Shortly after we moved to this home a few months ago,
it became apparent that it was time for Sam to take the next step in his career.
After completing his post-doctoral fellowship, his boss wanted him to stay for a while, so she hired him on,
but it was never intended to be a permanent job.
And so we embarked on a whirlwind journey of
and praying some more
to figure out what the next step for our family should be.
After thinking long and hard about all of our options,
Sam accepted a job at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee!
We are so excited.
We are thrilled for him to have such an incredible research opportunity at the best pediatric cancer hospital in the world.
We are excited for our family to grow through this process.
We are looking forward to being surrounded by delightful accents and southern hospitality.
We will miss living in Utah.
We will miss monthly family dinners,
lots of cousin time,
babysitting swaps with my sister,
hikes in the mountains,
snow in the winter,
visits to Temple Square,
and the blessing of continually interacting with our families.
But this is right.
And it feels so right.
We found the most delightful, charming, All-American town where we will likely live.
The schools are top-notch and the town is filled with stately homes, sprawling yards with lots of trees, big southern porches, and extremely kind people.
Exhibit A: I was speaking to someone from one of the LDS congregations in the area, and he talked to me for a good 30 minutes, telling me all about the area. At the end of our conversation he said, "If you guys come out here, me and my wife would love to have you stay with us, we'll take you out to dinner and show you the sites!"
Wow. Talk about Southern Hospitality!
Exhibit B: I had a question about activities in the area for children so I posted it on a local Facebook page and within 2 hours I had 20 comments on the post giving suggestions and welcoming me to the area, as well as a message from someone telling me how much they love the area and offering to help us in any way.
We hear over and over again what a great place it will be for our children.
(And check out this gorgeous house in the town...Sam and I just about died when we saw it...it's the stuff our dreams are made of and a totally reasonable price, too! The inside is just as gorgeous.
One day we will settle down and buy a house but all these short-term positions make it hard!
In the meantime I will just drool longingly.)
When it was time to break the news to the children we gathered them into the living room,
cups of comforting hot cocoa in hand,
and had a family council together.
We explained that their daddy had gotten a new job and that we would be moving and we were met with a range of responses...
not all totally pleasant.
(My favorite was when Wesley, with complete seriousness and concern, asked, "But won't we have a hard time understanding everyone, because we'll have to learn to speak Tennessee-an?")
There was quite a bit of anxiety about missing major family events, but we reassured them that we would come back regularly to visit and then took them down to the computer to introduce them to beautiful Tennessee.
We hopped on Google Maps and got on street view to show them the gorgeous town.
We showed them the Mississippi River and made plans to have a family bike ride along the river shortly after our move.
We talked to them about an amazing Christmas Tree farm and petting zoo that we'll visit after our move and explained that we would get them each a new Lego set when we arrived to help them with the move.
By the time we were done talking things up, everyone was mostly satisfied about the move.
So now the whirlwind of job searching is over and the whirlwind of moving (again!!) begins.
We'll leave around Thanksgiving Day and in the meantime we're cramming in
a house hunting trip,
extended family events,
last trips to the doctor and dentist,
family activities selected by the kids,
and get-togethers with friends.
And so, off we go, on to the next adventure!