Blessings with some upheaval: We’re moving again!

I wanted to share with you guys some big family news. My husband has been named the new global sports editor for The Associated Press. Here’s the story that ran in the AJC when they announced it a few weeks ago.

Michael officially starts the job today. He will be working some in Phoenix, some in New York and some where the news takes him. He will be at the Super Bowl. He will be running the Olympics coverage from Sochi, Russia, and he’ll be leading World Cup coverage from Brazil in June. (He wants me to come to Brazil for part of the time but I haven’t quite figured out how I am going to sell a house, buy a house, move kids 3,000 miles across the county and show up in Brazil. Those plans don’t really seem congruent to me.)

This is literally a dream job for him. He has talked about the job since college. He eats, sleeps and dreams sports. But it does come with complications.

After four years I finally have the kids settled in the right schools. We’re finally making friends. We’re finally getting used to 120-degree temperatures. (OK we’re not actually getting used to the heat. The heat is awful.) But this is a job you don’t pass up! (The previous sports editor held the job for 21 years.) So we’re going to uproot and start over again.

So now my job is to figure out all the logistics. I am planning on staying here until school is out. It’s too hard to do all of this mid-year. I’ve got to find the right schools, get the house ready to sell and find a new house or apartment in the New York City area.

We’re not sure if we’re going to shove 5 people into a 1,500-square-foot apartment in Manhattan or make Michael commute from a larger house in the suburbs of New Jersey.  (There are advantages to each scenario.)

The Manhattan public school system is extremely complicated and overwhelming. There are deadlines in December to try to get a good middle school. Supposedly they hold spaces in the good schools for people who move there later but there are all these news articles about how you get stuck in the crappy schools if you miss the deadlines.

At this point I am interviewing education consultants to help us find the right schools in Manhattan and in New Jersey. (Public of course!) And then we will look at houses and apartments from there.

Michael and I lived in Manhattan for two years when we were first married so I know what that experience is all about. There are definitely compromises: You have no space at all and it is ridiculously expensive, but you are living in the greatest city in the world. I loved living in New York when we were younger. I am sure the experience would be very different with kids.  I just love all the opportunity in the city. It feels like there is every experience  available to you there.

The big kids are very exciting about New York in general. They love the idea of the city. They haven’t visited yet but will get to go soon. Rose thinks we will kill each other in a small apartment.

The 6-year-old is devastated by the whole affair. She cried and cried when we told her and locked herself in her room. We moved here when she was 3 so to her Phoenix is home. She has sooo many little buddies. She is heartbroken to leave everyone. We told her she can Skype. It offers little solace!

So that is where we stand. I just wanted to share our news with you. If anyone has recommendations about New York or New Jersey, I am happy to take them.

42 comments Add your comment

FCM

November 18th, 2013
5:52 am

Congtats Michael! TWG it may be hard, but yes go to Brazil with him.

malleesmom

November 18th, 2013
6:23 am

Congrats to the hubs. When we moved to the Twin Cities, our oldest had the same reaction as the 6y/o. It broke my heart. The kids are right, this will be a huge adjustment. I am sure it will all work out the way it’s supposed to.

motherjanegoose

November 18th, 2013
7:10 am

Congrats to Michael ! Glad it is you and not me. I am fine with visiting that area but living there is not my cup of tea. I have been to NYC a few times and it is too busy for me. But you have been there before and you like it, so hoorah for you! Enjoy!

Mother of 2

November 18th, 2013
7:43 am

We moved kids multiple times, and it’s hard with every move. But the kids truly do adapt, and moving helps them develop a resiliency that is great. This will be a fun adventure for all of you.

I’ve lived in the tri-state area. It is very expensive, but the proximity to the city is wonderful. There is so much to do – you can go into the city every weekend and live out in the suburbs where the schools are fabulous.

Good luck to all of you. Your kids are going to love the snow and 4 distinct seasons. People are wonderful in the northeast. I’m sure you will be impressed with education as well.

jct

November 18th, 2013
8:19 am

Congrats! Good luck with your planning. It is a hard decision whether to live in town or choose the suburbs where you will get more space. Luckily, you are moving to area where you will have access to much better public transportation.

motherjanegoose

November 18th, 2013
8:23 am

TWG…you probably already know this but check out the schools on the Great Schools web site. I know very little about the schools in the NE. I have worked in New York and New Jersey but could not recommend anything at all.

