Pants are Not Optional
by Karla ° Thursday, January 25, 2007
Ever since Ava died, Mark and I knew it was time for a new direction in our lives. It was one of the first things I thought of when they turned off Ava’s life support machine and my mind hasn’t changed on the matter one bit. We want a fresh start, a new chance at life, anywhere but here - this home of shattered dreams and painful memories.

At first we only considered our options within Canada, but then we realized that the world is not flat and we would not fall off the earth and land into a black hole of nothingness where everyone stands on their head and speaks fuckinese if we venture outside the borders of the Great White North. And so Mark started applying to jobs in the UK, Australia and the US.

Our ticket to a new life was unexpectedly handed to us on a silver platter a couple of weeks ago. Mark was offered a job in Manhattan. A good, no – make that a freaking fantastic job opportunity that came with a nice padded salary and would do wonders for his professional career. It also came with good benefits – the kind that doesn't cause us to blow smoke out our ears and do backwards cartwheels in concentric circles out of frustration at his current benefits situation. And what did we go and do? We turned it down.

The logic?

We would have had only three weeks to pick up and move our lives out of the country, and that felt all but overwhelmingly impossible with a newborn. I would have had to live here alone with the baby until we managed to rent or sell our home and find a place to live in New York. The timing couldn’t have been worse.

I don’t know if we made the right decision at this point in time or not, but it’s done. Hindsight is a 20/20, apparently.

So when the dust settles, and we adjust to life with a baby, the world will become our playground once again.

Because a big move is a likely possibility in our near future, it would be awesome if you could share with me a little about where you live and what it’s like to raise a family, or what the job market is like, whether or not milk expensive and if you have to shovel snow and will everyone laugh at me if I say ‘eh’ after every sentence and do your neighbours wear pants?


I wonder what 'whaaaaaaaaa' sounds like with an Aussie accent?

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Comments:


I have only lived in the town I grew up in, and then moved to the town an hour away where my parents grew up. I couldn't personally imagine living away from family. I know lots of people do, but the closeness of family is too important to me. I would do whatever was best for my family if necessity and financial reasons dictated it, but if we could manage a life within driving distance of grandparents we would. Maybe my apron strings aren't quite severed! I think it sounds very exciting, what you are considering. New friends, new lifestyle (geographically speaking), and I wish you all of the very best.
 

Karla, New to your blog and just wanted to say how glad I am that I found it. Your writing brings back so many of my own memories of struggling to bring our cherished son into the world after devastating loss.

I live just across the Ambassador Bridge in a lake side suburb of Detroit, MI. Jobs are not plenty here, but the housing market is excellent for buying. If one is in engineering for aerospace there are jobs available. I work as a real estate appraiser. The weather is about the same (shoveling and all) as yours. I spend a bit of time in Canada as we can see it right across the river and I will say your milk is a little bit cheaper, gas is about the same, and our beer stores are open a little bit later and only closed before noon on Sundays. ;) The best part...no one at all would poke fun of you for saying "eh".
~Laura
Posted by Blogger MrsGrumpy :  January 25, 2007
 

We moved across the Atlantic when my son was 10 months old, and we are both in the process of getting jobs now. It can be done! I too wouldn't have done it with such a newborn but give it a few months and you'll be excited about it. Babies are great at travelling the younger they are, in my limited experience, so in fact the biggest stressors you'll have are disassembling the old life and setting up the new life in practical terms. Nate will be fine and he'll enjoy the ride.
 

