Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Letting the Cat Out

The first, last and only time a kitty picture will ever be featured.

We are moving.

Not just across town. We are moving across the country, people. Trading Northeast for Southwest. Snow boots for flip flops. Longjohns for SPF. Green for brown. Wet for dry. You get the idea.

Because, for the past six months, we've been asking ourselves the following:
  • If Brad's new job can be done any place with a major airport and high speed internet, then why are we living hundreds of miles away from our closest relatives?
  • Do we love our current house enough to sink a boatload of cash into bathroom and kitchen remodeling? Or do we just want to start over with a newer house? In a place with lower taxes?
  • When exactly is the least-pyschologically-damaging window for uprooting children? Before, during or after middle school?
  • Can we just count moving cross-country as our joint midlife crisis and get it over with?

After letting the answers simmer for awhile, and giving the whole thing a lot of thought and prayer, we feel like we're doing the right thing. Gulp.

So, that is the February excitement around here.

Please, feel free to share your advice and opinions.

I would particularly appreciate suggestions regarding:

  • Blitzkrieg cleaning strategies.
  • Staging a home to sell quickly.
  • Keeping a house "realtor ready" with four active children.
  • And a traveling husband.
  • Without abusing refined carbohydrates.


  • Finding the best homes/schools/neighborhoods.
  • Helping kids cope with a cross-country move.
  • Living in the same town as the in-laws. (Just kiddin', Nana!)
  • Making new friends at age 39.
  • Camouflaging figure flaws in 110-degree heat.

And, please. Don't ask how I am going to survive without cheesesteaks, water ice, historic charm, spring blossoms, fall foliage, trainrides into New York, day trips to the beach, and thirteen years' worth of the absolute best friends a girl could ask for. I can't go there.


Chandler and Dani said...

That's so sad! Well... actually I guess I'm not on the east coast anymore either. So I suppose I should be really happy for you guys! I think my parents are having a hard time justifying living so far from family too. Now is probably the best time for the kids -- I did not like moving during and after middle school!!! Good luck! (PS what state?)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're headed into my neck of the woods! It takes some adjusting, but I really like it out here.

Jeanelle said...

Oh my goodness! How exciting, scary, wonderful and awful all in one. Since 1. I lived in the same house my entire life 2. stink at saying goodbye and 3. love carbs too much, the only thing I have to offer is that this move of yours may enable us to meet at some point because I have family in the desert too. Good news, right? Oh wait! I have something! Buy the celery hearts at Sam's and top with peanut butter or laughing cow. I don't know why I don't eat this every dang day - celery is really the yummiest healthy snack. There. I helped. ;)

Diane said...

I moved from the Seattle area to Utah after 22 years - that was quite a change!

If you really want some hints about moving/selling, email me, and I'll give you a rundown - too long for here. My feelings won't be hurt if you don't need any more advice than you may already be getting.

marta said...

hooray hooray. i can't believe it gab. i really thought you'd be eating 'wuuter ice' every summer of your whole lives. i am excited for your uprooting adventure. your new digs are going to be beautiful and your old digs will sell fast. i'm gonna miss that happy house, it is SO SO SO cute. can't wait to watch your adventures unfold. congrats on coming to such a big decision!

diane said...

Woo hoo! I have no advice, I'm just excited that you will be close enough for a visit.

Annie said...

Wow! Congratulations. It sounds like... Arizona? Sending all the best moving vibes your way. It'll be a great adventure. (I'm a little sad not to have you on this coast, though. Sigh.)

Tristan said...

I'm excited for you! What a big change! But it sounds to me like it is a good one :)

No advice either, but I like that you will be closer!

queenieweenie said...

San Diego would LOVE you! Where are you moving too???

Mique (as in Mickey) said...

Gabi- where the heck are you moving to? From what you wrote, you could be my next door neighbor. Southwest? Check. SPF? Check. Flip flops? Check. Even 110 degrees in the summer. I'm kinda thinking it's AZ but if it happens to be my neighborhood- I will be THRILLED. End the suspense and tell us where. Pretty please?

brooke said...

I'm so excited for you and a little jealous. I have always wanted to pick up and start over somewhere else just for the adventure of it.

