The Getting Ready :: Part 1


I can't tell you how many blog posts I've read about gearing up to move overseas. The problem with googling such a search is you get a million posts talking about a million different places. Look for posts with finland specifically, and there's few. I'm pretty sure I've found every expat mom blog on the internet.

We're waiting on final details for our move, but in theory we probably will be out of here in 5-6 weeks. That means we get to purge everything, sell everything else and pack few things in preparation. Sometimes I get sad to say goodbye to so many things (I cried over getting rid of a good chunk of E's baby clothes), but then I just think about collecting a few things I will love there. Also I remember that it's a blessing (while it doesn't feel like it) for when we return. Things lose meaning when you don't see them or use them for several years.

There are no decorations left on our walls and we have amazon packages arriving at our door on a regular basis. We got our first suitcase today and Eowyn was thrilled. It's a car with wheels to her-obviously. When we told her its true purpose, she was not pleased.

I don't think I'll ever get tired of laughing at her scowl face. (Until she's a teenager.)

 It's all so weird to me. Moving overseas is like combining a move + a trip overseas. The things I would do for a move are very different than for a trip to europe. We get to merge the two and plan our suitcases based on full seasons, anticipate compact toys to entertain our girl on the 14+ hour plane ride and hope they will hold their entertainment value for at least some time while there, remember to cancel our internet, and the list goes on. These are most certainly 'first world problems.' Right now though, they're my first world problems, and they still feel like problems.

 When I get overwhelmed, I remind myself that not too long ago this trip would have been weeks, if not months on a boat and had we lived in the 1800's we may not get off alive. So, this will be a breeze. Right? 

The excitement is perhaps understated, but it is there. At this point Helsinki is more blog posts and google images than real life. Despite its somewhat intangibility, fist pumps and girly squeals still happen on the regular.

When we got married, part of our premarital counseling was seeing how we both dealt with change. Ben (4 years ago) was excited about change, until the change happened. Then struggle ensued. I on the other hand was hesitant about change, but once it happened, I made it out just fine. I'd like to think we've both sort of merged our ways. We're excited, but realistic. And when we are there we'll be optimistically cynical. ;) 

Which, based on the blogs I read, Finnish people have a darker humor, so we'll get along just fine. 

I think with any new place there comes its joys and its woes. I fully expect to love Finland and already get sad to leave it. I also fully anticipate meltdowns over discovering they don't do things the way we do them. But, I'll get over it. It'll  be good for us to see how so many people live their lives. I look forward to seeing how many ways people can getting a job done.

One perk of moving overseas is buying the most insanely light travel bed for your toddler ever. It may be weird, but I'm SO EXCITED for that thing to get delivered. Another perk is getting rid of all your clothes. I went a little crazy on the purge and realized I must have been in a grey mood because my wardrobe is a little colorless now. I definitely have less than 75 pieces though, which is refreshing. (You may think it's a lot, but count your closet pieces. Those babies can add up.) I bought a colorful scarf that will match everything, so we're good.

Things I'm excited about :

1. International Church. I'm excited to find a church and see what aspects of Jesus a different slice of the world emphasize. I've already noticed it a bit when reading statements of faith, watching vision videos etc. 

2. Summer Cottage/Nature scene. If there's anything Finland is known for, its that. They have an incredible nature scene and are all about seclusion. The introvert nature girl in me rejoices. 

3. Family Life: It's important there. I'm excited to be a part of that. (I hope we have a baby there and qualify to experience the baby box because HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT BE? Regardless, I'm excited.)

4. Travel : Obviously.

5. Adventure of it all : I know this will get old relatively quick (adventure is only sexy as long as you're not tired.) but I'm excited to live an expat life for a season. I know it will change us and I'm excited to make friends from all over the world. Helsinki has several immigrants/foreigners, so I look forward to hearing the stories that come out of it.

6. Visitors : We have super low expectations of visitors. It's pricey to get there, but I do have a few friends that will already be in the area + relatives who hope to make it during our time there. I'm excited to get to share the liminal experience of being there together.

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