Over the past few years Paul's work situation has become more and more stressful and we were feeling as though we had less and less good quality family time as he went to work before the children were up in the morning, came home at dinner time, and was exhausted on the weekends. His parents used to live nearby but retired out to Las Vegas almost two years ago, leaving us with no family closer than a six hour drive. Although we've loved living in Massachusetts, we decided to start looking to relocate to be closer to either my parents in Pennsylvania or Paul's parents in Nevada as we really wanted our children to grow up close to family.
After months and months of looking for jobs, applying for jobs, interviewing for positions that weren't quite right or for positions that were fantastic but not in the right location, Paul was offered a position working for the county out in Las Vegas. We mulled it over for a while, and decided that although we'll be a lot farther from my family in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington, DC, we'll be in the same town as Paul's parents, one of his brothers and his daughter, and an aunt. And we'll be 4-5 hours driving from one of my brothers and Paul's other brother who are in California. Add in a much lower cost of living, better year-round weather (yes, it's brutally hot there in the summer- but dry heat is more bearable than humid and it's warm enough most of the winter to hit the playground, even in January and February), and we decided to go for it. We've visited Las Vegas a dozen times or so and know that it's not just strippers and casinos- in fact, the suburbs of Las Vegas are just like any other suburbs- full of schools, libraries, shopping centers, parks, and regular, every day people.
This decision wasn't made with ease- we're both very nervous about such a big change for all of us. Las Vegas is pretty much the polar opposite of Massachusetts. We know we'll miss the change of seasons (although I doubt very much that we'll miss snowblowing at 5 a.m so that Paul can get to work), our friends, and the home we've worked so hard to create here. Paul has lived in Massachusetts for thirty years and I've been here for fourteen so it's a huge portion of our lives. And I'm sad about being so much farther from my parents. Even though it's a six hour drive to see them, it's a drive, not a plane trip, so we can be a bit more flexible about visits and things.
But we're confident that after an initial adjustment period we'll be happy with the change. And we know that if, in a few years, we decide that Las Vegas isn't right for us, the children will still be young enough that it won't be too hard to relocate and change schools again.
We're excited to be near family, we're excited to be moving into a neighborhood where there are block parties and trick-or-treat, where we can walk to school and to several large parks, where the neighbors up and down the street have children the same age as ours. We're excited to be able to explore the western part of the country more- trips to California, the Grand Canyon, and other amazing national parks. We're excited to more than double the size of our house- we'll have plenty of room for guests now- no one will be relegated to a pull-out sofa in our spidery basement any more. And we're excited for Paul to be in a job were he gets home by 4 pm and isn't so stressed out and exhausted so that we can spend more time enjoying our children and our family.
And so, for now, as the moving truck arrived today and we're loading it tomorrow before the kids and I had to Pennsylvania for a visit with Nana and Pappy while Paul and the dog drive with a buddy across the country, I sign off with:
"Viva, Las Vegas!"