Exactly 4 years ago, we packed our belongings into storage and made the long drive to my parents’ in Florida, to live with them while we figured out next steps for our family. Mike lost his job (through very unfortunate circumstances which had nothing to do with him and were out of his control) - continuing to live in the extremely expensive DC/NOVA area wasn’t feasible.
The little truck in the picture below is from that time. We used it to move a few big pieces of furniture into storage. The big truck on the bottom of the picture is from last weekend. We packed up and moved to Florida - again!! 😆
To say I’m having a little bit of Déjà vu is a bit of an understatement!
Why did we do it? The “safe” answer is - because we could. Also, there were attractive reasons for moving. Mike can work remotely - he hasn’t worked in the office since March. Warmer weather also drew us during these cold winter months. Most importantly, we moved to a house that is just about an hour’s drive to my parents’ place! We are so excited to spend more time together regularly.
The more in depth answer that will make some people uncomfortable, is that we are unhappy with the direction Virginia is heading in and feel safer putting some distance between us and it. 2020 was a hard year for most. What we realized is this: if we want 2021 to be different, we have to make that happen by making different choices. Moving will seem drastic to many, but for us it felt right. I will probably write more about this in the future, but for now I want to document these last few weeks and months because they were memorable!
Most people won’t move unless absolutely necessary or desired because, quite simply, it is a massive amount of work and very overwhelming. What I found though, is that I welcomed the work - especially the physical aspects of it. It felt great to be focused on a goal, to occupy my hands and get out of my head - which had worked overtime in 2020! - and to disconnect from the World a little bit. Yes, it was a lot of work. But I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Of course packing is a massive amount of physical work. But equally important was all of the emotional and logistical work - last appointments, phone calls, cancelations, and of course goodbyes.
Thursday January 14th - my parents arrived in VA. We could not have done what we did without them. They watched Carter, drove Marisol around, helped pack/clean/drive and unpack - phew!! Oh and they also made time to play - there were many tickle/wrestle sessions with the boys.
Friday 1/15 - packing up boxes, Marisol gymnastics practice.
Saturday 1/16 - get the truck! Pack it up as much as possible and start cleaning. Marisol went to a friend’s for the afternoon.
The truck looks as big as the house in this picture! Haha. Of course it wasn’t, and I was (a little) worried that everything wouldn’t fit. Mike was optimistic all along and again, he was right! We fit everything we wanted/needed to bring, leaving only a few things at our house which we are renting out for a year.
Sunday 1/17 - finish as much packing and cleaning as possible. Mike and I literally worked All. Day. Long. Marisol had her last practice and her friend made her the sweetest binder with pictures and goodbye messages from all her teammates. Mike went out and bought food for the drive the next day. We finally called it quits at 11 pm even though there was still more work to do. Grandma, Grandpa and big kids slept on the main floor, mattresses on the ground and ready to be loaded up in the morning. Carter had an exhausted meltdown before falling asleep which pretty much summed up how we all felt.😆
Monday 1/18 - Driving day! But first - finish emptying the house, packing up the truck and car, and last minute cleaning. My parents and I wanted to leave as early as possible - like 7 am. Mike’s goal was 9 am. Mike’s departure time turned out to be much more realistic and we were on the road by 9:20 am on Martin Luther King Jr. day. I found it fitting to be moving on this particular day, as I admire MKL Jr a lot and am very inspired by his courage and commitment.
The drive couldn’t have gone any smoother. We had amazing weather, the kids were great, and hardly any traffic. We had enough food to get us through the day so our stops were quick gas/bathroom and get back on the road. We arrived at our new home by 9:45 pm. We had only seen pictures and videos before this moment and we were happy with what we saw for the first time in person.
Tuesday 1/16 - Unpack! It's amazing how quickly you can unpack a truck. What took 2ish days to pack, took less than half a day to unpack. My dad worked hard unloading box after box. Mike and I moved all of our big furniture for the last time (this move anyway, ha!) We returned the truck in the afternoon and breathed a big sigh of relief - we did it! A quick stop at Walmart for a few things and back to our new home so start settling in. Most importantly - we bought childproof handles for all of our doors going outside to keep Carter safe - No running out into the street or pool area without an adult!
That night Mike, Marisol and my parents went to watch the men's basketball Gators team play - fun! I was happy we had already secured the doors so I could relax with the boys - aka go to the bathroom without worrying my little guy would escape!
And now “all” we have left to do is unpack and get settled - ha! The nice thing is we can take our time. Carter is wanting to spend lots of time outside - so we are.
Compared to our marathon transition 4 years ago from Arlington to Florida to Charlottesville this move was much more of a sprint - it was intense! Both moves were among the hardest things we’ve done as a family. But the first prepared us to do it again. I can’t describe how empowering it is to make a difficult decision, map out a plan, follow it to a T, and complete what you set out to do - as a team. It feels amazing.
So that’s what we’ve been up to! If you’re looking for a place to crash when visiting Florida, let me know!
What we did on Wednesday, which happened to be Inauguration Day. It was nice to have a project and be outside working with my dad. We couldn’t bring our trampoline but bought one and put it up our 2nd day here. Carter needs one for physical activity and health. A friend told me a long time ago that jumping is great for your lymph system and the herbalist we’re working with has made it part of his treatment plan as it helps move toxins out. Awesome!
Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.