Friday, July 4, 2014

This is a story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down...

...Fresh Prince of Bel Air throwback!!! OK, maybe my life flip isn't as drastic or as cool as Will Smith's, but it's still pretty amazing. We could start way back when Jeff was born, but I think we'll just start at last summer. You may remember we visited Maine for our vacation. A cozy lakehouse owned by a distant cousin/relative that Jeff's family frequented a few times when he was a kiddo. He always had great memories of those vacations and that area. A Colorado-forever man he is not, and those memories became seeds of a dream. Rewind a few years more to our wedding in Oregon, which also created seeds of a dream. A dream to try something new. Go toward water, toward a coast, on an adventure. And of course a couple of years ago, what dream project does Jeff begin? Building a boat!

 So, back to our vacation last year. After we got home we began seriously thinking about moving. We started researching areas on both coasts and came to realize Maine might just be the ticket. Lovely. A tiny bit familiar. Coastal. Cheap. The seeds of the dream became a full on botanical garden! Of course there have always been second guesses of "what if we don't like it? what if I can't get a job? what if, what if what if blah blah blah" but the optimist in dear old wifey here kept pressing forward. Fast forward a little to November and Jeff asked his department chair for a letter of rec! Then in the Spring we started scouring the Internet for teaching jobs pretty much anywhere and everywhere in the southern half of Maine. Jeff sent out 11 or 12 applications. UGH. Applications are never fun. But we got the hang of it, that's for sure.

And then we waited. More UGH. And then he got a call! A request for a Skype interview! They loved him. Duh. They wanted to set up a second interview with the superintendent. Not normal for Colorado jobs, but okay. In the meantime he got another call for an interview! They loved him. Duh! And the 2nd school offered him a job a few hours later! For quite a bit more money. It was hard to decide what to do. He liked the feeling he got from the first interview and he wasn't AS sure about the 2nd interview because it was so fast. His initial thought was that it didn't go well because they didn't ask him as many questions. And yet they offered him a job! And so he accepted! WOWZA.

Now things were in a frenzy. It was official, we would be moving to Maine! And of course after the
excitment comes the next wave of worry. We have to sell the house. I contacted a highly recommended realtor and to my dismay I never heard back from him. When I told my amazing neighbor she recommended a realtor she knew and loved and when I contacted her she responded right away. We met with her, went over comps and asking prices. She had a stager meet with us, then a professional photographer. 2 weeks after our initial meeting our house was on the market. (looking gorgeous, I might add.) 16 hours later we had a full price offer! And they wanted to close FAST. WOWZA again!

More exclamations of excitement, followed by more worry. What if the inspection didn't go well. And the appraisal. Of course there were a few glitches, one of which was a HUGE setback of paying for a new roof out of pocket due to a big insurance snafu. But guess what-it worked out and we closed 30 days later. In the meantime we had to pack up the house. Another snafu-the uHual was WAY too small :( We ended up leaving our bikes, plants (one that I had since college, given to me by a dear friend) and a few other things behind, even after stuffing the uhaul, pickup and boat FULL. Lesson learned. Always get the biggest moving van possible.

So the morning after the closing Jeff, Cade, Patsy and Jim headed out on their loooooooooooooooooooooong drive to Maine. It took somewhere around 45 hours and they did it in 4 days. Only one blown trailer tire to show for it. Olivia and I spent a couple of days with my parents and then took a red eye to meet them. Olivia did awesome on the flights. She slept pretty much the entire time, even during the layover. I on the other hand got 2 hours of sleep. UGH. But again, we made it! We made it! Oh, and did I mention the realtor we found in Maine is amazing? She is pretty much the nicest lady ever and she managed to find us basically the only rental in the entire town willing to do month to month. Willing, actually, to even do weekly if we need. To help out teachers. So cool!

So Patsy and Jim stayed with us from Monday to Saturday and helped us unload and unpack into our rental home and our storage shed. We literally could not have made this work without them. We had everything settled by about 24 hours after we arrived. 48 at the latest. We met with our realtor here and looked at 6 homes. And we made an offer on the 3rd one! And we are under contract! Holy moly.

I can hardly comprehend all that has happened in the past 2 months and I know this boring stream of consciousness blog doesn't do it justice, but I wanted to write down what I can remember to look back on.

We have been exploring our new town and its surroundings each day. We've been to the beach 3 times already. The town is unbelievable. It's a historic town with a gigantic shipbuilding yard. I believe 3-4 thousand workers commute into town each day to work there and I'm not sure how many locals are employed there. The main street is a block away from the big river. All the homes are indescribably lovely, be they giant old captains homes or quaint little cottages. (OK, there are some that aren't lovely, but you can hardly see them for all the gorgeous ones in your eyes!) Everyone, and I do mean everyone, is totally and completely kind, welcoming and helpful. I know the grocery store, library, Y and playgrounds. I've chatted with the neighbors, random families at the pool and helpful faces in businesses.

I feel like if ever we were to make a big leap into our dream, this is the most perfect place we could have landed. I know, I know, we have a lot to figure out and there will be plenty of things to take away the tint in my rose colored glasses, but I feel so happy and grateful for how it has all turned out and where we have ended up. Now if only we could get all our family and friends to move here, too!  I can't wait for this month to be over. I don't want to rush it and I want to enjoy each day, but man oh man will it be wonderful moving into our permanent (and completely adorable) new home. Pictures to come, of course :) I can't wait for all four of us to feel totally at home and part of the town.

Dreams really can come true!

PS, Olivia is having a rough go of it. I think she started getting more sensitive and prone to grumpiness a few weeks before the move. Because she's 2? Because she could feel the changes and the tensions that often corresponded? Both? Poor little thing. Tonight she had one of the biggest emotional breakdowns of her short little life. It was extremely frustrating, exhausting and heartbreaking all at once. Yet another reason I can't wait to get settled and into a good routine.

PPS, please know that I love and miss everyone. Things are so chaotic and we haven't had internet, phones, or schedules yet, so I've been bad at keeping in touch. But it's not because I don't think of everyone all the time. You are all so dear to my heart! xoxo


mom said...

I can't stop looking at all the pictures. :-)

Sarah said...

Terri, I am so so so happy for you & your whole family!!! And so inspired by you following your dream! I hope the adjustment is quick and easy and that you continue to make wonderful memories as you build a home and life there. Love you!