Sunday, July 31, 2011

Driver's License

This year marks the twentieth year I have been driving. Two decades! More than half my life! Isn't it funny how you spend so many years waiting for the privilege that will, in only a very short time, become a chore to you? But I'm grateful that we have a working car that I can drive to get where I need to go, because I've taken four kids grocery shopping with a bike and trailer, and let me tell you, it's not fun.

Of course, with our new move comes the necessity of obtaining new drivers' licenses. It's been seven years since we moved to a different state, so I'm not sure if the change in procedures is nationwide or not, but it has definitely caused WAY more stress than it should have.

Our first venture to the Drivers License division is our shortest. It's Friday morning. I wake up, shower, dry my hair, and put on makeup, since those pictures need all the help they can get. John and I take all four kids with us, since we don't exactly have anyone we can ask to watch them here. It's our shortest trip because the whole building is closed, with no mention of days or hours posted on any of the doors or windows. Fortunately, I find someone during the weekend who tells me that the department is only open two days a week: Wednesday and Thursday.

Attempt number two: Wednesday during John's lunch break. I pick him up at 1:00 and we hurry (with the kids) to the DMV. Alas, it is not to be! We do not have any proof of residency (to go along with our out-of-state drivers' licenses, social security cards, and certified copies of birth certificates), and John has to be back at 1:20 to see a patient. Home we go.

When John gets home early that day, he suggests I go down and try to get my license without so many kids around. Back I go. It's 5:00. The DMV closes at 6 p.m. But they won't let me get my license because I have to take an open-book, 25 question test, and they can't administer the test anytime after 4:30, in case I don't finish and they have to stay PAST THEIR TIME TO GO HOME. I promise I can take it quickly (I read pretty well!) but they won't budge. Plus, I don't have the right proof of Utah residency. Plus, I have to have two proofs of residency. Home I go.

The next day, Thursday, I bring the proper two proofs of residency, pick John up at work at 12:30 with all the kids, and we head to the DMV. But it is not our lucky week. The DMV is closed for lunch. They will re-open at 1:05. John has a patient to see at 1:20. He cannot stick around and get his license. They open at 7:00 on Wednesdays and Thursdays, but he usually has to go to work early to round on patients then. They stay open (except for their lunch hour, which is his lunch hour) until 6:00, but if he shows up after 4:30, they won't let him take the test anyway. Home we go.

Well, actually, I take John back to the clinic and then take all four kids by myself back to the DMV. After their lunch break is over. To get my driver's license.

I have all the right documents this time. They're open. It's not too late for me to take the test. But as I'm filling out the paperwork and waiting for the assistant to copy all my documents, she reminds me that other people are taking the test, and asks if I could keep my children quiet.

Hm. Let me think about that. Actually, no, I can't. (The truth is, before we went in, I gave Joe a green light to lead everyone else in as much ruckus as he can without actually going out of the room or getting anyone hurt. He's doing very well.) It doesn't bother me, taking the test with all four children running screaming around me. I get 24 out of 25 in about half the time it takes the other guy sitting at the computer screen.

So I am now the official recipient of a temporary Utah license. (My permanent one should come in the mail during the next six weeks or so). And so, after only five trips to the DMV, I have succeeded in my original goal, plus the added bonus of succeeding in making everyone in that blasted place just about as miserable as they made me. Hooray for hyper kids! We moms have our own ways of exacting revenge. My only question is, how is John ever going to get his?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Our new home

We've been in Moab for a week. Last Sunday, July 10th, we left Reno at 9 a.m. and drove straight across Nevada and Utah to arrive in Moab at 9 p.m. We got unpacked as quickly as possible so we could get down to the business of enjoying the area. The first pictures are taken from a hike down to the Colorado river where the kids played on the bank and waded in a little bit.

The next day, we drove up to Arches (it's, like, five miles away) and went hiking and climbing around some of the easy trails. All four kids had a great time, and I kept thinking, "I live here. This is crazy!" I mean, look at these photos. I'm no photographer, and our camera isn't anything special, but this is amazing.

It's a great, little town, and we're busy making friends and getting to know what the area has to offer. Our house is small but cute, and it will work for a year, so if you've any inkling to visit southeastern Utah (and you will after you take a look at this slide show), come on by. We'd love to have you.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sam's Wedding

My brother, Ben, got married on June 25th in a small town just outside of Park City. The wedding was beautiful, but I didn't take any photos. Dang! John's brother, Sam, got married in Reno on July 9th. John was the best man, and Priya and Auralee were flower girls. I'm going to try and embed a slide show here, since I don't like trying to align text with photos.

Both weddings were lovely, and we are so lucky to have been in attendance, and so glad to welcome Catherine and Sarah as new sisters into our family. It made for a very exciting few weeks, with all the traveling, but the kids coped with it all very well, and they had such a good time seeing cousins and grandparents and aunts and uncles.

(In the photos, the tall blond with a cowboy hat is John's brother, Sam, the groom. They look so much alike, don't you think?)

Dance Recital, Graduation, and Lake Tahoe

Yeah! John graduated! This is him with his graduating class, on his birthday, June 17th, at the Hyatt or something like that in downtown Jacksonville. We cannot emphasize how happy we are that he has finished that portion of this training.

And here are the girls after their first dance recital. They were so cute! One of these days, I might upload the video I took at their dress rehearsal and post it, but that would be awfully ambitious of me, so don't hold your breath. They both danced beautifully, and they are very excited about their trophies, as you can see.

And here is the family at Lake Tahoe, where we visited some of John's high school buddies who were in Reno at the same time as Sam's wedding. Slide show of the wedding to follow!