I spent the first 18 years of my life living in the suburbs. It was an idyllic childhood and I enjoyed it to the fullest. It was one of those towns that’s small enough for everyone to know everyone. I loved being surrounded by people I’d known my whole life – it felt very safe.
After I graduated from high school, I moved to Los Angeles to go to college. It was a huge change and I spent the entire summer before freshman year apprehensive about moving to the big city. Much to my surprise, I took to LA like a fish to water. I loved the sounds, the hustle and bustle, people up and moving at all hours. I knew I’d found where I belonged, and I stayed close to Los Angeles after graduation.
A few years later, when I was suddenly transferred to New York City for my job, I wasn’t worried at all. I’d wanted to move to Manhattan before I’d even set foot on the island. All the things I loved about Los Angeles were magnified. I was in heaven. Plus, there was reliable public transportation, and everything I could possibly need was all within walking distance of my apartment or office.
right outside my office window
three blocks from where I worked, a “spontaneous” Phish concert
When I left New York to return to California, I moved in with Mike. He already had a place in Los Angeles (it actually says “Los Angeles” on our mailing address), and there was a lot of fun stuff nearby. It really helped ease the blow of leaving New York – I could still walk to the grocery store, pharmacy, restaurants, and bars.
we love LA so much we married (in) it
football on the field, no big whoop
However, after we became parents we realized that for our family, the city is an adults’ paradise. We want our children to have their own space. We want them to have a backyard to play in, friends their own age living on the same street, and the ability to walk to the local public school. You can find these things in the city, but not at a price we can afford. So off to the suburbs we go.
As the close of escrow looms, I am getting very nostalgic and appreciative of our city life. Every time one of us runs across the street to go to the grocery store I think, “Our new supermarket is over a mile away.” Even sitting in LA’s horrific traffic has me looking around thinking, “Man, I’m gonna miss seeing a man dressed like Beetlejuice walk down Rodeo Drive without anyone looking at him twice.” And most notably, my celebrity sightings will go way down.
But then I look at little Annie, and little Rigby, and I remember all the space and the swing set we want to build, the dog house we want to buy, and I remember that we’re going to create a new paradise – just in the suburbs.
Last time I mention this, I swear! The video with the most views by 9pm PDT TODAY wins the big prize. Right now we’re in fifth place. Thanks to everyone for all your help!
My requirement when I moved from the more urban area where our condo was to the suburbs for our new house was that I could still walk to things like restaurants and groceries stores. Most of what we looked at didn’t come close but the one we bought did. I just couldn’t give that up.
Leaving the city, leaving the comfort of what you’ve known and loved is hard. The joy on your kiddo’s face as she runs around the backyard will make it all worth it.
Its just a new chapter.
Life is a long book filled with various chapters, some good, some bad, some short, some long. This new chapter will hopefully be a long and happy one, filled with new friends and places, new experiences built on childhood memories.
I have no doubt at all that everything will go well for you in the ‘burbs!
I am sure Annie and Rigby will love their new home and I am sure so will you and Mike. I hope you win the contest, Annie deserves to be noted as the star she is.
I think the hardest part about moving isn’t in the transfer of stuff from one place to the next; it’s starting all over again figuring out your new favorite family restaurant, pizza, auto mechanic, etc… With the right mind set (which admittedly, I don’t always have) it can be an adventure. I predict that once you’re settled into your new home the longing for the city will be usurped by the joy you get from watching Annie do all of the suburban kid things that you enjoyed when you were young.
i refreshed a zillion times already!!!
Were you a DG? I noticed the greek letters on your friend’s gown in the grad pic?
My husband and recently left San Diego where we had been loving living for 4 years to move back to our midwest “home” city. One of the best and most rewarding things to see is that smile on my 2y.o.’s face as he runs around in the back yard and in our house because we now have ‘room’ we didn’t have. And I too hope you win your contest.
I’m sure you’ll love the subburbs and just think…you are only 25 minutes away from the city so you can go back as often as you want. It’s perfect really….you’ll get the best of both worlds!!