I live in Manhattan and I'm raising my kids here. Of course, my family is all right around the city so its very comfortable in that respect. Yes, Manhattan is EXPENSIVE. Everything is expensive. But you can also get everything. There is nothing manufactured in the world that isn't available right here. I had never thought I would raise kids in the city (I was actually raised right outside the city) without a backyard and such but its been great. My kids take advantage of Central Park, they know the museums like they were our basement. They are exposed to a huge range of types of people and my kids (and their friends) are amazingly accepting of people of other colors, religions, beliefs. My older child (he's 12) is starting to be a bit more independent and I like that he can walk himself to school (today was the first day) along a line of doorman-attended buildings (yes, NO SNOW SHOVELING!) where he can turn for shelter or help if he feels the need. He won't be walking in the dark so its almost as if he's being monitored every step of the way. Manhattan is really a connected group of little neighborhoods and you end up feeling very cozy and warm in the one you choose. So many advantages to living in the city. The major drawback...the cost. Good luck with your search for a new home!
Posted by Anonymous Heather :  January 25, 2007
 

Sorry to hear you made the decision to give it up. Unless of course you really didn't want to go and this gave you the 'out' you needed.

We've moved 10 times in our marriage... twice with a newborn. I've also lived away from Coffeehusband while he moved there and I had to stay to sell the house. When he would get the call to transfer he usually had 2 weeks before he had to be there. I assume there will be another in our future as there is no opportunity for promotion here right now so "IF" he is being looked at for promotion it would almost certainly have to involve another move.

So I'm all for moving! But moving to Manhattan would be uber expensive, so maybe that wasn't the right choice for you guys at this time.
Posted by Blogger aka_Meritt :  January 25, 2007
 

whaaaaaaaaaaaaa sounds just the same.

But there's never any snow to shovel!!

Pants are optional.
Posted by Blogger Tanya :  January 25, 2007
 

Not sure if you are really intent on moving out of Canada. But I've got to say that Ottawa is a great city to work and, and to raise a family. Not sure what kind of work Mark is looking for, but Ottawa is considered Silicon Valley North, has tons of Financial and Government jobs. Just a thought!

Good luck. What ever decision you make, I'm sure it will be the right one for your family!

P.S. I can't get over how beautiful little Nate is! I hope to soon post pics of my own boys!
Posted by Blogger Cate :  January 25, 2007
 

If you do happen to want to stay in Canada you should check out the Okanagan! We live in Summerland and it's a wonderful place to raise a family and the winters are very mild. Can't wait to see where your adventure leads.
Posted by Anonymous Amanda :  January 25, 2007
 

Moving sounds so exciting but if you are close to your family and use to seeing them it can become a sad life not having them around.
Posted by Blogger charing :  January 25, 2007
 

Wow, I agree I don't think I'd want to move everything while caring for a newborn. That task sounds daunting! As for me I live I have lived in the same town my whole entire life in the good ol state of Oregon. I actually laugh when I think that all my kids are going to be born in the same hospital that I was born in! So I would say since I was raised here in Oregon that it's a good place to have kids, snow is optional depending on where you choose although where I'm at we're supposed to get snow but so far it's only happened once this winter! And the milk is not too bad, cheap is 1.98 and more expensive is 3.59! I hope that you guys find the place that works best for you!
Posted by Blogger Amber :  January 25, 2007
 

I found your blog recently and have truly enjoyed reading about your journey into motherhood. Nate is absolutely beautiful.

I live in Seattle and love it. I will admit, it is not cheap, but the city and surrounding area have so much to offer. We rarely need our snow shovels and I think my neighbors usually have pants on. Oh, and with our proximity to Vancouver no one will even notice if you end every sentence with eh.
Posted by Anonymous andrea :  January 25, 2007
 

