Just doing a little calculation in my mind that it’s been almost 9 months since we moved here and life has never seemed so busy ever! Even when we owned the business I don’t feel as though it was this busy. Perhaps some of it, maybe most of it, is kid driven based on play dates, science fair projects, basketball games and hip-hop classes (Kayla not me) but I think in general we’ve just taken on a much more energetic life. Now I don’t mean energetic as in working out I think it means more so being involved and out and about. Some of this might just be thinking differently about how life was back in the AZ – who knows.
Denise and I continue to finish up school with Denise being much closer than I but both of us feel as though we’re probably just going to continue on down our higher education path and rightfully so. Up here a bachelors really is equivalent to a highschool diploma if you want anything more than burger flipping or baristaring (although I would bet most of the good baristas also have ba degrees!) so it makes sense we would continue sweating and perservering to get our Masters degree. This way we can be better role models for the kids too! I shall be glad when it is finally over however, however long the entire process takes, but Grand Canyon makes it really easy to get in to classes and focus on the work.
Well this is a super exciting update, that much I am sure of, but if you made it all the way through kudos to you! Maybe leave a little comment?
Some people undoubtedly ask at some point why we would trade super cheap rent, lots of land and space to move around for our life here in Seattle? If they saw our arrangement in person they probably would only have a stronger opinion that we are completely mad in the head. We downgraded from a 5 bedroom 2800 square foot home for the comforts of a 2 bedroom apartment which costs more (a 3 bedroom is on the way though…). Why?
There are plenty of reasons and they keep getting stronger by the day:
- Culture – there is so much more culture that is easily accessible here. No getting in the car and driving 45 minutes just to be around other people or engage in cultural fun. Today for instance we hung out on the deck of our apartment overlooking Lake Washington as the Blue Angels buzzed by doing their aerial acrobats. Tons of neighbors came out and the kids played around for a bit.
- Environment – it feels as though the area is actually alive. Green makes a ton of difference along with the rain which is so cleansing.
- People – more laid back. Less in your face and overall nicer.
- Work opportunities – the top companies are up here and they pay well. Yes the cost of living might be a bit higher but you get public transit, well kept parks, events and tons more for your dollar.
- Schools – specifically on Mercer Island the schools are 10’s. They rank some of the highest in the nation and after Arizona’s dismal rankings perhaps anything is better but these happen to be some of the best.
I don’t want to come off as a total nay-Sayer to Arizona but honestly there are better places and I feel so lucky to have made it here.
So what a crazy couple of weeks this has been. I thought I would write a little recap of the adventures of us in little old Surprise before we bailed out of here. First, just so that I remember this later on, it was hot as heck. Still is as I write this but you get the gist. 112 degrees is 112 degrees. Always flipping will be. Anyway we got to enjoy Ethan’s last day of basketball from his awesome coach Peter Ezugwu who claims he trained Lebron last summer and played a ton in the European leagues. He is good no doubt and very charismatic so who knows! We are going to have to certainly find a new basketball coach or league up in Seattle.
Ethan and Mr Edem
The kids also had their last swim meet which was kind of bitter sweet. They really do enjoy swimming at the Surprise pool and have learned so much in regards to their technique and skill. Really all it is, is the teenagers that run the whole show and help them progress through different levels. All of the kids that run it have such a good attitude and demeanor which is rare in the typical teenager and they do like to have fun too!
The part which has been the most time consuming though I have to say is the process of selling stuff we don’t need. It has also been the most eye opening because it has really shown just how much stuff one can accumulate that you don’t even really need. Lots of trips to goodwill and some super decent deals on craigslist (we’ll talk more about how to really work craigslist but we don’t have enough time right now) have resulted in a little purge of sorts.
This past week we were treated to a little party at the Embassy Suites in North Phoenix with family. We had a blast swimming, eating and generally hanging out with family for what will be the last time for a while at least. Next up we’ve got Emma’s birthday and then the whole move starts…then we get to restart life again. I’m exhausted just thinking about it all!
What a great time swimming in the pool and relaxing.
Well add this to the list of things we’re done with in Arizona. Kayla graduating Kindergarten this past Wednesday was very nice and we captured some great photos. Next up is Emma but she will be a Seattle/Washington school system graduate!
So it’s pretty much exhausting trying to find somewhere to live. Sure there are plenty of places we could find a little outside the city but to be honest anything in the downtown area is super sky high in rent. Space is not too much of an issue for us and in fact we are sort of looking for something small and easy to maintain. In fact, we’ve entertained the ideas of things like 2 bedrooms and a den which is a huge departure from our 5 bedroom McMansion we have right now in the burbs. I don’t think that the burbs out there really compare to the urban sprawl we have to endure here which was highlighted even more so today with our day devotion to a single 1 hour event. The majority of our day was spent in the car driving to downtown Phoenix just so we could attend a short 1 hour event then turn around and drive back. This is what we are trying to escape I suppose.
Back to the issue at hand and it just seems that everything is way out of our price range. Short of doing some sort of miraculous magic work I don’t see the 5 of us plus DJ chilling in a 800 sq ft apartment for $2800 a month. I get the allure and heck I want to be part of the allure but bankrupting ourselves to do so just isn’t smart either. Right now we’ve got a couple of good people, Denise and Cindy, on the hunt out there for something but we’ve only got about 19 days left to make a decision. The other option is that we go with a short term rental while we hunt out there ourselves. Either way I can’t search anymore today I’m spent.
One of our last events here in Phoenix was an award ceremony for PBS Writers where Kayla won honorable mention for her story! You can check it out at azpbs.org/writerscontest and she is in the Kindergarten section!