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  1. 12 Most Needed Tips to Stay Sane While Moving the Family Across the Country

    3 Comments

    I first posted this on 12Most.com, which is a great collection of information and contributors!  If interested in doing a 12Most post I highly recommend reaching out and getting involved!  On with the show!

    As you can tell by the title of this post, I have a new place to call home.  Recently my wife Tara Privette received a very nice, scratch that an incredible opportunity for her career.  The only thing this career opportunity was not in Minnesota, it is in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  So we decided as a family to dig up the roots in Minnesota and plant them in Virginia.

    Joey Baci Daisy Jace Keith - #mn2va

    Now what I have come to find out is relocating for a wife’s job is quite unique.  For us it did not seem all that strange because we have always been a two parent working household sharing just about everything.  There are no “man” jobs or “woman” jobs in our house, there are just “jobs”.  So there here are the 12 things we learned to stay sane while moving the family across country.  Now to give some logisitics background on this, my wife started her job in Virginia in early July the kids, the dogs and I did not come down til three weeks later.

    1. Communication

    Yes, communication is number one on this list! There are so many details that need to be worked out that if you are not using all means of communication, you will not survive! You must rely on technology, verbal and nonverbal cues as well as listening. Yes, listening is a key factor in communication. There will be many, many, many lists to write down, so listen, well and write down or you will forget…trust me!

    2. Rely on people you don’t know

    There are many people you will need to rely on for this journey. Many of them you have never met or had a relationship with in the past. There will be relocation companies, Realtors, insurance companies, financial institutions, employers, friends, new acquaintances, hotels, gas stations, and restaurants. That is just a short list. You will in most cases have to trust them, but if your gut tells you “Hey you, ya you with the brain, I just threw a red flag up, want to do something about that?” TRUST what your gut is telling you!

    3. Renegotiate everything

    That is right! Everything is usually an opening offer and this situation calls for counteroffers. You will not be offending anyone, they expect it. The relocation path is a very fluid and changes daily, sometimes even hourly. What I found is most of the people with this path just want everyone fairly treated. After all, what more can anyone ask for?

    4. Pack, unpack, repack, rinse and repeat

    The most valuable lesson I learned was packing for the 1,300 miles trip from Minnesota to Virginia. Non-stop packing for the house, for the kids, for myself, and the car. Yes, I drove it all by myself….oh wait I did have 2 kids an 6 year old and an 8 year old, oh yeah and two 50lb dogs. I did a pretty good job of getting all the clothes necessary for the trip and another week before our whole house arrived before the movers showed up (trust me get this done before they show up, they are fast and it will get packed if not in Safe Zone). The one thing I did not do was pack a smaller bag with just clothes and essentials for the road trip. Lugging two HUGE suitcases in and out of the hotels was not fun. Lesson learned!

    5. Dads know your role, it is not the one you were taught growing up!

    Being that it was a unique situation according to everyone, we were relocating because of a career opportunity for my wife. I got to take on some unique roles for the last 3 months. I essentially became the main caregiver for the last 3 weeks. Which I gladly stepped up and took on and absolutely loved the time the five of us got to spend. I really gained a whole new appreciation for the many roles my wife plays in our children’s life as well as mine. WOW, we have a great mom and wife!

    6. Throw your schedules out the car window while driving!

    The quickest thing I found out was those pesky times society places on you about breakfast, lunch and dinner, yeah they don’t work in this situation. There is just so much going on you do a lot of relying on your stomach to tell you what meal it was. Breakfast exactly at 8am, lunch at Noon, and Dinner at 6pm really is hard to do. Be flexible and make an adventure out of it. Yes, the kids the first night of the trip ate dinner at 9:00pm. They loved it!

    7. Packing your vehicle for access

    As I mentioned before, we took a 1,300 mile road trip! Everything must be with in arms reach with easy access. That goes for the Driver as well as your passengers. Keep in mind little kids have car seats and short arms. Make sure snacks, water, DVD’s, coloring books, books, music, toys, and high fives are within an arms lengthen to keep everyone happy. Oh and for the driver make sure Google Maps, Coffee, Water, Snacks, and Energy Drinks can be found without taking eyes off the road. This can be accomplished by setting up your passenger seat with a little strategy! Sidenote: make sure to find all the chargers you will need and put in your bag as you find them!

    8. The dreaded “I have to go to the bathroom” from the backseat

    There were two things I learned along the way with four passengers with bladders the size of a pea. You have to always, I mean always have them go to the bathroom at every stop you make. Remember to ask! Remember to take them! Secondly, limit the number of times you say “Anyone have to go to the bathroom” you will be stopping everytime you ask. This question some how triggers the “yes I have to go pee” response. It is like the ring bell or something.

    9. Invest and leverage YOUR technology

    The consumer probably has at its disposal better technology hardware and software than the of the companies in which you will work on this journey. If you get a chance, introduce them to these technologies! Without a printer and Box.Net buying a house in another state would not have happened so quickly. The realtor and loan officer absolutely loved these two pieces of technologies for quick responses and properly processed documentation. Being that Mom was back and forth for a few weeks we used Facetime, Skype video and Google chat video. It all depended on which hardware was in front of us at the time. This really helps stay connected. Texting was a lifesaver, so gear up those thumbs. Most of all I really enjoyed using all the technologies on my phone!

    10. Bring your online communities along for the journey

    Let people know what your are doing. Share your experiences with your online communities. For the most part people like helping, seeing photos, and sharing the experience with you. In preparation for our move across the country, I established a hashtag #mn2va on twitter. This allowed people to easily see what tweets were in regards to this transition and travel.