I lived in Birmingham, Alabama USA my whole life. I sometimes forget that there is a whole world out there besides the deep South. I always wanted to live at the beach, so about a year and a half ago, I picked up and my two children and I moved to sunny Florida. I couldn't be happier here. It's a tourist town, so for a few months out of the year, there is a hussle and bustle feeling, but the rest of the year is quiet and "small townish". The cost of living (for me) is much better than it was in Birmingham. I love living here, right next to the ocean, and getting to drive along the coast to get to work each day. I somewhat liked living in the big city growing up, but I needed a change. This, for me, was the perfect place. It's busy enough during the summer to keep me entertained, but just when I think I can't take the tourists anymore, the season is over and they all go home. Then, there is a nice break where it seems like a ghost town. Oh! Also, in the winter, we have the "snow bird" season. Yes, that's what they call it! That is the time of year when all of our dear (mostly) elderly Canadians come to call Florida home. That really makes the winter worth it. I have the sweetest neighbors that I only get to see for a couple months out of the year. Ok, somehow I've rambled onto a tangent, so I'll stop now. But, I think it would be cute to here someone with a Canadian accent saying "eh" alot. Teehee!
Posted by Blogger Jules :  January 25, 2007
 

Ah, there is nothing that the Los Angeles Metro area doesn't have. Great weather, the beach, the mountains, active lifestyles, multicultural, friendly people, lots of jobs, and tons of stuff to do.

But, what it also does have is lots of traffic, expensive housing, and possibly, too many people! Other than that, it's great!
Posted by Blogger Gina :  January 25, 2007
 

First I want to say I agree with everyone ~ your son is absolutely gorgeous :)
Second..Washington state or Oregon..I live in Eastern Washington..it is a great place to raise kids, but the job scene is not too high paying, so I would recommend Seattle or Portland. Excellent locations with much diversity.
Posted by Blogger TQ :  January 25, 2007
 

I live in the very northwest corner of Montana. We've got it all up here. Low crime, amazingly beautiful scenery, very very low pollution and only 60 miles from the Canadian border. We are very used to hearing people say "eh" on a regular basis. It does snow but we have had 8 very mild winters in a row. The summertimes are incredible.

The job market is so-so. More high tech jobs are coming here all the time. If you want some more information, email me and I'll hook you up.
Posted by Blogger Jessie :  January 25, 2007
 

Karla,

Since being married with a child we have moved back & fourth between Ohio & Oklahoma all of 4 times in a very short span of time. I still can't decide where I love it more. It is especially hard when you have family in both area's that you love and miss like crazy when you are away. I guess the one thing I have learned is that there are plus & minuses to any place that you choose to live...and that home really is where your heart is. Hugs to you from cold & snowy Ohio!!
Posted by Anonymous Beth :  January 25, 2007
 

Thank GOODNESS my neighbours wear pants, lol!
I'm glad for your sakes that you didn't end up moving - we moved with a 6 mth old and it was oh SO stressful.
I live near Newcastle, about 2 hrs north of Sydney. I'm a little biased but its a nice part of the world! The winters are mild (no snow, not even frosts), although summer can be pretty hot. Not all summer just occasional days to remind you about global warming! Housing is cheaper here than in Sydney, and we still have great beaches. Job market really depends on what you're looking for but I think its pretty good for professionals at least. Saying "eh" would just be considered cute and you'll get accent comments ALL. THE. TIME. I've only got a very slight accent now but people still comment. For kids its great - parks and schools are good, excellent libraries etc. If you have any more specific questions let me know :)
Posted by Blogger Robyn :  January 25, 2007
 

you'll love aussie, I've been there twice for track
Posted by Blogger rachael :  January 25, 2007
 

Well, we are here - right across the country from you - in beautiful Victoria. It is great that you have to take a ferry to get here, but sucks that you have to take a ferry to get here!

Another negative - housing is through the roof - no pun intended, and unless you plan on raising your family on some godforsaken island (they speak fuckaneese) and NOT shave ever again, you are out of luck.

Aussie on the other hand - so much in common with Canadians. layed back, enjoys a brewski, casual, and friendly. I chose there. Been there, lived there, moved home to be closer to my family.

Your home is with your loved ones, but I agree with the three week to move out decision. No time to breath in that one!
Posted by Blogger Meesh :  January 25, 2007
 

I'm a homely homebody and NEVER want to move.

Things aren't going too great with the Michigan economy, the weather is cold and snowy presently, but it's home and I love it.

