Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Okay, this post is neither funny nor interesting so if you are not a deep blue true and true friend who wants to voice their opinion about where I live, you are excused.

So, we live in Lehi. In the basement of a really nice house. It's a really nice basement. Seriously, I've never seen such a nice kitchen. We have tons of living space, tons of storage space, and it seems to me that we are getting a pretty sweet deal. We like our upstairs neighbors (important when sharing a house!) our landlords are very nice and accomodating, BUT it just hasn't clicked for us here.

Perhaps it was the rodent infestation in the fall. Or that, even though it is a nice walkout basement, with a lot of still is kind of dark and even the lightbulb lighting isn't too good and I think that did nothing but contribute to my boggy depression for the last eight months. I really do think that I suffer from SAD.

And the commute. Well, I don't use this word lightly, but the commute sucks.

It's about 35 minutes if the weather is clear and Blaine leaves at the crack of dawn and all the stars align. But usually it is more like 45, and if there is a BYU game, or (Heaven forbid) could take up to an hour and a half.

It's the worst.

So, we kind of want to move.

It is written into our contract that we can sell our lease. Which we would have to do because our lease isn't up till the end of August and I would want to move before Gwen starts kinder.

So that's the other thing, Gwen got into an awesome charter school near here. She will have the opportunity to learn Spanish, Aarabic, and Chinese in kinder and then choose which language she wants to persue for the rest of elementary. There are 160 kindergartners on the waiting list for this school. I am not sure what miracle of miracles got us in. But we got it. And her class would only have 19 kids. And I have a friend who will carpool with me, and I already bought some uniform clothes (uniforms! Call me crazy but I love that!).

So we've been causually looking around for a new place. At one point I decided that the Charter school was reason enough for us to stay in Lehi and we went and looked at a townhome nearby. It was about the same price we were paying. I thought it was great, Blaine was indifferent. So I just kind of forgot about it.

And now the people who are renting it out wrote me and offered us a free month and reduced rent if we move in. Hello! Awesome! It is slightly closer to Blaine's work, Gwen could still go to the charter, and it would be cheapity cheap. Plus it is in a set of townhomes filled with people just like us, with two or three kids not yet in school. It's next to a park, we would have a carport instead of just having to park on the street. Etc.

But it's still a beastly commute.

So I guess my question is this.

Is an awesome school and cheap housing with younger families worth a beastly commute? It's been really great for us to be somewhere less expensive right now (thank you idiot renters! Not you current renters, the old renters who smoked and had the three giant dogs and stole my lightbulbs), but we miss Blaine. He leaves at 7AM comes home at 7PM and somehow in all that only gets about 9 hours of work in. Imagine if he had a shorter commute.

I hate to sound all school snobby, I'm really not, but how could I take a really great opportunity for Gwen away?

I guess I could be consoled by the fact that after we went to the kindergarten registration she said she would have rather stayed home and gotten kidnapped than gone to that school.

Hmmmm. What would you do?


Melinda said...

I would do it for the school- the place where your kids are for the majority of their day is going to matter the most to your entire family. Plus if your school has "sibling rules", you may have just guaranteed a fantastic education for all of your kids!!!!

Tom said...

35 minute commute? CHILD'S PLAY! I look at my commute time as 'me' time. I listen to the music I want, polish a lesson or a talk in my head, I go over office politics and strategies. Books on tape!....endless possibilities. The longer the commute, the better. It is all a matter of perspective.

Karina said...

Prayer, first and foremost, is what's important, not what I have to say about it, because when God puts in his 2 cents miracles happen even if it's not what we wanted:)

Why don't you just try it this next school year and see how it goes. Maybe Gwen will be so happy there and you will too and it will all of a sudden make Blaine's commute seem insignificant.

That's the beauty of renting! You can just try it for the year, and if it doesn't work, then try something moving back to Texas, for instance ;)

I was unhappy last year that our garden was a 5-min. drive away from our house. It took a LOT of Steve's/my time. We wanted to move. But this year, we got into a better groove with it and I really don't want to move because not having a garden at our house is the ONE AND ONLY thing I don't like about being here, and all the other good far outweighs the bad.

Janae said...

I would go for the commute and not the school. She is only going to be in Kindergarten and for all you know you won't be staying in Lehi forever. So there is no guarantee that she will be in that school forever anyway. I am sure you can find a great school (public even) in another neighborhood. Kids are really resilient, even if they make funny comments like Gwen did. And if you really like uniforms you can still send her in one. Of course she might get made fun of...

my DH has a 5 minute commute. Seriously. It is fantastic. That is one of the reasons we bought in this area. We foresee him working at this company for a long time. He can run home on lunch if he needs, I can take him something to work if he needs it, he gets to sleep more, and he is home 5 minutes after he logs off messenger. I watch so I can hurry and get off the computer and look busy. Just kidding.

