The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

Eight years ago today

on January 16, 2012

I woke up in a completely unfurnished duplex, sleeping on an air mattress with nothing in our bedroom but suitcases and two seriously freaked out dogs in their travel kennels.  On January 15, 2004, we moved from the place I thought we’d never move from and cautiously landed in Vancouver, Washington.  I know, I know, people move all the time and it isn’t THAT big of a deal.  It was to me because I firmly believed that we would never leave Alaska.  We had no reason to . . . . Tyler had a great career that would provide very nicely for us in our retirement, we were well established socially and in our church, we felt our lives were blessed right where we were so there was no thought of moving.

Until three events sort of intersected and it got me thinking.  First of all, Tyler was working all the time – no joke.  The department he worked for was 93 people short and we hardly ever saw him. And when we did see him, he was exhausted.  Second, I went on vacation to visit my brother and his family in San Diego. We did a lot of things and all I could think was, “Are you kidding me?  All of this is down here?  Why are we still in Alaska?” (I knew the answer to that last question.  Her name was Cheri.) Third, about 5 months after that trip I was sitting on a train with my sister-in-law. We were talking about Washington state and she told me that she would move to the Tri-Cities area because it had grown up so much since she was a kid living there.

So blah, blah, blah, and fast forward to January 16, 2004.  We were really here.  I was seriously only minutes away from a major city.  And Target! (In all fairness, Alaska finally got Target about 4 years ago.)  And Olive Garden (which I now can’t stand)!  It was more happiness and excitement then I could stand and my digestive system was whipped into a frenzy for about 2 months.

Don’t ask.

Eight years later, a lot has changed.  One of the two freaked out dogs has moved on to greener pastures.  The other one is still annoyingly alive.  My 8 and almost 6 year olds are now 16 and almost 14 year olds.  The minivan years – and the minivan – are gone and we have a third driver – and third car – in the house.   The duplex is a distant memory, only living there 6 months and being in our house 7 1/2 years.  And we are fully furnished.  We have grown and changed in ways that can only be explained by a miracle.  Our church and church family has been at the center of most of the change and I am forever thankful.

Some things haven’t changed.  I’m still homeschooling the kids.  Tyler has the same job we moved down here for.  We still have the car we bought from Tyler’s mom that she picked us up from the airport in 8 years ago.  We’re all still together and we still love each other.  Oh, and I am still crazy in love with Portland.

So thank you, God, Vancouver, New Heights Church and all of our crazy friends . . . . we couldn’t have done this without you.


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