Friday, April 27, 2007

Something so simple....

as going grocery shopping in this city is apparently extremely difficult. I stocked up on a lot of non-perishable food items and shipped them over with my furniture. I have been living on those items for the past 2 weeks due to not being able to get to the grocery store to get the perishable items....eggs, milk, cheese, meat, etc. I have managed to get by with making quick stops and a corner market for immediate essentials, but have not been able to make it to a big grocery store to stock up.

Anyway, I decided tonight was going to be the night. I wanted to get it over with and not have to worry about it this weekend. I remember seeing a large grocery store last weekend and it had a parking garage attached to searching for parking. So I drive back to where I remember it being. I saw a huge "P" and another parking sign with an arrow pointing to go down, under street level basically. So, off I go. When I got to the bottom the door was I thought, "Oh no, this must not be right". Then the door magically I thought there must have been a sensor. Anyway, I drive straight and turn right. The door automatically closed behind me. I quickly noticed I was in a VERY deserted parking garage....there was NO ONE. A couple of cars and what appeared to be service doors leading to different stores. This place was dirty, deserted, and the scariest place I have ever been. I parked my car (because I had no where else to go) and started knocking (banging really) on doors in hope someone would hear me and tell me how to get out of this place. No one answered. I started to panic. My heart started racing and I was breaking out into a sweat.

I finally found a door which opened and led into a stairwell and there were also elevators. I was not sure if I should go through the door because I thought it may lock behind me (just my luck). I decided I had no other choice but to take the stairs and see where it led me. I walked up (really ran up) a couple flights of stairs and finally found a very sweet girl. I told her my situation and she was unsure at first how to get out. Her boyfriend was meeting her and he worked in the building and hoped he had a card to get the door opened. As luck would have it, he had his card, she opened the door and I sped away! AHHHH, seriously how hard is it get get some groceries around here?????

The best part about the situation....this all was happening around 8PM....and the grocery store CLOSED at 8PM....I STILL DO NOT HAVE ANY GROCERIES!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Who Knew??

Who knew people actually read my blog and miss it when I do not post anything!?? THANKS BLOG READERS!!! I will try to get better at posting updates!

This week has been a little busy with work, getting settled, making new friends, etc. Maxie and I are official residents of Brussels, Belgium. I went today to get registered at the Town Hall of my commune of Ixelles. Ixelles is the name of the city I live in...kinda like Germantown, Collierville, etc. The city of Brussels itself is very small, mainly consisting of the immediate downtown area. The area outside consists of little communes, Ixelles being one of them. Anyway, I am registered and official!

I also took Maxie to the vet here for the first time. She had to be registered as well and get her "Doggie Passport"! Yes, I am serious, she really has to have a passport! Lindsay recommended a great vet! We went on Tuesday and again today to pick up her paperwork and passport! Check out Maxie posing with her new "Doggie Passport". The vet talks French to her and it is the cutest thing I have ever heard! Maxie will be barking in French before you know it!

Last night I met a few girls from the American Women's Club of Brussels for drinks! We met at a really cute bar in a happening part of town. It was great to meet some new people and make some new friends. I met Emily from Atlanta, Beth from New York, Kate from Connecticut, Christina from Oklahoma, and Sabrina from Atlanta. They are great girls and I look forward to hanging out with them some more!

I went outside to my 'garden' this afternoon I found something wonderful....ROSES!!!!!!!! Who would have ever thought I would have rose garden??! I thought there were rose bushes running down the side of my garden...and today, it was confirmed as they started blooming! The bushes are covered with blooms waiting to open up! I am soooo excited! Here are a few I found today! Can you imagine what they will look like when they are all in bloom!!! WOW!

Also, I will admit, I know nothing about plants, flowers, etc. My garden has many things in it which are blooming right now and I have to find out what they are. Here are a few pics of some of the things blooming. If you know what they are, please let me know! Also, for anyone who may know about roses...what do I do with them? Can I cut the roses off? When? How?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Driving is a NIGHTMARE!

I have had a car for 4 days now (including the weekend) and I already HATE driving in this city. I drove around on Saturday to get the lay of the land and it was a good journey; however, driving to work is a different story. It took me over an hour to get home on Friday and it took me over an hour to get to work this morning.

