I think I'm finally up for it.
For the record, I am a list maker. I have an entire spiral-bound notebook marked "Move" in which I am keeping a running list of "to do's" that need to be, well, done, with regards to moving in June. This list isn't categorized. It's just a ongoing list, on which I add items that pop into my head, when they pop into my head. Upon completion, I check them off. Simple.
This list is a bit more daunting. But, for my own health, I need to make it. So, I'll attempt it. But rather than calling this a Pro/Con list, as I don't really believe there is anything "bad" about the move, I'll go with "What I am Looking Forward to in Beaver and What I Will Miss Here In Evanston". My apologies if this reads like a list - but that's what it is.
What I Am Looking Forward To In Beaver:
- New Adventure. After 18 years we have been given the opportunity to move, by choice, to a new area. It's rare, at least right now, that families are getting the choice to move. We didn't have to look for a new job, new city, or new home. We felt called to it and made the choice to choose adventure.
- New Church. We are looking forward to Four Mile Presbyterian which is smaller than our current congregation and offers a contemporary worship model. We will always cherish our First Presbyterian years, yet we are feeling led to a different church model, one that I believe, will prove to be amazing for our personal spiritual development as individuals and as a family, with the added benefit of professional growth for George.
- Smaller Town. This should be on both lists, for while I am sincerely looking forward to living in an area where a strip mall doesn't mark every corner, the amount of open land also wigs me out a bit. I am comforted in knowing that Pittsburgh is a mere 30-some minutes down the freeway and do acknowledge without a doubt that I am craving a different style of living, so the overall, I'm good with it.
- Family. We will now be 4 hours from my sister, brother in law, and their fantastic four. The thought of my kids growing up knowing and seeing and celebrating and playing with their cousins is a huge draw for me. My parents will be 6-7 hours away - so much better than always having to fly, and George's folks will be one hour closer. My brother and his wife are in the DC area, which, once again, will be much closer. The move will take us away from George's brother, Chuck, who will remain in Chicago, but I think that even he, at some point, will make a break to an area where he can live and fly fish every day.
- Cost of Living. It's a fact. Chicagoland is expensive. We have the highest gas prices in the nation. Housing prices are ridiculous (for as much as we are so not pleased with the price we got for our house, we also realize that the house itself would not have cost as much as it originally did if it were located in a different area of the country). We desire to become a debt-free family, and are on our way to doing so. We desire to save for family vacations and actually take them! We desire to give freely to others. We desire to live more simply.
- The World Is MY Oyster: I have written ample posts about my desire to write. I am blessed to have my Mary Kay business follow me to Beaver, and at the same time, I know that there are other opportunities headed my way. I have actually begun to entertain the idea of investigating the on-camera biz down in Pittsburgh, renewing my SAG card, and trying my hand. With all this swirling around in my head, I don't feel overwhelmed, but rather, so excited to see what this move holds for me professionally.
- Neighborhood. We're looking forward to living near the parks and library in Beaver where during both visits I have made, have been filled with families. We don't currently live on a street where kids are out and about (well, until recently when a new family moved in), and have really desired this. I think we would find more of this if we lived closer to Harper's elementary school, but our street is just kind of, quiet. We are praying for kids, kids, and more kids.
- House. The new house is 100 years old, but there is so much potential! We will have many projects to keep us busy, but I will finally get my own office, the kids will have the basement pretty much all to themselves, the kitchen can fit our entire family and aside from having one bathroom that is extremely tiny, we have grand plans for our new home. In time it will have another bathroom, and new garage, and will be a fabulous gathering place for friends and family.
- Friends, friends, and more friends. 18 years yields a lot of relationships. George has several deep relationships, I have amazing girlfriends, Harper has her small group of close friends, and Zane is beginning to realize that he won't be able to see his buddies once we move. Relationships are what drive our experiences. Break down what's important in life and it always seems to come back around to people. We will miss the people.
- Food. As silly as it sounds I will miss restaurants: Mt. Everest, Pita Inn, and Dozika, to name a few. My kids have been baptized in foods from all nations. They are not peanut butter and jelly, mac-n-cheese (unless you count The Noodle & Company), or chicken nugget kids. They are naan chewin', miso sippin', and kibbeh swallowin' children.
- Diversity. I have never lived in a place without major ethnic diversity. I'm not sure how to handle this.
- Chicago. It's just a really cool city. Everyone whom I have met that is familiar with Pittsburgh says the same thing about that city, and yet Chicago is a really special place. There is truly nothing like it.
- Lake. My sister will laugh at this, as I've never really been a beach person. But, it is nice to have it. Scout adores the dog beach, the kids like the beach, and I have enjoyed runs along the lakefront. So to not have it will make me sad. Even though I still hate sand with a passion.
- History and Memories. 18 years of them will create tears, but will also serve to fuel new writing projects.
We have no doubt that we are being called somewhere new. There is no hesitation on either one of our parts that this move is essential for our family. It will be different. It will take some adjusting. I will indeed have some freak-out moments. And yet, I am confident that we have made the right decision.
I'm curious. What do you think???