With that said, I think keeping a house "ready to show" with small children is a mother's hell. When my realtor would call and say someone was coming, I would quickly gather all the clutter and stuff I had no time to put away or just nowhere good to hide and put it in a laundry basket and put it in the car with us and drive away. I always had the beds made every morning (which I don't do normally) and I would hide all kinds of yucky towels and stuff in the dryer.

I also kept clorox wipes under every sink and just grabbed one and did the blitz clean on every counter before we left. It basically sucks but it will be so worth it when you move out west closer to your awesome families.

I'm happy for you!

Melissa Walker said...

If I can do it with 4 kids under 8, one of them a new born, anyone can! It just takes frequent circles around the house, picking up 5 minutes here and there. Then if anyone is coming, we'd do a quick wipe down like Brooke said. The kids knew the routine--clean checks before school and before bed.
And right now, the heat sounds pretty darn good!

Lindsey said...

Seriously girl. I feel for you on ALL the issues.. But I am here for you! I will hold your hand and I will EVEN be so kind to find your house RIGHT IN MY OWN NEIGHBORHOOD! Ok?? :)

I am really not kidding about that.. just tell me what you are looking for!

Annemarie said...

Very exciting! I'm happy that you'll be a little closer!

Heather said...

I think that you would like Colorado. Come out here! Excited for you though! Can't wait to hear more!

♥Shally said...

In a few years you will be a total cold wimp like me.

It was 52 today and I was FREEZING.

♥Shally said...

And I liked the kitty picture... :)

JR Morgan said...

If it's not San Diego don't bother. :0)

Travelin'Oma said...

I can't wait to have you a day's drive away!! My tips for showing a house include having a plan, and a couple of realtor drills. Make assignments and just yell "This is not a drill" when you get the call. Assignments include:
Turn on every light in the house.

Turn on soft music.

Put a couple of frozen rolls, or a tray of frozen cookies in the oven and bake.

Wipe down toilets, sinks, hang up towels. Make sure everything's flushed.

Run through house with large plastic garbage bag and stash dirty clothes, shoes, coats, etc.

Straighten beds, and put on a mesmerizing, not obnoxious movie.

Hang cute calendars or pictures over any obvious holes in doors or walls.

Paint baseboards. (It brightens everything and is much easier than painting walls.)

Grind up some lemons in the disposal but not all the way, and leave them in there.

It the house is truly a mess, get the vacuum out and put it close to the front door, with some cleaning products in a tote. Apologize profusely because you're in the middle of spring cleaning.

GOOD LUCK!! I'm totally excited to have you in the western half of the country!

Jamie said...

What a perfect time for me to de-lurk! I only recently found your blog, and have never said hi-but I've actually done this (except for the 13 year part, that would be hard-sorry!)

The biggest tip I have on the house clean part is to pack up everything you don't *need*, it's okay to have fewer toys, clothes, towels, etc... for a little while. The less you have to make a mess out of, the less likely you are to cause physical or mental harm for your children.

I also second the "throw everything in baskets and take it with you" plan, It's a fabulous way to improve life-and again, not freak out too much-which seriously little people.

Good Luck! P.S.-Love reading your blog, so glad I found you!

Christie said...

I've been pouting a little, feeling like you are deserting me. Then Josh reminded me that we actually were the ones who first deserted you. We'll have to find a way to make Thanksgiving work. We don't know how to have turkey without you.

That being said, I have TONS of moving advice. Cookie dough is essential (like others have said) to pop into the oven and make your house smell divine. I like Brooke's way of throwing it all in a basket and taking it with you.

On the making friends: Stake out people in church and the neighborhood who have kids your kids' ages. Then find out their names and invite them over the first week you are in town. Bonus if the mom looks like someone you would like to hang out with. Don't wait for people to invite you over - just invite them. It saves time and gets you instant friends.

The kids will do great - we just would role play with ours about how to make new friends and what to say at recess and lunch. They liked it and I think ultimately it was a good learning experience for them.

I have so much to say - I really will call or email the rest. Congrats on a very exciting move. I'll try to stop pouting about it.

the wrath of khandrea said...

we are moving in june. again. i can give you all kinds of fabulous advice, all of it reality based. i'll let you know what you're REALLY in for...

