Thursday, June 7, 2012

I Went To Kansas to Race, and Came Home with a House

Well, that's not exactly true.

I actually went to Joplin, MO to race.

But the house part is true.

Let's start from the beginning.  

So I've commented in past posts that big things were underfoot here in my corner of the world.  It's been no secret that my husband's been gone for massive chunks of time (and is currently gone again), and both of us really struggle when he is away.  It wasn't bad when we were sans kid, but ohmygosh I can barely take single parenting anymore, and he's pretty sick of coming home to a completely new kid who has to relearn who his father is every few weeks.  

But if he was going to "get off the road," he would have to take an office job.  In doing so, his pay would take a hit.  So in summary - he needed a new job, and we needed an affordable place to live (well, more affordable than Chicago,because holy hell is real estate here, even with a recession).

So we decided that we would move to Kansas.  

Yup, that's right.  This lifelong Chicago gal -who literally has never lived anywhere else and whose entire life, job and family is here - is packing up and hitting the yellow brick road.

Come on, you knew there was going to be a Wizard of Oz reference in here somewhere.  

A few weekends ago, we combined a trip to Joplin to visit his relatives (and to race), with a whirlwind househunting spree in Kansas.  

The race - eh - it was okay.  The race itself was great and I loved doing it with my in-laws, but my performance was kind of crappy, as I suspect the rest of my races this summer will be.  It is what it is.  

Then it was off to the cornfields to find ourselves a house.

We hit 12 houses on Day 1(Monday), and 8 more on Day 2 (Tuesday).  We had a fairly narrow list because my sister-in-law is our agent and she prepped us really weel, knowing we were shor ton time.  

But the one we eventually settled on was found on Day 1.  By Tuesday afternoon at 3pm we put in our offer, and by 11pm, we settled on a final price.  The contract was signed the following day, mortgage stuff was taken care of Thursday, and all we had to do was wait for the inspection and appraisal.  The inspection has since been completed, painter estimates obtained, and packing boxes bought.  It's hard to believe that it has all occurred literally within the last three weeks.  We close at the end of July (our request, as the sellers wanted to close earlier), and officially drive the truck and all our worldly belongings (read: couch, computer and bed) across three states to our new home.

Phew - that was a lot to write.  Looking at it now, I am just stunned that it is actually happening.  Emotionally, it's like a roller coaster.  Some days I am really excited at the prospect of going to sleep without the sound of my neighbors footsteps overhead and sitting on my back deck (we have one!) with a nice cup of coffee in the mornings, as opposed to pressing my face against the tiny square of screen from my second-story window, trying to assess the weather.  

But then there are the days like most this week - when I am driving down Lake Shore Drive, looking at the brilliantly blue Lake Michigan and watching the runners on the same running running path I spent the last 10 years stomping in training for one race or another.  Many early morning, and perhaps thousands of miles on that path.  The car, it seems, is when things feels the worst for me right now - because every street seems to have a memory, every shortcut home makes me acutely aware of how second nature everything here is for me.  My husband jokes that you could blindfold me and put my on any street corner in the entire city, and I would know where I was.  

It's true.  I would.  

I grew up here, went to elementary school, high school, college, and graduate school here (the last three all within two miles of each other), worked my first job at the Lincoln Park Zoo, did my psychology training at local hospitals, and have traveled into almost every neighborhood to do my current job in child welfare.

Last week I went to a child trauma conference down at the Northwestern Law School, and was stunned at the realization of how big my professional network was.  Until I saw them all together, I never quite realized how many people I met, knew, trained with and/or graduated with in this field.  I've been in this "game" for more than ten years at this point - and that's a lot of people to meet.

And then there's my family.  I'm not even sure what to say about this.  My sister Devin and her daughter live four blocks away from me.  My sister Ellen and her two sons live just north of me - I could run there.  Needless to say, we see each other often.  Sometimes daily.  My niece and nephews have grown up in front of me - I'm as much a part of their childhood as they are a part of my identity.  A nine hour car ride is far different that than a five-minute stroller walk.  Yeah, there's Skype - people keep telling me. But it's not the same.  It's not.  Sorry.

As for meeting new people?  Well, let's see what my raging social anxiety has to say about that.

So that said (and I am sure I will have more later, in my moments of sadness), I am excited.  Please don't think that I am not.  It will be so nice to be able to watch my son run around an actual backyard, or ride his bike in our cul-de-sac (yes!)  It will be awesome to have my husband home for more than four days every three weeks.  It will be great to have an actual basement where I can leave my bike out without having to move it to the hallway every time we want to sit in the living room and watch television.  Oh, and don't get me started on having an actual washer and dryer.  I am not sure how to work them without inserting quarters first, but I'm a quick learner.  


So there ya have it - in three years, I have been married, had a baby, and am moving into a house three states away.  Who the hell am I?  I'm a far cry from that girl who swore that marriage was suckers, babies were for those not lucky enough to have yet found triathlon, and being debt-free and able to buy a house was nothing short of a fantasy.  

So I am looking forward to this new chapter in my ever-evolving life. 

Just don't ask me to mow the lawn, though.  I sunbathe on the grass, I don't push motorized blades.  

Too cool for school. 

 Playing airplane on an airplane!  On the way to find our new home in Kansas.

 Are we there yet?

Wait, what?  We're actually moving here?  Do I get my own room?

Matthew got to see his mom race for the first time! 

 Practicing my desk-lounging at gramma and grandpa's house.  Gotta get ready!

 Taking a break from househunting at my aunt's house! I loves myself some play saucer!

 Heading home

Check out my new swim suit! I broke it out just for Memorial Day! 

 My family!

 You don't have to say it, I already know - I'm cute! And it's only 6AM!

 Uh, mom?  What's up with all the packing?  We still have a month left! 

 This moving stuff is bananas!

Hey, Squeaky Giraffe.  Listen up.  You're new to this game, and me and Stuffed Giraffe here already have our own thing going.  We've done MILES in this car seat, and this is your first ride.  So you better settle down, learn the rules, and play nice.  You do that, and we cool.    

Geesh, toys these days just don't know how to act.  


Ryan said...

Welcome to Kansas! At least the kiddo has the Kansas Jayhawk shirt! He should fit right in around KC (if that's where you are moving to).

Plenty of races around here and great multisport community. KC Multisport and KC Tri club are good starts. Find em on facebook if you have not already.

Meredith said...

Big adventures! I wish you luck and happiness.

Carolina John said...

Wow, congratulations on the new house and locale! I hope you are all incredibly happy in Kansas.

kilax said...

So happy you found a house you love so quickly! It sounds like it will be perfect for the three of you. I bet the pros of being together and having more space will almost even out with being away from your family. And Skype is not the same but it is awesome! :)

How close will you be to KC? My sister just moved to Lenexa.

kodiacbear said...

excited for you, yet thinking of sending you some cupcakes to make you feel better…

Alili said...

I can so relate. Congrats on the new house!

Carrie said...

Wow! No place like home! I'm excited for you. It will be an adjustment for sure, but the rewards will be so worth it. Plus, you are a little closer to CO now.

WildChildT said...

OMG OMG OMG! I am so excited for you. What a whirlwind of crazy you've been involved in these last few weeks. Guess what?! You'll be even THAT much closer to Colorado, so I FULLY expect a visit from you and the family at some point in the future. Seriously. There are tons of races out this way, I'm sure you won't be able to resist. Congratulations and good luck!

Fave said...

I can imagine how hard this must be. I moved away from "home" in 97 and i still miss it. It's nice going back and seeing old friends. I wish you smooth travels. think of all the new roads you get to explore by foot and by wheels.

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