Monday, April 16, 2007

So do we look like a Northwestern family? Can we pull it off?

I'm sure you've all been waiting for the report about our trip up North. I've been putting it off because it seems like it would take too long to write it all down, but I need to just get it done! I think I will interview myself for you.

Q: How were Jeff's job fairs?
A: Well, he almost missed the first one, since getting a flight there was quite a fiasco. In the end, we were scheduled on three different flights, had to go to three different airport terminals, and ended up with a layover on the way to PDX. The fair ened at four, and Jeff got there (straight from the airport) after 2:00. But all's well that ends well, and he was able to visit the districts he wanted, and even got a couple of on-the-spot interviews. Most importantly, he went back the next day to interview for a really great position he had been interested in, and he feels like he aced that one! This position is exciting because it is not a classroom teacher job, but he would be working as an autism specialist. He would visit schools and help teachers work with their students with autism, teach inservices, work with students one-on-one, and in the end, train other autism specialists. I think it would be very challenging, but I also think Jeff would excell at these tasks and be very fulfilled in his work.
Q: Any downsides to the job?
A: For starters, I have a crazy fact to share: Almost any job in OR or WA, even if it is a step up careerwise, would entail about a 15K pay CUT. YIKES!! I'm not sure how that will play out, but we are still planning on moving and making it work. The other thing is that this particular job is based in Salem, not a city we had ever considered living in. On the other hand, given the pay situation, Salem may be one of the only cities we could afford to buy a house in!
But that is not the only position we're thinking about. It was such a boost for Jeff to get phone calls from a lot of different districts in both states, telling him how great his resume looked and how much they'd like to have him in their district. Jeff is applying for a teaching position in Longview, WA, with the plan that we would live in Vancouver-- in between Portland and Olympia. Housing also looks affordable there, plus no state income tax is always nice. There were some other interviews and more possibilities continue to open up, but I won't mention them until they become more significant. In a month, there will be a lot more clarity, and I will let you know where we're at in the game.

Q: How do you feel about the move?
A: Well, I am so ready to start setting up shop in a new home. I love our apartment, but I have made the mental break away from it, and am itching for some permanence, not to mention new paint, hanging things up, starting a long term garden, etc. etc. When I think of moving, this is what I think of the most, and I am excited to turn a new space into home, and the idea of actually owning something seems too nice to even think about. I have about three more months here, and although I am a "live in the moment" person who rarely daydreams about the future, I am beginning to make a peaceful separation with my life as I know it now, and have put the brakes on investing and putting roots down for the moment. So as far as I'm concerned, I might as well make the move tomorrow so I can get on with it!

Q: How was Amelia on the trip? Did you get to take some naps?
A: This was not Amelia's best week and a half. She's never really been sick (she's had some vomitting episodes as an allergic reaction, but never even a cold,) and she was SICK for about a week at the start of the trip. She had a fever for three days, a body rash, diarrhea, etc. It could all be traced to teething, but she has never teethed like that before! She was completely out of sorts, and cried a lot at night. One night, she didn't sleep more than a couple 45 minute naps, and other nights she couldn't settle till after midnight, and woke up about every two hours. Poor baby. I was so disappointed because I didn't feel like our family we visited got to see her shiny little personality that we love. Plus, I think ten days is too long for a little one to be in a new environment, although she did love having so many new people around all of the time. She was back to her old self as soon as we got home-- maybe even happier than her old self! All in all, she was a real trooper, and I think she has a newfound contentment with being at home! Oh, and yes, I did take some naps-- but I have to admit that I needed them a lot more than usual. Oh, well.

Q: When is your next trip?
A: I don't want to talk about it. No, just kidding. I think in the next month or so, we will go up again for final interviews and city scouting. Then hopefully we won't need to go up until we move, but you never know.

Q: So when is it that you are actually moving?
A: Mid- July. The plan is that Jeff's dad (Phil) will come down here, and Amelia and I will fly up and stay with Jeff's mom (Amy) while the boys get us moved. I think this is a great arrangement! Jeff's school year ends in late June, and we will be focused on packing up in the following weeks.
By the way, if you live here and are feeling sad about us moving, why don't you call and make plans to spend time with us? Or just Amelia, if you insist! We may be "checking out" in certain ways, but we would love to spend as much time with people in the next few months as possible. Don't wait until our last week!

Any questions I didn't ask or answer?


Anonymous said...

Thank you Ariana! This is just what I wanted to ask you! I wonder if we'll be able to visit you in OR/WA? That would be fun! We'll be coming through there at the end of July, but we'll see how things shape up. Yes... let's make plans to spend a little time together while you're still here!

Bethany said...

You definitely look like a Northwestern kind of family! Okay, so I was only there a week last summer, but I sure can picture you living up there. Beautiful family picture, and thanks for filling us in.

Erin said...

That was a fun way to do it! Thanks for the update - and I like your new hair cut!

ShackelMom said...

Well, that pretty much answers all my questions! And the family shopt is great! Yeah, you can definately pass! We look forward to seeing where you actually end up! the Salem job really does sound ideal, job wise, but we shall see!

Anonymous said...

Great reporting, Ariana! If you weren't married and with a baby, I could picture you as a traveling correspondent in the evening news.

TimnND said...

It was nice to briefly see you at Imago sorry we didnt get a chance to chat. You guys look like you were made to be up here! Has the moss started to grown on your backs and the webbing in your feet? =) Let us know if there is anything we can help with as you get closer to moving. I have muscles and would be happy to help unload etc, and Naomi loves to line drawers or whatever you need around the new place.