Monday, May 24, 2010

Bittersweet II

Okay, okay, okay.

Even though we fell into bed exhausted around midnight, Brandon in particular couldn't sleep.  Feeling completely unsettled, he tossed and turned for over an hour.  Then both of us woke up around 4am so anxious we couldn't sleep anymore.  We simultaneously agreed to get up and go to one of our church's temples in town to try and find some peace about the whole thing.

You have to understand, every move we have ever made has been an easy or obvious choice - or there wasn't even a choice to make.  Not only that, our family was young enough that nothing felt permanent - there were still so many doors open in the future!  For med school, it was easy to choose the University of Iowa out of the other acceptances because my family was there, and it was the best med school of all our options.  For residency, if you don't know anything about the "matching" program, it's sort of like some crazy roulette game.  Med students apply and interview at all the places they'd like to go, they make a list of their top choices, and then they submit their lists to the powers that be.  The residency programs all make their top choices of applicants, throw their lists into the same giant "hat", and then the applicants and programs get "matched" - everyone hoping to get one of their top choices.  (We "matched" at our #2 choice which was right where we were - U of I.) After residency we did do quite a bit of searching, but in the end we felt strongly to come here.  It seemed like a bit of a no-brainer for Brandon to take the opportunity to work with his dad and potentially take over his practice if he wanted.  Of course, both of us also thought it would be nice to live by Brandon's side of the family after almost a decade by my family - especially for our children.

But THIS decision . . . oh, the pressure!  Our shy, oldest daughter is about to start Jr. High and had a hard enough time adjusting to the move here four years ago when she was only 9.  We don't want to move ever again for the sake of our kids stability as well as the reality of needing to establish a solid practice which takes time.  Urology isn't exactly a field where moving from place to place is advantageous.  But if you could go ANYWHERE you wanted - how do you decide? Cost of living?  Good schools?  Family in town? Best job? Safe, family friendly community?  Weather?  Political/religious views of the general population? Cultural opportunities?  Natural beauty and outdoor recreation?  When you start thinking about all the endless characteristics of a good place to raise your family that have value in this discussion and you try to prioritize those characteristics . . . it can be mind boggling.  And when you don't really know in the end who your kids will be friends with, what influences they will come under, what kind of people will be in your school and neighborhood, and on and on . . . it's just not a decision we felt we could make on our own.

(Incidentally, this has been my favorite website for comparing different city stats and this one for checking out schools.)

So to make a long (and I'm sure boring to everyone but me) story short, as we sat there in the temple, we both came back to one of the best jobs in one of the best communities with low cost of living, good schools, beautiful nature, cross roads for both of our families - and as we prayed about it, the feeling of anxiety left us and we couldn't deny that we finally felt peace about this whole moving business for the first time in months.  It's just that it's not a place we really wanted to consider for a variety of weird and unsubstantiated reasons (sort of) so we had been purposely avoiding the prospect of actually committing to go there: it's the job in Utah!  He will work at the hospital in American Fork, but I don't know where we will live yet.  Kind of crazy since we have to be out of our house in 6 weeks.  Doesn't that sound fun?  We are taking a hit on our house of course (bought in '07) so we might rent for a year just to save money and get a better feel for the area, but I know there are some Utah-ites that read this blog, so if you have any good leads, please send them my way!

To sum up my concerns about Utah Valley:  it's just the whiteness of it all.  White snow, white Mormons.  I've gotten really used to my beautiful, lush, green California winters and I HATE to leave it behind and return to long, cold, gray winters (though I know Utah is sunnier than Iowa and at least has world class skiing . . .) And I really like the ethnic and religious diversity here.  Love it, in fact.  In some areas it's "too much of a good thing" if you know what I mean, but in our community it's great.  For instance, Will's best buddy is an Indian whose family practices Jainism.  They are awesome, and I feel like there is so much to learn from diversity, including what you believe yourself.  I am freaking out a little bit at the prospect of being surrounded by so much SAMENESS.  Seriously.  It gives me a panic attack if I think about it for too long.

Utah-ites out there, reassure me!  Please!

More later.  Are you happy?


  1. Here's your reassurance: YOU'RE MOVING CLOSER TO ME!!! I cannot wait to help you move IN TO your UTAH home! I would recommend you guys look in Draper (on the East side of I-15). Its tucked away in the mountains, and it has a new Temple!

  2. First of all, Congratulations! It's good news to have sold your house, and obtained employment in the current economy.

    Living in Utah will make you Utahns (to some) and Utards (to others...). American Fork is a gorgeous area of Utah. But you have to say it right: it's pronounced "Merkin Fark". ;)

  3. That is so exciting! I can literally walk to American Fork hospital from my house, so feel free to ask any questions. We live on the border of Pleasant Grove and American Fork. I think I can speak for the whole Don Reynolds clan when I say we're SO excited you're coming!

  4. I have a friend in Pleasant Grove...she's from Burlington, IA and lived in Irvine before moving to UT. She can probably give you some good insights! I am really glad that you found a place to stay for a long time. I can't wait till we get there, too. Maybe we'll come for a visit and learn to ski!

  5. Love it! I am happy you guys have made a decision you feel good about! We can do fireworks at our house again sometime! John does real estate on the side. He might have some leads.

  6. Hey we'll be neighbors. We visited schools in Provo where our kids will be going and were impressed with the ethnic diversity. You'll love it I'm sure.

  7. we were impressed with the ethnic diversity in Provo where we'll be moving in a couple of months. I'm sure you'll love it.


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