Thursday, February 25, 2010

Two Roads Diverged

The short version of this story is that we have four days to decide whether to move to Washington DC, or to Phoenix Arizona.

I will spare you the details, except to say that Jack has received two job offers, that we are very grateful of course, but for the last couple of days have felt like our little family is standing somewhere like this,


glancing to the left then to the right, then the left and then the right again, wishing someone would just post a giant arrow already telling us which path to take.

On the one hand, we are so excited about Arizona. Both born and raised there, the move would mean back after 12 years to old friends and familiar places, close to Sun Devil Stadium and Jack’s amazing family. But then, just as we start to pack up in our minds and head that direction, we glance down the other road, and we see a great job opportunity, and new friends and new adventures. We see the kids visiting Capitol Hill and they look so cute, standing there, smiling, protesting publicly-funded healthcare.

Hot summers or snowy winters? Affordable housing, or east coast tourism? Until one path becomes clear, we have been exhausting all of our decision making capabilities – fasting, prayer, coin tossing. Modern technology has also proved an invaluable debate resource. Jack spends much of his time on Excel, configuring extensive comparative spreadsheets. I spend much of my time on Google, mapping out and proximities to Costco, Target, and Chick Fil-A.

At one point, hoping for an 'out of the mouth of babes' type experience, we even tried asking Jolie to decide for us. She picked Arizona. When asked why, she said, "Because Grandpa Jack speaks English." (I don't think this was a revelatory miracle. I think she's frustrated some of her favorite classmates don't speak a lick. Plus, the second she found out that people build snowmen in DC, she switched her vote.)

I am hoping that you can be more helpful. The clock is ticking, and we are stumped.

Advice, please?

Or votes?

26 comments:

Susan said...

On one hand, the government needs an economist like Jack. I think he will save our country. On the other hand, there's that Arizona Mexican food.

Sounds like an even choice to me.

Jodi said...

W.O.W...tough choice. What happened to Boston in that decision making process, darn it? Taylor's advice is "East coast was a big fat freaking suck bomb, don't fall for it like we did" which I can't completely disagree with, but we knew without a doubt this was the right move. Is this a long term opportunity for you, like really long term? That also makes a difference.

Living a new "adventure" has made us grow and avoid becoming comfortable and complacent...oh but somedays what I wouldn't give for cheaper housing and a lemon tree in my backyard. I guess the question is, are you ready to "settle in" or are you still looking to stretch yourselves?

Hmm...hopefully some of these thoughts help. Good luck!!

Jane said...

Take the job that will one day lead us to be next door neighbors again or a "bunch of freakin' rabbits". We're good with either.
Does this mean I have to start paying on that student loan now?

Anonymous said...

Well AZ of course...but who am I to decide your families fate? =)

Lots of luck in deciding...I do have to say I second and third that mexican food...it's pretty much a daily...I mean weekly staple for us =)

krissiecook said...

Dang it, I don't know which one is closer to where we'll be as soon as Kev is lucky enough to get some job offers to consider. So I can't vote yet!
Then again, I suppose I should consider which location would be better for us to visit you at. (If you'd be willing, especially after the butchering I gave the English language in that last sentence.) Hmm, I guess the real question is, where will you have a bigger house, you know, with lots of room for entertaining out-of-towners?

Amy Eagleston said...

Oh man. I don't know but I am scared of new and adventure, etc. so I would pick AZ but I was born in D.C. while my dad was going to law school and have a lot of pictures of me and my sister in front of the Capitol and other historical sites and we look super cute so either you take a vacation to D.C. so that you can scrapbook those photos or you move there because you really have to have the pics.

Alison said...

Leave it to your mom to be the voice of reason... save our country OR Valle Luna? hmmmmm...

I will add one thing in an effort to tip the vote... free babysitting in Arizona!!

The grin on my face that comes from the idea that some day soon I could babysit, with the help of my daughters of course, the next generation of Foutz-cuteness... oh man... my cheeks hurt!

Aileen said...

Jolie's comments trump all! I can't stop laughing! This post making me cry. BTW, Jolie's valentine was THE BEST and you were even better to print them out, as is. This post is really making me cry. Anything outside of SB is a chapter closed-such a fun one. But there are many more great ones to come and we support any decision. Tell Papa D to open an econ stand in AZ.

Rileigh said...

