Sunday, September 9, 2012

How the West Was Won, episode 1

Last winter E and I decided it was time for him to look for another job. He had worked for the same firm since six months before he graduated and there were great things about his job: he was well-liked, he learned many many fascinating financial "things" (I cannot share the details here because my eyes glazed over and my brain shot off when he tried to share them all I'm sure there is a confidentiality issue in there somewhere, he worked with some great people, and my favorite of all; the Christmas party was always at a fantastic expensive restaurant. There were a few downsides to the job, but the biggest one was the brutal hours. Basically, we saw E on the weekends, where he was so exhausted from working a 60-70 hour work-week (these were the good weeks...) that all he wanted was to lay down and sleep. We didn't have family dinners and I developed a bitter envy of those families who had the dads playing ball outside with the kids at 6pm. We knew full well that in this economy (I loathe that phrase with a passion, by the way!) we were extremely blessed to have this job, but we also both pictured something different when we planned our family.

With all that E began job-hunting and quickly found that his extreme specialization limited us to a rather small area, mostly consisting of three large East-coast cities, neither of which we could afford to live in. Don't get me wrong, I would have been willing to sell all my shoes (well, most of them anyway) and downsize to a small apartment if the opportunity to live in NYC had come up, but alas it didn't. A few job openings popped up, but nothing panned out and we were bracing ourselves for a few more years of absentee fathering, when a headhunter called and asked if we would be willing to consider Arizona. A rare opportunity in E's field had come up. It was a tricky decision. We both loved our town and the people there. We lived near family and we had an amazing church family as well. The kids were in great schools and we finally (!) had our house in an updated, beetle-free condition; including a newly finished basement that my father-in-law had worked on for months. However, we were pretty stoked at the idea of  actually seeing E for dinners and week-night activities. And we both liked the idea of not having to shovel snow off driveways, cars and roofs. Ever. So with all that in the pro-column, we jumped, E interviewed, got the job, and accepted.

We put the house up for sale and thanks to the most amazing real estate agent, we were under contract in10 days! It was honestly a miracle. As it was E still left six weeks before the kids and I did because I had to wait to make sure closing would go through and being great at single mothering is not one of my talents, so if we had had to wait longer, I'm not sure my sanity would have lasted. Having an end in sight, the kids and I actually had a good time together, just us. Thankfully my amazing mom came to keep me company for a few days, so we had a blast with her and we even managed to pull off both a trip to Niagara Falls and two birthday parties for the boys.

And then suddenly it was April and our movers came and packed up. It was incredibly bitter sweet to leave. I had ended up loving our house - all those hours of work, sweat and tears bonded us, I guess. Leaving friends and family and our wonderful town was dreadful. At the same time, we were all so excited to set out on this new adventure just our little family so with a huge mixed bag of emotions, our family went west.


Melissa B. said...

I still can't believe you are out WEST! I never thought this would happen. I figured you would be east coasters forever. I miss CT so bad, but love the west. This is where my roots are anyway;) Can't wait to hear more about it!

Amy said...

Wow, I have not checked blogs for a while now that I am on facebook and am sad to read that you guys moved. I am happy for you that you are getting your husband back in your life....:) but sad that we won't get to see you guys now that we live in NYC. I was hoping to visit sometime. Hope you are all enjoying your new life in AZ.