Why don’t we just move?!

#parenthood

Superman (aka, my husband) asks me “Why don’t we just move (to the Teton Valley)?!”, several times a week. I get it, the 650 is getting to him. It’s expensive, busy, and demanding…I feel it too. The hard part is, once you know there’s another way you’d prefer to live, you become less tolerant than you were before. I think since his recovery, he just has less patience (not that he had a lot to begin with) and wants to live his life without feeling confined anymore.

 

After Superman’s accident, our “village” rallied hard and lifted us up…through all the years we dealt with his health. When we told them we were vacationing in the Teton Valley, they said “where?!”, but when we told them we wanted to live there…”why?!”. Surviving and being successful in the Bay Area is hard, but if you’re doing it, it’s something to be proud of. So, to articulate you’d prefer to leave catches people off guard. The desire to live in the Teton Valley now, sooner, later, or forever is the same feeling you have when you meet your spouse…you just know. They are meant to be a part of your life and you can’t imagine your life without them. Once you know you want to spend your life somewhere, you can wait to start!

 

This brings me back to Superman’s desire to move…now.  There are two reasons we wait – Tall & Small. Tall is our #IndifferentTween daughter who is twelve and in 7th grade. Small is our #Crazy daughter who is about to be eleven and in 5th grade. They’re born and raised here and have lived in our current home (were able to purchase as renters) for 7 years. They both attend the great public schools we are fortunate to have. Tall and Small play competitive club soccer and have big goals to play in college and maybe beyond. The girls love the Teton Valley as much as we do, but we need to let them complete their journeys.

...our baby Bears
My 3 Bears…

Would the girls be ok if we left? Sure. Can Superman survive waiting? Yes. For now, we will continue to vacation to the Teton Valley. As a family, we will tackle the process of building a house. Our future is 208. After all, it is only 7 more years until Small graduates…

For now, we do what all parents do…sacrifice.  This is parenthood.

How did we get here?!

#noquit

January 4th, 2013 my husband (Superman) was in a horrible ski accident and he emerged with only a broken right ankle and a totaled left knee. The worst part was after his surgery he developed an infection in his knee and became septic. This took our family through a nightmare I never thought would happen to us. My 38 year old Superman was down and sense of invincibility was brought back to reality. For nearly two years, our family was forced to be house-bound and re-evaluate our life. Suddenly, the hamster wheel of work and raising children in the never-ending grind of the California, Bay Area came to a screeching halt. Thankfully, my Superman has recovered through countless surgeries and hard work #noquit attitude. While painful, this experience opened our eyes to consider possibilities that we never would have, especially as a young family. Over the three years we opened ourselves up to think about what’s next?

...Now & Then…Now & Then

Once Superman was healthy enough for us to take a summer vacation, I declared I wanted to go somewhere and see something we’d never experienced before! Even though my world has been small (since college we’ve been raising two young girls and working), we’d stuck to the same beach vacations I always wanted and loved. Now, things were different…we were different. After everything we’d been through, there was a sense to do something. I began to research the Northern Rockies and envisioned us experiencing breath-taking views of a different kind. Then as fate usually goes, we needed a tipping point. We were out to dinner with our college friend from Texas who is a fly fishing guide in the summer. He and his family live in Idaho during the season and encouraged us to consider the Teton Valley as an option. The irony here is Superman was born and raised in Nampa, ID. (outside of Boise). He left for the Navy at age 18 and always prided himself on NEVER going back!

 

The summer of 2014, our family of four packed up the car with our two dogs and drove from Menlo Park, CA to Driggs, Idaho. When we drove along the Snake River and gazed at the endless green fields (…remember CA has been in a drought!), we knew we had made the right decision to take this kind of trip. However, it was love a first site as the view of the Tetons slowly revealed themselves as we drove into the Teton Valley for the first time. We rented a house for two weeks in neighboring Victor and something FELT different. We were a different family here. Yes, we were on vacation…but, there was an element of HOME.

This is where we are supposed to be…

We want to live here!

#someday

Since our first visit in July 2014, we romantically discuss moving to the Teton Valley. But, last summer, we decided to get serious about exploring buying land in the Teton Valley for our future. And by serious I mean asking the owner of Yöstmark if he had any realtor recommendations while we purchased two used stand-up paddle boards (SUPs), life vests, and paddles…this is how we do our research in the Teton Valley.  He recommended Dave Dery to us, who’s office is conveniently caddy-corner to Yöstmark.

 

Being from the 650, of course, we emailed Dave first as a feeler. We learned quickly, this is not how the Teton Valley does business…face-to-face and phone calls are best. We took time out from our vacation-life and took a meeting with Dave & his wife Amy. Much of this time was spent helping us get out of our Bay Area real estate mind-set and learn about the Teton Valley. We gave Dave our criteria and budget and he emailed us MLS listings. Of course, Dave offers to drive us around to the lots in the listing, but we arrogantly decline that we will check them out and get back to him.

 

After Superman and I had two bust trips driving down dirt roads and looking for signage (which doesn’t exist), we realized…we need Dave. We set up a day with Dave to drive around and see the different lots he selected for us. There was one criteria: TETON VIEWS. As a Bay Area resident for 27 years, I can’t describe how surreal it is to look at LAND (…that I can afford to buy!).  The downside is we have no frame of reference for space…like “So, how big is an acre?”, when you’re standing in a field of 20 acres!  Dave was extremely patient and informative.

 

We fell in love with the price, size, and views of a lot in Tetonia (a stone’s throw past Driggs, ID) as part of a foreclosed development site with no builds. We left in mid-July with our fingers crossed it would still be available when we returned in the winter ready to purchase.

 

My favorite takeaway from last summer: I kept telling Dave that I didn’t want to have any neighbors (see or talk to anyone)…oh, and my dislike for log cabins and knotty-pine (this will be addressed in BUILD IT).  Dave gently reminded us that the reason why we were attracted to the Teton Valley was to get away from the lifestyle of the Bay Area that was getting to us. We need to let the lifestyle of the Teton Valley in and not try to bring the stress with us. This thematically will ring true. If we want to live here, embrace a way of life outside our 650 bubble.

 

...mother-daughter style!

SUP, mother-daughter style

If we’re going to live here, we need to get on…Teton Time!