Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Timeline of an international move

For those of you curious about what an international move (with kids!) over the Christmas holiday might be like, here's our move:

  • October 17: Ship the car (note to other military movers: This was WAY too early!)
  • November 7: Our Household Goods shipment is packed and loaded into large wooden crates. This is our "big" shipment and probably goes by ship, making it the slow shipment. The fact that it only took them one day to pack and load should tell you that we didn't have much to pack. In fact, the inspector looked around and shook her head and saying, "Not much, not much."
  • December 5: Our "express shipment" or "unaccompanied baggage" is packed and taken away. This is the small shipment of "essentials" that we want to have right away on the other end. We had some kitchen items, linens and our computer in this shipment. This is also the day we moved out of our home in Korea and moved into a hotel, marking this as the starting point for living out of suitcases. In the time between moving into the hotel and flying off the Korean peninsula, we stay busy saying good-bye to good friends made during our time in South Korea.
  • December 10: This is the big day! We fly from Seoul to Honolulu. That's right, Hawaii! I'll post pictures later. Now, don't think about this next part too much as it will give you a headache. We leave Korea Sunday evening and arrive in Hawaii about 8 hours later on Sunday morning. Crossing the international date line can really mess with you! We are met at the airport by my mother and stepfather (they come armed with leis for the whole family). They came to Hawaii a few days before and stayed to spend time with us (okay, the girls).
  • December 15: We fly to Raleigh, North Carolina, where we are picked up at the airport by my very pregnant sister and her toddler (who we hadn't met before as she was pregnant with him when we moved to Korea).
  • December 18: There is a revolving door at my sister's house today. Sam's parents drove down the day before and are ready to take the girls with them this morning. Sam and I rent a car to go in the opposite direction, to Jacksonville, in order to find a place to live, among other necessary errands. That same day, after we leave, my mother arrives to help my sister. The baby is born a few days later.
  • December 18 - December 21: We stay with a friend while picking up a new car, meeting with a realtor, looking at houses, buying a cell phone, etc. We return to my sister's on the 21st to visit her and the baby in the hospital.
  • December 22: We are back on the road. This time, we are headed to Sam's parents and our girls. That evening, our oldest, Big Sis becomes ill with a stomach virus. She has little more than saltines, water and Sprite for the next 2 days. But no one else is sick. Yet.
  • December 25: Merry Christmas! Big Sis is feeling better. But when she sees the candy in her stocking, she puts it aside, shaking her head and saying, "I'm not eating that! I got sick from sugar last time!" (Not to worry, she got over that a few days later.)
  • December 27: We rent another car. This time Sam drives across North Carolina then to Portsmouth, Virginia, to pick up the car we shipped from Korea. The next day, he drives back across Virginia. Meanwhile, at his parents' house, his brother comes down with Big Sis's bug. Then, I come down with it. Fun.
  • December 30: We leave Virginia and return to my sister's house in North Carolina to celebrate Christmas with her family and my mom.
  • January 2: We return to Jacksonville, again staying with our friend, but this time we have the girls with us. What a great friend!
  • January 3 & 4: We sign the lease for base housing and get the keys to our new home. We've decided to paint 2 of the rooms, so we head to the home improvement store to get what we'll need. I get Big Sis registered at her new school. This turns out to be more complicated than expected and requires 3 trips.
  • January 5: Sam's mother arrived the night before to watch the girls while we paint and otherwise get the house ready for move-in. We get the girls' room painted today and paint the living room the next day.
  • January 8: L'il Sis was taken to my sister's yesterday. Today, Big Sis starts school, Sam starts work, and I get the house ready for the movers to arrive the next 2 days. We are still staying with our friend. We still need to buy a bed for L'il Sis. (She went to Korea while in a crib and transitioned to a twin bed while we were there, but it wasn't our furniture.)
  • January 9: Two shipments are delivered today. The first is our express shipment from Korea. Then, our storage shipment arrives. This is all the stuff we put into storage over 2 years ago before moving to Korea. Wow, why do we have some of this stuff? Big Sis begins taking the bus after school to our new neighborhood.
  • January 10: Our household goods shipment from Korea arrives. All of our "stuff" is here. Now, we just need to unpack, hang pictures, and on and on.
  • January 11: L'il Sis's bed is delivered.
  • January 12: After Big Sis gets out of school, she and I drive to my sister's to spend the night and return with L'il Sis the next day. We think this is Grandma's last night in NC. Sam moves into the house while we are gone.
  • January 13: This is our first night in our new house as a family. This is the first night since Dec. 5 that we are not living out of suitcases. There are still boxes everywhere and lots of work to be done. But, at least, we are in our own space.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Coming soon....

We have arrived in North Carolina and are still getting unpacked and settled in. New entries will be coming... eventually!