Slump and Stuff

I started a post last week about being in a pretty deep slump. And I wouldn’t say I’m out of it, just that I’m coping, or at least finding ways to cope better. There is a handy chart somewhere that shows the different phases of adjusting to life in a new place. Initial honeymoon phase, then a period of culture shock, then you slowly adjust. There’s more to it but that’s the general gist.

I probably experienced a similar feeling in Tbilisi but I either don’t remember it or I’ve subconsciously blocked it out, the way we don’t recall the worst parts of child birth or newborns. Because if we did remember how bad it was, why in the world would we ever sign up to do it again?! I know this just a normal part of things and that it will get better. Right?

Let’s focus on the positives. We got our stuff! Our HHE (household effects – 5400 pounds of toys, clothes, furniture and books) and our UAB (unaccompanied air shipment). Normally JR and I would have both been at home the day everything arrived, but I wasn’t able to take off so he coordinated the delivery. He sent me updates throughout the day. At first I was thinking, oh this is going pretty smoothly, and also I really lucked out not dealing with it all. Then the pictures started to give me intense anxiety.

This truck arrived with all of our worldly possessions.

Here come the boxes.

William was an excellent supervisor. 


I bet you are wondering, why did they pack so much food? Does it make sense to pack food that will sit in boxes and storage containers in 100+ degree temps for more than 4 months? Just know that I am wondering the same thing.

I also cracked up laughing when I opened the box that my former Tbilisi colleagues packed for me. They packed out my work desk and made sure to include 4 McDonalds ketchup packets. It’s the little things in life, you know?


Because everyone needs a cooler in your bedroom. 

 


JR was focused on the top priorities, which included immediately unpacking and displaying his Halloween decor.

 


He was also busy shaming me for a bit of over purchasing I did YEARS ago before we packed out for Kosovo and Georgia (I know you can relate, KBS!)

The anxiety only increased when I arrived home and basically walked into an episode of Hoarders. There was stuff everywhere. Every surface, almost every available floor space, I mean just everywhere. Our treadmill doesn’t fit anywhere except our living room. It’d be one thing if we used it for it’s actual purpose, but I like to use it for clothes and storage so having it in the living room is really quite inconvenient.

My first priority was making a path to the beds and clearing them off so everyone could sleep that night. After the kids were in bed, JR and I were working on our bedroom. I grabbed our duvet from the top of the dresser and turned to put it on the bed. This huge, heavy mirror that sits propped up against the wall on top of the dresser came crashing down, rebounding off the dresser and then slamming down on the floor. Not awesome.

Even worse, I had just set up these two acrylic jewelry holders I liked and placed my rings in them. The holders lay in pieces on the floor and my rings were scattered. We found two pretty quickly but my wedding band was missing. I was so upset. There were open boxes and piles of stuff everywhere. I was convinced we wouldn’t find it. Frustrated, I told JR I was going to sleep and we’d deal with more in the morning.

A few hours later during the night I woke up to a loud crash. I was convinced the mirror fell down again but when I turned on the light I couldn’t see that anything had happened. JR started looking around and opened his closet door to reveal that the entire shelf and hanging bar had collapsed in a pile on the ground. He looked at me and then just quickly shut the door and said, “that can wait until the morning.”

Over the next few days we made progress little by little, including finding my wedding band! While I wish we weren’t still hauling our gigantic living room furniture all over the world, it is so comfortable and it makes us feel like we are at home. The kids are playing happily with all of their toys and loving the playroom set up. Now that we are in an apartment we don’t have an obvious place for our outdoor toys, so all 37 of them are parked outside our front door and crowding the walkway. No doubt the neighbors are loving this and wondering who allowed the circus to move in. All we need is a few spare tires and a broken refrigerator to really complete the look.

Hopefully my sister doesn’t mind the mess because she arrives TOMORROW!

 

 

 

Home Sweet Home

So, our HHE arrived on Monday! Most of my week was spent unpacking, organizing, moving and cleaning, although I did take a few breaks. (Thank you Jessica for the wonderful brunch yesterday! In my dream housewife world, there would be brunches several times per week.)

JR is allowed to take one day of administrative leave to help when our things arrive, but his office is crazy busy right now so he didn’t think he’d be able to miss a day. Honestly, I thought this was just fine because I pictured myself as super woman and figured I could handle it all on my own, and he’d be all surprised and the house would be in great shape when he got home.

That SO did not happen. I totally underestimated how much would be going on at once. We had one moving crew that was supposed to arrive around 9am to pick up the extra furniture in our place that we wanted removed, and another moving crew coming at 10 to deliver all of our things. There were also different people delivering an extra freezer, and an electrician coming to install an outlet in the garage. They basically all showed up at 10. There were so many people, all of them asking where does this thing go (excellent question, considering every item was wrapped/boxed and not exactly expertly labeled, so it was kind of a guessing game), is this piece staying or leaving, and on and on. It got hectic in a hurry. Luckily, JR was able to come home at noon to help out!

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We quickly started running out of room for boxes, and places to stand. The movers will unpack the boxes and pull things out, but after we did that with maybe ten boxes, there wasn’t any more room to put things down.

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Once everything was inside and the movers were gone (they did a fantastic job!), JR asked me how I wanted to move things around and set up the rooms. I started explaining my vision (I’m pretty certain that once the word “vision” comes out of my mouth, JR stops listening to whatever else I have to say) and we got to work.

We made some good progress, and we were so excited to have our bed, our couch, and our TV set up Monday night. JR had to get back to work Tuesday, and I had high expectations for how much I could get done that day. The tricky thing is that sometimes I like to focus on a less important task that doesn’t really help the big picture. I wound up spending most of the morning color-coding the closets and refolding/organizing (and occasionally trying on) clothes. Oops.

But I’m happy to report we are pretty much done! Obviously we still need to organize some things, but the place really looks and feels like our home. Now for a little tour.

Office/Storage/Kitty’s Room
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Our bedroom
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The closet. So, somehow when we first got here, JR took over this closet. I decided that was not going to work long term, and suggested that it should belong to me. He didn’t go for it, so we are sharing the closet. Allegedly, compromise is important in a marriage.
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Guest bedroom
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Laundry room
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Bathroom. The shower curtain rod is all the way up to the ceiling, and when we tried to hang our shower curtain we realized it doesn’t reach down to the tub. So now I need to go shopping for a new one.
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Living Room
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Dining Room/Kitchen
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Home sweet home for the next two years!