I was a nervous wreck on the drive in this morning. I must not understand the rules of the road and about had 50 accidents and quite a few people throwing their arms up in disgust at me! Oh this is going to be interesting! I know it will get better once I understand the roads, traffic, rules, etc...but in the meantime.....keep saying those prayers that I do not wreck the Mercedes!!

Starting this afternoon and continuing going forward I will be going in to work and leaving work before rush hour. I just refuse to spend over an hour in the car!

Oh, the best part about my parents are coming to visit me on June 23rd!!!! YAY!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Think Before Jumping Next Time!!

I did it...well, almost! I had dinner plans with my boss, co-worker and his soon to be wife on Saturday night. This was a perfect time to try out the tram located at the end of my street. I needed to take the tram to the metro station then hop on the metro to the hotel where we were meeting.

I walked to the end of my street and jumped on the tram that was waiting. I was not sure where this tram was going to take me or even how to buy a I just jumped in and thought I would figure it out on board. As soon as I jumped on the tram I looked to see where I could buy a ticket. I must have looked lost as a guy started filling me in a little on how the tram worked. As he was talking to me the tram started going (without me buying a ticket...oops, hope no one noticed!). Anyway, the tram took me straight to the metro stop so I jumped off, went to the metro and bought a ticket this time and made it to where we were going. Very I thought! I was so excited!

Now I thought I was an expert on public transportation system; however, I soon realized that was not the case. I took the metro to the stop where I was to get on the tram. I was not sure which tram number I was suppose to take back to my apartment....but how hard could this be, really? I did exactly what I did the first time...jump on and figure it out. Well, immediately I knew I was not on the right tram. I did not recognize anything we were passing. I stayed on for a couple of stops but then decided I should get off before we got too far. So, once again without thinking, I jumped off hoping there would be a taxi stand close. To my surprise, there was nothing at the stop where I got off...seriously, people, very little lighting, etc. I knew immediately this was not a good situation. My heart was beating fast and I started to break out in a little sweat of nervousness. I then saw a taxi at a red light and ran toward it. It was about to leave when I knocked on the window in hopes he would take me home! Thank goodness he did and I made it home safe and sound!

Seriously, what was I thinking?????? I will not be doing that again!

Gotta Love Europe!

You have to love Europe when you can rent a Mercedes for the price of a Toyota! Check out my rental car!

Cultural Differences

Part of the attraction of living in Europe is to experience different things and understand the cultural differences. It makes living in a different country so interesting and frustrating at times! This is a subject I will keep learning about and do my best to document for you.

Friday was a productive day at work...basically getting organized and settled in. After work I needed to go back to the electronic store in the mall and return the cordless phone that would not ring. You have 8 days to return items at this particular store and Friday was my 8th day.

I walked into the store and told the employee I needed to return the phone. He asked why I was returning it and I told him it did not ring. He looked at me really weird and asked (in his best English), "no ring?". I said, "Yes, no ring". He opens the box and begins to take everything out. He then proceeds to test the phone to see if it would ring. I told him I did not want the phone (even if he was able to get it to ring) because I bought another one the day before. He did not understand what I was telling him. He got everything hooked up and tested the phone. Of course, it would ring for him (why would I think it wouldn't??!!). Anyway, he gives me the weirdest look and tells me that there is nothing wrong with the phone and I will not be able to return it. I told him I had 8 days to return the phone and today was the 8th day and I should be able to return it and get my money back.

He then told me he needed to ask his manager about the return to see if an exception could be made. He came back and told me I could get a store credit but no money back. I said I would take the credit. Ahhhh!

Something so simple like returning an item can be so frustrating!! Oh well, it is their culture and I am living in I must adjust! Going forward I will definitely limit the items I return!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

She did it...maybe I can too!!!!??

Maxie mastered the stairs!!!!!! I was so proud of her! I left her downstairs the other day and the next thing I knew she had climbed the stairs and was right under my feet! I was so excited!!! I knew she could do it! I think instead of "Tippa's European Adventures", I need to rename this blog to "Maxie's European Adventures"! Especially considering I have only posted pictures of Maxie on this blog! I guess you see who wears the 'paws' in the family! HA!

