Packing and Unpacking

July 10, 2011 - Tybee Island
July 10, 2011 - Tybee Island

Dear Chris,

On Monday we will finally close on our first house here in Florida. Can you believe it? I can’t. I can’t believe that this time last year we were struggling to make ends meet, fearing our unexpected pregnancy, wondering where we were going to live, and trying to put our lives back together after our move. Such change in such a short amount of time. Now, we both have jobs that we love and, more importantly, that pay the bills. We have a beautiful baby girl whose dimples and gummy smiles make both of us melt. And we’re actually enjoying living in Florida. The only thing that is the same this year is that we are still packing. And soon we’ll still be unpacking.

Packing and unpacking.

I feel like we’ve done that so much in the past year. We packed our beautiful home in Connecticut and unpacked at the tiny, horrid rental house. We packed that horrid rental house and unpacked at my parents house. We packed at my parents house and unpacked at our safe, cozy rental house in a better part of town. And now we’re packing up that house and moving to an even better neighborhood and a house all our own.

I think that’s my favorite part about buying this house. That it will be the last time we unpack. I drive through our new neighborhood occasionally and pretend I’m driving home. I pass by the elementary school and I smile to myself as I think that this is the first time that we know where we will be when Bean starts school. I pass by our new neighbor’s houses and I smile to myself as I think about how our kids will grow up next door to their kids. And I smile as I pass our new house and think about you and me, sitting on the big back deck, rocking side by side, watching our babies become adults.

But as happy as I will be to unpack at that new house, I know that the packing and unpacking for us isn’t completely over. We’ll pack and unpack countless diaper bags. We’ll pack and unpack suitcases for family vacations. We’ll pack and unpack Bean and Gracie’s school backpacks and lunchboxes. Every Christmas, we’ll pack and unpack ornaments we’ve collected from our adventures. And down the road, maybe we’ll pack and unpack desks and offices as we move on and up to new jobs. Or maybe we’ll pack and unpack bags from that trip to Machu Picchu we never got to take. Then, much later (though I’m sure it will seem like in a blink of an eye), we’ll pack and unpack boxes of Bean and Gracie’s awards and trophies from high school. And then we’ll pack and unpack cars as we load our babies up and take them to college dorm rooms.

Packing and unpacking are just part of our marriage. We put away the lows and carefully store the highs and then we move on to open new experiences and adventures together. In the years we’ve been together, we’ve packed and unpacked our bags next to each other countless times as we begin and bring to a close different journeys we’ve shared. Some of those memories make me laugh, some make me sad, and some make me warm from the inside out.

So, as we get closer and closer to packing and unpacking when we move into our new house, I just wanted to take a minute in the middle of all the chaos to tell you how much I love packing and unpacking with you. I know that sometimes that excitement and anticipation can get overlooked, what with all the potty dances and bedtime stories and middle of the night feedings. And sometimes when we’re signing endless stacks of paperwork and faxing bank statements and copies of pay stubs across Kingdom Come, I might forget to stop and tell you how happy I am. But I think you should know that. You make me look forward to change. You make me happy about change. Of all the reasons I love you, that one is pretty high on my list.

Here’s to moving boxes and suitcases,

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45 Thoughts to “Packing and Unpacking”

  1. Keri

    What a beautiful post. As a former army wife, I have done my fair share of packing and unpacking, sometimes alone, but I can tell you there is no one I’d rather do it with than my mark! Congratulations on the new house!

  2. Jamie

    This is an awesome post. As my husband and I are just about to embark on some gigantic changes of our own (like moving to Australia!) this is exactly what I needed to see. Thank you.

  3. Mellen

    What a beautiful letter! But please don’t ever talk about college and your babies again! Both of my kids are only 5 weeks younger than each of yours and I’m just not ready to think about them as young adults, or teenagers, or even elementary students. Other than that, it was really quite beautiful!

  4. Oh, this open letter is so sweet. Thank you to both you and Chris for your honesty and willingness to share with all of us readers.

  5. Oh my gosh, this is beautiful! I’ve been feeling really unsettled in life, and I need to keep remembering that things will always change, and be grateful that I have my husband to pack and unpack with me too. 🙂

  6. Very sweet Katie. Here’s to your new house, hoorah!

  7. Dyanna

    This was beautifully written. It brought a tear to my eye. Good luck on Monday!!!!

  8. Lindsay C

    This is such a sweet post, Katie — brought a few tears to my eyes. Good luck on the closing and moving — can’t wait to see pictures of the new house.

  9. Brooke

    That was such a beautiful post Katie! And so true. Good luck with your move! I wish you guys all the best.

  10. So sweet!! Congrats on your new home and good luck with the move.

  11. Oh, I can definitely relate to this. My husband and I have moved a total of 11 times in the last 8 years – sometimes on our own, sometimes together – and in 11 days we’ll be moving into our permanent home. After all our packing and unpacking, we’re so excited to finally settle down and start a family, but I don’t think I could have done any of it without my husband’s support along the way. Best of luck to you and Chris on your move!

  12. Love. This touched my heart. Congratulations to both of you on the new house nd all of the future memories it will bring. 🙂

  13. Isn’t it wonderful to have someone you know you can pack and unpack with forever? 🙂

  14. Thanks for making me tear up. At work. Again.

    Congratulations on the new house… can’t wait to see pictures! It will be so nice to be in a place that you can truly call your own and that you & Chris can grow old together in!

  15. Tressa

    This made me cry. I think mostly because your happy again Katie. I’m excited for you guys and your new home. Wished I could travel the thousand miles to come watch Gracie and Bean man while you move!!!! 😉 Can’t wait to see pictures of you NEW life!

