Packing a House Without Fighting – A Few Tips

Today movers will arrive to fill this with all of our stuff:

moving 2

We have been amazed by the amount of stuff we’ve acquired over the past several years. Even with carloads of donations being dropped off at Goodwill, selling baby clothes and equipment, furniture and such, our house still looks like this:

moving 1

Needless to say, the packing process has been painful, especially for Josh who has been doing the brunt of the work since I’m not done working until Friday. Here are a few tips (in no specific order) on how to not kill fight with your significant other while prepping for a move.

1. Hire someone to do it for you.  I know what you’re saying, duh! We got quotes for full service moving companies that would box, load, transport and store our stuff until we find a new house. Estimates were coming in at $12,000-18,000, plus additional fees for each month of storage. Ouch! Even with the relocation money, we figured it couldn’t be that hard to pack up ourselves and save some of the money for getting a new house up and running. We were wrong.

2. Find funny things to reminisce about. Our office was probably the best room to pack up. I found a whole box of old pictures with gem like these in it:

halloween 2008 senior luncheon

Nothing lightens the mood like laughing about how awkward we were, how crazy we were or how stupid we were (hello 21st birthday shot notebook. Yikes!).

3. Add a cocktail. We’re not huge drinkers, though after the last few posts you may think otherwise. Sometimes you just need something to take the edge off. After all packing up all your possessions and your life as you know it is stressful.

4. If that doesn’t work, work in different rooms. Together time isn’t necessarily the best thing while packing. It’s definitely not advisable when packing styles or speeds are not aligned. If you’re starting to snap at each other about bubble wrap vs. brown paper padding, you need to move to a different room.

5. Take breaks. It just took me five tries to type breaks instead of breasts. Wow, must still be thinking about organizing my breastmilk for donation the other night. Back to my point, everyone needs a break. The other night Josh went for a ride with John, the night before I fed Anderson and went for a run. Physical activities and time spent away from packing tape, boxes, bubble wrap and Sharpies do wonders for stress levels.

6. Set daily goals. Before we go to bed at night we’ve been talking about tasks to accomplish the next day. Josh has a set and I have a set. When I get home from work we talk about where we stand and how I can best help once the kids are in bed. This keeps us from getting to the point of standing with a box in our hands just staring at the chaos around us.

7. Breathe. Passing out is not advisable. Seriously it will really cut into productivity levels. But then again, it may temporarily relieve you of your job. You may want to go that route if you’re desperate.

It’s been a stressful few weeks for us, but we will get it done. The last boxes will make it into the truck even if we have to put it on there ourselves. Whether or not we can fit the stuff we’re taking to the apartment in our cars and still accommodate the kids and dog, that is another story. Maybe I should think of my non-argument strategy for that too.

A Ski Date

Dates. What are those again? We’ve almost forgotten around here. One of the things we said we’d do when we were parents was have a date night at least once a month. Then reality set in. Between my desire to spend as much time with the babies when I wasn’t working and limited babysitting options, months flew by without a single date night. We suddenly spent more time being mommy and daddy and less time being Jess and Josh.

Case in point, Josh and I had our first date night since Anderson was born while we were up in the mountains over Christmas. Yep he was nearly five months old already (so behind on his update). Our last date night before that….six months prior.

This year it’s going to be different. At least we’re trying to make it different. Last week Josh suggested that we take advantage of the MLK holiday by dropping the kids off at daycare and heading to the mountains for the day. I momentarily felt guilty but realized that me and Josh being happy is good for the kids. How could spending a day together not be great for everyone?

Yesterday morning we packed ourselves and the kids up, got them settled at daycare by a bit after 7am and set off to Winter Park. We were amazed at the lack of traffic as we cruised right up. We arrived, put on our gear, picked up our season passes (thanks again Amber!) and were on the lift by 10.

20140120_122609_resized
It was a perfect day to ski. It was sunny, tiny breeze up on the top of the mountain and warm.

20140120_125214_resized

We did a handful or so of runs before it was lunch time and time to pump. We happily sat across from each other laughing and talking, free from distractions other than the sound of my pump (Of course after I had pumped at the table while we ate in the food court, I discovered a hidden Mother’s Room down in the back of the restrooms in the basement.)

We packed back up and headed up for a few more runs.

20140120_111637_resized

We planned to be at the car about 2:15 to leave to get the kids, but at 1:50 we found ourselves at the top of the mountain surrounded by runs that did not go to the bottom. Unfortunately for us we had to look at this horrible view as we tried to figure out how to get to the runs we needed to go down.

Winter park

We took one more lift and got to a run that would take us down. We ran a little bit later than planned but still made it to daycare to pick up the kids before dinner time.

The day was just what we needed – a day just to be Jess and Josh again. It was so much fun! I can’t wait until this weekend when we get to get all dressed up for a hospital gala. Two dates in one week…awesome!

What are you favorite dates?

Five Years Later

I remember watching the sunset over the ocean from the balcony of our bungalow in Belize and talking about what we thought we’d be doing in five years.

I remember saying that my goal was to be able to fit into my wedding dress. Shortsighted much? We had no idea where we’d really be a few years later. We thought maybe we’d have some kids, maybe we’d travel a bit, move to another state or country.

Here we are, five years later.

We haven’t made a big move and there is no way I could zip up my wedding dress right now. We have however, traveled and have two beautiful, healthy babies.

jennimaroney.2013.anderson -5016re

We’ve had some sad times, some mad times, some frustrating times, but more times that have been filled with love and happiness than I could have imagined on that balcony.

I still look forward to Josh coming home at the end of the day, miss him when we have to travel apart, and am 100% sure I picked the right man to spend my life with. These past five years have been pretty amazing and I’m so blessed.

I love you Josh. Happy 5th Anniversary!

One Love

Today I’m excited for my kids. With the Supreme Court overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, I will be able to tell my children that they have the right to marry the love of their lives, just as I have had married mine, whether that love is a man or a woman. They will be able to live their lives without being denied the federal rights that heterosexual married couples are granted.

Instead of being long winded, I’ll leave you with this:

Congratulations Americans, today is a day in history to be celebrated.

The Fourth Year

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life. I’m sorry ladies, but I may just have the best husband out there. My life isn’t filled with grand romantic gestures all the time, nor flowers and candy. It is however filled with love, appreciation, understanding and a husband that shows me he loves me in his own ways every day.

I know a lot of people say the first year of marriage is the most challenging because you’re adjusting to life as a unit where you have to consider someone else rather than just doing your thing all the time. That may be true for some, but I think the challenging year is actually the first after having a baby. It is a big adjustment.

With our first full year of parenthood now under our belt, I can see how it can break couples.  I often feel just as I’m excelling as a mother, I’m failing as a wife and visa versa. It’s a very delicate balance that I’m still working on. Being a parent and continuing to be a couple and not just parents is hard. It’s stressful and exhausting but overwhelming rewarding. I’m glad that we focused on us before we started our family. It gave us time to experience things together, grow up, grow in love, mature and have fun. Not that all the fun is over by any means. It’s just a different kind of fun.

I may not have all the answers. I know I don’t, but what I do know is that though we may no longer be as hot and steamy as we once were, be able to fly of to Europe at a moment’s notice, or get all the alone we’d like, I love my life. I am so blessed and so lucky to have this wonderful man who I adore in my life.

Whether Josh knows it or not, every day I love him a little bit more. Marrying him was the best decision I’ve ever made.