Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Packing Day

Packing day came and went SO quickly. Geez.

I got up extra early, took Coop to a friend's house, grabbed breakfast and then came home to....wait. I was told the packers would be here between 8:30 and 10:00am and that the crate company would arrive between 8:00 and 11:00am.  Finally, after what seemed like the longest wait ever, the packers arrived at 9:00am.  They immediately got to work and started bringing packing materials inside.  The crate company arrived at 10:00 and by 11:30 the crate company was done and about half of our belongings had already been packed into boxes.

You see that? They rolled out the red carpet for us. Literally.

What I didn't realize was how much stuff we have in our kitchen! Who knew one tiny little kitchen could hold SO MUCH STUFF. Seriously. I'm counting 12, yes, TWELVE boxes from our kitchen alone.  I am absolutely blown away by that.

Seriously, y'all, 12 boxes!
As we stand right now, all the packing is DONE.  Those men busted it out and were done by 2:15pm. Packing, labeling, cleaning up, and paperwork were all done in four and a half hours (they took a lunch break and a morning break).  Our apartment is a mess and there are boxes everywhere, but the packing is DONE.

In the midst of all this chaos, I'm still SO EXCITED. I expected to feel overwhelmed and stressed since I crave order, but having professionals pack all this junk of our lovely things has actually helped to lessen the stress.  I mean, I do not have the skills to pack things like they have.  There's no way  I could be responsible for packing.  Let's be honest, the stuff I packed would never make it all the way to Virginia, survive being stored at a storage facility for a month (or more), and then arrive to wherever our home ends up being unbroken. No no no. I'm so thankful for these guys and SO thankful that Neal's company makes this happen for us!

Oh, and FOUR MORE DAYS.  But who's counting?

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Just seven little days stand between us and the road trip of a lifetime! Woop woop!

At this point, I'm feeling REALLY EXCITED.  My car was shipped on Monday.  The surveyor also came out on Monday to assess the space and supplies the movers will need.  The surveyor was here for approximately 7 minutes so let's just hope the movers actually bring enough materials since when we moved the first time, they showed up with no materials and we had to delay the packing and shipping of our stuff. 

We still need to sell our couch and desk.  We sold our coffee table on Thursday, ironically to a girl who used to live in Chesapeake.  Small world.  Worst case scenario, we just end up donating those items which isn't the end of the world as we already plan to donate an old dresser.  I'm anxious for the movers to come and pack everything so I can go ahead and clean our apartment from top to bottom and then we can hit the road

I expected these last couple of weeks to feel really sad, but they haven't [thank goodness]!  We've had fun with friends this week saying "goodbye."  We went to breakfast with friends and their two daughters on Saturday morning, had lunch with [most of] our small group on Sunday, I made dinner Wednesday night for some friends, and Friday night we went to a going-away party for Neal and some of his co-workers. 

I still have a few friends I'll be stopping by to see before we leave.  And tomorrow is our last Sunday at GracePoint.  Tangent:  If I haven't already expressed how much we're going to miss this church, let me do it now.  We're going to miss it terribly.  At lunch with our small group we were talking about how awesome our church is.  [Side note: What an awesome conversation for a group of 24-year-olds to be having. I love it!]  We were discussing how good our church is at getting young people involved [compared to other churches we've attended].  We attribute this, at least partially, to the fact that our pastor was a youth pastor for many years so he's very engaging and great at reaching out to folks in our generation [college students and, especially, young adults].  We'd been looking for "our church" since we were dating [started looking around 2010] and back home in Virginia we just always resorted going to church with our parents because we couldn't find a church that reached out to people our age....really at all.  Don't get me wrong, we love our parents' church, we're both technically still members there, Neal's uncle is the pastor, and it's the church we got married in.  But it's not a place where we can find other people our age to engage with and do life with.  We are not looking forward to having to find another church when we move back.  We wish we could just fly back here and attend GracePoint every Sunday and continue with our same small group.  But we know that the Lord will lead us to a new small group and church where we will learn, grow, and forge new relationships with new people....and that part is something we can get excited about in the church-search process. 

Anyways, SEVEN DAYS.  One week from now the truck will be loaded, our belongings will be on their way to a storage facility, and we'll be embarking on the trip of a lifetime.

P.S. Please pray for us as we prepare for and embark on this journey.  Also, with all this wacky weather lately, please pray for safe driving conditions!  Thank you :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Two Weeks.

