!
I was thrilled when our friends Jeff & Amanda offered to have Damon, Lizzy & I for the duration of Brad's leave & I'm so excited to spend the next couple of months with them.
They're so much fun & it will be so nice to have company and not come home to an empty house every night.
Such a generous & selfless couple they are!!!

So, in preparation for our 2 1/2 month sleepover, Brad and I have been trying to get everything packed up around the house. 
It's amazing what two people can accumulate over the years. 
You don't realize how much STUFF you have until you have to move it.  It's all so overwhelming. 
But, my favorite part about going through our belongings is finding secret treasures throughout the house.
Over the weekend I was taking all of our decorations off the walls.
They haven't moved over the past four years, so when I pulled this picture off the wall, I found a nice surprise behind it...

Warren Kimble was my mom's favorite artist.  His paintings covered her walls.
When she passed away, I inheritted the Warren Kimble collection.
They're a wonderful reminder of her!
My mom loved to document memories.  I must get this from her. 
I write little notes on the strangest things so that I never forget the most important moments of my life.
When I pulled the painting off the wall it brought back wonderful memories:

Everyone came up that weekend just before I started my senior year of college.
This was only weeks before my mom was diagnosed with cancer.  She told us on that camping trip that something was wrong.  We never thought Lymphoma would be the diagnosis.  Honestly, I didn't even know what Lymphoma was then.
I am not surprised my mom documented that trip on the back of this piece & I'm so glad she did.  It's so nice to find little reminders of her around the house & her handwriting always puts butterflies in my belly.

The fall of 2003 was a mix of emotions for me.  We found out about mom's cancer, I was starting my senior year of college & my second year as an RA & not long after this camping trip, I would meet Brad.  Who would have known my life would change so much in 8 years.  2003 was life changing for me in so many ways.  That year sure made me who I am today.

My family loves to camp.  Living in Vermont always gave us a great excuse to sleep under the stars.
We always have the most wonderful time playing UNO, building fires & roasting s'mores. 
We haven't had a camping trip yet that wasn't amazing & there isn't a better time to catch up on life than in the woods of Vermont.
I think I'll miss our family camping trips most when Brad and I are on the West Coast.
I wish I could pack up my family and move them with us so we could camp whenever we wanted!!!
This move will sure be bittersweet for me!


  1. I remember that camping trip as if it was yesterday! That was one birthday I will never forget! A wonderful camping trip that sure was bittersweet. I will never forget Mom telling us something was wrong with her. I still get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach thinking about it. Do you remember playing the UNO game that was so loud during 'quiet time' with Dylan??!! Haha
    What excuse will we have to go camping in Vermont now?? I'm so happy for you and Brad and so sad at the same time. You are going to be so far away :( Jason is excited that we will get to see the West Coast!
    Can you pack us up and take us with??!! Seriously!!! xoxo

  2. I just packed that UNO game away & thought of that very moment. I think we played it once since that trip (while camping of course) and just pulled the cards out & played a regular game. It is so loud.

    And we will have every excuse to go camping in Vermont! It can be our summer vacation to the East Coast! :-)

    I really want to pack you guys up!! You have no idea! My friend and I were checking out plane tickets at work today. We could fly to Jamaica 3 times for the cost of one trip to San Diego... *sigh* I fear I will never see my friends and family & that makes me soooooo soooooo sad. I cry a lot thinking about it. I will search for jobs for you guys so when you get your bachelors degree you can ship right out & we can be neighbors! Gosh, Vermont is right next door compared to California. :-(

  3. You have to promise to keep writing regularly on here after you move because I love reading what you write. Often what you write makes me cry just because I feel like you are right next to me telling me the story. You have such a gift! I will miss you so much, but will look forward to reading about your new adventures when you finally get settled in San Diego. Oh yeah - and don't forget us when you come east to go camping!!! Love you guys :)

  4. Jenn, Brad and I think that you need to put that new camper to good use, see the sites of the United States & find yourselves in San Diego! :-) Don't you worry... we will never forget you guys (especially when we're in Vermont). And don't you think for one minute that Brad won't be back for his guns... haha. I will definitely be posting on here (probably even more frequently) when we leave & hopefully it will still feel like we're sitting in the same room together even with being thousands of miles apart! I hope you stocked up on tissues for tomorrow night! We're going to need them! xoxo

  5. Good Luck with your move; it sounds like you have some awesome friends to make it a whole lot easier!

    The collection from your Mom is so cool!!! I love the writing on the backs. I have lost both of my parents, it's so hard, but when you have things like the collection, is so meaningful! I found a note that my Mom had written to me many many years ago, It was nothing special; just written on the back of an envelope, telling me she was across the street having coffee; but I will keep that note forever!

    Take care....Jodi

  6. Jodi, those are some of the best notes! My mom sent me my bith certificate to college my Freshman year. I still have the quick note on the discolored paper that says something simple like "Here's your birth certificate... I love you." I love that note! It was so everyday & so different from the last letter my mom wrote to me when she knew she didn't have much longer to live (I cherish that one too, but it carries a completely different emotion). I have cards from almost every holiday from my mom, too. I keep each one with that holiday's decorations that way when I take out the tote I have a nice reminder of her with the change of each season. It's amazing what a little note carries with it. It's the handwritten stuff that means the most to me.

    Thank you for the well wishes! We do have amazing friends & I am extremely grateful for every one of them. I don't think I could do this without them! We have been so blessed & are surrounded by some wonderful people everyday! We're going to miss them all like crazy when we move!