Monday, February 24, 2014

The Lame Ducks Are Finally Leaving

This is our final week in the US before we head over to Sweden.  We're in packing mode, which is much more complicated than just putting our belongings in boxes.  For every little thing we own we must decide if that item is precious enough to bring with us, or maybe send later, or just put in storage while we're gone, or give/sell/donate it.  This is exhausting, and I keep having to take breaks to get some perspective.

Almost a year ago Steve and I started telling our friends and family that his company had asked us to move to Sweden.  And then things would happen (or not happen) and the estimated move date would get pushed back.  August! we said initially, then school started and we fielded the "You're still here?" looks from other preschool parents, and we assured them we had no intention of driving downtown every weekday for much longer.  November! was the next estimate, and when friends would encourage us with, "Maybe you'll be here through the holidays," I was actually discouraged because we were supposed to be gone by now.  It was nobody's fault, but it was starting to feel like we were crying wolf.  We're really moving, I promise!  Any day now we'll know more!  We've been in Lame Duck Mode, knowing it is hard for our friends to know what to do with the time we had left without nagging us for updates on when we were leaving.  We are so blessed with supportive family and friends who have hung in there with us this whole time.

The past couple of weeks have been many "lasts": Last small group, last Saturday morning at Perkins, last Bible studies, last delicious American cheeseburgers, last Pinterest party, selling furniture, selling my car, and then a wonderful going-away party with our friends.  In some ways it felt like our wedding; beautiful desserts, white flowers, so many hugs, and a really strange feeling I haven't had since our wedding day.

For those of you who have spent much time with me, you'll know that I cry easily.  Happy things like Subaru commercials where the dad is looking out for his daughter, surprise soldier homecomings, and Nicholas Sparks novels. I cry when I'm frustrated or angry, too, and when I'm stressed out or tired.  Most of the time it just kind of leaks out and my voice gets all squeaky, and that's what I expected to happen at our wedding.  But a wise woman told me she was surprised that she was absolutely fine at her wedding, not teary or choked up, and that's what happened to me as well.  I can only describe it as a sense of peace, no tears, not rushed or stressed, able to simply enjoy being with our loved ones.  That's how I have been feeling as I have said goodbye to so many wonderful people this week, friends who have supported me and walked with me through the challenges of having kids, mentors who have helped me grow and challenged me to be a better friend, wife, and mom.

Making valentines
Barring any more snow, the kids will be in preschool for this final week.  Olivia (age 5) is excited to ride on an airplane and see this Sweden that we talk so much about, but I'm not sure she fully understands the concept of moving.  She definitely doesn't acknowledge the reality of not bringing all our belongings with us.  I've had to slowly sneak toys into the car to give away to other people, and then lie about their whereabouts.  "Where's my ____?"  "Umm I dunno, sweetie. Maybe we put it in storage?"  Gah!  But she has been enjoying extra time with her grandparents and is looking forward to being pen pals with her preschool class.  Bowen (age 2) is his happy little self and doesn't really know what's going on.  They'll be fine.

So now it's Moving Week and I'm still deciding the fate of all my belongings, but I'm at peace and excited.  We've been waiting for this for a long time, and now it's right around the corner!


Cassie Collins said...

Anne, read all of your blogs to catch up tonight. Love them. I'm praying for you both, especially as the truck comes and the plane nears. It will be an adventure, but such an adventure!

kateypie35 said...

I am excited to read Sweden posts!