Oh my god what a relief to finally be able to talk about what’s going on, and thank you so, so, SO much for all your lovely comments. Now it really seems real, you know? It was so weird to have all this major upheaval happening, but having to stay quiet until the final details with JB separating from his current job were ironed out. I mean, the only non-vodka-based coping mechanism I’ve ever developed for dealing with stress—aside from troweling enormous portions of high-calorie food into my carb-hole, that is—is writing about it online. THIS HAS BEEN VERY HARD IS ALL I’M SAYING.

Anyway! JB starts his new gig on May 7, which is . . . yeah, that’s coming right up, isn’t it? Without potentially wading into murky water by calling out the company by name, this job seems custom-designed for him. He’ll be working for a business that designs and manufactures specialized hunting equipment, and I think that in addition to the job itself sounding challenging and awesome, the environment and people will be right up his alley.

It’s a big change from Microsoft, for many reasons. I am so incredibly proud of JB not only for finding this new opportunity, but for being brave and true enough to his own self to take it.

We’re a little up in the air on our immediate next steps, because we do have a rental house squared away, but it won’t be available until the first week of June. JB will for sure be in Eugene on his start date (his new company will cover 2 weeks at a hotel, and his brother will let him stay at his place the rest of the time), but I’m not 100% certain what I’m going to do. His parents offered to let me and the boys stay with them in Coos Bay, and that would actually be totally fine—the kids would love it, and I’d probably find it easier to get my work done with more people around to help—but I’m not sure about bringing our cat to someone else’s house for 3 weeks (especially since they already have a cat). We could stay in a hotel with JB in Eugene, but again: CAT.

So maybe we’ll end up renting our own house from the buyers for a few weeks (they’ve already indicated they’d be open to this) and I’ll stay here with the kids through May? I don’t know. CATS, MAN.

What do you think sounds less insane:

• Moving all of our stuff into a storage place, then everyone, including the frigging cat, staying somewhere temporary in Oregon until we can get in the rental, then moving PART of our stuff back into the rental while leaving things like shop equipment etc in storage, the benefits here being that at least we wouldn’t be 300 miles apart during May

OR

• Me staying here by myself with the boys until June, at which point we move everything straight to the rental and store the extra stuff

OR

• Some better situation I haven’t managed to think of yet?

I’ve already talked to Riley’s teacher about the possibility of him leaving school early, and there’s no problem there. It was funny how tentatively I brought it up—like, will he need some sort of graduation document? And she was sort of like, um, it’s kindergarten. You’re cool.

Our general plan is to rent for the summer while we look for a place to buy, and I’m all kinds of nervous about that upcoming process, but I’m telling myself it’s one step at a time, one step at a time. First: close the house sale here. Next: figure out when the boys and I are leaving, and where we’re going. Also: pack. Rent a truck find a storage facility talk to schools set up short term COBRA call the—

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand breathe. It’s all going to be good, I know it.

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(Lovely Eugene-area images courtesy of Don Hankins.)

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Danell
Danell
10 years ago

I am tearing AGAIN over here for you! Those pictures…wow…YOU’RE MOVING THERE! Oh, I can’t even believe how utterly happy I am for someone I don’t even know…I couldn’t be any happier for you if you were my own sister, I don’t think. Congratulations, you guys. I am so looking forward to reading all about it!

Lana
Lana
10 years ago

Since JB will be busy getting into the groove of his new job in may and the boys will be in school etc. I would stay put and make the big move in June.

The time will fly by and there will be way less stress at the end of the day. Moving sucks – why do it twice?

Whatever you decide wishing you all the best!

sarah
sarah
10 years ago

If it were me, I would stay where you are until you get the keys to the rental. Swap weekends if you can (JB home/you and boys there). It gives you the bonus of more packing time (especially since you’ll be moving some stuff to storage), and gets Riley closer to the end of school since I can’t imagine you’ll enroll him for 4 weeks in a new school when you move. Right? Then move directly to rental, bigger stuff to storage. Good luck! The photos of the area are gorgeous and remind me of California. :)

Kim W.
10 years ago

Not an ideal situation, but I’m going to mention it anyway: When I relocated, my two boys and I stayed with a friend in his 1-bedroom apartment, and I kept my two cats in the van (litter box in back). This was supposed to be a 1-week arrangement, but the tenant wouldn’t move out of my soon-to-be rental, and we ended up staying in this situation for a month while they evicted him.

