Okay...here it goes.
Chris and I are considering moving to the Tampa, Florida area.
For those of you who know us somewhat, this will not come as much as a surprise.
First, Chris worked from there for a year, getting to know the area some and the weather a lot. He liked what he saw for the most part. He has joined a long term contract that will continue to bring him to the Florida area as well as at least one other area as of right now.
There are clearly things we like about the area, the obvious one being the weather. We would love to live in a warm to hot area. The proximity to the ocean is key as well. Additionally, there are fun things for us to do as a family year around (opposed to fun things to do inside during the winter here). We have researched the area up one side and down the other, finding areas in and around Tampa that have grade A school systems elementary through high school, are safe (low crime) and are in our price range. We watched one house we loved sell. Now there is another we love, and others we would like to see.
Initially, we did not tell the kids. But, Chris asked them one night at dinner (much to my surprise). Their feedback was positive with hesitation. But, they are kids. They don't really know what they are saying, what to expect, what fears and hesitations they should have (LIKE WE DO!). Alivia is probably 50-50. She knows what it is like to start a new school, and she is hesitant with that. When she sees homes we are looking at, that gets her excited. She knows she will miss her friends here, but she will be able to visit them because they all live close to her grandparents. Addison (who is like me), throws more caution to the wind and is ready to go. She is set with her face time with friends if we move and is ready. Asher is more like Alivia and says he will miss his little friends he has made. He is really too young to comprehend what is going on (I think he should have been left out of the conversation until we knew what we were doing. It just causes too unnecessary worry).
We have had the real estate agents come through, tell us what they would price our house at, and when we should do it (like yesterday). We have been in touch with a recommended real estate agent in Florida who has been quite helpful. We have the loan pre approval (so we can refinance if we stay), the house is organized and cleaned, and moving company estimates.
Now, we just have to decide.
I am not analytical like Chris. So, I have made my decision. Chris likes to keep us all hanging in Limbo (can you sense my frustration?). At this point, I just want to say let's just stay because I am so sick of being in limbo. I can't do anything to the house because we may move. I feel like I can't buy anything (like buy clothes for the kids for next year) because I don't know where we will be living. The whole limbo thing is getting quite old and frustrating. We gave ourselves until the end of March to decide.
Chris and I know this is a now or never decision. If we do not move now, it will probably never happen. The longer we are here, the more difficult it will be to do later. I am, for all intents and purposes, a single child. There is a small window now where my parents are retired but they do not need my help. That will not always be the case. We will, someday, have to move back to be near our parents. If we ever want to live in the land of the warm near the ocean, it is truly now or never.
Are we being selfish by leaving our family behind? Maybe. It depends upon how you look at it. Many people we know live here away from family. It happens and it works. They visit and they go to visit them. Chris talked to his parents about the possibility of our relocation, but I have yet to talk to mine. I know my family's opinion from the last time this came up.
We are an active family. I HATE being stuck inside all winter because I do not like being cold. We all go stir crazy. We are hoping that our family would visit us if we moved, but we can not count on that. Some of our family does not visit now and we live near them. So, who knows. We will miss our family here in the midwest, but we know we would come back to visit, keep in close contact with them like we do now, etc, etc. We only get one life...where do we want to spend it and how do we want to spend it? Our parents chose to live here, do we have to forever too?
The main hesitation for not moving at all is the kids, the unknown factors, the expense of selling, buying and moving, the question of if I will get a job there and where (I'm pretty sure I can get a job, but one can't be so sure), the kids the kids the kids, etc, etc. It is a big deal to pick up a family of 5, hire a moving company, and truck it 25 hours away. Chris would continue to work from home and travel to the Tampa, office and other work sites as he does not. So, as of now, his job would remain pretty much the same.
The month of March is coming to an end. I am hoping our time in Limbo is too.
Suggestions? Feedback? How do we decide? This all sounds vaguely familiar...