It’s finally out there and official. From the Windy City to the Mile High City, we are moving to Denver. Brian had gotten a call in early December about a job within his company that would be opening up. He was told, if he wanted it, it was his. So we talked it over that weekend and decided there was no time like the present. Our kids are getting older and Makenzie will potentially be starting kindergarten the following fall so we were ready to embark on a new adventure as a family. This will also keep Brian on the same career path that he has wanted to stay on so from a career standpoint it was an easy choice for us. Leaving the Midwest on the other hand and all of our family and friends will be anything but easy.
The week of Christmas we had been patiently, me not so patiently, waiting on the offer letter to come and the announcement to go out at BK’s work before we could really start telling the world, i.e. Facebook. Funny how Facebook announcements automatically mean things are “official”. However, he got the offer letter on a Thursday and the announcement didn’t go out until the following Tuesday because of the holidays.
So even though Brian and I knew it was official, we held off on telling Makenzie about our big move until after Christmas. We weren’t exactly sure how she was going to react and we wanted her to just enjoy being with her cousins, grandparents, hanging with us, and being a 4 year old enjoying Christmas and all the excitement that comes with it, i.e. Santa and presents.
Fast forward two weekends ago. We put Brady down for a nap after lunch and told Makenzie she didn’t have to nap that day. She started playing with her dolls when Brian and I both sat on the couch and asked her to come over by us so we could talk. She came over, sat down, looked up at us and asked, “What do you guys want to talk about?”
I let Brian take the lead on this one and he did fantastic. He began by saying, “Daddy got a new job!” And she immediately asked, “Does that mean we have to move to a new state?” I would like to take this moment and tell you that in those next 30 minutes, I sat on the couch, staring in awe at this little four year old. My four year old. She suddenly was so big. So mature. So wise beyond her years. My heart was pretty much exploding with pride and love and a mixture of happy and sad emotions.
He went on to tell her that yes, we would be moving to a new state. She asked what state and we told her, Colorado. She continued on asking how far away it was? Do we have to get a new house? New daycare? New friends? And if that meant we weren’t going to see Grandma and Papa and Grammy and Grandpa as much anymore. Or in her words, “Will we ever see them again?” We assured her that although we wouldn’t be able to see them as much as we do now, we would still see them again during holidays and any special trips we make back to Wisconsin or they make to see us. She asked about both sets of cousins and when she was going to see them. It was starting to click.
We explained we would be finding a new house, new daycare, new babysitter, and that she would get a brand new bedroom. We told her about the mountains and how beautiful they are. She asked if we were going to drive there and we explained although we could drive, we were going to take a plane because otherwise we would be in the car for close to 15 hours and she replied with, “Oh, I could not handle that.” You and me both, sister. You and me both.
It was going to be an adventure, we told her. It may be scary and new and different but we would all be together as a family. Her next major concern was the animals in Colorado. So we broke out the iPad and searched animals native to Colorado. We began flipping through the pictures when she got a very alarmed look on her face. “They have TIGERS in Colorado?” We laughed and told her no, not tigers. Swipe to the left. “What?! The have rhinos there too?!” At this point we looked at the iPad and realized she had stumbled into the Denver Zoo and was looking at the animals there. So after we assured her that tigers and rhinos were not randomly walking around the city of Denver, she was better.
When we made the move from Iowa to Chicago, Makenzie was 20 months old. So Brady will be just a little younger than what Makenzie was. And thinking about it and how she transitioned, she did great. The new house, new bedroom was not even a factor for her. I think she loved all the space she got in comparison to our old house in Iowa. Daycare on the other hand was a different story. It took her a few weeks to not cry every morning that we would drop her off. If you are a parent and your children go to daycare you know one of the worst feelings is leaving your child, who is desperately trying to cling onto you, in the hands of strangers. You hope and you pray that these new strangers take to your children, love your children, and comfort your children just as good if not better than the last ones did.
After about 30 minutes she was over the conversation so she walked away and went into her playroom. I, on the other hand, remained on the couch with a few different emotions going through my mind and heart. The same emotions that both Brian and I have been working through for the last month.
We are leaving the Midwest. The place we call home. The place that we have called home for 34 and 35 years, respectively. Although, I haven’t lived in Wisconsin for close to 8 years now we’ve always been in drivable distance to “home” and that is all about to change. We are entering a new time zone even! Even though it’s only an hour behind what we are used to, that is something that we will have to adjust to not to mention that mountain, mile high air. I know, the time zone, the air, these are all little things and small in the scheme of things but they are changes. And I feel like both Makenzie and Brady are about to have their little worlds turned upside down. And the mama bear in me is coming out and it is fierce and I want nothing more but for them to transition well and be happy and comfortable with their new surroundings.
Everything is unknown right now. We have already started the house selling process here as we have a couple real estate agents asking for our business. We are also set up with an agent out in Denver and he’s been sending us homes in the specific area we asked for. Last weekend we went through 86 homes and filtered out what we liked and what we didn’t. Right now we have 56 that we aren’t interested and 30 that may be worth taking a look at. Brian is flying out next week Monday for work and then staying an extra day to do some house hunting with our agent. So on my to do list is go back through those 30 that I have marked as potentials and filtering them even more.
It’s stressful. I am nervous. Excited. Sad. A mix of emotions. This will be a big change for us as a family but we most definitely will be making the best of this new adventure.