Did you ever watch Mary Poppins and remember Bert singing,
Winds in the east, mist coming in.
Like somethin’ is brewin’ and bout to begin.
Can’t put me finger on what lies in store,
But I fear what’s to happen all happened before.
Well, let me tell you a story. Well, before I start I will warn you. It’s a long post, but it’s a good story. Come in and read a minute. There’s big news ahead.
Back in 2006, during my oldest son, Nathan’s senior year,
both my dad and Hub’s dad had some serious medical issues going on. We were living in Troy, Ohio at the time and had been there for about 7 years. We strongly felt like we needed to move our family back west near both of our parents. Hubs got a job offer with the Idaho Statesman in Boise, Idaho and we ended up moving half-way through the school year.
Before we moved as a family, Hubs moved out to Idaho to start working, while the kids and I stayed in Ohio for 3 months to get the house ready to sell. It was hard and all sorts of not-fun, but we survived.
The job in Idaho turned out to be a big bust. Hubs survived three layoffs during his first couple of years at the paper. In retrospect, it was the worst possible time for us to be making a career move, but like I said, at the time we felt it was the right thing to do. By the fourth round of layoffs, we weren’t so lucky.
As fate would have it, the layoff happened on October 16, 2008, during Ryley’s senior year of high school. When you work for a newspaper and a layoff comes, its not like you can go out and work for another newspaper in town. Generally, there is only ONE paper in town and you are no longer a part of it.
Hubs quickly found a job in Blackfoot, Idaho and ended up moving across the state before the month was out. Blackfoot is a four-hour drive across the state and Hubs came home every other weekend as the weather permitted. By May of 2009, we were ready to have our family in one place again but before we could pack up and move to Blackfoot, Hubs got offered a job with the company he’d worked for in Troy. This job was working for a magazine in Utah.
It seemed like the perfect job. Even though I am a Mormon and had lived in Utah twice before, I’m not one who yearns to live in the motherland. In fact, it is kind of weird to live in a place with a high concentration of Mormons. After living in so many different places over the years, though, we have a lot of friends who have ended up living in Utah. Plus, both Hubs and I have family members in Utah and it’s where Ryley wanted to go to school, so it felt like a really good fit. We thought it was an answer to our prayers and so we ended up moving to Utah in the summer of 2009, shortly after Rye graduated from high school.
Our move to Utah was such an easy one. Even though we were living in a town that was new, Utah was like coming home for us. We did things with our families, we had a good church family, Hub’s job seemed good and stable, the boys loved their schools and we were settling into our home. Four months later, Hubs was laid off in a political move at the magazine. To say we were blind-sided was an under-statement.
Two months later, we had another job offer in Ohio and we packed up our van once again, left our girl in Utah (which I was NOT ready to do) and moved back across the country. Nathan had been living in Ohio for a year so I was looking forward to seeing him more often. We had missed the green of Ohio while out West, but we have always tried to enjoy wherever we have lived.
We have been in this part of Ohio since 2010, but between one thing and another, we have managed to live in three different homes during that time. It’s enough to wear a girl out.
We first moved to a condo in Lexington which was a nice place to land. It was big enough for our family until Katie moved in with us and then it no longer worked for our family.
That change took us to our home in Bellville, a town a few miles east of Lexington.
When our plans to buy that house fell through, we ended up moving to our new home last August, back near Lexington, but really just out in the county. We enjoy seeing the neighbor’s cows and ducks and having a little land for our chickens and dog to roam around on. It’s peaceful and a very lovely place to live.
This summer, I found myself struggling with feelings and emotions that I couldn’t identify. Having moved every year for the past four years, I attributed some of my restless feelings to the fact that we weren’t moving again. However, as the summer wore on and the prospect of a new school year was on the horizon, I realized that this school year was going to be Noah’s senior year. I hate senior years.
I said to Hubs and Noah, “Noah’s senior year is coming up in a few weeks. I hate senior years. I still haven’t recovered from Ryley’s senior year 5 years ago.” They both laughed me off and tried to assure me that this year was so much different than the last two. In case you haven’t been paying attention, Nate’s senior year, we lived apart for three months and then did a cross-country move. Ryley’s senior year we lived apart for nearly 8 months and then moved to another state. It’s Noah’s senior year. Do the math.
In July, Hubs came home to tell me the paper had to make some drastic cuts and he was going to have to layoff some of his staff. This is not a fun part of his job. He was really dreading having to give people the bad news. He knows all too well what it feels like and it was very upsetting to him. He started getting nervous about his own job, but every indication we had was that, even though the paper was making some cuts, his job was secure.
We were wrong. A month ago, Hubs got called in and told his position was eliminated at the paper. They had another position for him to take, but at a 27% pay cut. It was devastating. Noah is in a special college program that will have him graduating with an Associate’s degree before he even gets his high school diploma. With all our moves, we weren’t looking to make any drastic moves and change things for the boys.
Hubs and I decided we would suck it up and make the best of this situation. Since Sam, our youngest, is a sophomore this year, it would mean living here for three years with Hubs doing a job that was not what he wanted to be doing professionally. We really were not looking to upset the apple cart.
