Big, big changes are coming at Stately Wasser Manor. It's kind of weird that I haven't written about it yet, but I think the change is so big that it's hard for me to get my head around it. Much easier to focus on the little things, like the fact that Jack had a record three tantrums in half an hour this morning. But here it is:
Stately Wasser Manor is moving.
Moving a lot, in fact. The boys and I are moving from Northern Virginia to the midwest, specifically to my homeland of the Quad Cities.
The change is going to be really good for us. Steve and I are increasingly frustrated with Northern Virginia. It's really crowded and congested here, making just about anything we might want to do a giant pain in the ass. We spend far too much time in the car driving too and from work, and there's just no telling if traffic will be bad or not. today, for example, it took me three times longer than usual to get to work for no apparent reason -- no bad weather, no accidents, just inexplicably clogged roads. Things that should be simple are daunting. Steve suggested a few weeks ago that Jack and I meet him at the mall for dinner and a little shopping on a Friday night. I realized that in order for me to leave work, pick up Jack, and drive to the mall -- which theoretically is not far away -- I'd have to take off work early.
This is also a very expensive place to live. Home values are such that, honestly, one of us would have to have an unexpected windfall for us to be able to afford a single-family home, compared to the townhouse that we have now. SWM is big enough for us now, but I would love for Jack to have a back yard and for Steve to have a room to use as an office. When we move, we'll be able to get a whole lot more house for our money.
In theory, we live in a big area, and there are lots of things for us to do. Great restaurants, museums, and so on. But the reality is, it's so much effort to get to any of those things that we just don't do it. I don't want to drive more than half an hour to go out to eat, no matter how good the food is. I'd love to take Jack to the zoo, but between the drive time and his nap, it's just not possible. Even getting together with our friends can be a herculean effort, such that most of the time, the boys and I just hang out at home.
The other thing is that we are living in this very busy and stressful environment with absolutely no family support. Steve and I are a great team, but right now, our great team only has its two star players, with no one on the bench. I'd love to be able to leave Jack with his grandparents so we could go out to a movie, or even just a leisurely trip to the grocery store. I have fond memories of Sunday dinner at my Mimi's house, and I would like for Jack to be able to do the same thing. I also think about Jack cutting himself on Sunday. If we lived near family, we could have called my mom and Doug and had them come by and shovel our walk and maybe make us dinner so Steve and I didn't have to stress about it.
After surprisingly little discussion (though it's something we'd both thought about in the past), Steve and I decided that it is time to pull up stakes. Northern Virginia, you won -- we're out of here. We sold Stately Wasser Manor and are looking for new jobs. Our last day of work will be March 9, and the truck comes for all of our stuff on March 21. We'll stay with my mom and step-dad until we find new jobs and a new house.
It is hard for me to look at the big picture because the changes are so big and there's so much to do. But when I imagine where the three of us will be a year from now, the choice is clear. It's time to make a change.