Today was a better day! I had a meeting in our downtown office. I like the downtown office better than mine mainly for the convenience of taking public transportation downtown instead of driving to the airport location. Anyway, there is not a metro station close to my apartment, but there is a tram (kinda like a trolley on tracks) that will take you to the metro. Anyway, I am afraid of the tram....terrified, really (like Maxie was of the stairs). I have not figured out how it works or found a map to help me and I was scared to try when I had to be somewhere at a certain time. Learning to overcome my fears of the tram will be my weekend adventure. I will let you know next week how it goes!

Anyway, after the meeting I took the metro to the mall to buy a GPS and a new phone. The cordless phone I bought last week does not ring. Seriously, it does not ring. I am an educated individual and cannot figure out this stupid phone. Every time I look at that phone I get I am returning it tomorrow. I now have a new phone that rings and it is music to my ears! YAY!!

The weather has been absolutely beautiful this past week. When I got home this afternoon I could not stay in this apartment. I grabbed Maxie and we went out to explore. We found another grocery store, ING bank branch, movie rental place, restaurants, bars, gas station, photo developing location, etc. I was so excited to get out and explore and I look forward to more discovery!

I'm off to bed now! More tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Happy 1 Week Anniversary!!

I am celebrating my 1 week anniversary in Brussels. WOW, seems like yesterday I was wondering when this new chapter would begin and now I am a week into it.

Today I had to go to work for the first time…yuck! I walked to the end of my street, jumped in a taxi and off we went. I had the taxi take me to pick up my boss at his new house then we made our way to my new office. It is a nice FedEx complex. However, I basically spent my day sitting at a table right (no desk, no phone, and no Internet connection)…why did I even bother??!! We are steps away from the bathroom and cantina (cafeteria)…got the necessities covered anyway.

I know it will all come together, but just the little things are driving me crazy today for some reason. I think reality has started setting in! Mom and I are counting down the time until I leave (so sad!)…we are at 23 months and approximately 23 days! I know it will get better and I will settle in…but today is not a good day.

I discovered a leak in my kitchen sink last night so I had the repairman come and fix it right up. So far with this being a newly renovated apartment I have not found too many ‘bugs’….yet anyway (knock on wood). I notified the owner yesterday and she had it set up to be fixed today…that is quick for Brussels time!

The worst part about my day was the commute back to my apartment. My boss got his car today so he attempted to drive me home. We left the office at 3PM and I ended up getting home at 5PM. That is after we finally gave up and I jumped out of the car and took a taxi!! We found his apartment without any problem, but could not find mine. It was not pleasant. After coming home and looking at a map, it was sooo easy. Oh well, better next time.

Like I said, today was not a good day so I really do not have much else to say right now! It will be better tomorrow! The weekend is only 2 days away! YAY!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Settling In!

Hey everyone! Today has been a productive day! My relocation agent picked me up and took me to the bank to set up my account here in Brussels. I am not sure why I am letting this whole bank thing confuse me so much, but anyway, they explained everything to to use the ATM, print my statements, set up automatic payments, etc. It is definitely different than how we bank at home (a little anyway).

I am trying to leave Maxie at home alone and few times a day so she can get use to staying at home by herself. She has been so use to Doggie Day Care over the past couple of months she has gotten out of the habit. Anyway, when we got back from the bank, she was waiting for me in the window! So cute!

My living room and sitting room are finally somewhat organized and furniture arranged. I was very happy to see my progress. The spare bedroom is pretty much a mess, but at least there is some organization around here!

I have to go to the office wish me luck. I am not ready to start this work stuff but that is the reason I am here. I have been held up in this apartment for so long it was nice to get out today and see new things. The bank we went to was in Waterloo. We also passed by the American Women's Club of Brussels. I hope to make a visit there one day this week!

My Internet and Vonage phone are now hooked up and working! I am sooooo excited to have a local number to call home for FREE and you guys can call me for FREE there are no excuses for not calling me! My only challenge has been with the new cordless phone I bought. I cannot get the stupid thing to ring. When someone calls I see that they are calling when I am looking at the screen, but it does not physically ring. Soooooo annoying! Anyway, so if you call, please leave me a message and I will call you back! AHHH!

