Tuesday, November 1, 2011

the logistics of moving across the globe

Today was a hectic day. First day back to ''normal'' after our vacation. We were gone from the 13th to the 31st...while I loved almost every.single.minute of our trip, I'm glad to be home. I'm not glad for the laundry, the housework, the sorting, packing, purging and clutter. It's starting to sink in though that this won't be home for much longer.  The strange thing is, I can't even accurately pinpoint how this makes me feel! It's all so surreal. We're moving to Italy. We've been in Texas almost an entire year and that hasn't even fully sunk in yet and now we're just moving across the world. It's insane.

Like Bubba exclaimed to Nanaw a few days ago...''We're movin' to Italy....It's not even IN america!"

I am excited, don't get me wrong. But it's very hard {for me especially} to put so much faith into the unknown. I mean, this is completely unknown. Each day I read a little more, get a little more comfortable. Plan a bit more...but pretty soon there won't be anything else left to schedule or plan, we'll just be waiting to GO. It's exciting and yet terrifying.

We have our flight booked. I can't remember if I mentioned that or not. It's booked one week to the day, before B starts his new job. It was a very easy process in terms of actually getting a flight. We went to SATO gave them 2 copies of B's orders, they asked us what day we'd like to fly out. When we got home, B had a confirmation email with our flight, scheduled for the day we had requested. We were fortunate enough to get a flight with just one stop from here to Venice so hopefully that will help with the kids sticking to routine. It's almost a 9 hour flight; leaving early evening stateside and landing at 9am there. I just hope and pray that they sleep on the flight! As soon as we received that confirmation email with our flight number on it, I was able to call the airline and secure Rascal a spot in-cabin with us. It's a fee of $200 but my sanity {and his safety} is worth that. I don't want him to end up a horror story, getting left out on the tarmac in 20 degree weather.

We are getting him a thundershirt this weekend, hopefully he'll react well to it and it will help keep him calm in the airport. I'm not worried about him on the plane, I know he'll settle down and sleep easily. I'm extremely worried about how he'll do in the airport, around all the people and the hustle and bustle. The long layover...I'm overthinking it, I know but the anxiety is there nonetheless.

We got our passports back, as well as our Visas. Luckily there was no set back getting those! Now we have to schedule the movers/packers (cross your fingers but that should be done tomorrow) and send the van over. Ideally you want to send your vehicle over as soon as possible as it can take six weeks (or longer) to arrive. We're hoping to send ours out within the next 2 weeks...that would be almost a full month before we even arrive, to lessen the time we would have to go without in Italy. With four kids, I'm nervous not having a vehicle but from what I've read the buses are easy to learn and most of the other Americans have already gone through what we'll be going through, and are happy to help with rides and such. The only reason we're waiting two weeks is because of course, our van's tags & taxes expire this month. We have to go pay that lovely fee before we can send it anywhere. I also have to get a letter of approval from our lien holder (as we have a loan on the van) stating we can take it overseas and we have to switch to USAA. Which I sorta hate as I've had State Farm insurance since I first got a drivers license but they do not insure internationally. Bummer!

It's been 2 months since B accepted the job and in that time we've:

-Applied for and received our passports. (almost six weeks)
-Applied for and received our visas. (almost three weeks)
-Received our official orders, booked our flight and our hotel stay upon arrival in Italy
-Received our APO address.
-Had a tearful and heartfelt goodbye with our families back in Kansas (so hard, but so lucky to have been able to spend so much time with them)
-Did necessary and preventative maintenance on our van (it's cheaper here than there!)

In the next six weeks I need to:
-Sell and donate unnecessary toys and baby items. Get rid of all maternity clothes and baby clothes.
-Sort, purge and pitch all this clutter in kids rooms, kitchen and pantry. 
-Start to separate belongings into the ''take/pack to Italy with us/leave in storage here/let movers pack'' piles.
- Use up the food in the freezer so not to have it go to waste later.
-Have a birthday celebration for Peanut (can't believe he's turning THREE!)
-Have a traditional Thanksgiving meal, dig out our 'Elf on a Shelf' who will be flying in our suitcases, begin mailing gifts to our APO so they are there for Santa. It's really important to me that we keep things as 'normal' as possible for the kids during this transition. Especially since it is happening smack in the middle of the holidays, our household goods won't be there in time for Christmas and we're still very much believers in Santa. I want them to embrace this and remember it fondly, not hate it because it took away something they look forward to for so long. 

So yeah, we'll be busy! 


  1. good luck, when i was 16 I PCS'd with my family to Germany. It is quite a process! :) I have been to Venice and it's amazing. You will love it. It is such a great opportunity you are giving your children to learn cultures, languages, customs, new foods, new ways of life. everything is so different but its mostly a good different. I miss Europe so much sometimes. It is just mesmerizing! I hope you will continue to blog about it because I would love to read about it!

  2. I am so impressed (but not surprised having read your blog for awhile now) that you are thinking about Christmas and making sure the kids have presents...you are amazing!


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