We decided that since Hubs had a job, I would dust off my resume and start looking for work. It would be hard to have me working full-time, or even part-time, because of Katie’s needs, but what can you do? We assured the boys that we were staying and we went ahead with that plan. A week after Hubs’ layoff, we got a call from a headhunter, aka a recruiter. He’d found Hubs’ information on LinkedIn and wanted to know if he was interested or knew anyone interested in an executive editor position for “a paper out west.”
Hubs was intrigued and after more discussion, it turned out the paper that was hiring was The Provo Daily Herald. If you are new to my blog, you might not understand the significance of this. Even if you’re a regular follower you might not get it. Provo is where Katie lives when she is not with our family. Hubs’ brother and his family live in Provo.
Hubs and I met in Provo while attending BYU. Three months after we met, we were engaged and six months later we were married. Provo is our first home.
Our oldest son, Nathan, and our youngest son, Sam, were both born in Provo. We’d moved back to Provo in 1997 to take a job at The Daily Herald. We were there two years before moving to Ohio the first time. This is our family a few months before our move from Utah.
That picture makes me laugh. We’d spent the day hiking up Provo Canyon and we are looking like a ragtag bunch. But, it’s the best I got.
Look how 16 years changes things. Everyone of those boys is now taller than Hubs, who is 6’1″, btw. This is our family last Fall before Ryley left for her mission.
I won’t bore you with all the reasons why we decided to pursue the job, but sum it up by saying there were more reasons to move than to stay. Obviously, you’ve guessed by now that Hubs got the job. Since he’s awesome at what he does, they jumped at the chance to hire him and it was a good fit for us to go back, even if the timing feels a bit off. It feels like going home.
Hubs will leave in a little more than a week, while the boys and I will move out after the school year. Like I said, it’s Noah’s senior year and the program he is in just doesn’t transfer to a new school. He will graduate from high school with an Associate’s degree in electro-mechanical engineering. That’s worth sticking around for. Plus, I have a LOT to do on this house to get it ready to sell, not the least of which is to finally finish the kitchen.
If you are wondering why you haven’t seen any kitchen updates, this is why. A lay off at 27% less pay = no kitchen projects. I have done some stuff with supplies I already had on hand and, honestly, I could have done more, but the stress of all this change has somewhat paralyzed me these last few weeks. Hopefully I can dig in and get to working on some of the projects that need to happen.
If you are wondering if it will be hard for us to leave this house, the short answer is yes. I love my chickens and my neighbor’s cows and the Amish family that drives their buggy down my road and all the beauty of the country. It will be hard to go from this back to a city life, even if Provo isn’t a big city by most people’s standards. I’m sure I will have some moments of claustrophobia of dealing with so many people all the time. It’s an adjustment, but not an insurmountable one.
Hubs will have a harder time of it than I will on leaving this house. He loves our spread and working out on our property and he was making all sorts of plans for this home that we will not get to do. While I love the history of our home and the chance to live in an old home, to me, it’s just a home. Just like the 21 other homes we’ve lived in. All have had things we enjoyed. All had things we wish we could have improved upon. I will miss my new kitchen but I look forward to making a new house our home, too.
It would be harder for me to make this change if it weren’t for one simple fact. I know this change for our family is being directed by God. I just do. I knew that from the moment Hubs told me about the call from the recruiter. I knew it throughout the five weeks of interviews and waiting for a job offer.
I don’t know why. For whatever reason, I feel like this is where God wants our family. We haven’t felt this way about every move, but our first move to Ohio and this move definitely feel like God is directing our path. Even though I have a million things to happen between now and the time we move, a million obstacles and hurdles to face, I am trying to move forward in faith and trust that if God wills it, He will provide.
It won’t be easy living without Hubs for nine months. Last time we lived apart it seemed that nearly every major appliance as well as our car only had problems once Hubs wasn’t around to help. I’m hoping that won’t be the case this time. Our plan is to fly him home for a long weekend every month. I know there are many families that, for whatever reason, live apart for long periods of time and do just fine. I’m trying to view it like a deployment, but a lot safer for Hubs!
I’m excited to be closer to friends and family. I like to say that we can’t throw a stick in Utah without hitting a friend or family member. I look forward to being a day’s drive from my mom and being closer to many of our nieces and nephews. All of us are looking forward to being around the mountains again. Both Hubs and I grew up near mountains and we’ve missed them.
As a final note, I thought I’d share this fun map I threw together.
We started our married life in Provo on the red path. It took us 11 years to circle back to the Provo area, although technically we lived in Orem, which is the town just north of Provo. The blue loop also took 11 years for us to circle back to Utah, although this time it was in Sandy, about 30 miles north of Provo. The dashed lines are Hubs’ path to Sandy since the kids and I never actually moved to Blackfoot.
The purple loop has only taken us four years to complete. Maybe we are getting better at this? I certainly hope so. I fervently pray that major job upheaval/living apart/cross-country moves are not officially a “thing” in our family because I still have one more senior year to go! Obviously, since it’s now happened three times, it’s a “thing,” but Sam has way of breaking the patterns in our family, so I’m hoping he will break this one as well.
At any rate, you will see a lot of projects as I work to get the house ready. I hope you stick with me for it. I appreciate my followers and friends who offered their prayers and support. Don’t cry for us, Argentina. Even though those Easterly winds are blowin’ our way sooner than we expected, this is a good move for our family and we are excited for this next chapter in our life.