I visited the neighborhood grocery store today and it was not a bad experience at all. Now, you have to know that I did not go for much but needed a few items. The only questionable item I bought was milk. I think it is milk because of the cows on the label (it was in French, of course). Mom asked if it was buttermilk...oh no! I hope not!

That is about all to share today! I am going to bed early tonight to get ready for my first day at the office! I may be getting my car tomorrow out Brussels, Tippa is on the road! Yikes!

Here are a few pics of my living and sitting room!

Day 2!

Written on Sunday, April 15th

I have made it through Day 2 and I am exhausted! I have managed to unpack every single box which was delivered on Saturday! I wanted to get through all of the boxes before they delivered more on Monday. I cannot wait to get all the empty boxes and packing material out of this apartment! I hate clutter. Anyway, it was like Christmas when I was opening all those boxes! I got so excited to find different things like my scrapbook stuff, DVDs, Maxie’s food and water bowls, more clothes, dishes, pots and pans, forks and spoons, vases, my stereo, and pictures, etc.

My hands are like sand paper with paper and box cuts all over them. My feet are hurting and dry! I will need a mani and pedi in the very near future! Maxie and I slept until almost 11AM this morning and it was awesome (even though it was on the floor!)! We got up and I was unpacking a few things and around 1:30PM I looked out the front window and noticed there was another market today! I was so excited considering everything is closed on Saturday and Sundays and I was in need of something besides water to drink. So around 2:30 we headed back down to the market. Once we got there I noticed it was closing. I was so disappointed. Oh well, there was a concession stand open selling sodas and Belgian waffles. I got my sodas and came back to the apartment! I will know next time to get out early and hit up the market! I am buying flowers next weekend!!!!! I cannot wait!

Since I do not have cable or satellite yet, I am so glad I bought some DVDs and brought them with me! I have been watching Season 2 of Grey’s Anatomy for 2 days now! How cool! I love that show! It has sure kept me company these past couple of days. Oh, and I had Pizza Hut for dinner! HA! I feel like I am at home!!

Nighty night!! COME SEE ME!!!!!!!

Here are a few pics from the day of unpacking!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Day 1 in My New Apartment

Written on Saturday, April 14th

After another night in a hotel, I finally had some of my things delivered! Yes, I said some. There was 1 truck available on Saturday so I was only able to get all that would fit on 1 truck. The remaining items will arrive Monday afternoon. The main items missing were my sofa, box springs and mattress for my spare bed, box spring for my bed (I did get my mattress that Maxie and I are sleeping on tonight), among other items!!!

I was up to my eyeballs in boxes and packing material! WOW, I had no idea one cup required so much paper around it. The movers who packed up my stuff told me they had to double wrap everything for international shipments…I now see what they were talking about. I was glad I did not get it all…I am not sure my apartment (or me) could handle it all!

After the delivery was made and I started unpacking, I looked outside and saw what a beautiful day it was outside…sunny and in the 70s. I also noticed the market that I heard about at the end of my street was getting underway. So, I had to go check it was just down the street from me. See the picture below...that is the beginning of the vendors and check out all of the flowers! There will be time later to unpack the boxes!! Maxie and I headed down to the market and WOW, I was impressed! There were booths for just about everything….fruit, vegetables, meats, bread, fish, clothes, flowers, plants, toys, jams, etc. I was so excited! I now see why everyone loves the markets!!

As we were walking through the market and checking out all the goods, Maxie stopped and met her first friend. His name was “Dream”…a really cute male Maltese! Can you believe it was a Maltese? Dream’s mom said it had to be love at first sight! (Dream is a male Maltese) I started talking to Dream’s mom, Benedicte, who was the sweetest girl. She is originally from Brussels and speaks perfect English and lived in New York City for 2 years. She lives in my neighborhood and told me that I could not have found a better place to live. She absolutely loves it here. (That was nice to hear considering I am required to be here for 2 years!!) She also absolutely loves Dream just as much as I love my Maxie. She took me over to a dog park where they hang out, told me she takes Dream everywhere with her, and told me about an awesome dog accessory store. The park was great and right around the block from my apartment. How cool! I was so excited to make my first friend! We exchanged digits and plan on meeting again!