Heidi said...

Oh, I'm so excited, Gab! I hope the cutest couple comes in and sees your cute house and just can't stop thinking about it. It's so cute, it's sure to sell in a snap. I'm so glad I came one last time on our sista trip. I love that proximity to NYC. I hoped one day to bring out all my kids... but, this definitely makes a lot more sense doesn't it. Our kids can't wait! Jac's thrilled for baseball, Jazz games and a great getaway in exactly one year! Count on it!
Good luck.

Amanda D said...

How exciting for you, Gabi! Good luck with the whole process. Sounds like a big job!

Jessica said...

I'm excited. I travel to AZ waaay more than I travel to PA. (Like once a year to see Adrianne.)

I am sorry about the actual moving part of the whole thing. I've repressed everything and never actually sold a house while living in it (we just keep them and rent them out and/or make our renters sell it!).

I think you need to rethink your No Carb Abuse plan, though, for sure.

Lauren in GA said...

I am excited for you, Gabi.

We searched the Internet for info on schools in the area we were moving to, and then we visited the local church building on a Wednesday night and visited with the Bishop briefly. (Our building is the Stake Center so we actually met two Bishops and one showed us a map of the area.) While there we there we asked people about schools and their suggestions as to where to buy a home. Of course, we got the luxury of driving down and visiting the area before moving here.

The new house part is going to be fun. I like looking for houses.

kara jayne said...

i cannot even tell you how excited i am. but i'm going to have to fight your in-laws for turf. you must live on this side of the city...please! you are coming at the best time to buy. tons of options and low low prices. i don't want to sound pathetic, but you really have to live by me. there are two houses just on my street for sale...with my same floor plan. you've seen my floor plan. it's a good one.

about selling, staging, etc...oma is pretty much the bomb...as usual.

i did the same thing with four kids 5 years old and under just about 4 years ago. you can do it. luckily the weather is breaking and you can force your kids outside more.

good luck. you will be in our prayers and please please call with any questions.

oh, and the schools in my area are the top in the state.

MomBabe said...

Oh yay!

AZ is the BEST!

And you can get a fantastic house for two dollars right now. Lucky. ;)

Jenibelle said...


You're going to be fine. What a wonderful adventure!!!

Marci said...

This is such big news! And exciting too! You will get to visit Utah more often, right? I am sure you will miss your lovely home, in your beautiful neighborhood. And all things PA! But for the girl that even made the married housing at BYU look incredible, I am sure you will find the perfect home to trade it for. And my brother could live just about anywhere in the US picked AZ too - so it must be awesome! I am excited to hear all about your new adventures!

Anonymous said...

as far as I've been told, Gilbert still has the best school district. I'm in Mesa, but the Gilbert district, half our stake is Gilbert, and despite the summers, you'll find everything your heart desires here, plus the snow is only a few hours away! There are some great houses avaliable in my area & you all would fit into Eastridge Ward so perfectly!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot another plus, we are also close enough to Phoenix -Mesa airport, new & growing, but less expensive flights!

mama jo said...

your mom just told me about your news...that's so exciting...i'm sure you'll get used to warm weather soon...took me a winter season...and when your kids are playing outside in january you'll be sold...good luck....

Rochelleht said...


I am excited and sad for you all at the same time. I've sold two houses, but lucky me, they sold within a week, so it was not too hard. Just keep it clean at all times, smelling nice and it will sell. It's such a charmer. I don't think you'll have a problem.

I hope you can handle warm winters after the Northeast. That's going to be a real burden, I'm sure.

Melissa said...

I'm a lurker but had to comment. We've been pondering all these same questions, living in the MD/DE/PA area with all our family out west, and a job that should be able to move with us. Our biggest concern is our kids....

Good luck to you! I'll be following for inspiration, while I'd love to be out west closer to family, we really feel home here... dilemmas!

Robin said...

We moved 3 years ago and it was a wonderful thing for our family. I am excited for you!

calibosmom said...

Its gonna be GREAT and just think, you'll have lots of people to stay with when you come back to visit-that includes me up here in NH. Keep us posted on all your moving adventures.

Meg said...

How exciting for you family. Good luck with your move!

P.S. I mentioned your blog on my blog post the other day...

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