We took possession of our new house (got the keys) on a Thursday. That night I headed out to the house with the vacuum and began vacuuming every room, including the edges and the baseboards. It took me three hours of non-stop movement to get it all done. Actually, towards the end, I had to skip the baseboards in a few rooms for the sake of time.
About two hours into my vacuuming, Brian arrived with the carpet shampooer. I hard-stopped at 8:00 PM so I could get back to the kids. Brian got home at around 2:00 AM - and that was skipping the guest room and both stair ways. I'm telling you, it was a BIG job.
Friday morning, a girlfriend brought her girls to my house for childcare, and I met up with a couple other girlfriends at the new house. We spent a little over three hours cleaning, wiping, and scrubbing, so the house would feel move-in ready. I wasn't going for perfection by any means - there was still plenty of cleaning to do later. But my girlfriends were awesome and worked their butts off. And the one who dropped her girls off, later came with a huge load of all my kids' closet contents, and put them in their new closets. Huge help, as I was hoping to not have to box all that stuff up.
I spent the rest of Friday finalizing packing at the old house. Brian took the second half of the day off from work, and took a couple loads of random stuff out to the new house, and finished up some repair projects.
By Friday night, all bedroom furniture was in the garage. Biniam spent the night at a friend's house. Emma, Isaiah, and Noah slept on the floor of the boys' room. Brian and I moved our mattress to the floor of Emma's room, and Braxton slept in his bassinet next to us. I crashed at about 11PM while Brian finished the shampooing on our room, the upstairs hallway, and the family room. I think he made it to bed around 1:00 AM.
A bunch of guys arrived with a huge, enclosed trailer, at 7:30 AM. They only had until 9:00 to help, so they moved fast and took a big load out to the house. At 9:30, Brian picked up the moving truck. The largest one U-haul rents. Considering how much stuff the first group moved over, Brian thought about getting a smaller truck. But it was the same price to go with the big one, so he went for it. Good thing, because we filled that big truck, and then some.
Our amazing friends and neighbors helped us so much with the move and with cleaning out the old house. At around 4:00 PM, Brian, Biniam, Braxton and I went out to the new house with the last load of stuff. The other kids stayed with a neighbor, then Brian went back to get them.
That first hour that I was in our new home was special. It was the first time I had been there where I wasn't rushed for time to get back. For once, I could just look around and take it all in. Suddenly, I became so overwhelmed with joy and excitement. I couldn't believe this house was actually ours!
Over the next couple of days as I was unpacking boxes, I would at times get choked up with such gratitude and feelings of blessing. It was the little things that would get to me. Like finding the perfect drawer in the basement to keep the dvd's and videos (yes, we're old-school) in where every single one fit perfectly. Or having an actual school room, where we can fit all our desks and books and supplies. How every time I use my kitchen it actually feels bigger, and like I have more and more counter space.
We feel SO blessed here. And it is amazing to look back over the whole process and see how God worked every little detail together. From a dream in a coffee shop six months ago, to sitting in my beautiful home now. God's beautiful home.
Here are some pictures from our first evening in the house. A friend brought us dinner, so we all sat around the table and enjoyed our first meal in our new home, together.