Matt's two-year contract will not be extended as we really, really hoped. The reason for no extension stems back to a company merger nine months ago. That left a surplus of employees in Europe and a shortfall for help in America. On the plus side America needs more people, and my guy is just who they need.
Hang with me while I be selfish for our family for a moment.
Selfish Point #1 - We love living in London. The city setting works well for our family; public transportation and delivery services keep our no car family running day to day. Come on, the history that we walk by every day constantly awes us. On the walk to school alone we pass by several WWII bomb sites, and our house is well over 100 years old. When you visit places around the city to realize that many of the buildings are over 600 years old, it becomes apparent that America is just getting started.
Selfish Point #3 - Leaving friends is never easy. Upon moving into The Manor, we quickly found out that it was extremely hard to make friends as adults. The neighbors are polite, and we only hit it off with a few. We created a quality support system with the families at school, which was a life saver on so many occasions. I also have an amazing friend that I met through Instagram who became my partner in city touring shenanigans. Our girls became good friends in the last year, too.
Selfish Point #4 - Oldest Kiddo started middle school in September, and we hoped that we could stay through the end of the school year. You remember middle school, right? The most awkward time of your life. We want to make sure her transition from UK schools back to a US schools is as smooth as we can make it. It won't be perfect, but we'll try darn hard to make it so.
As I've gone through the stages of grieving our pending change, I also have to remember that it's not about me. Matt's job brought this opportunity to our family, and we have to do what's right for the family. If the next stage in his career happens to be in America, then that's where we go.
Now that I'm ready to make the lemonade, there are several things to which we look forward. First we get to decide where we will live. If you recall, we sold The 407 in the Chicago suburbs so we can live wherever we choose. The only thing we need in our new town is easy access to an airport for Matt's work travel. There are several things that would be nice, such as little or no snow. We've started researching houses in different cities to see what our dollar will buy.
Positive Point #1 - We will be back near our family and friends (somewhat). Regardless of where we decide to move, our family will be closer to us than to London Manor. Despite the amazing things we've seen and done in London, it's been hard being away from our families. We've missed holidays, birthdays, and simple weekend picnics. Sadly, we've said good bye to three very close family members in our time here. On the other hand, we've happily hosted several guests at The Manor and shown them the city that we love.
Positive Point #2 - A move back to America presents opportunities to show our kids more of their home country. Although the ease of travel to Europe greatly diminishes when we return, that won't stop us from returning when we can!
Positive Point #3 - It sounds cheeky, but I so look forward to proper pizza & Mexican food. London just doesn't understand the fine points of a quality taco or salsa. Although I've gotten quite good at making my own.
Send good thoughts our way for a smooth transition back to 'Merica.