The final 72hrs in VB.

I’m writing this post on the plane to Denver! We are officially on our way! I have lots of mixed feelings, of course, including excitement, fear, worry, happiness, exuberance, and exhaustion, but, more then anything else, I feel RELIEF! I am relieved that we made it through shipments, storage, rental cars, hotel rooms, packing, repacking, sleeplessness, Navy annoyances, mistakes with packing and shipping, and everything else that was thrown at us.

If I could give 1 piece of advice to any military family who is PCSing (the military term for moving) it is this:
Put your head down, close your eyes, and push. Everything WILL get done. Just keep pushing.

Things were crazy this week, but I feel good that this move was our first. Unless we move to Bahrain at some point, we’ll never make a more geographically challenging move. And, if we do move to Bahrain or any other international location, we’ll already know what to do. In the military family lifestyle, knowing what to do is 75% of the battle.

I’d like to specifically thank two women who helped me sooo much in the last week: Coree and Jen. We military spouses are only as good as the advice we receive from those more knowledgeable; so many difficult circumstances that Michael and I faced this week became successes and positive learning experiences because you two were right there when we faced difficulty. Thank you!

Also, BIG shout out to our favorite neighbors down the street, Sarah and Michael. Sarah, you’re a friend for life ❤ Thanks to you and Michael for allowing us to borrow everything that we needed this week!!! We couldn’t have done it without you, and I’m so glad that I got to see you last night 🙂

This week, in hind sight, was a fun adventure and yet another amazing thing that Michael and I did together. Moving day on Monday was the worst day because we didn’t know what to expect and we didn’t do enough prep work to facilitate an easy move. I’m going to post a list of “lessons learned” next week, once I feel confident that I’ve listed everything (it’s quite a long list!). We didn’t go to bed before 1am any day this week, and most days we were up before 7. We went to bed last night at 2ish and woke up before 5am. Yeah.

Around 11:30 last night, Michael turned to me and said, “I feel like I’ve done more today then I’ve ever done in a single day before.” After that comment, we still had 2 more hours of moving-related stuff to do before we could finally go to sleep.

But … WE MADE IT! A friend who recently moved from Hawaii to Virginia told me that all I needed to do was to get on the plane together, as a family. In the end, that’s the only thing that matters. How true.

So, enough of the deep stuff 😉 here are a few pictures from this week that really tell our story.

Here are two photos from our first night (Monday) at the hotel. It was cold, dreary, and miserable – much like me at that point. Since we shipped our bedroom set that day, we had to stay in a hotel until we left.

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On Tuesday, I had some time to begin reviewing Japanese. Thank goodness I have 3yrs of it under my belt. I don’t remember much, but I do remember a lot of the important stuff. I’m using my old class materials and some new books that I purchased at B&N.

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Here is Michael on Tuesday night with a giant mug of beer (I had one too!). We were at our local Mexican restaurant. Another day in the books! After an early dinner, we ran errands for a few hours and began reprinting our master bedroom.

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As you can see in the picture below, our room was a turquoise color. It looked beautiful with our chocolate-colored wood bedroom set and blue/green curtains and bedspread, but obviously not many prospective renters would have the resources to make this color work. It was a lot more work then we anticipated, but it looks GREAT in white too!!

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The weather cleared on Wednesday, so our view from our hotel room was gorgeous. I don’t care where I am in the world – I always feel at home and at peace when I am at the beach.

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We put Michael’s car in storage on Wednesday morning, so we rented this behemoth vehicle! I thought that I would enjoy driving it since I had an Explorer Sport in college, but this SUV was heavier then the engine could handle and I didn’t like its limited rear visibility. It was nice to see over the other cars on the road, though, and it served its purpose.

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And, THIS was its purpose: to transport 8 pieces of large luggage (including 2 4ft tall duffle bags), 4 carry ons, and a bridesmaid dress to the airport.

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Yes, you heard me right – we used 2 48″ x 24″ duffle bags for the trek. As soon as we heard that we might have to wait 4mo for our shipment of home goods to arrive, I ordered these huge bags on Amazon and never looked back. The bags are so large that I could pack Michael in one of them. The duffle bag was especially key for Michael, as he was able to empty 2/3 of his closet into this one bag (typical guy!). However, his big bag weighed more then mine …

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Yup, you’re reading that scale right – 96lbs!!!!!! Mine weighed a mere 75lbs 😉 In addition to our 8 pieces of luggage and 4 carry ons, we shipped 4 large boxes of clothes, shoes, limited home goods, and some of my Pilates gear. It cost about $140 to do that, which is less then we paid for our too-heavy baggage. The boxes we personally shipped should arrive in time to meet us in Japan. We shipped them to our sponsor, who lives on base. We did curbside check-in this morning, which was KEY because we didn’t have to lug our bags to the ticket counter inside. Here are our 8 luggage tags:

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We only had time to grab a muffin from Starbucks before our first flight this morning, and no time to grab food before our 2nd flight, so we purchased snack boxes from Delta during our flight. It turned out that the snack box was full of super processed food (expected), but everything turned out to be good!! Kudos to Delta.

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We are about to arrive in Denver finally. I am looking forward to a hot shower and a nap. Also, it would be fantastic if our bags arrived, but I feel like that might be asking too much of Delta. Fingers crossed that the important stuff at least makes it!!

🙂 cheers, my friends!

UPDATE: all of our bags arrived on time!! Amazing!!

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