Saturday, February 27, 2010

Moving Week Madness

We are alive - barely. It has been an insane week for the Schween family!!! I apologize for the delay in posting about our move. We are still in recovery/survival mode this week, but wanted to get a quick update out to those who have been praying for us through this transition.

Last Monday was moving day. Robin went to pick up the truck that morning and came back in time to meet the friends from church who had volunteered to help us load up. It was a crazy morning as we were still packing and cleaning and taking care of Tyson amidst a house full of boxes and packing supplies and strangers (in Ty's mind) who were there to help. We had Penske truck that was supposed to be the ideal size for a "2 - 3 bedroom house" - we have a 3 bedroom condo so it seemed appropriate. Well, about half way through the morning of loading, no one wanted to state the obvious (which was becoming more obvious all the time): "it's not going to fit." Yes, it's true, the truck was too small...and we were screwed. Our helpers put their brains together to puzzle piece every item together to make more room in the truck. They did a fantastic job and I have never seen a truck packed so well! Though it still wasn't going to be enough...

As the morning wore on our helpers gradually had to leave one by one to get back to work, go to appointments, etc. Early afternoon we were left with Robin, me, Tyson, our friend John, and a fully loaded truck...with a bunch of boxes left upstairs and more yet to be packed. Not the most promising picture considering Tyson was falling apart due to the chaos in our house, and I was tied up trying to take care of him! My mom graciously came down to pick up Tyson and take him back to their house in Anacortes until I could join him the next day. I don't know what I was thinking being able to take care of a toddler (oh yes, and of course Tyson picked this week to make his primary mode of transportation walking!!!) and move out of our house at the same time. The three adults at the house decided that the best option, and a long shot at best, was to try to get the next size up Penske truck that afternoon. This was a nightmare on multiple levels: 1) Unloading the first truck and re-loading a second truck is not fun - especially when you're still packing! 2) Trying to find a truck for 6 days of out of state use at the last minute (ours had been reserved for a while). 3) Trying to find a whole second set of volunteers short notice on a Monday evening. 3) Find the time to finish packing AND clean the place on top of re-doing all the loading work we did all morning. UGH!

Robin immediately got on the phone and started working with Penske to find another truck somewhere within driving distance, and by no small miracle they finally found one for us in Bellevue! If you have ever rented a moving truck, you might have some clue how complicated it was to switch trucks, figure out what they were charging us for each one, transfer insurance documents, etc. STRESSFUL. In the meantime we called in our emergency reinforcements. We called everyone who at some point had said, "If you need any help with the move, let me know!" Whether they really meant it at the time or were just saying it to be polite, those are the people we called! Gotta do what ya gotta do, right? We were so incredibly blessed to have people showing up straight from work and being willing to help with whatever we needed.

Of course, the new truck was too large to drive all the way back to our condo unit so we had to park it out on the street, take the smaller truck out there and back them up to each other, and start the process of unloading one into the other (in the most space efficient way possible, of course). It was definitely pitch black outside, we were having pizza for the second time that day, and Robin and I were physically and mentally exhausted from all of the turmoil. We were so behind in finishing packing and cleaning because we had had to start over at square one packing the truck! Luckily I was blessed by two of my friends coming over after work to help finish clearing out my kitchen, linen closets, and bathrooms. You know, all of those small, last-minute things that still need to be thrown in a random box somewhere? I hate those things. Worst part of moving. Those were the things they helped me with - I couldn't have done it without their help. I was at the end of my emotional rope and probably would have sat in the middle of the floor and cried without them!

At about 9:30 or 10 that night we were finally done doing the truck swap and packing most of the last minute stuff. We sat on the floor in our living room amidst random packing material and other paraphernalia, and our friends prayed for us. Such a blessing. We were totally spent, overwhelmed by the fact that we were officially leaving our condo the next day, and about to start over somewhere new. And not just a new house. We're talking new living situation, new city, new state, new church, new friends, new everything. Prayers were a gift to us that night to say the least! After they left Robin and I kept working on our place, and finally went to sleep on aerobeds in our nearly-empty bedroom.

