Live Half FullMany of you have already heard, but we signed a lease! For the sake of privacy, all I’ll say is that it is in Chicago-proper and I am very excited to explore our new neighborhood.

In reflecting on this entire process, I have a few things to be thankful for:

Living with my parents. Nobody wants to live with their parents when they are 30. But, we are lucky it was an option, because it helped us fix some things financially, and get us back in a position where we could live on our own and hopefully not have constant stress over money (just occasional stress). And as much as I may have complained about living with my parents, I’m lucky it was an option. My parents could have sold their house and moved into something smaller, they could live far away from our jobs, we could have had a bad relationship, or they just could have never offered to let us live with them. So, I appreciate how lucky we are and how generous they have been. I also appreciate that this experience brought out the truth – my mom, a proclaimed cat-hater, actually loves cats. Or maybe just my cat. Either way, the cat’s out of the bag on that one.

Christmas 2012

“I love cats … I just can’t eat a whole one.” Still hilarious. 

My husband knows about real estate. As I’ve mentioned, the Sailor is in the Navy Reserve, but his civilian job is in real estate. He also did some research on renters’ rights. It was nice to have to tackle something together and he could take the lead on it and be the expert. And of course this (and his contacts) should make the house- or condo-hunting process better whenever we get to that point.

We found a great apartment. We looked at a few “loser” apartments, so when we finally looked at the apartment we ended up taking, we knew it was a gem. The apartment itself is nice, well taken care of, has the amenities we wanted (central air being the most important), is on a quiet street, in a fun, but adult neighborhood (read: we are not in Wrigleyville), within walking distance of lots of restaurants, bars, running stores (group runs!), and an L stop, among other things. And the landlord seems nice and seems to genuinely want to have nice properties with nice tenants. (We’re in a 3-flat with a shared backyard, so whoever lives in it with us is kind of important.) I feel like we didn’t really have to compromise on anything, and this was within out budget. (Albeit, our increased budget, but still, affordable for us.)

We can afford to hire movers. My husband and I have moved together three times during our nine year relationship. We’ve never hired movers before, but I’m pretty sure it will be worth the money. I would say doing all the moving yourselves is a really good test of if you can last with a person. Also, our moving day coincides with the Run for Boston 5K, so I won’t even be around for most of it. (And I think we’re both kind of glad about that … apparently my “marshmallow arms” are useless when it comes to moving.) I think my only concern is moving the cat and my laptop, which I’ll do by car.

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She loves moving. Not. I should probably give her a kitty valium when the day comes.