Moving Mom Monday: Jenny Nurrenbern
Moving Mom Mondays is a series that features real moms and real families that move around the world. We hope to feature families from all walks of life and all lines of work. If you know someone who you think would like to share their moving journey, please contact us.
Our Moving Mom this week is Jenny Nurrenbern. Jenny’s husband works for a construction company and his job has relocated their family to quite a few places so far with their most recent move a few weeks ago to North Carolina.
Tell us about your family. What are their ages? Where was everyone born?
I was born and raised in Hermann, a small town in Missouri. I NEVER moved as a child. The first time I ever moved was for college, so this lifestyle of moving every few months or couple of years is still very foreign to me. Geoff, my husband, works for a general contractor. Geoff and I met in Kansas City and will be celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary this August! We have 3 little girls, yep all girls!
Our oldest, Mary Jo, or MJ, was born in Kansas City and she is now four years old. We found out we were pregnant while Geoff was working and living in Norman, Okla. This was our first job “out of town.” We had only been married for six months when Geoff moved down to Oklahoma. This was a short-term job and I was still working outside the home so for half of our first year of marriage we didn’t live together. We would get to see each other every other week. That job was VERY muddy and washing lots of red clay out of Geoff’s work jeans was new to me. Norman is home of the University of Oklahoma and while Geoff worked there, he and I were able to go to a football game and sit on the field. Norman, which is outside of Oklahoma City, is a cute little college town. The storms down there can get really bad and so many nights were spent in the basement waiting out the bad weather.
Next, Geoff was sent back to Kansas City for a long job, which was nice since we considered Kansas City to be “home.” Our second baby girl is Elizabeth or Lizzie and she is two years old now. She was born in Kansas City, Mo. as well, but we found out we were pregnant with her while Geoff was working in Creston, Iowa. It was hard because MJ and I lived in Kansas City and Geoff stayed in an extended stay hotel. A little sidenote: if you can avoid it all, my advice is to never live in an extended stay hotel, it’s just sad. Creston was a very small town, but it did have a few cute parks that MJ really enjoyed, but was in the middle of nowhere,! We decided after Creston and having a young, growing family that we need to stay together, no matter where Geoff’s job took us!
Our 3rd baby girl is Cecilia or Cece and she is seven months old. Cece was born in The Dalles Ore. The Dalles was job or move number three for our family. The Dalles was the first job where the whole family moved together. It was a long job, about two years, and we loved Oregon. The Dalles is a nice size town of 10,000 people and it is about 80 miles east of Portland. The Dalles is in a beautiful area called The Columbia River Gorge. The weather in Oregon was amazing and the fresh pears, peaches, cherries and apples are so good it’s hard to buy them anywhere else now.
From Oregon, we just moved to North Carolina. Our new hometown is Hickory, NC. We have only been here a few weeks, but it’s nice. Hickory is a lot bigger than The Dalles so we are getting use to city life and traffic again. I like that there is a Target in town, and there are many activities for the girls! The move from Oregon to North Carolina was fun and we were able to make a family trip out of it. We stopped at Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, and the Badlands. We also got to spend a few days visiting with family.
How do your children handle the moves?
The girls do really well with the moving. We talk about the moves a lot before it happens. We try to explain what life might be like in the new town., what trips we will do, and what their bedroom will look like. We let the girls pick out sheets for their room and we let them get some decals to put on the walls and that gets them really excited. They seem to enjoy making that space their own. With the latest move, our four-year-old really understands what moving means. She gets a little upset about saying goodbye to friends and always wants to know how far away Grandma and Grandpa live. She is very outgoing, so it only takes a trip or two to story time at the local library for her to make new friends. Our two-year-old doesn’t seem to be bothered by the moves. As long as each new place has mommy and snacks she is happy. Our sweet baby doesn’t let much bother her. She is an easy baby so far!
How would you encourage a mom doing a move for the first time? What should they do with their families to help make the move easier on them/their families?
When you live on the road you miss out on a lot of family events back home like weddings, births, and birthday parties. Sometimes it makes me upset to miss out, so we have to stay busy and get out to experience the town where we live. We did so many weekend trips in Oregon and that really helped us stay happy being so far away from home.
Give us your best advice for women who move with their families.
I am still new to this lifestyle, but I have learned a few things. The paper work of moving is not fun. As soon as you know your new address, go to the post office and get the mail forwarding processes started! Change all addresses on credit cards and other important items. Get utilities set up at new location as soon as possible. It’s no fun to be without water for a weekend. Don’t be afraid to ASK FOR HELP! If possible, fly that mother-in-law in to help with the kids so you can pack. Talk openly and honestly with your partner about how you are feeling. When you get to the new place find the local library, YMCA, and join a church. They are all great places for women with young children to find friends and get connected. Try and enjoy the new place and do as much as you can to explore the local treasures. Moving with a family is not easy. Packing with kids is hard and making friends as a grown up flat out stinks, but if I have my family together under one roof it’s all worth it!
If you could only pack five things in your moving truck, what would they be?
1) Our hard drive. It has ALL of our pictures on it!
2) A crucifix that my grandmother gave us. It was her grandmother’s!
3) My embroidery machine.
4) My Kitchen Aid mixer
5) Our bedspread…it feels like HOME.