Moving Pains or: How I’m Learning To Stop Worrying And Love NWA

I come to you at the beginning of something, and the end of a lot of other things. Together Ike, Elliott, the soon-to-arrive Ira, and I just moved from Little Rock to Fayetteville. I wish I could put on my finely tuned, happy-go-lucky blogging voice and tell you moving was tough (boxes!), but well worth it, but that voice just doesn’t quite fit. No matter how I pull it, it’s too tight in some places and way too big in others. So like a turtleneck tunic? Did I just invent that? If so, it should never actually be worn. Just say no, people.

Anyway, back to my writing dilemma. I want to be positive. I want to put on a brave face, but this move was, is and will probably continue to be hard for a while. Are you ok with being real with me for a few minutes? If not, you can at least enjoy this Elliott picture before you move on to your regularly scheduled Internet skimming.

4 Reasons Moving Is Hard

1. Leaving a Home

I moved a lot growing up. It’s usually my “interesting fact” in one of those (awful) ice-breaker games. So, I almost always pause when someone asks me where I’m from. I don’t feel like I have a childhood home. And that’s not a sad thing! Moving a lot kept my family close, plus I got to make friends across the country. I don’t bemoan moving as a kid!

But somehow, over the last 5 years, Little Rock became home in a way I’ve never experienced. Maybe it’s because Ike’s family lived within minutes (some of them down the street!). Maybe it’s because we had a wonderful church family who were there for us when we lost jobs, got in a horrible car wreck and Elliott got bitten by our family dog. Maybe it’s because Ike and I were involved in a mentoring program with two great kids. And that’s not to mention I could finally get around without Google Maps, knew all the great local places and had enough Stay-at-Home Mom friends to more than fill our social calendar. The final dagger? Most of my friends were also having their second kids early next year.

So for the past 3 months, my internal conflict would spill into my relationship with Ike, testing our marriage in ways even my month-long stay in the hospital never did. That’s saying a lot. Breaking my back was easier than moving. Things are mending, and I realize missing Ike and his constant support during those hard months is yet another thing that made this move hard. If you’re tracking with me, that’s a convoluted web of HARD.

Whatever it was, the binds between Little Rock and my heart were strong. And cutting those ties hurt. I felt like someone died. I’m sure pregnancy hormones didn’t help. So even though my HEAD knew that Ike’s new job was a beyond-amazing opportunity for his career (as close to a dream job as most people ever get), my HEART kept begging to stay.

2. Selling a Home

This part of the move was inordinately hard. We had a great home in Little Rock. All real hardwoods, great school district, huge kitchen. I loved it, although adding Ira would have made things a little snug. It was our first home, and it holds a lot of great memories.

And things started well! We put our house on the market on a Thursday, we had 4 offers by Saturday and a contract by Sunday! This is where things started to get hard. As we were on the way to make an offer on a house in Fayetteville, we got a call that our contract fell through due to nervous buyers. Although losing that first contract was a little heart-breaking, we had another contract by that evening. Like I said, we had a great house!

If losing the contract would have been the worse thing, I wouldn’t have much more to say about selling a house. But our new buyers were very tough to work with. As in, we had to make a “take this final repair credit or we walk” deal on closing day. CLOSING DAY! It was absolutely exhausting and expensive. I can share what I learned someday if you’re interested. I’m oh so wise now. And I now know a great HVAC guy, handyman, plumber and electrician in Little Rock. Questions, ask me!

3. Buying a Home

Remember how we were on the way to make an offer when our first contract fell through? Well, that meant our house hunting trip was cut short, and just Ike and our realtor were tasked with finding us a place to live.

And they actually did! The big BUT in this situation is that I never got to see the house until the day we moved in. Yes, really. I didn’t realize how much that stress was simmering under the surface until I finally did see the house. It was not love at first sight, but once we cleared a few boxes and arranged our stuff, I started liking it even more than our old home. And like I said, I loved that house!

I think just moving once (instead of into a rental situation) was best for our family, but it did make working with our buyers that much more nerve-racking. If I had it to do it over again, I have no idea if I would take on buying and selling in the same week. It. Was. Rough.

4. Making a Home

This is where we are now. We need to make roots in NWA. I’m way ahead of most people who move to new places, and I’m so thankful. I have a dear friend from Little Rock who moved up here a couple years before we did. She’s been wonderful and even invited me to a weekly play group that Elliott and I have really enjoyed! I also have a college roommate with a soon-to-be 2-year old boy AND a daughter due in January who lives here. She and her husband have been beyond hospitable and I’m also so thankful for how they took care of Ike during our month transition.

We have visited the same church the last two weeks and we see a lot of potential there, but we still need to find a small group and something like the Little Rock mentoring program to get involved in so we truly feel at home in a spiritual sense. With Ira due to make his arrival just after Christmas, our social calendar would have been cleared even in Little Rock. So I’m just not sure when we’ll really start making new connections here. I’m hopeful, but I’ll be real: it’s going to be a little lonely. Moving to a new place AND growing your family at the same time is an extra-special package of tough. I’ll keep you updated on how that goes.

Are you willing to hang with me as I continue to figure out my place in NWA? It's the end of my Little Rock time, but the beginning of I-have-no-idea-what in Fayetteville. Isn’t that exciting?

See? I promised my happy-go-lucky blogging voice would peek out, too.

Till next time!