I love the snow FOR A VISIT but not to live in it. I grew up in Chicago and remember all the shoveling, boots, coats and scarves. Walked my dog without a coat, here in Atlanta, today. Suits me just fine.

Mayhem

November 18th, 2013
8:54 am

Congratulations to Michael! However, there is now way in hell I would live in NYC with 3 kids. I’d look into New Jersey. I am not a city girl. I don’t like cramped close quarters.

Good luck to you, I don’t envy the next few months for you. Lol

MiltonMan

November 18th, 2013
9:03 am

Congrats! Your liberal slant will be well received in the liberal wastelands of NY/NJ. Enjoy the high taxes, cold winters (city snow is pretty for about 1-2 days) and the rude people.

A

November 18th, 2013
9:19 am

@MiltonMan–if you don’t have anything nice to say, then zip it. I happen to live in Milton and am extremely liberal…probably one of just a handful of liberals in this area. But we do exist, we do pay our taxes, and we also vote!

FCM

November 18th, 2013
9:29 am

You could look at CT too. I am a bit envious of you being so close to the great Shows. One of my children plans to school up there, and then of course perform on Broadway!

K's Mom

November 18th, 2013
9:35 am

We moved a lot when I was growing up. I will make this suggestion. Move before school is out. There is not much worse for little kids to be in a new place and not know anyone and have a whole summer of boredom in front of them. We moved one summer and the rest of the time just after the holiday break. It was always a fairly easy transition after the break. The one summer we did it was awful.

Congrats to Michael on his new job.

Techmom

November 18th, 2013
9:44 am

Best of luck TWG! I grew up military so moved quite a bit and experiencing different people, cultures, & places, has definitely been a great experience. Your kids are young so it will be relatively easily handled. I’m sure there will be some tears and a bit of anxiety but hopefully within a couple of months, they’ll settle in. The worst move for me was in between 7th and 8th grade. Mostly b/c it was unexpected and there were no times for goodbyes. Plus we didn’t have Facebook or Skype back then! Luckily I got to finish out high school in the same place though.

ssidawg

November 18th, 2013
9:50 am

Congrats to Michael on getting his dream job!! What an incredible opportunity for him and for your family. I look forward to reading about your adventures in moving to New York!

Frankie Five Fingers

November 18th, 2013
9:51 am

Well, congrats on at least stating you are moving…. last time if I recall you kept it a secret.

Young Lady

November 18th, 2013
9:56 am

Congrats. My cousin lived in the NY area for about 8 years, she only just moved last year because her husband’s job relocated them to Japan.

Just remember that the rail system in the tri-state area means that you have a lot (seriously a lot) of commute options that don’t have to include living in the city if you don’t want to. CT should also be on your list. I’ve heard the commute is no worse than the Jersey one by rail.

Bhorsoft

November 18th, 2013
10:09 am

Congrats. Don’t worry about moving the kids around. I’m an Air Force Brat and was uprooted to new bases, schools, and friends every two years. All of us came out just fine and generally have a wider world view because of it.

HB

November 18th, 2013
10:17 am

Congrats, Theresa and Michael! Sounds like an amazing opportunity for all of you. In NYC, are you only considering Manhattan? I have some friends who are very happy so far raising kids in Brooklyn (I have no idea about the public schools there, though). Best of luck!

Sk8ing Momma

November 18th, 2013
10:24 am

Awesome news…Congratulations!!

I’d live in NYC, with kids, in a heartbeat! I’m a city girl through and through (from Los Angeles) and have visited NYC many times. I have several friends with kids who live in Brooklyn…They love it! Brooklyn is not the Brooklyn of yesteryear. Some parts (Brooklyn Heights, Clinton Hills, Park Slope) are fabulous!! IMO, city living in NYC provides innumerable advantages and opportunities for kids, and I’d jump at the chance of doing it with my kids. (It’s sort of like living in Washington, DC…access to so many great things! One cavet: Much of DC is free…not so much in NYC!)

malleesmom

November 18th, 2013
10:37 am

I agree w/ searching in CT if that’s an option. I agree with K’s mom’s logic; move before summer if possible. I know that doesn’t seem possible but trust me, if your relocation agent is worth the salary, they can make it happen :) We moved mid-year on purpose so our girls had time to make friends before summer. My oldest was in middle school at the time (2011) so I was very concerned of new/mean girl stuff. It made the next full school year go much smoother because she wasn’t so “new” in September. In our case, the girls ended up going to school a few weeks longer because they get out later here in MN than GA. Your kids will probably end up the same way if you can make it work. The east coast kids don’t typically get out until mid-late June. If you can get the move done by 4th. quarter, they still have plenty of time to connect before summer.

