choose our next adventure

February 19, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Posted in Frustration, Minnesota, Silly | 13 Comments

Do you remember reading Choose Your Own Adventure books when you were younger?  I used to love them, and would read them over and over and over until I had read all possible combinations of the story.

Anyways, we’re faced with some big decisions here, and we’ve decided to leave it up to a vote.  You choose, and we’ll do whatever you tell us.*  So, read our dilemma below, vote in our little poll on the sidebar, and leave a comment with your thoughts and/or questions.

Remember how I mentioned that Jason was away on business last week?  Well, he actually flew out-of-state for a job interview.  No, he was not necessarily actively looking.  But a few months ago, he was actively looking and posted a resume on Monster.  A recruiter found his resume and applied him to some jobs.  He agreed to go along with it, but wasn’t seriously looking for a job (at least not one that would move him long distance).  Then, 2 weeks ago, he had a phone interview.  Then, he was asked to do an on-site interview.  And, today, his awesome offer package showed up at our door via FedEx.

This is Jason’s dream job.  It’s one of those rare opportunities that doesn’t come along very often.  Jason would get to do exactly what he’s been training and preparing for over the past 9 years, and I know he would be successful in this particular position.  Jason said his colleagues there would be top-notch, and he’s really excited about the possibility of working with them.  To top it all off, the compensation package is ridiculous – Jason would earn more than the two of us combined earn now, and he’d get 6 weeks paid paternity leave (handy if we decide to reproduce), as well as amazing prescription coverage, and health, dental, eye, and life insurance.  He’d get a decent amount of vacation time.  And a very nice relocation package (so we wouldn’t really have to pay to move our belongings, and they’ll reimburse us any money lost on the sale of our home).  All around, this position is MUCH better than his current one.  Fantastic – right?

The catch?  We’d have to move.  Out of state.  To a small town.

A town where I don’t necessarily have a job.  There are job possibilities, but nothing definite.  (Although, I should note that my job here is only guaranteed until October 2010, and then there is just a small chance I could stay.  So I would likely have to begin a job search next winter anyways.)

If we moved, it would mean that my career would likely take a hit.  You know, that career that I spent extra years in school preparing for?  That career that has been the main motivating force behind everything I’ve done for the last 8 years?  The career that I’m really questioning right now – am I really even doing something I love?  Sigh.

We have a house here.  And I love our house here so, so much. The thought of selling the house that we’ve been dreaming about fixing up for the last year and a half is heart-wrenching.  Oh!  The projects that we didn’t get to start, much less finish!

If we moved, our house here would be the second house we have on the slow, slow, slow housing market (anyone want to buy a cute little bungalow in Kentucky?).  And, if you haven’t taken our home tour yet, check it out – because I’d imagine that very few people would be willing to buy a home in this condition.

The thought of packing up all of our belongings for the third time in 3 years makes me want to puke.  It seriously makes me feel sick.  Then again, we’ve still got quite a few boxes still packed from our move to Kentucky in 2006.  Can you believe I haven’t lived in a house that’s been fully unpacked and furnished in over 3 years?  It’s disturbing, really.  I just want a neat home with no cardboard and everything in its place.  Is that too much to ask for?

I love living here.  Our location is perfect – in the city, yet near a few of the city’s billion parks and lakes.  Central to everything.

Some of the most awesome people I know also live here.  I would miss them.

I think I would have to rename the blog if we moved.  Our home in small town America, perhaps?

If we moved, we could support our family on Jason’s income alone.  (Meaning: When/if we have kids, I could be a stay at home mom, or have the freedom to only work part-time since our family wouldn’t rely on my salary.  I think this would be a plus.  Any mamas out there have thoughts on this?  I’m told that having kids changes your life, so I have no clue what I’ll think when/if we actually have kids in tow).

If we moved, we’d be closer to both my family (4 hrs via car) and Jason’s family (11 hrs via car).

If we moved, we’d have a 1-2 hr drive to the closest major airport.  We’d be back in small city America.  There’s no Chipotle there (almost a deal-breaker for Jason, but there is a Q-Doba in town, so he would be able to get his mexican fast-food needs satisfied).  At least there’d be a Target there?  And they get snow?  I love snow.

