Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Checking in. Downsizing and moving out.

I have been busy!

I just took the world's hottest, longest shower to wash this sweaty, tedious, laborious weekend out of my pores and from under my fingernails and out of my brain.

This blog has dates, right? Anyway, it was July 11th today. Well, now it's after midnight so it's the 12th (Happy Birthday, Jason). Ok, so July 11th 2010 was a hot day. And July 10, 2010 was even hotter. And Isaac and I spent both days sorting and cleaning and packing and driving back and forth to the goodwill in the blazing hot sun in his little Mazda pickup truck. 

Does it sound like I'm complaining? I'm not. This is really what we did. And it wasn't that bad. Actually, one aspect I really enjoyed was that Isaac and were together then entire time, working on the same project. It might surprise you if you know us well, that Isaac and I work very well together. I say that because if you know us, you know that we are both stubborn and kind of sassy. But when we work together on something, those qualities aren't the ones that emerge (at least not for the first few hours). Anyway, we made a lot of progress, and we laughed a lot.

I had a couple of anxious moments, especially when I chose to donate some more sentimental items. Isaac was very sensitive and supportive.

It has been hard to update since we've been so busy moving, but I promise to write again as soon as we're settled at our interim place.

*Edited to Add: I wrote this on the 11th, but for some reason it didn't post. Here it is, a couple days late.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Just real quick, before everything goes to...

Tonight, we'll spend the first night at the Bengel's home. I'm looking forward to it! It's really the first leg of the trip. Off we go!

A few things: diary style, so I don't forget.

There are precious few more beautiful sites in all the world, than a buddy and his buddy in a truck, coming to help you move your mattress and boxspring. Thank you so much to Chris and Steve.

The more stuff we're sure of keeping, the more I see there is to make decisions about. Pull one neat stack from the closet shelf and it turns to hours of muddling and decision-making and (for me) somewhat comically emotional headscratching.

Elizabeth, you can come get your chairs any time. If you want, you can also take the orange throw blankets and the matching pillows. :-)

Who wants our dining table and chairs? $40 OBO.

Books books mountainsofbooks. How does anyone get rid of books??? It's like saying, "I don't care about knowledge or drama or this other person's thoughts."

There is a keyboard here we need to sell. We have a stand for it if you need it. Also the music stand that comes with the keyboard.

Chest of Drawers. IKEA Malm.

I need a lot of boxes.

The End.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Honda Civics and Glorious Riches.

Or, "You're not losing a Honda Civic, you're gaining a niece."

Julian and I were in a pretty bad car crash yesterday (don't worry, no one was hurt), and we don't carry collision on our autos. This means that, while my insurance company will cover any damage or injury for the other person (yes, we hit someone), when it comes to my car I'm out of luck. They hauled my car (totaled) to a tow yard (insurance does cover the towing), and now I don't have it any more. But I do have 300 bucks. And three of my tires. Because José at the tow yard wanted to take my car apart and sell the parts. So I sold it to him.

We were planning on selling the car anyway, but I was hoping to get a little more than $300.00 for it. Ha.

Anyway, I pulled all my stuff out of the car, took José's information and my $300.00, and went to eat some dinner and figure out what to do next. On the way there I got a text. My sister-in-law was in labor with my niece!!! It was completely unexpected! She's not due for another week and a half and I hadn't heard any signs that she was close!

One thing I find extremely interesting about this whole thing is that my last entry, which was written just hours before the crash, was all about "getting over" my own materialism, and severing emotional ties with objects in my life. Then in possibly the most traumatic way possible, my car (the first car I ever bought, the car I brought Julian home from the hospital in), was forcibly ripped from my life, and I was left literally sitting on the side of the road with just my precious little son, thanking God we are alive and have full use of our extremities. The day was spent dealing with insurance and tow yards and greasy details and a sore back and neck.

But I didn't go to bed mourning the loss of my car or wondering what would happen next. I went to bed praying for my sister-in-law, my brother-in-law, and their beautiful baby girl. Fantasizing about waking up to the news that she had been born healthy and perfect. Thinking about her little face peeking out of a cozy flannel blanket. This morning at 5:18, my sister-in-law sent me a picture message of the baby's darling face, and indeed she is absolutely perfect.