  16. So sweet. This is what a good relationship is all about: “You make me look forward to change. You make me happy about change.” You guys are a great example, and congratulations on your new home!

  17. Kristine

    Your blog – and really, this post today – gives me so much hope. I’m impatiently waiting for the day when my husband and I will be done bouncing around crappy rental houses and tiny apartments, and finally in fulfilling careers that will make ends meet for once.

    Some days are so low, and others all I see is such an adventure ahead of us.

    I don’t know why, but knowing you are doing it, and have done it, and will keep doing it…it makes me feel like we can too.


  18. Jennnifer

    Awe this one brought happy tears. Now I want to get home and say these same things to my husband. Thank you for helping me to remember what really is important in life in the middle of all the choas.

  19. Nikki

    I seriously need to stop reading your posts at work. I keep tearing up! Hope your transition to your most deserved new house goes as smoothly as possible. Congrats again!

  20. So sweet. And so true. In the middle of chaos and mundane tasks, its so nice to be able to look at your husband and know that you are able to do it together. It seems for me each packing brings about another phase in life. Congrats on your house 🙂

  21. i love this. we are in the process of packing up the house we’ve shared our first year of marriage in to unpack in a house we’ll share our second and third year in, only to pack up again after that. thanks for putting it in such a great perspective.

  22. Moving is so stressful but the possibilities and anticipation of starting in a new place are my favorite part. Good luck packing and getting everything settled.

  23. Ali

    Out of everything you’ve written on your blog (and I have read it all!) this has had the biggest impact on me. Brought tears to my eyes, because it’s just so happy and hopeful. I love being able to read about your love, and it makes me smile and think about mine. Can’t wait for stories about the new house!

  24. Such a sweet post. I’m really happy for y’all. Your willingness to share shows other people that life is full of seasons. Some easy, some hard, some sad, and a lot happy. But through it all you have to hang on to what’s important. Thanks for putting so much of yourself out there.

  25. You made me tear up with this sweet, sweet post Katie. Thank you.

  26. What a sweet letter! And congratulations on the new house!

  27. Janie

    Aww. That was so sweet!

  28. Kelly

    I am right there with you. My hubby and I just closed on our first real house on June 30th. I am drowing in boxes but it has been kinda fun to pack and unpack…you go through everything and realize how many memories you have made together 🙂 Like you, the house we just closed on will be our house for a long long time and I LOVE that feeling 🙂

    Good luck to you in your move 🙂 I am sure this new house will be home to many many happy memories!

  29. What a thought provoking post! We just moved to another state, and I could relate so much to your post. We are in an apartment now, but it’s a beautiful, safe one. We’ll probably stay here for a while, and then eventually buy a house we never want to leave. I don’t like moving!

  30. I love this post…you write so beautifully.

  31. Rachel @ The Ongoing Planner

    What a beautiful metaphor! Best of luck with the new house! I am so excited for you guys. We definitely drove in our new neighborhood a couple times before we moved in and got super excited about having a family there 🙂

  32. Katie – I’ve been waiting all day to comment on this post. I read it on my phone while in a boring meeting today and I suddenly realized it was gonna make me cry! I had to shut it down and come back to it because I didn’t want my coworkers to think I’m crazy 🙂 Anyway, I can so relate. To everything you’ve written here. This is such a simple but beautiful way to put it. All those changes that we go through together. I hope you all are VERY happy in your new neighborhood! We just moved to our “forever” home and I felt the same way about the school and everything!

  33. And….you made me cry. Again. Such a sweet, beautiful post. I think it’s awesome that you found a house that you want your kids to grow up in…that seems so far away for us!

  34. Meredith J

    I’m SO EXCITED to see pics of your new digs!! 🙂

  35. Cindy In Owensboro, KY

    This made me tear up because my hubby and I are moving from KY to Fairhope, Alabama July 30th! I am so glad that my hubby’s company is paying for a moving company to do the actual packing. I have never had that before and it is definitely a different experience. It makes it all a little less real, until that day.

  36. Heather M

    I loved this post – as it sort of sums up the last 5 years of my life with my husband. Packing and unpacking — ahhh the glorious chaos! All the very best for your move.

  37. This is beautiful! And it makes me long for the day when my husband and I can move into a home of our very own!

  38. Grandma

    Don’t forget: “Bloom where you’re planted!” Love, Grandma

  39. *Tear* Beautifully written. (PS – Bean and Gracie are NOT allowed to grow up and go to college. Absolutely not.)

  40. You capture so beautifully what marriage is about…thank you for sharing it with all of us! 🙂 I love to think about my husband and I rocking on the porch together for the years to come…thanks for reminding me that it’s something we should take time out to do today as well.

  41. Made me cry… I think of the time my dad packed me up for college and his friends told me he cried all the way home after dropping me up.. That will be me in 17 years. Ohmyword. Will we ever be ready for it all?

  42. ..err… dropping me OFF….

  43. Please refrain from talking about all this growing up stuff! Yikes I am bawling over here. I just want to keep my kids little as long as I can.

    Very sweet post. : )

  44. Adrianne P

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your blog before, but I’ve been following for a while now. I love how open and honest you are about your life. I felt I had to comment on this post, because it is soooo true. We get so lost in everyday life that we forget to tell our spouses how much we love and care for them. Thank you for reminding me. Headed off to tell my hubby how much I love him 🙂

  45. Annalee C

    Katie, what a beautiful post!! It’s stuff like this that makes me so excited for what life will bring. You are an amazing writer, and I can really feel emotion through your words. Thank you for sharing this with us!

    PS CONGRATULATIONS on the new house!!!!

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