February 22, 2003
Getting ready.....

Well, I've been busy this morning packing, doing laundry, and kissing and hugging on everyone. Can't believe I am leaving tomorrow and won't be back until 3/21. What a long time! I sat on the couch for a long time with Keegan, talking and playing transformers (robots in disguise), and just got up from napping with Madeline. Before we went to sleep we sang and talked and cuddled. Our favorite song is the Barney I love you song. She's so cute! Sebastian and I haven't spent any alone time together yet, but will before the night is over. SIGH.....I will miss their little faces, but I know it's only temporary, and pretty soon we will all be together and it will be just a distant memory. I love my family so much! We actually had a server at our favorite dining establishments come up to me and say, "It's so nice to see a family that actually appears to enjoy each other's company. You seem to have so much fun with your family!" It's true! There are days and probably other servers who have witnessed a not-so-nice family moment, but we still enjoy ourselves.

On the school front side, we just got the letter that our oldest was accepted to the GATE program at his school. I volunteered at his school on Friday and his teacher said he has made great improvements over the last month. Hurrah! I'm SO proud of him! The letter says he is labeled as an "Intellectual." Too great! I'm a little irritated it took them 6 months to discover what his last school already had tested him for - GATE qualifications. But at least he's got 2 schools in 2 different school districts saying the same thing. Not sure if they have programs like GATE in Virginia, but am hopeful at least he will be challenged in school out there.

I will try to post on a nightly basis during this transition, although there will be a lapse of a week in this. I am not getting my computer until I get out to Virginia. So stay tuned! I hope people are actually reading! I LOVE to get comments, so please feel free to click the comment link!

-Brie :)

Posted by Brie at 03:53 PM
February 21, 2003
Goodbyes....

Well, I am just overwhelmed.....

I thought I would make a quiet exit here with my current employer, but they have totally surprised me! The local lab where my office is in Long Beach are just pulling off a wonderful goodbye party. So far, the staff I work with upstairs have brought in a gift of some nice warm clothes, a homemade chocolate cherry cake (even a FINE rendition of "She's a jolly goodfellow!") and now I just went downstairs to see this wonderful HUGE cake with "Good Luck Brie" on it. I'm just feeling the love here. And they are bringing in pizza for lunch. What a shock! After only having been here for 11 months, they really are going all out. I'm speechless.....

There are many that I will miss, as I have developed relationships here. It's going to be sad to leave today.......with all of this I really feel like I may have made an impression here and left my mark!

Posted by Brie at 10:25 AM
February 20, 2003
Hopefully Not One Those "Other" Days.....

Well, the universe always manages to balances things out. Everything can't be perfect all the time, right? So, I get a panic call from John this morning. Apparently all of my recent charges on Paypal for my eBay auctions were all charged to the account we are getting ready to close. Oops! Stupid me for not verifying the default account. Now we have over $100 in bounced fees, but luckily Paypal will run the charges through again, so the people who we were supposed to pay, still get their money. This way we don't jeopardize our eBay account. Phew! So my great auction buys cost us a lot more money. Yikes! John is, needless to say, NOT happy. I really screwed up, but it was an honest mistake. Shit happens, life goes on, right? RIGHT! It's a minor pebble in the road of life. Don't sweat the small stuff. Blah, blah, blah....

Okay, so my new panic this morning when I woke up, is how is John going to take the "Separation." I'm going to be gone for 5 weeks until I fly back for Sebastian's party. That's a long time alone with the children. I know John's sister will be at the house every weekend helping him out to get things ready, but still....Don't get me wrong! I KNOW he can handle the kids and everything that needs to be done, I just sometimes wonder if HE knows he can handle it. He has tendencies to let one little thing eat at him (i.e. this morning's eBay catastrophe) which makes him sink into a funk. Where I, on the other, overreact to something, scream a little (okay, a lot!), and then move on. I'm a little more manic in my frustration; John likes to wallow in his frustration. I don't, quite honestly know, which is worse. My reactions, certainly are explosive, and often times downright scary, but I digress.....

I shouldn't worry about it. I know he will be fine. He's the most patient person I know. After 16 years, the man never ceases to amaze me with his strength.

Our youngest is in a real whinny stage right now. That girl can whine! It's my mother's curse on me happening again. The "I hope you have a child who behaves just like you!" statement. I was a good whinner. My oldest was a good whinner too. Ah, the mother curse....

Posted by Brie at 09:10 AM
February 19, 2003
One of those days.....

You ever have one of those days when everything falls into place? This has been one of those days, and it's not even over yet! Several great things have happened today (listing in chronological order, not order of importance!)......

1. We got our refund check from taxes, unexpectedly, auto-deposited in our account first thing! Woo-hoo! Money!

2. I got an e-mail, inadvertently, from my very dear friend, Richard, whom I had lost contact with over the last crazy few years. We've exchanged many e-mails and I'm just so glad he hit "reply" instead of "forward" on his e-mail. It's so sad when you lose contact with people who mean so much to you. There is just NO reason for it! I must get better at communicating with the people in my life. I tend to just forget, and by the time I remember, it's sometimes too late. What a shame! So, if there is anyone out there reading this Blog that I've not contacted, who would still like to be my friend, please e-mail me I will try to get better at corresponding! My good friend, Rachael, recently got in touch with me again, too, which has been wonderful. It's amazing how all of those people who mean so much to you re-enter your life!

