Ahhhh we did it! We got here July 2nd after a family trip to Hilton Head and are head over heels in love with our new city. I'm so excited to finally share the journey with you!
I spilled the beans on Instagram in May that we'd sold our house and were moving across the country. Now it's time to share all the juicy details about the why, what, and how behind this life-changing journey!
Why we decided to move
I've been craving big change in my life for some time now. It's tough to articulate, but I had this nagging feeling that I wanted something bigger, something more. Jeff has always wanted to move out of Ohio, but I was pretty rooted in Columbus given my role with Alchemy (a restaurant I co-founded in 2014).
We were outgrowing our two-bedroom house but were coming up dry after searching for and bidding on houses for the last two years. We knew we wanted to get out of our house but didn't feel excited about living anywhere else in Columbus. Still, I never imagined we'd move to another state.
After having Max in 2021, the unsettled feeling grew exponentially. I wasn't feeling fulfilled with work. I wasn't inspired. I also knew I didn't want to stay home full time with Max. Everything felt off, and I felt...lost.
Looking back now, I know I had a combination of postpartum depression and/or anxiety. But even a year and a half later, the feelings have only recently begun to subside.
I decided to step down from my day-to-day full time role with Alchemy in January. It was a crazy hard decision, but it was absolutely the right one for me in this season of life. I felt guilty for not having the energy or desire to give my all to our brand, and it was starting to suffocate me.
A couple months later, Jeff and I began daydreaming about what it would look like for our family to move. He had a new remote job that gave him the flexibility to live anywhere, and I wasn't tied to Columbus anymore. We planned a weekend trip to Denver and told ourselves we'd come back with a decision.
It felt like the biggest decision ever leaving the only state we've ever lived in, our families who live two hours away, our friends, the businesses I helped start, our community...
But it was also so, so clear. The answer has always been yes.
weekend trip to Breckenridge
Why we chose Denver
We've always felt drawn to this city. I had my bachelorette party here in 2018, we went for fun in 2017, and we went in my second trimester. There is just so much to do! Denver checked so many boxes when it came to where we wanted to raise our family.
Yes, a lot of people are moving here and yes, it can be expensive. But honestly, the Columbus housing market has gotten so insane that it really wasn't that much of a change.
- Weather: It's wildly sunny, with 300 days of sunshine a year. It definitely gets toasty here in the summer, but the dry heat is so much better than humidity.
- Outdoor culture: It really is second to none. Seriously, people are so active here all year long. We can't wait to teach Max to ski!
- Mountain views: You can see the mountains from pretty much everywhere. It's surreal to stare at this majestic landscape during our morning walk or just driving to Target. It really causes a shift in your energy.
- Walkable neighborhoods: I love how many charming neighborhoods there are with epic restaurants, art, shops, and parks. We live in Washington Park but are also excited about LoHi, Highlands, RiNo, Congress Park, City Park, and Sunny Side. There are parks everywhere you turn. Infinite green spaces!
- Food scene: There are so many fabulous restaurants here. We've barely scratched the surface but have loved trying new places every weekend. So many are in walking distance, too!
- Close to other awesome places: We can hop in the car and take weekend trips to Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, Vail, Boulder, Moab, and beyond.
- Great people: It is very noticeable how people are super kind and grounded here. Like, they actually say hello and start up conversations with you. How could you not be happy living in a place like this?
- No bugs: LOL but really, there's like no mosquitos. It's HEAVEN.
- Direct flights: It's an easy two hour direct flight for our families, which is a big plus.
Why we chose the Washington Park neighborhood
We signed a one year lease in Wash Park and seriously couldn't be more in love with this neighborhood. The homes have so much character. We found a beyond charming 1,800 square foot house with 3 bedrooms and the cutest backyard. It feels like a great amount of space for us.
We didn't want to buy without being sure where we wanted to live for the next few years. We figured, why not spend a year in a neighborhood we're certain is wonderful and go from there?
We live a short walk away from a gigantic park with two lakes, mountain views, sprawling green spaces, lush flower gardens, and a big playground. It's also walkable to my new favorite pilates studio, Whole Foods, and great restaurants and coffee shops.
It's very safe, too. We could never leave our stroller outside where we lived in Columbus. It's also really quiet! It feels like urban living without the noise and crime. We sit on our front porch and drink coffee every morning just soaking in the peace and quiet.
What's moving across the country like?
Honestly, it was a lot easier than I made it out to be in my head. Transitions are not my friend!
You have to pack everything in a truck no matter if you're moving down the street or across the country. Packing royally sucked and was totally my full time job for a while; but we knew moving was stressful going in.
Figuring out the logistics of timelines, selling our house, and securing housing in Denver was a doozy. We learned that renting, like buying, is very competitive. We didn't get the first rental we wanted so we started being super on top of it and made sure we were communicative and eager. When we found one in the location we wanted, we jumped on it right away and committed mid-April site unseen (we did a Facetime tour).
We put our house on the market at the end of April and luckily sold it the first weekend. I packed boxes every week and sold a lot of stuff so it wasn't as overwhelming.
We looked into moving companies but they were all way more than we wanted to spend and couldn't guarantee when our stuff would get there. We ended up renting a U-Haul and Jeff, his friends and I packed everything ourselves. Jeff drove the truck down to Denver while his brother drove our car. We did hire movers on the back end, which was a great decision.
Meanwhile, I took Max to Cleveland to stay with my family while Jeff moved us in. The quality time with them was so special. Then Max and I flew to Denver (his first flight!) later on.
Has it been hard with no family?
We haven't been here long enough to feel this. Our parents' are both wonderful, involved grandparents and of course I wish they were here with us. That goes for our siblings and their kids, too! But I also know we'll both visit. I'm so stoked to be raising a family in a place I feel so aligned with.
Ultimately we couldn't not make a move that felt so intuitive because our families live in Ohio. There will always be reasons not to do something. Taking risks is hard. But flexing that muscle is important to me. I feel brave in a way I never have. This move has forced me step outside of my comfort zone.
Breaking the news to our families was an extremely difficult and stressful process. I'd say stages of grieving us leaving Ohio is an accurate depiction of how those months went.
I know we'd regret never trying to live elsewhere when we both had such a hunger for it. Plus, we can always move back or try somewhere else! I'd rather try and fail than not try and always wonder "what if."
What we're doing for childcare
Daycare waitlists are years long here and nannies are extremely expensive (and in short supply). After stalking a Wash Park moms Facebook group, I got so lucky and found a nanny share.
How it works is I bring Max to the other family's house three days a week and Max hangs with the nanny and their 18-month old boy. It's a five minute drive and they already had all the gear, so it's super convenient.
Leave a comment with any thoughts or questions you have about moving, life, and beyond! We are feeling so settled and happy here. If you're considering making a big change in life, I hope this post inspires you to DO THE DANG THANG!