One Year in Texas: Adventures in Moving

I can’t believe it’s been a year now since we moved to Texas! In honor of our new state/ new house anniversary this month, I thought it would be fun to reflect back on the wild adventure of our move. When you go from “this is our forever home,” to “pack your things (and your entourage of kids), we’re moving to a different state in a month (during a pandemic),” things can get a bit crazy!

June was a whirlwind of packing, purging, and appointments. When moving day came, I was exhausted! I had only gotten a few hours of fitful sleep the night before. The first part of the day went by in a miserable blur. In addition to boxing up the last minute items, every time the movers took out furniture, a collection of “treasures” and trash revealed themselves, and I had to sort through it and clean it up. I dragged my complaining body through the motions of packing and cleaning, while balancing a baby that was still very attached to mama. The movers were there hours longer than expected, and once they left, we thought we were almost done. We were not. Somehow it took four more hours to finish up! As I did the final vacuum of the house, I was struck again by how much I loved our oversized corner lot on a small cul-de-sac filled with people that had become our friends and a house that was filled with so many memories (including the birth of three of our children). How could we be leaving our home?

Who knew a Uhaul was so much fun?

When we were finally done with all the packing and cleaning and goodbyes to our neighbors, we were physically and emotionally drained, and somehow we were supposed to make the long drive to Clint’s dad’s house in Arizona (stop one). I took a final look at our house as we were driving away, and I saw our porch seat still sitting in the front yard… uh oh. We really wanted that seat for our new porch, so Clint had to break his rule of “always forward, never backward.” Thus, we found ourselves, with the help of a neighbor, launching the seat to the top of our big pile of stuff. Fortunately, attempt at leaving #2 was a success, and as we rounded the corner, the pain of goodbye began to fade, and the excitement of a new adventure took its place. It was finally time to return to the place that had been calling to us ever since we left it, and this time our kids and parents would be able to join us!

My parents pride themselves on being super efficient travelers, and we pride ourselves on our inefficiency and try to make as many stops as possible (that or we’re a party of 7, and they are a party of 2). Clint and I were in separate vehicles, so for the first part of our inefficient drive, the kids were our company. Once they were asleep, we listened to podcasts and audiobooks to stay awake. During the last leg of the drive, we spoke with each other on the phone, sharing all of our enthusiasm over our new adventure. A little after 1:00 in the morning, we finally arrived in Arizona. After we got everyone unloaded, took a quick shower, and finally rolled into bed it was around 2:00 in the morning! Good thing we could sleep in…. oh wait, I mean, good thing all these kids have been training us on how to survive without sleep.

Parker and I cruising together in a very full van with a dog on top

The next day started bright and early because we had a 9 hour drive to Fort Stockton, TX. Somehow it went shockingly smoothly! Unlike on moving day, we left in the morning, so the baby was able to sleep for a good chunk of the drive. We also met up with my parents and caravaned with them, which made the drive nicer as well. It was exciting to make it to Texas, even if we were still far from our house.

Driving down our street (that is Clint in front of me pulling our jet skis)

The final day, we had a four hour drive, which seemed like nothing by comparison to the previous two days. As we got closer to our new city, the landscape became increasingly beautiful, and our anticipation and excitement grew. Even though Clint and I had to be in separate vehicles, we were on the phone with each other for the final part of the drive because we wanted to experience it together. We couldn’t contain our joy as we pulled up to our handsome country house around noon, and the kids immediately started running through the house to check it out. Of course, a disagreement immediately broke out over which room should be the boys’ and which room should be the girls’. Parker has learned a trick or two, being the oldest, so he showed the girls that the closet door handles in one of the rooms were purple, and that was all it took for him to be able to lay claim to his desired room.

All together at our new house!

We ate a quick lunch and began unloading what we could while we waited for the movers to arrive. Our kids, meanwhile, made friends with the kids next door. When the movers arrived at our house, they unloaded in no time, and I was amazed how settled our house already seemed by the end of the day!

Evie playing in the packing wrap

The next day was my birthday, and waking up in my beautiful new home filled with our family, including both of our parents, seemed like the best present I could have asked for! It was incredible how comfortable we felt here from the beginning, and we are still amazed at how much we love it!

Beautiful view from our evening walk through our new neighborhood

In addition to celebrating my birthday, we were also able to celebrate the 4th of July with our parents. We gathered up chairs and makeshift tables and watched the fireworks from our backyard deck. We even managed to sneak off for an anniversary dinner a few days later before our favorite babysitters left.

Enjoying the 4th of July on our back deck
Celebrating our anniversary at a lovely restaurant along the creek

The family time was such a gift, but eventually our parents needed to return home. It was hard to see them leave, but fortunately, they both now live just around the corner from us!

I’ll share more about our first year in Texas soon. And if you missed it, here is the story of what led to our move.

2 thoughts on “One Year in Texas: Adventures in Moving

  1. Jennifer, I love, love your writing!, love to read about your family adventures. Makes me feel closer to you and your beautiful families! Thank you for sharing your stories! Must be so exciting th have both parties around the corner now. You,Clint and the kids are so lucky. As are the grandparents ❤️ keep the story going. So happy for all of you that life in Texas has been a joy and a positive move. Sure hope someday soon we can see you and the family in person!, Love to all❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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