Moving Day!

Well it is officially here - moving day!  The movers have been here for about 3 hours now...unpacking and repacking all of the boxes we (especially Mom) so carefully packed only a few short months ago.  After 6 extra large space bags of clothes and our bikes were moved to Mom and Dad's (to be put in the car top carrier upon our return from Tennessee), a load of hanging clothes taken to Jos. A Bank's last night (they shipped about 15 business suits and dresses for $35!), a load to Goodwill, a load to the Planned Parenthood book drop, a load to Mom and Dad's (shopping in our pantry), several loads to the dumpster and packing an exceptionally full car, we went through our 450 lbs allotted air freight in about half an hour.  Even after all that, the remaining shoes, files, hangers, picture frames and Christmas tree sucked up that 450 lbs so fast it was like we didn't even have it.  So much for wanting to bring games, some extra kitchen supplies (not even my dishes - I just wanted to bring some tupperware and measuring cups and organizational pieces but none of it fit) and my photo albums.  I guess that means I have too many shoes and purses but I suppose that really shouldn't be much of a surprise.  Everything else, which I still can't believe how much that comes to, I mean garden hoses and tools and towels and sheets and dishes and coffee pots and serving trays and pillows and tissue paper for gifts and art and the ironing board and you get the point) will be shipped by freight to storage, which we will be able to access upon our move abroad.  Whenever that is.

The dogs are doing their best to make things easy on us.  Last night we ran a few errands and when we got home to finish packing (well, keep packing - this time I really did learn my lesson and I started packing two weeks ago, but it's really a never ending process), the dogs had left us quite a surprise.  Since the kennels are so big and since we wanted to make sure we got the absolutely essential stuff in our car, we packed them first.  I had also packed 2 1/2 boxes of my special-order protein bars - $20 a box of 12, cold-pressed, alkaline forming, no artificial anything, GreensPlus protein bars; they are always sold out at Campbell's and it's the only place in town you can find them so I special ordered them a few weeks ago to make sure I'd have them for our drives so I didn't have to eat gas station's excuse for food - in my backpack on a chair.  Well when we got home last night, we found a carpeting of wrappers.  The dogs got my backpack down and ate every single one of my protein bars.  All 30 bars were entirely gone, as well as my Cliff ShotBlocks I'd packed for my run on Sunday, and a ziploc full of dog treats (dehydrated beef lung).  Let me tell you, too, those bars are very filling - they contain a lot of organic peanut butter and greens - one bar is enough to get me by at least two hours so you can imagine how the dogs probably felt after having probably around 8 or so each.  So after staying up until midnight to pack, Moe woke us up every few hours to go outside (I almost feel bad for him after seeing what he's going through, or rather, what is going through him), and then every other hour to vomit (thank God for concrete floors - they only got it on the ugly rugs once).  What a treat.  I think probably what upset me the most was the fact that for the last week I've been gradually switching the dog's food from their wet, rehydrated meat and veggie diet to dry dog food and so as not to upset their stomachs I built a spreadsheet to give them exactly the right proportion of each food each day and have been measuring everything out to the gram (yes, I am anal and apparently have too much time on my hands).  So yes, after all of that effort, they go and eat my protein bars and totally upset their stomachs anyways.  What do you do.

Tomorrow morning we drop the dogs off at the kennel, drop my car off at Lithia for a tune-up (it is for sale if anyone is interested), and head to Tennessee for some R&R.  I'll post a picture of the car when we get it back from the oil change.

Finally, congratulations to Tiff and Chris and Levi on their new baby girl, Finley!  We can't wait to meet her!


Last night we went out to dinner with Mal and Steve - it's the last time he's in town before we leave.  My friend Lauren just texted me - she travels for work a lot and she's leaving town for work on Saturday and won't be back until we're gone...everything is starting to move really fast now.  I mean, the fact that it's now late August, we've been to the fair, school is starting already - that is crazy enough - this summer went so fast!  But wow it's really only two weeks til our journey truly begins - that is still beyond comprehensible but sinking in ever more each day.  Things felt different when I packed up all our picture frames to "depersonalize" our house to put it on the market.  Things felt different as we watched our furniture move, room by room, out the front door into other people's moving trucks.  Things definitely felt different when we moved out of our beautiful house and moved into this loft with unfamiliar furniture and decorations and dishes.  There have been meltdowns - in this house, on the streets of Des Moines while walking the dogs, in restaurants - and there have been plenty of arguments (I would say, not surprisingly to any of you, almost all of which instigated by me), many about nothing having to do with the big move but really having everything to do with the move.  I am so excited to start this new chapter of our lives.  I am ready for it to start!  The waiting and waiting - I mean, yes you need time to prepare but really we've been waiting for over a year now and there's really only so much time you can spend cramming your clothes into SpaceBags and going back and forth to PetSmart to find the perfect devices to help your dogs on a 1100 mile ride.  I'm anxious to meet the new people, to see our new apartment, to find a new yoga studio, and to find out what fricking country to where they'll be sending us!  But I also didn't realize how sad, or maybe not sad but nostalgic I'd be about leaving.  It's one thing to not have your furniture or your picture frames but it's definitely in an entirely different world not having your mom and your dad and your sisters and the rest of your family and friends.  Joey and I have both been so blessed to have our family so close all of our lives and I know we are making a conscious decision to leave that behind but it's amazing how that support that we've grown up with continues to support us as we leave. 

