Our big announcement: We’re Utah-bound!

As much as I love to travel, I adore our home base and never thought we’d live anywhere other than Colorado so it is tremendously bittersweet to announce we’re moving to Midway, Utah.  I adore Colorado and we have zero reasons to leave…our businesses are burgeoning, we have an amazing ward, friends and neighborhood. But this glorious place is where we’ve moving so I keep reminding myself not to be too depressed.

Midway, Utah

How It Happened

In December, I had just returned from a trip to the temple where many of us accompanied a new member in our ward for the first time. I was bursting with feelings of love and appreciation for my many friends who surrounded her. Later that afternoon, I was at my computer when I had the distinct impression: “Search for real estate in Soldier Hollow.”

I’m not one to house shop (apart from occasionally looking up dream properties in Hawaii) so this thought surprised me. To be honest, I didn’t even know exactly where Soldier Hollow was–just that is was in the Heber Valley and site of the cross-country events for the 2002 Olympic Games. My search for Soldier Hollow revealed that it is in Midway, a charming alpine resort town just 15 miles from Park City. I fell in love with a gorgeous home within our price range and that’s when the wheels started turning.

Jamie wants a bit more land, I want to live in the mountains. Denver’s housing market has exploded with a huge influx of people moving in (we’re the second fastest-growing state in the U.S.) and a shortage of housing. This is good news if you’re trying to sell a home but is not so great if you’re buying here. We’ll never be able to afford the prices in Colorado’s mountains so could this be our opportunity to stop dreaming and start living the dream?

Jamie didn’t take me seriously at first and I didn’t blame him. Almost on a daily basis, I’m concocting a new scheme, a new adventure so it’s tough to decipher what’s inspiration and what’s just me? We resolved to at least investigate so when we were in Utah for Christmas visiting Jamie’s family, we spent an afternoon with a realtor in Midway. There wasn’t much for sale  so we looked at two new areas. Now, I should say that my one prerequisite was that I did not want to build a new home. We went through that laborious process with our current house and while we love it now and are so happy the yard is finally growing in, it was a ton of work and expense to put in your own yard and basement.

For the first place we visited, the properties were less than 1/3 acre. Many of the lots in the second development were too small…until we walked up to a 0.5-acre plot that backed to farmlands with a view of Mount Timpanogos and Deer Creek Reservoir. Cue the singing angels. Something clicked when we walked on that property. Jamie didn’t look at me like I was crazy (for once) and we started to wonder if maybe we could do this.

Our backyard

There was a premium $55,000 price tag on that corner lot because of the size and views. It was one of the final and most coveted lots to be sold because the builder had been hanging onto it for his own son who was on a mission. But then he got “Dear Johned” (dumped) by his girlfriend and we arrived at the exact window of opportunity.

We did a tour of the ranch-style model home (we’re thinking like old people and only want one level + a basement) and asked if we could build the smallest house on the biggest lot (we could!) We had originally intended to visit the neighboring town Heber to look at some properties but we nixed that plan; we knew it was charming Midway or Bust!

When we arrived home, we crunched some numbers. The rest is history but was the source of soooooo much stress in January because we had to come up with earnest money and we had a cash call for another investment at the exact same time. After prayer and a lot of sleepless nights, we cashed in some mutual funds, refinanced our house and moved forward. We still don’t know how it will work out financially because we won’t put our house on the market for a few weeks but we have faith this is supposed to happen.

Why I can’t believe I’m really leaving.

The people. Jamie’s brother and sister are here. Our ward is truly the most cohesive and loving I’ve ever experienced. And our friends. Don’t get me started about our friends and neighborhood because we have the very best there are. We do everything together–spend holidays, travel, and play, play, play. Our kids have  known each other since birth and they were supposed to grow up together, date and get married. I love these people.

The landscape. Since moving here to marry Jamie 13 years ago, I’ve crammed adventure in every spare moment. From climbing 14ers to hiking in my backyard to Country Road Cafe, all of it has left an imprint on my soul. Colorado is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Our jobs. Jamie and I both work from home so we can live anywhere but so much of what I do is based here. And we’ve been truly blessed with opportunities to preview everything under the sun–from museums to exhibits to attractions to travel. This is a huge sacrifice. So, what are my plans for Mile High Mamas? Last year was our most successful yet and I plan to keep building it. I have a whole team of Colorado bloggers who will be more than happy for me to pass on the many review opportunities. Eventually as I secure stable work opportunities in Utah, I’ll sell Mile High Mamas. But that time is not now and it makes me sad to think of turning over something I’ve built from the ground up. And we’ll miss all those glorious freebies.

The Light Rail. We have lived in a construction zone for three years as Denver’s Light Rail line is near completion. It literally is a 2-minute walk from our house and would have been so ideal for accessing downtown, the Denver Airport and beyond.

Our home. I truly love our house. We had been married for only six months and were newly pregnant when we signed the contract. Bursting with joy about the life ahead of us, we went to IHOP and a woman at a nearby table overheard our excitement and asked why.  When we went to pay the bill, we learned this generous woman had paid it for us, wishing us much happiness in our new life.  And it has been.  On the first day when we walked into this house, I thought, “I will never be unhappy here.” And despite layoffs, health crisis and everything else life throws at you, we never have been. This is where we became a family.

What I Won’t Miss

As I mentioned, Colorado is growing exponentially.  Whenever we return from a mountain getaway and descend into Denver, my soul deflates as we battle traffic, crowds and pollution. And it will only get worse. The legalization of marijuana doesn’t help my spirits as we raise our kids in a world with dispensaries at every turn, a whole tourism industry based on getting stoned and the prevalence of marijuana edibles.

My heart aches to think about our many mountain adventures that I’ll desperately miss but getting there is not half the fun.  I-70 is a $billion$ nightmare. Every time we planned a trip, we had to do it around the traffic because we knew that we’d get stuck for hours coming and going.

The Transition

How will it be to move to Midway, population 4,000, when we’re coming from a city of 2 million? A shock, I’m sure. But one thing I love is that our gorgeous Swiss-themed mountain hamlet is just 15 miles from Park City and 30 minutes from Salt Lake City.  Jamie’s parents and sister are nearby, we are surrounded by mountains, are just 15 minutes to the ski areas and it truly is heaven on earth.

I just wish we could bring all our Colorado loves along with us on our new adventure.

Stay tuned tomorrow as I talk about our new home.

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