Oh the Places We Shall Go

I have written parts of this post in my head many times over the last 5 months. I would sit and think about what my relocation experience has been like and what I want to share. But then I was afraid to post anything and jinx it. I finally feel like we are starting the next phase of our journey.

In the last few months I had settled in an apartment in Wisconsin and begun my new job. I tried to get home to see my family at least every 2 weeks or they would come see me. I have built up quite a few Sky Miles in these last 5 months and painfully miss direct flights.

Fortunately I have no regrets about the position which is moving me from the only city I have really ever considered home. The job is everything I have been craving these last 15-20 years and since I haven't gotten any negative feedback or vibes, I think I am holding my own. I can't imagine how much this move would suck if I was struggling with my new role.

The only way to tolerate missing my family was to focus on each day at a time and the specific task at hand. When I was in Wisconsin, that was 100% devotion to my job, learning the ins and outs, building relationships and I kept myself busy on those insanely cold nights working while binging on Bravo and E! quality TV. I was doing pretty good with a workout routine until I attempted hiking and had an old soccer injury come back to bite me. I am just now finding my grove.

We put our house on the market and in just under a week we had a contract on it. Fortunately the new owners were able to let us extend our stay so the kids could finish the school year in our home and I had time to find a new one. I think I went through close to 30 homes. I liked several, put in an offer on one, lost out on one, and ended up purchasing a different one.

I thought house shopping was going to be fun, but I discovered I hated it almost as much as I hated shopping for a new car. Being under a time constraint was tough. I ended up purchasing a house Pete didn't get to see in person (and still hasn't) and I only got to see once (rather quickly on a day I went through 12 so they all blurred together). I closed on it and had a few nights last week where I was able to start painting. Unfortunately as I got a closer look, I suffered a bit of buyer's remorse. Every surface, E-V-E-R-Y SURFACE of the home needs painting. When I looked in the fridge and kitchen cabinets, they were - well gross. Crumbs, dog hair, dead bugs… My heart sank. This is the 3rd home we have purchased and the first time if it was dirty, I was too excited to notice. The 2nd one we purchased from people we knew and they were kind enough to hire a cleaner so it was in good shape when we took occupancy. An added plus was that I loved her taste and didn't need to paint anything immediately and was able to make small updates over the 11 years we owned the home. I was spoiled and had no idea.

But this one, sooooo disappointing. We will be painting every room, walls and ceilings. We need to finish the basement so we have a comfortable space for our out of town visitors to stay. Their dog did a number on all the woodwork so we are going to refinish/replace floors and paint the doors and trim. I am not a fan of the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and fixtures so thanks to Pinterest, I am going to take a stab at painting them. And I need to clean every room, drawer, shelf prior to starting. Lots of projects to tackle and I spend very little time in the state SO I started thinking what have I just gotten myself in to now?

Pete and some white paint on the ceiling made me feel better about my decision. While it is a huge project to take on, we have time and will eventually make it our own. It is a solid house and someday I will love the area (I am sure) as much (or maybe close) as I love our current neighborhood.

Life moves on, so rather than drown in my anxiety, I drove home to supervise the movers who are quite impressive to watch. Seeing every item (and some that we will likely pitch as we unpack) get wrapped, boxed and loaded is surreal. And we are so incredibly grateful we do not have to tackle this task ourselves. It allows us the time to scrub the house for the new owners. I hope they don't experience the same disappointment I did.

This summer the kids want to hang with their friends so our family has been generous enough to take us in. A few more weeks of separation. I will head back to WI, Chicago, Columbia, etc… for business travel, Pete and Ella will stay with his side of the family and Alex and Anna with my side.

I haven't let myself think about what we are leaving behind. Through all of this I hadn't shed a tear. I came close, but I had to look ahead and move forward. Yesterday a really sweet Facebook post hit me that we are saying good-bye to some wonderful people. And yes we will come back to visit but Ella won't be able to just run down the street to play with her buds and we have packed our inflatable babysitter (the bounce house) where the kids were entertained and we grownups could sit and catch up.

I am certain my movers thought I was nuts as finally the tears fell.

The kids are handling this all far better than I would have at their age. Hopefully we all keep our sanity over the next 6-ish weeks and that they adjust to their new schools with ease. That is probably the next biggest hurdle in our lives - that I know of...


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