We are here. We are here. I can’t believe we did it.  We are IN AUSTRALIA! I want to tell you everything about this place. But first….how did we get here? The last 2 weeks weren’t pretty, but they are part of our story. Plus, I am proud of us.We have  persevered and done some hard stuff. Once again, we couldn’t have done it alone. We had so many angels back in Denver who helped in so many different ways. I don’t like to publicly name people who do good…because that’s not why they did it. You know who you are. You were our heroes during a crazy time and we are forever grateful.

It’s been a few days since we arrived, so I feel a little rested and ready to look back at the challenges we faced and our wild journey to get here. And then I’m going to the beach!!!!

The last weekend in Denver was full of goodbyes, packing, and the Patriots game. It’s a blur to me now. Wes got really sick. He doesn’t like me talking him when he’s sick. But he was SICK for all our last days in Denver, and it made things so much harder to have him not operating at 100% (we needed to be at 300%!)  He had to take rests and then go hard. Then rest. Then work hard. Round. The. Clock.  I was busy tying up all our loose ends. Appointments and shopping and kids.

Then came our final days before departure. I don’t remember Monday. Tuesday was the kids’ last day of school. It was also the day Wes had friends to help him move all the big furniture. The little kids brought treats and Valentines for their classmates. I read a book about Australia to Mae’s sweet kindergarten class. Mae and Luke both received very thoughtful goodbye gifts from their classes. I was too tired to cry, but I was, and still am, very touched at how much people love my kids. The middle school goodbye was way more dramatic. I knew Elle and friends would be going to the town center for one final time, but it turned into something much bigger. I arrived at Chipotle around 6pm to a gaggle of 7th graders hugging and crying. There was candy and balloons and cards and presents. I ended up bringing 3 girls back home with me around 7pm because they just couldn’t say goodbye. The girls came to our empty and chaotic house and it broke my heart to see how sad Elle was to leave her friends. I had to pull them off of each other when their parents came to get them. She’s lucky to have such good friends.

The next 48 hours were the toughest. Wes and I stayed up all night. Luke slept at a friend’s house. The girls went to bed on mattresses. Then Wes and I hustled. We barely spoke. We just emptied the house and packed for the trip. I packed our bags until around  2am and then cleaned up what was left. Cabinets. Drawers. Everywhere I looked there was more to do. Our house had to be totally EMPTY. Wes took a billion trips to storage. I eventually slept from 4:15-5:30am. Wes tried to rest around 6am, but he never slept. Elle was still sad. Mae was full of bananas. We had to leave around 10:30am for the airport. Wes had to make final trips to storage with our mattresses and whatever was left. I had to pick up Luke and clean out the fridge. Then we had to return the rental car and load up for the airport. Phew.

It felt great to check all 9 bags and get on the plane to LAX for a short plane ride with just our carry on bags (but I, sadly, left Elle’s Kindle Paperwhite on the plane.) Then it got hard again. Navigating through LAX with that many bags…on to the shuttle to get the rental car….waiting for the rental car…..trying to fit everything in the rental car.  We drove to our hotel near Disneyland. I walked into our hotel room and crawled  directly under the covers. I never got up. I was sooooo cold. I knew I had a fever. It spiked in the middle of the night. I woke the next morning stuffy, fevery and had a wicked sore throat. Awesome.

We stayed at this Disneyland hotel 4 years ago, and Elle had strep on our first day. Dejavu. Wes ended up on an antibiotic his CO doctor called in, and he started to feel better. Finally. I slept all day Thursday. I think. It’s fuzzy. Wes took kids swimming and to Downrown Disney. On Friday, we all went to Disneyland and my cousin, Ben, joined us. I was medicated. I ducked out for a bit to go to urgent care for some drugs. We had a fun day. Fresh air felt good. The kids loved Big Thunder Mountain, Peter Pan and Star Tours. It took a lot out of me. Saturday was a nice day. We went to Hollywood to meet our old nanny to see an Improv show. Luke and Elle participated on stage. So fun. I started to drag and was ready to get back to bed. We spent Sunday at California Adventure and enjoyed the sunshine and rides. I was finally fever free.

Monday….travel day!!! We packed up, returned rental car, and happily checked our bags. We relaxed for hours and hours at LAX. It actually felt good. We camped out at a table in the food court and chilled. We boarded the plane at around 10:30pm Monday night. The flight was 14 hours and 3 minutes….and then we were here. In Australia.On Wednesday, February 1st around 8am. It’s summer🌞 and it was all worth it.

Next time, I will write a bit about the plane ride and our arrival to our new home. We start homeschooling on Tuesday.Monday is Super Bowl day!

*DBM