Two weeks, people. TWO WEEKS until we leave Washington.  Yesterday was my last day of work. It'll be nice not to have to worry about work with all that needs to be done over these last two weeks, but I was finally settling in and really becoming "part of the team."  I'll miss that place.  My team, especially my boss, have been AWESOME to work with and they sent me on my way with some thoughtful gifts and a delicious spread: brownies, chocolate covered strawberries, guac, hummus...the list goes on and on.  They gave me this canvas and "Oh, The Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss, accompanied by a Dr. Seuss card :) Such a sweet gesture...especially considering I've only been here 4 months.  I'm blessed.


We're also super happy to be packing this week full of quality time with friends.  We have breakfast, lunch, and dinner plans squeezed in between more purging, Goodwill runs, church, and cleaning like a mad woman before the surveyor comes out on Monday morning.  Neal's project has several people leaving soon, in addition to us, so we'll be going to a Going Away dinner for everyone on Friday night. It'll be great to get everyone together one last time.

On Monday my car gets shipped and the surveyor comes out to assess our apartment [to decide the amount of materials and truck space they will need to pack and ship all of our stuff], so it'll be a busy day.  We're in the process of selling a few pieces of furniture and donating a lot of stuff to Goodwill so we're not bringing unnecessary and unwanted items back to Virginia.  

When we moved the first time it was such short notice and on top of that we received so.many.gifts. right before we moved [that's what happens when ya get married...people give you A LOT of stuff].  Anyways, when we moved the first time, our philosophy was just to pack it all and we'd sort through it when we got to Washington.  Well, the first half of that worked out...it all got to Washington.  The problem is now that we never sorted through the crap we had from our college days/first apartments.  So..now...a year and a half later, we're finally sorting through things and donating and or selling things we just absolutely do not want or need in our next place.  It's refreshing to do that!  I love to purge.  When I was a kid, my Mom would tell me to go clean my room and I'd end up spending an entire day in there and I'd come out with like 3 trash bags full of stuff to donate or throw away.  Neal, on the other hand, well, he'd hold onto everything if he could...and not necessarily because he actually wants it all, but because he hates the process of sorting through everything to decide what to keep/trash/donate.  Thankfully he's been a trooper and has helped me purge SO MUCH STUFF.  We'll be moving back to Virginia with a lot less clothes, no couch, one less dresser, no desk, and a heck of a lot less knick-knacks and linens. I love it!

So, technically moving starts on Monday since my car will be shipped.  And thankfully Neal will be able to use a company car for those two weeks and I can drive his truck.  Then next week the actual packing and moving begins.  We're blessed to have friends who will let us put Coop [in his crate] at their house while the movers are there packing and moving everything.  We're also SUPER thankful that Neal's company pays for everything to be packed and moved.  Packing up an entire household of stuff is no fun, and only being responsible for supervising someone else doing it is so much less stressful [in my opinion]. 

Let the moving commence!  FOURTEEN days to go, folks.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Time is ticking down.  Today marks 24 days until we leave this place. It's so weird.  When we first made it out here together, everyday we were away from our family and friends in Virginia felt like an eternity.  I had a panic attack or two from the personal stress I felt in being away from everyone and everything I'd ever known.  Now those intense feelings of separation anxiety seem like a distant memory.  [Don't get me wrong, we're still longing to get closer to family.]  

It's kind of comforting to know how resilient we are and how capable we are of growing and adapting.  It's comforting to know that I love my family and I have the freedom to live near them, but that I'm also perfectly capable of living far from them and not just surviving, but thriving in many ways I never would've had the opportunity to otherwise.  It's comforting to know that I've found someone to share my life with who is willing to stick with me even when life is really hard and especially when I'm really difficult to love.

Neal and I have discovered so much about ourselves, about how we love, about how we need to be loved.  This experience has allowed us the freedom to decide for ourselves what our marriage will be like both now and in the future. How we "do life" is up to us.  I'm not sure we would've felt that total freedom if we would've stayed in Virginia. 

Excuse me if I get sentimental and sappy over the next few weeks.  This all just comes from a place of being extremely reflective.  While we are thrilled to be moving home in 24 days, we're also terribly sad to leave behind so many people, places, and experiences that we have come to treasure.  As "one", since we've been married, this is the only place we've known.  It's going to be rough leaving it behind, but we're beyond grateful for all the growth and joy we've gotten out of this place and I pray that in the years to come, that is what we cling to.  Joy and growth.