Monday, December 27, 2010

So, the car was NOT ready before Christmas - which means we drove a hire car home. Although irritating, we did not let this setback dampen our Christmas cheer... it's not been an easy holiday period, with all the memories of last year and all of us desperately missing Jane, but, we have made the best of it and it has actually been a very happy Christmas - Daniel's FIRST!

The packers arrived at 9am this morning and the house was clear by 3pm - it's outrageous to see the entirety of one's worldly possessions packed into boxes - it doesn't amount to very much - a very sobering thought! Daniel has coped admirably as his universe has been dismantled and invaded by sweaty Mexicans... he is now sleeping soundly, I am pleased to report!

Sadly, it looks as though the Lord is continuing to refine Ed and my patience (it needs a LOT of work!) - this morning, the packers informed us that they are unlikely to even SET OFF from the bay area with our van-full of possessions until NEXT MONDAY... which would mean we'd be unlikely to get our stuff until the middle of next week at the earliest. Yikes. We are praying that it doesn't end up taking that long, but, after a number of phone calls today, it is not looking very hopeful... oh well, it looks like Daniel will get his first taste of camping - IN our new apartment!

Ed will leave tomorrow morning to collect our car while 'DIY Dave' (as my father-in-law is affectionately known) and I set to work painting over any scuff marks and generally getting the house back to it's pre-Gilchrist condition!

We head down to San Luis Obispo (no idea if that's how it's written and I'm too pooped to check on the Internet!) tomorrow, once Ed arrives with the car. We have booked one night's stay there and then we head on down to LA the following day... we plan to take the scenic and enjoyable route along highway 1, through Malibu... Emily and David will be with us that evening and then fly back to SFO to catch their flight home on the morning of the 30th... I hope we've done the right thing... it seemed like a fun idea at the time, to do the move altogether, but now we're faced with the prospect, we're worried that perhaps it will not feel as much fun as we'd envisaged! We'll see!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dearest friends and family,

In many ways we are having a wonderful time - it is lovely to be all together with Ed's Dad and sister - we all miss Jane very much, but the delicious smiles and cuddles with Daniel have kept our spirits from sinking too low... he is SUCH a scrumptious little man!

The cabin we are staying in is luxurious - warm, comfortable, spacious and spotlessly clean - so it is not too much of a hardship for Daniel and I, who are spending most of our time indoors. The reason for our being home-bound is twofold:

1) Baby it's cold outside! It has been snowing, blizzard-style since we got here - actually, I tell a lie, it stopped snowing and the sun came out yesterday morning - the ONE morning that we had arranged for me to have a go on the slopes - so my wonderful father and sister in law, having spent the previous 2 days skiing in horizontal, icy blizzard & wind, watched the blue skies from indoors as they looked after Daniel... meanwhile Ed and I skied in fabulous conditions - only to see the snow roll in again as we were having lunch! How guilty do I feel?!!!

2) Our car broke down on Saturday morning... this is turning out to be a bit of a nightmare actually. So, it broke down and, because it's still under warranty it has to be repaired at an Audi dealership. The nearest one is in Reno (50 miles away). The car was towed away on Saturday and then sat in the local towing station until this morning, because the weather was too hazardous for them to set out. We have therefore arranged for the car to go to Sacramento - which is further away, but at least it is on our way home. I just spoke to the Audi dealership in Sacramento and they close for Christmas, tomorrow evening at 6pm... they are 'doing their best' to get our car roadworthy before the holidays, but they can't promise, since there are already quite a few vehicles ahead of ours... Thankfully, part of our warranty agreement allows for us to have a hire car for 5 days in the event that our car breaks down when we are more than 100 miles from home - we only found that out yesterday, so at least we are no longer stranded, and we can drive the hire car to Sacramento... BUT if our car is not fixed by 6pm tomorrow evening, then we will have to drive the hire car home and then Ed will have to drive all the way to Sacramento (about a 4 hour round-trip) on Boxing day (otherwise known as 'my birthday') to pick up our car... as if we didn't have enough going on in these 2 weeks!

A few prayers on that subject would be appreciated!

The icing on the cake came this morning as Daniel and I drove home from dropping the Gilchrist skio-trio at the Gondola... I left Daniel in the car as I opened the front door, then locked it behind me and went downstairs to open the garage. I then drove the car into the garage, picked up my son and tried to re-enter the house... but the door had locked behind me... so there was no way for me to get back into the house! Daniel was already late for his nap and was therefore ever-so-slightly-not-so-nice-to-know, I didn't have the number for the cabin company and Ed was only intermittently in cell-phone range... after about 10 minutes, I managed to communicate what had happened to Ed, who thankfully had the number for the cabin company - he phoned them and they arranged to send someone out immediately. 1/2 an hour later (!) a ski-bum arrived and said (in Bill-and-Ted-esque drawl) 'oh yeah, sorry mate, I kinda forgot the address I was supposed to go to, bummer, yeah, it's freaky that garage locking mechanism, yeah, people get locked out all the time...' - needless to say, I found it hard to remain polite!

Anyway, Daniel is sleeping soundly and I have had lunch, so the World is looking slightly more rosy than it did an hour ago!

Sadly, we are still going to have to cut the holiday short to get to Sacramento for the car (PLEASE let it be ready!), but, despite these set-backs, we ARE actually having a lovely time together... and Daniel has learnt a new trick - yesterday he found out that he can suck his toes! By the looks of things, they are very tasty!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What with planning our move to LA and preparing for Christmas, I am afraid blog posts have slipped down our list of priorities recently! And this post is to prepare you for a few weeks of blog silence...

Ed's Dad and sister arrive TONIGHT (yeah!). We can't wait to see them.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of Jane's death. We can't believe it has been a year already, since in many ways we still feel we're only just coming to terms with the reality that she's gone. I am glad we will all be together. I am sure there will be lots of tears - but I'm hoping we can also remember all the ways Jane brought such joy to our lives with her sunny personality and ability to bring laughter into whatever situation she found herself - Ed read 1 Thessalonians 4 this morning and reminded us that we do not grieve as others grieve because we have the sure and certain hope that Jane is alive and well beyond the grave - what an amazing joy it is to know that although we miss her terribly now, we WILL see her again one day!

We leave to go skiing in Tahoe on Friday and will get back here on Christmas eve. We then spend Christmas and Boxing day (otherwise known as 'my birthday'!) together here before the packers come on the 27th! The hope is that they will be able to pack everything into the van on the 27th, travel down to LA on the 28th and then unpack on the 29th... they are currently saying that they can't guarantee delivery of our stuff until the 3rd January (which seems a mighty long time for a 7 hour drive!) - but we're praying it doesn't take that long! Camping in an empty apartment with a 10 month old does not sound a whole heap of fun!

It may well be that we do not manage to post again until we get to LA... although I might try and post a sneaky update from Tahoe... we'll see!

So, let me satiate your Daniel appetites before the likely post-famine with a few of the photos from the professional photo shoot we did as a family recently... get ready for a severe cute attack!

We hope you all have a very happy Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I have just spent the last 20 minutes with tears rolling down my face with laughter as my son initiated his first joke! He had what could only be described as a 'smirk' on his face and a twinkle in his eye as he repeatedly turned his head to avoid looking at me - the more I laughed and tried to meet eyes, the more he was clearly having to stop himself from bursting into giggles - but managed to maintain a mock serious expression throughout until, at long last, I managed to make our eyes meet - and then his face creased into the most enormous grin. He's incredible. And here he is in his new hat and mitts set...