First of all, James got an internship!!! We found out the day before he officially finished his classes and that kicked off all the excitement for the rest of the weekend. ((He actually got the ball rolling this morning there at VVC with the Auxiliary Department filling out all the paperwork that needs to be completed and approved before he can begin marking off his required hours. Can't wait to see what the next developments there will bring.))
Then Thursday morning, the 21st, we picked up Mom Anderson from the Idaho Falls Airport after her long morning of travel to be with us for James' convocation the next evening, and to be so gracious as to help us by watching babies and driving the long miles back to California while following a trailer and an over-heating car on Saturday when we finally left. Needless to say she is amazing! She dealt so admirably with all the stressful situations we found ourselves in including our flaring tempers here and there along the way. We sure do love her for her generosity and support even during such fun! Hehehe.
Friday was even more exciting! We packed as much as we could and began cleaning here and there while receiving guests to help us pack up a trailer. Aunt Jackie and Bea came down from Boise, on their way out to Vegas for some fun, and were so amazing! Aunt Jackie has really been an awesome influence in Brittany's life and she again saved the day with transportation (for all of our junk in the form of a graduation gift) from Idaho to California, which she has done a few times before. All we can say is she must love us a lot to do so much for us! Mom Keel arrived that afternoon also and helped so much with babies and cleaning and packing after driving long hours from California to do so. It worked out so great to have both our moms there to help us drive straight through and clean and watch babies. We really don't think we could have done it ourselves after all the effort it took with all the help we had! It sure was a blessing!!!
James walked Friday evening and our babies were there to see it, as well as our moms, Jackie, and Bea. We even had a small gathering at our half-packed apartment before-hand where Aunt Jana, Heather, Cousin Lori, and good friends the Nielsen's were able to celebrate along with our mamas. It was such a great time to recognize all of James' hard work and be excited for his future achievements.
Saturday morning we finally finished packing and cleaning around 5, just in time for the carpet cleaners to show up, and then we set sail for home. We had all kinds of fun trying to get our new managers to recognize the fact that we were leaving, and ended up having to leave anyway even though they didn't show up to do the normal check-out routine. Fun, fun, fun. We tried though, so we've been just doing what we can to make sure all is well since then. Besides that we had quite the adventure trying to make it to California with two cars, a truck and a trailer. We made quite a few stops, including a stop in Vegas to pick up my Aunt Jean, which was a fun surprise, and finally got home around 3 in the afternoon. We ended up completely missing a night of sleep in order to unpack, keep babies entertained, and pick up a car that had to be left on the side of the road, but we did it--thanks to the efforts and prayers of all! We were jet-lagged, caffeinated, and felt like we were still behind the wheel for quite and few hours after arriving, but the relief out-weighed all of that pretty quickly, thank goodness! Everyone really went above and beyond to help, including Dad Keel and brothers unpacking and picking up our stranded car packed with essentials. We're pretty sure that Aunt Jackie had to sleep for a whole day just to recover!
We still can't believe we're here and are trying to make the most of it. We had a week of unpacking and settling and then a weekend of fun. We went to Balboa Beach with extended family--Aunt Jana, Uncle Brian, Heather, Dillon, Kavan, and Calista, Fawn & Devon and all their cuties, Mom and Dad Keel, and brothers Levi and West, plus Uncle Rick's two girls, and Rachel's two kiddos too. We traveled for quite awhile with a couple puking incidents and finally found parking for everyone after almost giving up. The tide was in and the sun was setting; it was beautiful. We even saw dolphins pretty close to shore. We enjoyed almost 2 hours of wading and digging in the sand and then piled in the cars again for home. We haven't been to the beach since we were dating! James enjoyed body surfing and diving in and over the waves while we all soaked our feet nearer to shore. We got home around 9:30, ate pizza, bathed and then crashed in time to be awake at 10 for church. It was so awesome.
Thank you to everyone who loves and supports us, we sure do appreciate all your effort, time, and thoughts on our behalf. We are so glad to be home, and excited for the next steps toward our future here despite any bumps in the road. Oh, and Congrats to Tyler and MiLinh for getting engaged we are so excited for you!!
The James Anderson Family