I love being 35 minutes from Lake Michigan, and would only move if it brought me closer.

My husband has worked on and off in Chicago. He LOVES it. But only short term. If we had moved, we'd be stuck there - our terribly boring selves follow us where-so-ever we go!

Judy
www.judyh58.blogspot.com
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 25, 2007
 

Don't move to Beeton,ON they don't wear pants here!
Good luck, where ever you end up.
I love Nate's hair, awesome boy you have :)
Tania
 

Well. I live here in Reno Nevada. I've actually met quite a few Canadians so I promise not to laugh when you say Eh but I can't say much for the rest of the state. Milk here is ummm maybe about two bucks. I love it here. We see all of the seasons and none of them are to overwhelming. Also we live close to lakes and snowboarding. I really enjoy raising my son here. He wears pants in the winter but in the summer he prefers to run around in his diaper. As for job opportunities I have no clue what you are looking for so I can't tell you about the job market. I understand that it was hard passing up that other job but you will know when the perfect one comes around. Good luck.
 

Hi Karla

We moved from Lindsay, Ontario to Inuvik, Nortwest Territories. We have no children yet but I wouldn't want to raise a child here. Since you asked about milk, I will tell you. Milk goes up to $8.99 twice a year for about a month at a time - for 2 litres of the white stuff! This time of year, we pay about $4.25-$4.99 for 2 litres. As far as pants goes, I would recommend longjohns, warm pants, and snowpants!

Best of luck!
Posted by Blogger Arctic Fox :  January 25, 2007
 

Down Under, I think "waahhh" sounds something like this, "You call THAT a 'waahhh'? Now, THIS is a 'waaahhhhh!"

I live in northern San Diego county, CA, where the gas and the milk and pretty much everything else is expensive. But if you moved out here I would totally buy you guys a zoo pass as a housewarming present and babysit the Scrumptious One.

P.S. "totally" = "eh"
Posted by Anonymous DebbieS :  January 25, 2007
 

I live in Florida, which is nice and sunny, and you never have to shovel snow. In fact, I have never seen snow.

I don't believe I have seen many people not in some type of pants, be it shorts, bikini bottoms, etc. hee hee.

No state taxes either, because we are a tourist state.

There is plenty to do here, too. Beaches, Disney, Universal studios, the space program (I have seent he shuttle launch many times--so neat, tons of museums, and you are always close to something.

I am not sure about the job market for your hubby, but then again, I'm not sure what he does for a living.

Wherever you decide to go, I know you guys have a wonderful life.

Here is a little Wikepedia for you about Florida.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida
Posted by Blogger Deborah :  January 25, 2007
 

I live in Florida, which is nice and sunny, and you never have to shovel snow. In fact, I have never seen snow.

I don't believe I have seen many people not in some type of pants, be it shorts, bikini bottoms, etc. hee hee.

No state taxes either, because we are a tourist state.

There is plenty to do here, too. Beaches, Disney, Universal studios, the space program (I have seent he shuttle launch many times--so neat, tons of museums, and you are always close to something.

I am not sure about the job market for your hubby, but then again, I'm not sure what he does for a living.

Wherever you decide to go, I know you guys have a wonderful life.

Here is a little Wikepedia for you about Florida.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida
Posted by Blogger Deborah :  January 25, 2007
 

My husband was fired when I was newly pregnant. We didn't move, but we started a new business and reonovated our very, very old house.

I think that if you are determined to make a change, you can do it whenever. It's never too soon, but too late can sneak up on you.

I am sure another opportunity will come along so long as you keep yourselves open to it.

I am in upstate New York by way of central Washington State. Here in upstate it is currently suck ass cold. However we are in the Adirondacks and it doesn't get much more beautiful than this. Jobs aren't scarce in the Albany region and housing 40 minutes north is cheap.
Eastern Washington is also great, less cold, cheaper housing but i am pretty far out of the job market there.