Okay enough of that sappy business...I have a few updates.  As Joey mentioned, we did find a new place to live - about which I am so excited.  According to our owner, it's a historic row house that they totally gutted and refinished a few years ago.  It has granite countertops, top of the line stainless steel appliances, two bedrooms, two bathrooms - and over 1100 sq feet!  Plus, the landlord is a woman, which makes a huge difference in the furnishings (for those of you who have been to our loft, you know what I mean).  Also, there is no elevator to contend with (which means no instances with the dogs going crazy - at least inside the building) - in fact we only share our entry with one other person - so huge!  Even better, we have a little fenced in patio area - hardly a backyard but at least it's something for the dogs - and a grill.  This place is surrounded by yoga studios, bars, restaurants - there is a Whole Foods a few blocks away - and you don't need a car (although it does have its own parking space) - I'm super excited about it.  I found this workout place nearby called Bfit which incorporates the ballet barre into your workout and I definitely want to try that - although according to my super supportive husband who followed me on his bike Sunday night for my 14 mile run in the dark, I ran the whole thing duck-footed which is killing my IT band - so maybe more ballet may not work well with the running - I don't know how that'll work out, I'm just excited it's there! 

Our pack-out is August 31st.  So on the 30th we'll be trying to cram as much as possible into the Volvo and separating everything that's ours from our landlords.  They come early morning the 31st and take 450 lbs of stuff to DC and the rest goes into permanent storage, which we can't access until we move abroad.  A woman from the moving company came last week to get an idea of what we have and said she believes our wardrobes, shoes, purses and all to weigh about 500 lbs so since I have two boxes of picture frames and want our Christmas tree, we have been stuffing clothes into SpaceBags like it's nobody's business.  Those puppies hold a lot and though they shrink down quite a bit they are heavy! Unfortunately, three extra-large bags later we haven't made a dent in our closets.  I am determined to make it work though.  After our pack-out, we stay one more night in the apartment then drop the dogs off at the kennel and head to Tennessee.  Since we move out 12 days before we are allowed to move into Washington, we are allotted
$150 a day for lodging and $120 a day for food so we figured why not take some R&R before the craziness of DC.  Why Tennessee you ask?  No state income tax.  Yes, in addition to relinquishing everything else, we are relinquishing our Iowa residency.  We're going to register our car down there and then get drivers licenses and voter registration cards and then we are officially Tennessee residents.  So a few days in Smithville, a few days in Nashville and a night in St Louis later, we'll be back in Des Moines the 6th and 7th at the Staybridge Suites in West Des Moines.  Then we pick up the dogs and start our drive to DC.  5 hours the first day to Bloomington, IL, 6 hours the second day to Columbus, OH, 5 hours day three to Cumberland, MD and then finally 3 hours on September 11 to Washington, DC (I have to admit I find it a tiny bit unsettling that we're moving in on that anniversary but I guess it's probably safer that day that the other 364 days of the year).  Then Monday, September 13 Joey starts his job!  Wow!


Car Woes

Well Joey just called from Tampa...he arrived there yesterday at 3:30 and is just now leaving for Des Moines with the car we purchased on Ebay.  Why the delay you ask?  Where should I start...first, when he arrived in Tampa he called the car dealer who, even though Joey called and arranged to pick up the car on Friday, said he wasn't expecting him and that he wouldn't be able to deliver the car until 8 am Saturday morning.  So this morning, after picking up the car, Joey stopped for gas, upon which he realized there was no rear differential.  I have no idea what a rear differential is but apparently it has something to do with 4WD.  So although the car was advertised on Ebay as 4WD, it was only 2WD.  Awesome. We specifically sought out a 4WD car in the event we get posted to a country with bad roads or snow (so anywhere) and now after flying to Florida and staying overnight, he figures this out.  Joey drove back to the dealer who apologized but said there really wasn't much he could do without the approval of his manager who wouldn't be in the office until Monday.  So he agreed to take another $1500 off the car.  I think it's just about the most unethical, illegal thing I've ever heard.  You sell a car on Ebay and then it's not as promised and Joey had to figure it out?  What would have happened if he hadn't figured it out until he got it back to Iowa?  Then we totally would have been SOL.  I guess the joke's on us...I mean, duh, who is dumb enough to buy a car on Ebay?  We are I guess.  The bank check is supposed to clear Monday and then this dealer (who got 106  5-star reviews on Ebay - 100% positive rating) is getting lambasted in my review.  I guess one positive aspect is we got the car for far less than its blue book value so when we get posting we can sell it if need be and not lose any money.  But the whole point was to buy a car and be done with it...ugh what do you do?  You live you learn - and don't buy cars on Ebay.