A Moving Story

When we would tell people we had sold our house and were near closing on the new house, they would say, "let me know what I can do to help! We can keep the kids, or bring you dinner or help pack...just let us know!"

I told Jesse, "gosh, you'd think we were having another baby the way people want to help. We are just incredibly popular, I guess."


They were offering because they were survivors of a move and knew THE UTTER HORROR that is taking all your earthly belongings from one spot on the planet and setting them up in a different one. And WOE UNTO ME for ever thinking we didn't need an army of help.

Neither Jesse nor I had ever done a full-on move before. Jesse's family last moved when he was 2 and mine did when I was 7. I used to think that going to/from college every year counted. Let's be clear IT DOES NOT COUNT.

Moving as adults, with kids, in a home you've just been stuffing full of crap for 9 years with no exit strategy? THAT'S moving. Going out to the truck to load 2 boxes and coming back in to discover the kids have UNPACKED 4? THAT'S moving. Dumping several drawers' contents--from different rooms--willy-nilly into one gigantic box and telling myself,  "I'll totally be in the mood to sort and organize that at the new house?" and KNOWING it's a filthy lie? THAT's moving. Leaking tears of gratitude out of my eyeballs when about 12 people Blessed Saints from our church showed up on a 90 degree June night to help lug our stuff across town, but only being able to repay them in pizza, beer and snickers? THAT'S moving (and eternal love, btw). Our 9-month old mastering crawling AND cruising the week we move when all of our most choke-able, pierce-able, and disaster-able belongings are strewn about in boxes that are the exact height of an infant's armpit? THAT'S moving.

"what am I chewing on? I dont know, and neither do you, mom! LOL" (and her diaper clearly was not getting changed promptly at this point in life).

Leaving for a week at the beach 3 days after we move? That's just stupid. And I've already repressed it.

When our closing date finally rolled around, we were about 60% ready to move. The one smart thing we did was to arrange for childcare (4 different sitters!) that day. We had learned the hard way at the closing of our old house that a law firm is NOT a place for our wee beasties. They certainly spotted a fish tank in a closed conference room where serious legal things were going on and busted riiiiight in. Jesse and I certainly took a good 3 minutes to notice and some of our best threatening ever was accomplished immediately thereafter.

The only thing comparable to the feeling of walking into our new home after signing was our wedding. It's this thing you've imagined and pictured for SUCH a long time and all of a sudden it's happening right now in real life and it's incredibly surreal and a tad barfy-feeling.

Yeah, I took a pic of this. Wanna fight?

I got there first and just wandered around awestruck that this was OURS. Jesse arrived a few minutes later and dutifully carried me over the threshold (as he did 9 years ago, noting I am SOOOOO much lighter this time). After about 20 minutes of dazed wandering, dreaming, and thankful praises, the moment was abruptly over and it was time to spring into moving action. Jesse had told our strong friends to meet at the old house at 6 to finish loading the huge UHAUL, and it was 5:40 so he had to go back to lead that charge.

I stupid, stupid, stupidly told my gorgeous, angelic friend who was watching all 3 kids to bring them over early so that they could see the house (they had never been inside) before anyone else did and before things were moved in. Ohhhhh I paid the price for this "magic" moment, being left alone taking care of them in a stifling, empty house, at Noa's bedtime, when all I wanted to do was start moving things in. I really thought the big moment would be...bigger (this is as close as you get to a video tour):

So I was now marooned with the kids for an hour and a half until my mother in law came over to watch them so I can spazz out and kick things into place. I had planned for Noa to go right to bed in our walk-in closet, where it would be dark and the moving sounds wouldn't disturb her. HOOOOO, boy, she was NOT about that. I think she was at just the right age to be super aware and immediately freaked out by these new surroundings. I tried to nurse into a milk stupor, but all that accomplished was to make us both so very sweaty (we werent turning the AC on yet), and to render me frazzled and braless as I heard the big kids running wild throughout the house; I could only imagine scenarios where they demolished my favorite features and amenities.

What an excellent time for Noa to display her very first signs of separation anxiety (if we werent skin-to-sweaty-skin, by always happy baby would SCREAM cry).

about 10 minutes before she morphed into a stage 5 clinger.

I thought, okaaaaay, I can give her a cool bath. That will calm her down (she has never once cried in a bath) and cool her off and signal bedtime. Maybe mommy gets in there too and rinses off the liquid stress that I was coated with. I get the tub running and plop her down while I start undressing. As soon as I am shirtless, she starts wailing and thrashing and trying out her new pulling up skills on a very clean, very slippery bathtub surface.

I throw my sweaty shirt back on (no bra, no prob, I'm just gonna feed her anyway), and scoop her up naked and screaming and soaking wet into my sweaty arms.  I grab a dirty beach towel I had used to pack some baby things in, and try to towel off our sweat/water/milk/tears.

Right about then I hear a knock on my master bedroom door. Hmmm, my children do not knock, they barge in screaming like a viking hoard. I arranged the naked baby and wet towel over me so that my sweet chariots could swing low, yet unseen, and I tiptoe out of the bathroom and cautiously ask, "who is it?" figuring it's my mother in law here to rescue me!

"It's me, Roy. I'm here with the first truckload."

Roy. As in Jesse's boss. As in the head pastor of our church. This could not get any better.

I grabbed Noa tighter than any bra could ever be and attempted to compose myself enough to peek out the door and blubber, "Yes. Oh hi, thank you, okay, awesome, bring whatever you have into wherever. Thanks, sorry. Im normal!"

And our big move had its official Auspicious Beginning. The rest has been a flurry of boxes, IKEA trips, late nights, organizing/purging, sore muscles, attempting to train the kids how to use square footage, and generally being so grateful and dumbfounded that this dreamy home is really ours now!

They never been able to stretch out like this at home without touching a least 3 other humans.

I walked into the playroom that first night after the big kids had gone home with Linda to spend the night (bless her!) to see what toys the kids had unearthed first.

The complete Nativity, all set up by my little nerds (don't know how they accessed the christmas stuff!). I kinda teared up (it had been a LONG day) at how in the chaos of it all, the animals still came to adore baby Jesus and that this was the very first thing my kids did (besides a game of Scattergories, I guess?)

Teeny girl. Lotsa room. I'm a happy lady.

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