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That was EASY



My Aunt-in-Law has this red button that when pressed announces “That was EASY!” I often feel like “EASY” does not apply to our life. Instead, I need a big red button that says “That was a PAIN IN THE ASS!” Because we are so conditioned to PAIN IN THE ASS-type events, when something EASY happens it feels incredibly UNEASY.

The Professor has been job hunting since October. He submitted tons of applications and had promising feedback, but sadly nothing panned out. When I found out I was pregnant his focus shifted quickly from academia to industry – maybe this was a sign that it was time to change directions?

An email to a former colleague and a couple phone calls later, the Professor stood ghost-white in the doorway and said, “Well, I have a job… I need to sit down.”

The job is with a tech start-up in Durham, North Carolina. He will be working with world-renowned experts solving exciting mathy-problems to fulfill contracts with big agencies*. There will be a large learning curve and an element of risk, but ultimately this job will offer more experience than any tenure-track faculty position, take his research in an exciting new direction and give him the opportunity to work with some very cool people.

So he said yes, and then we sat silently on the couch feeling rather uneasy. “My goodness, that was terribly easy,” I said. “Did that seem too easy? … Maybe it is high time we get a little bit of easy… I think this easy is overdue. Let’s embrace it.”

So we opened a beer and promptly started researching Durham, NC – a city that had never been on our radar and we knew nothing about.

Over spring break we visited Durham and immediately fell in love. It has the gritty feel of a city on the cusp of something big. It has diversity, art, culture and an incredible public garden on Duke’s campus. It has a Lemur Center and a Goat Dairy. It is two hours from the beach and two hours from mountains. It feels like such a manageable size after living in NYC for three years. It has fried green tomatoes. It has people who chat casually with you in the grocery store at 7 a.m. It has farmer’s markets, a grocery co-op with tiny carts for Sabine to push and many parks to explore. It has a low cost of living. It is ripe with career potential for me when I am ready to go back to work. We had dinner with the Professor’s new team and they were all lovely, kind people. Several of the Professor’s childhood friends live in the area and opened their home to us when we visited. They were so kind and by the end of the visit declared that we can rest assured knowing we have “family” when we get there.

It will make a wonderful forever home.

It is just what we need after this last miscarriage.

It gives me something to focus on instead of obsessing about if/when we will try for another child.

Last week the Professor started working part-time remotely for the company while he finishes up his full-time job in NYC. We will move to Durham in August. There is so much to do before then in preparation and so many NYC adventures to have before we bid this big, dog poop-covered, crazy cool city adieu!

*I know this is super vague but I am working to respect his professional boundaries!



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  1. April 6, 2016

    Congrats! I live in Raleigh and the Triangle is a great area. A few other members of the IF community have recently moved to Raleigh and Wilmington. We’ll have to plan a meet up! I don’t know tons about Durham specifically, but I’m happy to answer questions about the Triangle if you have any.

    • April 6, 2016

      Thanks and YES! Absolutely have to plan a meet-up. My closest friend in NYC was a blogger I met online years before I moved here. there is something special about a friendship with women who have been through infertility and won’t ask when you are going to have another child! 🙂

  2. April 6, 2016

    Congrats! I live in the Triangle too (Cary, specifically), but work in downtown Durham (right next to the ballpark). I’m a long time reader but rare commenter, but when you get settled we can meet for lunch. As you know, downtown Durham is a far cry from NYC, but it has a lot of charm.

    • April 6, 2016

      Look at all these ladies in the Triangle area! Lunch for sure! I am really excited to NOT be in crazy NYC. Durham has a lot of the same vibe as Birmingham, Ala. did. I think we will feel right at home 🙂

      • April 6, 2016

        You are really going to like it here! I can’t wait for you to get out of NYC!

    • April 6, 2016

      I realize that this comment sounds like I’m doing you a favor rather than conveying how excited I am to meet a fellow blogger! Pre coffee comment, I’m afraid. I moved to the area two years ago from Washington, DC (after living there for almost 15 years) and it felt like a big change. But there are so many pluses–cost of living is so much lower and moving to a town where living life is so much easier has been refreshing. Going to the grocery store, running errands, just living life is easy; there are jogging trails and parks and quiet! Downtown Durham has so many cute shops and restaurants. I wonder if the Professor will work right by me–many of the tech start ups are on the American Tobacco Campus, and was thinking if you’re exploring downtown over lunchtime or coffee time–it was be so fun to meet up. If you haven’t read my blog, my short story is 3 years TTC, had our son via DE/DS last summer. Congratulations again and I really think you will love it here.

