Moving Across the Country Pregnant with a Toddler
As of 2 weeks ago, Jackson & I made South Carolina our new home for the next 4 years - so anticipated & so glad it finally happen! Matt & the pups will be joining us out here in the beginning of August after he drives across with his Dad. I came over early for reason I'll get into further into the entry..
I'm very grateful to be an individual that accepts a degree of change, specifically change in location. It wasn't until my big move out of NN, Va after my Mom died that really launched me into it & made it ok for me. Had that not happen, I would probably still be in Virginia..
Charleston was our number 1 Shore Duty location option. You've heard of the 'dream sheet'? Matt made all 5 of his locations Charleston but with different job options. We were pushing for Charleston with whatever control we had. & low & behold, we got it :) So then the nitty gritty started to be planned. I was responsible for finding a house on the opposite coast as well as setting up said utilities, packing, switching over insurances, scheduling final check-ups for J, myself & the dogs, getting paperwork transferred & all that jazz. Matt was in charge of deciding what & how we were moving our items, finding renters & finishing up house projects.
Moving is fun but I'll be damned if it isn't stressful AF.
Don't get me wrong - both Matt & I are organized individuals & really thought this move would be easier (back when we thought we were moving NOTHING from our WA house but our mattress. Literally starting new). Then life happened & all plans got flipped.
The first house we saw & applied for, we got. Even when they said there were already multiple people interested. You'd think this is a good thing, which it is, but this meant everything was happening sooner than anticipated. Our lease ended up starting a week before I actually moved out there. Keys couldn't be picked up until all utilities were in our names. Had to do this 3 days before our lease started & they could only “reserve” the house for us for 2 weeks before the lease started (reason why it started before I got there).
We decided to ship everything we own in the house rather than start fresh 2 weeks before. A military move is encouraged because they will literally pack, move & unpack your items for you. Downside is they have an awful track record of punctuality & items breaking. Like waiting a month to get your things then when you finally get them, your shits broken. Yes, insurance covers it but you were already waiting for stuff. Now you have wait even longer to get covered but what if it's an hierloom? Yeah, no. We went with Upack - they dropped a trailer off at the house a week before I left & we had all weekend to pack it ourselves. They only supply the unit, not labor assistance. They delivered said trailer on the opposite side of the country a couple days after I arrived (about a week on the road) & everything went pretty smoothly!
One of the locks we used in the moving trailer got bent in the transport so it wouldn’t unlock & we couldn’t get our belongings.
The company we went through was Upack (they were a dream). You rent trailer space from them then others follow suite. This time, we happen to be the first family to load & last to unload. Each families belongings are separated by a locked wooden wall. When the trailer arrived in SC, our unpacker noticed our padlock was bent from the transfer that we couldn’t remove it or the wall. Keep in mind, we only had these 2 unpackers for 2 hours. We spent a good 20 min trying to figure out what to do short of bolt cutters but one of the movers somehow finagled it off.
First flight got delayed by almost an hour. Ran out of diapers.
Josh & I got to the airport with 1.5 hours to spare & I had packed enough cloth diapers for our transit. During the first delay, I went through 2 diapers then J passed out for a majority of the first flight (awesome!) but then decided to go through 3 more diapers in the next hour. Knowing we still had an hour layover & another 2+ hour flight, there was no way 4 diapers would work. Josh saw me stressing so we bought 2 disposables in a random shop which ended up coming in handy.
The power breaker wasn’t off initially like we thought so our first visit to the house was melting (no AC).
In order for the power to be turned on, the main breaker needs to be off. Makes sense. Well ours wasn’t when we thought it was so I had less than 1 day to have the power turned on & turn the AC on before the trailer & movers arrived so no one had a heat stroke in my house day 1 of moving my stuff in.
Getting internet installed.
I’m aware delays & cancellations happen. But if people would start communicating properly, these things wouldn’t escalate. My original appointment time was 9-11am. Called the company at 1130 because i hadn’t heard anything. Dude on the other end couldn’t explain the delay (understandable) but also refused to call the technician to get a better time frame & couldn’t explain to me why the 2 contact numbers they verify to us with every call weren’t used. Needless to say, I was pissed. The technician showed up around 230pm & completed job within 30 min - amazing! But believe I complained about the shitty customer service via the phone “Ms. Jessica, did I give you excellent customer service today?” “No. No you did not because of A,B & C”
If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.
Given, these are all factors that can happen when moving in general. But also being nearly 6 months pregnant with the raging hormones & constantly fighting the urge to pop off, I had to constantly check myself. But there are plenty of things to look forward to out here in Charleston despite to road bumps..
Back patio oasis
I know it's something random but it's also something I've been dreaming of for months. I'm a social person so to be able to create that space where I can both entertain & still be outside with my kids, dogs & friends is a dream come true.
You don't know how much you take AC for granted until you don't have it for 4 years -_- People kept trying to warn me of the SC heat & humidity like I have no idea it's warmer in the South. But to have the option of AC changes the game! Go visit WA during the month of "Summer" out there with no AC then talk to me.
Closer to family
Living away from family (like across the country, not a few states away) is honestly just what I needed. But now that I'm growing my unit, I need to be around family, for my own sanity (sometimes) & for everyone to know each other! All of both mine & Matt's families are scattered along the East Coast, specifically VA & FL. So being back in Charleston as a center point was the most fortunate thing we could have happen to us.
Warm water access
I'm not gonna lie - I will desperetly miss the clear, blue water of WA. It was cold as ice but was stunning to look at. However, it sucks to just be able to look & not touch it (hello paddleboarding!) so we look forward to being able to actually sit in the warm water AND sandy beaches, not rocks.
A major thing I learned during my time in WA was to create this new community, this chosen family because I was so far away from my blood family. There was a “scary” aspect to it but because of the social butterfly I am, I looked forward to it! In my near 5 years out there, I created my new family & also learned SO much about myself as a separate entity. Having to opportunity to start a new family is only another adventure I look forward to. Yeah, it’s not ideal to have to start over again but what fun comes from doing the same over & over? It’s an opportunity for growth & I’m ready for it.
Bottom line, we are now residents of South Carolina & ready for the next 4 years! Let me know of any “have to” local places to hit up & I’ll be sure to start a list 😆
Back in the low country!!