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Monday, February 23, 2009


On Friday, Feb 13th (an auspicious date), the movers came. They came to pack up all of our wordly goods in to cardboard boxes (I'm sorry, trees), put numbers on them, load them into a van, and drive off with them. Some we will see in DC, most we said farewell until we will be in a much stranger country than when we saw them last.

After the movers were done, we were left with an empty apartment and the usual cleaning that comes after having moved out. We had checked the weather forecast, and snow was coming that evening and the next morning, so Brandon and I decided to clean and then get out of town before the snow came.

We hoped to be gone by 3:00, but when 3:45 came and we still had not vacuumed the floor, cleaned out the freezer, wiped the counters, cleaned the sink, or given away the rest of the food we could not finish or throw away (and by the end we were throwing away a lot of stuff. I'm pretty sure that I saw Brandon throwing away some dirty washcloths. But that's why we have money, right?), I knew that it was time for action.

So I called one of my miamaids and gave her an offer: bring over the vacuum (ours had already driven off), vacuum the floor, wipe down the counters, sink, and freezer, and I'd pay her $30. She was over five minutes later. And it was worth every single penny.

Valentine's Day 2009

This year, romance was definitely in the air.

4:45 Sophia wakes up in a Holiday Inn in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Unfortunately for Romance, we were all with her.
6:15 We wake up for real and prepare to continue the drive begun the night before
9:00 After not having room service like the hotel promised, we begin driving
11:00 Still driving
1:00 Still driving and attempting conversation over the howling of the wind as it tries to push our overladen car over into Wyoming rangeland
3:00 Second gas and potty break of the day
5:00 Wonderful views of Nebraska farmland
8:00 Still driving, and fishing for snacks among the piles that surround Kathleen and Sophia
9:30 Finally in Omaha
9:45 Girls in bed after much screaming
10:00 Turn to each other, give each other a kiss, and wish each other Happy Valentine's Day

And who said that Romance dies when you get married and have children?

Friday, February 6, 2009


We are having a little party on Sunday to say goodbye and have everyone tell us how much they'll miss us.  Just in case you didn't get your invitation, leave us your email in the comments, and we'll send you one.


I don't have time for clever, witty stories today, so I'll just tell all of you devoted fans what things have been happening around here to act as an excuse for my lack of creativity.  After all, you are theoretically interested in my life as you are reading this right now, right?  If not, continue on to your next blog.

1. My birthday.  It started at 5 am with Sophia clamoring to wish me a Happy Birthday first.  It ended, however, with this
2. A 3-lb package from FedEx entirely composed of paperwork.  And a flyer for the National Aquarium and Luray Caverns.

3. More packages.  Suitcases, packing supplies, more packing supplies, a car-top carrier, and clothes for Brandon (and I admit, some for me.  After all, I'll soon have appearances to keep up).  We have enough boxes to, well, do something with.

4. Lists.  And more lists.  And Excel workbooks.  We have now cataloged everything we own and have it on a spreadsheet, along with where it's going, how much it's worth, and where it came from.  

5.  Decisions.  See the above mention of where all of our stuff is going.  Because all of our worldly goods are now being valued according to how much they weigh.  We get to take 700 lbs of stuff and whatever fits in our car to DC.  Everything else goes into storage in Maryland until we head off to our first post.  And then we get 7200 lbs.  So, that high school year book?  Too heavy.  Toss it.

6.  Sorting.  As we have to decide what is absolutely necessary for up to a year, I've sorted through all of our things once already to toss/give away/recycle what we don't want to haul around the world with us.  Now I'm going through everything again, this time to separate into piles: one small one with the necessaries, the rest to be seen again at a yet-undisclosed time and location.

7.  Shopping.  We had to find: 1. a place to live, furnished (what, you don't think we can fit our furniture into a 700-lb shipment?), close to work (one car), and willing to work with the Foreign Service's very strange per diem rates.  2. new car insurance  3. short-term health insurance  4. shipping insurance (yes, all of one's worldly goods occasionally get dropped in the drink or looted when governments fall)  5. renters insurance  6. new cell phones  7. the aforementioned luggage and car-top carrier  

8.  Scheduling.  Yes, we have movers, but they don't just show up on their own, and without having to come see everything they're supposed to be packing up.  

9.  Begging.  And what do you do with the children while you're taking your house apart after having given away half the furniture and dismantled the rest and made piles around the house that cannot. be. touched.  especially when Sophia has just learned to crawl?  Not to mention the day that the movers actually come to take away bed, books, toys, and everything that makes up a 2 year-old's world.  That's why we have ward members.  

10.  Errands.  Clothes to buy, clothes to return, a car to be inspected, brakes to be fixed before the car passes inspection, standing in line at the DMV for renewal decals, medical records to be picked up, forms to be faxed, another VCUG, a new car seat as Sophia has decided to grow of hers, utilities to be shut off, library books returned, items to be dropped off at DI, several times, and many more.

11. Taxes.  Yes, it's that time of year.  Thank heavens for online filing.

12.  Church business.  Brandon and I both serve in YM/YW with its attendant Wednesday nights and Sunday lessons.  And we're giving talks on Sunday.

13.  And don't forget, I still get to be a mom and deal with an especially unpleasant Sophia (why?  who knows), busy Kathleen, messes to clean up, meals to be cooked, and laundry to wash.

I have never looked forward to a cross-country drive as I do to our upcoming one.