The cats were fine. They liked the van.

During a different relocation (with a different cat), we kept the cat in a bedroom at a friend’s house for a few weeks while looking for a place. She was fine too.

Again — not the best situation, but I thought I would mention it.

Staying put through May might be the best for everyone (CAT), but I know how hard it is to be in transition while also being away from my partner. An extended stay in Coos Bay might be a sweet adventure, but then again, you’ll be unsettled for that much longer.

I wish you the best, whatever you decide!

Tripta
Tripta
10 years ago

Chiming in to say I think staying put till June sounds like the better option, rather than moving stuff twice.
Good luck with figuring it all out. Again, really, really happy for you! :)

sooboo
sooboo
10 years ago

Daaaaaaang those are purty pictures. I’d stay put until you get the rental, otherwise you are sort of moving twice. JB’s job sounds like a perfect fit. Have you guys been sleeping with a copy of The Secret under your pillows?

Jess
10 years ago

Sorry to provide completely unsolicited advice, but on the COBRA thing: how long will you be without health insurance while JB changes jobs? Because if it’s not very long, you may be able to do COBRA only retroactively, if something happens and you need it. I did that when I switched jobs and was without health insurance for about three weeks. Instead of paying the outrageously high cost of COBRA for those weeks, HR informed me that if something happened and I needed medical care, I could just call and retroactively activate it (there is a certain window of time in which you can do this) and there would be no lapse in coverage. Nothing happened so I ended up just moving onto my new insurance plan without having paid that COBRA money, but without having to worry that if something DID happen, I’d be screwed. This is certainly something where you would need to look into the details and whether this applies to your particular situation, but if it does, you could save yourselves a chunk of money if nobody needs a medical visit during the non-covered period.

Meagan
10 years ago

I’d go for moving everything and everyone ASAP. It will be more stressful in the short term, but I think easier long term. My ten month old is an easy easy baby and I wouldn’t want to be on my own with him for a month, much less two preschoolers. And it sounds like it’s not really moving twice exactly… It’s delaying the move of stuff and living out of suitcases for a month? If you’re anything like me, if you stay behind in Seattle, you’ll figure, “we can put off packing x y z since I have all this extra time” and then suddenly you WON’T have any more time and you’ll be on your own, trying to juggle two kids and pack everything you meant to pack over the course of a month. Living without your stuff for a month will be a pain in he ass, but at least you won’t have the burden of packing hanging over your head.

Jess @ Dude and Three
10 years ago

I’ve actually been in this situation. And, from personal experience, I can say that less moves is better. As in, I’d totally recommend renting your own house for the additional month so you only have to move all your stuff once.

We did it the other way. Stuff in storage for a few weeks, staying with family, getting stuff back out of storage…blah blah +10lbs on my ass blah blah.

Nicole
10 years ago

Woohoo! Welcome to Oregon! I’ve lived here my whole life and never wanted to leave. Glad you guys finally reached your goal. I’d pick your second option…staying put til June. :)

Jess @ Dude and Three
10 years ago

(+10lbs from all the stress eating. In case that wasn’t clear)

Deb
Deb
10 years ago

I cast my vote for moving in with the in-laws for 3 weeks and letting the cats work it out. JB will need you during those stressful first weeks at a new job, and the idea of wrangling 2 boys plus packing the whole house by yourself seems more stressful than living out of suitcases for a couple of weeks.

When we left Seattle for Colorado, we hired 2 Men and a Truck to come pack our moving truck, and then when we got to Colorado, we hired them again to unpack it. No heavy lifting for us, they did a great job, and it was relatively inexpensive.

So happy for you! I’ve never been in Eugene, but we spent 3 months in Bandon and it was like, oh my gosh my soul is HOME. I loved it.

Jen
Jen
10 years ago

Long-time lurker, and oh! I’m so happy for you! Can’t wait to read of your brand new adventures!

NancyJ
NancyJ
10 years ago

Check into short term medical insurance or temporary insurance. Not sure what it’s called these days but we signed up for it when we moved from CA to CT long ago. It just covers major stuff but definitely alot cheaper than COBRA! It was a quick application, pay your money, get your card and you’re covered.
Tough call on the stay or go thing. I’d probably go at the same time and keep the cat in the UHaul!
I’m so happy for all of you.

