25 Years: Year 10, 02-03

This is one of my favorite years. If Dylan had been a part of it, it would be my all-time favorite. But he wasn’t born yet.

By our 9th anniversary, we were making amends to each other. We made sure we had date night. I tried to not get as directly involved in my students lives. The few it was too late, they were my babysitters.

That Christmas, we took the kids to Disneyland. This is THE best surprise ever. We drove to Disney. The kids were clueless. We had driven to San Diego enough, they just assumed we were doing something like that.

So we got to the hotel. John checked in and right away we got on the trolley/bus to Disney. I don’t know how they didn’t notice any Mickey heads, but they didn’t. As we came alongside Disney, Alec noticed. He turned around really quick and was like, “can we go there?” We played it off like we had to think about it for a second and then said, “yes.”

No one on the bus could believe it. If it had been today, we’d be viral, I’m sure. They were ecstatic!

We spent 3 days at Disneyland. Had a ton of fun! So many signatures and pins. It was COLD too! We had to buy coats, gloves, and hats in CA. Ha!! We were there for Eric’s birthday too. We left for home on Christmas Eve.

That Christmas, Jake hung out with us. Then Dad and LeAnn made their annual trip to gather rocks. We actually went to Tombstone and down to Tucson during that visit.

That spring, John went back to school for IT. We were even discussing becoming more involved together in the school district by John running for school board.

Alec tried basketball instead of soccer.

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I was involved in a bunch of committees. My intent was to work my way into administration with my eventual Master’s degree. I was using a trial program we were starting at the school in the fall for research. It was all coming together perfectly. I’d hopefully be able to move out of the classroom when the last of “my kids” graduated in 04.

John went home for his mom’s 60th birthday, as did the rest of his siblings. It was the first BIG birthday with all four of her kids.

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Right at the end of school, we got pregnant with Dylan. I knew the second it happened. I had a trip planned to AL to visit Leslye, and went. I still have my Sweet Home Alabama t-shirt from the airport – haha.

That summer, Jessica came to stay. She watched the boys so we could work. I was teaching summer school, attending committee meetings, and going to school at ASU.

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We kept it quiet as long as we could about being pregnant. We wanted to make sure there wouldn’t be another miscarriage. By the time Jess left, I think we were telling people.

That July we took 2 trips with Jessica. One to Mexico: Kara, Jess, me and the boys. The 2nd was to San Diego, and John went on that one with us. We went to the San Diego Zoo and Sea World and the beach. We wanted to give Jessica the whole experience.

(See why this is my favorite year!)

Right about the time Jess headed home, John started interviewing for a position in Texas. They were building a toll road and needed someone to do lab work. Quickly, John had a phone interview. Flew out for an interview. Then we drove out to scope things out. And then we moved.

If you haven’t noticed, we don’t do things slowly. We just Ready, Go! Not much aim. We knew it would be a good move. At the very least, we’d be closer to actual family. We knew I could teach anywhere.

We moved on Sept 3. Kara helped us. We brought Morgan, who initially stayed with Dana for a bit. We felt bad putting her in the apartment. We took her back before long. We just had to walk her.

We got Alec into soccer. He actually met one of his life long friends back then, and another of his future high school classmates (and teammates). Everyone did a great job making us feel included and they were always curious about the soon to come baby.

Uncle Mikey graduated from boot camp in the Air Force that year, so Dad, LeAnn, Dan, Cec and Becca came through town. Becca cried anytime Grandma left without her. The entire time she was gone. Even if Grandpa was there. While they were in town we learned we were having a boy. After that time with Becca, I was okay with that (sorry girlie, I love you bunches). We had a fun trip. We went to San Antonio and Galveston. Always an adventure.

I didn’t get a new job until mid-October. It would be hard to get hired when I needed maternity leave in April. But I was. That should’ve been a warning. Those kids were batshit crazy. I missed my CG kids. Oh well, a job is a job.

Karen and Patrick came to visit at Halloween. Ashley (Patrick’s GF) was pregnant too. She was due a month before we were. At least there would be cousins the same age. They had a nice visit with the boys. It was nice that we were closer.

By that anniversary, I was pretty pregnant. John gave me my giant CZ earrings and necklace. Life was good, and we were about to be a lopsided family of five. Our anniversary is usually over Thanksgiving, and we spent that one in Missouri with Nana and Papa.

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