Let us know if you are looking to go somewhere in particular, I think you have a hell of a lot of people who would feel pretty blessed to be able to lend a hand.

A
Posted by Blogger AmandaD :  January 25, 2007
 

I'm in Denver Colorado and it snows. Not a lot, but as of recently - it has. The nice thing about our snow, is that most of the time it melts within a day. That was one of the selling points that was bribed to me when I was told we were moving to a snow climate (give me 365 sun / 70 degree and above all the time). We have had plenty of times to pack our bags and leave here - this was supposed to be only a 3 year hitch (7 years now) and then we move on. But every time we look at moving, we can't really find another place we want to be - for the long run. Sure we love Houston, Orlando, Dallas, Nashville, and LAS VEGAS! (big on that one) - but when it comes to raising our children, Denver is where we stay.
The burbs are nice, people are friendly. Not the best in expenses, but there is always plenty to do. Professional sports of all types, Rocky mtns for hiking, skiing and just viewing. Denver is breath-taking, after you get used to the altitude!
Posted by Anonymous susan :  January 25, 2007
 

I have NEVER shoveled snow, and when it does snow here, everything shuts down! Milk is super-cheap. The job market is great, and strangers walk up to me on the streets asking if I know of anyone who can do all the fancy computer stuff Mark can do. I think Summerville is a fantastic place to raise a family, thus the reason I came back home and am now raising mine here! We will laugh at you if you say 'eh' after every sentence, but only in good fun. Then, naturally, you will laugh at all of us for saying 'ya'll' all the time! Even if you haven't found a place to live when Mark is offered the job, you can come and live with us for free until everything is good to go. Our babies will be the best of friends, and if you decide to send little Nate to school, he will go to the best schools in the best school district in the state. You can come and swim with us all the time at the pool, long into the time when you would already be shoveling snow at home, and chill on the beaches we have, too. Then, you and Mark can come on our group camping trips and play fun games like Cranium and Scattergories with us whilst you get drunk and laugh your heads off! You MUST come live here. There is no other alternative! I will die if you choose somewhere else!
Posted by Blogger Christi :  January 26, 2007
 

We also moved way away after a loss. We moved again with a newborn baby because of a job it was SO hard to be away from our family with a new baby. We moved from Texas to Pennsylvania. I have now promised never to be farther away than a one day car trip home.
Posted by Blogger kel :  January 26, 2007
 

Cleveland, Ohio sucks. No job opportunities, we want to move, but it is family holding us here, I do like the diversityt hough. I don't know if the kids could bear to be away from gumma and papa. A tough decision, but I am sure when the perfect opportunity arises you will know!

Nate is way too cute!!
Posted by Anonymous Donna :  January 26, 2007
 

Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts and enlightening me with so many options for a potential new homestead.
Posted by Blogger Karla :  January 26, 2007
 

Christi has done an accurate assessment of Summerville. You'll get most of your big jobs in Charleston, which is close by. I think Charleston is a great place to live. If you look at any kind of survey of best states, South Carolina is always way down there with Mississippi, but major sections of Charleston are pockets of goodness. There is a high percentage of non-natives around here bringing liberal and more worldly attitudes. The job market is great. The weather is fantastic. I have no idea how to drive in snow or ice, and I've never shoveled snow in my life. We have beautiful beaches, good schools if avoid living in certain areas, fantastic shopping, and lots for kids to do. It's a relatively safe place to live, and we're supposed to be the most polite people in the nation. I don't notice it until I go other places and see what jerks people are. I don't think we're the most diverse town, especially when compared to New York City, but we're not all WASPs either. I think milk is $3-$4 a gallon. Gas is currently around $2.05 a gallon, but I think you measure in liters, so you'll have to do the conversion. The neighbors wear pants, but in the summer it's hot and I'm usually hanging out in my bathing suit. I'm sure they are all blogging about how scary that is. You might not want to move next door to me. :)
Posted by Blogger Julia :  January 26, 2007
 

Hi, Karla!
I just wanted to put in another good word for Oregon. I live in Beaverton, a suburb of Portland, and I love it here. The weather is mild and the job market is good. Lots of good shopping, plus no sales tax.
Posted by Anonymous Amy :  January 26, 2007
 

KARLA I know you are totally considering looking into the Philadelphia market. I love it here but I have never lived anywhere else, but we are a couple hours from New York City, a couple hours from DC, and the shores, etc.

