Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Sunday, December 30, 2012

"All My Bags are Packed.....

.....I'm ready to go."  Okay, not really and not really.  But, close!  I keep thinking of the song Leaving on a Jet Plane by John Denver.  Jonathan and I spent the better part of Christmas Day trying to get a handle on our packing status. Since we moved out, I have felt completely scatterbrained by all the things that were still floating around.  We got rid of so much stuff and yet I still felt like there was way too much to fit into our nine suitcases.  For days I have been wanting to bring all the suitcases up into my parents' room (which they have graciously donated to us while we are here at their house) and set them out where I could see what's in them.  Up until now, the room has looked like a tornado came through.  The main problem was, nothing had a home!  You can't clean up when there isn't a right place to put things.  The few suitcases we already had packed fairly full were in the garage.  The rest of our stuff was floating around with no place to call home.

Christmas day we sorted, whittled and packed things into tons of suitcases.  We left a few outfits out to rotate over the next week and a half and the rest of our stuff will be zipped up soon.  I still have medicines and toiletries to find a home for, along with our vacuum sealed memory foam mattress pad and my most beloved pillow. I like my sleep, can you tell?

If you are easily bored, you might as well click the (x) now.  This is not going to be my most exciting post.  But, if you are interested in what one might pack in nine suitcases to move to Africa, you should continue.

First is my house bag.  This baby has my favorite things from home decorations to kitchen utensils.  I have packed my salt and pepper shaker collection, favorite kitchen knife and measuring spoons, Jonathan's hotpot from his bachelor days, the table runner I won in a drawing last year, a wooden sign from my in-laws in Spanish, two small frames filled with pressed flowers which I bought on our honeymoon, my cookbooks and aprons, and some hand made quilts and blankets.  I haven't weighed this suitcase yet, but I don't think it's at the limit.  I'm sure I will come across a few more things I'd like to throw in this bag.  Oh, and in the top are a couple books on health care and a disk called "Where There is No Doctor."  Jono is reading up on some medical things just to familiarize himself for instances which would otherwise catch us off guard.

For the next bag I made a list of contents to put in the outside pouch.  The house bag is too random to try to list everything.  But, this bag is pretty much filled with my clothes.  Scarves and gloves are in the top, my summer, winter and maternity clothes are tucked in here, too.  I hope to get my pregnant winter coat in here along with my winter robes.  I think that will put me at about 50 lbs.  It kinda stinks to be packing my entire maternity wardrobe this time around.  I had those massive lovely clothes packed away, ready to be brought by a visitor at a later time.  But, I suppose this is as good a time as any. :o)

Right now my ABO bag is combined with Kyle's ABO stuff.  This will have to change.  This is the one suitcase we will take with us to orientation in Kenya.  Africa Based Orientation is a three-week training seminar where we'll get a giant briefing on life in Africa.  I still have to finalize what all we need to take for this, but right now I have our clothes together and I have bug spray on my list of things to get.  Because the food at ABO is completely authentic African cuisine, I will also be packing tons of crackers, granola bars and oatmeal packets in case my ultra-sensitive belly can't handle the vast difference in food choices.  Thankfully, the intense nausea has subsided but I am still battling with occasional kick-backs from various things I eat.  The little green photo album on the top of this bag is for Kyle.  I printed off pictures of all of his aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and great grandparents so he can know his family even if he is on the other side of the world. 

Please excuse the poor quality of the next photo.  I don't know how to work my camera.  This red suitcase is quickly filling up with Kyle's and Ellee's things.  I purchased winter clothes for Kyle for the coming winter (southern hemisphere).  He also has lots of his books and a few of his toys in here.  For Ellee, I have a few special things already picked out, as well as basics like a new paci, the breast pump and the Boppy.  I am taking this Boppy with me if I have to wear it around my waist on the plane.  I absolutely loved using it the entire time I nursed Kyle.  If I have to, I'll go buy a vacuum seal bag for it, or I'll slide it in with the mattress pad before we vacuum that out.  Okay, so this is the baby bag. 

More boring clothes.  Wouldn't life be easier if we didn't have to wear these?  But, I digress.  This bag isn't anywhere near full 'cause it's only holding my jammies/lounge clothes and church dresses.  We will likely put the mattress pad and whatever else we vacuum seal in this bag.

I hate that all my pictures are so terrible.  Sorry!  This is Jonathan's summer suitcase which still has tons of room.  The other is Kyle's suitcase he's living out of right now. We won't be taking much of that stuff because we're headed to summer weather.  So most of what he is using right now will be headed for the consignment pile come January 7th.

Before you fall asleep, we're almost done.  On the right are my winter clothes I'm wearing right now.  Some of these will be coming and some will be staying.  This suitcase will actually become my ABO bag.  Next is Jonathan's winter bag and the other is his church bag.  The couple of suit coats and ties he is taking along will go in there, too, real soon.  I'm not sure what these things weigh, but I think they are well under and we will be able to fit lots of little items in around Jonathan's things.  Thus the lists.... I don't want to get to Africa and feel like I can't find any thing because we have so many suitcases. 

I don't really know when we'll be able to unpack, but I do know that for now.... We are (almost) packed.  Before you comment and say "make sure you mix up your suitcases a little in case one gets lost", I am planning on doing that.  I just wanted to get all of our stuff sorted but as I actually zip things up, I'm sure I'll rearrange a lot.  My lists will need some adjusting.  Most importantly, I will tuck special house items in each bag because I can't bear the thought of my house bag getting lost and all of my precious things being gone.  We are also marking all of our bags with bright teal Duck tape.

The only other bag I'll be packing is for my sweet little Ellee.  My mom will bring that as her second checked bag when she comes after the birth.  A friend has offered me the chance to go through all of her daughter's clothes and pick out some special things to take for Ellee.  I cannot wait!

I'll leave this post without dwelling on the extreme sadness I feel right now. So....



  1. I think most of our four bags will end up being over the weight limit. Part of me hates that that's the case, the other part says there's no such thing as overpacking for two years. :) I had to take a few deep, slow breaths this evening. 14 days from today may find me in a panicked state.

  2. Replies
    1. Mom, the pajama bag is still pretty empty. You could get in there no problem.