But I digress. Here is our family:
Or about as good a shot as anyone's going to get these days without the use of sedatives. I am Ash, and I am married to my handsome, funny, kind, brainy (and at times nerdy) Huz. And we have two amazing daughters, Honey Bee, and Mouse. Honey Bee is almost 3, and she is a wonderful, intelligent, hilarious, passionate, joyful, stubborn, tenderhearted handful of a girl. Mouse--who looks uncharacteristically furious in this particular photo--is 8 months, and is the sweetest, calmest, most contented baby I have ever seen. She loves her big sister and breaks into a big, beaming smile whenever she sees her, and watching these two love on each other is my absolute favourite thing in the whole entire universe. Down at the bottom of the pic you'll see the chopped off head of our beloved Dog, who is 7.5. She has gone prematurely gray from her stressful lifestyle of lying on her oversized Kirkland dog bed, swimming in our local dog park watering hole, and mooching for food.
I am, by nature, an organizer/planner, and so ever since we received the unofficial word, I have been starting to prepare our home for a huge, cross-continental move. Our plan, as it stands now, is to sell all our furniture (which is mostly your typical IKEA fare that wouldn't travel well and would be cheaper to just replace on the other end anyway), purge as much unnecessary "stuff" as possible (for me, the best part of moving. I am an aspiring minimalist and having a legitimate reason to get rid of all unnecessary household items is just awesome), and move ourselves there. And by "move ourselves there," I mean, Huz and my Dad drive the stuff, while I fly with the girls. Because even though moving together across country a la pioneers in covered wagons would be romantic and poetic and a growing experience for us as a family, it would also be hell and kind of cruel to subject the girls and ourselves to 5+ days of being cooped up in our van, which would be permeated with Dog breath 30 minutes into the drive.
Yesterday Honey Bee noticed that our bookshelves were looking rather bare after I had packed away my beloved book collection. She pointed to the bookshelf and said "Something is missing." We haven't really discussed moving with her at all, because I was reluctant to discuss it a) before we received the official word, and b) too far in advance. But since she noticed our disappearing possessions, I decided it was probably time to fill her in on why our home is looking more and more bare. I explained that we were going to be moving houses "like the Berenstain Bears" (I use this comparison so often, for reasons why she can't watch too much TV, why she can't have too much junk food, why she needs to use good manners, etc, and its amazing because she loves those books and when I put "the rules" in those terms, she totally gets it) and moving to a new place called Philadelphia. She sat quietly for a moment, contemplating this. Then she said: "What about my books. Can my books come?" "Yes, your books will all come." "And my stuffies?" "Yes, of course. All of your stuffies will come to too." "And my movies?" "Yes." "Can I watch a movie in Philadelphia?" "Yes. When we get to Philadelphia, you can watch your movies there." "Yay! Let's go to Philadelphia!"
So, that's pretty much where things stand now. We are enjoying what is almost certainly our last summer in beautiful Vancouver with our unbelievable family and friends and slowly picking away at the minutiae of moving, until we hear the official word and kick our moving planning into high gear.