I’m happy and relieved to say that we’ve completed 95% of our move and resettlement in a new/old place. The DC area will always be our “home”, but every 2-4ish years we move to a new spot for my husband’s work. This time the move is to a new part of a familiar area- the northeastern corner of North Carolina. We’re about an hour from the Outer Banks and Virginia Beach — also that far from the bulk of retail America. Now going to Target or Trader Joe’s or any craft store is an EVENT. We’re 8 miles from the nearest grocery store. But we’ve lived remotely enough that this isn’t a big shock. We’re both originally from the Carolinas and we’ve not changed time zones. Feels a lot like home. Over the past month there’s been intermittent proof of life on my Instagram feed, but in case you’ve missed it or would like a wordier perspective, I thought I’d share some updates.
As far as events, the move itself had some high points. For example, in one long run-on sentence, at around 4 pm the day that the movers were loading the truck (and calling for a second truck because they hadn’t brought all of the crates they needed to store our stuff for a few weeks), my girls were across town with the babysitter as my husband was arriving at the dentist for an emergency root canal and the sky was falling and stuff and boxes were getting soaked and a tornado was touching down about two miles away from my house even closer to my girls and my husband than I was. That was an overwhelming/terrifying/humbling moment.
Throughout the process a lot of thoughtful folks have asked how the kids are handling this, and the answer, in two words and the photo below, is “just fine”. We’ve tried to keep our conversational focus on all of the fun aspects of this move, and there are lots, but I think for the most part they’re not old enough to be all that apprehensive and are generally easygoing. So far. Staying in a hotel with room service and a pool while the house was being packed certainly made ME more easygoing.
Once we’d hit the road and arrived in our new spot we had about 2 weeks of “down time” in a furnished condo while we waited for our house to be available. It felt a little bizarre to be on a sort of vacation – there’s little to have to take care of in a condo. We had lots of time for swimming and playing, and it was a nice break after the business of selling and getting out of our old house. My 33-weeks pregnant body was happy for the respite.
Two weeks was enough time to let go of the moving out stress and prepare for the moving in. “White picket fence” was not on my must-have list (sewing/craft space was near the top!) but I’m not complaining.
When we finally got the keys to the new house we had a few days to paint a few rooms before our stuff arrived. I’ve previously painted a lot of the colors we were now painting OVER, but these days I’m into bright and light and clean and white, so we painted rooms that were red, pink and green the brightest and most beautiful white to be found. I love it. It just so happens that all of these rooms are upstairs in the house, so I’m calling it “heaven” up there. A power roller manned by my husband and my mom certainly sped up the effort.
Just as the moving truck arrived my girls went with my mom to Camp Mimi, and when Camp Mimi ended they went straight to Camp Gramma. We had 2 1/2 weeks to unpack and settle, and it was amaaaaaazing to have all of that quiet.
One of the aspects of these moves is that movers do the moving. This is both a fantastic and a frustrating thing. Yes, they pack it and move it. But how they pack it and move it doesn’t always make sense. And because you’re not packing and weeding, you end up doing a good bit of weeding on the destination end. And finding things that are helpfully labeled, like so:
Please don’t mistake this complaint for me wishing that we were doing the packing and moving. Nope, utterly grateful that that is not my task. I would have a breakdown if we moved so often and that were my job. And when it comes down to it, if I were moving that much stuff as quickly as they were doing it, I’m sure my labeling would be similarly unhelpful.
After those weeks of girls gone and busy days and a combination of quiet nights at home and a bit of second honeymoon time with just the two of us, the house is feeling much more like home and the girls have made their way back. Two and a half weeks has restored much of my mothering patience and the calm and peace of our new surroundings have really had an effect on me. Three sides of our house are trees, trees and more trees. There are kids nearby for play and pool dates, but we have no neighbors on either side or across the street and there’s no new construction around us for the foreseeable future. Under these conditions, I could be a nudist. Almost. Well, when I picture a “nudist” I picture them outdoors. Can I still be one if I’m always indoors or on a screened in porch? ‘Cause dude… critters are out there.
Critters aside, I wouldn’t have thought that the outside quiet would so quickly in turn quiet my mind, but it has. We have two girls already and we’re about to have a third, and I feel the calmest I’ve ever felt as a mom. I’m not sure how that’s happened, but I’m so very grateful for it. Despite the fact that my lungs are compressed by all of the organs sharing space in my torso, I feel like I can breathe. Sunsets like these haven’t hurt.
More to come in time about the house, my new work space, kid and baby projects in process, a fun maternity shoot, pattern digitization I’m working on, shop updates and the baby that’s gotta come out sooner or later (right now I’m still okay with later)… and all of these things feel fresh and exciting again now that this move is done and off of my to-do list. Big, big, BIG happy sigh.