The last two months have been absolutely crazy -- with lots of travel involved!
At the end of September, I drove (10 hours each way) to Tallahassee for a couple of days to defend my prospectus. A few days later, Chris received word that he would need to be in Pittsburgh for a final all-day interview. So, less than a week later, we went to Pittsburgh for a few days. Chris and Vivian flew and I drove with Lilli (8 hours each way). Driving through West Virginia was absolutely gorgeous! The mountains were covered with so many colorful trees -- oranges, yellows, reds. WV is a beautiful state, although it gets a lot of bad press. Pittsburgh felt and looked much different than it did when we came in July. Welcome to Steeler Nation!!! It's all about football this time of year. We met with our real estate agent again to look at some additional houses. We found one we really liked, although we were hesitant to make an offer until we received an official word about a job.
A couple of days after we returned from PA, I had surgery. I did well through the anesthesia and my results came back fine.
About a week later, Chris received a job offer so we immediately put our house on the market that night. Then the real craziness began! We had to prepare for a move within a month. I had to find temporary housing for us in PA, schedule doctors appointments, schedule movers, try to find a new school for Vivian (from a distance), etc.
Vivian was a hockey player for Halloween -- complete with a Hurricanes jersey and authentic (our neighbor plays hockey) gloves and helmet. She loved it! I think she had more fun handing out candy though!
We sold our Honda Pilot so now we're a 1-car family. I wasn't sad to see the monthly payment, insurance or high gas expense go so it was a good choice. If we need a 2nd car at some point, we'll probably get a small commuter car. However, Chris will take the "T" (light rail) to work everyday so I don't see the point in having one.
A couple of days later, I left for a conference in Jacksonville (8 hr drive -- Chris had to get a rental car in NC while I was gone). I was able to present but then became very ill and wasn't able to leave my hotel room for a day and a half. I came down with a nasty cold. I drove home a day early. I would rather be sick at home than stuck in a hotel 8 hours away from home.
We had a going-away party for Vivian and her preschool friends. Vivian's last day of preschool was just a few days later. I think I cried more than Vivian did (who didn't at al). I'm certainly going to miss her school. What an amazing place!!
The following day, we moved to Pittsburgh! We spent a day in DC and went to the National Air and Space Museum Annex at Dulles. The Space Shuttle Enterprise is there, as well as the Concorde and SR-71 Blackbird (and a few hundred other planes). It's quite impressive. We also went to the National Zoo. I'm excited to be 4 hours away from DC. We're looking forward to making additional trips there in the spring!
We've been here 4 days now in corporate housing (which is a small fortune -- 2x the price of most mortgages). We had planned on renting the house we're buying from the sellers, but they kept jacking us around so we said "no thanks." (Now they're begging us to move in.) They wanted us to pay 8K up front -- 2 months rent, 2K security deposit (in additional the 3K in earnest money) and 2K for a DOG fee. Oh...and they're still marketing the house because our house in NC was on the market.
The great news: Our house went under contract the day AFTER we left NC. We were on the market for 3 1/2 weeks and had 9 showings. We got a great offer. The buyers don't have a house to sell, so everything should close in about a month. They want to be in before Christmas, which means we need to plan another trip to NC to pack the remainder of our stuff and schedule the movers. I'd like to be in before Christmas too!!
We were able to spend Thanksgiving with our family and friends in our 900 sq ft (very packed) apartment, but it was great to have the entire family together. We are planning on having many more events like this now that we're all located in close proximity.
I shopped with my friend Matt on Black Friday and then we all went out yesterday afternoon for more shopping. I had to stock up on winter gear (thank you LL Bean)! We're expecting snow later this week.
December is going to be another busy month -- Vivian's birthday, Chris's birthday, heading back to NC to pack the rest of our stuff, closing on 2 houses (hopefully) and Christmas! Hopefully January will calm down a bit.