Last June, our family pulled up our California roots moved 3000 miles cross-country to New England, leaving behind the only community my kids had ever known. We had a block teeming with school-aged kids, local cousins, and sports friends galore.

Now, whenever anyone asks me how we're doing, I say "Great!" And it's true -- the kids have settled in almost seamlessly, and we've only had one episode of move-induced tears (from our littlest, who misses Grandma and Grandpa). 

Key to our successful replanting were the efforts we made to get our kids settled and integrated. Here are a few of the strategies we used to cope with the move and help our kids get settled as soon as possible:

1. Do Your Homework. We found out we were moving in February, and I immediately began scouring the internet for kids' resources in our new town. I signed up for summer camp through the elementary school my daughter would be attending, so she'd know her way around the campus before school started in the fall. Sports teams often close registration months in advance of the actual playing season, so if your child is interested in playing on a local team, check into the league requirements ASAP.

2. Visit the Library. One of our first stops was the local library, where we not only signed up for cards, but also picked up copies of all the story times, movie nights, craft classes, and more. (Note: You typically have to have proof of your permanent address before you can get a library card).

3. Walk the Neighborhood. While driving around can give you a sense of the lay of the land, nothing makes a new place feel like home as much as walking your new streets. You can learn which neighbors belong to which cars, get to know the cocker spaniel down the block, and scope out which houses have play structures, skateboards and hockey gear in the yard.

4. Establish a Routine. Moving is unsettling because all your points of reference are suddenly gone. The grocery store is new, the pizza is different, and even the weather may be unusual. Create a new "normal" by getting a bagel at the same cafe, or going to the movies each Friday night. 

5. Stay in Touch. Letting your kids know that their old friends may be far away, but aren't completely out of touch, can help ease the transition. I helped my two older kids establish email accounts so they could keep up with hometown pals, and my littlest could call Grandma and Grandpa any time she liked.

6. Be Ready for Surprises. In California, we'd been prepping our soon-to-be five-year-old for kindergarten… only to find that in Massachusetts, she missed the kindergarten cut-off by two weeks. Suddenly, we had another unplanned year of preschool on our hands. Being the recovering control freak that I am, I could have easily gone into a mental hand-wringing. Instead, I took a deep breath and started phoning preschools. Callie ended up finding a spot in an adorable facility two blocks from our house.  

Moving is tough on the whole family, but I discovered something really important this past year: If my kids are okay, I'm okay. And if I act like everything's okay, my kids believe it. Attitude really is everything.