3. My sister-in-law, Sherry, got word that she can have the house we are currently in, after we vacate! Woo-hoo! This is so great! She will even get to keep Abby (our little boxer mix) for us! It's a great new start for everyone. Sherry has had a rough 12 months, and deserves this break and this fresh start. Hell, she deserves all the happiness the universe will grant her!

We also got word from the agent in Virginia that the house we want is still availble, so, keep your fingers crossed that it will still be there by the time I get out there!

So, there is my cheery little 2nd entry for today. Thanks for reading!

Posted by Brie at 02:23 PM
Update for Today

Well, I have 4 more days here at home before I take off. Very sad, and exciting all at the same time. I'm sad, obviously, because the family is not coming with me. 4 weeks seems like an awful long time. I've been talking to the kids about it, but I still don't thinkg they understand I'll be gone for awhile. My oldest is really the only one that gets it, because he remembers when we move down to San Diego in 1999. I know they will be fine, and it is a relatively short time, in the big picture, but still....

So, I fly out of Orange County on Sunday at 11:30. Fly into Sacramento, drive to Stockton (with a little pit stop to see my baby brother's bachelor pad). Then I'm in the Stockton facility until Wednesday, then off to Oakland for a day. I'll spend Thursday in Oakland and fly out on Friday to Virginia. Phew!

I've looked at the temporary housing place online and it looks fairly nice. Not too far from work and they have a gym! Woo-hoo! Maybe I will take this time to start some sort of workout routine and lose some weight. Just stock my little apartment with Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers food and work out every night after work. We'll see. It looks good on the blog, but reality is another thing!

So that's the update from here! Later!

Brie

Posted by Brie at 06:23 AM
February 17, 2003
Sick and Activities

Well, as most of you have read in John's Blog by now, my last full weekend with the family was spent cleaning up throw up and getting tremendously ill myself. Woo-hoo! So much fun! We are all better today, luckily, and managed to spend a somewhat hectic anniversary lunch at Claim Jumpers. It's amazing how crazy going out to eat is with 3 kids! But, that is our life! 13 year anniversary.....hard to believe! Thirteen years ago today we got married in Modesto in the pouring rain. What a great day!

Ugh! My youngest just got sick again......aye.....so sick of sick! I know it's part of the joy of motherhood, but really......5 days of vomit? Where will it end!


Okay, so really no new word on the moving front, although it looks like I just might fly up to Stockton (really Sacramento) rent a car while I'm there, and then fly out to Virginia from there. This is rather than drive my car up there, have them ship it out on one of the company's trucks. They will just ship my car out when they move everything else. However, this will require me to drive a rental for over a month. Yikes!

And yes, I have heard of the blizzard out on the east coast. Apparently everyone has felt the need to talk to me about it. I keep telling people, "Look it's the worst one they've had in the last 6 years, so in my book, they are not due for another six!" Just part of living on the east coast! Besides that, it doesn't look like the area of Virginia we are moving to is as hard hit as the other areas. Can you imagine 14 inches of snow in a day??? Yikes, again!

What else? Oh, so I did some research on "personal property tax," which is a concept that those of us in California have never dealt with. Basically, you pay money on stuff you've already paid for. Hmmmmm, a scam perhaps? Well, with a 4.5% sales tax (10% on eating out) you have to make up the money somehow, I guess. The funny thing is they have this tax, which is basically $4.25 for every $100 dollar the item is valued at (does this include our TV or just cars?), but then, because apparently it cost too much money they enacted a Personal Property Tax Relief Fund, which basically requires you to pay less if you don't use your car for business or it's not something larger than an SUV. Hmmmm, very odd and yet strangely confusing......I am sure that some nice tax person will be more than happy to tell how much we have to pay him/her when we get there!

I think that is about it........"talk" to you later!

-Brie

Posted by Brie at 07:39 PM
February 10, 2003
Moving On.....

Well, it looks like we are moving to Virginia! Woo-hoo!

John and I went out to Virginia yesterday. He seemed to like it well enough, but wasn't "blown away" so to speak. We drove by and looked at several different areas, looked at some houses and he said he liked it and could live there. So, OFF WE GO! Now the real work begins.......sigh......

So many things to consider and think of, it's a little overwhelming. We've got to find a house, get the kids out there, get the dogs out there, settle with our current landlord, etc., etc., etc. I'm trying not to get buried in the "what-if's" though and just appreciate the fact that it will all be over and we will be in out new place within the next 3 months. Such a relatively short amount of time, with a lot of things that need to be done. What an adventure!

So there you go, there is my update! I'll post more later......

-Brie

Posted by Brie at 01:56 PM