Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The (Not So) Glamorous Life of an Ex-Pat

So as we pack our lives away, I'm once again reminded of how this life is not always so glamorous. Not that I need much of a reminder - while it gets easier as time goes on, it's not "easy" like my "normal" life at home in the States.  But like anywhere you live, you get comfortable and every day life takes on some normalcy.

But when you are an ex-pat you have to be prepared for the next move.  For us, we'd always thought that next move would be back to the States ... 2 1/2 years ago!  Alas, that's not the way it has worked out and we're excited for our new adventures in Amsterdam.

And while we are excited about the next steps, the current step... the moving one... is not so exciting. In fact, it's a pain.  When we came here, for 2 years, we left all of our furnishings behind.  Now that we are going to be in Amsterdam indefinitely, we are planning to bring our stuff from the US.  And so now we must sell all our "lovely" IKEA furniture before we move.  It's gone quicker than I expected thankfully.  But in addition to our already chaotic house filled with random boxes for moving, purging, selling etc, we are now semi furniture-less.

Yesterday our first buyers came to get some of the big furnishings, including my bed and Aidan's.  And so we took apart those beds over the weekend in preparation.  All I can say is that it has been many years since I've slept on just a mattress - there is nothing glamorous about this.  In a way, it's reminiscent of our just out of college days when we lived at 17B and all Josh had was a mattress on the floor in his room.  Ahhh those were the days.  Though now, umpteen years later... not quite as fun. And since our stuff from the US won't likely arrive til end of August or early September, we will be sleeping this way in our new house for some time as well.

So while this isn't much of a long entry, I thought I'd share some pics of our disaster of a house with you.  Ahhh the beauty of moving.

My "beautiful" room with a mattress on the floor, no dresser and living like a college kid.

The office/guest room - storage of boxes that haven't made it to the garage and waiting to sell the bed still (mattress has been sold).

The garage - will be a lot more space for things once the car is gone on Friday

Stairs to the rooftop - full of stuff

Hallway full of things to go and things to donate

Liam's room is just a disaster but he deserves a picture on here too - his furniture stays here though...

Playroom - cabinets need to be put back up (they were glass and we had them removed) and the table needs to be sold.  Those are all lego sets on the table.  Aidan would like those shipped EXACTLY AS THEY ARE to the Netherlands.  Challenge accepted...

Aidan's room... bunkbeds sold

In an update to everything else.  The car is going on Friday.  Or at least that is the plan.  We shall see how smoothly that goes, fingers are crossed.

School is done on Friday.  We're trying to plan playdates galore before we leave on July 1.  Our repairman is coming on Wednesday to start doing repairs to the apartment (different rules in Spain than in the US on how you return an apartment or house) and just in time since there is a massive hole in the kids' toilet pipe that I noticed the other night (awesome timing on that one). The movers are coming on June 26/27.  The cleaners are coming on the 28th and then we exchange keys with our landlord, hopefully getting back our 4 months of deposit, on the 30th.  On Tuesday, July 1 we are leaving on a jet plane to England for our 2 week cruise before jetting off to the States for another 5 weeks.  We are still waiting to find out if we have secured the house in Naarden or not - hoping to find that out in the next few days.

Our POD was delivered to my parents a week or two ago.  My dad has been slowly working thru taking some things out and putting them in the garage of his house.  It is so greatly appreciated having him do this as it will save me lots of time having to pull it all out.  I'll have less than a week to get the kids ready for summer camp (still have things to buy, labels to iron on all clothes and packing to do) before their goods are shipped up to camp in Maine and then I can plow thru the storage unit as the movers come to the US on July 31st to do that move.  I also need to coordinate some updates to our house in Attleboro while I'm home but most of those have to wait til our current tenant leaves in September so will need to do from abroad.

That's it in this crazy life for the moment.  Lots going on but all seems to be coming together. However, if one small thing goes wrong, it's all going to fall apart.  Hoping for smooth sailing in the coming 2 weeks - we need it!!


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