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July 06, 2013

The butterflies in my

stomach have begun.  Flitting around, just as I try to nod off to sleep at night or sit down for 5 minutes to compose  a list of everything we haven't accomplished yet.  

Part of me feared this day would never come and now that it's nearly here, I am trying to put the brakes on time.  Three weeks ago I was nervous as I knew we couldn't order anything online and have it included in our shipments.  Now we can't order anything online and have it by the time our flight takes off on Tuesday.  In fact, my one poor sandal will have to make a very lonely trip down by USPS to Managua by itself.  I completely forgot about the repair, took in the shoe, and was told it wouldn't be ready until next Saturday.  Oops.  

I keep thinking of how much we still have to do at the house.  (Did the movers pack out any bathroom cabinets?!) and, yet, each day we add in more.  A haircut here, a new laptop there, what about school shoes on Monday?  Meetings are still being scheduled, last-minute going away sleepovers are not out of the question, and I have yet to even pack a bag.  However, we do have all of our bags and will spread them out tomorrow in our living room in a mock pack-out sort of scenario. I can't wait to see Nick manage his two large rolling duffles and his Batman carry-on. 


New haircut, check. New laptop, checkity-check.


Oh, the move?  Egad, a nickel's worth of free advice:  don't ever move right after surgery.  There was no way for me to avoid it, but, oh, to have been able to bend over, twist and turn and not feel like I was spraining my entire body while organizing our whole house would have been lovely.   Peter did the bulk of the work, but still, all of the putting in different piles was still exhausting. 

While the packing part went fairly quickly (8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Monday, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. on Tuesday?), it was exhausting trying to keep up with the packers.  We would check on them and do almost hourly walk-throughs, but they still forgot two cabinets in the kitchen, packed a mattress we repeatedly told them to leave behind, and forgot our Rubbermaid shelves in the garage (a bonus for our renters!).  

In the end, it could have been worse.  The movers were fast, we figured out the errors, and the company corrected them!  The mattress was pulled and the two cabinets of dishes were packed out and made it into HHE.  The shelves had to stay, but those were the least of our worries.

Now, we just have to finish up those last bits of laundry, remember who needs copies of the house keys, the power of attorney for the new windows, data plan for the phones, suspension request for the phones once we arrive at post, all of the cat certificates, the shoes in the front hall closet, my last minute need to have (but, yes, would be fine without) items, and I still have to finish cleaning out the freezer before the cleaners show up on Monday.  Then we have other house bits to stress over, but thank goodness for the internet, right?

I really shouldn't feel completely woefully unprepared as at least I remembered to order and ship cat food, linens, my first Drugstore.com order in ages, and figured out prior to leaving that both girls would need laptops this year.  (Guess who does not need one for kindergarten and is a bit miffed about this turn of events?).  Given that we can get nearly everything we need in Managua or by mail, I should quit worrying, especially since we are trying to downsize.

Yes, I have come to the conclusion (again) that we just have too much stuff.  Part of the issue is that I inherited too much at too young of an age, part is having three kids, and part is not always wanting to part with the past.  I decided to change that this time around.  I can't count the number of bags of baby clothes I gave away or consigned.  

We gave away boxes of toys, furniture we no longer need, and had the girls really take hard looks at what they want vs. need.  And reminded them just how low our storage estimate was, in case they really couldn't part with things.  I'm hoping three years of slightly more spacious (and perhaps better organized) bedrooms will remind me that I like open, fairly uncluttered spaces and we need to keep the stuff level down in order to have that. Given that we shipped fewer than 6,000 lbs in HHE (boat freight) to post, we are not off to a bad start.


Photo 4
At least we have 3 years...


Photo 5
to unpack all of this and the contents of 7 other rooms.


And then I realize that even with the past 5 weeks just racing by, maybe a few butterflies aren't a bad thing.  After all, isn't this what we wanted, what I've been working for since Peter left for Iraq? Granted, I had to work even harder after the whole mess began in the fall of 2010 and I have to remind myself for every nervous flutter, there is a sudden jolt of happy.

I mean, my goodness, I'm not just nervous, I'm, well, excited.  I'm so happy and relieved to be back on track.  I won't blame the illness for derailing our plans, as it didn't.  It was my reaction to it.  On one hand, I did take my time and analyze my choices.  In the end, I think most of the decisions (most) were good, solid ones and I'm not unhappy with them as a whole.

I am unhappy that I lost myself for a while.  I let myself go.  I lost myself in doctor-speak and fear mongering about things that would likely not happen. I still remember the doctors who kept telling me to take time off from life, that *that* was the cure, the fix for all that ailed me.  

It wasn't.  I took the time, took too much time, and put myself in a space far worse than the original. Despite my best intentions, I listened to those who didn't understand my life. I thought I was making my own choices, but I still let fear guide me too much until I found doctors who understood our lives and realized the fix was in getting back overseas. Now I know better and won't make that mistake again.

Three days from now we will be arriving at our new home.  Bring it, butterflies, I can't wait.



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I am excited for you, Jen! Yey for new beginnings - this will be an awesome tour for you guys, I can feel it! Best of luck with everything!

Good luck! I always love seeing pictures of the piles and piles of paper-covered boxes that are an HHE shipment. :) It's like Christmas, but a massive amount of work added on!

Seems we are right behind you. We fly next week and the final shipment was scheduled for today but may end up being tomorrow. It is exhausting. And the butterflies are definitely here. Whew. You are not alone! Glad you made it safely!

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