Katie
10 years ago

Congrats…very happy that you’re moving to where you want to be. That’s a huge step and will hopefully make you feel settled & content with life :) I’m waiting until we make our move!

And I would say stay in your house and just do one big move…less change for the boys is probably best and then Riley could finish kindergarten (or get close) at his current school.

kat
kat
10 years ago

Board the cat at a boarding facility, stay with him in the hotel!

Chris
Chris
10 years ago

Is finding another rental that is available in May not an option?

moojoose
10 years ago

We just did both of your options in the last 6 months. First he stayed behind while I started the new job, but then he came to stay with me with family until our rental was ready, and all our stuff was in storage, and cat was with a different family member with no pets. The 2 months with him here were immensely better than the the 2 months with him there. And can I say: moving into and out of a storage unit was AWESOME. Moving day out of the old place was great because it all went directly out of the back of the truck into the unit (went so fast) and moving into the new place was even awesomer because dude, everything was already packed.

So, I’d say look for secret option C for the cat (can the cat stay with the in-laws while you stay with JB’s brother or something?). Staying behind–and leaving family behind–SUCKS.

Nichole
10 years ago

I am just so pleased for you guys.

I’d hate the three months apart, but I also really hate moving. The prospect of moving everything twice sounds horrible. So I think I’d go for staying put until the rental was available.

ZestyJenny
10 years ago

I haven’t read the comments, so forgive if I repeat, but I say go stay with JBs parents in Coos Bay and board the cat if you have to. It would be better for the cat to be uncomortable than you to be alone for all that time.

Also, maybe there is someone, a frien of JBs parents? A lonely senior? Who might take the cat for the three weeks? Maybe?

I see there is a still problem about the stuff, but the in and out of the storage unit really amounts to two unpleasant afternoons, which is really no big whoop.

And Oh my goodness! This is all so exciting! I fond major life upheaval to be so brave and inspiring. :)

gingerest
gingerest
10 years ago

Yeah, not to endorse it, just to stress that it’s a possibility: as kat notes, you could board the cat and take that out of the whole set of equations.
Also, some professional movers will store the container with your stuff in it in a secure facility (for more money, of course), so the move-and-store-and-move steps can be condensed into one big, costly move step. We did that when we moved from Portland to Seattle. (With two children and a cat and a houseful of stuff and an interstate move, you are going to use real movers, right? Not just JB and a 30-foot U-Haul?)

gingerest
gingerest
10 years ago

Oh, and relocation costs associated with employment changes were tax-deductible last time we moved in the US, so that helped us cope with the fearsome expenses. I bet they still are but I haven’t actually checked irs.gov.

Belle
Belle
10 years ago

Congrats! I also vote for you and the boys staying put. I say that even knowing full well that when our kids were small and my husband had to go to Chicago for 2 weeks, I went crazy and was p.o’d as hell when he came home the weekend in between. How DARE he leave me with 2 young ones while I was working full-time, too? Ha

So what does JB say about this decision of whether to go/stay?

Deanna
Deanna
10 years ago

Having just done a long-distance move less than a year ago, the work and pain in the butt factors involved are still sorta fresh. I’m in the move it once camp. I say the fewer moves the better. I don’t want to discredit the idea of spending time with your family in two different cities, but it’s a a finite period of time with a clear end in site. I think that makes a difference. Moving is a pain and putting stuff in storage involves moving not once but twice. More opportunities for things to get lost or broken, and it’s definitely more expensive. Keep things as streamlined as possible, keep routines normal where you can knowing what fantastic things await you on the other end!

tanya
tanya
10 years ago

so happy for you!!!

Alyson
Alyson
10 years ago

Congratulations! It is great when the hubby can take a leap like JB is doing and you are behind it all the way. Just think, no more long holiday drives to visit the Grans!

I’ll throw in my two-cents. I used to work for Microsoft Relocation (I was a damned ORANGE badge), and the different permutations for moving self and family from one place to another is as varied as the people who move. I would say go the route that causes you the least misgivings. If you hate the idea of being in charge of the kids – all alone – for the month of May (and being in charge most of the packing by yourself)the most. Go with having staying with the family. If the idea of having to live with family for three weeks – suck it up and go it on your own here. Let’s face it, you will be shouldering the majority of the burden in this move (the wives ALWAYS do) so do what you think will be easiest for YOU. JB is a smart guy and is going to be really busy with his new job and as hard as he tries isn’t going to be a whole hell of a lot of help. So think of yourself and the kids, FIRST, and let JB fit himself in where he can. (geez, do I sound like I’ve been married for nearly 30 years?) GOOD LUCK and much happiness!!

