Good morning, babes! Hope your New Year is off to a great start! Today, my oldest went back to Kindergarten after spending the nice and long Christmas break at home. She’s always been so helpful with our baby Avery which means this mama sure misses her already. I’ll share with you a short video clip featuring a fun moment from our last few days in our last home before we moved.
A few of my favorite shirts with clever designs are from Thread Tank. I wore them through my pregnancy and they’ve been some of my favorite gifts to share! They have the cutest designs for both men AND women. My husband’s siblings all refer to their dad as “Pops”. I found this shirt that’s TOO funny and is ever so fitting for their proper Englishman of a father. I wore this shirt with my big preggo belly allllll the time, haha. It always makes me giggle when I see those pictures with my belly poking through the shirt. Use discount code “JANENE10” off your order! Here’s the Mama Llama sweatshirt I wore on the moving day. SO comfortable and there’s tons of styles and colors.
Before we moved, those last few days in our home were unique. It was odd to see everything special to us packed away and boxed up. I slowly began to feel that our home of 6 years was turning back into a house. We spent SO many hours in that bedroom. I went through each pregnancy in that home, I nursed all my babies in that home, I rocked them to sleep, kissed their boo-boos, dashed them off to the ER’s too many times, watched them all learn how to swing on the swing set, watched them all take off down the same road with so much joy for their first time flying on their bicycles, etc… It was the perfect house for us. We had lived with my in-laws (thank you!) for 1 year beforehand so that we could save up to buy the house. After spending months and months looking for a home, we felt oh so confident when we walked into that home for the first time. We felt in our bones that it was the home we’d raise a family full of kids. This was before we knew that we could have children. A few weeks before closing on our new home, the biggest blessing and surprise arrived when we found out we were pregnant with Savannah! So, we bought the home with 0 kids and we left with 4. It served us well and I was incredibly sad at the idea of moving away for too many reasons. Why move then? Aaron’s building an orthodontic practice (braces!) and being a part of the community where he’ll serve is something we feel passionate about! We found a new perfect home in the perfect spot. We know that we lucked out with the friendliest neighbors! A HUGE thank you to those who reached out offering support through advice on moving. Like, that was so helpful. I’d love to return the favor and share a post with the best tips for moving with kids (and things I wish I had done!). One of you said to me in a DM… to think of the new home as the place that ALL my kids will remember growing up in. This is the place they’ll crack jokes about in memories of sneaking out late into the night and joyriding in the parent’s car when they’re 14. No? Just me? And my once- irresponsible-teen-turned-husband? Woops 😉
- YOUR BEST WAY TO PACK MAY NOT BE YOUR SPOUSE’S BEST WAY TO PACK. And that’s okay. This was invaluable for me to learn and accept early on in the moving process. Choosing which rooms to pack, what to pack, how to pack, what to get rid of, what to buy, what’s worth keeping is all stressful enough. Let alone, working together with your spouse to happily agree on every. single. choice. I had the idea come to me while I watched Aaron load the dishwasher. He was arranging the dishes and cups in to the dishwasher in a funny way that I didn’t think was ideal. I’ve watched him do it the same way for the last 10 years. In my humble opinion, I know that I can pack that dishwasher better. Ha! Haven’t we all seen them do chores around the house that we think they’re do the “wrong” way? Here’s the deal, it’s the “wrong” way for me but not for him. Right? The way he’s choosing to load the dishes is the right way for him and the best thing I can do for the both of us is to accept that. The same goes for packing and moving an entire household. He packed his way and I packed my way. We didn’t try to control one another and it was such a smooth experience for both of us. Resisting the differences makes it much more stressful and miserable on everyone. Accepting that we can only control ourselves is such a good place to be.
- PACK PRIORITY BOXES WITH NECESSITIES. I had SOOO many of you send this tip my way and I wish I’d done a better job with it. Pack a box with toilet paper, soap, paper goods, plastic utensils, kids PJ’s and 2 outfits, etc etc. You’ll have 100’s of unopened boxes in your new home and it is the worst thing trying to scavenge for a roll of toilet paper for one of your kids while on a conference call. Or needing your toothpaste at 2am when you’re finally getting to sleep. Label and pack a few priority boxes with the things you’ll need for the first few days. One friend suggested packing those boxes first in the moving truck so they’ll be the last boxes to unload. It is EASY to have boxes hide in all the chaos 😉
- HIRE HELP OR HAVE FRIENDS COMMIT WEEKS BEFORE THE MOVE. We’re lucky enough to have quite a bit of family and friends in the area and so we solicited their help a couple weeks before the move. We scheduled the moving truck and I gave the time frame we’d need help moving boxes and appliances into the truck while also giving a time frame for helpers to arrive at our new house to unload everything into that house. I picked up Papa John’s pizza at the new and old house while everyone was working. Full tummies makes everyone happier, haha. I also labeled boxes with the room name so that friends and family could move easily without needing too much direction.
- HAVE KIDS GO SOMEWHERE ELSE FOR MOVING DAY + ASK FOR HELPERS WAY IN ADVANCE. Ohmeerrrgaashhhh. My sweet sister-in-law Brittany saved my bacon when she asked me if she could take my kids for the day. It was literally the night before moving day and she messaged me asking if she could swing by and pick up the twins. That was SO helpful. I’m so used to having them with me all the time and I didn’t think it would be a problem to have them there. Hindsight, it would’ve made everything extremely difficult. But I didn’t think I’d have time to drive the kids to anyone’s house and so I was grateful for her help! Savannah was in Kindergarten for the day, she came home just as the excitement started. Both my mom and MIL came over to help (FOREVER THANKFUL!) and so one of us always took care of Avery while the others packed the boxes into vehicles and then cleaned the entire house. I couldn’t imagine cleaning that entire house on my own! The local LDS missionaries came over to offer their services on their ‘preparation day”. Aaron’s co-residents, friends from my church, and the husband’s of my girlfriends all came to help the move go fast and smooth. Aaron reached out to the new church we were going to be attending and quite a few of the members showed up and unloaded the entire moving truck and other vehicles. The support we had was unreal. We are so grateful. I’m not good at asking for help. Partially because I’m not very good at delegating. I prefer to get the job done myself because it’s easier that way. It’s definitely something I’d like to change and become comfortable at reaching out for help. I think it’s a true talent to be able to ask for help and it’s an even greater blessing to see a need and act without being asked. I’m so inspired by the words of my beloved President Monson, “I always wanted the Lord to know that if He needs an errand run, Tom Monson will run that errand for him.”
There were plenty more tips and advice that I received that were SO helpful. Many of you followed along in my instagram stories and it was fantastic to have y’all flood me with helpful insight. We started packing about 1 month before the move. I packed a few boxes every single night. I started minimizing our household items a year prior (thank you Aunt Marci for the encouragement about decluttering! Start out with the netflix documentary called Minimalism. Learning how less is more was life-changing for us!). Were there any helpful moving tips you’ve found in your own moving adventures?! Feel free to comment below with those! And I hope your week is off to a great start! xo