Tag Archives: moving with children

The Halfway Point

Tomorrow marks 18 months since we moved to England.  We’re here for another 18 months before we head back to America.  This is the halfway point. And still I sometimes can’t believe we’re even here and we made this happen.  I love living in England,I truly do.  I love that we did this big thing and we’ll always remember it and it changed us in so many good ways.

I even don’t mind the weather; I can deal with grey chilly winters with a great deal more tolerance and grace than I can handle humid, sticky summers with 95+ degree temps. 

We’ve already done so much in our first 18 months here, but we really do have even more left that we want to do.  I’m glad we’ve got another 18 months, but even with that time I doubt we’ll ever do everything on “the list”.  Mostly because the list grows faster than we can check items off of it.

It’s astounding to me to look back at the first few weeks and months we were here and realize how insanely overwhelmed I was.  I didn’t really comprehend it at the time, because when you’re really inundated, you just do what you have to do without processing it too much.  But then I read my journal or this blog and I can hear the notes of panic behind my voice back then.

Not anymore, though.  Now it’s just normal here. 

I’m used to the insanely narrow roads and the slightly different version of English.  I love the longer school days and the longer school year and the much longer school breaks.  I know that we must take advantage of sunny weather anytime we have it because it doesn’t happen all that often.

I know now that every pub in the country serves a Sunday roast ONLY on Sundays, really there are no other restaurant options that day.  That there’s always fish on Fridays.  That tea isn’t just the drink, but also a term for an early dinner.  That pudding means dessert of any type.

I know that sweaters are jumpers and sneakers are trainers and pants are trousers and underwear are pants.

I know that we’re all expected to just get on with things, regardless of the weather or the complications or the extenuating circumstances.  Stiff upper lip, keep calm and carry on, and all that.

I also know that my kids are amazingly adaptable and will rise to any challenge.  That they embrace whatever they’re doing and wherever they are with open arms and their whole hearts.  I know they can and will be fine anywhere they go, because I’ve seen them adapt and overcome and assimilate.

I know, too,  that Matt and I can get through difficult things with a reasonable amount of humor and cooperation.  We can navigate through really, really confusing times and we can fake it till we make it, and we always do it together.  I love that.

More than anything else, more than the amazing travel and the incredible schools, what I know and love is that we’re doing something that has forever changed us and will forever stay with us.  We are different today than we were when we got on that plane in August of 2015, and the things we’ve done and learned and experienced have shaped us into more well-rounded, adventurous, adaptable, happier, more open-minded people.  No matter where we go or what we do for the rest of our lives, these years in England will stay with us.

Here’s to another 18 months, and to all the adventures behind and ahead.

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Highs and Lows

road in the English countryside

We’ve been here a week now and it’s been more than a rollercoaster ride.  Ups and downs sandwiched in between highs and lows, smiles and tears, joy and frustration. 

Moving is hard.

We’ve already overcome obstacles both minor and major, and we’re learning to cope with a life that is both familiar and foreign all at once.  And today, we finally move out of the hotel and into our house.  We still won’t have furniture, though, for probably another week.  Another frustration to handle, hopefully with some grace and fewer gritted teeth and mumbled curses than I’ve employed in the past week.

I’ve got lots to share: our flight and how we handled luggage and the airport, our arrival in Heathrow — including a minor incident where we lost Quinn and Owen for a few minutes, our first few days in London, making our way out to the countryside and driving on the right/wrong side of the road, living in a hotel for over a week with four children and 20+ bags, our new house, the kids’ new school, buying cars, and the many differences I’m noticing between life in the US and life in the UK.

I never expected the early part of this transition to be easy, and I wasn’t surprised when it was hard.  Those moments of frustration, though, are often accompanied by a severe case of tunnel vision where I’m sure that things are ruined and will never be okay again.  (Oh, the drama.  I’m the Queen of it.)  Then we come out the other side and see that we worked through another difficulty, together, and that we’ll continue to do so as we adjust.  I’m working on remembering that in the moment, and not just in hindsight.

This week has been nothing short of phenomenal — exciting and fun and challenging and enlightening, maddening and disappointing and exhausting.  Matt and I keep catching each others’ eyes and grinning, realizing that we’re finally doing it, we’re making it happen, we’re living the adventure we talked about for so long. 

It’s amazing, every insane moment of it.

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