Oh hey blog world, remember me? Long time no talk!
I intended to write this from our new house, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. Yet. This past week has been full of more downs than ups, and has truly been a test of our patience. I’ll dive more into that in another post though.
I thought I’d finally sit down and word-vomit my feelings about moving to Texas, and answer the most common questions we’ve gotten from friends and family over the past month. I feel like we’ve been somewhat quiet about the move, and I haven’t really opened up about it unless asked directly. So, bare with me while I try to work through it “on paper.”
First, I’ll start by saying that there’s something funny about becoming a parent. You instantly want the absolute best for your children, and the dreams you have for their future become your number one priority. You soon realize that the world doesn’t revolve around you, but their world revolves around you. Point being, the whole motivation for our move wasn’t because we were both dying to move to Texas. In fact, we never even considered Texas an option until a few months ago. Adam swore he’d never move back to Texas, and I swore I’d never allow it because it’s too far from my family in Tennessee. Never say never, I guess.
We moved to Little Rock in June 2012, a week after we got married. We knew it wasn’t our “forever” home, mainly because realistically, at some point we’d want our kids to be closer to family and LR was 5 hours from both sides. (And truth be told, I absolutely hated LR for about the first year.) We soon bought a house though, and Little Rock started to feel like home. Our home. We worked really hard to plant our roots there, and I’d say we did a pretty good job. I’m a firm believer that every young married couple should start out living somewhere NEW to the both of them, instead of down the road from family. I truly believe it made us stronger as a couple, and we learned how to build a life together, instead of expanding upon our previous lives. We made new friends together, and only had each other to lean on when difficulties arose. Little Rock was our place, and I’ll forever be thankful for the 5 amazing years we spent there. We learned so much about #adulting, and I think you could say we both grew up in Arkansas.
We knew we wanted to try and have our first baby in 2015, but we also knew it would spur on serious moving conversations. Instead of trying to move before we had Adeline, and disrupt the support system we’d built, we decided to stay in LR and have her there where we felt comfortable. I’m so glad we did! We actually almost moved to NWA right before she was born though, in August, but we felt like the timing just wasn’t right and Adam wasn’t thrilled about the job opportunity. Call it a gut feeling, but I just knew we weren’t supposed to move yet.
So after she was born, we seriously considered staying in Little Rock, and maybe just moving houses if Adam could find a better paying job. We loved our house in Maumelle, absolutely loved it, but it was anything but kid friendly. The backyard was basically a rock fortress, and the front yard was basically non-existent. So we knew that as soon as Adeline started to really need a safe place to play, that we’d need to make a decision. So as we neared her first birthday, we really started thinking we’d try to make NWA work again, and that NWA was where we needed to be. But after a few months of talking about it and praying about it, it just didn’t make sense to move further from family, even if we loved the area and Adam found a good job. I felt like I’d always regret it, and would again feel like we were living in limbo. I started dreading the thought of always being in Arkansas and just knew I wouldn’t be happy, but more so that it wasn’t right for Adeline and what we wanted for her. Adam was pretty broken hearted about it when I told him I thought we should take NWA off the table, since we’d been dreaming about moving up there for years. We then started having serious talks about Nashville vs. Dallas. We knew we’d need to “pick one” and make it happen. But which one? We have family in both. Good friends in both. Childhood memories in both. Yet they’re 12 hours apart. Talk about an agonizing decision.
If you want to know what sleepless nights feel like, try trying to make a decision like this. Knowing that at least one family will be disappointed and seriously sad. I can’t tell you how badly this decision kept me up at night. I prayed about it. I talked about it at length with my mom. I cried about it. How could God let me fall in love with a boy whose family lived nowhere near mine? How come our lives couldn’t just be easy and have both families in the same town? The same state even?! It sucks, it plainly just sucks. But that’s life, and there’s nothing you can do about it. God knew this decision would have to be made at some point, and here it was.
