Sunday, September 22, 2013


To say our moving experience gone off without a hitch would be a lie.  We've had a number of actually big issues since we got here.

First off, getting here was rough.  You'd think a 5.5 hour drive wouldn't be so bad, but it was.  It really, really was.  I had the girls by myself, and Clark had the big truck with all our stuff.  I wanted to climb out of the moving car about an hour and a half into the trip.  I love my children, but they can be...trying at times.  Particularly Ella.  Somehow we survived.  I'm just glad it's over.

Then, once we got here, we noticed one minor detail: the only dryer hookup is gas.  And we have an electric dryer.  So our dryer sat in the garage for about a week, while we worked that one out.  Thankfully we have a great landlord, and he had an electrician come put in a line for us.  But things got a little dicey there when we all ran out of underwear.  I ran a load of undies and then hung them up all over the house.  It's a good thing we don't have any friends who might drop by, because it was crazy underwear house over here. 

And then we smelled gas.  The kind from a line, not a person.  It was coming from the stove.  So we shut off the stove, called the gas company, and discovered that we did, in fact, have a minor leak.  No stove for a few days.  After having an appliance repair guy come out and discover that the part that needed replacing cost about $400, the landlord decided to just buy a new stove.  Not a bad deal for us.  Again, we have a GREAT landlord.

And who could forget the Internet Saga 2013.  We signed up to get the internet started the week after we got here.  I waited and waited at our house on the appointed day, but no one came.  Until I looked out my window and saw someone pulling OUT of my driveway.  You see, we live in a townhome, where the garages all face each other, and my front door faces a pond.  So the cable guy had pulled into my driveway, called Clark (who was at work), and then decided no one was home.  Despite my car parked in the driveway.  Despite the fact that he had never actually found the front door, or, I don't know, KNOCKED.  It turns out we even have a doorbell on our garage.  I guess cable man didn't see that either.

After many different phone attempts, we were told that they rescheduled us for the next week.  At a time that wasn't convenient.  Without asking us first.  I was pretty riled up over this tidbit of information, but in truth, I just wanted internet access again, and I was willing to do anything to get it.  So we waited.  And now, obviously, we are all hooked up. Patience is a virtue.  I guess I still need to learn that one.

And finally, the AC in my car is not working.  I keep telling myself that this is no big deal because fall is on the way, but it certainly was a big deal when I had to go get milk in 95° weather.  And it continues to be a big deal any day the sun is shining.  Come on, fall!  Where are you??

OK.  Rant over.  Hopefully all the glitches have been resolved, and we can just live our lives normally.  For a while at least.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Some things about Illinois:

  1. There are toll roads.  Lots of toll roads.  I think it cost us 4 or 5 tolls to get here from MI.  Tolls, tolls, everywhere!
  2. There is a fee to register your child for school.  On top of the lengthy supply list (even for Kindergarteners).  On top of the tuition you must pay for full-day Kindergarten.  We have opted for half-day, because $230/month for school isn't in the budget right now.  This is a bit disappointing, as half day is only 2.5 hours long.  Sigh.
  3. You have to pay to have your trash taken away.  Recycling is free.  Trash is not.  You buy trash bags and/or trash bag tags at the grocery store.  I like this in theory, but I miss having an outdoor garbage can to put stinky trash in.  
  4. The cost of housing is quite high.  Basically, it's not cheap to live here.  Illinois is broke and wants my money.  Unfortunately, I am also broke, and am ticked about giving it to them.  Not a happy relationship so far between me and the Prairie State.
  5. There are a LOT more stores and restaurants here.  A. LOT.  We have everything you could ever want.  But see above about lack of funds.  So someday, we'll get to eat at some fantastic restaurants. 
  6. Having more stores also means having more discount grocery stores.  I haven't purchased a gallon of milk for under $2 in years, YEARS I say!  I could get used to that.
  7. We found a lovely walking trail/bike path right by our house that takes us around a pond and ends up at a playground.  This is everything our family could ever want.  Score.
  8. The ward has seen HUGE growth in numbers the past 6 months or so.  Lots of people moving in.  In fact, there was another family that moved here the same day as us, just up the road, and we have mutual friends.  So that's promising.
All in all, I think we're going to like it here.  We'll have to spend more money, but I'm trying to look at it like a challenge to find all the free/discount things to do around here.  Like a game to see who comes out on top, me or the state.  I'm a determined cheapskate, so watch out, Illinois, I WILL beat you at this game!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Oh hey! We moved.

It's only been 1 month since I last blogged, but it turns out 1 month is enough time to change everything.  Everything

Around the time of my last post, Clark had an interview with a company in the Chicago area.  It was someone who had interviewed him before over the phone, but then they changed what they were looking for, and so things didn't pan out.  A couple months later, they had an opening for an engineer, and immediately flew Clark out for an on-site interview.  It went well. 

A week after the interview, an offer was made.  After much prayer and consideration, the offer was accepted.  Coming from unemployment means you want to get started right away.  You want to get started yesterday.  So we sat down and looked at the calendar, to see how fast we could possibly do this.  2 weeks was what we came up with.  So in 2 weeks we found a place to live, listed our house, packed up all our belongings, and moved to Illinois.  To say it was crazy doesn't even begin to describe those 2 weeks. 

We had so many offers of help from our good friends in Midland.  Our kids were well taken care of, we had extra hands to pack and clean, and we even received dinners most of the nights that last week.  In the whirlwind of activity, I almost didn't have time to think about the magnitude of this decision. 


In the quiet hours of the night, when I should have been sleeping, I spent a lot of time thinking on the past 3 years in Michigan, and how much I loved it there.  I thought about all the friends we had made, all the friends my girls had made.  I thought about how much we loved our house, and how heartbreaking it was to have to sell it.  I thought about all the places we had discovered and the fun experiences we were able to have as a family.  And I cried.  I'm still mourning the loss of our lives in Midland, actually.  We had it good.  I knew this would be coming, I'd known since January when Clark lost his job, but when it actually happened, when reality set in and I knew I'd be leaving one of the most precious places on earth to me, it felt a little like the sky was falling, and I'd never be happy again.

Of course, this is false. A little factoid about me: I can't be unhappy for longer than a few hours.  My soul just can't take it, so I always find a way to pick myself up and hunt for the silver lining in all things.  The grand paradox of my life is that I'm such a worrier, and yet I'm supremely optimistic.  It's cyclical, I guess.  Anyway.

We are here in IL!  The boxes are all banished into storage, life is starting to calm down finally, and we are settling into a routine.  Now we just need our house to sell.  Seriously, friends, pray that we sell it quickly or we'll be in BIG trouble. 

More to come soon.