Christmas in February

Wednesday, February 8th.

We were still eating every meal in camping chairs, sleeping on a mattress on the floor, and re-wearing our small selection of clothing. Yet, feeling very thankful that we had successfully found a house… and we’re no longer living in Temporary Lodging.

William was now going to work every day, which meant I was at home all day — without a car, wifi, or our stuff. Luckily, we had planned a trip to Paris for the weekend… sooo I did have something to look forward to 🙂

I was spending a lot of my free time wandering around our empty house, trying to get an idea of where everything would best fit. (Easier said than done, since I hadn’t seen our household goods in 2 months.) Still without any word of when it would arrive.

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Lunch time rolled around, I still hadn’t gotten dressed for the day (don’t judge). I probably should have been doing laundry and packing for Paris but Netflix had a particularly strong hold on me that morning (don’t judge, again).

Just when I thought I might break the record for the World’s Most lazy Restful Day… I got some unexpected text messages from William…

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Apparently the German moving company had called him at work to say that our stuff had arrived and they could actually move it in TOMORROW, February 9th (in less than 24 hours)! Or if not, we would have to wait another week and a half before they had another opening.

We were suppose to be leaving for Paris early Friday morning and had NO plans of our stuff arriving before the long weekend trip. But since I wasn’t answering his messages, he had to respond quickly, and went with what he thought was best.

As soon as I did see his texts, I did a happy dance… then panicked. Here I was, still in my pjs at 2:00 in the afternoon, the house and the majority of our clothes were dirty, we were leaving town in about 40 hours, and now everything we own is going to be at our front door first thing in the morning.

What should have felt like the best news ever, felt a little bit like an anxiety attack, for this Type A control freak planner.

What in the world?! It’s all here? And coming TOMORROW?!

But I was going to do laundry … and pack … and clean tomorrow! AH… I shouldn’t have wasted this day away.

Oh no, and we have plans to eat at a friend’s house tomorrow night… can we still make it? Or do I have to cancel? Will it take all day?!

We don’t have anything to offer the movers to eat or drink…. OR for us, now that I canceled dinner… I guess I need to run to the store… hm, probably should shower first…

ahhhhh!

 — just a few of the thoughts between my ears. So much for breaking that “restful” world record.

So I turned off the TV, quickly got my act together and started to do everything I had put off for the following day… right then. Luckily, William came home a little bit earlier to help with the load. And my sweet friend, Marissa, offered (once again) to come over the next day and help us after the movers had arrived. Bless her.

We got the house all situated for the big move-in day, packed up for Paris, and fell asleep (smiling) on the floor, one last time. Now that everything was taken care of…. I was very much looking forward to what was now less than 10 hours away 🙂


Thursday, February 9th.

We were up bright and early — giddy — nervously pacing around the house waiting to greet our belongings after their long trek across the Atlantic.

We are the last house, tucked in the corner of a quiet street so as soon as we heard the familiar beeping of a truck backing up… our eyes lit up, we grabbed the camera (obviously) and rushed to the window…

“AH!!!! They’re here!!”img_5822It had been 52 days since we saw everything we own go into 7 wooden crates. One of the movers assured me, “the next time you see these crates, they will be in your German driveway”, as he nailed them shut.

Of course, neither of us had even been to Germany at this point, which made it feel a little bit unbelievable. And frightening.img_5827

But he was right! There they were!  — looking a little bit more worn since we had last seen them. But I might too if I had just spent the last 2 months crossing the ocean. img_5835img_5833Our German movers were overly kind (and funny)… as they shared in our excitement. They patiently brought in everything and waited for me to tell them where it went (saying “we always ask the wife over the husband”) Ha!

Marissa came over and helped me rapidly unload the boxes as the movers did the heavier work with William. We cautiously unwrapped all the glassware and ‘valuables’… waiting to find something broken (everyone knows you lose atleast one thing in a move like this.)

It sounds ridiculous, but I had been practicing having a “it’s just stuff” mindset for this day. William often reminding me,“You can’t take it with you to Heaven, B”“Yes I know, but I did want to take it to Germany”, I would jokingly respond 🙂img_5832


With this being our first real move (and PCS), we didn’t really know what to expect on this end. We had heard many horror stories and had been given plenty of advice on what to do if and when ______.

But y’all. I definitely was not prepared for it to feel like Christmas morning circa 1998!!!

I know it sounds materialistic, but I always thought opening up a box to find something you didn’t have was good… but opening up boxes of things that you already own (and have a story for) might be even better!

It was such an exhilarating day… as we worked quickly to move in boxes and furniture… while being reunited with so many special belongings… and began to make our 2nd house together, a home. It felt like Christmas in February!img_5838img_5836The movers finished up their part in about 4 hours… and were gone before even having time to eat the lunch we bought for them.

Marissa, William, and I continued to work hard getting things somewhat settled so we I would feel at ease leaving for Paris in the morning. (Knowing me, I would have worked on the house until everything was completely done — so maybe Paris came at a good time… for health reasons of course 😉 )

Dinner time snuck up on us and we decided to throw in the towel. The 3 of us sat down to eat a well deserved dinner (even if it was the Turkish pizza we had originally bought for the movers).

It felt so special to eat our first meal at our “new” table, with our “new” dishes (and with a new friend too). While the rest of the house felt like a disaster, the table welcomed us with open and calming arms. It gave us a place to rest and breath and be fueled after a long day.

A slow and sweet memory in the midst of craziness.IMG_5841.JPGWe climbed into our real bed (hallelujah!) that night, reflecting on the day… really, on the last few months.

Because for months, we had wondered and questioned what these days would look like… and now we knew. We were actually on the other side of “one of the hardest PCSs” — and we were still smiling.

We found a house that met 100% of our needs and 93% of our wants, all of belongings arrived sooner than planned, not a single thing was broken/scratched/missing (well, except for a crushed $1 sombrero (RIP) ), William was loving his new job, we bought a trustworthy car in a timely manner, we finally got (a strong) internet connection, we had already made some very caring friends… anddd we were taking a 2 hour train ride to Paris tomorrow, for crying out loud.

Truthfully, these were all things that I had stayed up worrying about more nights than I care to admit. And once again the Lord is showing me that is near. He is trustworthy. He is good.

And not just because things have gone smoothly for us. Because even if our house didn’t have hardwood floors, or we had accidentally bought a stolen car (this happens), or my favorite one-of-a-kind flower vase was shattered … He is still near. And trustworthy. And still, Oh so good. 


I’m fully aware that my last few blog posts have ended with a similar mantra. Honestly, as I typed this, I was starting to feel insecure about my thoughts feeling repetitive to my readers (hi, mom).

But I can’t help it… and I won’t apologize. Because it’s Truth. And because maybe repetition is what it takes for sinners like me to actually open my eyes to the reality of the Lord’s faithfulness.

I will be repetitive all day if it means I’ll no longer be blinded, but instead, be in Awe of what God is doing in our lives. For He has so beautifully strung Himself through this adventure we’re on, that He has us on… and I’m confident He’s doing the exact same for YOU.

May I challenge you to open your eyes to what He’s doing in your story right now?

Because THAT realization, for me, is the true Christmas in February. img_5844

Next up: details and pictures of our neighborhood and house, turned home…

Stay tuned 🙂

 


Oh and if you’re wondering how that trip to Paris turned out….

 

 

5 thoughts on “Christmas in February

  1. Lynette Saine says:

    Brittany, I’m loving your story, your wit, your photos, your faith. The adventures of your first married years will be the stories you’ll cherish and retell many years later!

    Liked by 1 person

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