The winds of change are a’blowing around here. Maren turned 5 months old today. I don’t know where time goes sometimes. Admittedly, the days are hectic, but holy cow.
She’s babbling, giggling, throwing enormous fits, and finding her brother hilarious. No teeth yet, but I doubt we get to the six month mark before the bottom two come through since we can see them already. She is such a hoot, and a huge contrast to the docile, mellow baby that Silas was. She has some robust opinions! Miss Susannah loves to chew on everything, is fascinated by food and cups going into big people mouths, loves to pull on my hair when she’s sleepy, and is flipping over to her belly constantly. She’s over 17 pounds, is growing some blonde hair, and is wearing 6-9 and 12 month clothes.
In other news, we accepted an unexpected offer on our house this morning. (!)
Yeah, before I could even link the realtor page to Facebook, we had four showings and a lovely offer within the first 36 hours of the post going live. Tim and I were expecting 3 months on the market, which is the average here, and we were very, very wrong. He and I were both really intentional about putting it on the market, going with the theory that it will sell when it sells, but we were not prepared for the response. We have never been so excited about moving, either separately or together!
Why are we moving? This is a very popular question these days. Here’s the answer:
We moved to Lafayette to be closer to Tim’s family, primarily. Being closer to mine by a little bit and closer to Chicago were also bonuses, although we didn’t get to either place any more often than before we moved. All of our important priority boxes were checked upon moving here: university town, UU church, farmers market, good parks/outdoor opportunities, lovely neighbors.
It was clear after we got here that we had underestimated how much we loved Bloomington despite all of our tidy, checked boxes. We were prepared for a little of this, but the compromise of seeing family more didn’t make up for the total loss of community and the assumption of the black sheep persona, it turned out. We knew once we settled in here that we would stay for a period of time but that we wanted to move elsewhere before Si started school.
As time progressed, we decided to stay until we had our second baby for the sake of family help. Surprise! We did that pretty quickly. We also wanted Silas to have closer relationships with family in his baby years. It has been not only enjoyable, but essential to have Rog and Mary Kay so near this past year. They have been over at least once or twice a month since we got here. Heck, Roger was even here on babywatch when I went into labor because Tim was working out of town.
We spent the summer focusing on Tim’s grad work wrapping up. He finishes student teaching the first week of November, so we were presented with a window of opportunity. We could either commit to staying here for 3-5 more years for Tim to establish his teaching career, or we could list the house and see how it goes and make the transition sooner rather than later. At this point, you know what we picked and how (quickly) it went.
We are sad about the shift in how often we will see Tim’s parents, but it’s tempered with the fact that Rog retires this month (YAY) and MK has long school breaks since she is on an academic schedule. Our hope is that we will end up with longer visits, slightly further apart, and in a familiarly rugged, tree lined setting. It’s not much more of a drive to see my family from Bloom, so that isn’t a huge transition. We also found one other kindred family here and we love love love them! We’re still holding out for the hope that they will follow us South.
Tim and I are both terribly excited about our next move, which will be back to Bloomington. It feels 9 out of 10 right, which is really hard to come by in our house. The missing “1” lies in the fact that it isn’t in the Pacific Northwest, but I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon. 🙂
Our carefully considered priorities are a mish mosh of things: rugged terrain and hiking for Tim, a huge lake for me, religious education at our wonderful church for the babies, alternative school settings for them as they get older, work for me (details yet to come, but we aren’t quite ready for that step since we don’t live there yet), like minded people politically speaking, and a support system of motherly neighbors and authentic friends with a similar (and apparently uncommon) parenting philosophy.
These are all important things to us, and as much as we know about ourselves because we work at it, we didn’t take advantage of them as much as we will upon our return. I think leaving and coming back is exactly what needed to happen for us to be really intentional about committing to a larger community and putting down roots, which is something neither of us has ever done. We’ve never been more eager to move in our lives! If you’re lamenting over our move right now, be forewarned that the grown ups in this house really would prefer to live out West, but for the sake of our babies and their relationships with aunts/uncles/cousins/grandparents, we won’t do that for several years. Count your Midwestern blessings and be excited for us.
This time around, we will be renting for a few months, most likely. The goal is to find our long term home, so we don’t want to rush into buying just to avoid renting like we did when we moved to Lafayette. Closings 24 hours apart just about put this lady over the edge last time.
Tim and I are still oscillating between two housing scenarios, so finding something right off the bat when we aren’t sure what we want seems daunting, at best. If we have some sort of revelation before then, we will consider buying, but I am doubtful at this point. We are scheduled to close December 1. Such a weird time to move, right? Apparently we love to move in the dead of winter.
Bring on the boxes! Kenzi, that’s your cue.