Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Prologue: Am just posting this without even pre-reading …

So here it is and I'm just gonna start writing and at the moment I'm in a good frame of mind and not crying but who knows how I may feel as I type. We might be moving to Arizona. OK, I wrote that and didn't tear up. So that is good. We've known all along since Mr. Manic lost his job then got the consulting job back in May that things may change up around here but I don't know, now it's becoming "that time." His severance with the old company is up. The new company has presented him with the official contract and offer to move and for a while we thought maybe it would be to Denver, and really, I don't want to go anywhere, and if we would have to go somewhere, I would eventually want to end up back east somewhere -- I have most of my family east, NO ONE IS WEST, NOT ONE EFFING SOUL. So there's that, but we thought Denver would be an option and that would have been cool. Now it's looking like AZ. So, in no particular order or rationale, I'm going to share the mixed up, fucked up way my mind has currently been processing how I feel about this and things that I think about if we were to move to Arizona. Here goes, and again, it's totally fucked up how I think, but if you've been a Manic Mommy reader for a while, you already got that memo, right? ...

I’ll leave it up to you to figure out which ones belong in the PRO or CON category:

It’s fucking hot there. I know I was born in Florida but I don’t want to live in a place where people describe it as living in a 400 degree oven. I don’t care if it’s a dry heat.

Brown desert. I like green. I like white. I like seasons and spring.

I will have to get a light beige or a white car. I hate white cars. My hands and ass will burn upon getting into a car every single time.

I am not attractive or thin enough to live in Arizona.

I do like air condition.

I never want the responsibilities of owning a swimming pool, but living there it would be a requirement.

I could become a recluse and write another book.

I love the fact that here I can go to Starbucks and run into 4 or 5 people that I know in a matter of 5 minutes.

It’s exhausting making new friends.

This is a whole KID category:
I worry about my kids starting a new school

I worry about them getting on a bus for the first time

I worry about them having to sit by themselves the first day of school

I worry about them getting lost the first day of school

I worry about them not liking it there

I know they will adjust because I managed at the age of 16 to adjust from Fla to Chicago, but it IS a hard transition, but I DO know kids are resilient, so you don’t need to tell me, and I know this list is crazy, but it’s MY list.

Here are more of my crazy things:

I can never leave a lipstick in my car.

I hate tumbleweeds and cacti and stone yards.

I have NO family there.

I hate the idea of having to find new doctors, hair stylists, gyms, etc.

I hate figuring out new grocery stores.

What if our house doesn’t sell.

OK, wait, I guess I should put some good things in here too, right? … OK, here are some …

No more stupid boots.

Get to go house-hunting!

No more stupid jackets (although I did just score that nice mink coat I won’t get to wear anymore, DRAT!).

SHORTS! (I do like my legs, got that going for me)

The winters are better there than here.

Won’t ever really be able to enjoy a hot latte, cuz come on, how can you drink HOT coffee in Arizona? THAT just sounds STUPID!

Positive: Thank God the internet is UNIVERSAL!

What if Mr. Manic has to travel all of the time and I am stuck there all alone and do not know anyone and we’re all lonely and it sucks and I’m in a place where I don’t know anyone?

How am I going to meet people if people never go outside since it’s so G-damn hot all day long? Who’s going to be outside in order to meet me and find out I have such a fucking glowing personality in the first place?!? HUH?

There’s not even a fucking beach nearby? What’s the point of a place with beautiful fucking sunshine weather if there’s not even a beautiful fucking beach for me to lay my sad ass upon and mope? That’s ri-fucking-diculous isn’t it?

What if when it’s time for college and my kids want to come back to ILLINOIS and then I’M FREAKING STUCK IN ARIZONA and all my kids come back to the Midwest and I’m like all stuck out there twiddling my freaking thumbs thinking to myself, “WELL, isn’t this freaking grandiose?”

What if I just go and we all have a great time and make new friends and it’s a great experience just like I did when Ajers was one year old and we moved to Philadelphia and I knew no one and then when Ajers was 7 and Diva was 5 and Tukey was 3 and we moved back to Illinois and I met a bunch of great new people and so yeah, why not just look at it as a great new adventure to my already amazing life and trust in God that He will continue to take care of us and provide for us as He has for my wonderful life of 40 years already?

Why can’t I just do that?

It’s OK for me to be scared though, right?

Cuz I am. But a little excited too, but mostly, scared, sad, worried, frustrated. Living in Limbo is a hard place to be, but my kids are healthy, my husband is healthy, we have a great marriage, I love him to death, have always trusted him in whatever decisions he makes for our family and our lives, so I do know everything will be OK with whatever is to happen.


Kristabella said...

1) Arizona is really, really hot only a few months of the year. From like October until April/May, it is BEAUTIFUL. And you'll need a coat. It gets cold at nights in the winter with no cloud cover (I had gloves and a winter coat there.)

