Saturday, January 24, 2009

Just a little stress....

My mother reprimanded me because I have not posted anything in about a week. I told her there was not much going on and I seriously have not done anything. Well, except for clean out drawers, made to-do lists, post electrical appliances that I cannot take back with me on different websites in hopes that I can sell them, dream about my new house and how I am going to decorate it, miss my Maxie, and work!

See. I told you I am boring these days!!!

There is so much to do before I move back that I cannot seem to sleep nor find a place to start! I started last weekend by posting the items I wanted to sell on various expat websites. Then, I started making my list of things that I have to carry on the plane with me (important documents, medications, clothes for about a month, items that are irreplaceable or expensive, etc). Another list for things that will go in my initial shipment (necessities to get me by until my household shipment arrives) which will make it to Memphis about 1-2 weeks after I arrive (my bed, more clothes, kitchen items, etc). And a final list of items that will go with my household goods shipment which will arrive about 5-6 weeks after I arrive (this shipment is going by boat over the Atlantic then trucked to me).

Sounds easy enough, right? Not really. There is just SO MUCH!

Anyway, on top of all of that, I am working. And, to top that...I still have 1 more travel trip for work. That trip will take me to Johannesburg, South Africa and Cairo, Egypt!!! And, to top all of that....this trip will take place February 21st - March 4th.

Exciting, uh??!

Yes and no. That is a mere 4 days before the movers arrive to pack me up! 4 DAYS!!!!

Talk about timing! I almost backed out of the trip, but then it hit me....SOUTH AFRICA AND EGYPT!! I cannot miss that just to organize some closets and pack my stuff. When will I ever get that opportunity again!?!

So, here I am....51 days before I am scheduled to board a plane and start my new life in Memphis (I am leaving Brussels on March 16th). I got a couple of things done this weekend, but I am still feeling so overwhelmed and unable to focus. Truth be told...I cannot pack a box. The movers have to pack everything and since they insure it, they have to pack it. I just have to get ready and organized. I am stressing over that part. I have a relocation agent who is helping me finalize things like closing my bank account; cutting off my electricity, gas, internet, cell phone, etc; and handling the inspection of my apartment. Therefore, I just need to learn to trust and give up some of the control and let these people handle what they are supposed to!

Ahhh! If I remember correctly, I was having this same overwhelming, controlling feeling when I moved over here! Some things never change!

Anyway, besides that, my little house is moving right along!

This is the side view.
A picture of the steps leading up to my porch!!
This is in the great room and Maxie giving her sniff of approval!
Inside the garage. They had just poured by driveway!
And, in case you were wondering how Maxie is doing. From the looks of it, she is just fine and only getting a little bit of attention from her grandparents! Yeah, right! She has been such a blessing to them since they lost Max last week! I am so thankful she is there to share popsicles with her Grandpaw!
Do you think she has a long tongue?She is one loved little girl!

To all expats (and others) out there: any tips on packing up and heading home? I would love some advice. Any suggestions on 'must take home' Belgian/European items?


  1. Wish I knew something helpful? Prayers for peace of mind maybe? Love the question about what to bring back... and serioulsy, Egypt and South Africa... oh wow... Can't wait to see more great pictures! Both Maxie and the house look to be doing well : ) Hang in there girl!

  2. Holy shit! Ok, so I know I just swore on your comment section, but everything I tried to replace it with just wasn't emphatic enough.


    Crazy. And your life is so amazing... Cairo and Egypt? Wow.

  3. I have been through 3 overseas moves and so many stateside moves where the military paid movers to pack us. The best thing I learned is to have water for them, and set aside the things you want to take on the plane or your other shipment in a room they do not need to be in. Watch them on your really fragile items and don't be afraid to tell them you want more bubble wrap! Once you are done watching them with those things, sit on your sofa with a good book as you will not have it again for awhile!

  4. P.S. This is (and was in the last comment) Christina, I am just on my husband's account right now! Take a few deep breaths and enjoy your last few weeks in a different country!

  5. One piece of advise I'd give you Tippa is to keep all your bank statements, records, etc. for all your Belgian bills including utilities & monthly rent. I've known so many people that by accident ship their paperwork (since all of us who have done overseas tours know this is a crazy time) and at the last minute the utility company will come up with a final bill that makes absolutely no sense. One of my girlfriends received a bill for several thousand Euros days before they were set to fly back to the US. It was a nightmare. And things move slow here so resolving the issue with the company or bank takes a while so save yourself the time & energy and make sure you have everything in hand just in case anything arises at the last minute.

    I'd also recommend watching the movers closely with all your precious, breakable items. They recommend letting the movers pack everything themselves but believe me I've NEVER had a mover tell me to unwrap my bubble wrap or make a note on their forms that I wrapped the item. These are your personal items so ultimately the things you really treasure will really be up to you to pack well. But ask my husband and he'll tell you I'm a crazy mover. I take good care to ensure all my breakables arrive safely. I even had my grandfather build me a wooden case to store my German armoire when we move. The movers are usually amazed that we take such care and help us set it up.

    And of course since we're in Europe having beer on hand for lunch is always a nice treat. All the best!

  6. Anonymous1:25 AM

    Oh my goodness your busy busy life! I'll be praying.
    And as for the house well, I'm gonna have to go with Gitz on that one Holy.....
    I had to look twice to make sure it was your and you weren't just showing pics of another house!!! Amazing...

  7. YOUR HOUSE IS BUILT!! I can NOT believe how fast they are putting it up! That is seriously incredible! No wonder you have a lot on your mind...look at how much progress is being made without you here! You know good and well that everything is going to work out just fine so no sense stressing over ANYTHING! You've survived and thrived this move before, and this time you can speak the language, you have your network of friends and family, there are no holes in the road to fall into, you can speak with your neighbors if you get locked out, and you'll be driving your own car, hand picked and bought by you!! So see, no worries. It will be a PIECE OF CAKE!!