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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jennifer
10 years ago

We moved from Detroit to NC almost two years ago and we had TWO, COUNT THEM – T-W-O cats and a dog. My husband moved down here two weeks before us and stayed with a friend. Our rental house was ‘supposed’ to be ready for us when my son and I arrived but no, of course, it was not. We ended up staying with the same friends my husband stayed with and it pretty much sucked but was bearable. Surprisingly enough, my cats were happy to stay in the bedroom we were sleeping most of the time. I bought them a couple cat beds, put their litter box and food in there and they were cool for the week we were there. They wandered out a couple times but never caused any mayhem. I made sure to keep the room they were in extra clean and it all went fine. Our dog stayed outside most of the time and hung out with our friend’s dog so that worked out well. The people we stayed with still speak to us and visit often so I guess no harm done. I’d still say renting your own house sounds best, though, if you can handle being alone there until you guys move. Why move twice if you don’t have to? Good luck with everything.

Those photos of Oregon are gorgeous! They remind me a lot of where we live now. I kind of hated moving from the place I’d lived all my life but it’s so beautiful here that I’m okay with it now. My son is growing up in gorgeous surroundings and that works for me.

Cheryl S.
Cheryl S.
10 years ago

I vote for stay where you are until the rental is ready in June. You DO NOT want to move twice. Trust me. Plus, JB will be getting settled in the new job and he’ll be able to totally focus on that.

Yes, it’s a month, but it will go quickly and have I mentioned you don’t want to move twice?????

Therese
Therese
10 years ago

putting stuff in storage and moving twice sounds like a nightmare to me. Even with the ackowledgment that living 300 miles apart for a month will have it’s challenges, I’d still do it just for a month to avoid the double move/staying with relatives…

Jaida
Jaida
10 years ago

We did something very similar almost two years ago (wow), and I opted to just stay put with the kids and coordinate the move from that end while my husband sorted out details in the new home town. It worked really well that way for a number of reasons. Moving is stressful no matter what, and sometimes not being up in each other’s grills while you are dealing with the inevitable snags is much healthier. Plus, long distance can be kinda good for your relationship…gives you a chance to really appreciate each other’s presence and role in your life together.

In case it wasn’t clear, I wholeheartedly recommend staying put and minimizing the upheaval for the kids for as long as possible.

Sarah
Sarah
10 years ago

I’m with the others on not wanting to move twice. That sounds like a huge pain in the tuchus. It would be hard to be apart for a month, but I bet the time will fly given all the logistics you’ll be scrambling to do.

The photos are absolutely beautiful! So excited for you!

Life of a Doctor's Wife

Those pictures are SO beautiful! Having lived in the Northwest most of my life, I really think it is the most beautiful part of the country. So happy for you!

And I would like to gently push for staying in your house until June 1. When my husband and I moved to our current city, we had an apartment all lined up. Our move-in date was about three days before he started his residency program. And then the previous renter just… refused to move out. So we ended up putting our stuff in storage and staying at a hotel while the leasing company scrambled to find us another apartment and it was AWFUL. And that was without pets. AWFUL. (By the way, you’d think being a work from home type would make it easy to work from a hotel. Not easy. Being cooped up all day in a crummy hotel room or having to find a Panera or a Starbucks where you can’t leave your computer to even go to the bathroom. NOT EASY.)

We had to do the whole double move BEFORE, too, when we moved to St. Louis so I could go to grad school a billion years ago. We got to the apartment that we’d rented, and there had been flooding in the apartment ABOVE which had come through OUR ceiling. The place was wet and stinky and thick with mold. So we had to put our stuff in storage and stay in a hotel while the place was put in order. AWFUL. It’s basically moving TWICE when you do that, and moving is horrific enough when you have to do it ONCE.

Okay, obviously it can be DONE. And staying with family seems infinitely preferable to staying in a hotel. But if you can avoid it, oh please do!

Judy
Judy
10 years ago

Without a doubt, Oregon is the prettiest place on earth. I miss the mountains.

I’d stay in the house in Washington. You’re only talking a month, but it would be one upheaval instead of two. And I’d hire movers. The last time I moved, I hired movers for the first time ever and OMG it was so much better! I only moved 25 miles, but from the minute they arrived at the first place until I swiped my debit card in their portable machine at the new place was 3.5 hours, and they set up the bed and put everything where I told them. I was left only with the boxes to unpack. Cost me under $250.

As for the COBRA, it’s been a lot of years since I had to deal with this, but I’m thinking you can retroactively get it up to six months after you leave your job. You need to check that out. COBRA is hideously expensive.

