Monday, September 5, 2016

Here we GO!!!

The day has finally come! Since about the end of May we have been busy busy planning for this day. We've planned for this day and the days that will follow over and over and over. I've written pages and pages of plans in my notebook (and still have more to write!). We've calculated miles, planned meals, found campgrounds, booked campgrounds, cancelled campgrounds, planned outfits and details---all of the little details that probably don't matter. We have stressed about it all.

Since we found out in May that we would be moving to Alaska this fall we have been SO.EXTREMELY.BUSY. I honestly don't even want to talk about it because it makes my brain hurt to think about all we have done since that day. We have packed up boxes galore, and then unpacked them when we realized we still needed what was in them. We've talked and questioned how we were going to make this move--what month will we go, how will we get there? Will we fly or drive? Take a ferry or the famous Alaskan Highway? Would Jason go early and then the girls and I go later? How will the weather be? How will we get our pets there? What about the Disney trip we have planned for later in the year, do we cancel it? (HECK NO WE DON'T!). Do we sell our house or rent it? What if it doesn't sale OR rent?

After lots and LOTS of discussing and deliberating we finally decided what would be best for us. We didn't want to be apart, I didn't want to fly, Jason wanted to drive cross country, we couldn't possibly find a decent hotel every night that would accept all of us PLUS our cats and bird--at least not without paying an arm and a leg. So of course the easiest thing to do (by the way, there is NO easy way to do this) was to buy a camper and pull it across the country. Do you know how many times I've regretted agreeing to that crazy idea that was all Jason's fault?

And so it began. We were all super excited to start camper shopping and quickly found the one we wanted--a 32 ft. travel trailer complete with bunk beds that the girls can't wait to put to good use! Along with a camper, we needed something to pull it--because unfortunately, Jason's Altima and my minivan weren't going to get the job done. So we said goodbye to the Altima and after lots of stressing over a vehicle, finally found something big enough to hold all of us AND big enough to pull an 8,000 lb. camper. It's not as kid-friendly as my sweet minivan, but it'll do, I reckon. So we had the getting there taken care of, next up, the house.

We decided it would be best to sell the house so we wouldn't have to worry about renting it out or taking care of it from 5,000 miles away. Anyone who has ever bought or sold a house knows how stressful it is. Especially when you don't have long to do it. First of all, getting a house clean and then keeping it that way with 3 young children living in it is next to impossible. Luckily, my family's beach house was less than a mile away, so we moved over there for a while and that helped a LOT. We had a few showings, and have signed a contract with two different buyers. The first buyers decided after about three weeks that they were not ready to buy a house and backed out, so back on the market it went. About a week after we put it back up, in came another offer, and we are currently under contract again--but not holding our breaths. We are hoping and praying that this one will seal the deal and we will close in mid-September.

In between selling the house and buying a camper and a truck, we've spent our spare time in doctors offices. You see, in order to go somewhere like Alaska, you have to be approved--all of you. So in we all went for physicals and dental checkups. Then we had to have the doctors fill out lots of paperwork and turn it in, and then get it fixed because the doctor signed the wrong line....this took FOREVER. Not sure why it was so hard to get us all in to the doctor and have paperwork filled out but I think it took about two months before everyone was approved! Then we were able to schedule the movers once we were all finally approved to go!

So anyways, that's just a little snippet of what we have been busy doing since May. It has been busy and frustrating. It's been time consuming and boring. My poor kids have been told so many times to be quiet or to go play or to leave us alone. My poor husband has had to reassure me more times than I can count that every thing was going to be alright. I have been a grouch, and impatient and have wondered so.many.times. HOW I was ever going to make it to the next day without completely losing it. And now, I have made it to the day that I've been planning for.
(After reading back through this post before publishing I realized that I had left out a few minor details--so without going into too much detail, there have also been trips to the E.R., minor traffic incidents, flooded laundry rooms, major appliance repairs, etc. I'll let you use your imagination there 😉).

So today, we start the first part of our big trip. Today we are going to start our two day drive down to Disney World, where we will spend a week. After Disney, we will drive back up to North Carolina and get our camper packed up, and then head on to Alaska! We are so excited for this once in a lifetime journey, but are also very nervous. We are trying to stay positive knowing that it will be a very long trip, with long days. Our kids will be tired, we will be tired and our pets will all probably be stressed out. Please say prayers for us and encourage us in the days ahead! We are looking forward to making lots of memories with our little family!