Friday, April 11, 2014


I'm finally back in this little world, after such a long absence! First, I'll catch up where I left off.

Our final week of living in the UK was without a doubt the most hectic time of my life, so far.  It doesn’t even begin to compare to moving into our home more than a decade ago.  I thought that was crazy!  With two busy babies who were not yet a year old, moving our possessions from a flat into a house a few carloads at a time seemed like a big deal back then.  I can look at my twenty-three-year-old self and laugh a little bit.  Not too much, because it wouldn’t be fair to her.  

But this!  Our house was crammed with busyness, constant activity, people.  Last minute meals with friends, frantic sorting out of belongings, throwing away things I never thought I’d throw away, giving even more away — literally encouraging people to leave my house with their arms full of our possessions.

We went to Wales for a final weekend, with Nanny and Grandad.  Then Mr J began to complain of an itchy head.  I did a rushed check, and found nothing more sinister than his usual cradle cap-like dry scalp.  In a more thoughtful, slower time I would have massaged coconut oil into his scalp, and continued to do so until the itchiness cleared up.  Thoughtful? Slower?  These days were anything but that.

Our last family day out before leaving had been planned for ages: a trip to Birmingham, to see the new library together and visit the Botanical Gardens.  Armed with Pizza Express vouchers, we crowded round a table at the restaurant and enjoyed a meal in the bright sunshine together before heading over to the Botanical Gardens.  Finding myself sitting in light so vivid I could barely see, I moved to the other side of the table to escape the glare, holding Mr J for a few moments on my lap.  Absentmindedly, I stroked his hair, and suddenly spotted something tiny moving on his scalp. No!!!!


Instantly I knew that both Coo and I would have them, too.  And I was right.  Somehow, Dan and the older two boys totally escaped the scourge.  

So our last week at home was filled with the craziness of an international move, as a shipping company arrived to pack our remaining belongings into their boxes, and brave friends gathered round to help me cut and comb out my dreads.

In spite of the fact that the bugs could probably have been eradicated and my dreads saved at the same time, I didn’t feel able to complete our move into my parents’ home in the US with a question hanging over my head —ahem, hair.  Nope, they had to go.  My friend Hannah cut them. She and my neighbour friend Beckie, along with other friends here and there, spent hours helping comb them out.  It was a tedious, unbelievably long job, but I wouldn’t trade those last few days —not for anything.  We laughed, talked, and watched the house empty out around us.  

I wish I could have taken photos, documenting for posterity those last seven days.  However, true to the chaos around us, my camera was dropped and broken on that fateful day in Birmingham, and I have no photos.  

Of course, grabbing a few moments to blog, here and there, would have been helpful too.

But the morning of our day out in Birmingham, I poured an entire cup of hot coffee all over my seven-year old, previously well cared-for Macbook.  Not purposefully, of course, and I can’t even really explain how it happened.  It just did.

And I was the person who always felt myself above managing to ruin my technology with spilled drinks or food.  Talk about eating humble pie.

Dan’s Macbook would have been available for us to share, had the motherboard not inexplicably died the day before mine drowned in coffee!  

I think it would have been less bizarre if we were accustomed to destroying our things; but we're not!  We only update and replace if we absolutely have to, so this forty-eight hours of total destruction was unprecedented.

All at once, possessions we took for granted were gone, like the proverbial slate being wiped clean.   

Five months away from the insane changes of that last week, here I am blogging again on a laptop that was recently gifted to our family by some wonderfully generous people.

Life goes on.  My hair is growing longer, the kids are taller and eating even more than usual, my youngest brother has left home and gone to Australia, and we are here now.  

Now for us is a multitude of different things.  I've been doing quite a bit of sewing, and am replacing my stock of cold-process soap supplies so I can start making soap again soon.  The kids run wild in the woods, finding out about new birds and other wildlife every day.  Dan is busy exploring work options, and together we're trying to get to know people here, a world away from where we've been.  

As soon as I possibly can, I'll be replacing our camera, so I can blog photos that give you an idea of what our now looks like.


  1. Thanks for sharing Erin, you are all very much missed here in Walsall. Praying good things for you all. Blessings my friends. Xx

    1. And we miss you all, too! Hoping you're well. :)

    2. Actually reading about how both your computers really was quite a dramatic end for them both?! somehow I guess I missed that both of them died in the phone calls. I feel like we must have been trying to excitably relate a lot of information I actually missed that both machines died within a day of each other. The drama!!! Loved reading about your last week and love being in your new life too in a different way. Thank you also to whoever gave Erin a computer!!!!! Seriously this lady needs to write!!!! :O)

    3. It was probably the most dramatic week of my life, so far... oh yes!! And I'm so thankful for this laptop. :)

  2. Oh my goodness, Erin! I can't believe what your family went through your last few days in England. Wow. But I'm glad all has settled down now. Looking forward to re-connecting with you again!

    1. It is gradually settling, indeed... and yes, looking forward to reconnecting with you as well! :)

  3. it's so wonderful to be able to read your words again about your life! I'm so glad you shared, I've been wondering how you've been making out. xoxo

    1. I've definitely missed this space!! :)


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