We’d end up living in different states for at least 6 months, if we move.  This is less than ideal, but we did spend the entire first year of our relationship in separate parts of the country (MN and NC), and when we moved back to MN, Jason lived here by himself for 3 months before I moved back.  So we can do it, and we have done it, but it’s just not really very fun. 

Why is it that the older we get, the tougher these decisions seem to be? This is probably our biggest decision to-date and I’m glad we’re making it together.  Talk about putting our marriage to the test right away…

Although my stomach is churning with nervousness about making the right decision, I am so grateful that Jason has had this opportunity, and so proud of him for nailing the interview!  I’m trying to keep it all in perspective by remembering that Jason choosing between 2 jobs is much better than him having no job at all.

*unless we decide otherwise.



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  1. Target, Q’doba, small town? That sounds like a pretty decently large town to me. The town I grew up was SUPER excited when they got their first fast food restaurant, Subway. I’ll be honest with you, what my own experiences, small towns are usually a much better environment to raise kids in. As a child, I would bike 3 miles into town by myself, go to the community pool, and bike around town after that. All without ever worrying about getting thrown into a van and God only knows what else. Sure, you sacrifice some of the conveniences, but I personally feel the benefits far outweigh the downsides.

  2. I just re-read the title of your blog. When you say, “the cities,” are you referring to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area? If so, the personal experience I was referring to relates to you more than you can imagine. Back in May, my wife, my almost 1 year old son, and I moved down to Eden Prairie. We moved from Grand Forks, ND (pop. 50k). I grew up in a small town in west-central Minnesota. A month ago, we moved right back to Grand Forks. While you consider the area home, once you live away from it for a while, you’ll realize what you were living with. We were amazed at how non-Minnesota nice people were. Traffic is insane. Neighbors are people that live next to you, but not much more. Not only that, but it seems that people in larger towns tend to be driven more by material items than people in smaller towns.

    For us, it was the little things that drove us insane. When we’d come “home” to visit, the random strangers would come up to our son, smile and talk to him. Pinch his cheeks. In the cities, people would glare at you when he stops to wave at them in a shopping aisle, slowing them down. Our decision really boiled down to where we felt would be best to raise our son.

    Not sure where you are thinking about moving to, so it is hard to say if it’ll be any better than where you are now. But I just ask that you don’t dismiss the smaller town because it is small.

    Good luck with the decision!

  3. I say move…as long as the new state is not Michigan.

  4. Hi! I’m a visitor from another site, but you said you were up for a mom’s take on things, I thought I’d see if I could help out 🙂

    I’ve been married to A for 8 years and have two beautiful boys (ages 4.5 years and 3 years). After a month of marriage, A had to go to Korea. For a year. I couldn’t come with him, as he was stationed right on the N./S. Korea border. Between 2002 and 2009 we moved five times–we were never all the way unpacked before we were told (again) to pack it up and move to _______.

    We are (finally) a mere 6 weeks away from moving into the home we *know* that we’re going to be in for at least 10 years. The feeling is unbelievable! At this point in our lives we are fortunate enough to get to decide where we want to live; we figured we’d live in the city, where there was no shortage of exciting things to do, but we chose a small town in central Texas. Our decision was based specifically on the quality of life our children would enjoy: an excellent school system, the non transient culture, the parks and programs available, and the wide-open spaces they could explore.

    Of course there are things we miss about the “big city”, but it’s only an hour’s drive from us–the best of both worlds.

    After my boys were born I continued to work in the non-profit sector. Once we moved it was no longer necessary for me to do so, since A’s job is an awesome one. There’s alot of division among the Stay At Home Moms and the Work Outside the Home Moms–I’ve been on both sides of the fence and I’ll never understand why there’s any issue. There’s a common link between us: we’re all working toward the same goal–raising happy, healthy children–we just go about it in different ways. Different ways that work for each and every family in America. That said, after I quit my job to stay at home with my boys, I’ve never looked back.

    It’s also given me the opportunity to do alot of volunteer work…I take my boys with me to help at the food pantry with the hope that what they see will give them perspective on life–to help them realize that no matter their station in life they have a responsibility to other people.

    So anyway…if I rambled and made no sense, I apologize. I’m sick as a dog today.

  5. I am not going to weigh in on this decision as it is yours (and Jason’s) alone to make. I do believe you have already made your decision and are more disconcerted about having made that decision than about “trying to decide”.