Speaking of Maltese…I met an older gentleman yesterday who lives a few doors down from me. He was pointing and trying to talk to me about Maxie, but I could not understand anything he was saying (he was talking in French). I ran into him today and he ran up to me with his dog…..a Maltese! I cannot remember the dog’s name, but he was the cutest thing! In 1 day I have met 2 dogs who were Maltese! Can you believe that? Maxie will have so many friends who look just like her! How funny!!!!!

I did get a chance to buy a couple of things at the market! I bought some really yummy strawberries and an incredible rotisserie chicken. I had the chicken for dinner and it was really good! I cannot wait to go to my next market! I wish I had bought some flowers…but I have not found any of my vases yet…so I thought it would be best to wait!

More tomorrow!!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th...

I am really not that superstitious, but it has certainly been one heck of a day! I started the day off completed relaxed and very excited about moving into my apartment. I got up and dressed and took a taxi to my apartment around 10AM. Once I arrived I started unpacking the 3 pieces of luggage I brought with me. I put it all in the master bathroom and got as organized as I could before the movers were suppose to arrive. I let Maxie outside to get used to her new yard and was so happy to see some tulips scattered around! There are other flowers out there, but I have no idea what they are called! I really need to learn my flowers! Here are a few pics!

Spring is here! I was very surprised to find tulips in my yard!! Although the grass needs mowing the flowers had a little bit of happiness to my dull day!

Maxie getting use to her new back yard!

Now, the bad news....Late yesterday afternoon (Thursday) I got a call from the movers here in Brussels handling my shipment and they informed me Customs was not releasing my stuff due to come clearance issues. They then called back and said it will be released and they should be at my apartment around 11AM or so on Friday. GREAT, I thought!

Once I was at my apartment today I got a call saying Customs had inspected every SINGLE box in my shipment. As a result they found the 2 new TVs I bought and I now owe duties and taxes on these TVs since they are new. I have no idea why I should have to pay duties and taxes on items I am have for my personal use and not for resale...but Customs has control and there is nothing I can do about it.

I was told I needed to fax an invoice for the TVs to Customs immediately. I was at my apartment when I got the I had to run around the neighborhood to find someone that would let me fax a sheet of paper. I was praying I would find someone who spoke English and could understand what I was asking of them! So off I go down the street with my invoice and Maxie in hand to find a fax machine. The first place I went into was a 'no-go'. Then I stopped by the 'Stop and Go' (sort of like a small version of a Tiger Mart without the gas) and asked a guy there if I could use his fax machine. Thank God he spoke English and faxed my invoice to Customs! So, I was still remaining hopeful.

I called back later after I had not heard anything and asked for a status check. I was told the shipment still had not been released and it looked like Saturday before it would be delivered. I later got confirmation that everything but the TVs were released and would be delivered at 8:30 in the morning! YAY! I am keeping my fingers crossed. How annoying!

Now, I have to go to Customs next week and try to get my TVs and pay the enormous amount for duties and taxes and haul them to my apartment (which should be a sight in its own right).

I really cannot complain about all of this. Everything has gone so smoothly up until now, but it just feels like everything fell apart today. My phone and Internet service also did not work when I arrived today. Nice! So, now I will be without a connection to the outside world until sometime on Monday since a technician comes to fix it. I have so much unpacking to do that it will not I am not too worried about it.

I still cannot believe Customs inspected EVERY SINGLE BOX! Yikes...I had a lot of stuff! Anyway, Maxie and I are at another hotel for the night! She is wondering what the heck I am doing to her! She gives me these eyes that make me so sad.

Maxie hanging out at the 2nd hotel in 3 days!

I think I wore poor Maxie out today!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

First Day

Bon jour from Brussels! Maxie and I got rested up from our flight over the big pond! It was nice to get some real sleep!

Lindsay came by today and took us to lunch and then to the mall for some shopping! Maxie had her first restaurant experience and she did great! Dogs are accepted everywhere over here and so we took her to the mall with us! She sat in the chair right beside me and did great! Mom says she was not surprised that she did so well because she was raised right...well, I have to agree! HA!

