Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bloom where your Planted

Well, it is done!!  We are now officially living in Canada.  We have the keys to our house and there is food in the fridge (not tons, but it is there).  The weather is nice right now, and that is a really good thing.  

I have never had such a hard time saying goodbye before.  I have made the best friends in Florida, they have become our family.  I will forever miss "The city of trees".  Being surrounded by the foliage was so wonderful!  I was lucky to be able to have some good "last" moments. Saying goodbye to everyone at church was really hard, saying goodbye to the rest of my really close knit friends the morning I left was even harder.  When I said goodbye to Irene and Lacy at the airport (they drove me) I felt a part of me died.  The fact that I had actually left my home was my new reality.  I was crying so hard, but the people around me in the airport were so good to me and very helpful.  I had people offer to hold Evan while I got bags off of the security line, I had an agent bring me a wad of paper towel for me to wipe my nose and cry into.  I had people offer to lift my bags into the overhead compartment etc.  I cried almost the whole flight to Calgary.  I finally got through customs and my sweet husband had 2 dozen roses for me.  He welcomed me to Calgary, and I started to cry again.  Needless to say I woke up with puffy eyes the next morning.

We spent the day starting to look for and get the essentials for our house so that we can move in.  This is going to be a big job, seeing as we have nothing!  

I heard a quote about three weeks ago that I am going to display somewhere in my home.  It is the title of this post "Bloom where you are Planted".  I keep telling myself this, and I am trying to focus on the positive.  One positive that I have found about Calgary.  There is a large palm tree at Home Depot that I am going to put in my living room.  It's a start for me.   

Monday, June 23, 2008

My days are numbered

What a whirlwind our life has been the last several days. Thursday was spent packing our house. This is a task that you always underestimate the magnitude of the job. It took ALL day, and we stopped at 2:30am. Thank you to our friends who helped pack, load, and babysit. We went back to the house on Friday at 6:00 and finished everything by 7:00. We were so proud of ourselves, because we were able to get everything into 9ft. of a semi-trailer. This is Justin and Walmir putting in the very last item, before the wall goes up.
After closing the trailer door (and taking a VERY needed shower) we went to breakfast with our second family. The Lowry's adopted us when we moved to Gainesville four years ago. Justin and Joe were best friends and roommates in their undergrad, and that relationship extended to me and the rest of his family. Some of the best times we have had here has been with this family. We always looked forward to Sundays because we knew that we would get to go and have family dinner with them. We shared holidays with them as well. It has been one of the best blessings to have family here to share everything with. We love the Lowry's so much and will not feel complete withouth them near by.
Joe, Millie, Lacy, Me, Evan. Justin, Joseph, Mima, Papa, and Chris
After we said goodbye to Justin, Joe, and our cats (Buddy and Jasmine) we prepared for our good friend, Semra's, graduation from Dental assisting school. We are so proud of her accomplishments and love her to death. I am so glad that I was able to be there to share in her special moment.
Irene, Semra, Kira
One of my very favorite things to do here is float down the Itchetucknee river. I REALLY wanted to be able to do that again before we left for good. Saturday was the best day to do it, but there were storms all over Florida. We decided that it was worth the risk, and that the one pocket of "just rain" would be the one to go over the Itchetucknee. We were right. It rained the whole way down, but it was still soooo much fun! I am really glad that we all did it. It was cold, but it was managable, thank you Jon for lending me your shirt. Having the shirt cover my bare shoulders is what made it not as cold. Definitely a great experience though.

Here is a picture of one of the storms that came our way.
I discovered on the river that our waterproof camera has a video option. (Wish I'd known that a year ago!)

Freezing our butts off!!!
Sunday rolled around and we had another jam packed day. All of us friends went to the Grace Methodist church to be with the King family. They baptized their baby Alex. We are thrilled that we were able to be with you on your very special day. We love you guys and love your baby so much! Congratulations. We then headed over to our church and I had to say goodbye to everyone, as it was my last sunday. That SUCKED!!! I hate saying goodbye, especially to my Young Women. I have LOVED my calling in the Young Womens the last three years and am devastated to leave.
I am now on my last day in Gainesville and getting ready to fly out tomorrow. I don't know if I am ready for this . . . .

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Calm Before the Storm

First we have to give a HUGE congratulations to Jared and Amanda Palmer on the arrival of Carter William Palmer!  Mom and Baby are doing great and we cannot wait to see him next week.  
We knew that this week was going to be one that could potentially send our family to the nut house.  It is the week that we pack our house and move to another country.  We decided to be smart and treat ourselves to a mini-vacation before we had to come home and pack.  Justin had been in Toronto for 4 days taking his last set of dental Boards.  The Da Costa's and I drove to Orlando to pick him up at the airport.  From there we drove straight to Cocoa Beach.  The Da Costa family knew of this awesome place called Wakula Suites.  It was so wonderful, and not very expensive.  It is located on the beach, and has the best pool.  My favorite part of the place was all of the plants.  They have plants, and fruit trees from everywhere in the world.  We picked some mangos and starfruit.  We spent two wonderfully relaxing days on the  beach, and in the pool.  It was amazing!  (Oh and we went to THE Ron Jon's Surf Shop).  
I wonder why they call it star fruit???
So we get home on Tuesday evening and sit down to watch Cloverfield, a scary loud explosion everywhere kind of movie.  During the movie one of our neighbor's knocks on our door and informs us that someone had just smashed into our car and took off.  They pushed our car 10 feet, and up onto the curb.  It was enough damage that the insurance company wrote it off, and now we are down a car.  I guess Justin will not be towing our beloved Honda to Canada now (RIP). Our only consolation is that the car that hit us has to be even more messed up.  There was radiator fluid all over the road, and we know it did not come from our car.  

