Where do I even start??? I fully intend to do a complete update, but you must excuse the "messy-ness" of this post! I am so excited to start sharing our "new life!" I know its going to be jumbled, but try and follow! :)
I think I'm going to start on June 16th... back in Michigan- the day we pulled out of Jackson.
Truthfully, I'm not sure how I mentally survived those last few days in Jackson. My mind was saying "SLOW DOWN!!!! STOP!!!!" but everything around me was in hyper drive. On Monday (I believe it was June 14th...) we got the gigantic- and I mean HUGE moving truck delivered to our driveway. Ryan and a few handy helpers, loaded that thing up in no time. I was shocked by how quickly everything was packed in there.
The night before we were scheduled to leave was one of the hardest- no- more like strangest, nights of my life... (to date). The house was empty. Maeve was sleeping with Ryan and I on a mattress in our room and Henry was in his playpen. Our house that we had worked so hard into making a home, felt like an empty shell. I remember thinking "Just fall asleep, wake up in the morning. Walk the kids out to the van. Don't LOOK BACK!" But of course, me, being incredibly emotional (and pregnant) took a final walk through of the house.
For some reason, the kitchen was hard for me to say goodbye to. I'm thinking its probably because out of all the rooms, its the one I had the most input with, when building the house. I remember picking out those beautiful cherry cabinets (sniff sniff), which were now torn up and all over the floor (we had to dig out the built in microwave)... and of course my beloved counter top- I remember going to the tiling place (9 months pregnant with Maeve) and looking at all the little samples. So many awesome nights (mornings and afternoons too!) were spent preparing yummy meals in there. I learned how to become a housewife in that kitchen!! It's so funny the things you think about when you have to say goodbye- I kid you not, I remember this thought flashing through my head, "This is the kitchen where I cooked my first roast!"
The next room that was very (and I mean VERY) tough to look at empty was Maeve's room. When Ryan and I first moved into the house, Maeve's room was our top priority. I was 9 months pregnant while moving in, and I remember spending HOURS in that little pink room, folding clothes, hanging letters, organizing, arranging, making sure everything was completely perfect for our new bean's homecoming. I remember sitting in there, late into the night, eating cream of wheat (weird 9 month craving ;) while Ryan worked hard putting together the crib, changing table and dresser. Those nights were the best! Looking at it before we left, gutted out, with crayon drawings covering the walls was incredibly difficult. I couldn't help but be flooded back with all the memories of bringing Maeve home.
I think the hardest room for me to say goodbye to was our room. And not just because it was "my" room. This was my sanctuary! I remember picking out the paint color- it was a bit controversial because it wasn't your typical tan or off white- instead it was Caribbean blue. And I loved it. I loved our tv that was mounted up high on the wall- I don't know why- but I did :) I loved our windows- they were high above our heads and opened out- you could hear the rain but didn't need to worry about it flooding the carpets. I loved our "baby nook" that pretty much never went away ;) With each baby, we devoted a little corner of the room to the bassinet and changing table. We'd always talk about "when the baby gets older, we'll move the changing table out and be able to put our piano in here!" Haha... that never happened thanks to our fertility luck ;) We ended up always needing a changing table and/or bassinet in our room! :)
This was also the room that the babies slept in for the first 5 months or so (or until they could sit up on their own). This was the room that I'd be awake for hours on end, just watching my babies sleep. I have (vague!) memories of nursing babes in the middle of the night while watching infomercials. Lots of preggo cravings were eaten in that room! I can't tell you how many late night cheeseburgers I've scarfed down in there! ;) It's a room that will always hold the sweetest, most calm, beautiful moments for me.
Alright! So where were we? Goodbyes! Unfortunately when you move, its not only "things" you have to say goodbye to... its really, really amazing friends and family as well.
If you can, rewind with me back to when my parents moved to Florida- last year. I was devastated to say the least. I felt very alone up in Michigan- my entire way of life was kind of pulled out from under me. After all, my mom was my best friend- the one who I did everything with, every single day. With her gone, I wasn't sure what my days would hold... would I be able to tackle the grocery store alone? What were we going to do about Sunday night family dinners? Who do I get to babysit in a pinch???
Well, let me tell you; I am positive- positive- that God had a handful of friends waiting in the wings for me. In just a year, friends, that I once considered," nice girlfriends to hang out with, who had kids the same age as mine" became my best, most dearest friends. Girls- you know who you are. And I just want to say thanks- again ;) You're the bestesssst- and most definitely what I miss most about Michigan. I'm confident that we'll all stay good friends- but it kills me to know that I won't see you on a daily basis. Maeve asks for her "friends" all the time. In fact, she just asked me this morning if Reyna could come over. Anyways, I love you girls and I miss miss miss you. And we're waiting for a visit!!!!!
(free room, pool access, beach & awesome parks for play dates! ;)
Saying goodbye to Ryan's family was hard as well. It was hard for me to watch Ryan go through it- I remember how hard it was for me to say goodbye to my family and to see him facing the same thing has been really sad. The kids didn't have a clue what was going on, but it was still difficult knowing that we were taking them away and things were changing.
Okay... now hop back to the morning of the move. (I warned you all this would be all over the place!)
Wednesday morning was even stranger than Tuesday night. I got the kids in the car and started a movie- thinking that we would be on our way soon... and I also wanted out of the house asap. It was too hard to hang around an empty house. The first of the tears started when Maeve asked for her blanket. Yes, she had a blanket, but of course she wanted one that was packed up. When I told her it wasn't available- that it was "packed" she said, "No its not! It's in my room! Please get it!" I didn't say it, but I remember thinking "Maeve, nothing is in your room except for some hangers." After what felt like hours (which realistically was more like AN hour) we finally pulled out of the driveway for the last time. I didn't let myself look back. In fact, I don't think I looked up until we hit Ohio. I stayed focused on my phone- trying to wash out all these ridiculous things that I never thought in a million years I'd be sad to leave- Jackson Crossings, MEIJERS?! Yeah... I know, ridiculous.
Oh- I forgot to address the driving situations! I'm sure you're wondering how in the HECK we got two cars, two dogs, and one truck down to Florida... Here was the original plan: Dan (Ryan's friend) would drive the truck, hauling the Malibu. Ryan would drive in the van with the kids and I... and the dogs. This arrangement lasted for about 3 hours. It was somewhere in Ohio when we got a phone call from Dan saying that he couldn't drive the truck. We stopped for lunch (somewhere?) and rearranged the caravan. Ryan was now driving the truck, hauling the Malibu and Dan was driving with the kids and I (and dogs). This lasted a little bit longer than the first leg of the trip but it wasn't long before we were pulling over and re-evaluating the driving situation again. Without getting too much into the nitty gritty here, I'll just say that I took over driving the van (and the kids and the dogs) and Dan got into the truck with Ryan. This was pretty much the arrangement for the rest of the trip. Yes folks, I drove two kids, two dogs and my very (8 month) pregnant self ALONE in the van all the way to Florida. There were times I cried out of fear that we simply would not make it. That the truck would flip off a cliff somewhere in Virgina and that'd be it. Or that my sanity would be left somewhere back in North Carolina... We had angels with us- and after 2 long days on the road, we made it.
I cannot describe the feeling of pulling into my parents subdivison at 1 AM.
My parents and grandma were waiting outside for us- with tears, food and a LOT of hugs! After getting the kids into bed, Ryan and I collapsed- no really- collapsed onto the bed- said, "we made it" and passed out :)
That wraps up the actual move! I will blog part 2 tomorrow- seeing our new place & settling in :)
Thanks SO MUCH for sticking with me!!