This blog entry is dedicated to my precious niece, born June 24th, 2010, and to her parents, my beloved brother and sister.

"And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen." ~ Philippians 4:19-20

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wherein I am amazed at how easy that was.

Or, "Liquidating Assets."

All I had to do was tell people I was moving, and they came over to buy my stuff. That was easy!

Today, I was able to rid my house of two bags of old clothes,  my couch, ottoman, and a bookcase. I also have a buyer for my armchairs. Although since she's a close friend, she offered to let us keep using them until just before we move (after all -- we don't have a couch anymore). So thank you very much Melanie and Elizabeth for making that so easy.

It was a little strange to see the bookcase go. My dad bought that bookcase for Julian, and it was in Julian's nursery when he was born. Since then, though, it has moved from room to room and from house to house with us, holding all kinds of things. Until about 8PM today, it held my cookbooks, Julian's toys, some pictures of family, handmade pottery my sister made, and all Isaac's sheet music. And you know what? I didn't know it was such a meaningful object for me until it left the house. Right now it's contents are in haphazard piles around the living room waiting to be sorted and eventually stored, sold, or given away, and I can really see how much work there is to do around here.

In my apartment as in my heart, I am counting the cost of leaving California and each day it becomes more real for me.

I think I'm going to learn a lot about letting go this month, as I say goodbye to some worldly possessions. I said in a previous post that I'm not a material girl. We'll see if that's true. So far today I have said goodbye to possessions which to me represented security, order, and comfort. It was difficult, but it was necessary. And tonight I sit around and get over it.

As for Julian, I don't think he understands what's going on at all. He was at my mother's house all evening and when he finally came home, I don't think he even noticed the couch or the bookcase were gone. He walked in the door, saw the towering piles of stuff on the floor and with wide and adventurous eyes asked, "What are you building?!" Good question, Julian.

Maybe I'm feeling a little dramatic, but as I typed those words I started to cry. What ARE we building? All evening I thought I was protecting him from the stress of having his home turned upside down, but he thought it was pretty darn cool. An adventure, even!

Okay, an adventure is near. Meanwhile, I need to get rid of some dressers. They look like this:

I have 2 of these.
Malm Chest of Drawers in Black-brown.
Good condition.
Ikea has them for $99/each.
I am asking $125/pair.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The couch stays in California. Everything else, I'm not so sure...

We have moved nine times since we got married. That's nine times in 6.5 years. No, we don't like moving. Each move had a very important and specific purpose. We moved to SF for school, and then we moved back, but before we found a place we had to stay with family. Blah blah blah six-and-a-half years later.

We have gotten pretty good at keeping our life empty of useless junk, mostly because we dread moving the boxes of useless junk on an average of once every nine months. Still, there are items. Useful items, that might just be more expensive to schlep across the country than to replace when we get there. Like the couch. The beds. But pleasepleaseplease let me keep my kitchen.

We have checked out several moving options and it is shocking how differently some things are priced. Definitely something we need to do more research on. The most expensive thing we have seen is called "PODS" they will let you pack a storage container at your home, store it for you until you're ready for it, and then ship it to any location on the continent. They quoted us almost $5,000. And we would still have to pay for flights for three across the country. NEXT.

Another option is renting a U-Haul and driving us and all our stuff to NYC. This option sounds like fun to me. U-Haul will give you 10 days and 3300 miles to use for about 2500 bucks, so you could really make a fun road-trip out of it. But it's still very pricey. Especially considering the fuel costs, conservatively estimated at $1200.00, and any hotel/motel stays, national park admissions, and meals along the way. Still about $1000.00 cheaper than PODS.

