Sunday, May 30, 2010

The First of Many

On Friday it was time to say my first "Good-bye." It wasn't easy, but I made it through with only a few tears. For the past 2 years we've been participating in Parent's As Teachers through our local school district. This has meant a weekly play group and monthly meetings with "Miss Nicole." Friday was our last play group of the year and since we will be leaving at the end of June we won't be able to participate in the summer playgroup that runs through July.

We also held a garage sale yesterday. We did pretty well. We sold our bedroom furniture (everything but the bed which we are keeping), our kitchen table (we have the card table for our dining table now), lots of yard tools, and various other odds and ends. We have also given away all the baby clothes (so unless there is a major surprise we are done in the baby department). But there is still so much left to sell we will probably have another sale in a few weeks. We want to take as little as possible with us and then, as we can afford to, buy new and in the mean time we will go without.

I think we have decided to not live in Buckeye for the first year. It is a hard decision since that means Jon will take our only car to and from work everyday leaving me without transportation, but in an apartment complex with a pool and playground I am sure we can keep busy. Also if we are lucky we will be close enough to a bus line and be able to get around the Phoenix area pretty easily. Buckeye apartments are limited to only a few places and they are priced a bit higher than we'd like to pay so if we get a little closer to civilization we can find a more reasonable rate for rent.

After a year we will try and buy in Buckeye on an incredible HUD program called Teacher Next Door, where we can buy a HUD home at a 50% discount as long as we live there 3 years and it's within the district boundaries. Some friends of mine in AZ say that there housing prices are still falling so waiting a year will get us an even better price!

That is about all there is to report now. Tuesday I plan to call several apartment places but worst case we have found one that sounds alright enough for a year. And of course we try and pack up more stuff every day. Slowly but surely, this is going to happen.

Things are slowly getting packed up, about 1/5 of our garage is storing packed boxes just waiting for moving day.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Freaked Out

Last night I had an emotional breakdown. I am literally freaked out about this move. I am very worried about finances: short selling our home- having to pay taxes on whatever the difference is between the sale price and what we owe (upwards of $60K); the cost of the physical move- all going on credit cards; a HUGE pay cut- I have to cut $2000 out of our monthly budget or find a way to make it up somehow (ie-I go back to work doing something, who knows what, and my plans to homeschool to give my kids the best education they can get go down the drain). Add to that that in five and a half weeks we leave and we still have no idea where we are going to live.

I just really hope we are doing the right thing. I'm sure doubts are common when making such a huge life change. And Jon having a job at all, even with the pay cut, is better than no job here. It is just extremely stressful and seriously scary.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

About Us

Let me first tell you a little bit about us. We are a happy, little family of 4 (dad-Jon, mom-Michelle (blog author, will often be referred to as "I", kids- Nathan, 3 and Emily, 1). I am a stay at home mom, Jon is a music teacher. We currently live in Michigan, where we live a great life. I moved to Michigan when I was just 11 years old so I consider Michigan to be "home." Jon has lived in Michigan his entire life. Despite this being "home" for both of us, we have often talked about getting out of Michigan. We find places we think would be exciting to live in and dream. Never did we actually think we would be leaving Michigan for real.

In April, Jon was informed that due to declining enrollment and budget cuts he would be laid-off at the end of the school year. Knowing that job prospects in Michigan would be bleak, we decided to look out of state. Jon attended a job fair where he spoke with recruiters from several states- Texas, the Carolinas, Alaska, and Kentucky to name a few. All sounded like they could be fun...well maybe not Alaska for this warm weathered, sunlight craving woman (after all I do have a summer birthday, I live for summer time). Application after application was completed, emails back and forth with various recruiters, and yet, still nothing.

Then a little over a week ago (on a Monday) a friend of Jon's that he went to college with saw Jon's Facebook status about looking for work and she sent him a message saying she had a friend in Arizona who worked in a district that was looking for a music teacher. Connections were made and by Friday Jon was offered the job. Contracts have been signed and we are moving to Arizona!

This is going to be a HUGE change for our family. I have never been to Arizona and Jon went to the Grand Canyon once as a child. We will be leaving behind our family and friends, to move over 2,000 miles away and start a new adventure in our lives.

One thing we find comfort in is knowing that since our church is worldwide that is one thing that will stay very stable in our lives. We know where we will be attending church, what to expect when we get there, and know that we will have instant friends!

We will hopefully be pulling out of Michigan on June 28th, just a short 5 and a half weeks away. The adventure has already begun though, as we start packing and getting things in order for the move. My goal for this blog is to keep people posted on our progress in getting ready to leave, documenting the journey to Arizona, and then just sharing with family and friends what living in Arizona is really like once we get there. This blog will replace my previous blog and will be my main blog for as long as life keeps us in Arizona.