Maybe Matilda: Lessons Learned on a Cross-Country Move

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lessons Learned on a Cross-Country Move

A grandma in the backseat with the 10-month old is an absolute must. If I wasn't already (I was), I am now forever indebted to my mom for spending 20 hours playing pat-a-cake with my cranky baby (another lesson learned: the baby who won't sleep in the car on hour-long car trips still won't sleep in the car on 20-hour-long car trips). (Don't worry, Mom, I'll make it up to you. I'll put you in a real nice nursing home someday! The kind that doesn't make it onto CNN for elderly abuse!)


A portable DVD player for said baby is also a must. I can now quote the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in its entirety. I'm fairly certain about 19 of the 20 hours in the car were spent with this movie playing. I'm sure this will come in handy while trying to make friends in my new town. (Lull in the conversation? Never fear! Meatballs quotes to the rescue!)


When the neighbors at your old apartment joked that the landlady was a horrible old hag who wouldn't give you a cent of your security deposit back when you moved out, they weren't joking. It will take oodles of restraint to resist running her over with the moving truck as you drive away. And the first 2 hours of the drive will be spent mentally drafting the hate letter you plan to mail to her (which may or may not be laced with anthrax . . . note to self: work on the self-restraint issue before mailing the letter).

Leaving your husband driving the moving truck alone while you, mom, and baby drive the car may make him go mildly crazy . . . not scary-crazy, but the kind of crazy that calls the "How's my driving?" numbers on the back of semis just to have someone to talk to. 


People can make anything look good online. The townhouse that looked like a dream come true on the website turned out to be a tenement with holes in the walls, peeling paint, and frightening, shirtless, leering neighbors. (But don't worry, the slumlord who showed it to us boasted that it was move-in ready. Maybe the hole in the wall that I was afraid my baby would climb inside of leads to a play room?) Plan on the housing search taking a tad longer than originally expected.

Having a mom cook for me everyday as I squat in her spare bedrooms is fantastic. Why were we all so excited to leave home? I want to come back! Forever! 

When it's all said and done, the stress and hassle of moving from Iowa to Utah to be near family is made more than worth it when I get to hug my sweet nieces, see Forrest giggling with his grandpa, be instructed in the proper execution of the Bernie by my goofball sister, and watch my little boy fall in love with his relatives.

19 comments :

  1. haha! my little sister always has to teach me the newest dance crazes! i can't wait for her to teach them to my son! that is the funniest dance i have ever seen! and congratulations on your big move and good luck on finding a new home!

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  2. Good luck finding a new home :) Isn't it crazy how amazing things can look in pictures then you get there and it's like you are in a completely different house?!

    Yeah I agree - why were we all in such a hurry to grow up and move out? Well it is all clearer in hindsight I guess!

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  3. Lol, I so feel your pain! Your car trip sounds EXACTLY like mine and my husband's trips back and forth to visit family 12+ hours each way, except we have Fresh Beat Band playing on the DVD player (God bless whoever first installed them in cars). I could quote every Fresh Beat Band song for you!

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  4. You are so awesome, Rachel! I'm glad you all made it safe & sound...and your Mom rocks for helping you...and for letting you move in...oh, and for cooking for you...;) Can't wait to hear more about your house hunt!!!!

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  5. Happy house hunting! Hope you find something soon. What an awesome Mama you have!

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  6. Hooray for driving/moving cross country. I'm glad you made it safe and that your husband isn't permanently scarred. (hopefully not anyway) Good luck with the house hunt!

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  7. Glad you made it there safely! :)
    Good Luck House hunting!!

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  8. Congratulations on your move. Hooray for Mom. I know you appreciate her even more now. Good luck with your search and I would recommend it being near mom. Moms are valuable people to their children as you will see for yourself one day.

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  9. you look so much like your mom, she's beautiful. Hope you find your dream home soon

    love~mongs
    mythriftycloset.blogspot.com

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  10. Happy house hunting! And we just did the drive with three kids....and I am barely alive. Except we have to go back in a month...(please let it be worth it, please let it be worth it.)

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  11. Oh my goodness, you are SO funny! I was giggling the whole time I read this post! In case I haven't told you this yet, I LOVE your blog. I enjoy reading every single post. =)

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  12. I don't think that cute face could be as cranky as you describe!

    Glad you made it safely. Need me to hunt down an ex-landlord for you??? ;)

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  13. HoOraY!!! I'm glad you made it...that is so long in the car. On our last trip to California my kids watched Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs over and over again both going and coming home. I think it warped us. We talked in meatball for weeks after...

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  14. Ahhhhh I so so so feel your pain! I am glad the traveling part went well! I can not even begin to agree that apartment hunting is SO hard----I mean really how in the world are pictures so misleading??!!! I hope you find the right place soon but for now just recover from that long trip!

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  15. We are going to miss you in Iowa!

    ...best wishes with finding a home and I'm so happy your are near family again...

    ... and I can't wait to hear more stories on the move... we had a similar landlord issue back in the day with our deposit... it's very frustrating!

    Have a great holiday weekend!

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  16. oh rachel i love your writing, i feel like you are talking right to me! :) i laughed out loud numerous times during this post so thank you for that..congrats on getting the long drive over with. i think you are all amazing for doing a 20 hr drive with a little baby..i know how i am on long road trips and its ugly and im 24!! good luck getting settled in and enjoy your family, how sweet it is to be close to them. have a great weekend!!!

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  17. Have fun re-bonding with your mama!! And I love the tips on moving cross country. But they came five years too late for me! I moved from FL to Oregon with a one month old five years ago. We had problem after problem. You are sooo blessed that your mama was in the backseat with the babe. Of course, you already know that.
    Good luck finding a new place!
    PS: I love Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs!

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  18. I'm sorry about the insanity and difficulties in the move, but I love this post - I literally laughed out loud a few too many times (and thought about my own letter to my own horrendously evil landlady - maybe they have a giant group where they share ideas for how to be maximally awful)! Good luck with everything and I'm pretty sure that if people don't appreciate your "Cloudy..." quotes, then you don't really need them as friends! : )

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