Moving to a new location is never easy, especially when the relocation is out of state or out of the country. There’s so much to be considered. This is a Personal Post about our Move to PA. I am going to share some feelings & experiences involved with this move. I hope you understand that my intent is mainly for informational purposes since I felt that there are some misleading things that need to be corrected.
Moving from Illinois to Pennsylvania in 2019
In December 2019, my husband resigned from his job in Chicago and accepted a new job offer in PA. He had worked at Moody Bible Institute (MBI) in Chicago about 9 -1/2 years. I still remember that summer we were expecting our first child. Tony, my husband, was an Admissions Counselor at another location, AIU. He decided to apply to Moody (MBI) and to be honest, went on a whim. He didn’t have his hopes too high. He didn’t think he was qualified for Moody as it was a bigger institute than he’d worked in before. Well, God had other plans. Tony got the job and was well accepted at Moody. His co-workers were such beautiful, down to earth people.
For the 9-1/2 years there, he was moved up 3 times to higher positions. He went from an Admissions Adviser to a Vice President (VP), don’t remember what was between. Being a VP meant he had a team to manage, train and people that reported to him. To be honest, I and everyone he knows was super impressed with his work and how God so sovereignly worked throughout these years.
I’ve also met many of his co-workers though our visits to his work. We’d stop by if we were heading downtown to the zoo or to some other activities. Tony usually had a day off on these days but he brought us by the job to say hello to his teams. Other times, we went for things like Christmas parties or staff events. Most times the kids and I hung out in his office, walked around to check things out, or played in opened areas in the building. It didn’t bother the workers. No one really “cared” in that sense. I just love how accepting they were to our family whenever we visited. At the time, many of these co-workers were my husband’s peers, 20s into 30’s. I would like to believe that factor played-out in how they reacted to us hanging around. But even the ones who were older didn’t seem to mind it at all. They welcomed us, the little adorable kids and other families who visited with opened arms. The kids were super little at that time; it truly brings back some of the most cherished family moments. MBI would always hold that special place in our hearts. (I got some older photos from some of our visits)
A New Job Offer in PA
Geneva College in PA reached out to Tony asking if he would consider coming to work for them. After considering it, he accepted. By the way, this was his second encounter with that school. The first time, about a year prior, he had declined that offer and stayed at his job in Chicago.
That second time, he felt the need to go. I, as the wife, wanted to support my husband in his endeavors. Yet, I have to admit that it was a difficult call. Somewhere in the back of my mind I was not 100% sure it felt right. My anxiety lead me to believe that I had to say yes because maybe that’s what God wanted.
Job Interviews and Photo Mix Ups
And here’s the thing, although I already had some doubts, I didn’t realize that what I thought was Geneva College was not Geneva College. Turned out, it was another school my husband had applied to before. A year prior, he travelled for two interviews, one of them being with Geneva College. He had taken photos of both colleges and sent them to me via the phone. I remember one area had a lovely view. Yet, we didn’t feel that God wanted him to leave Moody for any of those jobs. When Geneva came up again the following year, I connected it to the photo with the lovely view. Again, I had a lot of doubts as to whether it was the right call. But I wanted to support my husband since he was so excited about it so I said OK.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know that what I thought Geneva Collage looked like wasn’t actually it until we confirmed the move and then me finally seeing the real photos of the area close by, then taking a trip there after the fact. After seeing everything, the college itself looked like a college. I love the historical buildings and all of it’s 1800s charm (working on these photos to share). I think it’s lovely. But the area around it was a different story. As I mentioned above, this is a personal post about feelings regarding this move. Don’t take it personally. You probably would have similar feelings if you were in my shoes.
Here are A Couple Photos of the College
College Apartments and Temporary Housing
These are the Apartments across the streets from the college. We were going to stay in a temporary house right there (see next photo). That silver car next to the tree is ours. And that my friends, is the house we were moving to when we arrived. All I can see is, things were depressing.
Um, hello?! Tell me you wouldn’t feel depressed by looking at this. It was only a few weeks before moving when I saw these photos and was in total disappointment. My doubts were being confirmed after seeing them. Some books can be judged by their covers and I think I judged this one right.
- I worried about the area
- I worried about the house we’d be in
- I worried where the kids would play – all I saw in the photos was an old house with apartments, cars around it and a main street right there. That was not encouraging for a mom with small children who played outside all the time. Where were they supposed to play?
- I worried about making friends
- I worried about the new schools
- I worried that something didn’t feel right about this and that things would go downhill in a sense.
Now tell me as a person who lives in the suburbs in a larger upscaled area, in a very nice, well kept and organized house, with family and friends nearby and lots of activities to do, that you wouldn’t reconsider uprooting everyone and move to this area in a short time. Comparing the photos, you cannot tell me that in wouldn’t be a tough call to give up everything you have and move to what looked a bit run-down to you. (See our Chicago home below)
These photos represent our yard when we moved. We went from having a large backyard and space for the kids to place without being so close to the road, to this situation. I have such a hard time looking at these and thinking about the quick, vast change that went down and everyone expecting us to adjust. They don’t understand what they put our family through. It was a tough change.
Honestly, I simply couldn’t understand how this would be better for our family. We had everything we needed where we were. My husband had a great thriving job. I honestly kept thinking about how the kids and I would function when my husband took off for work in that area. Tears constantly filled my eyes and sadness filled my mind. I kept playing that song, “Oceans” by Hillsong Worship that talked about God’s calling to the Great Unknown. It’s what it felt like to me. I would be packing, playing that song, and just trying to hope that this was right. That verse, Joshua 1:9 kept coming to mind too. “I will be with you where you go”. I just needed something to be encouraged. Because if moving was supposed to make things “better” then why was I so sad about it?
