(Ok, the pictures shown below are from 2007…from our trip to Switzerland (our 3rd anniversary trip when I said to Jake…”how incredible would it be to live here”)…awesome…how life comes full circle.)
Webster’s dictionary defines “journey” as “an act or instance of traveling from one place to another”…so, I guess this is a journey. A dream to my husband…and a journey for me (slowly becoming a dream). A little backstory on this journey dream…when did it all begin? Well, I guess I can say it all began when my sister-in-law, Melissa, said, “Hey, there is this guy that Troy plays racquetball with…you should meet him.” You see, my sister-in-law is a match maker and she was determined to match make me…and in hindsight, I will be forever grateful to her for all her attempts to match make me with Jake. I look back and have many memories of her inviting him to eat dinner with all of us after church…and him sitting at a totally different table with all girls…and she would invite him to gelatto, which he would say, “I don’t like gelatto.” I am sure she was banging her head against the wall…ah, the fond memories. And then finally the stars aligned and we met up at a New Year’s Eve party (once again…match making by Melissa) and Jake talked to me about another girl the WHOLE night…like seriously, the WHOLE night. Ten years later, and I still laugh about it all. There are lots of funny stories from our pre-dating and dating…they all make me smile and laugh…I would do every last minute of it over again…even my engagement night when I ended in tears…and not good tears. So, almost nine years ago when I pledged to be Jake’s wife, I meant it…every last word of it. And this dream of his was no surprise to me…I bet he told me on our first date that he wanted to live and work abroad (however, I am sure it was one of those things I stored away in my “neva gonna happen” file in my head…kind of like when I say I am going to run a half marathon one day…Jake stores that in his “neva gonna happen” file in his head). Honestly, marriage (besides Christ changing my heart) has been the single best thing that has happened in my life. To say that Jake is an amazing husband would be a huge disservice to him…he is so much more than amazing – words cannot describe how much I love this man (my actions don’t always show it…darned sinful heart). So, when a journey arises – I take it…because I know Jake is leading us through it. And, I trust in God – he is the same God in Arizona and Switzerland…praise the Lord!
It is all a little surreal right now…moving halfway across the world. I am embracing this move…we prayed about it and saw God open doors that we didn’t would think would ever open. I should have listened to my sister-in-law, April, when she said, “Whenever your brother tells me something is a long shot, I start packing my bags.” Seriously, I guess I should have started packing my bags when Jake came to me in October about this job…that job that seemed like a long shot…that long shot that has become a reality. You see, I didn’t always embrace this move…God takes you through a valley to bring you up a hill…and that He did. Back in October, I started in a valley…a very deep valley…with me being my typical self…crying, complaining…you know the, “How can you do this to me?” rant…well, maybe some of you don’t know, but I do. I cried and said, “I can’t believe you would even consider moving us halfway across the world – what about MY support network!!!” And the ranting continuing…and for those of you who know Jake, he was calm…of course he was calm…I can handle the drama for the both of us. We both had the discussions about not wanting to resent one another over this decision…and of course, (insert super Godly wife moment here…not) I wanted to be the martyr so I said I would sacrifice and he could apply for this job (knowing in my head that if I wanted, I would hold this over his head…wow, it hurts just to type it out). And then God started working on my heart…like He always does…He is faithful despite of my unfaithfulness. He laid it on my heart to support my husband, reminding me that being the leader of a home is no easy task, and that Jake wasn’t doing this to make me miserable…he was doing it because he loves his family. And most of all, I wanted my husband’s dreams to be my dreams and as his wife, I want to see all of his dreams come true. I realized I wasn’t trusting God – I was trusting in my “network”…and that needed to change. God worked on my heart…a lot. And, I can honestly say today that I am excited about this move…I am also super overwhelmed and scared…and a whole other host of emotions. This is not a vacation…this is moving for some time…and it is hard…and God is control.
So, we are moving to somewhere in Switzerland…near Rolle…Jake’s new work home. Jake will leave the end of May and the boys and I will follow in August. It will be crazy to be away from Jake for two months…the boys will go crazy…I will go crazy with the boys. I love my boys…BUT I also enjoy breaks from my boys…I am just being honest (and when I read about moms that say being away from their babies for just a couple of hours is like ripping their hearts out…I think they are lying…just being honest). However, this will prepare me for my new world in Switzerland, which in a lot of ways will be amazing – I don’t work a ton of hours right now, but it is still another stress in my life that sometimes I wish I didn’t have…I am still not sure if I will be working once we move (no, I will not be working for a Swiss company, but I may still work a few hours for the company I work for now – I have a fantastic boss and I would be sad to not work for him…we’ll see…time will tell). So, I know this move is going to be super hard...I am not expecting a Sound of Music experience, but it will be an adventure and it will be exciting. Life would be boring without a little spice every now and then. God is still preparing my heart for everything - Hugh starts school in August...was NOT prepared for that one...and all in FRENCH. Wowzers...we have some change coming. I will start working on my French now...and by the time our boys are ten, they'll be trilingual (not saying we'll be there that long...just pointing something out). Honestly, I just have to laugh when it comes to schools - I have the spent the last four years researching (researching and researching) schooling and curriculum - trying to figure out the best option for our boys...and now we are moving to Switzerland (the French speaking side) and all the curriculum is in French...I could be throwing Hugh to the wolves, but I would have no idea! And again, trust in God. We still may home school, but not to start - we need to figure life out...and we need to figure it out in French. I have joined many mom groups already and the women I am connecting with have been super friendly, which is such an encouragement...the overall theme I am getting is it is a fantastic place to live and raise kids...and it is expensive as all get out...like $13 for a pound of chicken expensive (get back - yikes!). But you know what, who needs to eat meat every night...not this family anymore! My carnivore boys will be in for a rude awakening! But as with everything in life - you figure it out...things change, it is a part of life...and we'll survive. So, now we (I - it is definitely just I) are spending money like nobody's business getting ready for this move - I am buying clothes/shoes for years in advance...we are stocking up on meds...and buying more iPads (because twenty-two hours of travel = no sharing of iPads...because I would lose my mind!)...honestly, we are getting packages in the mail everyday...it is like Christmas! So, I do what I can to prepare and remind myself that I am moving to Switzerland and not a remote African village...they do have everything there...at double to triple the cost!
All in all - this is a HUGE move for our family...HUGE. However, it is a move we are looking forward to...just wish we could pack up all of our friends and family and take them with us. We are going to miss our friends and family terribly, but we know we'll still see them...just not as much. I am so thankful for my little family unit and the adventures we'll have together. We have A LOT to do in the next couple of months...A LOT. Please be praying for this move - that all goes well with minimal issues. Our immediate prayer need now is to get the boys' passports processed ASAP because we need them to file our immigration paperwork which is needed for us to move there...and everything takes time and of course, we have a certain time frame in mind, so we pray it all works out! Au revoir pour le moment...Suisse ou buste! (Thank goodness for Google translate – I am sure we will become the best of friends!)