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?
43 responses to “3 Ways To Stay Calm and Happy During a Major Life Uproar”
Wow, Cat! It sounds like you have an exciting few months ahead. The European trip sounds amazing and spending some time with your family down in Louisiana will be nice, too. Aggressive self-care during periods of craziness seems to be key. Even a short walk every day makes a huge difference.
I agree with you 100% Kate. I’m trying really hard to stay healthy because I definitely don’t need to be fighting sickness during this crazy time too.
Sounds like a crazy but awesome summer. Congrats on the house!
Thanks! We are very excited about it. 🙂
Whoa! So much news.
Best of luck and enjoy the epic adventures that will unfold in the next few months!
It’s going to be crazy, but awesome! 🙂
Wow!! This is huge! Congratulations on buying your house. I spent a month in Norway which city are you going to? If you go to Oslo check out Vigeland Park. Have an amazing time, and congratulations (again to the hubs) on his new job.
Thanks Michelle! We’ll definitely have to update everyone on how our trip goes. 🙂
That sounds like an awesome trip Cat! Congrats on the house!! We had to ween ourselves off the convenience of paper plates too, but they are great to utilize when you’re moving and don’t want to pack/unpack all your dishes.
Definitely! In this case, convenience is worth a little extra spending so we can all stay sane. 🙂
Dang! I was exhausted just reading that!!! I’m so bummed you won’t be in Michigan while I’m there, but I’ll be back eventually again. Where in MI did you buy a house? Very affordable there yes? 🙂 I hope you get some downtime in Europe. Sounds fabulous. One day at a time!
It’s crazy how much cheaper it is in MI. We are very excited about all of these changes, but it will be a whirlwind I’m sure!
OMG Cat!!!! I’m stressed and exhausted about these next few months for you!!! We had a crazy period in our lives between leaving Florida and moving to NY, including me living with Will (who was 2) with my brother and sister in law who had a house under construction. As you can imagine, entertaining a 2 year old in a construction zone was crazy to say the least. I will miss you being close by, but I’m excited to follow your next adventure and know that I will see you in FinCons and certainly around the web. 🙂 Good luck with everything and if we can help in any way, let me know!!
Thanks so much Shannon! That really means a lot. I’m sure I’ll be back to NYC now and then for work too. 🙂
I agree with Tonya, I’m exhausted just reading all this! Congrats on all of it. If you want to save one trip you could give your husband POA to sign the mortgage documents on your behalf. That’s just based on total practicality. Of course there’s the fact you won’t be seeing him and it is your FIRST house so if you want to be there for those reasons, awesome!! Some people don’t realize it can be done.
That’s a good idea. We’ll have to think on that.
Congrats on buying your first house. You will be a busy mom the next few months but the vacation is well deserved. I’ve actually been to all the places you are going to and you will love it. We are planning a trip to Europe as well this summer, UK, Spain , Paris and possibly Italy. I have learned that there is no shame in hiring help when it makes sense and it will benefit you in the long run. Well done and great tips! Have fun on your holiday.
Thanks! Hiring some extra help has been a great weight lifted off my shoulders. It was definitely worth it.
Wow, that sounds complicated to figure out. Congrats on the home purchase, and I hope your trip to Europe. I’m curious how you chose which countries to visit. Some friends of mine lived in Norway and found it stunningly beautiful.
Looking back to stressful times, I haven’t asked for help enough. I thought I should be able to do it all. Now I’m trying to schedule less each day so that my kids aren’t constantly rushed around.
It’s so hard to ask for help, but it’s necessary so you can stay sane. 🙂 It does get easier the more often you do it.
Best of luck. Can’t wait to hear all the details. You’ll need some time off once all this is done, LOL!
Amen! 🙂 It’s going to be very busy, but I think it’s also going to be great.
What an adventure! Moving is so hectic, and you’re adding international travel to your plate at the same time. I do hope you keep us posted on how you’re all managing this crazy time in your life. And please send us pics of your travels. Just goes to show what you can do when you’re not tied down with a traditional job. Good luck 🙂
Yes! This is definitely part of why I love running my business. It’s nice to know that I don’t have to go without work or an income while traveling.
I hope you have a really awesome trip abroad! Post lots of pictures!
Oooh goodness, yes you have a lot on your plate! I’m happy that you’ll be able to get some fun downtime from this. Going to Europe sounds like it’s going to be super fun. I’m wishing you the best of luck on your move and travels, and yes, take all the rest you need! Us moms have a lot of jobs and we need to kick back and relax too. I’ll be heading to Disney World next week for all expenses paid work conference, so you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m going to thoroughly (and guiltlessly) enjoy those 3 nights of 8 hrs rest.
Wow! I hope that it all continues the way you hope it to be Cat. Just remember that this is gonna end soon and you’d just be surprise that you did a job well done. Enjoy Europe by the way!
Cath, moving in is really stressful. I just hope that you prepared much before making a move because it took me days before we finally moved into our new house and we spent so much than expected. I should have researched for cheaper services and scheduled the time for transfering our things.
Wow you are going to be one busy woman! And with two kids in tow that should be one crazy summer adventure! We’re in southwest Michigan and once you move here you will officially be the only there blogger I know in the whole state! LOL Have a great summer. :o)
You’re a busy mother! Happy Mother’s Day to you Cath. Hope you have a wonderful day on this special day and wish that you fully embrace these changes happening in your life.
Wow, I thought you had your plate full just moving the whole family to Michigan, but this really blows that last update out of the water. What a fantastic way to close one chapter of your lives and move into the next.
I’ve often thought of you and how you’ve managed everything as I plan my next career moves and it’s wonderful to see that self employment can really afford more flexibility than traditional employment if you do it right.
Best of luck finding a great sitter when you get to Michigan – good reliable help is invaluable.
Enjoy the abroad trip Cath! Hope you post a lot of pictures and have fun!
I hope you’re having a blast! I don’t know how you do it. We’ll celebrate you being all settled in come FinCon!
Wow, Cat – that is CRAZY!!! Good for you for prioritizing health and sleep. One of ours had night terrors too, and they are SO exhausting. Can’t wait to hear all about how these months go and to hear about your new life in Michigan too!
Oh my gosh, for everything going on you are so cool and collected, that great!
Have a fantastic trip!
Have a FANTASTIC trip.
For the key to surviving the last few months of upheaval was simple: throw money at problems. They were the kinds of things it was worth paying for (storage, moving etc) and focus on staying sane.
Enjoy the trip! What a whirlwind! I’m kinda in your parts now in Budapest. Whether is good. How did you guys decide to choose the most expensive places in the world to visit? 🙂
One craziest time I have experienced is when we downsized our house from the moment we looked for the perfect house to transferring our stuff. I am glad that it’s over and we planned for it so well, but overall, it’s still one craziest time I can consider.
Wow, sounds like a crazy time! We definitely agree with your points about keeping up on your sleep and your health because those are really important things no matter how stressful your life can get! Thanks for sharing!
Oh yes moving is one of stressful moment in our life and I think isn’t so easy with twins and animals but I’m sure you’ll do a good job and congrats for your first house as homeowner:D, remember deep breaths and prayers can help a lot!!!
Just wow! How’s the house? How has it been so far, Cath? Hope you’re all enjoying your stay! Yay!
So far so good – thanks for asking!