Another option is to only take what will fit in our suitcases, and leave everything else behind. This thought is absolutely terrifying to me. And I'm not a material girl or anything. I don't have a lot of sentimental attachments to the objects in my life. It's my kitchen I'm worried about. I can't leave it behind. That's where I make my food. And everyone knows that food is my favorite thing in the world. I have shopped for each pot, spoon, knife, and linen with such great care and attention. It has taken me years to figure out what I like to cook with, and even more years to find each high-quality item at a price that fits my budget. I love my kitchen. It makes me feel like I'm at home. If I have to leave it behind, I think I'll be deeply disappointed. Also, there's the replacement cost. I estimate at least $1800.00 to replace everything, and that's IF I can find good deals on everything again.

Lastly, there's actual freight rated shipping with UPS or FedEx (or a similar company). This option might be perfect for us, because the highest value possessions we own, aren't large things like furniture. Instead, it's clothing, small appliances, linens, and kitchen objects. These are things we could easily pack on a pallet and have lifted into a truck. Depending on the weight of our stuff, we could get away with shipping it for between $500 and $1500. Add about $700 for airfare, and it's definitely the cheapest option where I get to keep my kitchen. The downside is of course that we will have no furniture when we get to New York. And that means shopping. Which means we're spending more money.

Are you sufficiently bored yet? Imagine if you have been thinking about this stuff for a month, and knowing you'd have to keep thinking about it for the next four months. That's what I'm doing. Joy of Joys.

In the short-term, I do have a chore that is going to make the ultimate decision quite a bit easier. I have to move a family of three from a one-bedroom apartment into just one bedroom in twenty-five days. I will start by removing at least one large object (or a box of small objects) from my life every day until July 15th. Today, I have two bags of clothes for the goodwill truck. Tomorrow I will list my couch on Craigslist.

Thanks for reading!

Loveseat and ottoman for sale. Soft leather, very comfortable, good condition. Make me an offer!

Jumping off.

Or, "You can't fly without leaving the ground."

So I'm sure lots of you anticipated this, but here it is "officially" since the rumors are flying (I know, because i'm the one who started them):

Isaac and I have decided to move to New York City by the end of the year. We have given our 30 day notice at our current place, and we will be moving in with our dear friends Dave and Esther for our transition period. We estimate 4-5 months from now, we will make the BIG move. That is the plan, anyhow.

I am emotional about it, to say the least. I keep going back and forth between feeling over the moon with joy and anticipation, and feeling completely terrified. Everything is so up in the air. Please pray for us when you think of us - this is going to be really hard. Leaving my friends and family...? I anticipate this being the hardest thing I will ever have to do in my entire life.

Personally, I pray for faith. I believe God is taking us on this journey, and this isn't just some fly-by-night thing. As I type that my heart flutters with excitement for the opportunities and favor God is already preparing for us. But when I think about actually leaving, I only feel fear. That is to say, the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

This blog is going to serve a few purposes.

FIRST, It's for me. I need to get this stuff out of my head. Not just the emotional stuff, but the logistical stuff too. There are about 14 million ways this could go, and dank little brainspace can't possibly house all the scenarios I will have to run through without it driving me completely bonkers.
SECOND, It's for my loved ones. The ones who I don't talk to every day, who wonder what the latest news is, what decisions have been made, how long till the going-away party, etc. People get very excited when you tell them you're moving to New York. Then they want all the details. And it takes a while to get through them. Like, 25 minutes with each person. Then another person walks up half-way through the details and says, "OMG you're MOVING to NYC??? What's the story???" So you have to start over. It's fun talking about it, don't get me wrong, it's just sometimes I don't have the stamina for 2 extra hours at church having the same conversation over and over. So in that way, this is for everyone.
LASTLY, This blog is a testimony. As I said before, I anticipate this move being one of the most difficult things our family will ever have to go through. I have faith that when I look back on it, I will see God's protection and provision all over the story from its start to its finish. One day I hope to show it to Julian and say, "Look son, we did a brave thing and God was there with us every step."

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
~ Isaiah 40:28-31

Alright, that's it for now. The next couple weeks will be spent deciding what to sell and what to take with us for the first leg of the journey. Also, explaining "moving" to a three-year-old.

This used to be a blog about fitness but now it's about something else.

I kept thinking I had nothing to write, because I had nothing to write about fitness. That's not exactly true.

Look forward to a new direction for this blog: East.