And of course I would totally babysit for you whenever you wanted!
Posted by Blogger TBG :  January 26, 2007
 

Anywhere north of Toronto is lovely

Mcgrandma
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 26, 2007
 

Maybe try Michigan? We are used to 'eh' since we are so close to Canada to begin with. Hell, most ppl that live in the Upper Peninsula are Canadian by association... v v close to Canada. They also say 'eh'.
Posted by Blogger Jillian :  January 26, 2007
 

hehe i was gunna comment with exactly what my sister said... (jillian)

so long as its not detroit, u should be okay... or saginaw

go michigan
Posted by Blogger Cheeks :  January 27, 2007
 

Well, surprised no one else has commented about life in Calgary. We moved here from Houston, Texassssss nearly 3 years back. Luckily for us, the housing boom happened about 8 months after we bought a home. Calgary is a good place. It's just 1 million people, a 4 litre jug of milk costs about $4.50, jobs are everywhere. Finding a place to live? next to impossible. Finding somewhere inner-city that under $500K. Impossible. But mountains and rivers and green spaces galore. And Chinooks that melt the snow and give you 20 degree temperature changes in one day. Plus pretty good shopping, if that's your groove. I think you made a wise decision to stay put. We are far, far, far from all family and I miss having that support network. ANd I miss the free babysitting. And I'm sad that my kids won't know their grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins as well as they could if we lived in Ottawa. Sigh. Good luck, Nate's just great.
Posted by Blogger Mama T :  January 27, 2007
 

I live in Sydney, Australia. We never have to shovel snow. However it can get pretty darn hot in the summers.

I love it here, although being so far removed from the rest of the world can mean things cost more - less population so less consumers I suppose. I believe housing prices are pretty high but if you were considering New York you'd be fine with here! Sydney has gorgeous beaches and a fabulous climate. My hubby moved here from Toronto, Canada, and he loves it.

Melbourne is a bit cheaper than Sydney and is full of very cool arty people wearing black turtlenecks and drinking lattes in groovy cafes. Heh. Yeah there is some competition between the two cities.

As far as milk? Hmm, I guess about $1.20 for a litre. Is that cheap?
 

Sorry I'm late to the party, but I've lived in a few spots in the US, but not outside the country. I can tell you that people are materialistic in Los Angeles, honest and bitchy in New York City, earthy and suspicious in Vermont, in your face in New Jersey, and it's all about college football here in Columbus, Ohio.

We're currently considering an offer to move to Chicago, but we think we might just stay put. We're a little burnt out from moving.

But changing your life is an exciting thing, and good luck with your decision!
Posted by Blogger Kate :  January 27, 2007
 

We are in NC near Weilmington at the beach. Its a pretty nice place to live (I grew up around this area also). Its hot during the summer and the winters are pretty mild. We only see snow mabey one time a year somtimes we dont see any some years. The beach is wonderfull, my kids love it. Not sure about the cow milk prices. We drink rice and soy milk and the prices are not bad. I think milk is still at a decent price according to friends who drink it.
Posted by Blogger Heather :  January 28, 2007
 

I, along with my husband, decided that we would move to California. This was before our son was born. (We were living in Toronto).

When our son was 7 weeks of age, we moved from the big city to a farm on the outskirts of a small village, and about 1 hour from San Francisco.

