family hmm... thoughts

The move is done!

Today was the last day of our lease at the old place. We really only had two items left that had to be retrieved. We had the base of our yard swing. Kristen loves this thing so I knew we had to get it taken care of right away. And we had our old car. Yeah, the one with the blown engine.

Tonight we went over there to get both. The swing seemed like the easy thing, so we loaded that into the back of the truck, no problem. Next, we charged the battery on the Camry for a while and after about 30 minutes of trying I got it started.

That’s when the race was on. Rather then pay $50 to tow the car I decided to drive it! Now, you need to know two things to appreciate this lunacy. First, we moved from the top of one hill to the top of another. So it was down 400 feet of elevation and back up the other side. (About a mile total) Second, the engine was running on two cylinders. That means there were two other cylinders busted and making huge bangs while the other two chugged along like a lawn mower.

So, down the hill and off we go. The brakes are super soft since I hadn’t driven the car since October. Yeah, big hill and bad brakes. Smart move.

Then, pulling onto University, I hear a nasty sound. As if a busted engine isn’t bad enough, the swing had fallen out of the back of the truck and was being dragged. I kept driving my car go-kart towards the house while Kristen figured out the swing. It was a freaky moment as we go separated. Not good.

I pulled into the bottom part of our neighborhood so I could check on Kristen. She was fine, just getting everything secure. So I started driving up through the streets with my loud banging engine. Driving up a steep hill with full knowledge that your car could stop at any moment is kind of fun. Not only was I trying to snake through my neighborhood, I was keeping an eye out for places to ditch in case I had pull over and call for a tow.

A few minutes later I pulled into our driveway and turned off the engine. A couple minutes after than Kristen arrived.

Kristen and I were giddy in completing our task. We knew we did something dangerous and it came out OK. The kids were nervous about the whole thing but after a few minutes were willing to celebrate with us. I told Paul, “Sometimes to do things adventurous you do it not knowing it’s going to be fine. That makes the adventure more fun.” He told me “OK” but I don’t think he was convinced.

Craziness over? Of course not! I needed to move the car a few feet to the right so we could park next to it in the driveway. Of course, the car wouldn’t start so we had to push it. Yeah, good times right there.

This was one of those nights where we shared a lot of laughs. Most importantly, our move is now officially over.


We’re Moving

Big fun for the McLane family! In a couple of hours I will drop off the deposit on a new rental house. When we moved here in August we knew that the house we landed in was too small. Coming into it we only had a few days to find a place when we visited in July. We did the best we could with the time we had. Fortunately, it was a 6-month lease and you can survive just about anything for 6 months.

The new place is pretty close to where we currently live. As the crow flies the move is about half a mile. So nothing significant will change for us. Same school for the kids, we’ll shop at the same places, so on and so forth. We’re a little closer to work, a little closer to church, a little closer to San Diego State.

What’s awesome about the new place? Going from 2 bedrooms, 1 bath to 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bath!

The kids will each have their own rooms. Their new rooms are, by far, the biggest rooms they’ve lived in. They are understandably excited about their new rooms. Megan likes that her closets doors have huge mirrors. Paul is excited that above his closet is a cubby hole that we’ve convinced him will be his bed. Mom and dad are excited too. It’s a house much more conducive to hosting people which makes us happy. Nice living room, a dining room, a kitchen with a breakfast nook, a half bath off the kitchen, (and the master bedroom) a two-car garage, and a bigger backyard with fruit trees. It’s less money in a slightly more desirable neighborhood. Also fun for us is that it’s fully carpeted… ahhh.

What’s not so awesome? Well, since it’s less money it’s a small step back in condition. The appliances are a little older, the kitchen floor is hilarious in its 80s awesomeness, the main bathroom wreaks of powder blue, and I have to take care of the yard. (No more gardener!) We’re also going to live next door to our 80 year old landlord. He seems like a nice enough guy, let’s hope he turns into more neighbor than landlord.

It looks like we’ll start moving around March 1st. Since we don’t have a ton of stuff we hope to fully be out of the current house by March 7th. (A little rental overlap… so we can take our time!)


Brave things

brave heartToday we booked everything for our upcoming trip to San Diego. That’s right, I said “we.” The whole family is making the trip out to check out houses and get excited about the move. We leave in less than two weeks and will be gone for 8 days. After that it’ll be less than 2 weeks until we fly out to move “for good.”

Megan (7) has started to feel what is happening. She told mommy today, “This is a brave things we are doing together.” I think that that may have come from a conversation she and I had on Saturday. I told her, as we worked together, that this was probably the last time we’d be trimming these bushes. She shot back at me, “Yeah, we’re moving and we’ll never come back here again!”

The word “never” lead to a discussion about God’s sense of humor and how God was laughing at our move to California. Just a couple of months ago we joked that “We’d never live in California again, we just don’t like it. It’s not for us!” Who is laughing now? I think God is. He has a funny way of rewarding my “never” with a “Oh yeah?

I believe God calls us to recklessly follow Him. I don’t mean we are called as Christians to be fools. But I think we are called to have “stupid faith.” God wants us to put faith in Him beyond logical fact.

And the McLane family is learning exactly how that works. We’re taking a major step of faith. We’re leaving the security of people we love. We’ve walked away from a job we loved. We’re leaving the perfect house on the perfect street. And why? Well… because daddy (me) is pretty sure God has called us to leave.

That’s why we can look at these tough few weeks ahead with a smile through the tears. You better believe there will be tears as we pack the truck and watch it head down Bailey Street. We’ll hug one another as this chapter of our life departs for the next one.

I know that the kids are sad. I know Kristen is sad. And I know that life will never quite be the same for all of us… because daddy is pretty sure God has called us to leave Romeo.

Where do you go when you’re entering times like this? I run to the classics. I think of Moses. I think of Joshua. I think I don’t want to be Jonah. I want to look into God’s eyes (figuratively, of course) and say… “It’s a crazy plan, but I will wrecklessly follow You.

Everyone in our house is more brave than I am. Let’s be blunt about that. For me, there is little fearGun Show because I’m not stretching myself as much as they are. I know what San Diego is like and I know where I will work. I don’t have to start at a brand new school. I don’t have to find all new friends. I don’t have to find a job. But Kristen and the kids do. Heck, even Stoney and Lovely (our dog and cat) are more brave than I am. You don’t see me getting in the cargo area of a plane.

We’re brave together. I like that about what Megan said. To be honest, it’s a good thing to be brave together. I want to take big, bold, crazy steps of faith together as a family. God has proven Himself to me over and over… I know I can trust in Him. And I love teaching that to my kids.