Moving 630 miles with three young children has been an adventure to say the least. We've had some good times, some sad times, some happy times, and some exhausted times. Here are a few things that I have learned that I'd like to share with anyone else who might be in the same situation:
*Getting a hotel room for one night is a good idea. While simple for most, for my family it involves carrying in two infant carseats (with infants); one toddler; a suitcase; a laundry basket packed with more clothes; a basket containing bottles, sippy cups, baby cereal, baby food, formula, and snacks; three pack and plays; a booster seat, and a contraband dog.
*A pen can keep a two year old busy for hours while strapped into a carseat. He'll write on paper, blankies, body parts, and clothing. But he'll be quiet and not ask for anything else so it's worth it.
*Packing with any sort of organizational strategy is overrated: when the moving truck arrives you will grab a box and throw anything and everything that isn't breathing into it.
*Sleeping in a new place 5 times within one week will hurt your back. A LOT.
*Gone are the days of a quick stop where you pee, get something to eat, get gas, and get back on the road. Now we have to unload all children, pee, change diapers, feed babies, feed toddler, feed ourselves, pee again, get everyone back in the car, and then drive away. It will take at least an hour.
*You will eat more fast food during your moving out/moving/moving in process than you usually do in a year.
*You will miss people before they leave your arms, but you'll be glad when the goodbye is over and you can look forward to your next visit.
*And lastly, focus on the big picture. Moving is hard. With children, or without. Emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausting, it's hard. But its worth it to start a new adventure, make new memories, and enjoy life with your family.