It's almost over, you guys. This insane adventure that started nearly four months ago has almost reached its conclusion, which means we have almost survived.
So, catch you up on the past, oh, month? I didn't talk about it very often or in depth for both safety reasons & to spare you from too much of my whining, but living alone in our Norfolk apartment was basically the pits. I don't do well on my own (as discussed here) & am a pretty socially motivated person, so keeping myself busy May-July was pretty pivotal. I think I did fairly well, because the time seemed to fly by most of the time. Some days, the loneliness of my best friend, roommate & lifelong crush being out-of-state was overwhelming, but Facetime, texts, and phone calls throughout the day helped a little, & we never went longer than three weeks without at least a half day face-to-face visit.
Halfway through July, (right when my blogging hiatus started because I was too overwhelmed to write/think) the apartment hunt was at a total standstill, & Jared was being sent to NYC for another two week round of training. I was starting to blindly pack up our Norfolk apartment without a new floor plan in mind, & only the assumption that we would be downsizing. In an eleventh hour miracle, I happened upon a Craigslist ad that had only been up for 3 hours the day before Jared left for NYC, & he was able (by some serious grace!) able to go look at the apartment, deem it "good enough!" & turn in an application 6 hours before his train to New York left. In another stroke of grace, he was also sent back to DC the following weekend for 48 hours - Just long enough to get the lease signed.
As relief passed over me on the New Apartment front, anxiety was still building up as we tried to figure out the logistics of moving out of Norfolk. Where we struggled to fill our Norfolk apartment, we were going to be seriously downsizing. All I had seen of our new apartment were terrible, flip phone quality pictures on Craigslist (new level of marital trust = achieved), so I made an inventory of all our furniture on a Google doc, & one night over Facetime, we narrowed down what was being sold, stored or brought. From there, Jared researched & procured a storage unit & moving trucks from his hotel room in New York, & I started moving furniture, collecting boxes, getting parking permits for the trucks & organizing rooms. It was madness.
With the help of lots of family & friends, the storage unit was filled one weekend and the DC truck was packed the next. Jared took a train straight down to Norfolk from his training, & we went straight from the train station to our very empty apartment to pack up the final load of cleaning supplies & leave our keys on the counter. I was so sad when we left our Chesapeake apartment, even though we hated Chesapeake & knew that our move to Norfolk had so many good things in store for us. I think it was just emotional to leave our first home. I criiiied & cried. I cried when we locked the door for the last time. I cried when I wrote a little goodbye post to our apartment. NOT THIS TIME. Ha, it was probably the nearly four months of living alone that made me a little bitter, combined with knowing that leaving our Norfolk apartment meant I was that much closer to being in DC with Jared. There were no tears. No heavy hearts. Just pure elation that this weird phase of being apart was almost over. Home is so very much people, not places.
The next morning, in the pouring rain, we made our way up to DC with Jared's dad to move in. It stopped raining almost as soon as we arrived, just in time to be a balmy, steamy, disgusting rain forest level of humid while the guys unloaded the truck & we assembly lined our possessions into the front hall of our new building. No better way to meet the neighbors than in front of your mattress on the sidewalk, amiright?
I pretty much raced up the stairs to see our new home. Definitely tiny. Definitely going to need some creative floor planning. But it has so many features that we were hoping to find, & its laughable square footage is made up for by amenities such as a washer & dryer, a dishwasher & a garbage disposal. Seriously, you don't realize how much you love the ability to grind up the things that make their way down your kitchen sink until you don't have that option for two years. & after so much stress & so much worry about where we were going to live, it was perfect. Everything we need. MORE than what we need. & best of all, there's a Jared in it. It could have been a cardboard box. I just could not be happier to be back under the same roof as him. Almost.
Our first night in DC was pretty hilariously terrible. We didn't have a parking permit for street parking yet, so every 2-3 hours we were having to find a new spot for the car. No easy task, of course, landing the car at least 5 blocks away every single time we moved it. Jared got horribly sick from what I diagnosed to be a mixture of dehydration, heat exhaustion, stress & a really terrible faux-mexican lunch eaten way too quickly halfway through moving our furniture up 6 flights of stairs. I was leaving for Richmond at 6am the next morning, so we had to just keep moving, even with him feeling like he was going to literally lose his lunch at any minute.
The most defining part of the night was when we gathered up my parents' suitcases to take back down to the car. I had borrowed them for the move, but my parents are leaving town next weekend, & I had to return them before them. We had also borrowed their red cooler on wheels for our refrigerator items, which we really didn't have room to store until further notice in our tiny new place. A seriously out-of-it Jared said the car was "just a couple blocks over". I suggested we put the cooler inside one of the suitcases, because even though it won't close all of the way, we won't have to wheel three things to the car.
So, the scene is a very sick Jared pulling a large suitcase with a flopping, half-zipped top exposing a giant red cooler, followed by a very sweaty Kelsey pulling a suitcase without a handle, hitting her ankles every step. Imagine my surprise when instead of turning left onto the very quiet street of row houses, Jared turns right onto the very busy street of restaurants and bars, with everyone enjoying their fancy Friday night beverages on an outdoor patio. & us. With our suitcases. & cooler. & my neon pink flip flops. With a deep breath, I just marched, trying to avoid eye contact . Halfway to the car, I just started laughing, because that was it. That was our first night in DC. Forever in my memory as my poor Jared with his head between his knees, a cooler in a suitcase, & a walk of shame through Dupont. It was so terrible that it was comical (looking back). It was the longest day ever. It was the first page of a new chapter.
I did, in fact, manage to head to Richmond the next morning, & spent a week there with Amelia, working on a new project. I have since been in Chesapeake since this past Sunday, staying with my parents while finishing a final week at my part time job, training in my replacement. It's been a fitting two weeks of R&R, with work mixed in here & there. But tonight! Tonight, Jared will leave work & drive from DC to Chesapeake, VA. We'll spend one final half day here on Monday, saying our goodbyes, & then we'll drive off (together) into the distance (together) to finally make our new home in DC... (together).
& we could not be more excited to greet this new chapter. Together.
The view from our new family room - a parking garage deck & a pretty city sunrise.