Everything’s Just a Little Different

As you all know, we’ve recently moved from our home in Texas to live in England for a few years.  When Colin got the job offer and we were discussing whether to take it, our children, of course, played a huge role in the conversation.  How would it affect them?  Would they easily adapt to all of the changes?  Would they have a hard time with their new home? I have to tell you in all honesty, they are now helping me with the adjustment without even knowing what they’re doing.

My boys are only 1 and 3, so I can only speak to this young age group.  We haven’t had to deal with older children who are leaving lifelong friends or high school sweethearts behind and I imagine that could result in a totally different outcome.  I must say, though, that I am astounded by how well they’ve done.  Ian, the three year old, has had a lot of questions, and they began as soon as we got off the plane and into our taxi.  He noticed immediately that the driver was sitting on the “wrong” side of the car.  Then it was the double decker buses, the fact that we were living in an apartment, and why his favorite shows weren’t on TV.  The one year old has been absolutely enthralled with little things, like the switches on the electrical outlets and the fact that the washer is in the kitchen, right where he can reach it!  But you know what?  They’ve easily accepted all of the change.

I think it’s easy to forget how set we adults are in our own ways.  While I’m struggling with finding cheese and BBQ sauce that suit my taste buds, my boys are chowing down without question.  I’m still trying to get my normal bedtime lined back out and dealing with exhaustion throughout the day, and they adjusted after the first few days.  It is absolutely astounding how adaptable youngsters can be.  That first day, after noticing so many odd sights around him, Ian kept asking the age old question of “Why?”  I responded by explaining to him that we are on a fun, new adventure in a different country and that “Everything’s just a little different here.”  It has become our family motto and gets tossed about daily.  And lately, he has started noticing all of the similarities between our hold home and our new, like the fact that there are horses in England, just like we used to see in Texas.  🙂

We are a very routine oriented family.  Our schedules might be flexible, but our routines are typically not.  Lunchtime might get pushed to 1 instead of noon, but nap time must follow; that kind of thing.  They’ve held on tightly to their routines and treated everything as normally as possible.  In short, they’re doing great in their new home and are even appreciating the little things that make living here different, but wonderful.  They both get terribly excited when I get the stroller out in the middle of the day to walk to the grocery store and they love watching the magpies out our living room window.  It’s these little things that have helped to keep me grounded and remind me that there’s so much to see and do, and that while, “everything’s just a little different,” it’s also a fun world full of new and exciting details to take in.  It’s also a reminder that no matter how far from home we are, or how different things get, as long as we have each other everything is A-okay!

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Wier Family Update: The Mile Long To-Do List

To Do List

Hi everyone!  Sorry I didn’t post last week.  Things are getting a little nuts around here!  Colin was in Europe for work, so I took the boys to Kentucky for an 11 day visit.  We had a great time and other than the two hours that Declan screamed on the flight home (sorry fellow passengers!), we enjoyed every minute of our trip.  Now that we’re home, the craziness with the England move is in high gear, so I thought I’d take a minute to update those of you who might be interested or have been asking how things are going.   🙂

We landed Wednesday afternoon and were all exhausted.  Colin flew back from Germany, so by the time he met us at baggage claim, he had already been up for 18 hours.  As previously mentioned, I had been dealing with a crying baby for hours.  We were all excited to be reunited, but just really needed sleep.  We grabbed a pizza on the way home, ate dinner as soon as we stepped inside, and all four of us were asleep by 7:45.  It was glorious.  The next morning, the moving company was here to survey our belongings and determine how long it will take them to pack us up and to give us a pack/move date.  They will be packing up our house on December 17th and loading everything into the container on the 18th.  We will fly to Kentucky for Christmas on the 19th.  From there, we’ll leave for England on January 1st.  It’s going to be a crazy holiday season for us!

I spent 6 1/2 hours on Friday filling out the online visa applications for all four of us.  Let me tell you, filling out a visa application is extremely time consuming and stressful.  Filling it out four times with the same information is pure torture.  I’m pretty sure I now have all four of our passport numbers memorized.  But at least that part is done!  Colin and I will attend our biometrics appointment (where they take our fingerprints and a digital photo of our faces) on Wednesday morning.  Luckily, the boys don’t have to do this as they’re too young.  After that, we have to mail hard copies of everything to the consulate in New York and then we wait.  Passports, marriage certificates, birth certificates, oh my!  Let me tell you folks, keep those important documents on hand.  You never know when a government authority might want them!

We're getting there.  Hoping to mail these bad boys out Wednesday afternoon.

We’re getting there. Hoping to mail these bad boys out Wednesday afternoon.

Aside from the movers and getting the visa applications finished, we are also in the process of opening UK bank accounts.  This is also tons of fun (sarcasm).  If you really want to feel stupid, try figuring how to fill a US address into the supplied blanks on a UK form.  Note:  They do not write their home addresses the same way we do. 🙂 Colin said he thinks that it’s all a test to ensure that we are smart enough to live in their country.  If we can properly wade through all of the paperwork, we pass.  I’m starting to think  he’s right!

We’ve also started making our to-do list.  I’m a very typical Type A person, so lists and organization are a part of my everyday existence, but when my fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants husband said, “Are you writing all of this stuff down somewhere?” I knew it was time to start consolidating my lists and getting more organized.  We sat down on Saturday night and spent an hour thinking of everything that needs to be done between now and December 17th.  There are currently 70 items on the list, much of which will be annoying and time consuming (medical records, vaccinations, selling stuff, moving things to storage…blah).  I’m making myself feel better by putting dates beside each item in hopes that it won’t all be last minute.  Let’s just say November is looking crazy and I’m pretty sure we won’t have another relaxing weekend until March.  Today, around having the boys pictures taken and grocery shopping, we did manage to organize the garage into four sections:  Store, Sell, Ship, and Trash.  Item number 1 has been checked off the list.  I’m feeling accomplished!

I’ve decided that I’m going to have to live with the fact that my laundry will not be caught up again before we leave.  And the chances of my house being spotless again are slim to none.  But that’s okay.  Things will all work out.  We’re looking forward to a fun holiday season and we’re still super excited for our European adventure.  Let’s all repeat:  I will be organized.  I will be on top of things.  I will not be stressed.

strees