One Year Later

Just over a year ago, on December 7th, Ani was born on a Friday afternoon.

That Sunday, we brought her home from the hospital, and the next day, Bart flew to North Carolina to interview at Duke for the MBA program.

(Actually, thanks to some weather-related issues, he ended up flying into Baltimore, and then driving through the night down to Durham – I clearly remember getting up to nurse Ani in the middle of the night and watching the little icon on “Find My iPhone” move along the freeway, so I knew he hadn’t fallen asleep at the wheel and died).

The next day, after his interview, we FaceTimed with him as he walked around campus and talked about how much he’d liked the program.

He drove around and took some videos of various neighborhoods, and sent Ella this funny picture of a camel statue on campus (which I still haven’t seen in real life).

2013 started so uncertainly for us – would Bart get into an MBA program? Which one? Would we move somewhere for him to attend? If he didn’t get in, would we stay in Austin? Should we look into him transferring to another office within his current company? Should he look for a new job entirely and if so, should we try to stay in Austin or move elsewhere? I felt like I could hardly concentrate on anything for many months as we waited for admission answers and weighed other options and tried to figure out what was best for our family.

It was a fairly (extremely) stressful time for me. I wasn’t at all sure I wanted Bart to go back to school, and I was pretty heartsick about leaving Austin. In some ways, I wanted new adventures, in other ways, I wanted things to stay the same.

Then, in April, after Bart had been admitted to Duke, we both came out to Durham for Blue Devil Weekend and almost immediately, I felt like this was the right choice for us. I loved Duke, and I loved North Carolina.

Sitting in on the presentations and getting to know Fuqua was electrifying and exhilarating. After years of dreading Bart getting an MBA, I suddenly realized what an amazing experience this would be not only for him, but for our whole family.

A Sunday picnic in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens when we visited in April

I still felt momentary terror about leaving everything we knew for a new unknown, but overall, I felt like this was an adventure we should pursue. Especially when we finally decided on Duke, which was my top choice for lots of reason (good weather and low cost-of-living being top among them, as usual).

And last weekend, a year from the day Bart first visited, he finished up his first semester at Fuqua.

We’re living in a house we love, we’ve made more friends than I could have imagined, and, although I really miss Texas and my friends and family there, I feel completely happy about our decision to come here.

Change is hard.

I think my natural inclination is to resist change when possible, but the changes of this last year have been some of the very best for our little family.

I can easily conjure up the fear and worry I had a year ago, wondering where we’d be by the end of 2013. I wish I’d known how happy we’d be here, and how clearly right this move would be for our whole family.

It’s a lot better on this side of 2013. And I’m really really thrilled that the MBA decision is behind us. And that we made the right one.

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  1. Glad the decision and year has turned out so well for you guys! Change can be scary, but you seem to have done some big ones this year with grace and style, which I really admire.

  2. This is my first time commenting, although I've been reading your blog for a while now. I love your blog, your outlook on life, your book recommendations and recipes! Today's post hit home as I also moved across the country with my guy who just completed his first semester at the Kelly School at Indiana. It has been an incredibly difficult and immeasurably rewarding year, and one of the best decisions we've ever made. I'm so glad the experience has gone well for you too!

  3. We moved away from Chicago to Pittsburgh about 2.5 years ago and it was such a hard change. I think you've been much more positive and upbeat about your big move, and that's so inspiring to me!

  4. I think that sometimes, not knowing the outcome makes the decision-making process that much more valuable in hindsight. While you're going through it, of course, it is not fun.

    I also think this might have been a situation where a lot of the options you were considering would have been fine, and maybe this was the best one, but choosing another route would not have been disaster. You know what I mean? When we try to make the best decisions with the information we have, it's easy to think that THIS decision will make or break things. But I don't think that's the case. Not that we should be reckless, but more like, if we are choosing among equally viable and responsible options, failing to choose what we might consider The Best One (at that time or even in hindsight) might not factor in as much as we might think.

  5. i'm incredibly adverse to change as well. just reading this post about the changes you were facing put my stomach in knots. i'm so happy that everything worked out for you. but of course it did – you moved to the east coast 🙂

  6. Sometimes it's wonderful to pause and look back at where you've come from and evaluate where you are in life. I'm so pleased that such a huge change worked out for the best!

  7. Thank you for sharing this! As we just did move 10 in 8 years recently I am going through the all too familiar "moving blues" as I call them. It's great here, we are slowly meeting people, but I am definitely still in that "change is hard" phase. Throw in the fact that we essentially had a reversed adoption happen shortly before we moved here and let's just say things have been pretty rough for me lately. But as Christmas cards have started pouring in I see friends I met and loved in all of these different places we've lived. That and now your post remind me that in a year I will be more settled and feel more like we fit here. And in 3 years (the longest we've ever lived in one city) I'll wonder how I ever could have felt like this wasn't home.

  8. When you say Fuqua do you mean Fuquay*? I'm glad you love NC! We moved here to NC almost four years ago and I LOVE it! Change is always scary and hard, but we really like it here too. =]

    ( If responding to my comment, please email or comment a blog post of mine. Unfortunately I do not get email notifications when there is a response to my comment. I just found this out and I'm totally bummed thinking about how many responses I've missed! =[ )

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