So much to report these days, and seeing how it's been 4 years since I've written anything (yikes!) I thought I'd give an update to anyone still out there.
Here's what's been happening in our little world lately...
For the past 3 years we had still been living in our little condo in Chicago, loving life and going out and enjoying our neighborhood every chance we got. We were happy, just the three of us, until after much deliberation and prayer, we decided to see if we could expand our family.
In late summer of 2013, I became pregnant.
We found out a few months later that Elise was going to have a baby brother. We were thrilled. The months ticked along until the due date of May 4th. Evan Matthew was born on May 5th, our little Cinco de Mayo baby. All was right with the world.
Around the time I got pregnant and even before then, we had been looking at the idea of moving to a bigger property, a single family home with a YARD and a garage and more space. We figured we would rent out our condo and move into a bigger property, most likely in Chicago somewhere.
Well, we searched and we searched (much to the dismay of our realtor) and nothing seemed right. Nothing felt like home. We thought we'd probably have to wait awhile after Evan was born and just get used to the idea of 4 people in a 2 bed/1 bath apartment and make it work until we absolutely HAD to move.
Then, the shooting happened. In March, 2014, it was Oscar Sunday and we were just getting ready to put Elise to bed and settle down to watch the big event, when I heard some distinct popping sounds outside. Two men were shooting at each other right outside our door, one aiming at the other right towards our building. It was frightening, to say the least. Our neighbor to the north, got a bullet through his living room window, hitting his TV. We knew we could not stay here much longer. I am aware that violence persists anywhere but then I heard of several more instances in our neighborhood of attempted driveby's and men shooting down an alley at each other. This was not something I wanted my family to encounter by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The violence, the need for more space and the hunt for a good high school and a community feel drove us to expand our search outside the city. We ended up finding a home right before I went back to work. It was perfect. We put an offer on it and the offer was accepted.
Right now, we are in the process of packing, finalizing the loan details and possibly selling our place or renting in the next month or so. It's all happening so fast and I barely have time to blink. If you've never moved with a young baby and a toddler before, it is quite a journey let me tell you.
The first year of this move will be tough, as the plan is to keep Evan in the daycare he is currently in *and Elise attended* and Elise will go to the Pre-K we registered her for back in February. The good thing is we'll be plenty settled in our new home by the time she has to register for kindergarten so we should be able to feel out which Catholic church we not only want to call home but to send her to for school. In 1st grade, she will be able to start attending the public school out there. Evan will stay in his daycare until I feel comfortable with a new place or meet some people to give me referrals.
We did get a second car, which is paramount to our plan and I will do the morning commute with the kids for now.
I am going to miss our old hood terribly, and I can't think about it too much or this hormonal post-partum Mom gets brought to tears. We were invested in this community, the people are so great, there are so many cool restaurants and bars appearing around us...I know we are doing this for the kids and for their benefit and ours, but it doesn't make the change any easier. I have lived in the city for 14 years and leaving it is hard for me. On the plus side, the new home is close to a pool, a library, the Metra and more. We will still have some amenities within walking distance but it will be different than before. And the old hood is only 5 miles away really. It's not THAT far. But it will seem like it when we're there.
I made a pros and cons list after we made the offer because I was having doubts. Buyer's remorse, so to speak. The pros outweighed the cons and I am trying to focus on that. Focus on being able to have guests over and giving them a place to sleep vs. making them stay in hotels or in our living room. Giving our kids a place to ride their bikes, play outside and explore-the yard thing was huge for us. We don't have one and it seems like every single one of our friends does. It was getting old having to beg them or hope they asked us to come over and play all summer. The noisy upstairs neighbors who threw loud parties (even though they've since moved out) and kept us up at night with their stomping. I won't miss that :)
All in all, I'm sure things will feel weird at first, but we are moving on and moving up, hoping and praying for a peaceful, happy life in our new home. I know it was the right decision. There are a few things I could have done differently in hindsight, but what's done is done and we'll enjoy it, I just know it. xo