Sunday, August 24, 2014

We Have Exciting News . . . Part II

Here we are again. I'm baiting you with exciting news, just like I did three years ago. This time am I announcing a pregnancy? Is R going to have a little brother or sister?

Eventually, we hope. But no, not anytime in the next nine months. That's not what our exciting news is. As with our exciting news last time, there's a new job. 

For a couple of years now, Mike and I have been the couple who cried wolf move. When we first started seriously dating (which, let's face it, was shortly after we started dating, period), we talked about where we'd want to settle down when we had a family. The answer had always been Chicago. In a perfect world, we would have loved to stay near New York City, but it's an expensive place. And in order to afford a house within commuting distance, Mike would have had to commute at least an hour each way (and that's at the least). Chicago offers more affordable suburbs with access to a fantastic city, and that's how we made that decision.

So . . . are we finally doing it? Are we finally moving west?

Yes. But not to Chicago. To Western New York. (Yes, you read that right, people who have heard me say for years I would never move to Western New York. Seriously, one day I'll stop saying never.) In just a couple of weeks, Mike and I are relocating to Buffalo, New York—home to his beloved Sabres and Bills (Lord help me) and a food I don't particularly enjoy, but I guess I better start to. For the last year, we actually thought we were moving to Chicago; Mike's company had said they would transfer us there at the end of this summer. Unfortunately that fell through a couple of months ago, and that's when Mike decided to open up the job search by applying to positions in Columbus and Buffalo.

I know what you're all thinking: Buffalo?! I've always wanted to go there! It doesn't have quite the appeal of Chicago, but there are certainly a lot of pros on the list as to why this move is good:

  • First and foremost, we'll be closer to both sides of our family—just ninety minutes from Mike's parents and five hours from mine, which is much better than now. And if there's one thing we've realized after having R, it's how nice it would be to be closer to our parents and my sister, brother-in-law, and obviously R's cousins.
  • We'll still be in the state of New York, which means it's easier for us to hop in the car for a long weekend in the city with friends and family. It also means that we'll still get the YES Network. (Not that there's much to watch this season.)
  • Obviously it's much cheaper to live in Buffalo. Sure, we'll have to get a car (holy moly), but even the car payments, insurance, and rent will still be cheaper than what we're paying now. This means we can actually put some more money in savings for our eventual house (how novel of an idea!).
  • We'll be close enough to Toronto for a quick "city" fix. Missing theater? Toronto. Want to see the Yankees? Toronto. Just need a change of scenery? Toronto.
  • Mike's commute will be much quicker; he'll be home by five thirty, which means an added hour each day with him and R.

Change is hard. It felt great to finally make the decision, but that doesn't mean it's been easy on us since. Not to mention, until this weekend, I had never even been to Buffalo except in passing on the way to Niagara Falls. It's change, and it's a leap of faith. But I'm not new to this. And that's how I know I'll be OK. And during our time in Buffalo this weekend, people were raving about it—I honestly felt like everyone we spoke to worked for the city or something: they were selling it that much. And, thankfully, I can talk to a brick wall, and I have absolutely no problem with going up to a woman with a baby and asking her to be my friend. Seriously, I'll do it. And Mike's company is very family-oriented, hosting monthly get-togethers for their employees, so we'll hopefully meet some people through that as well.

When my family was moving from Virginia to Texas when I was twelve, and I was really upset about leaving my three best friends, my mother said that there was no guarantee that my friends wouldn't move away too—and they all did within the next two to three years. Part of me would love for my friends to start moving away, so we're not the only ones. But then I want them to stay so we can see them when we visit NYC. It's selfish on both accounts, I know. I spend a lot of time with my mommy friends discussing this. While I know we'll have friends who will forever stay in New York City and its surrounding areas, and while there are lots of parents who raise kids in New York City, it's just not for us. This move was inevitable, but it doesn't make it any easier to say good-bye to a city that was very good to us. The idea of leaving our friends and family in New York City is not something we're looking forward to. What makes it even harder, for me, is that we're not telling my grandparents, who live forty-five minutes outside the city. They're not quite all with it, so there's no point in upsetting them for something they won't remember or comprehend in a day or two. But for all our other friends and family, they know we'll be back to visit. 

Buffalo will be good for us. It will be great for R. It will great for our families. We know this. We may have to remind ourselves of this often on the hard days, but deep down, we know it to be true. This weekend we went to Buffalo to find a place to live. We're going to rent for a year or two to make sure that we do like Buffalo, and if so, renting in Buffalo will allow us to save some money for a house there. So while we're renting, we're going to live in the city to get a feel for it and to research where we'll want to eventually settle. We thought we found a great place, only to be turned down because the landlord doesn't want a family (clearly we should have brought R with us so he could see how chill she is. Not that I generally wish ill will on people, but a little part of me not-so-secretly hopes he gets two disrespectful tenants instead). We did have reservations about the landlord, thinking he may be a bit of an annoyance . . . so his turning us down isn't all bad. We do feel like we're settling a bit on our second choice, but it's a rental, not our forever home. And there are certainly some positives to it too. Everything happens for a reason, and everything really does work out in the end. These are two things I've always believed, which is why I know that this move will be good for us regardless of what happens.

So there you have it: our exciting news part two. For those of you who live in NYC, we'll be doing a going-away party soon. For any of our friends and family, please come visit us once we get settled (and my guess is you'll want to do this before winter or after, though everyone tells me I'm exaggerating how bad it is)! I mean, I know Buffalo probably isn't at the top of your traveling bucket list, but Niagara Falls and Toronto and the Finger Lakes are a hop, skip, and a jump away. And who knows, maybe after just a few weeks I'll have the same mentality as everyone else we talked to and I'll be selling you on Buffalo itself.

I guess I should probably break out those Bills and Sabres shirts Mike got me now. . . .

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