You know…cats. They are supposedly the most uncomplicated pets, don’t need walking, born potty trained, etc. etc. etc. But they don’t do well with being moved around. Just recently I was planning to go spend a couple days with friends about 2 hours from here, and was saying that I needed to see what would be convenient for my daughter to come and feed the cat while I was gone, and the friend said “Can’t you just bring the cat with you?” I haven’t quit laughing yet.

Rachel
Rachel
10 years ago

Long time reader, so excited for you and your family! On the move front – move once. We went through this last summer. I moved to temp housing while my husband took care of the move. Our stuff went into storage and then when we were in our home, we were able to get it out. I can’t imagine having to move a household full of stuff twice. If it is doable, movers make life much easier. One other thought – I hired an organizer to come over for an afternoon and help me sort through closets. She was invaluable in convincing me to finally get rid of the clothes that hadn’t fit in years, but would if I just worked out/ ate better/ had a completely different life. Less stuff to move and a more organized closet.

Lucy Fisher
Lucy Fisher
10 years ago

Oh, holy crap this is SO EXCITING!!! I’m absolutely thrilled for you guys!!!

I’m with the majority on this. Move once. Stay behind with the boys until June. It’s going to suck. Moving all your shit more than once will for SURE suck worse.

Good luck!!! Can’t wait to read all about it!

kristin
kristin
10 years ago

Option 2. The fewer moves, the better — ALWAYS.

Good luck. I am SOOOO happy for you guys!

Redbecca
Redbecca
10 years ago

Move once move once move once OMG moving sucks. As a military brat I can say I’ve gotten good at it, but it doesn’t make it any less stressful. Stay put and do it once. With so much to do to get ready for the move that solo parent month is going to fly by. Call in favors from local friends to help give you time without the kids, but it will fly, trust me.
And HIRE MOVERS. Take out a loan if you have to! Even if they just pack the crap in the truck and you drive it up there and pay more people to unload it for you. Our last 3 moves we packed all our boxes (so we’d know what was where) and hired folks to load everything, drive it there, and unload it again. Then we unpacked. Not nearly as $$ as a totally professional pack/move and you and your family/friends are still on speaking terms when all is said and done. :)

And I’m so jealous! My now-husband and I did a trip to Oregon while we were dating and loved it! That area is so beautiful.

LizScott
10 years ago

We were in a similiar situation last year when we moved from DC to Colorado. My husband had to be at his job in DC through the end of the year (Dec 31) and we had to be out of our house by Thanksgiving. Ugh.

Because I could work remotely, I ended up spending ten weeks at my parent’s house in Minnesota, which was FINE, except I will say that it was a hugely stressful time – the seperation, the having everything in storage, the not having a place to call home. It was hard.

I should point out that — much like you — almost EVERY SINGLE MAJOR LOGISTICAL DECISION was made based on … the dog. Seriously. It was absolutely ridiculous, but… yeah. I’m not even kidding. The dog decided almost every major movement in those ten weeks.

So! I guess my advice would be: Stay in your house, ESPECIALLY if you don’t have movers that are going to store your stuff and then bring it to you when you want it. (We had that, they were amazing, and the idea of doing what was ALREADY REALLY HARD with out that help boggles my mind). In some ways I look back at that time and am all “hey! ten weeks! whatever, it all works out!” but the reality is that it was REALLY hard, and I wouldn’t do it that way again.

Well, I would, if it was best for the dog (apparently), but I wouldn’t RECOMMEND it.

LizScott
10 years ago

BLINK
BLINK
BLINK

you’ve gotta be fucking kidding me

LizScott
10 years ago

I’m sorry, I meant to say: “What a rational thought process that completely takes into account all sides of the equation. Especially the sides that include the hassle of moving all your shit twice and being homeless.”

LizScott
10 years ago

(remind me sometime to tell you how I drove each of our cars BY MYSELF from DC to Minnesota in the space of 2 weeks (two trips, 18 hours each) while working full time and how I was later accused of ‘not prioritzing family time’)

Auntie G
Auntie G
10 years ago

(Long time reader, infrequent commenter, two-boy mother, experienced mover)

Who on earth is saying it’s selfish of you to stay? What the…???