I don’t envy you but am looking forward to hearing about the move. Deep breaths….

missnadine

November 18th, 2013
10:53 am

Don’t think you want your husband to go to Brazil without you.. trust me on this. I travelled with executives in my company to Sao Paulo, and will tell you that the women in Brazil were extremely beautiful and very forward. I saw a lot of previously good guys do some bad things.

There is no way you could move down there – not with your paranoia. You would scared out of your mind at the different culture and norms. I lived there for a few months and I have been to 35 countries, and always felt I fit in very well, but that place had me on edge. So many poor and desperate people and the traffic is unlike anything you’ve seen.

missnadine

November 18th, 2013
10:55 am

Also, how come you never got to pursue your dream job, and why have you followed him all this time? Weren’t you a journalist one time, even interviewing with JFK’s magazine? When is it YOUR turn?

ATL Born and Raised

November 18th, 2013
11:32 am

Ugh, New Jersey is the worst. Move to Brooklyn.

Once Again

November 18th, 2013
11:43 am

The entire issue with schools would be a non-issue if you homeschooled. Just saying.

abc

November 18th, 2013
11:46 am

@Once Again–not everyone wants to or can home school. We all choose what we think is best for our kids and families.

Becky

November 18th, 2013
12:38 pm

Wow, congrats to you and Michael..The kids will adjust and New York is wonderful..

Never really thought about moving the way that K’s Mom talked about, but seems like a very good thing..If there was any way possible, I would go to Brazil with Michael and the kids..

@MiltonMan..I have encountered as many (or more) rude people here as I did in New York, so not a valid comment..

Jaynie

November 18th, 2013
12:47 pm

I never encountered any rude people in New York. Being from the south, people always wanted to talk to me to listen to my “accent”, nothwithstanding theirs!. I love New York and think it is a great opportunity for you and your family. If at all possible, I think I would try to live in the city, although it is horribly expensive. Good luck to all of you.

Tiffany

November 18th, 2013
1:53 pm

Congratulations to your husband! This will be a grand opportunity for your whole family. Good luck on the move. Just think about what would bring the best overall experience for the family. Also- pick a place that makes YOU happy. You are the one that will make it home. It sounds like Michael will be doing a lot of traveling. Settle down where you will most enjoy raising the children. Best wishes to all of you!

motherjanegoose

November 18th, 2013
3:02 pm

Reading these comments made me think of OTP and ITP. Not everyone likes to live in the same place and that is a good thing.

I was in Houston, this past summer and met some IT folks from the Northeast who were staying long term at the same hotel I was staying at. Their comment, ” Wow…how does Texas do this with no state income tax and yet you can get so much for a lot less that we can in the Northeast. We are TAXED TO DEATH! It is impressive! ”

It is interesting to get out and about and see what other people live like…that is for sure!

Jersey girl

November 18th, 2013
3:29 pm

I would try to live in Hunterdon county nj. It’s rural and offers excellent schools. Your kids will thank you for a safe environment.

jarvis

November 18th, 2013
7:43 pm

Congrats to you guys!
What a cool job for Michael!

DB

November 19th, 2013
12:05 am

First of all, WAY TO GO, MICHAEL!!!!! That is a tremendous compliment to his work, and it’s so wonderful to see dreams come true for those that you love!!

@Missnadine: Are you married at all? Ever? Something someone told me when I was pregnant with my first child: “You can have it all. Just not at the same time.” To everything there is a season. T has maintained her journalistic ties, she’s been teaching journalism, and if she wants a job in some flavor of journalism in NYC (communications capital of the country, hello?) I have no doubt she will find one. OR, she may decide to exercise her hard-won right to choose to be a SAHM at this time of her life, and it’s something that she comes back to when she feels the time is right. It’s not as though one forgets how to write, and with journalism being so internet-driven these days, she could write from an island in the South Pacific — as long as she had a satellite hookup. :-) Why turn Michael’s tremendous accomplishment into some sort of diss on T?

