The moment it all became real was when we saw this in front of our house.
A team of burly guys made their way through our house, devouring our belongings with tissue paper with amazing speed and efficiency. I’ve never had professional packers move us before and I have to say, it was quite a sight to see. Everyone had told me that I needed to be on top them all day, making sure they did it right, but honestly, I just let them do their thing. I really couldn’t watch, it was a bit too emotional and I really couldn’t let myself fully process that EVERYTHING I owned was going in one truck across the country. (Visions of it soaring off a cliff in flames did go through my mind at many points during our move.) Their ability to pack a truck like playing TETRIS blew my mind.
Our cars had already been loaded onto the transfer truck that morning, so my Aunt Joan came to taxi us around to a few errands that day and lunch. The day ended with a little empty house game of UNO on our empty loft floor. Had to leave one more happy memory in that beautiful house.
The kids were playing in the backyard with the neighbor boy one last time while John and I walked around the house remembering memories, thanking the house for keeping us all safe and stopping to hug each other and cry from time to time. The Christmas mornings, rocking a colicky Miles on the exercise ball night after night, crafts at the kitchen table and the parties, oh the parties we threw! A kaleidoscope of memories flickered around those empty rooms like an old choppy filmstrip. Such a bittersweet feeling of gratitude, excitement for the future and grief of letting go of the past.
We headed to a friend’s house that night for laughs, relaxation, pampering and a farewell full of tears and hugs. So many emotions as we tried to lay our heads on our hotel pillows that night. John and I couldn’t sleep! We were about to fly, with our kids and dog to California to work for Apple. INSANITY! We could barely even comprehend that it was really happening. Was this OUR life? Nuts. Totally nuts!
We got to the airport with our mountain of luggage, plus pug and were greeted by my mom, aunt Joan and our best friend Chris Melching. Oh how wonderful to have our little farewell team bidding us a loving goodbye!
Looking back, I know I wasn’t allowing myself to feel anything the day we flew. I was in GO MODE, caring for Stamp, who was at my feet on the plane and AMAZING.
I had been buoyed by something this whole time, a feeling of peace that as crazy as this all seemed, and as hard as it all was, it was going to be ok. (Better than OK actually.)
Traveling was cake and for all of you wondering how Stamp went potty while traveling, here’s how: I actually had to go outside of security and take her outside in Fort Worth to find a little spot of mulch and bushes to go potty. (I couldn’t find the actual dog potty grassy spot.) We had doggy poo bags with us to do it all correctly and a little dog dish for water. We let her walk on her leash through the airport and she stayed in her carrier on the plane. She didn’t make a peep on the plane, but did bark at a go cart speeding by once. We were surrounded by dog lovers all day. YAY!!!! For a 12 year old dog who has never been in a carrier, I was blown away at how well she handled it.
Arriving in San Jose was rough. We had SOOO much luggage that there was no way we would get it on the shuttle to the rental car place, so I had to hang out with the kids in baggage claim (away from where all the food was, of course) and we waited for AGES until John could get the rental car. Thank God for Tangled on the ipad, or we would have died.
We were all EXHAUSTED and STARVING by the time we got in the car. I think it was 9 PM our time, by the time we got in the car and we still had to put carseats in, which takes forever. (We are still in 5 point harnesses, so it’s no easy feat.) Once we got over the stress of putting carseats in the taxi lane of the airport, we were instantly excited to see the pretty foothills (which we first thought were mountains!) and started buzzing from how crazy it felt to finally be there.
Our plan was to crash at our furnished apartment and order pizza. Well, we were all in full blown low blood sugar and exhaustion freak outs by the time we got there. So we stopped at a pizza place with outdoor seating in our complex and Joss then gets her fingers pinched in the car window. So we had a crying and hurt Joss, a melting down Miles, John and I were starving and our dog was like, “What the heck?.” We were a mess! So we got a table outside and our kids ended up falling asleep at the table with a mountain of food before us. This is SO what happens to us though. Time after time, when traveling, we get stuck in a situation where there’s no food. (Happened as we were trying to board the Disney Cruise.) When will we learn?
The next hurdle was to find parking in our insanely complicated apartment complex and then WALK, with as much luggage as possible, with exhausted sleep-walking children to our apartment. I thought we were all going to die. It was basically 11 PM at night, our time, and the last thing our kids wanted to do was walk (and get lost about six times) through the maze that is our complex, in the dark. Amazingly, we somehow made it!!! (Then poor John had to go downstairs and do it all again to get more luggage.)
We were THRILLED to finally complete the journey to our temporary home. We all had a small surge of excitement over our new digs and then promptly slept like we had never slept before!
Next up, our temporary housing, which is so far removed from our normal reality. Can’t wait to show you!