Tuesday morning we woke up (after a not-great night of sleep) and started the morning off right: Starbucks and breakfast sandwiches. Then we went back to work packing, cleaning, packing, cleaning, cleaning some more, you get the picture... We realized that usually when you sell a house and move out you still have to clean it to some degree, but this was different. Since we haven't sold our place yet (and need to ASAP!) we wanted it to be spotless in order to hopefully speed up the process! Bathrooms cleaned, kitchen cleaned, rooms vacuumed, baseboards wiped down...blah blah blah. Finally we were cleaned, fully-loaded, and ready to hit the road and drop the smaller truck off at Penske on our way up to Anacortes. Robin had to drop me off at my parent's house for the week and pick up my brother who would be driving the moving truck with him to Colorado. At 4:30 on Tuesday, Robin and my brother started the drive BACK to Issaquah to get the moving truck and be on their way to their first stop: Spokane (obviously a hot spot to spend their first night). I don't even really remember Tuesday afternoon/evening. I think I was about 98% dead at that point due to "The Move," allergies, being sick, lack of sleep, sadness, etc. My parents were amazing at helping me rest and recover in Anacortes with Tyson while Robin drove our stuff to Denver.

Robin and my brother made it to Colorado in one piece with no truck mishaps, decent weather most of the way, and had a great time of male bonding full of good conversation and lots of laughs. All day Friday they spent unloading the truck and taking boxes to various rooms in Robin's parents house (where we will be staying for a few months while we work on finding our own place) and once again strategically packing boxes in their basement downstairs where they have graciously allowed us to store everything we don't need for the next few months. Robin worked tirelessly for the next few days trying to unpack as much as he could and organize our living space at his parent's house so it would be ready for our arrival on Sunday. He did such a great job!!! I am so glad that Ty and I waited a few days to fly out so that Robin could start getting us settled.

This brings us to today! We are in Centennial, CO - living in the suburbs just outside of Denver. Robin started his new job this morning!!! Crazy. Thoughts and prayers from our friends and family have been so so so appreciated, and we are thankful that they continue as we start this new chapter of our lives. It will be quite an adjustment for our little family as we impose on Robin's parents space for a few months, and we are very grateful that they are flexing so much to accomodate us here. Well, time for me to go take care of a toddler who woke up mid-nap, realized he is somewhere new, and is now crying his head off :) Ta ta for now!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Walk this Waaay!"

WE ARE WALKING! This is obviously a major milestone for the Schween household :) Tyson has been practicing a couple of steps here and there for the last few days, but it is finally official...we have a walker! We decided we had better catch some on tape last night before he started running all over the place!

He doesn't walk all over the house or down the hallways yet, but he is walking around his "play space" (his area to roam blocked for him with furniture) at will. He even stands up from a sitting position on the floor without holding onto anything! We are definitely those parents: overly excited, high pitched voices with squeals, and lots of clapping to encourage every step. We don't care if we're weird or cliche. We love him :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Moving to the mountains...

Where to begin this post...? How to actually put the news in print, make it a reality...? How to be so sad, yet happy at the same time...?

The last week has been a bit of a blur for the Schween household. Long story short, we are moving to Denver, Colorado. But let me least with a little bit longer story.

Robin and I have had an interesting last couple of years. He started as a financial advisor with Edward Jones in January of 2007. Needless to say that pretty much directly coincided with the major financial chaos that our country has recently experienced! Building a business from the ground up during such a pivotal time turned in to an extremely difficult 2-year battle for Robin - and in turn, for our family. Despite the financial difficulties and the resulting stress, the last two years have drawn us closer together as a married couple and a family, have helped us depend on each other more than ever, and have required us to completely trust the Lord with the present and our future. I could go on and on about the lessons we've learned and the ways we've grown, but those things can be part of conversations saved for other days. Now on to where this adventure is taking us...

