That is the only word that comes to mind when I reflect back on February.
Towards the end of January, my husband had a conversation with his coworkers that included a joking comment which turned into a whirlwind life changing moment.
For at least ten years, my husband has been commuting about an hour to work each way, every day. Which he has never complained about. He makes his rounds calling each of his stores to check in during that time. Gets to kind of decompress so to speak.
He oversees a group of car dealerships two counties over from where we live now. While we will never be close to every single one of the dealerships, we could be a bit more centralized allowing him to drive a little less in each direction.
It came up in that conversation with his coworkers that maybe he should relocate closer to work. He made a joke, they made a joke, and the next thing I know it was a real topic of conversation in our household.
When the idea came up, I immediately thought about how great it could be for our family if he was able to get home to us quicker and maybe be home more often – an obvious benefit. The few farthest away stores could be 1.5-2 hours away each way depending on traffic.
The idea continued to circulate until we decided to start looking at some areas, two counties over, closer to the center of his work. The county has varying types of environments.
Towards Baltimore, it is obviously a bit busier and more fast paced. Many of the areas would require that our children attend private school ($$$). Towards the top of the county, in some of the small towns, the closest grocery store is 30+ minutes away with great schools. A compromise had to be made one way or the other and we struggled on which direction to lean.
Our current home is two miles from a major highway which can get you to Baltimore in 50-60 minutes or Philadelphia in 40-50 minutes. There are grocery stores, dry cleaners, liquor stores, DUNKIN DONUTS (do we need anything else?) in every different direction you travel. But our house sits on 5 acres of what looks like farm land so you have a very rural vibe. An area like this is not easy to come by.
We decided in order to buy + move, we would have to sell the home we are living in because if not, we’d be adding on a 3rd mortgage which is manageable – but not ideal. Getting our house on the market became priority. One problem stood in the way.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that a few months ago we tore out our master bathroom and decided to slowly remodel it to the bathroom of our dreams.
You cannot list a home for sale without a master bath.
I spent days and days searching for a contractor that could begin our bathroom immediately – being told by many that they couldn’t start until May, or August even. Once we found someone that could start quickly, I shuffled around picking all of the tile and fixtures for the bathroom to be remodeled just to be listed + sold.
That sounds fun but it is not easy to pick things for others, even harder when you want to be picking for yourself. But I did it. I got all the plans in line and signed the dotted line to get it started.
We began attending open houses, scheduling showings, and really narrowing down where we wanted to be.
A really beautiful brick house won our hearts in an area close to my husbands work, in a gorgeous tree lined neighborhood dating back to the early 90’s. It was older than our current house and clearly needed a lot of updating.
While I love decorating, the idea of starting over after I finally got our house where I wanted it to be was very stressful for me. I was feeling a lot of anxiety over how much work would need to be done.
A few days after we set our eyes on that house, my husband made his first trip home from one of the farther away stores. He called me, sounding slightly perplexed, to tell me that his GPS said 55 minutes from home. We both stopped in our tracks.
Fifty-five minutes is roughly the same drive he does everyday.
We decided he would have to try the drive again, during a weekday morning, to see if it was just a fluke or if that was an accurate number. It said 1 hour and 10 minutes, a little farther than the night before, but still a similar drive to what he currently has.
We were stunned. We had been looking into uprooting our entire lives, moving two counties over away from the friends we had made, farther from my family, leaving behind the preschool we’ve grown to love, the house we’ve made a home, etc.
After we discussed it further, we decided that he would need to talk to his supervisor to make sure that relocating was not a requirement and that staying wouldn’t hinder his future.
He called me the next day to tell me that his supervisor said ‘stay’ and that staying wouldn’t change anything for him.
We decided to stay.
The idea of moving two counties over to an older house needing updates that ours doesn’t, on a smaller piece of land, in a zone that would require our kids to go to private school, for DOUBLE the price made no sense whatsoever to us.
Now, after almost two weeks of finding out that we can stay – I have realized that not only am I happy in this house (that I never thought I would move into) but I am content. Being content is equally as important.
There are things that I would still like to continue to do to our house, plans that we made before moving in but this home is the only one that I can picture our family in.
Though I did have to work on changing some of the plans for the master bathroom to make it what we dreamed of. They were very simple changes and now the remodel has begun.
If nothing else, I have learned that I love this house more than I thought + we got to have our bathroom done a little quicker than we would have been able to complete it.
Ah, life’s lessons.