We made countless pro-con lists. We knew our number one goal was to be able to live in the type of house we’d want to raise our family in, in a great school district with amazing public schools, where Adam would have plentiful job opportunities and room for growth in the IT field since he would always be the breadwinner. We looked online at houses in both, we calculated commutes in both, we looked at school ratings in both, we looked up job pay in both, we wrote out scenario after scenario in both – if we lived in this part of town, how long would it take us to get to xyz and what schools would we be zoned for? We talked, and talked, and talked about it. Nashville or Dallas. Dallas or Nashville. His family or mine? My family or his? We eventually had to come to the realization that we weren’t picking sides. We weren’t choosing one family over the other. We were choosing the best possible outcome for Adeline. The best odds for us to give her the life that we wanted to give her. Our families would understand. We tried to be as logical and realistic as possible, while still making sure we would be happy. As a family. Where would the three of us truly be the happiest?
Don’t get me wrong. Franklin would always be my first choice. I would choose living down the street from my own parents a thousand times over if it were only up to me. I mean what a dream that would be! I would never willingly choose to move 12 hours away, knowing it would break my parents’ heart, if I didn’t have a good reason. But that reason? That reason just happens to be a spunky, blonde, pig-tailed, hazel eyed little girl who deserves the absolute best in the entire world.
And clearly, that’s the decision we made. We decided that Nashville would be too expensive, too difficult to get into a good Williamson County school, would give Adam a terrible commute, and would not be the place where we would all truly be happy. Neither of us ever really wanted to move back to Nashville anyways. It just doesn’t appeal to either of us. The only area we’d actually want to move to is Franklin, which we can’t even afford. Nashville was a great place to grow up, but I always wanted to move on and do something different. That’s why I went to school in Arkansas, with a random intermission back in Nashville my sophomore year. So if you really want to know how Dallas entered our conversations as our top choice, it was because I brought it up. I knew I’d only be happy in Nashville because my family was there. Other than that, I really didn’t have any interest in it. I knew that Adam would stand a better shot at getting a nice job in Dallas, and it would be much more affordable housing, with easier access to amazing public schools. To say Adam was shocked would be an understatement, but it just felt right.
Adam started applying for jobs in the DFW area in April, and was offered his current position in early May. He nearly doubled his old salary, then we sold our house in 6 days, found a new house a few days later, and here we are. (Of course, we’re still not actually IN our new house, but that’s another story for another day.) Everything worked out quickly, as if God’s hand was behind it the entire time. It’s been pretty wild to say the least.
We are certainly sad to have left Little Rock. It feels like we’re starting a whole new life. But we’re excited, and know it’s for the best. We’re only 1.5 hour plane ride away from Nashville, and 20 minutes from the DFW airport. We’re 15 minutes from Adam’s parents, and 8 minutes from his sister. It’s going to be good.
Wow, still reading? I knew this would be a novel, but I told you I hadn’t really blogged about it yet!
So how are you actually doing? Like, how are YOU feeling about it?
I’m doing good. It was a hard decision to make, but I’ve always loved the idea of moving to a new place so it doesn’t feel as scary as I thought it would. I’m really excited about it, but obviously sad. A part of me feels guilty for moving so far from my own family, but I know it was the best decision. I think I’ve cried enough about it to last me a while, but I’ll be ok! I’m sad to leave our good friends in LR, and it still doesn’t feel real. But I’ve always felt like God puts friends in your life for a specific season, and I’m thankful for the season of life we had there.
Will you keep working with your same company? Where is Adam working?
YES! I work remote, so I’ll be able to stay with my current job! Such a huge blessing! And Adam’s new company is called TripBam – they’re a startup that does business travel…kind of. I still don’t understand it fully, but it’s a cool gig and the company is growing like crazy!
Aren’t there plenty of IT jobs in Nashville?
Yes, but not near as many in DFW. Dallas is sometimes called Silicon Valley 2, and companies are flocking here left and right. The pay is also noticeably higher, while the area is quite a bit more affordable. Adam basically would have way more options here, and could continue to grow and make more through the years. Nashville’s IT scene is very healthcare focused also, which Adam wants nothing to do with. He looked into several jobs in Nashville, but nothing ever seemed to stick out that would justify a move there.
How is Adeline doing? Will she go to a new school or stay home with you for a while?
