Adventures in moving cross country- Volume 1 : We're Moving!

In June, 2018 the Brains family will be relocating from Eugene, Oregon to Lansing, Michigan.   There are many reasons that led to this decision that we made last summer:
-James has a lot of family and friends out there -Michigan summers are beautiful and full of lightening bugs and thunderstorms -I'm eager to try living somewhere else, I've been in Oregon my whole life and am ready for a new scene -Lansing, Michigan is centrally located and we can go so many more places for a weekend or even just a day trip (here we come, Canada!) -The housing market in Oregon is cuckoo bananas and we can actually afford to own a home in Michigan 
There are plenty of other things that we kept in mind, but that final reason, the cheap as dirt houses, was a HUGE thing.  
Initially, we had an idea that we were going to get a reasonable sized house, that was move in ready and with the paltry pre-approval we qualified for, we could get a really nice place. But our friend, and James' "Derb…

Adventures in moving cross country- Volume 12: Securing a Remote Position

This post is going to be a long one because it's been awhile in the making!  (TL;DR Working remote now, pics at the end of the words.)

Originally, when we had came up with the plan to move cross country, I was of the mind that I would just be irresponsible and cash out my 401k and take a few months off of work.

You know, just hang out and take pictures of my feet a lot.
The harsh reality of life set in when I had the conversation with my Mortgage Loan Officer in which I was informed that James couldn't be on the mortgage as he was self-employed, and in order to be approved, I'd have to have proof that I would still be making a comparable salary upon my move. Upon actually seeing the house and the amount of work that needed to be done, like a whole new furnace, the reality became that much clearer that I would need to secure myself some work sooner than later.

There are plenty of Credit Union jobs in Lansing. I have the skills and experience to get something in the way of a …

Adventures in moving cross country- Volume 11: Everything is happening too fast!

When we made the decision to move, 11 months ago, it seemed like we had all the time in the world. Now that we are 3 weeks away from Bucky and James leaving and about 5-6 weeks away from Jerome and I making the trek (with Ned, Sonar & Judar and all our worldly possessions) things are getting too real.

As our time in Eugene trickles down, every weekend day has something planned, like going away parties, yard sales, trips around the state to visit family and dates with friends. Many of our weekday evenings are already scheduled as well. Meanwhile, we have SOOO MUCH STUFF TO DO!!! James has been putting tons of stuff on Craigslist to sell and I have been going through things like clothes, bathroom stuff, pantry stuff and spices to organize and declutter. But still there is plenty of things we need to go through and clean out to be ready for a "all things must go" style yard sale.

I keep telling myself that these are mostly empty boxes- but it's so difficu…

Adventures in moving cross country- Volume 10: What about the children?!

Making such a big move with a 4 person family definitely has a lot of moving pieces. A lot of them are physical; the house, all of our possessions, the actual moving process, etc. Then there are the financial pieces; my employment, the mortgage, selling our belongings and figuring out how to fund the move itself. Finally, there are all the pieces that are emotional.

There is a lot of excitement in our family to move. We are looking forward to all the new opportunities and adventures that await us. We are also very sad to be leaving a community that we've cultivated for so long. There's a lot of stuff still up in the air, which can be really anxiety inducing. Then there's the stuff that's just plain hard and painful, like slogging through the mortgage process, purging all of our stuff and worrying about how this will effect our kids.
Won't somebody please think about the children!?
 When it comes to Bucky, our 4 year old, he kind of gets it and is pure excitement. We…

Adventures in moving cross country- Volume 10: Long Goodbyes

Planning for a move a year in advance has had a lot of benefits. We have had a chance to figure out exactly where we want to live. We have found a house that is perfect for us, but needed some work and we've had the time to get all of that lined up. Tying up loose ends at my work has been great. You can read more about the steps I've been able to take in my LinkdIn article: Training Your Successor. And we've been able to plan out a lot of stuff regarding what we're taking and what we're getting rid of and what we need to do before we go.

We'll definitely bring these things.
One thing that we've really been trying to do is spend as much time with our friends as we can, as we can't take them with us. This has given us a lot of good times with friends, doing game nights, dinner parties, living room karaoke and hot tub soaks. This has created some really special memories with some really special people. 
This particular evening ended up with our friend Chris …

Adventures in moving cross country- Volume 9 :Choices

With all the structural work being done, it has been exciting to see the house taking shape into our future home. However, in order to make sure that it's a home we are happy living in, just making choices about where the kitchen will be and what walls we don't like isn't enough. Now there are all sorts of other choices to make.

What kind of flooring do we want in the rooms where there isn't already hardwood?  What kind of bathtub in the master bath? Countertops? Kitchen color scheme? Vanities?  The list goes on and on.

I moved out of my parent's house at the sweet age of 17 and in all that time, as a renter, I've just lived with whatever was there. Even given the choice to paint before moving into our current house, I chose to just embrace the quirky wallpaper borders in each room. It's not that I haven't ever wished something was different, I've just never had a "dream house" image in my mind.
I guess Pee Wee's Playhouse seems pretty …

Adventures in moving cross country- Volume 8: DEMO TIME!

Sure, it's nice to walk into a new house and see all the lovely features and imagine where you're going to put what kind of sofa. The benefit of working on a house that needs renovations is the joy found in destroying all the stuff you don't like about it. While we didn't have a chance to personally demolish anything in our new house- AO let us hack at a wall in her 2nd floor for awhile and take stuff to the dump.

Afterwards James jumped up and down and squealed "I did something manly! I did something manly!"
Having just a taste of the work that went into taking down a small wall makes it even more impressive to see what kind of demo has been going on in our house in Michigan!  
"Mr. Gorbechev, tear down this wall!" is an oft heard joke among those in the demolition community.
The first picture that we received about the work being started may still be my favorite. The unfortunate wall that bisected the beautiful wood beams and isolated the columns f…

Adventures in moving cross country- Volume 7: Next Steps

*disclaimer* this post has waaaay less pictures and jokes than it should. All efforts will be made to rectify this for future posts.

Going to Michigan to check out the house and surrounding area was great fun, but there was plenty to do once we got back for all parties involved.

With the house that we're pursuing not being "move-in ready", we have had to be creative with how we went about getting all the pieces in place so that we can purchase the house along with all the hard work and resources that needs to go into it to make it ready. Creativity can't be just making a plan and sticking to it, so between AO, our friend John and his business partners in Michigan, James and myself, many conversations and email threads have been taking place to hammer out just how we can make sure that all parties are getting what they need out of this project.

When looking at a project with such HUGE scope to it, we needed to be able to think in terms of what our budget would be so w…