Last fall, my wife and I made the decision to move our family 700 miles west to Colorado later this year.
Are we crazy? Possibly! Did we weigh everything from being close to family to the expenses we would need to move? Yes! Has it been one of the toughest decisions we have made as a couple and a family? 100%!
Our family currently includes my wife, myself, a 3-year-old, and three dogs. We made this decision in less than 72 hours, but it was the longest 72 hours of my life. During those three days we talked to each other, we talked to ourselves, and we talked to our families (that was slightly terrifying for me).
See, the big thing here is that I have NEVER been outside of my hometown except for my four years in college. I was born in Kansas City, raised in Kansas City, and now raising my family and working in Kansas City. I can drive this town with my eyes closed. I know the shortcuts and fastest routes. I am terrible at directions, but I can tell you how many stop lights, stop signs, and turns there are between point A and point B. Why would I ever want to go anywhere else? This place is home, the only place I have ever known. I have a career here and pictured myself retiring in this school district.
If this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that life changes and we might have to reach out of our comfort zone to find a new normal and experience something new and different. Oh, and we CAN do hard things!
So, when my wife told me she applied for this job at Colorado School of Mines, we both laughed. “HA, that would be great, but no way they are going to choose a girl from the middle of Kansas City to interview for this job,” we both said.
Well, about a week later, Kylie comes home and tells me she landed an interview. “OK, that’s crazy, but no way a girl from the middle of Kansas City will get a second interview.” Next thing I know, she gets a third interview. I am still in disbelief and ignoring that fact that she might actually get a job that is two states, 700 miles, and a 9-hour drive away.
It’s a Friday afternoon and she has a call with her “boss.”
Oliver and I go outside to play so she can talk to this person. We come back inside and she casually tells me that they offered her the job, but she knows there is no way we are moving so she will let them know on Monday that she can’t accept.
OK, so I’m thinking, “Correct, you can’t accept, we can’t move, it is craziness to even think that.” We didn’t talk AT ALL about this the rest of the night. Then, Saturday we start thinking about how this would work, if it’s even possible.
The cost of living in Colorado is so much higher. We would have ZERO family out there, when we have two sets of grandparents, multiple aunts and uncles, and cousins, and so many friends right down the street. We want to have another kid in the next year or so. I am finishing a Specialist Degree and can’t get out of my contract in the middle of the year.
As the type A people we are, we reach out to a realtor in Colorado, we talk to our families and friends, we plan out how much we would have to make to have the life we want out there. I talked to my administrators about the move, I did a quick research of school districts and childcare options. By Sunday night, we’d weighed the pros and cons and came to an answer. I still have trouble believing it.
—More money for both of us
—It’s Colorado (period)
—Amazing career move for Kylie
—Family can come visit whenever
—Fresh start with a new school district
—More liberal state for our family
—Again, it’s Colorado
—Cost of living is much higher
—We know nothing about life in Colorado except for vacation
—All of our family and friends live right down the street
—I have to job search
We are moving our family two states, 700 miles, and a 9-hour drive away. I don’t know anything but Lee’s Summit, Missouri! I don’t know anything but Hy-Vee and Quik Trip. I don’t know anything except for Kansas City.
Why are we doing this then?
My wife works in Higher Education and those jobs are hard right now with the pandemic. She didn’t have anywhere to grow at her current place of employment because the office was so young and no one was looking to leave anytime soon. I can teach or become a principal anywhere and, honestly, probably need to branch out of the only area I know. Oliver is young enough that he doesn’t know any better. Colorado is beautiful with so many places to explore.
Our family will visit (probably more than we want), I will find a school district that I love, and the most important thing is that my wife can accept a dream job where she can grow and be recognized for her talents.
Some of the big questions/thoughts that helped make our decision include….
- Seeing the big picture
- What’s the worst that could happen?
- Is this a growth opportunity personally and professionally?
- Can we survive?
- Will the opportunity to come back to Missouri be available?
While the middle of a pandemic is not the most ideal time to make a huge life change, we know that we are going into this with excitement, support, and a new opportunity that will greatly impact our current family and the family we hope to add to very soon.
Any and all advice on big moves is welcomed. Colorado, here we come!