Hello! I have missed you all so, so much! I have so much to catch up on, so here goes...
After 3 consecutive days of yard sales we managed to get a good four digit cash flow. Also, how did we have that much stuff!?
My sisters came down to help with everything, in between nursing and managing everything, I was exhausted. I felt pulled in a million directions so I don't know how I would have managed without them. We had a great time, all things considered. We arrived at my parents home the following Monday night. (the 9th) We tried our best to avoid crying about the inevitable and to enjoy our time. We did.
During this time I was in awe of how relaxed I was with the whole situation.
I mean selling 75% of all that we own, packing up the rest and moving across country isn't exactly my forte. Or so I thought, but I was handling this well. Really well.
I don't know any better way to explain it, but I was at peace with everything. Not worried at all.
Thursday morning we were up at 3 am. Our flight left at 6:09 and we had to be at an airport 1 hour away. I was sad to leave but strangely, I didn't cry. I didn't feel like it would be long before I would see them again and the tears didn't come.
We got to the airport and our check in bag was over the weight limit, we ended up grabbing all of our toiletries and a few other odds and ends to give to my Dad to take back home. After saying our goodbyes we made it through security.
The first flight went by without a hitch. Then we arrived in Chicago, it was snowing and our flight got delayed 2 hours. After we landed we learned we had missed our connecting flight and that our luggage somehow got put on that plane and was in Hartford. We ended up on a train from Newark to New Haven, CT. Kelly's husband Derek picked us up that night. Relief ensued.
The next day our children became best friends and Kelly and I became best friends with her new vacuum. That cordless thing made our life better. We toted it around all day, chasing after the messes our kids made. It was so great. Kelly and I share an obsession with all things cleaning and we picked up right where we left off. Trace and Ocean were adorable together, quite a few adventures together.
Saturday morning we got up at 5 am to get ready, we had to catch a early train from CT to NYC.
Our first experience with the city was a little surreal. It was virtually empty. Sidewalks with only a handful of people. We walked out of Grand Central Station and couldn't help but grin really big.
We were off to our first appointment, we had 3 that day and we were determined to sign a lease.
Our first broker was awful. Absolutely awful.
We literally just sat in her office while she ignored the apartments we had emailed about and proceeded to tell us we should "consider this apartment because it has a doorman and its only $2,500".
You would have had to have been there but it was all Marc and I could do to keep our cool.
She was a rude lady. We finally told her we had other appointments and left.
We were off to our next appointment and we had to catch a taxi. He was pretty great, I think he only nearly hit someone once. ;) We met our next broker at the apartment, she was great. Simple and straightforward, we were so relieved we didn't have another broker like the previous lady.
The price was right and the place was perfect. It was huge, 2 bedrooms, separate kitchen, well sized bathroom and a HUGE living room with a wall made of white brick. The wood floors were being redone as well. They were beautiful. The windows in the living room were huge and it was so cheerful.
I was sold. We knew that was the one. We had another appointment but we told her we were pretty sure this was the one for us. We went to our next appointment and it was confirmed. They were nice places but it felt right with the other place. We wandered around the city for awhile.
Finally decided to get pizza. ($2.00 a slice, who says NYC is so expensive?) While we enjoyed our huge pizza slices and met with our broker to start signing papers. After some talk of visiting Times Square we decided eh...we'll be living here and see it a lot. (wrong)
That night, as excited as I was I still couldn't shake this feeling like something was off. Marc seemed to share the same opinion but wouldn't voice it.
Fast forward to Tuesday, Marc took the train in early for orientation and to sign the lease on our place.
All day I felt antsy and had a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. Marc gets home and is clearly upset. Then he tells me he doesn't feel right about this situation and doesn't want to do it.
