The drinking water here is amazing. The ice-cream still ranks as one of the best I've had. The people here are some of the kindest I've ever met. The food is less processed. The chocolate is unreal, like everything is Cadbury! There are still beautiful sunny days mixed in with the rain. And the green, OH THE GREEN! My Georgia roots have planted and made themselves right at home. There are so many great parks everywhere and so much to do. And lo and behold the "mall" was indeed an actual real live mall, I only walked into one tiny section! There is so much I am already loving about living here and we've barely set foot outside of the city. But I swear, if I have to spend one more week waking up to this peeling wallpaper then I just may suffocate myself with my pastel print bedspread. We've made a zoo out of modeling clay, held private drawing lessons, Kylie orchestrated a few exercise classes, the kids have requested every infomercial item for Christmas at least twice and we've played Go Fish until there are no more fish left in the entire freaking ocean. Our close knit family bonding is quickly turning into get-your-hands-off-him-and-if-you-threaten-to-flush-his-blankie-down-the-toilet-one-more-time-so-help-me. Tonight I stared off into the distance as I boiled spaghetti noodles in a tiny saucepan for the 4th meal in a row, Ryder kept pulling my sweat pants down to my ankles and laughing hysterically and right then and there I said a silent prayer that I would live to see life outside these polyester drapes. I know in no time at all I'll be writing all about our "pinch me" moments and posting so many pictures of breathtaking landscapes that you'll be gagging up rainbows, but this house hunting is so frustrating. Everything is so old and so tiny and so dang expensive. We finally found the first house that was actually decent and so we applied for it, along with 30 other people and didn't get it. Every open house we go to is swarming with applicants, applicants who don't have four kids and a perceived threat of dirty fingerprints, stained carpets and broken appliances. I'm feeling a little discriminated against. We'll just keep looking, hoping and praying that something will open up, but right now it's a little hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel through these brown tinted glass light fixtures. I don't need anything too big or too fancy, I'm looking forward to simplifying, I just want something I can feel comfortable walking around barefoot in. And if it's not too much to ask, then perhaps even one where my kids don't have to wear beanies to bed.
We heard about a ward movie night last Friday night and as soon as we walked into the cultural hall it was like moths to a flame. We were given the royal treatment...here have some pillows...take our gummy candies, and while you're at it we'll throw in a bag of chips too. Some of the nicest people to walk the earth, I tell you. The bishop was so kind and invited us over to dinner the next night, the food was delicious, a welcome change after our spaghetti carb loading, and the company was even better. I just love how the church can spark an instant connection, even on the other side of the world. We had some interesting discussions about the differences between the US and NZ and I began to realize that we really are a spoiled, wasteful and glutenous society. Everything is so expensive here...food (hence the spaghetti binging), gas, electricity...people here just learn to waste not want not. Everything is on such a smaller scale too... the houses, portions, cars, etc. I can do with out the supersized fries and cable TV, and even for a brief moment I had a Doris Day vision involving me, white sheets and a clothesline. I'm so looking forward to the simple life and for the kids (and me) to learn to appreciate what we have, but sometimes all I want is a freaking garbage disposal and full sized water heater in my life, is that too much for a girl to ask? We probably way overstayed our welcome to the point that they may have regretted inviting us, but it was so good to have friends and have space and toys for the kids to play. Church the next day was nothing like we're used to, only 25 kids in the primary, Ryder was the only kid in nursery and we got a bench seat for the first time in, I don't know...years? But the root of it all was still the same, the same songs, the same lessons and the same spirit that made us feel right at home. Everyone was so kind, humble and welcoming and even prayed for us and made an announcement for everyone to keep there eyes open for homes to rent in the ward boundaries. I think we're really going to like it here and this living situation, we'll just chalk it up as part of the adventure.
Jason started his first day of work so I was nervous about how I would keep the kids entertained all day, so it was a hallelujah moment when we spotted this park right down the road. It was a breath of asbestos free fresh air. Okay, I promise I'm done complaining about the motel. And hey, hey, hey, I just noticed you have crown moulding, so chic of you Belle Bonne Motel you.