2) You want seasons? You drive up to Flagstaff. It's like 90 miles away and has skiing and beautiful weather.


4) CHEAP! AZ is so much cheaper - everything, groceries, houses, gas, beer, etc. - than Chicago.

5) Your kids will want to go to Arizona State. Because I went there and I will force it upon them!

Hang in there! I know it is scary, but AZ isn't bad. It's NOTHING like Florida and I think you'd really enjoy it.

Hally said...

Hang in there! What if you're doing all this worrying and the company ends up sending you to CA? :) Just wishful thinking.

I agree w/everything Kristabella said and underline ten times that Sedona/Flagstaff is beautiful beyond words.

Plus with all the golf courses in AZ there are also AMAZING spas!!

OH....and ASU is a great school. And I've got $10 bucks that say your legs can take on any of those in AZ.


Ginny Clark said...

Moving is always a scary idea. I grew up with my dad serving in the Military. We moved every 2-3 years which meant, new school, new friends, new homes, new climates, new everything. Yes, I got to see the world, but I hated changing everything I knew every few years.
Arizona is closer to me :) I'm here in the desert we call Utah. Dry heat, but it does get rather hot for a couple months each year.
We have Winter, and some of the most gorgeous mountains around.
Out here in the west, its not all bad.

Stacy said...

Truly? I'd consider moving just for the amazing food all the time. And those incredible rockscapes that look like the moon only ten thousand times bigger. Plus, learning about cacti is fascinating---so many kinds. AND it's cool that dirt can be so many different colors, the artistry of creation more obvious when there's no high-maintenance grass to cover it all up.

Yes, moving is scary. But remember: Your life is filled with wonderful moments you didn't have the ability to imagine before they happened. And that will happen all over again, amazing discoveries and delights you didn't even know were waiting for you!

Travis Erwin said...

The West ain't so bad. And for the record there are both fat and ugly people in Arizona though you fit in neither category.

ANd on the way to AZ you'd probably drive through Amarillo at which point I promise to cook you family the biggest juiciest steak they've ever had as long as y'all promise to stop.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

These are the things I need to hear.

Oh, I forgot--

Scorpions. Ewww.

Sedona -- Beautiful.

Also, my husband just sighed over on the couch and said, "Where are our lives going." : (

Dear God, I have NO IDEA! Yikes! But thanks for these supportive messages, I SOOO need them right now!

And Travis, I will so eat that big honkin' steak!

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Oh but another thing -- WHAT ABOUT PIZZA!??!?! Wahhhh!?!??!

AutoSysGene said...

((hugs)) Whatever happens I hope the outcome makes you all happy!

morninglight mama said...

Oh, moving can be a headache and a blessing. I hope you all work out the best possible scenario. And while it may not be easy for some people to make friends, I get the feeling that people are drawn to you and you'll be flanked with pals wherever you live. Even if it is in the middle of the freaking desert.


Rachel said...

I will add the part about Sedona/Flagstaff.

(But no Denver? Denver rules.)

Unknown said...

wow. that's a huge change. it would break my heart to leave here. especially when life, family, routines, etc., have already been really well established. Good luck...CHANGE IS HARD! I hope it is positive for you all.

Amy said...

We go there every spring, so even if you never meet anyone, you can count on seeing me at least once!

I am sorry this sucks so bad for you. I would feel the same way -- especially if he travels.You should find out how much travel and if it makes sense, just stay in Chicago and have him come home weekends.

Moll said...

Spas, vistas, even better home to live in because of the cost of living is dirt cheap, GREAT health care system, ASU is a great school, super easy flight to Vegas!

Ramblin on rose said...

If o can move from California to Australia and be fine you'll be even better!!

Melisa Wells said...

Change is HARD. I would be feeling the same way. And I know, since you and I live in the same town, how hard it would be to imagine moving out of this great town to...anywhere else. BUT, there are SO many good things to come for you, the number one thing being that you won't need to stress out anymore about Mr. Manic's job situation. Regarding the kids, this is the absolute BEST time to move them, because they aren't in high school yet. Everything will work out, Manic! And don't forget what you said, that the internet is everywhere. Imagine how much easier that is going to make this for you.

P.S. My word verification is "loopy". haha

Suz said...

I have news for you -- we went on spring break in Gatlinburg, TN -- and we found a scorpion IN OUR CABIN! Freaked me out completely!

On the pro side -- I have an AZ friend who has 2 pet tortoises. They live outside in her yard and are the. coolest. pets. ever.

Kristin said...

Ditto to everything Kristabella said. And we will all still be here. And the internet is universal so you can still get a hold of people. There are cell phones too, so you can call if you want to chat too.

