Moving Phase I: Survived

We survived Phase I of this crazy move of ours. Barely! When the kids and I arrived home from Canada, we had two weeks to pack up the house. This doesn’t sound like much time but I had been slowly chipping away at it for months, starting with a month-long purge in January. The real stress began about five days prior when we were finally able to pack up all those last-minute items like the kitchen and clothing/bedrooms.  I helped my friend Lisa move and paint her closet last year and she returned the favor by helping me pack up the kitchen. The irony? I remember thinking when I helped her that I was so glad I was never going to move.

Jamie’s sister Lisa helped with the other half of the kitchen. Julie, a sweet lady from our ward, runs a storage unit and loaded us up with packing supplies. Eva was a godsend and arrived with her kids several hours before we were to load everything in the POD and helped us shrink-wrap all the furniture and bubble-wrap our artwork. Around 6 p.m. our slew of helpers arrived: Uncle Chris, the Larsons, Haymonds, Phillips, Huntleys, Schmidts, Agnews, Uncle Chris, Jenzchs and I’m sure I’m forgetting others. Bode’s bestie Nicky’s mom Julie brought over a going-away cake, we ordered 10 pizzas and the loading frenzy began!

The challenge with this move is our house won’t be finished until late-September and we’ll be in a rental in Park City until then. So, we had to divide our belongings up into two categories: staying and going. We thought since we had sold most of our furniture on our main level (two sets of couches and two dining room sets), we would be able to fit everything into two PODS.

How wrong we were.

Two hours later, we still had a load of C-R-A-P sitting in our garage and in our family room. There was no way to get it all in so we had to drop another $1,500 to rent another POD, which wouldn’t arrive until sometime the next day. Eva thankfully took the kids for a sleepover and it seemed like a Herculean task to load up the remainder of our items; I felt certain we would need to push our move back another day. All we wanted was to lie in our fluffy bed and watch the Olympics and all we got was our bedroom floor. We had all the windows open downstairs as we ran our attic fan and I observed to Jamie, “we should probably lock up the house,” to which he responded “or what? Someone will come in and steal everything? Let them!”


Our bed for the night

The next morning, I left to help with the media day open house at the Fort Collins Temple. Much more on that later but that few hours brought the peace and clarity I needed. I arrived home at noon and the third POD arrived shortly thereafter. Jamie’s sister returned to help us organize everything so it didn’t seem so overwhelming and Eva’s family, Darrin and Ariel (Lisa’s husband) came later that afternoon to help us load the third POD. Truly, we couldn’t have done it without them. I grabbed Panera Bread for dinner and it was depressing as we sat on our floor soaking in our final moments together. They have been among our closest friends in Colorado and they saw us through to the bittersweet end.

With everything loaded, we survived the flood of boxes that still remained. Remember my obsession with collecting them from our neighborhood? I literally had over 100 boxes left over and that was after giving many, many away. It was lightly raining as we loaded them and our carpet scraps in our trailer. Julie had given us permission to load them into the dumpster at her storage facility and we had a good chuckle when she emerged in her robe to find the kids jumping on them in the dumpster while it rained. Talk about a final Colorado adventure!

We spent our final night in our wonderful home. I probably would have been more emotional had I not been tapped out physically but we still had several hours of loading our cars and trailer, as well as cleaning the house ahead of us. Thanks to another friend Lisa and her daughter Alex (Hadley’s bestie), we were able to finish everything before noon.

My heart went out to Hadley as sweet Alex presented her with a going-away present. They’ve literally been friends since birth and Alex knows our house (and pantry) as well as her own. The good news is Alex has three siblings at nearby BYU so she’ll be coming to Utah a lot. In fact, her brother Mitch is getting married this week so Alex is spending the night with us in Park City.

As I walked through the empty house for the final time, that is when the outpouring of emotion came. This is where we became a family. This is where I became a mother. This is where we brought our children home from the hospital. This is where they spent their entire childhood. This is where, when I walked in the door as a young newlywed, I marveled at the wonder of it all and thought, “I will never be unhappy here.” And, despite all the storms that have been thrown our way during the 12 years we lived there, joy has always prevailed.

Family Room

As we closed the doors for the final time, we huddled in prayer in the garage. I was a sobbing mess and Jamie gave a beautiful prayer of gratitude for the beautiful life we lived there. Before we pulled out, I posted the following on Facebook:

5337 Parfet Street was where we became a family and honestly where I thought we’d live until we died. Thank you to all the wonders who worked around the clock to help us with this disastrous move; you are what we’ll miss the most about glorious Colorado. Now, excuse me while I cry the entire drive to Utah.

I did cry most of the way but when we stopped for lunch in Wyoming, I read the wonderful comments so many dear friends had left me. One, in particular, came at the exact moment I needed comfort. When Jamie and I were newly married, I taught the Old Testament in early-morning seminary to 16-year-olds. One of my students, Sariah, was super attentive and mature beyond her years and shared something I had said 13 years ago that she’d never forgotten.

 I remember you telling our class about this house in seminary before you bought it. You wanted the other model house with the loft, but you both prayed about it and knew you should take this one. I remember you saying you were trying to pretend the other was the answer: “But Jesus wants the loft!!” I remember you sharing your testimony about choosing what God wants instead of just what you want. I’ll always think of that when I think of you and houses. Much luck and love in your new one!!

Here’s to hoping….

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