I lived and worked in New York without kids, too, and lived in Connecticut and did the bit on the train for a while. I loved it. Kids seem to grow up in New York just fine — they will have the advantage of living in many parts of the country (those that they remember), and will learn to enjoy what the city has to offer. Don’t forget Westchester — some of the best schools in the country, there.

I moved quite a bit as a child — and can honestly say that there’s not really an “ideal” time to move. What’s ideal for one child may be difficult for another. I vote to move whenever you find a good living situation, regardless of what time of year it is.

GO TO BRAZIL, even if it’s just for a week or two! It’s craziness, and the World Cup will just magnify the craziness! So what if the house isn’t moved into? Take the kids to grandparents and GO! Whatever isn’t done before you leave will be waiting for you when you get back. And if you don’t want to go, my son will be delighted to give up a week vacation to go with Michael and help — he has been saving for a trip to the World Cup for two years, now, and is dying to go! :-)

missnadine

November 19th, 2013
11:37 am

DB – yes, in fact I celebrated my 25th anniversary last Thursday. I just think T has given up in a lot of areas. Compare her to MJG, who has always maintained a great career and parenting. T coddles her kids as a helicopter parents, she is always nagging about something, and finds drama where there isn’t any. My 2 kids are grown, and I would say they are very independent and successful, and I made sure they did a great part of the chores as soon as they were able to.

The funny thing about Brazil. My husband and I both worked for a company that had a satellite office in Sau Paulo. Unless you’ve been, you really don’t have any idea of how things works there, and of what is considered regular business. There were business “outings” with just the men, at very risqué places with beautiful call girls (it is legal there), and there was a very macho type of scene where some of the men, went ahead and did things their wives would not approve of. Add the World Cup in the mix and I would imagine things would get pretty crazy. T would not be able to handle any of it – she is insecure and prone to berate her husband at all turn, and I would say that the combo of beautiful women, easy access, and the lack of the spousal noose around his neck may prove to be more than he can take. She would also be horrified by the extreme poverty and would probably walk around paranoid. T reminds me of a few women in my family, my mom and sister, who gave up everything to follow their husbands, and ended up not very ideally… just my opinion.. and I am allowed to have one, right?

Ann

November 19th, 2013
12:39 pm

@ missnadine – You are viewing her choices through your prism. While some may view it as “something given up”, others view it as “something gained”. Some people regret the choices they make; and, others, who make similar choices, thrive and enjoy their lives. The key is to make the right choice for you, not the right one for someone else.

Ann

November 19th, 2013
12:41 pm

@ motherjanegoose – Texas has the highest property rate in the country, the highest of all states and much higher than Georgia’s rate. That is how they get by with no state income tax. All states tax their citizens one way or another.

Ann

November 19th, 2013
12:42 pm

meant to type “property tax rate”

motherjanegoose

November 19th, 2013
2:35 pm

@ Ann…thanks for the info. We lived in Texas before we moved here. Did not think the taxes were that high ( probably because our housing cost was a lot lower) but that was a long time ago! We had a 3 BR 2 ba brick home in a nicer neighborhood for less than $60,000. It was fully remodeled inside and had a fenced in backyard.

I did find this:

“Three of the country’s top five highest-taxed counties — Westchester, Nassau and Rockland — are in New York state. Homes in these areas are pricey — in Westchester the median home value is $581,900, three times the national average, according to census numbers — which naturally helps drive up those bills. But another factor is at play here: Counties in the census-defined Northeast region tend to be carved into an array of towns, villages and municipalities that don’t derive their property taxes from statewide levies. This results in a greater dependence on property taxes for local revenue. Because the region also has highly concentrated pockets of wealth, it takes 19 out of the top 20 spots for highest-taxed counties.”

Probably should note that the PRICE of houses in the NE is a LOT more than the price of most houses in Texas. If you pay twice as much for your house you may pay more in taxes too, no matter what the rate is.

This house is in a decent area near DFW:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3101-Bonniebrook-Dr-Plano-TX-75075/26601110_zpid/

The taxes are $3649…but the price might be a lot more in New York. I think the houses in New York would also be substantially higher than the ones in Phoenix.

I am not moving to NY so I do not have to worry about it.

Again you are correct….” The key is to make the right choice for you, not the right one for someone else.”