We have already started to load the truck, and the house is in utter chaos, but we are getting there.  I sure am looking forward to my hair cut today!  

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Monday, June 9, 2008

Happy Anniversary!!!!

Husband and Wife
The "Love Tree".  It is a palm tree growing through an oak tree.  Unbelievable?  Believe it! (It is one of the wonders on Ripley's list.    
Evan pulled out my extension!  :-) 
The best thing to happen in the last 5 years ... Evan!!!!
The girls at the beach.  Lacy, Kira, Irene, Semra, and Natasha.  It was so much fun!!!!!

Happy 5 Years to us!!!!  Saturday June 7 was our 5 year anniversary.  This is a rather monumental anniversary and it is great to say that we have been married that long.  It has been a great time and we love each other more than the day we got married.  Justin is such a wonderful man.  Any one who knows him can attest to that.  I am a lucky woman.  :-) 

To celebrate we went to St. Augustine and took some nice portraits of us as a couple to mark the occasion.  We don't have any super nice couple pictures since our engagement and wedding pictures, so we thought that would be nice.  It was so much fun.  We went with our friends the Da Costa's.  We took their pictures, and they took ours.  After that, we met up with the rest of our friends at the beach.  We had a great time and the weather was PERFECT beach weather.  The water was even the perfect temperature.  We could have stayed out there all day!      

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

San Diego Day 1-2

This is how close we were, dolphins are big, and pilot whales are even bigger (and distribute more water, directly in front of us).
I love these boys ... um ... men :-) 

Day 1- This day was fairly uneventful.  We woke up at 4:15 in the morning and drove to the Gainesville airport, where I medicated myself (I hate to fly) and we spent the next 5 hours in the air on our way to San Diego to be at my brothers wedding.  We got home, unloaded our things, and figured out the plans for the rest of the week.  As it turns out, we were able to go to dinner with one of my girlfriends, Claudia and my cousin, Peter.  I knew this would be one of my only opportunities of spending time with either one, so we combined it and all went out together.  It was such a fun dinner!   

Day 2- Of the five years that we have been married Justin has never been to Sea World, and REALLY wanted to go.  It was great for me too, because I haven't been since high school.  We, especially me, really enjoyed our family day at the park.  The park has changed a ton since I had been last.  I loved the Shamu show, Believe, and our seats for the Dolphin show could not have been better.  We sat in the second row (soak zone), but just off the center.  We did indeed get splashed, but it was totally worth it for the view that we had.  At least we weren't in the center section, they truly got SOAKED!  We were just really wet :-) 

         That night I met up with one of my best friends Mandy, and all of us sisters headed to Sharley's bridal shower (Sharley is my new sister-in-law).  The highlight of the party was when my husband and brothers showed up for a surprise show.  It was HILARIOUS!!!!!  I wonder if she questioned her decision to join our family after that.   

San Diego Day 3

Day 3- I was able to spend the day with my mom, Grandma Shaw, and Nana, Sydney, and Evan shopping.  Justin went and did “boy stuff”,  I’m still not sure what they did.  It was a wonderful “girl”day, that I think Evan enjoyed as much as I did.  Who wouldn’t adore getting so much special attention from a Grandma, and two Great Grandma’s?  After we were done shopping we went to a place called Cheeburger Cheeburger (yes I spelled it correctly).  This place was very cool.  They had a gazillion toppings for your burger, no limitations, and over 3,000 shake possibilities (up to 5 flavors).  I got a burger with two onion rings, honey mustard, tomato, mayonnaise, and peanut butter.  It was on the menu options so I had to try it.  It was actually pretty good!  I also got a birthday cake, toffee, toffee shake.  Mine was excellent, and then I tasted my moms.  I thought I was going to die, her shake was so good.  She got a chocolate peanut butter shake.                             We got home and got ready for the temple.  Sharley went through the temple for the first time.  It was a beautiful session, and sitting behind Sharley the whole time just reminded me of my first time through.  It is such a special experience that I will carry with me forever.   

San Diego Day 4

Coronado Bridge
This is the ship they filmed Master and Commander on and in. 
A shot of my Beautiful San Diego from our boat!!!

