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Monday, February 13, 2017

How did this happen?!?

Well, here we are in Sydney, Australia! Before I can move to the current, I'll have to recount the past. I intended to start this before we left the US, but alas...
Our final family photo in front of our Bentonville house. 
Around the end of September, Aaron (husband) mentioned an opening in his company's Sydney office. "Yes! Yes! Yes!" He wasn't sold, but a few of us worked to convince him.

Even before we committed to this huge move, one of the first things I did was look up Montessori schools in Sydney. Our boys had been attending the amazing Walnut Farm Montessori School in Bentonville, Ark, for quite some time and we feel very strongly in the Montessori pedagogy. We connected with the great folks at Inner Sydney Montessori School and here we are! Okay, there was more to it than that, but the transfer from one Montessori school to another has been a beautiful thing to watch. I'll get to that in another post, promise.

Once school was solidified, the rest fell into place. Right after US Thanksgiving, we got the final thumbs up from Aaron's company, applied for the 457 visa, sold our house to some dear friends, booked plane tickets and hit the sky! Again, not quite like that but looking back it feels that way.

There were so many things to figure out besides school. We were ready to part with many of our possessions, but not all. It didn't make sense for us to crate and ship them, so storage was a good solution. But where? Lucky for us, my dad has an expansive finished basement and he was happy to have our boxes and a few pieces of furniture as roommates. We used PODS to transport our items and it worked out great.
Some of the boxes ready to load in the PODS.
To pack up our belongings a friend recommended the most amazing team of organizers, The Organizer Chicks. They devised a color-coded sticky note system: pink was going to Oz and would be needed upon landing; neon yellow would be going to Oz but was long-term; blue was going to MI in the PODS; and orange was for the estate sale. They organized, labeled, packed and loaded everything. (Disclaimer: the photo of the sports team-looking suitcases + car seats is only ~1/2 of what we took!)
About half of our suitcases; we checked *12* suitcases totaling ~700 lbs, carried on 2 small suitcases, had 2 car seats, 3 backpacks and 1 laptop bag. We enjoyed joking with airline personnel that we were packed for a long weekend.
Everything was meticulously rolled to maximize space and reduce wrinkling. Amazing!
We relied on many friends for help. One of our nanny's who moved away came to town to say goodbye and she was an enormous help. I couldn't have gotten through the final week without her. Once our cars were sold, friends drove us wherever we needed. It was truly amazing. 

We flew from XNA to LAX to SYD. After a few hours at LAX, we boarded the plane to SYD. We all managed to stay awake until shortly after departure, then slept for most of the flight. That helped us adjust to the massive time change with ease! We left the US on a Friday and landed in Australia on a Sunday, crossing both the International Date Line and the equator in a short span in the air. Moving from winter to summer has been quite an adjustment! We pushed through our first day with no naps or breaks and were all asleep by 8PM. Aaron was able to work the following day -- amazing!

Next up: our first few days in Sydney!
Teaser photo for the next post 😉


  1. The name of the blog is pure genius. Looking forward to future postings.

  2. I've been thinking about you. Will look forward to reading about your adventures down under.

  3. I love the name of the blog too. This is so inspiring! Way to get through all that hard stuff.