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75 days

Really?  Really.  If all goes as planned (and that’s a big maybe) we leave this world and start our journey to our new life in Afghanistan at the end of March.

Gulp.

We have a lot to get organized.  A house to pack up, furniture to get rid of or keep.  I stare at my closet endlessly wondering, will I still like this shirt in two years?  Is this stuffed animal special enough to take or too special to take and needs to stay with Grandma?  I wander around the house, muttering “Store, pack or throw away.  Store, pack or throw away?”  I’m sure the kids are afraid they are going to get put in one of these categories and find themselves out on the curb or packed in a trunk.   Actually, that’s not a bad idea…

Life in Afghanistan is much simpler in terms of material goods, but in some ways its much more complicated.  Winter, especially, can feel a lot like a long camping trip and you need special gear to stay warm and functioning.

So the kids got long underwear for Christmas and I got gloves that will work my iPhone, because you often need to wear gloves while inside and Mr Incredible got gift certificates to outdoor stores to buy things like headlamps and water purification filters.  And before you call the Christmas police on me, the kids also got small toys they can bring and Violet was re-gifted a Kindle, which cuts down on the amount of books we need to pack, but kills me, because, seriously, an eight year old with a Kindle??

We are taking every advantage of American health care too.  Jack Jack had his first round of tests and evaluations and Children’s Hospital and we go again next week so he can have ear tubes put in, tonsils taken out, and hearing re-evaluated. We will do a full round of eye check ups and teeth cleaning to last a few years.  Can I get an amen for how great we have things here?  Dentists, just for kids? Crazy.

My bathroom is beginning to look like an aisle at Walgreens.  For the last six months or so, I’ve been buying extra hair conditioner, make up, deodorant and kids’ vitamins and cold medicine.  These are available at extraordinary prices in Dubai, or cheap toxic Chinese versions in Afghanistan, so I choose to sacrifice some space and weight allotment to keep my hair from falling out.

I wish I could pack two years worth of bacon, but instead, will be eating two years worth in the next two months.

We’ve bought suitcases, extra warm socks and a GPS.  We found a home for Violet’s guinea pig (sorry, Taffy, but you are about to become a first grade class room pet.  Good luck.).  We are working on passports, visas and tickets.  We painted the upstairs hall and are praying for just the right renters to make this little house their home for a while.

There isn’t enough time to get it all done, but we are giving it a go.  We could use your prayers especially as the time wind down and emotions run high.  I can’t write yet, about the goodbyes we are facing.

75 Days.  I’m trying to hold on to them and not let them slip through my fingers too fast.  Come over and have coffee, will you?  And help me decide if I should keep that darn shirt.

We couldn't resist this back pack for Jack Jack.  He'll be the coolest kid on the airplane!

We couldn’t resist this back pack for Jack Jack. He’ll be the coolest kid on the airplane!

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