It is terrible. It was a horrible time to move. Living in the country (which I have never done before) is awful. I don't know anybody, there are no baby groups to join, and (as you've probably noticed) it's not so easy getting out with a baby. Especially when going out means driving over 20 minutes to the nearest town.

It has gotten so bad here (depressed, no friends, no family), that I asked my husband that we move back. Actually, I kind of demanded it. So, 6 months after we moved here, we are starting the process to move back. I cannot wait to get home. My husband needs to get his landed immigrant status (he is from California originally), and then we are back in Toronto. Less than a year from now. Hopefully back before the summer ends.

As far as living in California goes: I wouldn't. People don't tell you how much everything costs. Food may cost less, but the utility bills are skyhigh. Also, the rent is outrageous. By where I live (NOT in a big city), you are looking at over $1000 American for a nice 2 bedroom apartment. $900 for a not-so-nice apartment. Rent in the city (San Francisco) is much, much more. I don't know how anyone with a family can afford living in California. (By the way, it isn't as if we are not educated and, therefore, are not making much money. I have a university degree from U of T, as does my husband. He also has 2 other degrees.)
Posted by Anonymous Jeanne :  January 28, 2007
 

Don't listen to her...Julia is freakin' HOT in her bathing suit, and you would be priveleged to be her neighbor! Of course, she comes over a lot, and there are a couple of houses for sale on my street....

Oh, and at Wally World, milk is only $2 and some change right now...Julia doesn't know b/c she's weird...

Speaking of weird, did I mention how she's also a vegetarian, and you would have a buddy? Plus, our good friend Mike is, too, and you guys could totally switch recipes...while Mark came to our cookouts and shoveled down some steaks!
Posted by Blogger Christi :  January 29, 2007
 

I think you made the right decision about Manhattan...too quick, too soon, and IMO too damn expensive, even if the salary is through the roof, the housing is outrageous and even very expensive if Mark chose to commute...an hour or more.

For the first 30-some years of my life, I lived across the lake from you near Rochester, NY. Economy blows there, as does the winter weather, but housing is very, very affordable. If you can find a good job and can deal with the snow and cold, it is a great place to raise a family.

About 6 years ago, I remarried and packed up 2 kids to meet new hubby near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Again, economy not so hot there, but it was actually a nice place. Could still get some "city life" (museums, theater, dining, etc) without breaking the bank with cost of living. We lived in the suburbs...Sewickley, older town about 12 miles out of the city. Very good schools. Nice, old houses. Cute village. We also lived 20 miles north of the city in a newer subdivision called Seven Fields. When I first moved there, I found it all very "Stepford Wives" but it is really nice community with sidewalks, pools, playgrounds for kids. Great place to raise kids.

Now we are in McLean, Virginia, about 8 miles outside Washington DC. Economy is awesome here (Fairfax County, VA). Housing is ridiculously expensive here in McLean but if you are not locked into a zip code, there are some pockets of "affordability". And after the real estate bubble burst, there's alot of condos that are available at fair price.

The one caveat I have is...I am very lonely without my friends and family. Being away from home and raising kids without support of family nearby has been incredibly hard. But I am into my 6th year of this...the first couple years were a lot of fun. So, try it. If you don't like it, you can always move back!
Posted by Anonymous Kristin :  January 31, 2007
 

Connecticut is a really nice place to raise kids. Fairfield County is expensive but if you go to upper part of it, it's not too bad. Close to NYC.

Schools are good depending on what town/city you are in. And we haven't had any snow yet this winter!

Good luck and it's a good thing you are so open to the possibilities the world has to offer!

Jane
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  February 01, 2007
 

I know people move away from their families everyday, but I'm not sure I could do it. We moved to Canada from England when I was three and it is my mother's biggest regret ever. So much so that now that my brother and I are grown and on out own she hopes to move back.

I think New York would be exciting though. And close enough to home for holidays. As much as I love England I don't think I could raise my kids there.
 


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