It was January 4th, 2012 when the movers came and started packing up our home...it lasted two days and a half. It was very challenging because we had our two boys with us the whole time. If anyone has gone through a PCS you would know, your spouse is going to be busy out processing. So what did I do to keep my children occupied? I set them up with a dvd player and a bunch of snacks...yes this time I allowed tv to babysit. I also gave them books, played with them and sat with them as they packed away most of their toys. PCS can be stressful all the way around, we tried to prepare for it, but for some odd reason, it never goes as planned. I tried to work on a project each day to help ease the last days of cleaning but it didn't work. We ended up cleaning for three days straight!!! I slept like a baby on those days or shall I say nights? The first night after most of our downstairs was packed, we stayed in our home, well the first two nights we did as they left our upstairs beds unpacked...on Friday the 6th of Jan, we officially had everything packed in our home except for our luggage. We were officially homeless!! We borrowed an air mattress from our friends and it ended up deflating during the night, we ended up on the floor! EEK! That weekend was spent cleaning and my muscles were already sore. LOL!
In the picture to the right, I sat on a cardboard box where we ate, played games on and the boys set up their dvd player up on it to watch movies...it was essential! I even attempted to lay on it but was unsuccessful! Here I was able to gain perspective and realized that all I needed to be happy was my family, everything else wasn't that important really. I was more or less excited that we were just days from being back in the United States.
Back to the PCS, I scrubbed and scrubbed and let me tell you, my hands were RAW even with rubber gloves on! I spent so much time (later finding out I had wasted so much time) trying to make sure everything was going to be clean to pass inspection. I was highly irritated by the pre-inspection or shall I say the first person who pre-inspected our home!!! He stated that we needed to scrub our walls but failed to mention that they were going to be painted so it didn't matter. Failed to mention that the items that were broken inside were going to be replaced so no use trying to find them locally! Chris and I ran around looking for light fixtures at the hardware stores that WE never should have been replacing in the first place! I won't even get into our yard and how hard Chris worked on it...the last inspector didn't even LOOK out there...or shall I say, didn't care how it looked! I was MAD and rather RELIEVED at the same time...I didn't know how to feel as our final inspection ran SOOOOO SMOOTH!! We ended up paying our housing office $0.00!!! Yes one of the few in the history of American Residents in Belgium living in Government Housing!!! I will brag on this one as WE WORKED so hard on scrubbing, spraying, scraping, soaping, de-scumming, un-liming, mopping, sweeping and a whole bunch of other cleaning words for our final inspection. I am happy we passed with flying colors. One less thing to worry about.
Keeping our kids happy was the biggest challenge of all and making sure Chris and I were not going to lose our patience with the home...we did have a small spat as I kicked him out of the house with a mop at hand and rubber gloves on. It happens! We recovered as usual and realized our stress was getting to us. We ended up snapping some pictures and realized that laughing was going to get us through it.
The picture to the left was taken the day after our final inspection, the last day in Belgium...sadly the last picture of our home. I will miss it, in fact today is Jan 23rd, 2012 and I already do. I had told Chris when we started dating that I had always wanted to live in a brick home, and so there it was, clearly I never imagined it being in Europe let alone Belgium, but there it was, our home.
There is more to our PCS that I will write about but for now I will leave you with.... "Our Home is Where the Army Sends Us." I am lucky to say that Chris and I already found our next house...a couple more days and I will be standing in front of it. By the way, it has some brick accents on it too!!
Thank you so much for all of your well wishes, on my channel, here on my blog and on my facebook, it means so much to have all of your support!!!
Moving every few years is a challenge and for so many it can be an adventure, some enjoy it and others hate it...it sorta becomes a huge part of our lives, a lifestyle I am proud of. You will hear me complain but deep inside I am so happy to be doing this, it is an accomplishment and I wouldn't change a thing.