      • April 7, 2016

        Eeeee! I am SO EXCITED about all the trials in Durham! I have missed that so much about Birmingham. And I am really excited to meet you. I just stalked your blog, your little one is so adorable and your new house sounds spectacular. We, also, can’t wait to have a house. Our little apartment is cozy and nice but MAN do we miss having a guest space (MIL in the living room on the sofa bed is NOT ideal) and a yard to grill in. August feels so far away!

  3. April 6, 2016

    Yay! I’m so excited for your new adventure! That sounds like a great opportunity. I am so glad, after all you’ve been through, that something finally lined up and was easy! Best of luck!

  4. April 6, 2016

    [hops up and down clapping rapidly] Yay! That sounds like a superb breath of fresh air, figuratively and hopefully literally too! Congrats to you both – may the transition and move also be as easy on all three of you as possible!

    • April 7, 2016

      After moving from a full sized house to a small apartment with a six month old to a city with a huge learning curve I think this move will be easy peasy 🙂 Thanks for the good thoughts!

  5. nonsequiturchica #
    April 6, 2016

    Fantastic news and congratulations to the Professor! It sounds like this is a great opportunity!

    We have a “That was Easy” button at our house. My parents own their own business and apparently order from Staples so they were sent one of those buttons. For Izzy’s second Christmas they wrapped it up and gave it to her because they thought that it sounded close enough to “That was Izzy.” Ha ha.

  6. jak #
    April 6, 2016

    OMG SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! that’s excellent, wow. you’re gonna love it there. nyc was a great adventure, now onto the next! congratulations!!!!

  7. heatherwallen #
    April 6, 2016

    That’s just awesome for you guys! Congrats! Also I love and identify with the “that was easy” button / everything being so.f-ing.not.easy. We are in the middle of selling a home that we lived in while living in Miami 2006-2011 that the craptastic real estate market prevented us from selling until now. Every step of the process at this point from going under contract to the initial home inspection to the mold inspection etc. I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Hard to work one’s mind out of that way of thinking, you know? Huge congrats again on the new city. I’m at UW-Madison and my Duke friends LOVE their city and its people 🙂

  8. 35life #
    April 6, 2016

    This was so exciting to read! I think that it was so great that you had an opportunity to experience NYC for a bit (I love big cities, but also love the ocean) but now have this new opportunity which just sounds perfect! Love this!

  9. April 6, 2016

    What an amazing change for you in so many ways! The corporate office for my husband’s company is in NC and we have often talked of moving there for possible promotional opportunities. He’s traveled there on business before and loves it. I’m not yet ready to leave the Pacific NW, but am excited to hear about your adventures! Much luck and love to you as you get everything in order for your big move over the next few months! xo

  10. April 6, 2016

    Congratulations! What an exciting new endeavor! I’m so happy to read of something positive to focus on!

  11. Catie #
    April 6, 2016

    Congrats!! I wish you and the Professor luck in this new journey! I think you’ll love living in Durham!

    My older sister and her super techie hubby moved to Raleigh (just next door to Durham) 8 years ago and have never looked back. They love it there, the weather, friendly people, lower cost of living (which means she gets to be a SAH mom without hurting their budget), thriving homeschooling community.

  12. April 7, 2016

    I’m so bloody rapt for you – you guys totally deserve this

  13. April 7, 2016

    What awesome news after such struggle. It sounds like a LOVELY place!!! The Carolinas are gorgeous!! So happy for you!

  14. jaclyn #
    April 8, 2016

    Congratulations! I love NY, but it is so hard without an insane amount of money, which unfortunately academia doesn’t provide. I think this will be wonderful for your family, and you all deserve so much happiness!

  15. April 8, 2016

    Yay! We made a similar move last year, and I hope things turn out as well for you as they have for us.

  16. April 10, 2016

    Yay! This is so exciting for you, Belle! My sister lives in Greensboro which isn’t fat from Durham, so maybe we can meet up next time we are out there visiting her.
    You DO deserve easy. You deserve a whole lot because you are an incredible person. I wish I could show you how much you helped me on my journey with your encouraging comments and even just your raw honesty on your blog.
    Cheers to easy!

    • April 10, 2016

      *far, not fat
      It’s really hard to proof read on mobile, ugh

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