Thursday, June 27, 2013

This is it

It's 3:30 am.  The boys have 3 suckers a piece sticking out of their mouths while I stare at the wood paneling in a motel room that is finally getting warm enough that I don't have to wear a coat indoors.  I'm a little shell shocked right now.  The kids did awesome with our 24+ hour travel day, such troopers. They slept for 9 hours on the plane, were such helpers at the airport and kept the fighting and complaining to the bare minimum.  Zero complaints in the traveling department.   The hardest part was the airports.  We had to recheck bags at each of the 3 airports and with 20 bags and two strollers between the 6 of us, it was quite the ordeal.  Sitting in the middle of LAX with all our suitcases opened and clothes strewn everywhere as we changed from summer clothes to winter clothes was a sight to behold.  Our total travel itinerary included a 2 1/2 hr drive from Cedar to Vegas (thank you Dad!), an hour flight to LA, a 4 1/2 hr layover, a 12 hr flight to Auckland, a 3 hour layover and a 1 1/2 hr flight to Christchurch.   We finally got here, and I'm not quite sure how to explain my first impressions. Jason's boss met us at the airport and was so kind to help us with our luggage, rental car and things like that, but I think I expected to walk off the plane and be blown away from the amazing scenery everyone talks about and that I've seen in every picture I've ever pinned on pinterest.  The reality was, it looks just like any other town and it's a lot older than I expected.  Even paradise has rundown drugstores and a McDonalds on every corner. I wanted to cry, but I was too physically exhausted.  Kylie was physically exhausted too, but it didn't stop her tears from flowing.  She's had such a hard time leaving her friends to go into the unknown, and then the unknown wasn't the tropical paradise she had imagined either.  It's hard as a mom to see her so torn up. We navigated our way carefully on the left side of the road to our motel.  The corporate housing doesn't cater towards large families, which we have now been labled as, so the biggest place they could find is a rundown motel.  It was not exactly a warm welcome.  Jason's boss' wife was so kind to come pick me up and take me to buy carseats and food.  One thing I have noticed is that everyone here is so nice, and their accents are just dreamy.  I sort of walked around the Pak n' Save in a daze buying $4/liter milk wondering if we made the right choice.  Giving up my white marble floor malls, electric heating, manicured cities and even Wal-marts for this.  That night, after some serious attitude adjustment talks with myself, we sat huddled around the heat pump playing Go Fish, laughing at the silly things Maddox and Ryder did and eating perhaps the world's best ice-cream (one point for team New Zealand!), and I knew we had indeed made the right choice.  We had each other and when times got tough we relied on each other.  We left a world that consumed our kids with electronic lures and after being stripped of every luxury we ever took for granted, we found ourselves feeling bonded in a way we never had before.  This is exactly what I wanted with this move.  A chance to simplify, re-evaluate our priorities and focus on what's most important in life.  The motel is temporary, our realtor will help us find the right house in the right part of town, the jet lag will wear off, the winter will melt into a beautiful spring, and we've got 2 years to explore the beauty that I know is lurking just beyond the Pak n' Save.  It's only the first day and it can only get better from here.




Air New Zealand was awesome, this 12 hr flight was actually the easiest leg of the trip and the skycouch we upgraded to for the little guys was worth every penny


This was like hour 20 of the trip.  While Jason was waiting in the slowest line ever for customs, Maddox lounged on the floor and Ryder was busy throwing his giant jawbreaker on the ground to see if it would bounce then putting it right back in his mouth.  I finally confiscated it from him when he brought it to me with a giant hair ball stuck to it



A rainbow peeking through the clouds, we took it as a symbol of a beautiful beginning




Ready or not, here we go!

7 comments:

Jodee said...

Oh. My. Goodness!!! You made it! I can't even imagine all the crazy emotions. You can do this! I loved seeing this post. Keep em coming!!!

ERIN said...

Jamie, you write beautifully!! Glad you're trip went well! Best of luck!

lou said...

I'm so excited for you! Agreed Christchurch airport isn't that spectacular to first touch base but living in chch will have you ideally positioned to so many amazing places ... Good luck x

Janessa said...

Awe, I'm all teary eyed. I don't know if it's the fact that my baby sister and amazing family are on the other side of the world or that I'm touched by the love and connection that your family has. Probably both. I'm glad the travels went well and that the shell shock is wearing off. This is the kind of stuff that is life changing. I'm sure your kids will forever tell stories of the two years they lived in NZ. You guys will forever have a stronger bond and love for each other too. Kind of makes me wonder why don't all pack up, leave everything behind and head down there with you:) I just can't even comprehend everything that you've gone through to make this dream a reality. You are rock star parents for doing this. Let the adventure begin! Love you all so much!!! (P.S. I feel much more justified in leaving long comments since this blog is my connection to you right now. With very little communication options right now, I'm going to use this to the max:)

GAFlyGirl said...

awe this made me cry. from what I read of your more recent post, I am glad things have gotten better since you landed. wow, if they think your family is large... they should try ours on for size.... lolol

I am so amazed at your courage to move there, and a tinge bit envious for a new start in a new place in a different part of the world. love ya, April

Jessica 洁玲 said...

Jamie, I'm so proud of you and the fam for making this decision. These are the memories that will last a lifetime. Living abroad is life-changing!

Tom Ballantyne said...

Jamie!!! I loved reading this! Seriously! It's like something you read about and you're living it! You're having your own real-life adventure! I am so so happy for you! I can't wait to read more! What a terrible friend I am for not having done it before. I'll do better! Lots of love to you and your sweet family. Tell Jason hi! Love, marcee