Emily
Emily
10 years ago

Oh god, stay where you are until you can move into a rental. We moved from Denver to suburban NYC when my son was nearly 2 and we handled it so freaking badly. My son and I lived in my sister’s basement for a month in NY while my husband stayed behind in Denver. I didn’t have everything I needed in NY, our stuff was in Denver, and it was in general a total shit-show. If I had just put off moving back east another month we all could have moved into our rental together and things would have been a million percent easier, less chaotic and stressful.

But that’s just my opinion.

PS – how is Riley’s little girlfriend taking it?

Suzanne
10 years ago

OMG those PHOTOS. I’m so happy for you! If it was my decision, I would stay put and only move once. I’ve moved a LOT of times and it is not fun, even if it means being husbandless for a little while.

jonniker
10 years ago

Ooh, so happy for you anew.

Anyway, we’re in the COBRA hell, too, because of Adam’s new job, and ugh, it blows. Here, have thousands of dollars for insurance I totally took for granted! We could go on the state plan, but for two months, it’s not worth it with me pregnant, only to re-join BCBS again later. And in those two months, you know, BIRTH. Ahem.

At any rate, we did this type of move twice — once from Florida to VT and once from VT to here, and I would nevvvver do a hotel again. It was kind of awful. More than awful, and that was just me and Sunny. I would totally TOTALLY recommend staying where you are and moving everything once. Hassle, yes, but not nearly the hassle of temporary residence, etc. That’s assuming that you don’t mind solo parenting for a little while and you have SOME kind of support system to keep you from blowing your brains out while you’re alone.

AnEmily
AnEmily
10 years ago

Man, I’d just stay in the house till June. Less stress for everybody, I think. Plus you’ll have more time to wrap up the fine details.

AnEmily
AnEmily
10 years ago

You and the kids could meet up in PDX on the weekends…

Shawna
Shawna
10 years ago

Holy crap! Congratulations!

The only helpful (or not) idea I’ve got is “cat sitter”. Do you know anyone that can take your cat in for a few months? That might open up more options? Maybe?

I’m sooooo happy for you!

Blythe
10 years ago

First, I missed congratulating you on the last post, so AIEEEEE! CONGRATULATIONS! This is such great news.

Could you board the cat somewhere? Is that a thing like it is with dogs? Maybe take the cat to Eugene or Coos Bay and board it? Because staying with your in-laws sounds like a nice transitional step.

Cindy
Cindy
10 years ago

Having cats and having moved last July, I know the pain in the ass caused by the fuzzy bastards. I would suggest staying in your current house until June. As eager as you are (and I would be) to get on with moving, you can use the month of May to pack, sort/donate, and fight your last traffic jams on 405. Time will fly and then you’ll only have to schlep boxes once. Swear to God, you will not want to carry boxes more than once. Even the nicest in-laws can drive a person insane and there’s no sense in going nuts when you’ll be living much closer to them. Also, it gives JB a chance to hit his stride at work without extra worry about you guys in OR.

Just my 2 cents.

elz
elz
10 years ago

Congratulations. Sounds like it will be wonderful to finally reach Oregon and the next stage of your life! We boarded our cats in between houses a few years back (3 weeks at my mom’s and she’s allergic, so to the vet’s they went). It didn’t seem to bother them that much. Of course, they’re cats, so not really the brightest animals to start with!

jac
jac
10 years ago

Put the cat in a cattery. Or boarding kennel or whatever it’s called where you are. Cat will be fine, LESS stress on the cat from moving constantly and getting used to new people, and you can then do what YOU want. Personally I would choose the in-laws, and every time they do something helpful, you can mentally evaluate how much that was worth to you and mentally subtract it from the cattery bill. Distract fighting kids? Worth $20. Feed a kid breakfast? Would pay $5 for that right now. Bring you a cup of coffee? $30, you can see where I’m heading with this…

Brenna
Brenna
10 years ago

I’m jealous, Eugene is so gorgeous! I would give my left two lug nuts (as Mater says) to be moving there!

I’m definitely in the Move as Few Times as Practically Feasible camp. Honestly, the thing I hate the most about moving is that the general pain-in-the-assery of moving always manages to overshadow the excitement of it.

