Blog 3: The Surge

The final surge was upon us. We still had to find a place to live for 6 or 7 weeks after closing, find someone to look after our Golden Doodle (Luna) while we were in Costa Rica, finish packing, clean the house, move all our stuff into storage, and buy our plane tickets. The first item we crossed off the list was finding a temporary place to live. One of Katie’s friends offered up their lake house to use, rent free. It was about a 40-minute commute for me to work, but well worth it considering we had everything we’d need until we left. I actually truly enjoyed the commute as I got to see the sunrise nearly every morning, weather permitting, and spending some quality time with my thoughts and gratitude. The only other option for temporary housing we could find would have ended up costing us about 50% more per month than what our mortgage had been. So I have to pass along our sincerest thanks to the two beautiful angels, Kim and Sheri, for offering up their lake house to us. We are extremely grateful.

Gemma helping us pack…

Onto the next item. It took a couple trips to pick up enough boxes to complete all our packing. As we finished packing the upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms, I patched up the nail and screw holes in the walls, touched up the paint, and we did some preliminary cleaning so it wouldn’t be so overwhelming after we moved everything out. We also had several larger things we needed to throw out that were too big for trash cans, but luckily some awesome new neighbors offered to take it all and put it out to the curb at the next bulk pickup a couple weeks later. Again, we are truly grateful. With the closing set for the day before Thanksgiving, we planned to get everything moved into storage the weekend prior. I took that Friday off work and picked up the 26-foot U-Haul so we could start loading it up. We spent all afternoon and into the evening loading it up.

Then first thing Saturday morning, Katie and I went to our 30×12 foot storage unit we rented to unload the truck. The first truckload mostly consisted of all our boxes and bins plus some miscellaneous furniture items. We stacked it as high as we safely could and went back to load up the rest of our stuff. It ended up taking two full truckloads, with the second load including all the garage stuff and yard equipment, plus a third trip to haul our king mattress and 7×5 foot mirror. We’ve transported some heavy stuff over the years with all the moves we’ve made, but I don’t think I’ve ever lifted anything as heavy as that mirror. A couple friends of ours came over to help with the second truckload as well as the mirror. We are very grateful for that help too because there is no way Katie and I could have moved that mirror by ourselves. Plus our friends saved me from having to drive the riding lawnmower down the road about three miles to our storage unit.

Ready to start loading

Luckily we were able to get everything done and the rental truck returned before they closed at 7PM Saturday night. I know I’m no spring chicken anymore, but holy shitballs by the time we finished up moving that night I felt like I went a few rounds in the ring with Tyson from when he was in his prime. “Hit me again, Ike, and put some steak on it!” I never thought I’d be so glad to only have the cleaning left! Well, for the most part anyway, as we’d still have a couple trips worth of stuff to bring up to the lake house. We took one of those trips Saturday night (sort of needed to anyway since we no longer had a place to sleep) and then came back Sunday mid-morning to spend the rest of the day cleaning. We still had a few hours worth of cleaning left, so Katie planned on coming back the next afternoon to finish it.

On Monday, two days before our closing date, I met Katie and the kids at the title company’s office to sign the seller’s closing documents. Ten minutes later we were out the door and heading to lunch to celebrate. Not sure if it was the food, a stomach bug of some sort, or just motion sickness from playing a video game in the car, but Asher kept our streak (short as it is) alive with one of our kids throwing up on the day we sign our closing paperwork. Our oldest, Landon, threw up a strawberry shake on the way to our only other closing in Marietta, Georgia several years earlier. Katie even had to stop at Target to buy him new clothes. This time Asher threw up on himself and his brand new Switch Lite. Katie had to wash his clothes at our house (for another day and half anyway) in just hot water. No stop at Target for new clothes this time around. But still, two for two. Katie and I have since agreed that we will never take our kids to another closing.

Photo of Asher throwing up all over himself in the van

Katie still managed to finish the rest of the cleaning that afternoon, despite not feeling very well herself on top of Asher’s throw up fiasco. Katie has a serious gag reflex issue when it comes to throw up, and so much so that it will make her extremely nauseous and take quite a while for her to recover. Because of this, Katie and I have made a deal. I handle throw up and she handles the boogers. I’ve admittedly always struggled with the kids’ boogers. I can get a bit dramatic about it too (though Katie would tell you that it’s not at all surprising for anyone who knows me well). Unfortunately, I was at work and Katie was on her own for this one. No doubt I will end up with some gross booger duty at some point to make up for it. I’ll hold out on that one for as long as possible though.

But in all seriousness, I’m amazed at how Katie can power through things when she feels like shit. I can’t do what she can do. I’m convinced women are equipped to handle sickness way better than men. Either that or men just get hit way harder with that stuff than women. I had to put that last comment in for Katie’s benefit. It’s one of my long standing sayings/jokes with her. But seriously, I believe the former to be true. Finally we were all moved out and up at the lake house. Unfortunately the next week or so consisted of both boys throwing up a few more times and Katie remaining sick. Katie doesn’t ever throw up or she undoubtedly would have. The silver lining was that I never got whatever was going around, despite cleaning up the aftermath from one of Asher’s nighttime puke sessions all over himself and the sheets. Take your vitamins, kids.

Our view out of the back of the lake house

So the last couple things on our list were plane tickets and Luna. Thankfully the needle on ticket prices hadn’t moved much in the last couple months prior to closing. Once we got the money for selling the house, I purchased our tickets. We decided to fly out of Jacksonville because it was $100 per ticket cheaper and, as it turned out, Katie’s parents were the only option we had left to watch our precious Luna. Katie’s cousin offering up a free place to store our van versus having to pay for storage in Green Bay plus buy bus tickets to get down to Chicago (and back) for our flights was a really nice bonus as well. The stars aligned for us to take this leap and chase our dreams. Truly aligned. Like aligned so much so that had we not heeded the signs we might as well just slap God in the face and give a middle finger to the universe. Now we wait for the new year to arrive. This year will be different, way different than any year before. It’s time for a fresh beginning. A new journey awaits us just around the corner.

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