I have had a few scary changes in my life (some job some personal) and ALL have turned my life in a new WONDERFUL direction. It will be okay. I promise.

Moll said...

Oh, I also want you to get the book: Writing Down The Bones. It is a great writing book that will help kick start you into writing more. It is all about writing from your body, getting out of your head, and so on. AND the author lives in Arizona so she talks about living and writing in Arizona. You should totally get it!

Feisty Irish Wench said...

QUICK! Take up knitting or crochet, join and find a local yarn shop in AZ and start posting on that message board and when you get there, you'll know of some people and can meet them.
Because if they aren't your cup of tea, at least you'll have something to do while you sit around watching tumbleweeds and dust storms inside your air conditioned house.
And if you take your yarn into public with you, then inevitably someone will strike up conversation with you about it.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...


Kristabella, definitely good on the Mexican food!

Hally, no chance of CA. : (

Everyone, thanks for the words of encouragement! A turtle would be a pet I could live with. And NO Feisty, I'm NOT taking up YARNING! Or whatever you call that! UGH! I'll just stay inside and mix margaritas all day long.

Seriously though, everyone I truly appreciate your thoughts and opinions, all of these have made me laugh and think about the future, and wherever it takes us, I'll deal with it. I think the worst part is the logistics of figuring everything out!

More later when I know more! And if you haven't donated blood yet, you've got till Saturday to enter the contest! Thanks! : )

Just Sayin... said...

You will become thin, ridiculously hot weather will wither you away.

You will meet people thru your kids friends, their parents etc.

Air Conditioning +pro

Pool + pro and addition to any weight loss

The desert does have a winter and it could snow.

I'll be North West of you, small plane trip and you're in Vancouver!!!, or we could meet half way.

Change builds character.... yes you can tell me to go screw myself.

Best wishes, you'll make it work and be fabulous at it!


Being Samiantha

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Samiantha -- BIG GRIN!

msprimadonna67 said...

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this, but I wish you the very best whatever happens and wherever you end up.

Maureen Lipinski said...

Aw! I would be SO bummed if you moved!! And also JEALOUS when it's freezing cold here and you're talking nice long walks outside.

Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

Pool boy.

Dawn from CA said...

How ironic that while I was in Chicago, this was all going on with you! I can totally understand all of your concerns and I would be way stressed if faced with big unknowns and possible huge changes. That said...
I hope you get your butt to AZ because that is a lot closer to CA! Come on out West, Manic family!

LadyAviator said...

I grew up in PA, but my family vacationed in Tucson when I was growing up. I liked it so much that I went to flight school out there and would never have left had I been able to find a job at the time. Now, my husband is based there and we are also preparing to move to the Phoenix area from Cleveland. In addition to everything Kristabella said, here are a few more pro's for your list.

1-it's not trees and grass, but it's a whole different kind of pretty! The way the mountains look in the afternoon sunlight, the desert in bloom, the way the sky seems more blue than any sky you've ever seen and the smell of creosote bushes in the air! Theses are all very good things! And trees and snow and lakes are only a short drive away!

2-tubing down the Salt River in Phoenix. Want a day of fun? Grab a cooler,fill it with snacks, drinks and sunscreen, put an inner tube around it, tie a rope to it and head to the Salt River where you can park your car and rent tubes for yourself and family. Then they load you in a bus and take you a few miles upriver. After that you laze the day away floating down the river, making new friends and relaxing! You end the ride back at your car! (

3-Day trips to Nogales, Mexico for cheap tequila and Kahlua! Not to mention other fun places like Tombstone to see the OK Corral and the haunted Birdcage Theatre! And in Tucson, you can go to Old Tucson, Bioshpere II, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the Pima Air & Space Museum. Near Phoenix there is the Meteor Crater and Casa Grande. And don't forget Lake Havasu to see the REAL London Bridge! So much to see and history to learn about!

4-if you have a pool, you're gonna love the midnight swims under the stars in the summer when its still warm at night!

And most importantly says my husband who is from Lake Geneva, WI

5-Lou Malnati's delivers Chicago Deep Dish pizzas anywhere in the country overnight for a decent price! (For $100 you get 6 pizzas! That's less than $17 per pizza and includes shipping!) I usually get some for hubby for his birthday...they're good! Visit

Hope these things help! You may find you really like it there!

Shelley said...

Hey Steph, just wanted to try and help you out with a few things here:

1) I went to ASU, and your kids will want to go there, because it's awesome and who wouldn't want to be a Sun Devil?

2) Kristabella is right...if you miss the snow, you can always drive two hours north to Sedona/Flagstaff and play in the snow.

3) She's also right about it only being hot from....let's say May/June through the first half of October.

Now, from my 42 years of experience living in the suburbs east of Phoenix -

1) The East Valley rules. Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert. ASU is in Tempe. There are tons of young families in the Chandler/Gilbert area, and really good schools.

