Thursday, August 25, 2011

The real work begins

The title may be a little mis-leading. It should read " the real work began." It began last Monday on the 15th. We've been a little overwhelmed and tired, tired, tired. But we got our container and things are moving with the house so YAHOO!!!

We were a bit concerned (mild statement) that our container would not get delivered as scheduled. It was a week overdue into port and then it was chosen by US Customs for "intensive inspection." Fortunately, our prayers were answered and Customs did not fool around with it and released it quickly (most likely was sniffed and scanned as none of the contents were disturbed). What a blessing!

It arrived into Oakland/Alameda on a container ship similar to the one shown going under the Bay Bridge here:
And showed up on our doorstep that Monday morning - Wow!

It took approximately 1 hour, 10 minutes for them to completely unload the container. Yelling out item inventory numbers and stacking boxes in the garage and driveway, they moved fast.

We had the crew for 2 days and you have to make the most of them while they're there. Day 1 was unpacking the container and then you start to identify what goes where in the house - especially the furniture pieces. Most of it is wrapped so there are times you're not sure what it is. I didn't get a picture of all the "stuffing" as they were so quick to unwrap and stuff it into boxes that were then thrown back on the container.

They worked on reassembling furniture and placing boxes in the proper rooms for unpacking later. Part of the crew (with a little side $$$) also made a delivery to my dad's as our sectional was going to his house in addition to returning a dining room table and some odds and ends. That worked out great as we would otherwise be walking around that piece(s) of furniture.

We had to work out some logistics as we also needed the house painted (interior) and had to wait our turn with the contractor. Painting started this week on Tuesday meaning we would have to leave some items boxed and some furniture "loosely" placed. It's just a little goofy here. In the past we've always painted ourselves but this house has really high ceilings and we just can't do it all. Oh, and Bart is really busy. He just can't do it all.

Here's Bart on the Wednesday he took off after the moving crew was done to help organize and put away what we could. What a mess. Where does it all go?

We didn't consider storage or the lack of when we bought the house. We would still buy this house - we love where it's at. It really hit home as we started unpacking that we had a lot of storage in Iowa (basement! and big closets) and Switzerland (built-ins). We have decent sized bedroom closets but there is little in the way of convenient storage elsewhere in the house - but it is big and airy. Just not equipped with storage. Except the kitchen - lots of storage there! :)

We've also had the "Barbeque" project going. The "island" has been ready - 3 weeks earlier than estimated! - and we've had to hold off delivery until our preparation for it is completed. There were Jasmine bushes to tear out, wood railing to be sanded(Susan), primed and painted(Bart & girls) and an electrical outlet (Gpa Paul) to be finalized before it can go in. We're almost done! Bart has just a little painting left. We'll enjoy it when it's done.

While the rest of the house is still "in flux" (exception is Rachel's room now that paint there is finished - she is Bart's "mini-me" - can we all give an "Amen") I am most comfortable when the kitchen is all in place. Day 1 of the move - afternoon:

Day 2 of the move - evening:

The move-in of everything caused another shift in the tenuous balance of the Olson's readjustment period so there have been many a "not so many sleeps" nights. K started sleeping in our bed again (thankful we switched to a King!) and Rachel standing next to the bed saying "I can't sleep" and our responding "nothing we can do - lay down and relax." Makes us all a little crazy - I'm having the same problem some nights. Plus - school was starting (yesterday morning) and we were a little concerned that we were all overtired.

Naturally, as nothing has really gone to plan, the painting started on Tuesday (originally scheduled for previous Thursday) - the night before school. So the girls were on air beds in the Family room and Bart and I have moved into the guest room. Bart & I have to stay there until our new blinds arrive - I'll have to get a pic posted of our "open" space. The painters have been great though and made the girls rooms a priority so theirs were done by Wed. noon and they were able to sleep in their own beds again - and they slept all night! Hallelujah!

I don't have pic's of the girls together on the first day of school. Their departure time is about one hour different: Rachel leaving by 7:25 and Kendra at 8:20. They can both walk to school and they both had a good first day! I don't necessarily want to Blog all the personal things that go on with moving countries and schools but those of you who've done it will know and those who think about it will understand - it's a stressful period. What a sigh of relief and a "thank you Lord" yesterday afternoon when we talked about their day.

I feel like a new kid too! I still know our banker more than anyone else in the community - all the wire transfers to pay remaining bills in Zurich....... I even think Rachel had a better day than Kendra which suprised me. I think that subject is a post of it's own.

Kendra leaving for 5th grade:

Rachel ready for 8th grade - she'll officially be a teenager next week!

All I know is that time flies - whether you're having fun or not!


Susan said...

I was so pleased to see you in my Google Reader and to get an update on your settling in. My heart goes out to you, with all the exhausting work attached to unpacking and making your new place your home. At the same time, I'm so happy to read that school went well, and just imagining freshly painted walls makes me smile. And I should add: your kitchen looks awesome! Thanks for taking the time to blog!!! :-)

Makila said...

So glad you are doing well. I'm glad the girls had a good first day of school. Sigh, they look so old.


Your house looks beautiful.

Hi! It's me, Julie! said...

Ok, so you know I have a LOT to say, but I will briefly say this:
1. The girls look beautiful and so grown up!
2. I love your front door!
3. Your California kitchen reminds me of your Iowa kitchen a bit so I want to come have some coffee!
4. I miss you, love you, rejoice that your things have arrived, pray for rest and peace for you, friend.
Hugs and kisses,

Katherine said...

Wow, looking good, Susan! Great pics of the girls on their first day. I totally forgot to do that this year with Emily, as it still feels like we haven't started until Jason goes off.

Anonymous said...

I really miss Kendra, Rachel, Susan and Bart. Hope you come back soon.