We'll find the right place for us, I'm sure of it. Where and when? Hopefully where we need to be and hopefully very, very soon! Brandon will have to work closely with our real estate agent to find something and I'll just have to be informed with a lot of FaceTime tours of houses. ;)
So, the miracle I had hoped for did not happen. At least, I don't think it's happened... But there were many other miracles, dear reader! Maybe not tremendous ones, but tender mercies of the Lord, nonetheless.
*I felt at peace and at home while driving around Manhattan. It is both larger than I thought it would be, and smaller than I thought it would be. It may not have a Costco, but it has a mall, super Walmart, and Target! It has a KState, a military base not too far away, a beautiful reservoir, rolling hills, lots of trees, a variety of many restaurants, walking and hiking trails, kind people, a lot of large families, many churches, two LDS wards, safe neighborhoods, beautiful sunsets, and it reminded me of Idaho, in a way. I think we'll do just fine!
*We attended both wards on Sunday. (It was just Brandon, me, and #7.) One ward started at 9AM and the other was at 1PM, and we went to just Sacrament Meeting of both. We were hoping we would feel prompted as to which ward we should live in, but both felt great! In that way, there's no pressure of location as we search for a house. And everyone was really friendly!
*The flights were probably the most noticeable miracles of all. I had the baby with me, and as we know, not everyone is super excited to be sitting next to a baby on a flight. These were short flights, but even an hour next to a child can make people upset. I had window seats for every leg (2 there, 2 home), and on the first flight, as I sat there, waiting to see who would sit down, I hoped it was going to be somebody kind. Turns out, it was a woman who lives not too far from me, who was a grandmother, who was, along with her husband, one her way to see their grandchildren! She was delighted to sit next to us. And sweet baby girl was so good for the whole flight!
The second leg I was toward the front of the plane and I was relieved when another older couple sat next to me. The wife pulled out her iPad and started showing me pictures of their grandchildren! I learned he was a Methodist Bishop (Minister? I forget the correct term, so my apologies) and is retiring in a few months. They were so kind!
On the way home, the first leg had me in the back of the plane again. Most of that flight was filled with businessman, so I was a little concerned, but lo and behold, a woman about my mother's age sat next to me and was so excited to meet baby girl. She and I ended up talking the whole flight; she is a wife of an Episcopalian Minister, and I discovered she grew up in Manhattan. Not only that, but her childhood home is for sale, she knows the owner really well, she gave me all of his contact info, we exchanged information, and then after the flight, we ended up going to the same connecting terminal, and so she bought me lunch (so kind!) and we parted as our flights were boarding. Wow! It was amazing to make a friend so easily.
The last leg home had me toward the front again, and this time it was a kind couple who kept to themselves and were more than delighted to have sweet baby girl near them. Baby and I slept a lot on that leg, and I was proud of her for being so good. Truthfully, she was an angel with the whole weekend! The only times she got really upset was when we were in the car longer than she wanted and then again when I was driving from the airport to home.
There was one other miracle, and it's only very subtle. We celebrated our anniversary together (mostly looking at houses and with some Thai take-out), and really, our marriage is one of the greatest and most important miracles. Not because we've ever been on the verge of divorce (we really haven't) and not because somehow it's a miracle he ever married me (sometimes I wonder... ;) ) but because marriage --especially a temple marriage -- is a sacred thing. The covenants made in a temple sealing/marriage are very serious! And we take them very seriously. That's part of the miracle --with how we treat each other and how we honor our covenants. Those things, together, have a lasting effect.
I've seen too many people who don't really believe this. They see marriage as just a phase, or something you do because everyone does it, or a convenience to have a companion for a little while. Serial divorce can be a real thing, you know. I've also seen many friends quietly and even brutally abused by their husbands. One of my friends was murdered in front of her 8 children by her husband! I've seen women abandoned, emotionally manipulated, humiliated, and physically assaulted at the hands of the men who vowed to protect and provide for them, and their husbands THINK they are keeping covenants, when honestly, they're breaking Every. Single. One. (And yes, I know some women who have abandoned their families, too, but they are truly in the minority...)
So, there's the miracle! I have an imperfect husband who loves an imperfect me; we worship together, work together, raise our children together, plan our future together, and he respects me, I respect him, and we have a mutual love and friendship that helps our relationship grow and adapt as life throws new adventures and trials our way. 17 years really isn't that long of a time, but because of all the good I've seen in 17 years, it makes me excited for the rest of our lives! Our marriage is a modern miracle and it's one I hope for everyone.