Hello, Tennessee!

So. Yes. WE MADE IT!!

It’s been a whirlwind week. Make that “month,” with the last week being more of a category 5 hurricane.

Last Monday our moving truck arrived, the movers followed several hours later, and by the end of the day 90% of our belongings were out of the house and packed on the truck.

Side note: my original plan was for Will, my mom, my sister, and me to load the truck BY OURSELVES. WHAT ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH WAS I THINKING. This is one instance where trying to take the cheap way out won’t do you any favors, especially if one of your primary movers is almost 6 months pregnant. I spent some time on Angie’s List and settled on Stairhopper Movers and that was the BEST decision ever. They were SUPER speedy, did an excellent job wrapping up our furniture so nothing got scratched, and packed that truck FAR more efficiently than we ever could have on our own. I’d definitely use them again if we ever find ourselves in the Boston area.

Yeah, I’d have to say watching as all of our heavy furniture was expertly wrapped and whisked out of the house while I had nothing to do except point and say “Yep, that desk, please,” was positively MAGICAL. Definitely my favorite part of the move.

On Tuesday the truck was picked up and started to make its way to Tennessee. My heart did a little flip-flop as the truck pulled away, and the only thought running through my head was please oh please oh please let that not be the last time I see all our stuff. Spoiler alert, it wasn’t, everything was fine.2015-03-31 07.51.41

Natalie and her aunt spent a lot of quality time together while the rest of us took care of, well, every thing else.

With all of our stuff gone, we spent the day cleaning and making final runs to the thrift store and the transfer station to dump anything else that wasn’t coming with us. At 4 p.m. we dashed off to a lawyer’s office, where we left an hour later completely homeless.

YAYYYYYYY!

Side note #2: It was exactly 6 weeks to the day from when our house went on the market to when we arrived in Tennessee. WHAT. Yeah, I know. My parents keep reminding us that the TN housing market isn’t like the Boston housing market. Yes we know, that’s one of the reasons why we left. As much as I would LOVE to pay half a million dollars for a three-bedroom fixer-upper…nope. Nope nope nope.

We celebrated our homelessness with one last dinner at P.F. Chang’s, then came back to our empty, empty house to bundle the cats into their carriers. We had to take one last picture on the front step, because in a highly coincidental turn of events, I was pregnant the day we moved in to the house AND the day we moved out. What fun!

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Then we were off. Natalie waved goodbye to the house, totally clueless as to what was actually happening, and then fell asleep almost immediately. She slept the whole way to Philadelphia (about six hours). We arrived at my aunt’s house around 1 a.m., when our whole bleary-eyed entourage stumbled inside and fell asleep immediately. Well, immediately after setting up Natalie’s pack-and-play and bringing the cats inside and giving them food and water and a litter box and brushing teeth and putting on pjs. THEN we fell asleep.

Which brought us to Day 2 of the 2015 Helmrath Family Road Trip. This day was much longer and not quite as smooth, because short of tranquilizing Natalie, there was no way she was going to sleep the whole way.

And sleep she did NOT, except for an hour around 5 p.m. She was remarkably good-natured for most of the ride, barring a few exhaustion-induced meltdowns that we cured with food — to the tune of HALF A POUND of berries in one go, right after devouring an entire lunchable. We DID feed her in the days leading up to our departure; I swear.

2015-04-01 19.10.24 That was ALL her.

Side note #3: I’d bought a few new-to-Natalie goodies to (hopefully) entertain her in the car, the most successful of which, BY FAR, was…drumroll please…a travel-sized Magnadoodle (affiliate link; the green one is currently the ridiculous price of $21 but the purple one is far more reasonable at $10). She played with that for a total of almost two hours, which in toddler time is more like 14 years.2015-04-01 19.24.27

Also doubles as a lovely hat.

The mile markers flew by, the weather got sunnier and sunnier, and the evil, evil snow was nowhere to be found.  It was, by and large, an uneventful road trip, which is exactly what I was hoping for. No flat tires, no serious traffic snarls, and no one in our caravan got pulled over (although one of Natalie’s apps on my phone makes a VERY realistic siren noise, which made for a few heart-pounding moments, but we quickly calmed down when the noise that followed suggested that the cruiser was being driven by dolphins).

And then we were home.

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Is that….grass out there?!

It’s been a big adjustment so far for all of us, but we’re slowly unpacking boxes and figuring out where everything lives in the kitchen. We’re spending lots of time with my family (my mom is watching Natalie as I write this, and can I just say that this is already the BEST decision we’ve ever made??), wearing shorts and t-shirts, and going for walks without having to put on hats and coats and mittens and blankets.

Natalie has discovered bubbles.2015-04-03 10.03.43

Life is good.

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