Although living in a area where there are others like you would be nice. We live in an older neighborhood with less kids and older families.

Good luck with your decision. It is so easy to make decisions for others, but not for myself.

Rochelle said...

If I were you I would go to your husbands work and start walking and find something that he could walk to (or a short drive or bike ride). That would save him hours of commuting. He could run home for lunch, leave later and be home earlier, or leave work for a 1/2 hour daddy doughnut day (for example). Who cares where Gwen goes to Kindergarten, I think she needs a Dad more than how to ask where the bathroom is in Chinese. Your not going to be here forever it sounds like, I would be (and am) way more interested in my husband spending more time with the family. But Lehi is a great half way city, it is close to everything which is why we live here, and that house is still for rent in our neighborhood! Good Luck!

Joe(y) Speredon said...

I agree with Rochelle. If I could work 5 minutes from my house I would and hopefully one day I will. A shorter commute also saves money.I'm curious to know what city Blaine works in.

Ultimately, D&C 9: 7-9. Not to say there is only one right place to live, but if you are supposed to be somewhere specific, you'll know.

Allisun said...

If I could change anything about my life right now, it would be that Beau would be home more. I hate having him have a long commute. Everything we talk about for the future is about finding a place where he can walk to work or come home for lunch and dinner during tax season. I don't have the school issues yet, but I think being with family is more important than learning a language in Kindergarten. She has a whole life to learn things, but Blaine only gets to be a dad once. How does Blaine feel about it? Does he like the commute to have time for himself, or does he hate it? I'm sure you've talked it all through. I can also, understand the cheap rent. That would weigh heavily on my mind. Ultimately, I'll support you in what ever you decide, even if it's moving back to Texas.

Becky said...

I'm obviously biased because of location, so I really shouldn't answer. What I want to say is that you should just stay in Lehi. But if I was in your situation, I would hate having my husband gone 12 hours a day.

Packrat said...

Delurking to add my 2 cents. Having lived most of my married life with my husband gone for for a minimum of twelve hours a day, I vote for the shorter commute. My grown children often comment that their dad was never home to do things with them. There are other schools or you could home school.

Annie Banannie said...

(my comment probably doesn't count, cause I'm not a mom and don't even have a job right now lol)

But if it were me, I'd stay for the school. That sounds like an amazing opportunity for Gwen and given the state of public education in Utah...this school sounds amazing. I went through waaay too many classes where we watched Grumpier Old Men (in English) instead of Julius Caesar, or painted pictures of leaves in Biology instead of like...learning Biology. I've been planning since high school to put my kids in some sort of private school, where they'll be actually *learning* while they're at school.

(And I will be horribly jealous if Gwen chooses Arabic, because it's the next language I want to learn)

But I'm kind of an education snob (but can you blame me after my own public school system experiences?!)...I still haven't quite forgiven my parents for not putting me in the gifted school when they had the chance ;)

The school really does sound completely amazing though.

Annie Banannie said...

Sorry for the double post:

Forgot to's really cool that her school offers early languages like that. There have been so many studies done about bilingual kids, and learning a second language at a young age is not only easier because kids minds just soak that stuff up, but it also gives them a better grasp of their own language, and makes it much easier to learn another language later in life. (As well as the obvious benefits of being bilingual!)

Kristi said...

I don't know where your husband works, but if it is south of Lehi, I live in a great townhome community with places for rent, a great charter school nearby, and a lovely community.

If not, then I would still opt for a lesser commute. School and education are great, but time with Daddy is so much more important. Gwen sounds like a very bright little lady, and she'll be an amazing student anywhere she is with the support of her parents!!

Strong Family - said...

I'm with the shorter commute. Family time is so important and your kids will get an education wherever you live. She can learn Spanish in middle school. :-) When my kids started all day school they were in bed by 7:00. Zach still goes to bed at 7:30. I would be sad if my kids only got to see Dallin for just a few minutes before bed, and so would they. I also think family dinner together is super important. We don't even hardly do sports and stuff right now because of how strongly we feel that the family time is more important. Okay, I'll get off my soap box now. Good luck!

Tom and Tami said...

I like the "pray about it" suggestion, but here's my opinion too: I'm for the shorter commute. I find that by 5 or 6 at night I'm at my wits end with my kids and it's so nice to have Tom come home just in time. He's had to work a lot of overtime lately and those nights he's not home until 7 or later are so hard for me and the kids.
As far as school goes, there are a lot of good programs out there. In fact, right down the street from us is an elementary with the Chinese biligual program, there's several decent charter schools around too. I think a good school is important for your child, but I feel there are a lot of options out there too.

Julie said...

