At the end of this week, I will leave my home in New Jersey and set off on a crazy adventure.
I’ll put all of my family’s belongings into two large packing/shipping containers starting on Wednesday, and those containers will be sent to Michigan where they will be stored for three months.
In the meantime, my family and I will spend a month together in Europe. We’ve been planning this trip for a long time, liquidating all airline miles we’ve collected over the past two years. We’ll spend a week in Iceland, a week in Norway, a week in Sweden, and a week in Finland. We rented an Airbnb apartment for each country, and I plan on doing work while we travel because hey, somebody has to.
From Europe to Louisiana
When we land back in New York at the beginning of June, we’ll pile the whole family in our SUV which will be parked at a friend’s house and drive down to Louisiana where all of our family lives.
The kids, dog, and I will spend two months in Louisiana with our families while the hubs will head to Michigan on his own to start residency and get settled.
The reason for splitting up our family for two months is two-fold. The first big – and important reason is that we bought our first house! We are really, really excited about it, but the seller requested to live in the house for 60 days after closing because she is getting married and going on her honeymoon.
At the same time, the hubs will be working nights during the first month of his residency training, so I didn’t really want to live in a hotel with the kids and dog for two months especially if hubs will be on an opposite sleep schedule.
So, I think all of us, especially the kids, will be happy spending two months with their grandparents and playing outside in Louisiana while hubs gets everything settled in Michigan.
Somewhere in there, I will have to fly to Michigan to be with hubs when we close on the house together and also somewhere in there, hubs will officially have his medical graduation ceremony in New York.
All the Logistics
Needless to say, it took us a ridiculous amount of time to work out the logistics of all of this. I am basically packing three separate bags for each family member – one for Europe where it will be cold, one for Louisiana where it will be super hot, and another for Michigan for all the belongings and clothes we won’t need until we get there.
We’ve had to figure out where to put our cars and our dog. As I type this hubs is driving 20 hours to Louisiana by himself to drive our dog, Julep, to his parents house where she will stay while we travel. Then, he’ll leave his car in Louisiana and fly one way back on Wednesday when the shipping containers will arrive to be packed and sent to Michigan.
As you can imagine, my life is in total uproar. I had a big garage sale and have been packing everything and watching two toddlers and trying to write and keep my business afloat so we have money to travel, close on a house, and you know, live.
Here are three ways I’ve tried to stay calm and happy the past month as all of these changes have taken place:
1. Hire Help
I have no shame in hiring help. I’ve had our babysitter here almost every day and she has been phenomenal in helping me pack. Somehow, she and I packed up half the house, priced everything for a garage sale, and then the kids started saying their numbers in Spanish too because she rocks that much. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do without her when we move to Michigan. She is the reason why I’ve maintained my sanity not only for the past month but also for the past year and half too.
I’ve also hired someone to come and completely deep clean the house on our last day on Saturday. We put down a $2,500 deposit on this apartment, and I’d love to get as much of it back as possible. Paying someone $100 to clean my oven, fridge, and every speck on the walls and baseboards is well worth it to me if I can get that deposit back.
I have also hired a social media team to make sure everything is regularly posting while I go through this transition and travel. I have to make sure my business stays strong during the turmoil, so again, money well spent to make sure this business machine of mine keeps running.
2. Buy Convenience Food & Plates
I’ve packed up my entire kitchen, so I don’t have any of my regular kitchen essentials. I’m currently working through all my food including oatmeal packets and grits and spaghetti. I have one cast iron pot still out that I’ve been cooking everything in, but I’ve also been buying food and coffee when I need to.
I am bone tired, guys, and I have no problem having food delivered. I’ve also purchased paper plates and cups and plastic silverware. If I could afford the expense, I’d do paper plates year round. It’s been so nice not doing dishes and just throwing plates in the garbage when the twins are finished eating.
3. Prioritize Health & Sleep
My poor little boy has started having night terrors. They started about three weeks ago and it happens about 2-3 times a week. He wakes up screaming at the top of his lungs and is inconsolable. When I put him in my bed, he calms down a little but thrashes a lot, so I’ve slept in his crib a time or two.
Needless to say, when I’m tired during the day, I’ve just gone and taken a nap. My normal self would never do this because I should be working, but my husband and babysitter have been so helpful in allowing me to do this.
As the mom, I really am the one who plans everything and holds it all together, so I’ve just had to let go of my pride and rest when my body is telling me to rest. I don’t want to get sick, so I make my heath a priority.
I have to say, despite the crazy things going on over here, I do feel quite happy and content. A few weeks ago I had no idea how we were going to get all of this done, but now I see a light at the end of the tunnel. The house is really close to being packed up , the dog is on her way to Louisiana, and all of us are going to Europe in just a few days!
I know when I’m on that plane to Iceland with the whole family next weekend and we are totally moved out, we are going to feel really great, happy, and content.
If you are going through some major life changes or moves or general upheavals, it really is possible to stay happy and calm. You just need to stay extremely organized, rest as much as you can, and don’t be bashful about hiring the help you need to get you to the next step.
What was the craziest time in your life? How did you get through it?