SURPRISE! We're moving to Cheyenne, WY!
Austin's fourth year of his doctorate program is an "externship" where he works under the tutelage of an Audiologist for a year. (Essentially their version of residency for audiology.) We assumed we would just stay in Lincoln for this year and work at his current job, but over the summer Austin found out that his classmates were all going far and wide for the externship year (Boston, Washington, Arizona...). We both immediately felt like it was time for us to move, too! With my parents moving to Utah and having a smattering of family in that area we made Salt Lake City kind of our central point and drew a circle out from there. We looked for bigger cities within 6-8 hours of SLC that hosted externships. We felt really good about Boise, ID but there weren't job listings there for a while, so Austin suggested we apply for this Cheyenne one as a backup. I wasn't jazzed at first, in fact I was kind of dismissive, but I trusted him and he went on and applied. He did the first video interview and really liked the two audiologists who he talked to. Then he did a second interview on the phone with their business manager, and they asked him to come visit. At this point I finally looked up the job listing myself and immediately repented that I had been anti....I got a really good feeling even reading about this externship and we were really excited to go visit!
We pulled into Cheyenne and had some time to kill before we were supposed to meet at the office, so we drove around. I couldn't believe how nostalgic and exciting it was for me! I lived in Cheyenne when I was in 2nd-5th grades. I was really young and have only been back passing through on our way to Utah, but I remembered SO MUCH! I knew directions, landmarks, even specific houses. It really did feel like a homecoming, which I did not expect. I felt practically gleeful. We checked into the hotel and then got ready to go to the office.
|this was our elementary school, Jessup! I sent this to my family and it was such a trip|
down memory lane! We laughed because years later the parking lot is STILL unpaved
Brant Christensen is the owner and head audiologist at Brant Audiology. We met with him at his beautiful office and he gave us a tour. I am so glad I could be there! It was really nice to get a feel for everything in first person. We chatted with him for a while and found out that he is a member of our church! We were surprised and happy. Another hint that this was a really good fit.
We went out to dinner with the Christensens and found out that Ann, Brant's wife, had served in the primary presidency with my mom when we lived in Cheyenne 20 years ago. We couldn't believe it!! The Air Force world is small (my dad was stationed in Cheyenne with the Air Force), and the LDS Air Force world is even smaller, so these connections aren't completely uncommon, but it felt like an extra coincidence and special reminder that we were being watched over and that it seemed like we were supposed to be in Cheyenne at this time.
We came back to the hotel and had a terrible sleep, haha. I don't know if Claire was nervous about sleeping in the pack n play for the first time or what but she would wake up screaming and have an unusually hard time calming down. I finally pulled her in bed with me (which I NEVER do) so we could hopefully get a little sleep and that helped a little, but I was relieved when morning came and we could just get up and be done.
yogurt for breakfast! haha she is so cute
It was really cold and windy in Cheyenne. I actually laughed about the wind because for years I've heard my parents talk about how windy it was in Cheyenne, so much so that I thought they may be exaggerating. But, nope, definitely super horribly windy!
We picked Austin up from the office and went out to dinner with Ruby, the other audiologist who works there. We ate at Sanford's, a restaurant that my family frequented a lot! Another fun blast from the past. Ruby and her family were really nice and funny, and we continued to just feel at home there.
We did apply for a position in Boise that almost immediately fell through, and instead of being disappointed like we expected we felt relieved! We knew that we needed to go to Cheyenne, and it felt really good to officially accept the offer. We've been really excited all winter! We are planning on leaving Nebraska once the kids are out of school at the end of May. We've been watching rental house listings and keeping tabs on locations/prices to hopefully be able to find somewhere to live without too much stress.
This externship is only for one year, and there is no guarantee that we would stay longer than that, so it feels strange knowing we are only moving for a year and then probably moving again, but it's also kind of freeing. I've been going through all of our belongings and scorching and burning everything! I've been interested in the minimalist movement for a few years now, but it has been hard to actually get it going in my own house. Moving has been the perfect excuse! I go through a box or a closet or a bookshelf and ask myself if I really want it, need it, or can let it go, and more often than not I let it go. The more stuff I get rid of, the more stuff I want to get rid of! Our house is feeling streamlined and clutter-free and I love it. One of the best outcomes (that I've wanted for a longgg time) is that with less stuff, especially toys, I don't have to spend as much time tidying up!
We are sad to leave our friends and connections here in Lincoln. Lincoln has been so good to us, all 8 years that we've been married. We had all 4 of our children here at the same hospital, three of the kids went to the same school, both of us graduated from college here, and we feel like active members of our stake and broader community. Our friends are so wonderful and we will really really miss those fun interactions. We are really excited for a new adventure, though, and are ready for this big change!