I would ABSOLUTELY STAY PUT until you and the boys and the cat and the bulk of your things can move to Oregon to the rental house. You can be PRODUCTIVE if you stay behind — more time to wrap up all social and administrative details, etc. (OMG you can purge things ALL BY YOURSELF AND JB WILL NEVER MISS THEM — er, okay, maybe that would just be me and my pack rat spouse. *ahem*) If you’re staying with someone in OR but can’t get into your place, what exactly are you going to be doing with all your free time besides wishing you could be unpacking in the rental home? And trying not to impose on whoever you’re staying with? And losing your mind with the boys out of their routine, etc.?? Whoever is giving you a hard time is not thinking the REALITY of the situation through.

It WILL be un-fun for you and JB to be apart. It’s possible that I have a similar husband in some ways who would very sincerely wish me to move mountains just so he wouldn’t be “lonely,” but…you can email and talk on the phone and have phone sex. It is hard to start a new job, and while it may seem like it would help him to have his beloved family with him, the truth is that you’d all be stir-crazy and probably end up being far less helpful, no?

Also, MOVERS if you can swing it. If you can’t, ask for donations! You’ve got a lot of loyal readers who can’t wait to hear about the new adventure, and who would surely pony up a fwe bucks to help out if they can. I would/will.

Congrats on the move — it will all be behind you in a few short weeks, anyway. I promise.

Chris C.
10 years ago

Stay where you are till you can move for real, for SURE! Moving is such a pain, you’re not going to want to do it twice. It’s like ripping off a band-aid — you don’t wanna draw it out. :-) Plus, as someone else already said, JB is going to be busy getting adjusted to the new job, and you’ll be so busy packing things up and the like that those few weeks apart will fly by.

Oh, and whomever views that decision as selfish should go suck eggs. :-)

billie
billie
10 years ago

Having done this SO many times in my married life, I vote for staying put and moving one time only. JB will be so busy and absorbed in his new job, it’s just better to let him settle in. Moving one time is plenty. It’ll be easier on all of you, trust me.

Michelle
Michelle
10 years ago

Congrats!

I endorse what others have said about hiring movers. I’ve made big moves (thousands of miles) three times. The second time I hired movers to load and unload the truck, but we drove it. It’s an affordable option (hundreds instead of thousands) that speeds things up, but most importantly it’s amazing how much it reduces the stress involved in the move.

Even if you are a master strategist in terms of loading the truck, these folks do it every day and are professionals. Totally worth the money! I used emove.com (from there choose MovingHelp) to get quotes for loading/unloading. Good luck!

laziza
laziza
10 years ago

Um, WHO’S saying it’s selfish? That’s … well. That’s crazy talk. I was commenting specifically to say that I think you should absolutely stay put until June. It’ll be hard for you – from the single parenting perspective – but it involves the least upheaval for your SMALL CHILDREN. And it means the least moving around of all your stuff.

Em
Em
10 years ago

Meant to comment yesterday, never got a chance. So CONGRATS! What great news.

If it were me, I would stay put until June. Moving sucks, and moving twice would suck even more. And I am sure JB can handle the drive. :)

Tia
Tia
10 years ago

So, so, happy for you guys!!! Part of me says to stay put, but then the other part of me says to go. It will be an adventure you guys won’t ever forget. Sorry, I’m no help. But whatever you decide I’m sure it will work out. It’s only 3 weeks. Just keep telling yourself that.

souphead
10 years ago

i know it will be hard on you and the boys to be away from JB/dad for a month, but moving is such a HUGE ass pain. I’d stay put until the rental is available. You’re already going to have to move twice, why torture yourself by moving thrice AND having easy access to only a tiny bit of your stuff for a month + ?
just my 2 cents.

Rachel
Rachel
10 years ago

Anyone who criticizes your decision, whatever it turns out to be, should automatically be volunteered to move the heavy, awkward furniture.

Were it me, I would stay in your house until the rental is ready. It halves the risk of your stuff getting damaged in transit. It gives you extra time to go through your stuff and cull and pack neatly so that unpacking is smooth and simple. Moving is nearly as stressful as a death or divorce, moving twice in a month and being half homeless in the interim with two young kids and a cat? I would have to check myself into the funny farm if I did that.

The best thing I have done for myself in a move was to buy a bunch of Rubbermaid totes (Rubbermaid lids are more secure than any other brand I’ve tried). They stack neatly and they can be closed and reopened as much as you want without getting bent and losing structural integrity. That way you can start packing stuff now and adding more as you get closer. If you get ones that are partially clear, you don’t even have to open them or write on them to know what’s inside.

If you all would be comfortable with it, you might have JB bring the kids down to their grandparents a week before you move. That way they’ll be having fun instead of stressing over the sudden inaccesibility of all their stuff and the upheaval of their space.

