We have arrived!

What a whirlwind week. We sold the truck on Monday, packed up the cabin and said goodbye to Flagstaff on Tuesday. Stayed with friends who are watching our furbabies. Then had to say goodbye to our dear friends and all of our furbabies again. The cats will at some point be reunited with us, but we are looking at a long time in between. Since we didn’t have a firm destination, we couldn’t find a way for any of our pets to come with us until later. Then stayed with my brother and his family until we flew.

We were blessed to enjoy family and friends this week. We felt very loved and cared for all week. Friday morning saw us attempting to spread the weight of our stuff out into 2 suitcases, 2 hiking backpacks, 4 duffel bags, 4 carry-on rollers and 4 backpacks. My brother and his wife generously wore out the kids in the pool and trampoline before we left. My brother took us to the airport where M’s whole clan came to send us off.

All of our luggage

The flight was uneventful. K hadn’t napped, so he fell asleep right away and woke up right before they served breakfast. R loved being able to watch movies on the TV and mom let her stay up until midnight to help with the jet lag. Then she fell asleep until just before we landed. I binged watched movies. I need about 3 more trips to really catch up for the year, but I feel like I got a good dose of Marvel. Lol

Through the airport

We are staying in Russelsheim for this week. We found our studio apartment quite easily. It’s in a fantastic location! We are in the middle of town, 5 minute walk to the train station, 5 minutes from the Main River, 5 minutes from a park and the bakery and grocery store are right around the corner. (Yes, those are separate stores.)

We got up Sunday morning… well, we got up at 2 am and played for about 3 hours before we all crashed at 5 am. Then we “got up” at 11 am. Jet leg is so fun. We decided to wander around the area and discovered a huge car show down by the Main River. So much fun! Kids played at the park, we ate brats and gelato, and we looked at all the cars, took a spin on a carousel and then watched the swans in the river. We came back for a nap and then enjoyed pizza outside on a pedestrian street. It was a great day!

Watching the Swans on the Main River
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Feeling better and getting excited!

This has been a good week. Relaxing out in the woods, visiting with family and good friends, and finally getting on antibiotics. It’s been a week of rest and I’m glad we planned the extra time in on this side of the pond.

We have also spent our days hunting down reception for internet and simple phone calls. We have always enjoyed staying out in the woods for the novelty of unplugging. However, that is not so much of a novelty when we are trying to finalize banking, translate documents, and sell our last car. So we’ve headed into Flagstaff, dropped M off at the library to work and the kids and I have found parks, gone shopping at the NAU bookstore and found things to keep us occupied.

We have also been blessed with friends who are willing to make the drive north to see us one last time. A dear friend came for lunch on Wednesday so the kids could play and we wandered around downtown. My best friend and her family came to visit the weekend and the kids had a blast watching it rain, playing in the mud, watching Incredibles 2 and we all had a very competitive game of Clue Junior! My favorite part was still playing cards, but I’m weird like that! Lol

Father’s day was spent with the head of the Linke clan. We ate good German food, played in a huge pool with waterslides and diving boards. K loved the toddler area, and R was super brave going down the waterslide multiple times and jumping off the diving board and even jumped off the high board! She dared me to jump too and mom showed her how to dive off the board. A good time was had by all!

It still feels like vacation. It still blows my mind that we leave, permanently to Germany this Friday. We keep wandering around telling ourselves that the adventure has begun, and so far I’m having a good time.

Our neighbors this week:

It’s over and just begun

It’s official. We are no longer Arizona homeowners. This past week was a week of hard goodbyes. We said goodbye (temporarily) to our beloved cats as they stay with an amazing friend who will bring them back to us. We said goodbye to our neighbors, which was really the best neighborhood I’ve lived in a long time, wonderful people. We said goodbye to our stuff as it gets shipped to Germany on the slow boat. And we said goodbye to our house.

They say that moving is one of the most stressful things a couple can do. The good news is that we are a united front on wanting this move, encouraging our children and getting excited for departure. Yet, the stress of the unknown is still there and we have crashed and burned this weekend all with terrible colds. We are staying in Flagstaff and we were really blessed with our family visiting us this weekend. They took such good care of us while we continue to sleep our way back into good health.

I think leaving family and friends is definitely the hardest part of this move. We have an awesome connection with our family and frequently get to see both sides of our siblings. It is the part I’ve struggled with the most, separating my kids from cousins they love. But, I know in my heart this is the right thing to do. They are blessed to have more second cousins in Germany they get to know, and first cousins in Slovakia. We will find friends and get to know family better. And I love the fact we can face time family every week for free.

So for now, we are focused on wrapping up in Arizona. We are focused on getting healthy for our Grand European tour. And we are fully focused on our children as we jump in with both feet!

It’s ok to feel ….. and find a balance.

Oh so many emotions this week. It’s the last week in the house. This house I have loved and hated. This house that somewhere along the line became my home. I will miss the pool. I’m happy to see the end of packing and selling. I am sad to leave family and friends. I’m so excited to live in Europe.

The kids are feeling it. R has been sad to say goodbye to her friends. K isn’t sleeping and we are solidly back into diapers. But we have our moments of excitement too. What will our new rooms look like? How should we decorate?   R is looking forward to gymnastics again in the fall. K has only been talking about the different kinds of trash trucks. But hey, it makes him happy. Lol

We’ve been trying to balance our days. Time to play and visit with family and friends. Time to pack 5 more boxes and haul stuff outside for the last garage sale. They are long days. Good days. Almost doesn’t feel like we are leaving because we are still running errands, doing play dates, getting milk… except we have no more dishes to eat on.

I’ve been telling the kids it’s ok. It’s ok to feel happy. It’s ok to feel sad. It’s ok to be excited. It’s ok to miss people. It’s all in finding a balance.