Greetings from Northwest Arkansas!
Life has changed dramatically since I last wrote. In the past several months we have packed up all our worldly possessions, driven approximately 1,600 miles through six states, and have begun settling into life in a very different space and culture.
The day we set out on this journey was possibly one of the most stressful days of my life. We had been prepping for the move for several weeks; collecting free cardboard boxes here and there, packing up that which we treasured or could not live without, and getting rid of stuff we didn’t want to move. I had reserved a moving truck for the Monday after Thanksgiving and we were planning on loading it up and then driving to Arkansas that week. However, as Josh watched the weather reports for the various places we were going to be driving through, he began to worry about a big winter storm projected to hit Wyoming that week. Considering that this was the end of November/early December, we weren’t confident that the weather would necessarily improve for our momentous journey, so we decided to speed up our timeline and leave as soon as we could. I was able to change our moving truck reservation to that Saturday, and we had some friends come over to help us load it up. I should also mention that Josh’s mom, Kathy, had come to town to help us, which was very helpful. We hauled some proverbial ass getting the moving truck loaded up.
I’d also like to mention that there were about four hundred million administrative things to do to get ready to move. Giving notice to our jobs, filling out paperwork for Milo’s day care, cancelling various services, as well as finding new homes for my many creatures (ex. Lizzy the bearded dragon and her roach colony went to a nice family). So there was a lot of intense lead up to this Saturday moving day. And of course, we began moving day very early in the morning. Oh, and another thing that I occupied myself with was preparing for a long road trip with a toddler and a cat. Josh was slated to drive the moving truck, Kathy would drive our pickup, and I drove our Jeep with Milo and Kiko. I was definitely worried that driving 1,600 miles with a toddler and cat in a small enclosed space would not be very relaxing. I prepared little gift bags of little toys and things I found at the dollar store to occupy Milo. I also downloaded five seasons of Paw Patrol, but I was hoping for Milo to spend more time looking at books and doing various activities rather than just zoning out with a screen. But this was also a unique situation that we basically needed to survive.
Anyway, so it was a lot of work getting ready to move across the country and the day we loaded up the moving truck was the climax of this frantic busyness and go-go-go. Early in the day, Milo did a great job of helping but as the hours passed he became less and less helpful. Around about noon, I decided to have Milo relax in the bedroom with some Paw Patrol. At this point, there was only a mattress in the room. I also put Kiko in there with her litter box, to keep both of my babies out of the way and contained. As we got closer to 1:00, Josh and I began to discuss how I should probably leave a bit early so that we could hit Milo’s ideal nap time and get to our first stop in Utah before night. We cranked up the pace of our work to make this happen. At some point, I went into the bedroom to check on my babies and discovered that Milo had dumped the litter box out onto the bed, had thrown litter everywhere, and was jumping on the litter covered bed. I thought I was going to lose my mental sanity. It was decided that I would be leaving with Milo and Kiko immediately, while Kathy and Josh finished up the last of the loading. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt more stressed out than when I was trying to secure Milo in his car seat after the litter incident and he was yelling at me for taking him away from the fun cat litter. I got into the driver’s seat with my toddler having an epic tantrum and the cat freaking out in her carrier next to me, and it seemed like my whole body was shaking from stress and anxiety. After we hit the freeway and Milo fell asleep for a nap, it took me several hours to relax, all the while Kiko was meowing with her own anxiety.
That first day, we drove down to a town in Utah where Kathy’s brother and his wife live and we were able to stay with them that night. That was a good start to our journey because they had a lovely home and she is a wonderful cook. The next day, we drove through Wyoming and avoided the blizzard that would hit the following day. The day after that, we drove through Colorado, and the day after that, Kansas, Missouri, and landed in Northwest Arkansas.
The main thing that made this transition feasible for us is that Josh’s dad, Jim has a spare house that we are able to live in until we get our ducks in a row. Jim has several acres of land in the countryside and we are able to stay in this modular house on his property. The house is very comfortable and actually has a nice layout. It also has two bathrooms, which is amazing after living in a one bathroom house for so many years.
Our house in Boise has been on the market for a little over a month. I had really hoped that it would be sold by now, but maybe that was wishful thinking. Putting it up for sale a few weeks before Christmas was probably silly. Josh and l have been diligently job hunting. He has a second interview tomorrow and I have an interview later this week. Although, I admit that I’ve been enjoying spending so much time at home with Milo and have entertained the idea of being a stay-at-home mama for a bit.
I’ll write more about our new life in Arkansas but overall it has been wonderful and I’m glad that we made this move.