  6. Good luck. There’s nothing like exciting decisions to turn tummies into knots! Sit down and weigh it all out. Good luck!

  7. Did Trevor really use the word “disconcerted?” Maybe you need to move back home so your kids can go to whatever school has been tending to his vocabulary.

    This is what I have to say. It’s probably no surprise.

    – Why work a job you don’t like? A career you don’t like?
    – Why have children if someone else will be doing the majority of the “raising”? If you like kids now (which you do), then you’re going to go bonkers over your own children.

    Obviously, some people don’t have a choice about the above two. But you do – or, at least, you’ve been given the opportunity to make a choice about then.

    Living in a small town would stink for many reasons, but would be awesome for others. We just faced this decision (small town/small city/large city) too, but realized that we’d rather have jobs we like in a place we’re just OK with than be miserable in jobs in a city we love. Luckily, we’re moving from city we love/jobs we hate to city we love/job we love. And maybe you would, too.

  8. Far be it from me to tell you what to do. I’ve made so many mistakes in my life I don’t need to make any for anyone else. I tend to agree with Trevor’s(your mothers)statement,however.
    Definitly not part of my response but it’s been a long time since we had a little baby around here.(this is no guilt trip just a statement of fact so ignore it).

  9. I really thought you had put Grandpa on the right side of the tracks last weekend but evidently he was not paying attention!!!! He’s not giving up. As far as living in a small town, we loved living in Red Lake and that is really a small town. He took me there and left for a week to get the airplane from Edmonton and by the time he came back I knew almost everyone in town. We lived dead center and every morning I walked to one end and then the other and wandered in and out of places where I could talk to people. Coming back to the city after the first six months was almost scary! The only thing I really missed was family but some of you did come to visit. I found a lot to do with my time. Look into what there might be for you to do. I had a garden, did a lot of knitting, learned how to p lay my guitar, found someone to play tennis with, etc.. Come up with some things you might be interested in and see what happens. As far as having two houses already that would scare the beegeebees out of me. I would also miss you when we come to Aunt Tamis’. But if it’s true you would only be 2 hrs. from your Mom and Dad that would mean you’d only be two hrs. from me and I could come for a day visit!!! Say, like lunch? I think it’s a difficult thing to have to think about but, Im sure after you weigh both sides you two will come up with the right choice. I’m sure glad I don’t have to make the choice! Tooooo many pros and cons in this one! Love, GGG

  10. Well, this is my third attempt to send this message. Let me know if you got any of them.
    Just wanted to say I made so many dumb,decisions in my life I’am not going to venture into this one. It’s your twos problem to figger out. Will say this tho, I agree with Trevors (your mothers) thoughts.
    I’am not going to vote. so mark me as present.
    PS. This is no guilt trip just a statement of fact, it’s been a long time since we had a baby around here.

  11. I say follow the Abominable Snowman! Just kidding. Man, you made me laugh with that picture, though…takes me back to the good ‘ole days. 🙂 How wonderful that you have two great choices, especially in this economy! I used to teach first grade and LOVED my profession. LOVED it. But I am forever grateful that I have the opportunity to stay home with my boys (ages 4 and 2), at least at this stage in their lives. When we were first married and built this house, we didn’t think that I would stay home when we had children, but things changed and we decided we would make lifestyle changes so I could do it. Again, I am forever grateful we made this choice. But I don’t know that it’s the right choice for everyone. I’m certainly glad that I had the choice, though.

    Best of luck in your decision!


  12. I hope you decide to go. From what you’ve written, your cons list is all things you don’t know, but worry MIGHT be true, and your pro list is all things you know for a fact.
    Go for it, but just give each other permission to change your minds in a year if it isn’t working for you. Being young and kid free is all about trying things out and taking risks. Later, it will be harder to do.
    That’s my two cents.
    PS: Hudson is tiny but way way non-boring. You might be surprised.

  13. And the reason I am the last to know?!?!?!
    Anyway, Small city like ann arbor, kalamazoo, flint, holland…what, based upon the last 5-6 years would lead you to beleive this is or would be a final destination? Take the money and run BUT remember that each time the ante goes up the next deal that comes along may not have all the perks.
    And as for kids… the hockey is pretty good in michigan and that will keep you busy.

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