Day 4- This was a special day for me.  I have not gotten to see my Nana since we got married 5 years ago.  Grandpa and Nana surprised Justin and I with a ferry ride in the San Diego harbour. Anytime we have been to San Diego we don't often get to down town.  I really want to change that, because I was reminded just how much I love it there.  I also love boats, so it was a perfect combination of things.  It was just a very relaxing wonderful day on the water.  After that they treated us to a scrumptious lunch at Anthony's on the water.  The food was incredible!!  I didn't think that I liked crab cakes, but that was my very favorite thing that we ate.  Thank you Grandpa and Nana for such a wonderful day.  It was so lovely being able to spend some alone time with you.  We love you sooo much!!!!! 
  We rushed our butts home and went immediately to the rehearsal dinner, where we gorged ourselves on even more food.  I swear we each gained 10 lbs. this day alone. :-)  It was fun to hear stories about Ben and Sharley growing up and watch the videos from their bachelor party, and bridal shower.  Ben was surprised with a skydive trip, and yes, everybody was privileged to witness the Leavitt family boys "special" dance. :-) 
I want to take this time to tell everyone how awesome my sister-in-law Serene is.  She is an amazing, beautiful woman, and I am so glad that she is one of my sisters.  I love that she loves my brother, and I know she likes being a part of our family.  I just wanted you to know that I love you Serene.  

San Diego Day 5

Our Family at the temple
Sydney and Evan (he kind of looks like an ape in his suit, so cute!!!)
All the girls
My angel
The Bride and Groom (Sharley and Ben)
Our handy work

Day 5-  The day of the main event.  My brother Benjamin Leavitt married Sharly Cotter today!!!! The weather could not have cooperated better.  It was a gorgeous day and they were so happy.  It was neat to see my brother become a husband.  Sharley's dress was gorgeous!  
The reception was so beautiful as well.  They held it in the Rancho Bernardo Courtyard.  We took ALOT of really awesome pictures.  The best part of the reception was that I knew sooo many people.  Sharley is from our San Diego stake and it was cool to see all the people who came.  I didn't get very much food because I was flitting around visiting so much.  It was very nice.  
The Cotter family tried their very hardest to keep us from decorating the get away car, but what they don't realize is that it is a Leavitt tradition that cannot be stopped!  We had some awesome stuff planned (all harmless) that we had to improvise.  To make a long story short, they hid the truck, and since we had to do something to a car we hit one of their family cars.  They initial plan was to put dry ice inside their car (without keys we settled for on top of the car).  We put a balloon on their tail pipe (sounds like an explosion when it pops).  Last but not least they hoisted the car onto a cinder block (which they did at my wedding ... it was AWESOME!)  Then on the way home we came up with a brilliant idea!  We knew the hotel they were staying at, and we knew the car that they drove there.  The Leavitt family immediately made the plans to go and get the car at the hotel.  We did, and it was so great ... the perfect way to end the evening.  The only negative of that night is that Justin, my brother Alex, and my cousin Peter kept trying to kill us off with their deadly gas.  I don't think any of us has any nose hairs left over after that night, but it is a small price to pay for tradition. :-) 
Congratulations Sharley and Ben!!!!

San Diego- Day 6

I am trying to play my Grandpa's pipes,  he is on his chanter.

We took generation pictures with my Grandma Shaw at Christmas, so it was nice to be able to have the same pictures with my Grandpa. 
Grandpa and Nana with Evan

Day 6-  Sunday, and the day after the wedding.  It was good to go to church in my old ward again.  I love being able to see old friends and feel the spirit around the people I learned about the gospel from.  The best part of the day was that my Grandma Shaw, and my Grandpa and Nana Shaw all came to church with us.  It was a very special experience to have our entire family there with us.  It was fast and testimony meeting and two of my siblings got up and bore their testimonies of the gospel.  Both were very touching and I am amazed at how quickly they are growing up.  I was proud to listen to them bear their testimonies and express their gratitude to those who have helped them along the way.  
We came home to have a relaxing day as a family.  A treat for me is that my Grandpa brought his "kitchen" bagpipes.  Some of you know that, because of my Grandpa, I have started to learn the bagpipes.  I only have a chanter at home, but so far I have thoroughly enjoyed it.  My Grandpa let me try his real pipes, which was AWESOME!!!!  Unfortunately I have to report that I sucked :-(  The holes in both his chanter and pipes are slightly different positions that my own chanter.  It wouldn't seem like much, but it messed me up pretty badly.  I definitely have room to improve, but sure did enjoy myself ... thank you Grandpa ... I promise I'll practice!  
We ate, and talked as a family and then we went to the airport to catch our red eye back to Florida.  The flight was long, the layover in Denver was the same length as the flight (4 hours) and we finally pulled into Gainesville at 10:30 a.m.  It was hot and humid, just how I like it!!!!!! We had a good, fun filled visit, but it is always good to come home.  

Sunday, June 1, 2008

San Diego teaser

I have to admit that I got this idea from my frousin Teresa. For the last 6 days we have been in San Diego for my brothers wedding. We have had a VERY busy schedule, and being the blogger obsessive that I am, I have been racking my brain to figure out how I am going to post it all. I will definitely have to post in segments when we get back to Florida. I can't wait to show you all the pictures and brag about my family, but it is going to have to wait two more days. A fun piece of information ... Evan finally got on California time today ... we are leaving tomorrow on a red eye!!!!