He explained that part of the program at Columbia would mean he would be gone from 9am-10pm everyday except weekends for a year. He would be teaching in the Bronx and taking a train everyday. (There was no mention of this before orientation) I would be left with two littles ones all day in a city that I barely knew, the idea didn't sit well with him. I felt so relieved but didn't want him to give up this opportunity because he thought I couldn't handle it. We talked and I told him we could do it, we would make it work but he was pretty decided and so I didn't hold back any longer. I started crying and telling him I hadn't felt right about it for a while and immediately told him that Asheville was the place for us. We decided to sleep on it and found we felt the same in the morning...so Asheville it is.
We contacted our friend Erik to see about renting his place in Asheville and tried to get a plan going. I was ecstatic. Our dream life was beginning to unfold. We were uprooted and had no reason not to start over somewhere new. I called my mom to tell her the good news and she was happy as well. It's so much easier when you are a 4 hour car trip rather than a 5 hour plane ride. Marc and I both felt so relieved. Literally like a weight was off my shoulders. This was starting to feel right again.
Kelly and I were both sad that we wouldn't be a train ride away anymore but she could tell a difference now that Asheville was our plan. We decided to enjoy the rest of our visit and Kelly and Derek suggested we take the kids to Rainforest Cafe and stroll around the mall, everyone needed to get out.
I think the Cafe was more of a treat for us than the kids, every time the gorillas started going crazy the kids freaked out.
Erik's place was a go and Thursday we bought plane tickets and flew out in an hour. My Dad came and picked us up, almost exactly one week after dropping us off. It felt so good to be home.
First thing on our list was buying a car, we had been loving the Subaru Outback but when I looked at the gas mileage we quickly moved on. We looked at Consumer Repots and a few other sites for a few good, reliable cars and narrowed it down to the Honda Fit and Toyota Prius. Both of these seemed way out of our price range but we did some serious searching, finally found a 2006 Prius that was barely in our price range and it was only 45 minutes away. We went to check it out the next day and test drive it. We drove it to the nearest Toyota dealership and paid to have it throughly checked out. It passed with flying colors, we were told it was in perfect shape. When we got back to the dealer Marc was a little hesitant about the price so he just threw out a number and the dealer accepted. We ended up getting it for $1,000 less than previously advertised and $2,000 less than Kelly Blue Book had it valued. I couldn't believe it.The entire drive home felt surreal. I kept squealing and telling Marc how happy I was.
*Side note: We had been driving a seriously beat up Mitsubishi Mirage. I mean really beat up.
The hood was taped down with packing tape after a accident involving a deer. We didn't want to pay the $1,000 it would have cost to fix the hood considering the car was really only worth about $2,000 as a whole. So for the past two years our little car has kept us humble. Oh and everything was manuel, no automatic locks, windows, no AC...no regrets though, I will never take our car for granted now. It was a season of our life and I have no shame surrounding it. We made a wise choice and now we appreciate the hell out of our new car.
We drove down to Auburn the next day to visit Marc's family and grab some of our belongings that we had at his Moms that were previously going to be shipped to us in NYC. We spent the next 3 days there, sorting through belongings and packing that car to the brim. After that, we were off. We decided to make a pit stop in Athens, GA since we have considered living there. (I'll share these photos in another post) Finally we arrived in Asheville, Black Mountain to be exact. We are home. At least temporarily. We aren't sure exactly where we will be in a few months. Depending on what kind of job Marc ends up with, school may or may not be in the future for awhile. We would like to stay in Asheville but that depends entirely on job, school, etc. But for now, we are home and we are happy.
We are going to soak up this season, every bit of it. I don't regret anything, I feel like it all happened perfectly...this was meant to be this way. It really did need to happen like this, there is no way that we would have uprooted and sold everything unless NYC had come along but it needed to happen in order for us to make the move to where we wanted to be. We both learned a lot over this past month, about ourselves and us. And you know, this is kind of our dream life. We have friends, we live in the mountains, a nice car, lots of farmers markets, lots of great food and local goodness. Yeah, its perfect.
Oh and Luna is starting to crawl, she gets on all fours and rocks. This is going to be a great season folks! I am a lucky lady.
I have been so encouraged by all of your comments and emails, they were pockets of sunshine.
Thank you everyone for all your support during this time, I am lucky to have all of you in my life.