When you figure it out, let me know. My hubby, Todd, starts school on Monday at the University of Utah. He'll be taking the BUS from Lehi up to the U - and Lehi is still 25 minutes from our home! Ugh! I guess I shouldn't complain - it's ONLY THREE LONG YEARS of school! Seriously, let me know your thoughts.

Sarah said...

Is Blaine still thinking about Law school? I would just stay put if you think you will be moving to go to school shortly. Moving is so expensive and tiresome, I would only break my lease if something ideal turned up that shortened Blaine's commute in half or more. Live where you work... is our motto. Gwen's school does sound nice, but I think you have to figure out what is more important to you - your time together as a family, or what school your daughter goes to. Prayer might be a good idea :)

McCulloch Moments said...

Have you talked to Laurie yet? My vote would of course be to move by her in a heartbeat!! :)

Allison said...

Make some hardcore pros and cons lists.
Then prayer, lots of prayer.

At least, that's how James and I make all our hard decisions... which unfortunately, there always seems to be at least one we're working on. Good luck! Big decisions really are so stressful and so hard! You can do it!

Melissa Ash said...

I am BIG into the shorter commute. I agree more with the "pray about it" answer. Just like a lot of others have said, I would be so sad if my kiddos could not see their daddy. I grew up with my dad going to school and then straight to work after. Because of that, I have never had a great relationship with him. I wish he could have been home more, and I could have spent more time with him. (after school he worked nights) Schools can be good anywhere. Like Janae said, kids are super resilient. She will be fine. They would rather have their dad.

JoAnna said...

There isn't much more to add, but since you asked, I must speak up. I stand by the "pray about it, but go with the shorter commute if you can" votes. Seriously. The charter school sounds good, sure, but it's honestly not that big of a deal. There are good, regular old public schools out there. Your kids will thrive wherever you go. I wouldn't base my decision on the school. No way. What good does it do when mom is not happy (and dad too??)? NONE!!

Good luck!

julianne orth said...

i know everyone thinks i am wierd cuz i live in a hole, but i see my husband for lunch, he has a five minute commute to work and he can run home if i need him to at a moments notice. i love it. i would never move to the "big city" again now that i have a taste of the good life. but i don't think living in a small town is even an option for you so this is probably irrelevant, but i think it is such a waste of your life to sit in traffic every day for hours and hours. i personally think that there are many good schools, and there are many good teachers (and bad) in every school. yes- some are better than others, but if you are a good parent and are involved in your kids life, your child will do fine. good luck with your decision!

Marcie said...

I vote for charter school. The advantages of speaking a different language are endless. If you can wire her brain to learn that not to mention having that fun neighborhood environment again, you'll be a new woman. But mostly I just want you to be happy. So what makes Kristi happy? Cause if you're happy everyone is happy :-)

Susan said...

No advice; just two random observations: 1) The only thing I like about basement living is that I feel free of responsibility in the basement. After all, most of my basement living years were spent as a teenager with responsible parents upstairs. When you sleep upstairs, you're in charge. When I am weighed down and can't sleep I go sleep in the basement.
2) If I didn't like a thing before the price went down, I seldom like it after. I find (by sad and sorry experience) that "a bargain" is about the worst reason for doing something. President Benson put it well when he said that the price we pay for "something for nothing" may be more than we can afford.

Robin said...

Definitely shorter commute. Wouldn't it be great if somedays he could even come home for lunch? and if you had an early morning doctor appointment or something, he could stay with the kids just a little longer until you got back? him being home more often to be with the kids is waaaaay more important than any sort of fancy, quality education. because that education stuff - it'll all come out in the wash anyway, but a kids' relationship with their dad - those missed moments can't be replaced. one true blue vote for shorter commute.

Jill Bowcutt said...

Wow. Good luck with this one! I could pour salt into your wounds and tell you how great I think Texas is (you were right) but I think thats rude. So instead I'll just tell you how funny I thought your last post was about not being on facebook for a whole week. My favorite line, "smoke signal, whatever people who don't do faceb ook are doing these days". That was funny.

Michelle said...

This is a tough decision. First I love having a short commute for Cameron. He comes home for lunch most days, he is able to run to the school if there is an issue with her or a if she has something at school that wants him to watch her. However, I am a firm believer on a good school. Morgan went through a few different teachers for Kindergarten (we were moving a lot) and there was only one good teacher out of the three. If I didn't push her a long and teach her things at home, she wouldn't have progressed for last 6 months of the year. I have watched so many kids struggle because of the teacher they have. Morgan has had a fabulous teacher this year, LOVE HER. I am very worried about next year. I am trying to figure out what teacher/or school would be best for Morgan.
So my best advice is to pray and seriously think about it. I do like the idea of living in a townhome by other young families. I have always enjoyed that. But Good luck! Gwen has to enjoy the school and have friends. However, she will make friends anywhere. With all of our moves, Morgan has always made great friends.