Monday, August 3, 2015

Road Trip Recap Part 1: Leaving Iowa

Slowly but surely, I'm finding the time to sit down and process all the changes we've been through in the last couple months. (Even as more changes keep coming our direction!) Unfortunately, with my new schedule and work load, I have only been able to find one day a week to sit down and write about it. After catching up on some essentials (I was not going to miss Bug's 13th birthday), it's finally time to write about the exciting events of our summer.

When we found out we would be moving to Salt Lake City, we decided early on to combine our move with our love of road tripping, and make the transition from Iowa to Utah a vacation.  We planned out a 10 day road trip covering as many places as we could between the two states.

With our road trip last year, I summarized the whole thing in one enormous post. This time, I'm going to split it up, not just to make things manageable, but so that I can selfishly indulge in more details.

But before we could leave on this trip, we had to pack up and leave our home.

(How I felt about this process)

I had gone through various stages of mourning about leaving our Iowa home. It was our first home, where we had gone from a family of 4 to a family of 5, adopted our cats, and survived residency. The first time we didn't share walls and floors and ceilings with other people. The first time we could paint and renovate and fall in love with a house.

We had been paring things down as the house went on the market; all our family photos were packed, most the boys' artwork and toys already in boxes. I was dreading the rest of the packing. But as the movers came the first day and finished the packing, I did ok. I was busy chasing Duck around and answering questions about what should be packed and what was staying.

However, any stoic leanings left the next morning as the moving truck showed up. As soon as the movers started carrying boxes out of the house, I couldn't contain my emotions. I stood in the kitchen, the movers working hard around me, and just let the tears flow. That house felt like family, and I felt like I was abandoning it and all the memories we made there.

There was also the small issue of not actually having a place to live in Utah. Our home loan was still in processing, and each day, I spent hours and hours on the phone and they kept requesting more and more documents. We were supposed to close on a Thursday, and that day came and went. On Friday, they asked for more paperwork. That afternoon, all our things left for Utah, with us planning on following in a few days. Monday morning, the day we were leaving the state, they called and asked for more clarification. At that point, I was frantic. We were hitting the road in just over an hour, and it looked like we might be homeless since the loan officer wasn't sure the loan approval would go through.

As I was doing a final cleaning of the house, mopping the kitchen floor and washing the counters, and Hubster was loading the last few things into the van, I got yet another call from the mortgage company. This time, it was to say the loan approval had just gone through.

Once again, I found myself standing in the kitchen crying, but this time in pure relief.

We left a welcome home sign and a bottle of champagne on the counter for the new owners, locked the doors, and took one last picture with our first home.

Having leveled up in the adult version of Tetris...

It was time to say goodbye, and start the journey, not just for our summer road trip, but our trip to our new home.

The remainder of the day was spent driving through the softly rolling farmlands of Iowa, wondering when we might see them again, pointing out redwing black birds and the steady flicker of fireflies as dusk descended.

We made it clear to Nebraska before remembering we had left an entire box of popsicles in the freezer. Oh, well, just another welcome home gift, I suppose.


  1. So many emotions. But I'm so glad things worked out!

    1. Oh, me too! It definitely has been an emotional journey (as well as an actual journey). But I think we are where we are supposed to be.