Thursday, July 6, 2017

Moving

So it looks like we're doing this.

We moved into our current house a little over four years ago. I said at the time that I didn't know if we'd be here forever, but I knew we could be. The neighborhood is lovely. The house is charming. The yard is small, but we're two blocks from a beautiful park. We moved just about five minutes from our first house, and only because we outgrew the two-bed, one-bath bungalow. We live in the city and we feel close to everything (even if there are a zillion slow stop lights between us and Forest Park). There was no reason to go anywhere.

But now we're moving.

I mentioned a while back that David got a new job at a school district nearer to us, which cut his commute in half. But you know the "give a mouse a cookie" thing? He started looking at neighborhoods that would cut his commute down to the 10-15 minute range. And after the hours and miles that he's logged in the past seven years, I couldn't really blame him.

(You might remember that my commute is also substantial--I drove over to Illinois, so it takes me 35-40 minutes to get to work. Even though I would say I don't particularly like to drive, for some reason I can't explain, this commute has never bothered me! I think it's because I rarely sit in traffic--I drive several miles, but I'm always driving rather than sitting. In fact, I've missed my commute this summer because it's the only time of the day that I can listen to podcasts or music or audio books without interruption. I do a lot of thinking and planning in the car, and I have genuinely missed having that half hour to myself in the morning and evening! But I'm not complaining about summer break--I also think the fact that I drive to work nine months rather than twelve makes the commute feel less burdensome.)

Anyway, we started talking about it with some seriousness when talking about where Zuzu will go to elementary school, and David made the case for the convenience of them all being in the same school district. As much I resisted the idea of moving, I couldn't deny that the simplification of everyone having similar schedules and David being super close to his work sounded pretty good for all of us. Plus, we'd be closer to the preschool where the girls go now, which means that my commute time would also be reduced since I have to drive slightly out of my way right now to drop them off.

Long story short, after much discussion and thought and some arguing and what I am pretty sure was a middle of the night panic attack, we decided to list our house.

(A big part of my reluctance had to do with the terrible time we had last time we decided to move--the sale of our house last time seemed to be great as we got an offer the day of our open house, but it fell through three days before closing and we'd already committed to buying our new house, which meant things were financially tight. But now our old house was back on the market, empty and unstaged, we had to keep up the yard work and utilities all summer, not to mention paying a second mortgage, and after six months of that madness, we ended up breaking up with our realtor and working with someone else who agreed with me we should stage the house, then got it sold within two weeks, which was just before Christmas, and a week AFTER I found out I was surprise pregnant with Coco, the same week as Eliza's birthday... It was a stressful time. I'm not kidding when I say that just seeing real estate signs on the lawn of any house as I drove or walked by would make my stomach churn.)

This time, our house sold in a week, which was great. The area we want to move to had houses selling really fast, so we put in a contingency offer because there was ZERO chance that I was going to pay two mortgages again. It was accepted, so now we close on both properties at the end of this month. I hesitated to write about it for a long time because I felt like I would jinx it, but everything seems to be in place this time.

The thing is, I don't actually handle transition or uncertainty very well at all. I mean, I felt ridiculous having a panic attack about moving neighborhoods in the same metro area, but I was still awake at two in the morning feeling like I couldn't breathe. I knew I was overreacting--this was not a crisis! We're not in a refugee situation! We're doing this on purpose and for good reasons!--but I couldn't control my anxiety about it. Now that things are set and the dates are finalized and the papers are signed, I'm feeling better about looking forward and thinking about paint colors and a new couch. I do love the idea of decorating a new place, especially a house that's so different from this one in terms of layout and design.

I'm still really conflicted about leaving our current house and our lovely neighborhood, especially the neighbors we've gotten to know, who really love our girls. I also just thought that we'd be in the city forever, and as a non-native St. Louisan, I kind of came to identify myself as a City Resident (rather than County), so that is another shift that I'm getting used to. I am looking forward to a house that has a more user-friendly kitchen and more outdoor space, and I do love the way the new house is surrounded by trees. It feels very peaceful and secluded even though it's just a long curving driveway (and a big hill!) that separates us from a cul-de-sac neighborhood.

I hope it will be a good change for our family, and the "right" choice for us, but it has felt very fraught. Sometimes it feels like every decision we make has so much at stake, especially when it comes to where our kids will go to school. I do like the idea of paying taxes in and being part of the school district where David works, and I do like the idea of my kids going to public schools, so I'm glad that we are able to move in that direction. I will absolutely miss being in the city, but I've been google mapping all of our favorite hangouts and discovering that while we have to drive a few more miles to get there, it won't take much longer in terms of minutes--it's just highway miles instead of city streets. My friends promise to come visit me, and this house does have space for a fire pit and a living room for game nights, so I hope that people will be willing to drive out to see us.

I'm not saying that this new house is our "forever home" because I'm starting to roll my eyes at that idea as much as the idea of a soul mate. Life is big, and there are lots of houses and neighborhoods to love. I do hope that we are happily settled for the next several years. Well wishes and pep talks appreciated!

10 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm excited for your adventure! I just moved with my daughters (7 and 9). Let me know if they have any moving-related adjustment anxiety, and I can suggest a book or two. That has been our biggest struggle...but your girls' youth should help a lot.

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  2. Yay! Congrats! I hope it's a really good move for your family. We are house hunting in a crazy expensive market with historically low inventory and the schools absolutely feel like the biggest thing at stake. We definitely want a nice house but choosing the entire makeup of our kids' childhood and education feels huge and stressful! Sorry, I'm sure I'm not helping de-stress. But I'm with ya.

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  3. How exciting!! Congrats! What area did you move to? We are listing our house next month and starting to house hunt too!

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  4. Im having commenting issues, anyway, I love your new house posts! I can't wait to see what you've chosen and what you'll do!! Yahoo!!

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  5. Oh wow! I was thinking you were going top say that you guys has really decided to move, lol, not that it's essentially a done fall! How exciting for you guys! I'm ready to move - we've been in this house for three years and it's the longest we've ever stayed in one place in 18 years. I'm fully stir crazy. Nothing wrong with where we are, I just need a new place to explore. So I'm looking forward to your new place and new decorating posts and all that stuff! Congratulations!!

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  6. Also, damn you, auto-correct! ;)

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  7. Replies
    1. I second that! What?! Congrats, but I want pictures!!

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  8. Félicitations! I too want to see pictures.

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  9. Congratulations!! And yes, pictures, please! :) Moving itself is a huge pain (I know...!) but it sounds like the new location is a win-win all round for everyone. I too find myself rolling my eyes when I hear friends announce that they have found their "forever home" (especially because I know more than a few of them who have moved again a few years later...!). But I hope you & your family will enjoy many happy years there. :)

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