Our family has moved. Again. To Texas. If you’re counting, that’s two cross-country moves two years in a row. My third grader will have gone to first, second, and third grade in three different time zones. We put a bazillion miles on our minivan and packed and unpacked a gajillion boxes. As you might guess, this was not the plan.
Last summer was epic, and we loved discovering new things to do in our new area, even while we sweated it out in the mid-Atlantic humidity. But as soon as the leaves dropped off the trees, we started to feel restless. We began to feel like we were camping in our rental.
This camping feeling wasn’t just because we were renting. We liked renting. It was because my husband was working for his fifth start-up. We knew we had to be agile. We might need to pivot. We needed to be in lean, bootstrapping mode so our burn rate wouldn’t put us under, or something—I am not the one who worked for the start-ups. But we knew that for our family, success might move us to New York City or closer to Washington, D.C. Or we might need to sit tight until we could see further ahead.
But we were five in a small 3-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom, two-hundred year old cabin heading into a cold winter, and we wanted to tweak the school thing and the housing thing and my husband’s traveling thing. But the timing wasn’t right, so we kept on camping.
Skipping over a few months and several details, it became clear one afternoon in January that the burn rate had been much faster than we realized. I’m glad I got the news firsthand—by accidentally eavesdropping on conversation between my husband and his team in New York. Such is life in a small house. It felt like the day the music died, for us anyway.
If the start-up was going to make it, something drastic needed to happen. So my husband, in a Clooney-esque move, cut himself loose, hoping the company could make it with the remaining oxygen they had left if they didn’t have to pull him along too, or something—like I said, I didn’t work there. I might be slightly overstating the heroic nature of his decision. This isn’t journalism.
We were adrift with our unanswered questions.
And then it started snowing.
Skipping over a lot of details, a company my husband had been contracting with gave him more work and wanted to give him even more. They made an official offer and said we could stay where we were. So we began to look for other housing and schooling options.
I spent a lot of time on Zillow and read about every school in our area. And my husband kept on traveling. It became clear that even if we stayed where we were, the work was in Texas. And we were an hour away from an airport. But we really didn’t want to move . . . again.
There weren’t a lot of housing options in our price range, but we managed to find a house we liked in a good neighborhood. It had a wrap-around porch and a willow tree. It didn’t answer the school issue or the travel issue, but it would allow us to stay near our best friends. We were hoping changing houses would be enough of a boost to minimize the other factors we were struggling with. But still, though the house wasn’t that old, the inspection revealed it would need windows, a roof, a new HVAC system, plus a long list of cosmetic things I’d want to do.
While we sat waiting for the inspector to wrap up, my husband got two calls about two different trips he’d need to take. Our calendar for that period had three trips in three weeks, all to the same place. And it looked like we’d spend all the time he was home fixing up the house. That was going to be a hard way to establish Home in a new area.
It was a difficult decision, but we backed out of the house. The next week my husband and I were in San Antonio looking at houses. We found several options that seemed to answer our housing, school, and travel woes. The catch was they would all require another cross-country move . . . to Texas.
So we did yet another brave, risky, crazy thing, and we moved. We’d spent years missing the east coast, and we hated the thought of leaving. But we’d already risked so much that we weren’t ready to sign up for a life filled with so much travel.
I’ll continue my work as a Houzz contributor, and my husband will continue to work hard, but now with an established organization (not a start-up!), and he’ll work mostly in Texas from Texas.
And we’ll get to work establishing Home in our new area.
This is a photo of our backyard at the new house, taken before our furniture arrived. I’ll share more pictures soon.