Saturday, February 2, 2013

Everything's Bigger in Texas

I haven't blogged in awhile but certainly not for a lack of excitement in our lives. In fact, the last four months have been some of the most altering and exciting in our marriage. Last Fall Mike and I had recently moved to a new place in South Jordan. We had renovated our town home to our contemporary style and felt settled. We thought we'd live in that home for at least another three years until we had at least a couple children. Settled but not necessarily happy. Life is the unexpected journey, as Sheri Dew, would say... and we were feeling just this way. Things had not worked out to mine and Mike's carefully laid "plans". Little did we know, the Lord had bigger ones on the horizon for us.

One day I received a spontaneous email from my mentor in my doctorate program. He said he'd been contacted about a job at Cook Children's Hospital in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and he'd thought about me. He felt it would be a fantastic experience. Little did he know, Mike had been feeling restless in his job and wanting to know that when he eventually left Deloitte, he was leaving for a good opportunity. He was worried that the Salt Lake market was over-saturated and the opportunities he wanted just weren't there. So we'd been looking for out of state opportunities for his employment. At this time, both Dallas and Fort Worth offices of Deloitte were looking for seniors. At the beginning I think we were both like, "Sure, we'll look into it" without really thinking it would go anywhere. I know when I interviewed for Cook Children's I thought, "That'd be cool. But I'm not leaving UT. I'm staying home and starting a family." I had every excuse in the book to stay in Utah. We had just moved and just renovated our house perfectly to our liking. I was close to family and had left my job so I could start my own. Mike had just been called as elders quorum president the month before. It didn't seem like the right time. And yet... all the while I was stating I was "never going to move", I kept having this overwhelming feeling that Mike and I would live in Texas. Mike continued to feel the same way-- that there was something pulling us. So fast forward six weeks, two flights to Dallas, two new jobs, renting our town home, buying a home in TX, packing up all our belongings into a U-Haul and we were trucking across four states (with the invaluable help of my parents- NEVER would have made it without them) to the great state of Texas!

Packing up all your belongings in a 26 feet truck is an interesting experience. Good thing I have great men in my life that love to do puzzles and devised a way to fit all that furniture in there.

All packed up and ready to go! We headed out on October 25th on a surprisingly snowy morning!
As we crossed over the border... welcome to Texas!

Funny store about finding our new home. Mike and I had accepted positions-- mine with Cook Children's and his with the Dallas/Fort Worth Deloitte offices but we had no idea where to live. We had been looking up rentals online for weeks with no real luck. We didn't know the area and I didn't want to pour money into a small apartment that we'd want to move out of in six months anyway. If I was going to leave our life and families behind-- I wanted to be heading towards a home and not some apartment. So Mike and I decided we'd fly out and buy a home before we came. The problem was that Mike didn't have any time off to come with me. So talking to my sister one day we decided we would fly out together and look for homes. She's a real estate agent in UT and has helped us buy both our homes in the past. I gotta tell you... that was four jam-packed, fun and stressful days. Looking back at it, those were priceless days spent with my sister looking at homes. An opportunity we'll never have again, I'm sure. But at the time, it was pretty intense to have to find and purchase a home in four days without Mike ever seeing the home or the city. It was a lot of responsibility! It's a good thing I had the best sister in the world there to keep me focused, give me her opinion and eventually find the perfect home for our family. I can definitely say the Lord's hand was in our search-- finding a home on the second day of looking, putting in an offer, countering back and forth with an offer accepted on the third day and having an inspection on the fourth day hours before we flew home to Utah... it was nothing short of a miracle.
And here it is... our brand new home in Texas!
Mom helping me paint the mantle white. Even a new house needs projects I guess!
Dad unpacking the kitchen. Did I mention we would never have made it without my parents? Cause we wouldn't have. Without them I'd still be living in a U-Haul on the side of the road in New Mexico.
 Here's my only real picture of our house unpacked. Sorry it's not a great shot-- it's all I have. This is our family room. Notice the new, white mantle! :)
It was truly meant to be- living here. We are loving our home, location, neighborhood, jobs and ward. Mike and I have both received calling as teachers in the ward-- Mike is teaching gospel doctrine and I'm teaching Relief Society once a month. We have already seen numerous reasons why the Lord wanted us here in Texas and are starting to see more unexpected answers here. And we are overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with gratitude. I am so grateful for a Father in Heaven who knows so much better than I ever will what we need. We miss our family in Utah desperately but have felt more happiness, contentment and peace than we have ever experienced in our five years of marriage before. Life is certainly better and bigger in Texas for us-- we can't wait to see what else the Lord has in store for us here in all the years to come.