Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Great Pack-Up

So the Great Pack-Up finally happened!! After months of planning, prepping, and waiting it was hard to believe that is was actually time to pack our stuff up and move out.  And it didn't come free of hold-ups and stress.  See, the company tells you NOT to sell your house until you get your final acceptance letter... see, there are several steps in the acceptance process and at any point you can fail something and you are denied the job.  You have to pass medical checks, background checks, your kids have to be accepted to the school, they have to have a house for you, and you have to get your visa.  Well we had everything accept the visa but we assumed since we passed visa medical that we were guaranteed the visa.... NOT the case!
Feeling that every door was opening for us and that this was the right move for our family, we listed our house to sell WAY before we had cleared half of the things we needed to but we assumed it would take MONTHS to sell our house.  We were shocked when we had an offer in 3 weeks!  We accepted the offer but told them our move was international and we needed some additional time before we could move out.  We had May 5 as our move out date and that included 2 weeks of "buffer" time built in in case we had any hang-ups.  Turns out, that wasn't enough.....
See, the company will not send the packers to your house until you have your visa in hand... and they actually don't like to send the packers to your house until you are days away from boarding the plane... which for Brad is May 30 so there is NO way that would work for us..... the closer we got to May 5, the more we began to stress!  We had already applied for the visa once and got denied and we were really starting to worry.  Man, it is hard to trust that things will work out and that you are making the right choices for you and your family when your visa has been denied a second time and you see your new adventure slowly slipping away!  I'll never forget, I was working at the Rhea Lana sale when Brad called and told me the news, his visa was denied again so his work was sending a representative to go speak with the consulate personally to plead Brad's expertise.  This was 4 days before the packers were suppose to come and we knew that if this fell through, we were in a whole lot of trouble!!!
Prayers were answered and the consulate agreed to go ahead and process Brad's visa so we thought we were in the clear and ready to rock and roll... so we sent the kids to my mom's house for the week so they could start getting settled there and we could prep the house for the Great Pack-Up that was to happen on Friday.... Thursday afternoon I got an email saying our visa hadn't been process yet so the Pack-Up was NOT going to occur and we were going to be pushed back until May 15... I already had the new owners calling me daily and stressing me out... there was NO way there were going to wait until Mid May to move in.... so I cried.... what were we going to do?!?! 
I called Aramco first thing on Friday and made the agreement that IF our visa did NOT come through then we would assume all financial responsibility for the packers and with that we were scheduled for the Great Pack-Up to happen on Monday May 6 and to be completed by May 8... not too far off from the 5... Whew!!!!  And guess what?!?!  Brad's visa showed up on Monday the 6... and with that... The Great Pack-Up happened stress free!!!!  It was SO nice to have our stuff packed up for once!  This is our 5th move in the 7.5 years we've been married and we've done them all but this one by ourselves!  And now that we have SO much more stuff and Brad is busy at work and I'm busy with the kids, man, it was nice to have 4 guys come in and pack us up without worries to us!  And they packed everything!!!  The little junk drawer that had become unorganized, the mountain of toys in the toy room that had been accumulating on the floor, the piles of clothes that were waiting to be sized... they did it all... and you know what... it didn't feel that weird to have someone else doing it!!! : )
After months of planning, many tears, tons of stress, it was SO weird and a huge relief to see all of our stuff heading down the road in a couple of moving vans!  To have this part of the move done is such a relief but also a bit weird... it is still hard to believe this is actually happening!!!!  So now, ALL of our stuff (furniture, clothes, toys, and "junk") will start its journey to Saudi!  It will sit in storage until Brad makes it to Saudi then it will board a boat to begin its journey to the other side of the world!  Once it gets there, it will sit in storage until they are ready to process it through customs (where they have the right to open up all of the boxes and remove any contraband {dice, cards (games of chance), alcohol, pictures with improperly dressed people, pigs, bibles, religious items... the list is LONG!!!).  Once it passes through customs, they will schedule to have it brought to our house and unpacked by workers there!
After our stuff was gone, all that was left was for me to get the rest of our things in the house that didn't get packed up and say my "Good Byes", I'm weird like that.... but, unfortunately that didn't get to happen like I had planned.  The new owners had been putting pressure on me to get out as soon as possible so I told them that as soon as I knew when we would be out I'd let them know..... so, trying to be nice I texted them to come at 4:30... that would give me the time I needed to close up the memories.... but I didn't get that... they showed up at 2:30 and I had to rush out the door... I didn't want to be there when they were there... so I threw the last box in my van and drove off... taking this last picture as I left.. and you can see the new owner in it.... I started bawling... how dare him not give me the opportunity to have closure on this chapter of our lives.... it took me a while to talk myself out of the hysteria I was feeling... I had to remind myself...
- Yes, he didn't get me the extra 2 hours I requested.  However..... he didn't erase the memories I was taking with me.....

- Owen grew up into a little boy in that house
- Addyson learned to walk in that house
- Ethan was born in that house
- Sam and Skip are burried at that house
- Brad and I grew so strong together in that house and SO many plans about our future were made in that house.
- We hosted numerous parties, celebrated many life events, opened our door to many friends (old and new), danced, played, sang, laughed, cried, dreamed, rested, and loved in that house and the reality is that those last 2 hours weren't needed to remember that.  The new couple was probably SO excited to start their new life in that house that those 2 hours meant more to them than they would to me.....
So I dried my tears, put a smile on my face, and....
drove to my mom's house where we started the next chapter of our adventure..... let the unpacking/ settling in here begin... while we wait for our time to fly over to Saudi and greet our stuff when it arrives off the boat in 3-4 months... when The Great Unpack will happen!

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