It was mid-January, 2016.
My husband called me.
Him: "Are you sitting down?"
Me: "Why? Are we moving?"
Him: "Are you sitting?"
Me: "Not Europe?!!!"
Him, laughing slightly: "Yes."
And so it began.
"Yes. I am."
"You're kidding me."
You can feel my excitement, can't you? After the 12 years I had done in Switzerland, I had made it clear that I was not going back. Not to Switzerland anyway. But it wasn't really a choice. When the company you are working for has a job for you, you take it. No matter what. So this was Friday. They gave us until the following Monday to give an answer. The discussion that weekend was quick: So? Do we do it? ... I think we don't have the choice, do we? ... No, not really. ... Ok. Let's do it.
After that, we waited 2 long weeks. Everyday I would ask him if he heard anything. "No."
Until one day he said: "I'm going to Prague for interviews."
"In 3 days."
There's never a lot of time to think. Once the process starts, you're just pushed left and right as it pleases them. So I stayed home alone with the girls. Almost one week. He had many interviews! When he came back, he had 3 days with us and he left again, to Florida, for more interviews. He also had interviews by phone. 13 in total. And then we waited. One week without news. And then he got one more interview. And we waited again. One more week. And then it fell: He was chosen! We were going to Prague!
That was the end of February.
So all that waiting + interview time lasted 1.5 months. We didn't tell our girls. In fact, we didn't tell anyone. We didn't want to risk the girls to be sad for nothing. When we knew it, we still did't tell the girls. We had no details, no action plan. We did't know when we would have to go. We knew that I would finish the school year here. My husband would have to leave before that for sure. We were another 4 weeks without knowing anything. And then Pat had to go to Prague for a week. That was the end of March.
Because his trip was only for a week and because he hadn't heard anything yet, we thought we were good until the beginning of May. But then it happened: just a day before he left for that week in Prague, the phone rang and it was the details we were waiting for: you're beginning in Prag, April 1st.
It was scary. That meant we would be separated April to July. That meant I would have to manage the girls + the move by myself. Selling the cars, the packing of the house.... I didn't think I could do it. So Pat arranged to come every 3 weeks for some days, starting mid April. Phew!!
Before he left (or after he came back from his first week in Prag), we went to Atlanta to renew the kids passports. And he booked a hotel/apartment he would stay at until mid-july. And then he left. It was mid-April.
The first three weeks went pretty fast. Living alone with the kids is not easy. That's when you realize that the things you leave aside for when hubby comes home that night can't be left aside because hubby is NOT coming home that night. Nor the next one, or the following one. The nights are dark and scary. Thank god for good neighbors and friends we can count on!!
Thankfully, nothing really bad happened. Nothing I couldn't do by myself (with his help at the end of the telephone line). The worst part was taking care of the pool. Yuck! Remember we live in the south. I'm always afraid of going in the bushes for the filter tasks because of the snakes and spiders. Ha! Apparently there are no bears, no snakes and no spiders in Prag. Nobody got sick either. I sometimes get migraines and then nothing goes. But no, nothing bad happened.
While Pat was away, we learned that the contract had changed (expat contracts are always the same, so we more or less knew what to expect) and that we had to put our house on the market for rent. Another big stress. You would think that when the company moves you, they take care of everything? Well you would be surprised! So from overseas and while working long hours on a new job in another country, hubby took care of that. We were lucky and found good people right away!
Pat came back and stayed with us 5 long (I'm kidding!! It went really fast!) days. On the 4th day, my parents arrived. They would stay at our place for 10 days while I would go to Prag with Pat on a house hunting trip.
We had our house hunting day yesterday. We chose a house out of the 8 houses the agent had to show us. We are now waiting for a contract. Today is Tuesday. I'm still here for a couple of days, until the weekend, and then I go back home, to my little girls. Pat is working. Today he was in Poland! I spent the day alone, strolling Prag, taking pictures, checking my pockets and eating in restaurants. Make sure you follow me on Instagram if you want to see my pictures. That's where the fun is! :)
I'll come back with the rest of the story as it unfolds.
Thanks for tagging along!! I really love the support!