Transition Year

Cutest mother of the three little pigs EVER!
What the heck are we doing? Not sure if we can answer that question sometimes, so I'm open to suggestions! As things sit we are a family in two states, soon to be three. We knew going in that it would be an unusual year, but I don't know that we predicted this!

Hard to argue with that smile!
You'll forgive me if some of this sounds like a summary, because it is. There are two reasons for that. First it's to make sure that the actual plan is out there. We might be using the word "plan" a bit loosely as it is more of a direction with options than a set plan. The format of our transition looks (and sometimes feels) messy. I can only imagine what this can look like to someone not involved in the process. Sorry about all that! The second reason is much more selfish. Logistically speaking, it's just easier to put it out there in this format so that we (primarily Autumn at this point because I've been gone for three months now!) don't have to rehash the story over and over. It's not that we mind talking to people, but the reality of trying to tell the extended version to everyone individually is not logistically possible, even if we wanted to.

It sort of sounds coarse when I type that out, but the truth is always better and the truth is that I want as many people as possible to know what we're doing and why. What that does is allow for better conversations since everyone is more or less on the same page. I hope that makes sense.

The story up to now is this:

Ornaments on display!
Autumn and I have found two schools that we think make sense for Trinity. One is in Bozeman, Montana and the other is in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I probably didn't have to put the states in there, but I am bad a geography and I assume that I'm not the only one. So you're welcome! By the way, why couldn't any of the schools been somewhere warm? Seriously!

We visited both places (a third possibility in Wisconsin as well) and did not a small amount of research into jobs and housing as well. While Trin's education has taken the lead on this journey, the rest of us have to be there too. So why are we in two (maybe three) states again? For unification! Okay, maybe not. Don't worry though, I'm getting to that soon.

My girls, so beautiful!
Autumn has a great job in Baker. Jobs in Bozeman are not as great. Jobs in Minneapolis are almost as great. My friend Mike jokes about the "Bozeman Tax". You see, there are pretty decent jobs in Montana, but the vast majority are everywhere except Bozeman. There are lots of folks that seem to be moving here for the lifestyle, not the paycheck (or private elementary schools)! So it goes. It's more expensive to live in Bozeman (housing) than Minneapolis, but the jobs pay a lot less. I checked into employment at Montana State University and the same job I had at Blue Mountain Community College in Baker payed 30% more than the same job at the university here. Ouch.

Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, I'm in Bozeman. With Trinity. Autumn and Teagan, as of right now, are in Baker. No, that's not true. Teagan is in Baker right now. Autumn is on her way to Minneapolis  for a conference by way of Bozeman. Update: Autumn is here in Bozeman and by Friday afternoon should be in North Dakota.

Miss Mel is so awesome!
So why all of kerfuffle? The long and short of it is that we don't know where the best fit is going to be. So in the meantime, Autumn has a great job waiting for her in Minneapolis early next year that will allow us to be together about half the time. That may not sound like much, but it's a step in the right direction! Are we going to stay in Bozeman beyond this school year? We don't know. Are we moving to Minneapolis? I don't know. That's what this year is all about: transition.  So bear with us while we confuse everyone else!

In the meantime, enjoy these nuggets from Trinity's art walk and Holiday program at Cottonwood Day School here in Bozeman:

Best family picture in a while, well, partial family!


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