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So much has happened in the last few weeks. I feel like I just may have fallen into a deep sleep, had a series of crazy dreams, tossed, turned, and woke up in someone else’s life. Our schedules are off, our internal clocks are off, our habits, our rituals, everything tried and true and common… is just way, way off. I know, as anyone who has made a major lifestyle change knows, that it is all about finding the new normal. I found a new normal when we left Michigan, when we got married, each time I got pregnant, and when each of the boys joined our family. I will find a new normal again. It is just taking a little longer than I thought it would.

Anyway, on to what the Yeoman Family has been up to for the last few weeks! I’m going to try to break it down and who knows how many installations of our trip you’ll end up reading, but feel free to skip posts that make you roll your eyes and say, “Good grief, it was four days! How is it taking you six weeks to talk about four days!” I won’t take it personally.

Our plan was simple: We would pack up the house and put everything in the garage by Friday night. We would sleep on our new air mattress on Friday night and be well rested and ready for the moving guy on Saturday morning. He would show up, put all of our stuff into his trailer, head toward Michigan and we would spend the rest of Saturday cleaning the house and visiting our loved ones for final good-byes. We would spend Saturday night in the house, again on our comfy air mattress. Sunday morning we would wake refreshed and excited, throw the last few belongings into the van, toss in the kids, the dog and the cat, and we would be on our way no later than 4:00 am. We would drive across the country full of joy and sing songs in perfect three part harmony the entire way to Michigan. The End!

What actually happened: We spent Friday running around like crazy people, trying to fit the rest of our crap into boxes that already had a ton of crap in them. My Mom had been in town the week before we left, and thank God because she packed the bulk of our stuff correctly. My idea to pack in an orderly fashion and clearly label boxes with the destined room and detailed list of contents was abandoned somewhere between the first box I packed and when I started haphazardly shoving shit into garbage bags; right around three minutes later. I haven’t completely unpacked yet, but I’m not going to be surprised at all when I open a box and find baby pictures of Mike, three pair of my underwear and a can of refried beans. There was just no way to organize everything! Somehow, everything made it out to the garage before the mover came, save the large furniture that Mike needed help moving out.

Friday night was a late night. When I finally collapsed into bed air mattress, my feet were burning and pulsating. I had packed our normal bed sheets so I used an old set of gold satin sheets for the air mattress, (because I’m obviously a very fancy person.) The problem with satin sheets is that they are slippery. Pair that with a queen sized air mattress and two people who are used to a king sized bed, then just for fun, throw in a baby. I spent all night trying to grip the slippery edge of the air mattress with my toes, while thrusting my hips forward in a desperate attempt to keep my body on the damn thing! Grant chased me in search of a boob, pushing me over the mattress edge time and time again. Mike was snoring loudly and clutching his body pillow comfortably, (yes, a body pillow… because there was so much extra room on his side apparently.) and Truman was sleeping right beside me on his little cot. Had I fallen, I would have fallen on him which I was terrified of doing, so I didn’t sleep. I cried a little, but I did not sleep. I was mean on Saturday.

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Our enormous moving trailer that was almost too small.

The mover came and my first thought upon seeing the truck and trailer was, “Oh my God. Only half of this stuff is going to fit.” It just looked so much smaller than the garage and the garage was loaded to the top with boxes, totes, furniture and miscellaneous stuff. I was concerned. Now, when I say mover, I do mean mover. Not movers. One guy and his dog. Truman was in love with the truck, in love with the trailer and in love with the dog. I was ready to vomit thinking about how this one guy was going to load everything and secure it and drive it and unload it. Turns out, he didn’t. We had to help… a lot. Thankfully, two of my friends came over. I mentioned that they come play with the kids while we did the heavy lifting, and it just so happened that the kids fell asleep before they got there. They were nice enough to join us in the heavy lifting instead. (Thanks M and M!) It was 97 degrees and all of us were sweating and huffing and puffing. Four hours later, the trailer was packed from the tip of it’s nose to the edge of the door. Everything fit. I was so shocked and so relieved. The mover took off and we went in to finish cleaning since the landlord was on his way over to check out the house.

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Truman with the (almost) fully loaded trailer.

Our landlord was a nice enough guy. Newer to the rental property scene, I’m pretty sure we were his first tenants or at least one of the first. When we moved into the house it was disgustingly dirty. I spent ten hours cleaning before we moved in and needed the exterminator to treat the yard three times before I stopped seeing bugs. It was bad. But I didn’t complain, I just wrote everything on the walk through list to make sure we weren’t blamed for previous damage to the house. When the landlord got to the house to walk through, it looked 100 times better than it did when we moved into it. He seemed pleased enough, though a couple of weeks later he would tell us that he needed to keep $125 of our security deposit for three burned out light bulbs and two furnace filters. Oh-kayy…sigh.

Saturday night we only got to say goodbye to two of our friends. We were exhausted and had to tie up a few loose ends, get gas and buy snacks for the drive. I went from room to room, over and over, checking for things forgotten, and all I found… were flipping SPIDERS! Unbeknownst to me, I had been living with real spiders for God knows how long and they were just cleverly hiding behind furniture, linens and possibly in my clothing and bed. One in the bathtub… one in the corner in the bedroom… one brazenly hanging out on the living room wall. Sick!

We woke up Sunday morning later than we had planned. We got ready and decided to leave the kids sleeping until we absolutely couldn’t any longer. Drugging the cat was first on our list, in hopes that the drugs would have a little time to work before we left. So, I held open the mouth of a very squirmy cat, and Mike tried to drop half of a Benadryl pill into his mouth. We got it down and put him in the cat carrier while he slobbered everywhere and howled in protest. We started to load the rest of our stuff into the van. That’s when we realized how much extra stuff we actually had. Every time we took a trip outside with an armload of stuff, it seemed a new armload popped up in it’s place. It was like the house was never actually emptying! We threw some more stuff away, we left a few things, we finally got everything in. The pets were next in. Zorro had thrown up the pink pill and looked at us from his jail cell smugly. We decided to drug him again at our first stop. He went in the van, howling his head off. The kids were up, dressed and ready to roll. I buckled them into their seats. Mike and I hopped in the van, looked at each other excitedly and backed out of the driveway. Pulling away I had a final moment of doubt; “Oh my God. What are we doing? Maybe it isn’t too late to change our minds… maybe this is a huge mistake!” I cried a little, took a deep breath, looked behind me at the boys and remembered why we were doing this. Then, I said good-bye.

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The guys, all ready to go.

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My view of the back seat.

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