Anyway, I purchased a few essential items to get me started. I bought a modem so my computer and phone will work tomorrow once I am moved in and unpacked! I also bought a hairdryer, curling iron, and a phone! You have to remember the outlets are different here. They are on 220 watts and we are 110 at I have to buy all new electronics! My next purchase will be a washer and dryer and a GPS!

We also ran by my apartment so I could show Lindsay around. I noticed my name was on the speaker outside (used for visitors to call me so I can let them in). After I managed to find the right key and figure out how to open the door using that correct key, we walked in and saw a piece of mail for me! YAY, my first piece of mail...I was a bit excited. Of course, when I looked closer I noticed it was from Belgacom (my phone company) it was a BILL! Wouldn't ya know first piece of mail was a bill! HA!

We finally made it in and it was just as cute as I remembered...but smaller than I remembered...oh well, I do not need much space!!! Maxie loved it as well! There are even a few tulips in my backyard! I cannot wait to move in and get settled!

However, Maxie was afraid of the stairs! I am not sure why she was so scared....she is fine at my parent's house. It may be the hardwood where my parents have carpet on their stairs! Anyway, I snapped this picture of her as she was crying wanting up the stairs but too scared to climb them!

My mom and sister saw this picture and said Maxie was looking for they better hurry up and come see us!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

We Made It!

Maxie and I made it safely to Brussels this morning! Although she slept most of the way, I slept maybe an hour! Oh well, I will catch up soon enough! The flight was uneventful as well as getting through immigration and customs with Maxie! No problems at all!!!

Today we hung out at the hotel today and rested. I did meet up with my relocation agent and got the keys to my apartment! YAY! I had dinner with my boss who has been here for 3-4 weeks all alone! I am sure he was ready for a dinner pal!

We are staying in the hotel until Friday when I am able to move into my apartment! The movers are scheduled to arrive at 8:30AM to get things started! This is going to be one busy weekend!

Lindsay is taking me shopping tomorrow for things like a hairdryer, curling iron, modem for my internet service and phone at my apartment, etc.

That's about all! Hope to talk to you all soon!!! COME SEE ME!

Starting the New Chapter!

Whew, I made it on the plane without having a nervous breakdown…or my parents having one either, well almost. I have been really excited about starting this new chapter so leaving today was extremely bittersweet but there were tears. I know this is where I am supposed to be, but it is hard getting my family to see and accept the rational! They are coping and dealing as best they can. Although I am worried about them just as much as they are about me. They know I will get to Brussels and make new friends and will do my best to make the most out of the next two years. Although they wanted to sue for custody of Maxie…they know having Maxie with me helps me sooooooooooo much! They knew they would not win that battle!!!

Speaking of Maxie…well, as we are now flying over the Atlantic Ocean (yep and I am still awake even after taking an Ambien over an hour ago) she is sacked out! I decided to give her a sedative after the flight from Memphis to Atlanta. She was not a happy camper sitting under the seat all zipped into her travel bag! So, about 10 minutes before we boarded the flight from Atlanta to Brussels, I gave her the medicine and she has only looked up and made a few noises but after a confirmation glimpse at her Mommy and a couple of tummy rubs, she went right back to sleep! I love this! I have been so worried about how she would do on a plane….well, now I know the secret!

By the way, the sedative was vet approved and recommended!

More later…I think the Ambien is working its magic! Nighty night!!! See you in Brussels!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Packing Up!

As I am packing up and getting ready to move to Brussels tomorrow, I had to share the cutest picture ever! This was absolutely not staged....Maxie just jumped right in my suitcase and said...."you are not leaving without me!!"

Saturday, April 7, 2007

I have a date....

of departure, that is!! I will be heading to Brussels on Tuesday, April 10th! I am taking the Memphis, Atlanta, Brussels route! I am really excited to finally be able to get this show on the road!!! Please keep me in your prayers for a safe trip over…and that Maxie will cooperate on the plane!

I will try to update my blog as soon as I am able to get settled and connected!

I hope everyone has a blessed Easter holiday!