About six months ago we realized that we were rapidly running out of money due to negative cash flow with Robin's job for quite a while. We also realized that, in this economy, a new job isn't something that we could just decide to jump into overnight - those jobs don't exist anymore with everyone else out looking for work! Robin started exploring his options, meeting with friends and family for advice and counsel, and leveraging contacts where he could see some job potential. After a few months it came down to two different options: opportunity A), a job in Bellevue with another financial firm, or opportunity B), a job in commercial real estate appraisal in Denver, CO with
National Valuation Consultants, Inc. (

Much thinking and praying and waiting later, Robin finally had interviews with both companies. We both prayed fervently that God would uniquely show us the path He wanted us to take if they both were to become available. We also prayed that God would only open one of the doors if there was one option that we really needed to pursue! Of course, in the back of our minds both of us subconsciously assumed that the "one door" to open would be here in Bellevue and that our lives would continue on the same track, except with the improvement of income and job satisfaction for Robin! Little did we know that God would completely and perfectly answer our specific prayer of only opening one door - just not the door that we expected.

All of this is to say that we are officially moving to Denver where Robin will have his first day at a new job on Monday, March 1st. Congrats to my incredibly hard-working husband! He deserves this chance more than anyone could possibly know. He has a heart of gold, an unbelievable work ethic, character of amazing integrity, and he is the greatest gift for me being such a wonderful husband and father. I could not ask for a better man to be following into a new adventure. He is excited not only to work hard at a new job, but also to move back to Colorado for a time! He grew up in Denver (where his mom and step-dad still live) and lived there through high school until he moved to Seattle for college and met a really cute girl who convinced him not to move back.

I, on the other hand, am struggling a bit more with the transition. I am overjoyed for Robin, I know this is God's plan for us now (which brings great peace of mind), I am looking forward to going on an adventure together, but I am heart-broken at the same time to be leaving my family and our friends. Ahh, such is life! Once again, this time away will serve to grow our little family of 3 together, and will force us to really rely on our Savior for our comfort and our joy as we set out on the road ahead.

I say "this time away" because there is more to the story. The plan is for Robin to work and train and learn the business in Denver for 2 - 3 years, and after that we will be moving back to Seattle! YAY! The company wants to open an office on the West Coast in the Seattle area. They have a few other offices around the country but none yet on the West Coast, which is exactly why they wanted to hire Robin with the plan to send him back home once he is ready. So it really will be a relatively "short" adventure in the grand scheme of life (that's what I keep telling myself at least ;-). When the company is ready to send Robin off we will move back and he will likely telecommute from home for 1 - 2 years while the necessary plans are made to open an office. We are looking forward to the potential that this career holds for us, as well as the work schedule flexibility that Robin will have as we eventually add more little people to the Schween family.

We appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we prepare to move over the next couple of weeks! There is much to be done and it is always a little bit more difficult with a crazy little boy wandering around our house. We will be blogging constantly while we are away so family and friends can stay tuned into what we are up to! More updates to come...

This picture was taken during one of our trips to Denver in February 2006. Not a bad landscape to be moving to!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The big O-N-E

Okay so this post is WAY overdue since Ty's birthday party was too weeks ago, but we definitely couldn't skip a birthday blog post complete with hilarious pictures. We were so blessed by family and friends and has such a joyous time celebrating our little man. Enjoy!

Getting ready for the camouflaged birthday bash...

Tyson's buddy, Jeff (okay he was OUR friend first, but now he's buds with Ty)

Three of the toddlers - so cute!

Present time. Let's just say the wrapping paper was just as exciting as the gifts...

Squealing with excitement over Brian and Liz's gift!

Reading his cards just like a polite little boy should :)

No party is complete without some fancy-shmancy camouflaged cupcakes! Stressed me out for days, but they were worth the effort :)

Getting ready to sing happy birthday!

Happiest green frosting face ever! Just wait for the video...I'll try to post that next (problems uploading it earlier)

The whole cake was a daunting task, so we cut some up.

Liz teasing Cooper!

Ty playing with Greg.

Birthday cake video to be posted soon...