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6.18.2014

6 Months In

It's been six months since we moved to Phoenix, so I thought it would be fun to talk about how our new life here compares to our old one in Milwaukee so far.

FAMILY
Milwaukee - Most of Bill's family lives in the Milwaukee area.  My family was in Illinois between 1 and 2 hours away from where we lived.  It was easy to see people, and we were always getting together for birthdays and holidays.

Phoenix - We have no family in Arizona, but surprisingly have still seen quite a lot of our family.  We've had at least one visitor every month since we moved.  My parents came down for New Year's.  Bill's mom, step-dad, and little brother visited in February.  My parents came down again for Seamus' birthday, then later we met up with most of Bill's family at his sister's house in Las Vegas all in March.  We went home for a visit in April.  My brother-in-law on Bill's side and also my little sister both visited in May.  In a few weeks we're headed to California to visit with Bill's dad as well as my older sister and her family who will be vacationing there too.

It's not as easy to see family, and we don't see everyone at one time; but we do still see family. So much so that I really have not missed people very much yet. I do miss getting the kids together though. That was always fun. I was so close to my cousins growing up, and I'm a little bummed my kids won't see their cousins very often.

Advantage - Milwaukee

FRIENDS
Milwaukee - By the time we left Milwaukee I only had one close friend there still. The others had moved away over the years. Bill still had a lot of friends, but in the past few years everyone sort of stopped hanging out with each other now that they all had families. I would get together with my friend for lunch about once a month, and we would get the families together every few months. Bill occasionally met a friend out for drinks, or someone might have a party here or there. Honestly, we didn't have much of a social life there anymore.

Phoenix - Those friends I mentioned that all moved away over the years all moved to Phoenix! Yes, my two very best friends in the whole world live in Phoenix. It was part of the reason I was okay moving here. So, I have been enjoying spending time with them. Bill, on the other hand, has not really made any new friends yet. He's hung out with the husbands of my friends a few times, but has yet to meet anyone on his own. He needs to join a club or something. It's hard to make new friends as an adult, right?

Advantage - Phoenix (at least for me)

WORK
Milwaukee - Both of us worked outside the home and had between 15-30 minute commutes. My office was like a ghost town though after the company was acquired and a lot of people left.

Phoenix - It was my job that brought us to Phoenix. I'm still doing the same job, but in the corporate headquarters now which are bustling. My commute is about 15 minutes. Bill also retained his current position, but now works remotely from the house. I think he slightly misses the social interaction of being in an office, but that's about it. He likes not having a commute or distractions.

Advantage - Phoenix

THE SCENE
Milwaukee - I love downtown Milwaukee and always will. It is such a great old town with a great look and feel. I like the old buildings, the lake, and the trees. There are lots of fun things to do there - festivals and great restaurants. I loved going to Miller Park to watch the Brewers play and would try to catch the ballet or a musical when I could.

Phoenix - Phoenix is a planned city. You don't get the sense that it developed naturally over time because it didn't. All the architecture is exactly the same, and it feels very new everywhere you go. You look one way and it looks very stark and barren, but you look the other and you get to see mountains. A few hours away you have some amazing places too like Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Also, there are a lot of other really cool places and cities that are easily within driving distance. Phoenix is an outdoor city with lots of hiking and mountain biking. They do have a symphony, ballet, etc. but I have yet to check any of them out.

Advantage - Milwaukee

WEATHER
Milwaukee - extremely humid summers and extremely cold winters. You're lucky if you get two weeks of that perfect spring and fall weather before the extremes set in.

Phoenix - extremely hot summers and beautiful springlike weather the rest of the year.

Advantage - Phoenix (obviously)

HOUSE
Milwaukee - I loved our first house in Milwaukee. It was over 100 years old, and had such character. I don't think it was ever a forever home though, and to make it what we wanted we would have priced ourselves out of the neighborhood. I had always thought we would end up in a nice mid-century ranch on a wooded lot in one of the suburbs.

Phoenix - I can't explain it, but our current house felt like home from the moment we got it. Before our stuff was there Bill and I stayed overnight on an air mattress, and we could not believe how comfortable and right it felt even then. It really works for how we live, and has a great flow. It's not old and there are multiple copies of it all around the neighborhood, but we love it so far. It's home.

Advantage - Phoenix

There you have it. Phoenix wins 4 to 2. Maybe I'm just high on the newness of it all, but I have no regrets so far. It's hard to leave your family, but there are so many other wonderful places in the world to live too. I'm glad we have this opportunity to explore someplace new. I don't know if we'll be here forever, but for now, it's where we want to be.



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