DB

November 19th, 2013
11:27 pm

@missnadine: Wow, you really know T. AND Michael inside out, don’t you? Just from what she’s chosen to share with us on this blog, you have determined all that, including that Michael is ready to run off to Brazil and screw every prostitute he meets. Frankly, if I were Michael, I’d be telling T. to take this blog and shove it. To insinuate his inevitable unfaithfulness borders on libel, and tells us a lot more about you than it does about Michael, frankly.

We see T’s life, her children, her husband, and her thoughts through a very, very small window. I see a woman who volunteers in the community and school, loves her family deeply and wants what’s best for them. She keeps up an on-line community for the newspaper of one of the largest cities in the United States, teaches at a local college, and is active in her church and community. She may not do it the same way you do, but she’s got an amazingly thick skin, considering some of the ignorant sh!t people throw at her here. She takes it far more gracefully than I would. :-) We all have things, as parents, that make us “unique”. All of our kids, as adults, can probably tell a few stories about crazy things that their mom or dad did as parents. But they all do manage to grow up, most of them pretty well.

missnadine

November 20th, 2013
1:09 am

DB – where on earth do you see libel in what I wrote? From what she has shared, she has admitted to telling M he can’t do anything right, she has such a tendency to micro-manage her kids, and she often plays the “woe is mom” card. You have to know that she will be using the “poor me, I’ve moved everywhere for you” talk as she does that now, and did even before they moved to Arizona. I’m not making this up – these is all of the things she has agonized about.

DB

November 20th, 2013
2:30 pm

@missnadine, when you state, Don’t think you want your husband to go to Brazil without you.. trust me on this. I travelled with executives in my company to Sao Paulo, and will tell you that the women in Brazil were extremely beautiful and very forward. I saw a lot of previously good guys do some bad things., you are suggesting that she needs to go along and “keep an eye” on Michael. In other words, you’ve seen guys take advantage of it, and assume that he can’t be trusted, either.

missnadine

November 20th, 2013
5:54 pm

I would imagine that yes, her husband would be tempted, and maybe she should be worried. From T’s own words, she tends to nag the man quite often. I also find it ironic that people are congratulating her for the fact that her husband got a promotion for a job that will keep him away from the family for weeks at a time – how is that good for her? She’ll have no support and will have to probably hang up her aspirations for a meaningful teaching job or anything else beside parenting. How important is a family versus a career? Is it important enough to miss major events during their most formative years? Imagine if she got the promotion. People here would be saying that she was a terrible parent who put her career first. Why is it different if it is a man? DB – I know you don’t want to let this go, but I am tired of responding back to you. I know what I wrote – I actually read too.

DB

November 21st, 2013
1:48 am

@missnadine: I think you are probably congratulating yourself on being a “realist,” but there’s a lot of pessimism there. By your comments, it’s as if there’s nothing good about Michael winning one of the penultimate jobs in his career. It’s not different because he’s a man — if T. had won this job, I would be wildly cheering for her — just as I am for her husband. If they are like most couples, I’m sure there was an element of discussion — “is this right for our family?” No spouse can take a job like this without the confidence that it’s also good for the their family in some way. T. is putting out the same questions and concerns that any parent — male or female — would have when faced with an upheaval such as this — schools, housing, etc. Yes, it will be a challenge, but that doesn’t make it a BAD thing — I can’t help but think that they are smart enough to weigh the pros and cons and make the decision that is right for them and their family. The kids will probably grow up with the enviable perks of being able to witness an array of elite international sporting events, not to mention the chance to live in one of the most exciting cities in the world.

Plus, you’re assuming that T. wants a career that is that encompassing at this point in her life. Maybe it’s HER choice to focus on family now, instead? If her soul craved a career that fast paced, I suspect that she’d have gone after it. Or, she may have been like me — 70-80 hr. work weeks in a pressure-cooker job that I loved — until I had a baby. Then my choice was to stay at home, despite people who looked down their nose at me for doing it, or who thought my brain had suddenly rotted. And now, 25 years later, I’m almost as engrossed with the career I started building when my kids hit college as I was when the first baby was born.

Neither one of us knows, though, do we? That’s T. and her husband’s decision, and their decision tree to would probably be different from either yours or mine. But not being naturally inclined to be a Cassandra, I do wish them the very best with their new adventure.

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