In the short time that we had in between James signing his new job offer and the day the moving truck came, we managed to get together with some of our California friends and family to say our goodbyes.
Packing up our home of 8 years was a much harder, bigger, crazier task than was reasonable for the two of us in the time we gave ourselves. It was a nightmare and I'm so glad it's over! Somehow, and with a little bit of help, we managed to get it done and soon enough the moving truck was packed up and on its way. The silver lining on the whole horrible rushed packing experience was that the movers were really kind and patient. It took them 8 hours to load up the truck because there was so much boxing-up left to do, but they didn't give us a hard time about it. Calvin was at preschool for most of the day - his last day at his first preschool! - but Henry was basically underfoot, toddling around among the boxes in the living room. Thank goodness the movers didn't seem bothered by Henry at all, in fact they were really friendly to him. Lola Coring was a big help with Henry. She stayed with him and made sure he didn't sneak out of the living room or eat packing tape or anything like that :)
The moving truck left in the evening, and our plane to Atlanta left the following morning. Saying our rushed airport-morning goodbyes was a whole other kind of hard. We were able to see our friends who live around the corner, our cousins who live down the street, my aunt, and of course, my Lola Coring on the morning that we left for the airport. It was strange and bittersweet saying goodbye to people whom we have been so close to for the past several years. Trying to take a moment to push aside thoughts about when the car would be arriving to pick us up... which keys to leave with my aunt... whether we had enough diapers for the airplane... whether we had missed any items that needed to be packed... Trying to let all that go for brief moments in order to be present with these important friends and family, and be able to say and feel: I love you. I will miss you. Thank you for being such a big part of our lives.
It is a bittersweet transition for our family. There are many people we will miss, and many things about our life in California that we will miss. But we are looking forward to the next part of our story, and as always, we are trying to be present in each part of this transition: focus on what there is to do, to enjoy, to be thankful for, in each step along the way.