Should We Stay Or Should We Go?

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I need to catch you guys up with what has been going on since I went dark in January 2012. Let’s just say… A LOT!

I attempted to start another blog here with big dreams and not enough discipline.

I turned it off in August 2014 and a funny thing happened, I kept finding reasons to go back.

The world is still turning and I’m happy to say I’m still here it experience it all. HI!

We have been a tad busy in these parts and I have the spreadsheets to prove it.

Let me take you back to the beginning of our journey, June of 2013.

Today (6/6/13) is the start of a new beginning for the Wayne Family. After years of discussing, researching, planning, changing our minds, more discussing, more researching, analyzing, and planning we finally made a decision to leave Texas.

(I am still head of myself…Let me take you back even further…2010.)

2010 – The Wayne family wanted/needed a change of scenery and we put a self imposed due date on the decision.  We had three years to decide what that scenery would look like…middle school is looming on the horizon and we all know there is enough change going on in middle school and there is a strong possibility we could single-handedly cause a shift in the Earth’s axis by moving to a new state and starting middle school at the same time.  I don’t want to be responsible for that.

Where to begin…First we, The Husband and I, talked about where we didn’t want to go… states that were on the Gulf of Mexico, states directly on the Eastern seaboard, states that bordered Canada, states in the Midwest (tornado alley), states that bordered Texas, states that bordered Mexico, with the exception of California.

Do you see a trend? Extreme cold, extreme heat, tornadoes, or direct hits from hurricanes were a no-go but earthquakes and wildfires…we are apparently okay with those.



We narrowed our choices down pretty quickly to the West coast, mid-Atlantic coastal states and Colorado. We wanted trees and seasons, all four.

We researched the best places to raise a family, cost of living, crime rate, demographics, weather, and what do you know…an unexpected blip ended up on our radar. Hello, North Carolina, you are a place I have never remotely considered…for anything.


In theory, NC checked all of the boxes but the reality was we knew nothing about anything in NC and that translated to all the things scary and difficult.  Then you have San Diego over there with its amazing weather, breath taking scenery, and family; nice, supportive, safe family.  Pay no attention to the fires, earthquakes, or impending bankruptcy…look at the pretty coast, perfect weather and all the pretty people out exercising. Remember when you loved to run and by the ocean, a dream come true.  (Ok…I’m back). I felt like we were moving toward something in San Diego instead of just a change of scenery in NC.

So San Diego it is…six months later I lost my job of 11 years. Documented here.

Five weeks later I got a better one. Documented here.

Whoa Life…thanks for the roller coaster ride.  Time to change directions…our decision became should we stay or should we go? We just had an unemployment scare and after the stress of finding a new job did we really want to go through that again?  Unknown…You’re MEAN!

We decided to take the path of least resistance and change our location within Houston hoping it would be enough.

To the Woodlands we will go…they have TREES, minimal hurricane issues, still hot…but the TREES.


Much of our free time the next six months was spent researching the Woodlands and getting a feel for where we wanted to live.  Traffic was a HUGE consideration.  If we moved to the front of town the houses were older and needed updating and we would already be paying a premium for the location, if anything was available.  If we moved to the back where the newer builds were we would need to add 30-45 to our commute just to get to the freeway where there was an additional 45 minutes to an hour commute waiting for me.  Not very appealing.  We wanted to simplify…not spend our entire lives on the Houston freeways.

We talked to anyone and everyone in an effort to learn about the city.   We were told what we wanted to hear. “It’s great!”, “You will love it!”, “We love it!”. All the love. Love!

Until…about a year from our three year deadline we received strong feedback from one of our good friends and neighbors that hit on several of our concerns.  That feedback and the fact that we were not completely sold on our decision to stay in Texas would change our course yet again. (Dun…dun…dun!)

We’re going to need that map again…


Starting from scratch…again…we collectively started marking off the places that we did not want to consider moving to. (Basically, it ended up looking the same as the first time we did this exercise).

The following cities made the first cut: Carlsbad, CA; Bend, OR; West Linn, OR; Maple Hills, WA; Denver, CO; Holly Springs, NC; Raleigh, NC; and Austin, TX.

Carlsbad was my first choice, sun, sand, beautiful landscape, and best of all…family.

Carlsbad, CA (Source)


The Pacific Northwest was The Husband’s first choice.

Bend, OR (Source)
Maple Hills, WA (Source)
West Linn, OR
West Linn, OR (Source)

We were both very enthusiastic about Bend.  Although, if I wanted any sort of job while we lived in Bend I was going to have to commute to Portland, over a mountain range, in the rain and snow…both ways. (Barefoot is being a bit dramatic).  My handy dandy spreadsheet also pointed out that there would be a high probability that I was going to develop SADs.


Colorado was my second choice, I moved there for a month when I was little,  jobs were scarce so my family moved us back to Houston and there we stayed.  I have always had a special place in my heart for Colorado.

The Husband and I both agreed to rule out CO because we felt we were trading extreme heat for extreme snow. Snow is great to visit for a couple of weeks but living in it could be a problem for us southern folk, but just look at those mountains.

Littleton, CO (Source)

That left Austin and North Carolina. Austin was doable but we really wanted a life outside of Texas.

Austin, TX (Source)
Holly Springs, NC (Source)
Raleigh, NC (Source)

So…NC for the win! Hello average temp of 88 in the Summer.

A few weeks later we booked flights to try on Raleigh, NC to see how it fit.

To be continued…


  1. You are going through the same exercise we did a few years ago. Came down to San Diego and Raleigh. After the neighborhood we were looking at in Raleigh blew away in a tornado, San Diego won. Good luck with your decision! I know what a big one it is!

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