MotherGooseAmy
MotherGooseAmy
10 years ago

I am so happy for you! You have given me reason to believe amazing things happen out of the blue to great people. How exciting!!!! What is it like to get exactly what you want? YAY for you!!! Congratulations!!!

Rachel
10 years ago

Have you signed papers on the rental yet? Maybe since it’s just for a summer you could find a different place that’s available sooner…? Just a thought. It would save you from having to essentially move twice in quick succession (been there done that — our house was still in escrow when we had to be out of our rental because IT was being sold, so we stayed with my parents for a few months and ZOMG WE MOVED TWICE I ALMOST DIED) — or actually THREE times in your case what with buying a place soon also. But paying rent to your buyers and staying completely on your own with the kids for an entire month sounds like even less fun, for me, especially when JB will be down in paradise without you.

I dunno. Do your inlaws have other animals who would not get along with your cat? Our cats adjusted OK to the quick-change when we had to do this — better than we did, actually.

And can I say again how ridiculously happy I am for you, that you get to live this dream? SO SO RIDICULOUSLY HAPPY.

Chris
Chris
10 years ago

Oooh I totally understand about the month-to-month lease. So helpful. Also, this is awkward, but if you need a nanny…let me know! I’ve got great references and I feel like I know your kids after reading so long! I’m the same Chris who commented yesterday about moving back to Eugene this summer after being gone two years. >end creepy stalker comment :)

Lisa S.
10 years ago

This is total assvice, but I am here to testify that paying a few thousand for professional movers is one of those So Worth It expenses, really and truly. Especially since you may well be handling the logistics of the move while solo-parenting if you’re up in Seattle and JB’s down in lovely Eugene.

I am of the “move as little as possible” camp, so if at all feasible, I’d try and rent back your “old” place through June, use the time to find a rental house that y’all can use as home base for a year while you figure out where you really want to re-commit to the mortgage grind, then move to the rental with the boys in June. And let the professional movers handle the packing-up-and-moving part.

Look at me, spending your money and telling you how many times to move!

(But seriously: professional movers. Marriage saver. Back saver. And they will love you if you buy them lunch.)

Thursday
10 years ago

Stay where you are until the rental house is available. We moved country last year – trust me, it’s the right thing to do.

Carole
Carole
10 years ago

Stay put and move in June. Less stress for everyone.

Fiona
10 years ago

I’d stay put until you’re ready for the rental place too, less upheaval. And you’ve got the Coos Bay thing so you can the boys can go down for part of the time? (Someone where you are feed the cat for a short time?) I guess if you opt to rent your current house til June and you really struggle, there’s nothing to stop you fleeing for Coos Bay?! Whereas if you commit to Coos Bay now then you can’t really change your mind once your buyers make plans to move…

Good luck, it will all come good. And – professional movers – seriously, look into that, they cleared our (3 bed, 2 children, 1 cat) house in 2 hours. Would have taken us 2 days.

elembee123
elembee123
10 years ago

Infrequent commenter here…

Oh, those pictures are breathtaking! So happy for you!

Something that might be in-between the U-Haul and the professional movers options (cost-wise) is PODS. You pack your stuff into the big-ass pod(s) and lock it up, then THEY come get the big-ass pod and store it either in Seattle or Eugene (your choice, I guess) and then bring it to you when you’re ready. No fuss, no muss.

Nope, I’m not affiliated in any way with the company, but I don’t know how to generic-ify their name. “Pod people” sounds so … weird.

Anyway, they saved our shorts when we had to move the contents of my mom’s 3-bedroom place in less than 14 days with no options available on the other end. We were able to store her stuff until we could find a place for it.

Don’t have any suggestions for CAT other than the usual assvice. Try to keep her routine as close to “normal” as possible. Some cats are Meh about anything while others freak the fuck out at the slightest change. If she’s of the freak-out variety, they make calming chews you can get at any big pet store. It calms them down w/o sedating them. FWIW

Wishing all of you the best of luck!

Molly
Molly
10 years ago

As a teacher, I think it’s best to let Riley finish the school year. Leaving at the same time as everyone else will make the transition much easier!

Eric's Mommy
10 years ago

I would go with the option of staying/renting your house. It sounds like it would make it less stressful of a move.

PS-Can we come with you?

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