The past few weeks we’ve been through all of the emotions that go along with making a huge life decision. We thought we’d chicken out, we worried we might be making the wrong decision, then we finally made the decision and were a little sad about it. Now that we’ve had some time to let it sink in and have filled in the people we talk to every day as well as our kids’ schools, Matt and I are actually feeling proud of ourselves for making what we feel is the best decision for our family’s future.
We’re moving to Austin because we love the city and want to raise our kids there. For a slower paced life with easy access to great restaurants and entertainment as well as the lake and more opportunities to be outdoors. It’s a beautiful metropolitan city that we can continue to grow alongside and invest in, where we can get a little more land for our kids to run a bit freer, and a little more flexibility to spend our money on a new business venture and more travel, rather than prepping for (gulp) 40k private middle and high schools in Los Angeles. (I know that’s shocking, but it’s the truth. By the time our three kids get to middle school, we would’ve been looking at $120,000/year minimum just for tuition).
Anyway, Matt has traveled to Austin a ton for business and he’s been selling me on the culture for years. Literally years. He brought us there when Sterling (now almost five) was just a baby, but I didn’t want to leave what we knew. Our friends. My family is mostly in Pennsylvania, so that’s not the issue, and Matt’s mom will move, too, wherever we go. But friends. Our schools. Those became our community, even if five miles of distance here sometimes means sitting in 45 minutes of traffic and it makes it tough to see your people. You’ve heard me complain, I mean, blog about that here …hehe.
We’ve been ready for a change for a while, with Matt commuting more than three hours per day to trek just 24 miles round trip. He’s a lifelong entrepreneur and is ready to start up again on his own. Our own, actually, because I’m getting involved this time! (Can’t wait to tell you guys about our new business, but not yet!)
Change is hard. Even when we were 80 percent sure about relocating, the thought of moving away from our beloved friends and the kids’ schools was heartbreaking for me.
Then Matt said something that helped me gain perspective. “With a huge life decision like this, you’re not going to feel 100 percent sure. But basing our whole lives on staying in LA for our kids’ preschool and elementary school isn’t what’s best for our whole family”.
This reminded me of something I’ve been working on: it doesn’t matter what it looks like on the outside. We don’t have to be perfect or know 100 percent that this is the right decision forever. But right now, the fact that it feels right is enough.
Now that we’ve had time to let it settle in, I’m actually getting excited because of the one part that has felt so right: we’ll get some time back.
For me, with very little family around, there’s nothing more precious. For Matt to be able to come to parent-teacher conferences again or see our son’s football practice every once in a while. For the kids to come home from school and have a big old backyard with a tree to climb and the freedom to ride their bicycles to a friends’ house. Where property tax is on par with Los Angeles but funds some of the best public schools in the nation, which means the families in the neighborhood actually use the school system. Our kids’ friends will live in the same area as us!!!
It feels like we’re taking control of how we spend our time, swapping in the ocean (well, kind of — 60+ minutes in the car for a handful of miles means we don’t often go), palm trees and over-scheduling for Lake Austin, a more laid-back lifestyle and, well, humidity.
So…we plan to work hard, play hard and do our best to just live life to the fullest in our soon-to-be new city. My friends know I like a full house, so I expect lots of visitors!
Austin, ready or not here we come!
One of the final steps that we actually thought would be a lot easier is selling our house. I won’t put the address on here, but we’re selling our beautiful Cape Cod that’s we’ve poured so much love and time into. From the Serena & Lily wallpaper to the gift wrapping station to the drought-wise decking in the backyard, our house is ready for the next happy family to come call it home. I’d like to say it’s ‘more than move in ready’ because the traditional expenses of moving into a new construction home are already in place – upgraded sound system, top of the line, remote controlled window treatments, plantation shutters and french screen doors…you’d be all set up for good living here…take a look!