"The winds of change will blow into your life this month" - fortune cookie at Kung Pao
I've been thinking about the name of my blog recently. Just over a year ago, I started this blog to document our family's move to Los Angeles. It was challenging and emotional for me to pick up and leave a place that truly felt like home to our family, and I felt like a blog would be a good outlet for my feelings as I dealt with our move. I quickly named the blog "three girls move west", since I was consumed with thoughts about how our move would affect our three daughters, having no idea that sixteen months later, with boxes long since unpacked (and then nested in by a family of mice) I would still be writing and that, well, people would actually be reading the blog. Nor did I have any idea that we'd be moving again. Only east. Well, east-ish. But in that direction anyway. So what to do about the name?
At this point, you may actually be thinking, "Who cares about the name? What are you talking about?!" So here it is: We're moving to Boulder, Colorado! And when I say we're moving, I mean like, now. Like holy-crap-pack-the-bags-we-have-to-find-a-house-this-week. Like tomorrow. I truly, truly wish we had more time to say goodbye to our friends here. And our neighbors will probably think we're in the witness protection program for leaving so quickly, but we're actually just on a tight schedule with a pre-planned trip back east and then school starting right after that and so, if we're going to do it, we just have to go.
Perhaps the next question is, "Why Boulder?" And that's a good one because Boulder isn't a lot of things. It isn't Los Angeles, which means leaving friends (we'll miss you guys!!!) and prying our children once again from their home and moving them somewhere new, just when they (and we) were starting to get settled. And it isn't Frederick, despite our belief when we left that we would return one day in the not-too-distant future. And, most troubling to us, it isn't back east, which is where all of our family lives.
Because of all I listed, it isn't perfect, but it is a lot of things we are looking for - and because of that, I am really excited about our move. For a city with a population of just over 100,000 people, Boulder has a surprisingly strong tech scene. It's not the Silicon valley, but Boulder is home to between 150 and 170 start ups. Since Toby and Mike will be starting up a company when we move, a thriving tech scene was essential in picking a realistic location. We were also looking for a more outdoor-oriented city than Los Angeles. In the San Fernando Valley, home to over 5 million people and surrounded by mountains, there isn't a single REI or outdoor (non-surfing) sports store. It's been nice to have the trails and camping sites to ourselves for a year, but the Vermont girl in me is really looking forward to living in a town again where people have ski racks on their cars and dirty hiking boots in their closets. Boulder is nestled in the mountains, with numerous hiking, biking and skiing trails - and over 300 sunny days a year to enjoy them. Really good public schools were another key ingredient in our decision. And, a huge plus - both Boulder and Denver are home to some of our favorite people in the whole world and I am so excited at the idea of living near them again! Lastly, but most importantly, Mike and Diane were open to moving to Denver, making our move possible.
Of course, I could add a lot more to the lists of what Boulder "is" and "isn't", but when you move somewhere new, the real list is "what we have no idea about". When we moved to Frederick, I was concerned about who was living in a small town so far from D.C., and then the people turned out to be the town's greatest asset. I'm sure that there will be both good and bad things about living in Boulder that are on neither of the lists, but we have no way of predicting what those will be. And that "what we have no idea about" list is part of the adventure and the excitement about living somewhere new.
It is because of the "what we have no idea about" list that I have decided not to change the name of my blog after all. When I think about it, "moving west" is about more than just heading a certain direction. To me, it evokes images of families packing up their wagons and heading into unchartered territory. Of course our journey to Boulder will be in the comfort of our mini-van, with all of our belongings following us in a gas-powered moving truck. And Colorado is hardly "unchartered territory" at this point. But I think some of the spirit is the same - the idea of bringing our family somewhere new and embracing the adventure of the journey.
In my first blog post, I mentioned my dad's toast at our wedding to me and Toby for a "lifetime of adventure together." Once again, as I am packing up bags and saying goodbye to friends, I am reminded of his words. There are so many thoughts swirling around my head: Will we like Boulder? Will Toby and Mike's company be successful? Will we have to move again? Is this the right decision for our family? But when I think back to that moment ten years ago, when a room full of people we love raised their glasses to us setting off on an adventure together, I can't help but smile about the journey ahead of us and think, "Cheers!"