It’s been seven months since I wrote the blog post called For Sale about how we had two houses on the market and were living life in limbo. That seems a world away now, although change and adjustment have been constants in our lives since then. If we’re IRL or FB friends, then you probably already know that we did indeed sell our house in Little Rock and have moved back to Missouri. I’ve sort-of mentioned it here on the blog and you may have noticed that the backdrop has changed in our photos, but I never really wrote about the big changes.
The number one question I get asked about our move is whether it is a good thing or not. My answer is always longer than the asker bargained for. The short of it is, yes, it is a good thing. There were many factors that pointed us back from whence we came, including:
- Real Estate – As I mentioned in the For Sale post, we were never able to sell our house in Ozark, MO when we moved to Little Rock four years ago. Paying two mortgages was not only a financial burden, but also a major headache, as it is very difficult to manage a property from afar. Our two houses are similar in size and accoutrements, but selling the house in Ozark meant losing about $60,000 dollars while selling the house in Little Rock turned about a $20,000 profit simply based on the state of the market in those two cities.
- Schools – in Little Rock the school systems are a bit of a mess. That, in addition to kindergarten age cut-off dates, had led us through a mind-boggling process of choosing an elementary school that ended in us putting Carina in a fantastic private school. Two kids in private school is about $16,000 per year, or $192,000 over 12 years. In Ozark, we can walk to our neighborhood public elementary school, which is in one of the best school systems in the region. We are two months into the school year, and I am very impressed thus far.
- Family – We have no family in Little Rock. My mom and several of my other relatives live here in the Southwest Missouri region. In addition, at the time that we decided to move, Craig had been commuting to Northwest Arkansas for work during the week for nearly a year. He would make the 3.5 hour trip on Monday morning and return on Thursday night each week. Our house in Missouri is actually closer to his work site than our house in Arkansas, so we thought it would mean less time in the car for Craig.
- Work – We are under no guise that Craig commuting to Arkansas for work is a good idea for the long term. Part of the impetus for moving was the realization that his employer wasn’t really motivated to do what needed to be done to allow Craig to return to working in Little Rock. Our ultimate goal is to have our family all together in one place all the time. While I can’t yet post here what our plans are, we’re working toward that now.
So, that’s the background of our move. Although I have moved around a lot throughout my life, this particular move was a unique experience for me. Neither Craig or I have ever moved back to a place that we moved away from. It’s been a bit deja-vu-ish at times. It was odd to not have to discuss where to put our furniture when we moved back into our house and funny to see the neighbors’ reactions when we explained that we are the original owners of the house. The changes to our town and the region over the past four years are surprising and fun to see. The difference in the way that I feel about small town living after having lived in Little Rock is interesting too (I’m more appreciative of it). I truly feel that we are where we are supposed to be. Certainly there are some people and things that I miss about Little Rock, but I am happy here. I feel like I’m “home”.
On the other hand, some parts of this new chapter in our lives are completely different. Our kids were itty bitty when we lived here before, so all the school and sports related experiences are new and exciting. I’m active with the PTA and the kids are making tons of new friends through school, playing soccer, and taking ice skating lessons. Carina will be joining a new girl scout troop next month and Callen will likely pick up swim lessons at the community center. We’re making an effort to do as many things locally as possible, and I feel much more a part of the community than I did when we lived here before.
You might have noticed that my blog posts are sporadic at best. Part of that is the process of getting settled in a new place. The task of figuring out how to make it so that Craig can live here with us full time has taken up a lot of my blogging time. I’m also happy to share that I’ve been working with Relish! meal planning on their social media. It’s incredibly fun and fulfilling to work with a company that I truly believe in, even if it does take away from my own writing time a bit. However, it does mean I’ll have more fun things to share with you from Relish! aside from those free trials and discounts I’ve already posted, so stay tuned for that!
My mom likes to tell people that my world is very black and white. I don’t operate well in gray areas. Things either are or they aren’t. It’s either yes or no. I’ll sprain an ankle trying to walk the straight and narrow. But that’s not life. Life is twists and turns, highs and lows, maybes, perhapses, and probably nots. I’m finally learning that, and learning to be ok with it. Not to say that I don’t still harbor the dream of just settling down and keeping things even and constant for a long, long time.