Okay - that is not entirely how it all started.
In early 2010, Chris and I started getting sick of apartment living so we decided to take the government up on the $8000 tax credit for first-time-homeowners. We didn't get that serious about any homes, and in fact we never actually looked at any in person, but we browsed a bit. At some point, I remember asking Chris if his company would ever move us to any of their international locations. We decided to put house-hunting on hold until our future was slightly more defined.
Within a matter of weeks, Chris and I sat around our dinner table. The conversation went something like this:
Chris: "Lana, how was your day."
Lana: " Great! It has been pretty busy at work. I have a big project that I am working on - you know the Safety Grant, so nothing too shocking or different. Did you have a good day? You're home a little late, but I know that you've been super busy lately."
Chris: (very casually and composed) " Ohhhh, yeah. They talked to me about going through a management training program and eventually managing one of their facilities."
Lana: "WHAT?! Chris, that is a huge deal! I mean, wow! What sort of facility are they talking about?"
Chris: "Well, most likely it would be one of their international ones. They asked if I was okay with going overseas, and I said yes. Nothing will happen for several months, but we may be moving SOMEWHERE before the end of this year."
Chris is so matter-of-fact when he tells me things like this. Of course I was ecstatic about the possibility of moving overseas, but there was still so much uncertainty in the timing. And then there was the foundation that we had built in Lexington, Kentucky. His wonderful family was close by, we had strong community, a good church, and I loved my job. All around we had been so blessed in Kentucky, and I knew that we would miss this place. I have learned that it is beautiful and healing to miss people and places, because that only means that you really invested where you were planted.
Well, it was a long process, but in the end I think that the timing was perfect. in March of 2011, Chris spent two weeks in Serbia; it was kind of a trial period for them as well as for him.
He came home in April, and we started talking and dreaming about Serbia. I placed all sorts of Amazon orders for adapters, wine backpacks, language books, transformers, European travel resources, and a host of random toiletries. I can now look back on this season of transformation and forget the anxiety that came along with my feelings of anticipation. Perhaps the most stressful aspect was that as I was running around like a crazy person, sneaking boxes from work, packing up our apartment, repainting, selling our car, canceling utilities and cell phones, changing our insurance and packing for an international move, my company didn't know anything about it. It is a strange thing to leave a good job; the people that you spent most of the past three years with are kept fully in the dark as you prepare to change directions. I hated that I could not be entirely honest, but I was safeguarding myself just in case anything fell though with our international move.
The move was planned for late July, and so I decided to give my company six weeks notice. If possible, I wanted to help train my replacement. I was so nervous to tell my director - and I should have known that he would fully support my decision. Maybe I was more nervous to leave a good director, a solid job, and the opportunities that I had been offered. I will never forget the way my director received me news. He was so happy for me and Chris! I struggled to hold back my tears as I realized that I would really miss working with him and with everyone at the company. He told me that we had to take this opportunity and make the most of it. He assured me that no one ever got anywhere without a certain amount of risk. And this was a risk for Chris, but it would pay off in the end, and he needed a supportive wife and friend by his side.
I sure hope that I can be everything that he needs me to be - cause Serbia, here we come!
So, we started packing! Since we were out of our apartment, some dear friends allowed us to live in their guest room for two months. It was a sweet time! Thank you friends! Without you, this move could have been so much more difficult.
We flew to my home in Salem, Oregon to say goodbye to our amazing friends and family. You will all be missed! Please keep in touch while we are gone! My Skype name is Lanamarie83
We were invited to Lake Martin in Alabama with Chris' best friend's family. We relaxed, went boating, enjoyed sunset cruises, jumped off of the dock, and just spent quality time together. Thank you for an amazing time of rest and laughter! You have no idea how much we needed it!
We had to say goodbye to our trusty little Audi. It was a sad day, but a relief when she sold just two weeks before our big move. Everything fell into place perfectly - makes me realize that my anxiety was so futile.
We went boating the day before we left for Serbia. It should have been stressful, but it was once again a great time to be with our friends. We both got some air on the wakeboard too!
These are some of our best friend in Kentucky. We will miss you all so much, but thank you for supporting us in this season of change. "It's not goodbye, but- until we meet again." You have impacted our lives, and we consider ourselves rich because of your love and friendship.
So, we really are going to Serbia!
Stay tuned for more from our first week abroad!