I’d also recommend serious house shopping now. You have a couple of months to find a place. There might be something perfect that you could move right into instead of moving again right after you get settled into a rental.

Erin
Erin
10 years ago

First time commenting here but wanted to join in. Congrats on your move to Oregon! I know you guys have been wanting to do it for awhile now.

I vote to stay put through May and do one big move. Animals can get very stressed out in those types of situations, even just packing can cause stress so doing it once will reduce Cat’s stress levels. It gives the kids a chance to finish up school and say goodbye to any friends they will leave behind.

Cindy
Cindy
10 years ago

Fuuuuuuuuck. That’s selfish? Bullshit.

Granted, I don’t have kids and perhaps I’m missing something, but isn’t it best for the kids, as well as cat & the assload of boxes and furniture to stay in your current house until your new home is ready? Seems like getting routines established in a new place would be a bitch and not fair for them when things would be completely changed again once you’re in your Eugene house. Grandma and Grandpa’s house is fun for them now, but perhaps not so fun after a month of sharing half a banana each morning.

Besides, paying movers and the cost of storing your house, only to move it again from storage seems like extra expense. You’ll have to pay rent in your current house for a month, but sanity has a price tag and it’s worth it.

I had a taste of some of this about 10 years ago. It’s not as far as Seattle to Eugene, but my husband and I lived apart for 4 months and had a 5 1/2 hour drive to see each other on the weekends. He was hired by a new company and we moved across the state from the Bellingham area to Walla Walla area. We tried to take turns on who made the trip. Sometimes we’d meet mid-way and sometimes we just skipped a weekend.

While my husband was gone, I was “selfishly” still working, plus mowing lawns, handling home repairs and maintaining our finances so he could settle in at his new job and find a house for us. He lived in a hotel much of the time, but his Mom and Dad acted like he was orphaned. An orphan…with room service. He had my back though and “explained” the situation to his parents and they clammed right up.

Sorry for ranting. Not sure why, but that selfish shit really crawls up my nose. Hang in there. By mid summer, those photos will not just be a file on your computer, they’ll be your life. Congrats!

Lori
Lori
10 years ago

I was thinking move already, stay in the hotel, your in-laws UNTIL you mentioned packing and un-packing. I did that one time. Packed and sort of unpacked and in storage and into a different storage. 3 TIMES in 8 weeks. Don’t do it.

Lori
Lori
10 years ago

Viewed as selfish by who? Someone willing to pack and un-pack for you? Let ’em put their money where their loud mouth is.

Ashley, the Accidental Olympian

As someone who has moved often and usually quickly (had three weeks to move from Olympia to Anchorage Alaska) I feel like the less times you can move the less stress you’ll feel.

If you can stay in your current house until June I’d recommend it. That way you’re not living out of a hotel, or moving one month and then moving again.

Basically, moving sucks. Do it as infrequently as possible.

Congrats on the big move. Eugene is lovely, and Seattle will miss you.

Fidi
Fidi
10 years ago

I’d take the cat out of the equation by assuming he can stay somewhere for the time. (Or will work it out with whatever situation you choose.) I’d take him, but my husband and kids would never let me and neither does my landlord (no pets clause…)

Then do what is best for you. 300 miles for a month (and only for the weekend) isn’t that bad. Is there no Amtrak or whatever running at least part of the way? (So JB doesn’t have to drive tired if he want to come for the weekend?) If you would like to stay close to him, do that – if it is easier and less overwhelming to stay put, do that. (I’d stay put for Riley’s graduation sake but that’s just me…)

I echo another sentiment of others: Last time my mom moved, she did the packing and had professional movers move the loot (a couple of streets down the road). She spent 3 weeks nostop packing. Seriously ridiculous. I would do it the other way around: Pay someone to help with packing. Lots of companies do this. My husband hired the “Starving Students” years ago to pack up 2 of his rooms which were then stored in the garage. (Needed to do this for staging for a house sale. Worked.)

EmilysHollow
10 years ago

We did the storage thing while staying in temporary housing and it sucked. OH SO MUCH. My god. It was expensive, and stressful to be in a new place without Xander’s stuff and with a dog (in someone else’s house).

It may be kind of lonely to stay where you are for three extra weeks, but it would be exponentially easier (and cheaper – storage is astronomical).

Mandy
Mandy
10 years ago

Just moved locally with my six year old (also in kindergarten) and our three cats – tried to keep things as consistent for her as possible – I totally agree with those who say stay put and only move once.

