Both Jason and I have been tossing around the idea of moving to Colorado since last November. It all started shortly after I moved in and Jason and I realized our space got really tight and with him working from home our current condo will be too small once we decide we want to have kids. Clearly, a move is in our future. Even though we love living in the city, we long to have a back yard, basement, guest bedroom (turned nursery eventually), and Jason really needs an office since he works from home and a garage (see this post).
Anyone who lives in the city knows how little space/storage city condos offer and neither of us are fond of moving to the Chicago burbs. The cost of living in Chicago is so expensive so to get a house we both want, we'd have to move to the outskirts of Chicago, which is the complete opposite of how/where we're living now. Ever since November, Jason and I have been checking our weather app for Denver and saw that it was consistently warmer temperatures and learned that Denver has sun over 300 days a year (opposed to Chicago which is around 85!)
Since we started getting very serious about the move, I decided I wanted to go to Colorado for a few days to get a feel for the neighborhoods and the people. After several emails with a Realtor explaining what we want and can afford, we met (totally a God thing, but can explain that later) and she took us around for an entire day showing us areas as far north as Erie and as far south as Highlands Ranch with everything in between. I had been praying that I would get a very clear sense if this (move) was something we should do. The first half of the day it was very clear that the north suburbs were not for me. I was initially pretty disappointed that we had flown all the way out there just to discover that I hadn't liked any of the areas I had seen in the first 3 days we were there. But as we drove south I got more and more excited. Everything I had pictured in my head as for where I want to raise our family was there. The shopping, the neighborhoods, the houses, the people, the mountains, the weather. (an in all fairness it rained every day we were there!) I have not felt so much at peace as I did that afternoon. I felt this true sense of contentment that I hadn't felt since even before I was laid off. I felt like this was exactly where I am supposed to be a teacher, where we are to raise our kids, where we will find our forever-church home and where I may even learn how to grow a garden or how to bake! (both those last ones are a stretch!) I just felt home in a way I haven't felt in a while. I think I always realized the city of Chicago would be a stepping stone for me, especially for my "single days" and always knew I didn't want to go back to the Chicago suburbs but never thought past that, so what a feeling to be in a place I finally feel I could call "home."
It's been an emotional month as we've told friends and family. I am very close to my family and know it will be very hard to leave, but just as it is with me in Chicago (with them all thinking I'm sooooo far away :) we will do our best to budget for many trips home. We will surely have an extra bedroom for guests to visit as often as they'd like. I have the (spiritual) gift of hospitality so living in Colorado will be a great time to use and try to perfect the gift that God has so graciously given me. God has been so faithful to us through this decision, I believe this will be a true test of my faith. By no means do I think this will be an easy transition for me (who am I kidding...I went to college just 2 hours away and was homesick all three years!) but I am as confident as I could be that this is the path we are to take, and just need to trust that God will be at our side.
If prayer is your kind of thing, I really ask that you would be praying for us and for our families. As I said, it's been very emotional. I don't want to let anyone down and by making this decision I feel like we have. At the same time, it's something I really feel we're being led to do and couldn't be more excited to see how His plan plays out in our lives together as a family of two (and hopefully growing some day!)! Oh...and once we're settled, I hope you will come visit, this is an open invitation, we would love to have you!