Our twins turned three years old and Katie started preschool at Mt. Lebanon. She loved going to preschool, and we all loved the walks through the cemetery to get there.
I decided I would run a half marathon sometime in the spring, and then as we looked at schedules we realized the only ones scheduled for the end of May/beginning of June were on Sundays. So I borrowed the Vermont Covered Bridges Half Marathon route and ran it by myself Memorial Day. My time was a couple of minutes under two hours and I had a great time.
We went out to Great Falls the end of March to look for a house (hopefully to buy) and came up pretty short-handed. But we both felt guided to buy a piece of property east of town. So we bought the land, then sold our house in New Hampshire to our neighbors (a very providential thing). We still needed a place to live until we could build a house, so we kept looking for rentals. Nothing was working and Jeremy found a house for sale that was cheaper to own than for us to pay rent. Therefore, we bought the house. We had never seen it other than the pictures online, but it felt right (again, thank you Heavenly Father for guiding us!).
After that we had to pack up our house and plan our move across the country with a carsick dog and three little girls. Jeremy's parents came out to help us load the truck and make the drive. I'm not a fan of trying to take three little girls to random rest rooms across the country, but other than that, it went well. We stopped in Palmyra, NY, Kirtland, OH, visited one of my dear friends in Dayton, then went to Nauvoo, IL (all three of those locations are big Latter-Day-Saint church history sites). Nauvoo was a really neat time for our family, and quite humbling as we continued our drive west realizing what we drove in an hour's time took the early saints over a week. We then spent a week with my family in Cedar City and a week with Jeremy's in Salt Lake. It was so good to see everyone, but by the end of it we were ready to not be homeless anymore.
We got to Great Falls to find out our moving truck was stuck in another city and wouldn't get to us for another day, but it worked out. Our house had a doggie-door for Pele (which she loves), and three rooms upstairs which meant that Katie could have her own room. The house is a good size for us, but a lot of the rooms needed painting. We finished painting the front room and hallway withing a couple of weeks of being here, but painting the others has taken a LOT longer. We finished Katie's room in November when Jeremy's parents came to visit us (we love having dads that can fix anything). Then we just finished painting the twins over the Christmas break. I have learned from living here that I DO NOT LIKE crabapple trees. We have one in the back yard and it is the nastiest thing to try to rake up in the fall, let alone pick up all of Pele's dog poop.
Katie started Kindergarten and the twins started preschool in the fall. Katie goes by "Kathryn" at school and has her teacher laughing a lot. We have been so happy with the teachers and schools that they're both in. We feel very blessed. We also found out we were prayed into the ward/church congregation we are in. We love going to church. It's a small, pretty diverse group that truly love the Savior and want to do His will. We have been very blessed by being part of this congregation. We have made friends here through Jeremy's work, the kids schools, and church, and really feel that this is our home.
Jeremy took his boards the last day of September in Phoenix and passed, so he is an official anesthesiologist. This is his first official job and he has been very happy with his coworkers, the hospital, and his job, even if the business side of medicine is an ever changing monster to deal with.
We were hoping to get pregnant soon after moving here, but it didn't happen until October, then we lost the baby within two weeks. That experience has brought so many ups and downs to our family. It has not been easy, but we have felt the Lord's love through it and are grateful for the three healthy girls we do have. We bought a bigger vehicle on our trip to Utah so we'd have enough room, and now we know we have enough room to haul around anyone who comes to visit.
After wrapping up the end of the year with so much sickness, exhaustion is the word that comes most to mind for the end of the year. We are on the mend, and looking forward to better days. Jeremy and Katie will start piano lessons this week and I start violin lessons the next. We're hoping to have our whole family involved in some sort of dance class as well.
It has been a year of all sorts of changes and ups and downs for us. Yet through it all the Lord has been constant for us - guiding us when we seek the guidance, teaching us when we listen, and taking care of us in miraculous ways. We are so happy to be closer to our families, yet we miss the good things and people we knew in New Hampshire. We are very excited for this coming year as our girls get older, we (hopefully) become a little wiser, and we get to spend a little more time together as a family. Here's to an exciting 2014!