Good Luck with all of your packing.
Thinking of you during this stressful time!
I’ve refreshed the page a gazillion times for you! My little girl is almost 9 months old and smiles every time she sees Annie…love it! I hope you guys win…you sure deserve it. I’m so excited for you and your new home.
I didn’t think I’d miss city life when we moved to the ‘burbs. And I didn’t for almost three years. I loved the space, the school and playground that is two houses down. I loved the garage and the neighborhood. I loved listening to the owls and the crickets at night, the blue jays in the morning, spotting wild rabbits, turkeys and raccoons regularly.
And then, the allergies to everything natural kicked in. The reality of caring for a lawn sunk in. The commute to the city on a very nice train is starting to lose its appeal. I would love to roll out of bed thirty and walk ten minutes to work. I would like to take advantage of the half price theater tickets again on a whim, and the hole-in-the-wall shops. I miss hustle and bustle. My husband insists that when the kids move away to college, we’ll move to a condo in the city. I wonder if that’s soon enough.
There’s something about wanting…I don’t know that anyone is ever satisfied. Maybe that’s a good thing. It keeps us moving in a direction. I don’t honestly think you’ll regret your house buy, but it sounds as though you might have a recurring nostalgia for the city. At least you will be the type to expose your kids to new places and experiences beyond your backyard.
How did you end up in 5th place?! I watched your video about a million times yesterday, as I was pretty sure everyone else would do (I kept the tab open and just hit replay every few minutes). I thought you’d definitely be in 1st place today. Come on, people!
kim hartman says:
watched it 10x today so far, I will keep it up! Best of luck!
Putting your video on “autoplay” today! Good luck!
Rumour Miller says:
I too grew up in a small town where everyone knows everyone (almost). When I left for University, I went to a City (not LA or NY, which is way cool) and then when we had children, we opted for a Rural setting instead of Urban. Our town is very small and I do miss having a 24 hour coffee shop or restaurant in my back yard but I much rather stand on my back deck and see swingsets and sand boxes.
It’s an adjustment that I bet you will love!
Having grown up in L.A., I don’t think the city/suburbs contrast is as stark as it is in Chicago, which is where I live now.
Donna P says:
I’ve posted the video on my FB page and it has been watched and reposted by my friends, so its getting more and more exposure. We’ll keep it going!
You’ll love the suburbs! A grocery store will now be over a mile away? I wish mine where that close.
Ok i just keep replaying the video on my phone. You better win!
B in Oz says:
I left a small town and thought I would never look back, I had to return unwillingly for a short time from the city, that was three years ago and I now can’t imagine leaving again.
I had a quick look on the living spaces website and found the most awesome room planner down in the need help section, you can put your room measurements in and add your furniture pieces there is even a little dog figure so Rigby isn’t left out. I am currently building and will be using that feature for sure. Worth looking at if you haven’t already and have the time to plan a bit before the move.
The closest grocery store is over a mile away? That’s funny to me because my nearest grocery store is 20 minutes away. I’m in the country. We live in a suburb of Atlanta but it’s awesome and I wouldn’t change it for the world. My girls can play outside with our dog and run and run and run all they want to. Congrats on the new house!
I justed watched it 7x. Good luck!!
I watched it a few times, I’m guessing you could make a playlist and loop it in the background but probably that is what everyone else is doing too. Good luck and congrats on the new home. It takes a while to “feel” like home and I am sure you have a lot of memories associated with your current place but home really is where your heart is so I am sure you will all settle well after an adjustment period! Also, this is random unsolicited advice: if you still have a chance to do some inspections, send a camera into the pipes leading out of the house. I will never buy another house without doing that. It is a couple hundred dollars but well worth it if you are dealing with an older house.
I’ll watch it every day you post it. Good luck!
the video is giving me an error msg!!
Kristin (MamaKK922) says:
And watching the video as I type you guys should be first!