Also I’ll echo the comments on COBRA – been there too, my plan was very flexible and offered back coverage for several months, definitely worth looking into.

Good luck with the to do list!!!

adequatemom
10 years ago

It’s going to be better than good … it’s going to be great. YAY! For the cat – is kenneling for a couple weeks a possibility?

Jessie
Jessie
10 years ago

I am firmly in the “stay put until June” camp.

And…boarding the cat is not a great idea.

Finally CONGRATULATIONS!! Very exciting.

Andrea
Andrea
10 years ago

Wow. Congratulations. I am so glad that your dream came true. Looking forward to posts from your new location!

Ps. For what it’s worth, I’d stay put until you absolutely need to. Moving is so exhausting so best to only do it once….

katie
10 years ago

The hair on my arms stood up and I sort of got teary reading this. YOUR DREAM IS COMING TRUE! I can’t think of a more deserving person. YAY!

Kate
10 years ago

Congratulations! So, so happy for your and your family!

Mrs. Commoner
10 years ago

I was so happy for you and your family when I read the news. Good for you guys! I feel your pain on the strategy stuff. We’ve got something similar going on. We have to sell all of our stuff and move the family from Colorado to England. To add to the stress, we don’t have jobs! We leave in a few months and I don’t know how it’s all going to get done. Can’t wait to see how it all turns out for you!

Michelle
Michelle
10 years ago

FYI, as someone who has dealt w/COBRA in the last few years, I can tell you that all timelines associated with it are federally set rather than set by individual plans. Once you hear from your plan administrator re: COBRA, you have 60 days to elect coverage, then you have an additional 45 days after electing coverage to actually pay. So you could technically go for over 100 days before paying a premium…

http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-consumer-cobra.html

Trish
Trish
10 years ago

Find a place there where you can board the cat, especially if you do it a few days before the big move – way less stressful for everyone. I did this with my two so they basically just moved into a new unpacked house and it was so much easier than when I tried to do everything at once.

Michelle
Michelle
10 years ago

P.S. So in theory anyone could choose to take the retroactive approach others have described. I did it with a recent job change, however my gap between coverage was only a month and a half. With a gap of 90 days or more, that might not work out for you since you have to make the decision to elect COBRA within 60 days.

january
january
10 years ago

Aw, yay Linda! Congrats, that’s so exciting. :) My sister & brother both live in Eugene, and my brother hunts, so if you guys want to meet some new friends, drop me a line. My sister has two kids, in middle and high school, but she’s pretty awesome. :)

Bethany
Bethany
10 years ago

So, SO happy for you guys!!!!!!!!!!

I would chose moving Option B if it were me and my family…

Melissa
Melissa
10 years ago

Here’s to waiting for what’s worth waiting for . . . awesome news.

Melissa
Melissa
10 years ago

I’ve done cross country moves with two kids, two dogs and a cat a few times and they sort of suck. A lot. However, in your situation, based on my experience, I’d move with JB and put the stuff into storage. Yes, you have to move twice. But its a stressful time and being together will help. Also, you will just end up doing a ton of packing up by yourself. If your in-laws can tolerate the cat, then go for it. It’s going to be kinda crazy no matter what, so I would choose the option where there are people are to help. It will be hard no matter what, but it’ll be over in the blink of an eye.

Ann
Ann
10 years ago

My mantra, when moving with 3 small kids, was this: “Pretend that this is a condo and we are on vacation…pretend that this is a condo…”

I think the best thing we did for our young kids was to tell them “This is an adventure!” Truly, this put their mindset on FUN versus unrest. You might try it.

Kirsten
10 years ago

SO HAPPY FOR YOU GUYS!!!! I missed that last post – but man, Eugene is one place we thought we could live when we were looking out of state. So gorgeous there!
I personally would stay – that way Riley could finish school. In reality it’s only a few weeks, right? Moving everything twice seems like too much work….BUT, the bonus of being with the inlaws is that you’ll have help and be closer to JB during this major upheaval in your lives. Might be really hard to be so far away from each other with all those changes.
Cat will survive!

Jenny
10 years ago

‘Grats!

Jenny
10 years ago

Augh, I’m so sorry for the ridiculous “‘Grats!” above. (Was in a great big hurry…and it turned out my husband wanted to watch a TEDTalk.) Linda, it’s a joy to read these–I was SO hoping after your post about big dreams that whatever it was, you wouldn’t let it go. YIPPEE!!!