2) I am living proof that you do not need to be beautiful or thin to live in AZ. You are a lot prettier and skinnier than I am, and you'd be just fine. :) I have pretty good legs though, so I always liked the shorts thing as well.

3) There are plenty of people in AZ who drive blue, red, black, whatever color darker cars. Getting a white car is not a necessity. I'm not even sure it makes that much difference.

4) Getting in the car in the summer is a lot like getting in the car in Chicago in the winter. Instead of waiting for the car to warm up so the heat will get working, you have to wait a few minutes until the air coming out of the vents cools down. Parking in the shade helps immensely.

5) I know this sounds odd, but people there do drink hot coffe/lattes. All the time. I never did, but it wasn't because of the weather...I just don't like coffee. There are Starbucks like on every corner, I swear.

6) It's not mandatory to have a swimming pool. I moved out of my parent's house at 18 (where we did have a pool) and I never had one after that. Chances are, if you don't have a pool, your neighbor will. Also, there are a LOT of really cool public pools that are like mini-water parks, and they only cost 50 cents for the kids and $1.50 for you. I swear, please do not worry about being in a bathing suit. Everyone goes to the pools, and everyone wears suits. And the moms come in ALL shapes and sizes. Trust me, if I could go out there in a bathing suit, I know you can.

7) Waterparks! Golfland/Sunsplash, Big Surf, Waterworld.

8) I know you're worried about the kids, but they will be fine. My 15 year-old is still bitching that we made her move here, but in reality, she has friends (she's not even here because she spent the night somewhere else last night), she's going to a concert with friends tonight, and she's always hanging out with someone. She only pulls out the "I hate it here and I want to go back to AZ" when she's mad at me. Teenagers. Gah.

8) You actually will have to wear a jacket from time to time.

9) Stephenie Meyer lives in Gilbert, and look what happened to her. And her writing sucks.(I know this, because I read all four of those damn books, and I still want to fly back there and smack her with the thesaurus she so desperately needs.) I read the first part of 40 Weeks, and I like your writing better!

10) No, I would not leave lipstick in your car, unless it was December, January or February.

11) Do you shop at a Kroger store? I don't know what they would be called there, but in Arizona, they're Fry's. I came to Colorado and the Kroger stores are called King Soopers. And they are almost freaking identical.

12) If you really do go there, I know a wonderful, wonderful lady who used to be the principal of the charter school my older two went to for elementary school who opened her own yoga studio, and they have zumba classes and some other stuff too, including yoga for kids which is really fun. I'll also hook you up with a great nail lady. :)

No matter what Steph, it's going to be ok. You'll have your family with you, and that's the most important thing. You'll get involved with the kids' schools, and you'll meet people. I promise. :)

Ok, gonna stop now.

Eileen said...

I've done some big moves. We moved to Belgium once and that had the factor of no one speaking English and when we moved to Canada I was "ACK Metric!" but I have to tell you every time it has worked out great. Lots of new friends.

It will be a great adventure!

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

I want to comment to everyone to personally thank you all! SHelly, love everything you have to say too! Lady Aviator, when are you moving there and can we chat more about it??! I will need a midwestern gal to befriend! Can you email me at - I don't see a way to contact you through the comments?

Maureen, Kim, PrimaDonna, Dawn, thanks for all your thoughts too! Dawn, we are definitely taking trips to CA--already talking about it!

Kate said...

Whatever happens, you're going to do well as you have before. Moving is hard, though, as you know, so don't beat yourself up for being apprehensive. You can be optimistic and realistic about it at the same time.

In AZ's defense (and Houston's, in my case): SAD, what's that? And if it's anything like here you'll carry cardigans with you to combat the arctic blast a/c, so lattes will still sound like a good idea.

Best wishes, Manic and family. I'm praying for a smooth transition.

CLH said...

I'll get to finally meet you if you move to AZ!!! I'm not that far away. The scorpions are scary, the sunsets alone are worth living out this way, and THATS WHY THEY INVENTED A/C. So suck it up and come on over!!!

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Kate, that's true, I will not get SAD, anymore, even though I might feel sad at times!

ANd Merely Here, thanks a lot, just when I was feeling good about everything, you have to go and bring up SCORPIONS!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm actually a little jealous! I want to move to Arizona!

I hear that real estate is cheaper there and you get more for your money.

It does get cold at nights between Oct-Mar, you will need a light jacket and that beats rain, snow, ice and zero degrees temperatures.

You are driving distance many cities in CA.

There are fantastic spas out there, so make sure you schedule one the help destress after the move.

It's a new adventure! :) Family will visit and may even love it to move there.

best of luck to you!

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Thank you for the positives NYC GIrl!