As someone who was in your exact same position last year, a safe job near family vs a progressive job in DC I know how terrifying and exciting this is. I will say that I would have not changed our experiences back hear for anything. The culture, the cheesecake the berry picking. I love it back here I really do, and even though we would be like you said, "ships passing in the night." I think you could love it out here too, at least for a few years.

Breena said...

Well, the PHX does have the low cost of living, the Mexican food and the awesome winters.

But DC! I love DC! I loved living there. I'm trying to figure out the fastest route for the Weljenkersons to get back there! If you have any questions about DC, feel free to email. P.S. Some incredible public schools in VA and MD. AZ public schools--no comment.

Julie Knowlton said...

There is no reason to settle for either of these choices. Tell Jack to fight for SLC. Can you imagine the adventure?!

thejerry said...

I'm with Jodi, without all the info my main question would be how long do you expect you'd be at that job? If you're making a decision just for the next few years I'd lean towards adventure, experience (quality of life, etc), and the job opportunity that seems most promising. But you'll have to tell us which of those two best fits the criteria. Good luck and congrats, two options is way better than none (and usually better than one).

Memzy said...

You had me at Mexican food. But I'm "cultural" like that.

Sophie Lane said...

I vote D.C. But, I will always be partial to a new adventure. Having moved quite a few times as a young child, I really feel like the experiences (although away from close family) are irreplaceable. This is only my personal opinion, but I believe it is because of change when I was younger that I not only welcome change, but crave it.

Having said that, I do know how wonderful winters in AZ are...

Ultimately, you'll know what to do, even if you get the final impression 30 seconds before you have to lock-in a decision. Heavenly Father won't let you go astray... Love you guys.

Jenny ESP said...

I know I'm a practical stranger, but let me make this decision for you. Two letters: DC. I love love love Phoenix, but you can settle down in PHX later. If you want adventure, now is the time, while your kids are young! Carpe diem!

Lyndsi said...

When I get past the sadness of you leaving maybe I'll think about posting=(

senategirl said...

First answer:do what is best for your family's needs.

Second answer: I think I would go to DC just for job security.

Third: Don't take a road if it is just convenient. Guaranteed either road will have bumps.

Good luck! I'll be your friend either way! XOXO

Kristin said...

Looks like the vote is just as mixed up as the two of you are. I obviously can't vote because I'm clearly too impartial, but I will say that I don't think either decision is the wrong one. Either way, you'll be making mula, and taking cute pictures. :)

Vivian said...

My vote is: Hoooray!!!! Congratulations!!

And whoever gets you will be one lucky town.

Allison Hansen said...

Maybe this stupor of thought means you really belong in SLC.

Sarcasm aside, go for the adventure... for now.

While you're away, I'll keep taking the garbage out in my skivvies when prospective buyers walk through my neighbor's house to keep them away until you're ready.

Leslie said...

I honestly don't know what I'd do if I were in your place. At this point I know that we're "stuck" in SLC and I wonder if I missed out on an adventure in another part of the country. But I also like that we're in close proximity to family, which I think is important now that I have kids.

It sounds like it's maybe one of those decisions where there is no wrong choice, just different possibilities. I hate those kinds of decisions. Good luck!

Flem said...

You will be happy wherever you go. Pick the job that is the most exciting for Jack so he can be fulfilled in case you get in a lame conservative ward with no cool liberal friends.

Pretend like one job is in Nebraska and the other in North Dakota and then you won't be swayed by the local cultural appeals.

shawn said...

Look at the bright side, at least it is not Utah!

Seriously, you make it sound like this is the final decision and whatever you choose you are locked in forever. It is just a job. Take the one in DC, go see the museums and historical sites, let Jack rub elbows with the elite and in a couple years if you get tired of it, start putting out resumes again in AZ. His resume will have a couple years experience from a reputable location and the contacts he makes in DC may help him throughout his life.

You seem to be taking this too seriously. Relax a little, it'll all work out.

Emmers said...

My advice would be to sit somewhere quiet and think it out. You'll know where you need to go and it will feel right. Happy thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Wherever you will have more time to write a novel, Katie! I think that is AZ. If you move to DC, it will take too much of your time learning how to drive in the snow and ice.

Susan Forrest

Maryann said...

I do love adventure, but having family close by to help with kids when needed is how I get by. So Phoenix is my vote.

Although... I do like to picture Jolie taking on the white house in 20 years or so.

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