Here’s a photo of our home in Chicago. Isn’t that a big difference?!
Moving in the Middle of Winter (Chicago House)
We moved during the thick of winter on February 4, 2019. The prior week, there was a Deep Freeze in Chicago. It’s said that the last one before that was somewhere back in the 80s. The state was on Lockdown and everything was closed. That’s explaining how much deep “in” winter we were around the time of our move.
Packing to Move
We packed up everything we’d own and by “packed” up, I mean pack one truck and throw everything else in another UHAL because we didn’t have time to pack half our stuff. I was offered help to pack but because of the Deep Freeze, things had to be cancelled. Before I knew it the Moving Truck was at our house, ready to load.
A Moving Company and a UHAL
Since we were moving to temporary housing first, our intent was to have the Moving Company take most of our stuff and just have a small UHAL attached to our van with some of our essentials. These essentials were things like some of our clothes, body care products, kids toys and play items, bedding, pillows, and last minute items we used up to the time of moving. The moving truck would take our larger items and most of our other stuff like furniture, beds, kitchen items, office items, most clothing, large toys, and other items. Unfortunately, that was not so; they were only able to take the furniture and other non-essentials since we weren’t ready with the rest. They would have taken everything we had ready to go.
The truck came to load about a week earlier than our move date. They had another pick up on the way down to PA. Once they got to PA they would move our stuff to storage, then return them to us when we were ready for our permanent house. We would use the essentials we brought with us to help us sustain in the temporary house while we search to buy a new permanent house.
We ended having way more stuff to take with us in the UHAL than planned, it’s why we ordered a small one in the first place. We couldn’t have gotten a bigger UHAL right then. We were already moving that evening and you have to schedule a UHAL in advance to get the attachment.
Sadly, we threw away a lot of our things. I just didn’t get the chance to sort and pack as I had hoped. I did however declutter and donate items prior but our main things still had to be packed. Things. Were. A. Mess. I’m sorry, but they were.
Why We Didn’t Finish Packing
My husband accepted the job on Dec 5, 2019. I don’t know when December hasn’t been a busy month on it’s own without having moving thrown in the mix. We moved on February 4, 2019, that’s just 2 months later (keep in mind, not a local move and this was December).
- It was December
- We celebrate 2 of our children’s birthday in December and one on November 29
- Our Anniversary is in the middle of December
- Christmas celebrations and holiday is in December
- I had three small Kids to take care off, ages 3, 5, & newly 8. The other two had their upcoming birthdays 4 & 6 in December. At the time of the job offer two of them were in school and one at home. That time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas is crunch time in school. Although the kids were in school I still had to be involved as a parent and balance sick days and appointments.
- Our house was just a little under 3,000 Square ft., a lot to pack up.
- It was me alone trying to balance everything family life in December plus trying to deal with relocating OUT OF STATE. My husband was still working at his job. He didn’t resign until 2 weeks before moving.
- January rolled around and we were in the thick of winter. Packing while we were mainly snow-bound would have been a great idea. But again, everything was on me and on me only. I just couldn’t do all of that by myself.
- As mentioned above, I had inquiry about helping but the Deep Freeze (that kept people indoors) along with the time they could come over didn’t work out.
- Once my husband was done working on January 18, he was running around like a chicken without head getting things in place, last minute paperwork things, cars check, appointments, and just a whole bunch of things not related to packing at all.
- And then to top things off, a week before we moved, he was scheduled for an event at his new job. Why did they do that? The reason was that it would we good for him to be there considering he was going to be the new VP. I didn’t want to go. I figured I would stay home and pack because I realized we had a long way to go. Well, let’s just say, the entire family “had” to go.
Up to the very last minute, we were throwing stuff out like crazy, even things that should not have been thrown out were accidentally thrown away. When we got to PA, it occurred to us that things we needed were missing. My children’s essentials, our essentials, just all kinds of things we were not planning to throw out. The emotions that brought upon us were not healthy for our family. What affects one affects all. It was a Very Overwhelming time for our family. And even more overwhelming for me because I felt like I carried that load.
Note: When you move, you don’t want to just get rid of all your familiarity; it’s good to keep some things make the transition easier for everyone involved. Don’t just say, we’ll buy new. You may find out that you won’t buy new and everyone would feel miserable. That’s all.
Arriving in PA
When we arrived in PA things didn’t get better.
- No one to Help – There was no one to help us unload the UHAL. We arrived late at night but even the next day or the following, there was no one involved.
- Immediately Working – To make matters worse, my husband took off to work a couple days after we moved (I didn’t even have him for 5 days to help). It’s very sad. But I guess his work for them was more important than helping us settle in since they didn’t factor in time for it and help for unloading and getting settled.
Every time I think about how packing and the first few months of our move, I simply tear up. I know that God allows things to happen but I just feel so sad about this. There’s so much I could say about our move here. So much. So many disappointing things. I’ve been writing different posts to cover each topic since there’s just so much to express.
Here are Photos of the New Job & the House We Bought
The Home We Bought Two Months After We Arrived in PA
As I mentioned above, there’s a lot of behind the scenes feelings that went into our move. Typically, I don’t go into personal posts here on my blog but I felt the need to speak up. I just felt like things weren’t right from the beginning and I wanted to share with those who are always asking about our move here. It took me that long to write up a post because again, even my blog took a back seat for the time we were here.
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She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness (Proverbs 31:27).