    I also prepared my facebook with an album called A Man his Two Kids Two Dogs and a Vacuum! #mn2va July 2011. This helped centralize all my photos and comments. Leverage Location Based technologies so people know everything is ok. This is also fun to see what badges and pins you can gather along the way. I also used a great new tool called Glympse! This helped Mom know where we were at all times. She also knew right away once getting to Virginia Beach I was going the wrong way to the corporate housing and quickly called!

    11. PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE!

    Everything is not going to work out according to YOUR plan. Things must be taken in stride and adjusted every step through this journey. Going back to number 1 on this list helps a lot. Always state the problem, then the desired outcome, then hear solution and then make a decision. There is no need to get angry, yell, scream, call names, or hang up phones (I did none of these things by the way). These tactics and emotions get you nowhere!

    12. You are doing the right thing!

    There will be bumps in the road, naysayers, confidence reducers and doubts. Just remember many many many folks do this all the time and it works out 9 times out of 10. Especially when it comes to driving across the country with 2 kids and 2 dogs by yourself. I heard “You are a brave brave man” and “Really, you sure you can handle that?” and “Whoa, what are you doing?” have the confidence that with proper planning, using your street smarts, technology, and enjoyment of succeeding, you two can keep your sanity while moving clear across the country.


  2. Now that was a discussion Thank You caribouchat13

    3 Comments

    I had such a wonderful morning with a great group of people and  I wanted to share a LOT more than 140 characters.  I was invited to attend #caribouchat13 this morning thru a twitvite from Sarah Kay Hoffman.  She wanted to meet me IRL, so she made a point to make sure I got the invite (love these invites).  I don’t know how the other 12 went, but I had an absolute blast sharing, connecting, and meeting this group of people this morning.

    I would like to thank @gialyons  @asquibb  @warehousemedia  @socialnicole  @bobstanke  @sarahkayhoffman  @JasonSandquist  @joelecarlson and special guest appearance via Skype from the UK @mngurl1183 for putting the rest of my day on cloud nine and energizing me to tackle just about anything!

    The social dynamic was awesome! We did a little roundtable introducing ourselves, so people got to know who each one of us are aside from our twitter handles.  I have a greater appreciation for people’s perspective based on the live version of themselves versus the bio and link!  Then since we all have some way or another shared experiences, emotions, information, connection we started talking…..no real format, no real structure, no real rules. It equaled total awesomeness (I don’t know if that is even a word, who cares that is how I feel).

    • Justin Ware shared about his venture into freelancing work doing some cool things with media and video
    • Anna Squibb shared the awesome things she has going on at www.caringbridge.com (they are hiring!!!!)
    • Gia Lyons shared the awesome stories what she has going on at Jive Software www.jivesoftware.com (personally big fan especially for #scrm space)
    • Jason Sandquist shared about people looking for him via google and some search are quite funny!
    • Bob Stanke shared even though the commute not the best (same for Jason) would not trade because company works for www.lifetimefitness.com
    • Joel Carlson gave us some background about twitterviews and what his is in the market looking to do.
    • Nicole Harrison shared about consulting about social media to non-profits and challenges of teenagers and social media (you do have a permanent record)
    • Sarah Hoffman shared about some upcoming potential jobs and working on some studies about GenZ (kids that are 1 or 2 now or not even born what is tech and social going to affect how they see the world.  FASCINATING!)

    All of these introductions spurred some many different conversations about kids, family, work, RV’ing (Go figure), clients, who is using what, where and who is hiring, who I can connect you with.  All things in a group discussion that makes me happy.  The best part I felt there was going to be real action taken based on this conversation, that is the best part.  I know I am scheduling some lunches and connecting on some initiatives!

    There was such honesty and genuineness to our conversations it was like we had known each other for years.  That is one of the social dynamics I see flowing from online to offline is the genuine connectedness in our communication.  We share, we care, we understand, we listen, we communicate with no barriers.  The tail of the relationship is I feel much longer these days.  It is not just the every three to six month lunch, well it is that, but so much happens relationship wise in between there to stay connected based on being socially connected online as well.  I wish every meeting, every project, every problem could be solved and acted upon like this group came together this morning.

    The other thing I saw in our communication was the willingness to help connect people to jobs, so those doubters that say social media can’t find me a job, it is maybe true to a point, but it sure can help you find the people that can find you a job.  Four of the individuals were looking for a more permanent job solutions and right away without hesitation people started sharing their connections, it was about as fast as you can fire off 140 characters!  That was one of the best displays of human connectedness I had seen in a long time!  Give yourself a pat on the back for sharing and trying to help someone else out today (you know who you are!)

    So I just wanted to say thank you to all the folks above for truly making this a wonderful day! Thank you Sarah and Bob for having 12 of these and inviting me to the 13th.  I look forward to more and more of these #caribouchat meetings!  I also look forward to scheduling some one on one coffees or lunches with you also.  Clear your August I am taking a day!

    Thank you also to Katie Little @mngurl1183 that skyp’d in from the UK to join the discussion.  That was AWESOME! Distance be damned! I was able to use my new #evo with mifi and my laptop for a full livestream thru skype.  Thanks Sprint, HTC, Sony Vaio, and Skype for making that possible!

    ps We also ran into Sarah Smith @SarahResults! So nice to have these encounters happen also!

    pss.  This is my very 1st post on this website, been under construction for a while.  I just might become more than a microblogger and comment leaver!  We will see.  I do believe this will be more me and www.pullingtin.com will become more outdoors adventures…who knows, I want to keep it loose but with purpose to share, connect, discuss, or help!  Tell me what you think drop a comment.

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