This sucks.

Do you want a bag full of gift wrap? How about 53 hangers? Books? 3 small lavender plants? The last 6 weeks all I have done is cull, sort, toss, and pawn stuff off on my neighbors. I hate throwing stuff away, and yet, I really hate managing STUFF.  I keep reminding myself that the end result will be just the essentials (yea right) that we can easily move around. And who doesn't love going through boxes of old vhs tapes and digitally organizing the last 30 years of your life?

Here's the deal with this move: we have to do all of it ourselves. The packing, the goodwill runs, the craiglist deals, and the garage sale. We've been spoiled with full service moves for the past decade, so the normal stress of moving your entire household across the country was amplified by the DIY international move - toss in listing your brand new house, passport/visa errands, and selling your vehicles for more fun hoops to jump through. My anxiety was so bad that many days I considered begging a doctor for meds. I can only write this now that I'm on the tail end of it and in this nice little waiting space (visiting Oma and Opa), only imagining the obstacles that we have to tackle as soon as we hit British soil.

Why? Why would we do this? Because LONDON, should really be enough of an answer, but some of you don't get it, I know I can't drop my mic yet. Think of the travel options - London is just the gateway drug to Europe. We can take a ferry to Amsterdam or take a day trip to France!  Also, it's a good job, but it's a UK job. Meaning we're not being hired to come in as contractors or just on assignment (this is a permanent position). So, we don't get an allowance for shipping anything to the UK, just some excess baggage fees. Which means, we got a small storage unit for a few things, packed suitcases, and sold/got rid of the rest. There may have been garbage crime.

But still, why? Because living abroad has been our goal since we got married. Cal and I (wait, it's weird not to call him MB) both lived in different countries as kids and loved it. It definitely shaped my worldview and my identity in ways that I value. I want my kids to have that opportunity to get out of the box, see the world, and develop cultural awareness.

Really awesome hair opportunities might also be a tiny motivator for some people.

Next week will be figuring out how to get around on only public transport, school interviews and tours, finding markets and groceries, and desperately trying to find a rental in an area we've only read about online. (I will save you my limited and lacking understanding of the British school system, but the kids will be going to local schools.) The kids are most concerned with the quickest way to obtaining a super cool accent. It's exciting and daunting.

The best news of all of this? I've mastered the vacuum sealer for clothing and textiles. My resume is complete.