Talk to you all soon!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Being without a house to call your own or a car....or really a state has a way of making you feel really displaced. When you think about it, having your own set of keys to your house and your car is really an extension of you and your life. And when those are taken away and everything else, there is nothing to feel but displaced. I have really learned a lot about myself and gotten back to my roots or the very foundation of my being. I know, I am getting really deep here. Moving out of the country has made me realize some things about myself. Here are a few examples:
  • I am a bit controlling and it is hard for me to give up control over some things. However, having to turn your life and trust over to people like the packers, movers, relocation company, and FedEx, just to name a few, makes you get over that really quick! I suppose I am that way due to being so independent and always having to do things on my own. I have had to place trust in people that I don't even know to tell me that I am living in a safe neighborhood, my belongings are being packed and moved by people that won't rip me off, etc. It is really hard to give up that control....but I am working on it! I am sure I will have to place trust in many more people over the next couple of I can only hope for the best...and trust my gut!
  • One of the guys packing me up told me I ate like a kid after seeing all the non-perishable food items I sent in my overseas shipment!!! I found that hilarious and realized he was probably right!! (You have to come to Brussels and see what's in my pantry because I am not going to tell you!)
  • I love my friends and family probably more than I ever realized! Now I know that sounds silly, but we all tend to take people for granted when we see them often and especially live very close to them all. This experience has made me realize how special they are to me and how much I am going to miss them!
  • I am a picture freak!! I knew I was, but starting this adventure has really gotten me excited about telling my stories through pictures! I bought a new small digital camera not too long ago...but I am looking into a real 'photographers' camera to get soon! I cannot wait!!!!!! I am going to be filling up so many scrapbooks!
  • My faith has grown stronger. I have no doubt in my mind Brussels is where God wants me to be right now. Everything has fallen in place for me and this move and I know that was because of the Man Upstairs!!

Ok, that is deep enough for this posting! Hope to see you all soon!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Still here.....

Yep, I am still in Memphis! Approximately 1 month ago I was having a breakdown and not ready to go to Brussels just I can officially say I am ready to get this show on the road!!! My stuff is still in Memphis waiting for space on a FedEx plane and I am still staying with my parents! Life back at home is not bad; however, the commute stinks! It took me an hour this morning to get to the office!

Anyway, I wanted to catch you up on things while I was moving out of my house. The movers arrived on Thursday, March 15th to pack me up! I closed on my house that morning, so things were gearing up already! The days prior to the movers arrival I spent my time organizing, sorting, throwing out, etc...and not really focusing on the fact that I was selling my house, my car, and moving out of the country. I was way too busy for that!

I bought my house in 2002 and have been there approximately 4.5 years. It is amazing how much stuff one can accumulate in such a small amount of time. I must remind you that I moved in with ONLY bedroom furniture and patio furniture....that's it!!! (Hats off to my friends who sat on patio furniture when I first moved in!!!! That is a true friend!) In the 4 years since, I managed to fill up an entire house with furniture that I much in fact, that I am taking it all to Brussels with me.

After visiting Brussels, I quickly realized things were much more expensive than at home. Then add the exchange rate (approx 30% more) and that adds up! So since FedEx was paying to send my stuff....I said...send it all! This is going to be very interesting to see my stuff in a new place!!

I was not sad until the last day the movers were there! As my house slowly emptied out, I began to get tears in my eyes! I started thinking about all the memories I had made in this house, friends that came to see me, decorating, painting (thanks Dad!), parties, etc. It was really sad and happy at the same time! But, the saddest part was when Maxie walked around the empty house room by room looking for her 'stuff' and it was not there! She looked so lost and pitiful!

The tears really started as I took my keys off my key chain. I never really had many keys to carry around. I had 3 for my house, my car key, the key for my desk at work, and a key to my parent's house. Once I took off my house keys, I realized my car key was going soon and then so was the key to my desk at work. The only remaining key would be the one to my parent's house. It is amazing how we all clutch on to the smallest things, like keys, to make us feel better about ourselves. Having only one key left dangling from my key chain made it all life is really turned upside down right now and I am officially homeless!!!

But this is a very good change and an exciting chapter in my life! I cannot wait to tell you all about it!!!!!!!!

Here are some pics from Moving Day!

All my stuff in boxes...well, that was only the beginning!

Moving van packing me up!

Maxie wondering what the heck is going on!

Empty Living Room!

Mom was a little happy I was moving out of Memphis!

Bye-Bye 1627 Willey! Thanks for the memories!!!