Adeline has been a rockstar! Like seriously, super toddler over here. I’m sure she could sense some change because she had a few rough nights towards the end before we moved, but she never seemed phased by the boxes or chaos! She’s still doing good too – she handled the drive down with me like a champ, and has been loving having a few “vacation” days with Mommy before she starts her new school next week! She’ll be going to a new preschool about 5 minutes from our new house, and we are really excited about it! Adeline seemed to like it when we toured it, and she even got to sit and eat lunch with her new classmates and teachers while I filled out some paperwork. It’s more expensive than we’re used to of course, but I’m thankful we’ve found a great place for her to really thrive and grow. I’m especially thankful to no longer feel like we’re in limbo – hopefully she’ll stay at this school until she starts Kindergarten!
Where will you go to church?
For some reason this is like the one question I’ve gotten the most! We will most likely start out going to the church where Adam’s family goes, which is also the church he grew up at it. It’s got an amazing children’s ministry, and lots of young families. I think once we feel like we’re a little more settled we’ll try a few more in the area, just to really make sure we find one that we fit at and are happy with. We’ll never find something like Chenal Valley though, that’s for sure!
Do you have a Southwest card?
Not yet!!! But I need to get one so I can start earning some miles! We’re about 45 minutes from Love-Field airport which is where Southwest flies to, so I’ve considered maybe going the American or Delta route instead since we’re so much closer to DFW. Any thoughts or tips would be appreciated!
When do you move into your new house?
Ah, the never ending question. We were supposed to move in yesterday, but it’s looking like we might not move in for another week thanks to some hiccups from our mortgage lender. Trust me when I say I’ve never been more furious in my entire life, but I’ll save that rage for another post.
What is your new house like? Does it have everything you wanted? Where is it again?
It’s super cute! It’s actually in Roanoke, but we have a Fort Worth address, and are basically across the highway from Keller. It’s 4 bed, 2.5 bath, with a playroom/bonus room and office. I’d say it’s got everything we wanted, except maybe a kitchen island and a huge backyard, but a huge backyard is just wishful thinking in this area! The house is in a cute newer neighborhood, with houses built in the 2012/2013 timeframe. We’re about 6 houses down from a playground and little pool, and there are sidewalks on both sides of the street. Seriously, this is going to be life changing!
Are you learning your way around?
I got lost approximately 5 times yesterday, with Google maps, and did approximately 9284572 U-turns, but I’m figuring it out! Believe it or not, in the 9 years that we’ve been together, this is literally the first time I’ve driven myself around. THE FIRST! It was the first time I ever made the drive from LR to Dallas, and now it’s the first time I’m actually driving around on my own. Apparently my brain navigation shuts off if I’m not driving, because I’ve had to ask Adam a billion times which street is which! We’ll get there.
How do you really feel about being so close to your in-laws?
I’m excited! I love Adam’s family dearly, and am very thankful for that! They’re the best, and have already been so helpful. Adam is excited too, obviously, and so far everyone seems to be in good spirits, ha!
Can we come visit?
YES PLEASE! We will have a guest room so come on down! And since we’re so close to DFW, if you ever have an extended layover, give us a call! FOR REALS!
Will you share pictures of your new house?
IS THE SKY BLUE?! Of course. Once it’s not a hot mess I’ll share more of it for sure.
Will you keep blogging in Texas? What about photography?
Of course! I guess I’m officially a DFW Mom Blogger now?! Maybe to photography…if I’m asked, I’d be happy to. But I’m not actively pursuing it right now.
So why was selling your house and buying a new one such a nightmare?
Murphy’s Law. I’ll explain later. But I will say, don’t ever use Iberia Bank for mortgage lending. Just run. Run far, far away. *EDITED to add: since figuring everything out with Iberia this week, we were able to get the president of the company involved, as well as their team of lawyers, and they have worked their butts off to try and get us into the house as soon as today, Friday. They did everything they could to make it happen, BUT, now we’re just dealing with a seller and his realtor who are literally the most unreasonable people on the face of the planet. Scum of the Earth would be a better description actually.
Will you call yourself a Texan now?
Okkkkkkkk I think that about wraps it up! I’m going to try to get back to a regular blogging schedule again, but I just desparately needed a break this week! The last thing I’ve had energy for was blogging, so hopefully next week I’ll be back at it! Thanks for reading! And thanks to everyone who sent their well wishes, and words of encouragement. We are blessed.