Photo is of Kurt's grandfather, in whose home we will be staying. He is overlooking the yard. Photo courtesy Kurt's cousin Rachel Hatch.
In two weeks we will be on our way!!!
Kurt does not have a job, he will be looking locally when we arrive. So... why (one would ask) exactly are we randomly moving our family 1,631.5 miles away?
The move is not random.
Our lease ended. Currently unemployment pays our rent and utilities. We knew it was unwise to sign a new lease here, at the risk of Kurt getting a job in another state. We prayed. We knew putting in our intent to vacate was the right thing to do, but we weren't sure of exactly where we were going. Being planners, we had a plan.
Step 1/Plan 1) Look for jobs locally. Truth be told most of my favorite people are in another part of this city, further north than we live right now. The northern part of the city had a lot of housing options, and more square footage per dollar than where we live now. We thought if Kurt got a job here, we would just move back up north a bit- where I could enjoy being closer to friends and our family could enjoy a bigger living space. We had wonderful people keeping their eyes peeled for rentals in the area- and we were happy to find that we could rent a house (rather than townhome) for almost half of what we were paying before! Good plan? Totally!
Step 2/Plan 2) Look for jobs in our "favorite" state. Kurt and I love Utah. LOVE. My university is there, we have excellent friends there, and we love the Utah culture. Kurt applied and had interviews in Utah. One of the jobs looked *very* promising, and we even got a call weeks later saying they were still trying to put together an offer! We love Salt Lake City and the surrounding area, and the boys were thrilled at the idea of getting to see Carter's favorite person in the world: Kayla. Kayla, and other Salt Lake friends, were keeping an open eye on local rentals, and we actually found a house that would have worked perfectly! I wrote to my favorite professor and I asked for my lab position back (she said yes!). I was thrilled about having my favorite OB again, and over-the-moon happy at the prospect of getting our old pediatrician back! The money from this lead was right, we picked a home in a great neighborhood, we were all set! Good plan? Absolutely!
Step 3/Emergency Plan) We didn't know what our backup plan would be, at first. Kurt told his parents about his job loss, and right away they reminded him of the other house on the family's farm. Kurt thanked them, but didn't seriously consider it. I was dead set against it. (Iowans- please, I beg you, do not be offended! I just saw our family in one of the more western states- with larger cities, bigger mountains, and low humidity.) As weeks went by we realized that Kurt's family was seriously offering us the use of this house (not used to being offered houses, part of us thought they may have been kidding... when I say us, I mean I), and we were slowly understanding what a blessing it was to have a backup plan. So, while we did not plan on moving to Iowa, we were very thankful for the comforting blessing of knowing we would not be without shelter. Just knowing we had an option really took a lot of stress away.
So- Kurt applied and applied and applied. He had interviews. We had prayers for us. We had leads! And time kept going by....
With just two and a half weeks until the end of our vacate notice, we knew it was time to pray again.
As a family, we gathered, and we prayed.
And now, we are headed to Iowa.
I know my husband, and I have watched him transition to happy acceptance over this decision: I know he wanted to be in Utah. I know he would have been happy in Nevada or California. He has grown used to managing people and working long hours. He has loved urban life and ulcer-causing-stressful competition in western sales. He has grown accustom to providing us with a certain lifestyle. He loves mountains. He adores internet at bandwidths most families would never conceive of needing. He has been happy! On the flip side- he knows Iowa family values. He is thrilled at the mere idea of getting to spend (any!) holidays with his very large family, most of whom are very close by and see one another often. He is ecstatic about being able to share a part of his life, living on a farm, with our children. He is thrilled at the idea of being able to care for his dear and wonderful grandfather's house while we stay there. I see his eyes dance with the idea of being able to help his dad bring in a harvest, and showing our kids what it is like to have to spend 2 1/2 hours mowing a lawn. His face beams at the thought of being close to his childhood friends- and raising kids together. His smile wrinkles as he fondly tells stories of growing up on a farm, stories the kids and I cannot possibly relate to. His heart is warmed at the idea of getting to see his parents, his extended family, and having our kids close to lots of cousins. When he lived there, he was happy!
So how could we ever make a decision? Thankfully- prayer gave us peace. We knew we need to go to Iowa. Why? I have no idea. It could literally be to show the kids what it was like for Kurt, growing up. It could be that the perfect job is waiting for him, and needs more time. It could be that Kurt's family needs to be close right now. It could be any number of things, and we have no idea which one, but for now we are thankful we know where we are headed!
Kurt called his parents yesterday, and he has started making arrangements. I am so thankful Kurt has good friends in Iowa- a few who homeschool!- who can help me navigate Iowa laws regarding schooling our children at home this fall. I called the hospital where our baby will be delivered, and asked them a few questions that were important to us (mostly regarding policies about sibling visits). We still have some things to sort out- but we know that those things will fall into place.
Kurt's parents graciously offered to come here and drive Kurt's truck to Iowa for him. They offered to help us move! Their thoughtfulness and kindness brings me to tears. In one week we have been given hope, love, and blessings that were beyond our comprehension. We have been gifted things for our baby, and shelter for our family. There is no doubt that we are not loved.
Thank you to everyone who offered prayers on our behalf. God heard them, and responded. Yes, it was in His time- but it was ALL for a reason. Although the full reason is not yet clear, my faith is unshakable that these things have come to pass for our greater good, and with any luck- this process will bless others as well, and help us spread God's greatness =)