I am asked this question daily. Its a very normal question. Its a conversation starter. My answer isn't super normal and has garnered me a few looks.
We just really liked it here and always wanted to move here.
Its just that easy.
I don't lie, people look at you weird when you answer that. This is a college town. On top of that, there are several HUGE companies here: Walmart, Tyson, JB Hunt, and a few more. So, the NORMAL, usual answer is either: college, family, or new job. And in truth, all but college are true. We do have family here that we missed all the time. And Rob did get a job here. But our hearts were here much sooner than the job.
Rob and I went to high school together, but we really MET in Little Rock at a bar. . Both of us, seperately, had intended to move to Fayetteville after we finished college. Both of us had siblings living here. Both of us had childhood friends living here. We were both in Little Rock for jobs.
Rob was unable to find a job in his field in Northwest Arkansas, once he graduated, and he ended up in a good job in Little Rock working for the Postal Service. A year before I graduated, I got a job at Arkansas Children's Hospital as a tech. As I worked more and more, I decided I wanted to stay at that hospital and get experience in the ICU setting and then go travel nursing, so my move to Fayetteville got postponed.
I set myself a goal to apply to be a travel nurse May of 2004. I re-met Rob April of 2004. By May we were inseperable and I was all "travel nurse WHAT?". The next May we were married. We both had full time, good paying jobs, so we made Little Rock our home.
The itch to move started when we got pregnant with Rylan. We were having a nephew for our sisters and a cousin for our nieces and nephews. Once we had Rylan, it wasn't as easy to jet off to visit our people like before kids and I had dropped to part time so money wasn't as plentiful. We still made our Razorback visits and kept up as much as we could. It was when we decided I needed to mostly stay home with the kids, the plan to move to Fayetteville got forgotten for a while. The kids were always sick as infants and toddlers and our main goal was to get through it unscathed as possible. Rob's job paid him very well and my job allowed me to work just enough to give us some extra spending money and keep my foot in the door and keep my nursing skills in check. We both feared we wouldn't find that kind of deal anywhere else.
Over the last five years, our trips to Fayetteville got more and more spaced out. Traveling and tailgating isn't as easy with two moving kids rather than one that sits in a pack n play like yesteryear. Our nieces and nephews started getting into sports and their weekends were busy with that, so their trips to see us became fewer. Our best friends, Justin and Debbie got married and settled in the Fayetteville area, another friend of mine, Becca, met and married a great guy and they settled in the Fayetteville area and several of my childhood friends ended up in Fayetteville.
While this was going on, we were growing tired of living in a suburb of Little Rock. We loved the area because our MOPS group was there, our church was out there, and the housing was so much cheaper than inner Little Rock. Only problem was our suburb wasn't a very handy one. No Walmart, no post office, no good preschools. To take the kids to school and then go on to work, I left the house at 7:10 to get to work by 8:30. Rob had a 40 mile drive to work, each way. Everything we did required a 10-20 minute (minimum) drive. Everything: groceries, school, t-ball, church. Most fun stuff, like the kid's favorite library, the Jump Zone, our friends houses, took 30 minutes at least to get to. Most of my paychecks went towards gas.
We were also growing so very tired of the crime. Big cities bring bigger crime. Our house was the only house on our street that was not burglarized. And that's probably only because, if you don't look at her, Lola sounds like a Pit Bull whose baby you just took when you ring a doorbell. It was unsafe to walk alone to my car AT A CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL and the recent murder of a real estate agent that was all over the news? Her killer was hiding in an apartment complex down the road from one of the daycares the boys had gone to.
It became an almost daily saying: "I wish we were in Fayetteville."
When I used to have to call the kids' doctor they'd put me on hold and a lady would say "you are caller 2......in queue." That's how I felt about our life. We just couldn't seem to do what it took to leave, but we couldn't see ourselves staying forever. We weren't hanging pics on the walls just in case we suddenly put the house up for sale, but we weren't fixing it up to put it for sell very fast. Our life was in queue.
Little Rock wasn't terrible, I actually miss it a lot some days. Our house had its quirks (cough, no closet space, terrible kitchen setup cough) but I loved that house. We had land and a pool and our neighbor across the street had become one of my best friends. We were members of two playgroups, a wonderful church, and had jobs that paid us well. Max had his zoo, Rylan had the library and the splash pads, we all had Pei Wei. But we just couldn't settle. We had this smaller mountainy (its a word) town with 3 sisters, 3 nieces and 2 nephews and lots of friends on our brain. We had the idea of shorter commutes to work, lots of parks, lakes, hikes, good shopping, and THE RAZORBACKS in our heads.
That phone call last June letting Rob know a job was open was a true prayer answered. Our life is still a little bit in queue. We need to sell our house. When we sell our house, we can start looking to buy a new one here and put in some roots. But, we are very happy here. Fayetteville is still a huge town, but it is the type where you can settle into a section of it and not have to go very far to get what you need. I've gone up to two weeks with one gas tank. Walmart and the gym are walking distance from our townhouse. About a quarter of a mile from here is the kids and Rob's haircut place, a frozen yogurt place (very important) a liquor store (even more important), a bank and several restaurants. One day I went and worked out, got Max a haircut, went to Harps to order a cake, paid a bill at the bank and came back home and only put one mile on my odometer. That makes me happy. Rob's 5 minute commute to work makes him happy. Rylan's teacher makes him behave and he is really doing awesome after all our worry with therapy needs and behavior issues.
Rob loves his job and I love what I do at my job, I'm getting to like the setup, coworkers, and schedule, but not yet at love. I have never worked with a patient over 25 in my nursing career, so I was worried about how I would do and if I would enjoy it. I love the older patients. I love the fast pace. I just don't "fit in" as much as I'd like to. I'm not good at being the new girl. My last job I was at for 8 years and the one before that 6. I haven't been the new girl in a long time.
So, there you have it, why we wanted to move here in 74,000 words.
And, of course, obligatory cute kid pics, a blog just isn't right without any
Park time with my boys, this park is 0.9 miles from our front door
Getting to meet Rob at the park during his lunch break? Priceless.
Taking kids to a tailgate is the new cool
Getting to go out to dinner with your bestie because she lives just 15 minutes away? Awesomesauce. Unfortunantly, this was a goodbye dinner because the minute Rob got a job in Fay-town, Deb's husband got a promotion and they had to move to Houston. They will return. Hopefully sooner than later.
And we love visits from our Zoe.