I can’t wait to see the swing set and the dog house! I am so happy for you guys.
Judy Merrill Larsen says:
Just shared your video on FB. Hope it helps you win the grand prize!
I have replayed that video many times- I hope you guys win!!!
I see you guys in 4th place right now. I have everyone I know watching it, I hope it helps! Good Luck!
I have mine on auto replay and am just leaving it up all day! Good luck!
My son just said “oh Annie, she’s so cute”…… “What a beautiful dress”
He cracks me up. He also wants to meet you Heather although I did say they live in LA and we live in Miami…
Okay so watching as everyone else…..but I want to know…are we invited to the housewarming party? Even if you have to cover all the furniture in plastic so we don’t spill on it????
I live in suburbs now but sometimes wish I was raising my kids in even a smaller town, like MT.
We are relocating from Redondo to OC and I’m having the same withdrawals! We’re still so close to LA proper that a trip to LACMA, WeHo, Rodeo or Third Street is just a short dive away. But to live on a safe cul-de-sac with a back yard and in a great school district is worth it for our baby girl – and it’s a whole new area to explore. Gonna miss those 15 minute drives to SC games in the fall though…
I’m literally hitting refresh all day… Good luck!
XOXO from GA,
Heather, Mike, Annie and Rigby…
I’m so happy for your family. I did the same thing. I was born and raised in NYC. Once we had our first we moved to the burbs and never looked back. The things we do for our children = unconditonal love.
Can’t wait to see pictures of the house when it’s all done, the back yard and I’m sure Annie and Rigby will LOVE the space to run around in. The freedom of having a backyard. Priceless!!!
Enjoy your new chapter. As you know, you still get to keep the memories.
We just made a big move, and it’s been hard. Luckily you’ll still have your family and friends near you.
Good luck! Congrats on the house!
Nancy Smego says:
Viewing and re-viewing. How close are you?
A yard, a swingset, a backyard bbq, it will all be so nice! Think of all the space! No neighbors all on top of you! It will be a wonderful new adventure.
I opened a bunch of different tabs and had the video playing over and over in each of them. Hope that helps some!
How do you know what place you are in??
I grew up in (and currently live) in a tiny little town that’s just a dot on the map. Most people in the neighboring town where we go to eat out and shop don’t even know where our town is. I LOVED it growing up. At one point we lived in a house with a huge backyard that was bordered by a corn field on two sides and the neighbor’s pasture on a third. I rode their horse, biked around town to visit friends and pretty much did whatever I wanted.
I am in college and commute to a larger city and love it there. I have been to Seattle, Chicago, San Diego and LOVE the cities. I plan on moving to a very large city two hours away when I graduate, living downtown (the view from your old office amazes me), and enjoying my independence for a few years.
When I get married and have children I absolutely know that I will want to live by my family in a country setting where they too can ride horses and run around and be free. However, I think city living is amazing for some families too. The kids are exposed to so much! Between museums, a diverse population, different food options, etc. I think there are equal pros and cons to each situation.
Hope you make some wonderful memories in your new slice of suburban paradise.
Came to watch the video again. I hope that you all win and fill your new house in the suburbs with new furniture. Good luck!
I completely empathize with your nostalgia for the life you have lived and loved in the city. Change is so hard. I think you’re completely right though about how much Annie and Rigby will love the suburbs, and you and Mike can still hop over to the big city any time you like! Congratulations on being in escrow…still don’t really know what it means, but I know it means you’re close!!
Have kept this open in a tab and hit replay all evening long while working on the internet – supporting you from the UK! Hope you get it – you deserve it with the cute factor in this video!
Loved that photo of Annie. ;o)
You’re right about the city being an “adult’s paradise.” Unless, you can find the best of both world’s. Loved this as well: “Man, I’m gonna miss seeing a man dressed like Beetlejuice walk down Rodeo Drive without anyone looking at him twice.” Things like that make me want to move to L.A. ;D
Good luck with the move!!!! ;o)
It’s going to be a big change but a GREAT change!!