Now that the dust is settling a bit, I just wanted to share more about why we chose to move to Nebraska of all places. I’ve shared bits and pieces of this on social media, but here is the story.
Ethan had lived in Cleveland for 13 years after he graduated from college. He had gone through periods of really enjoying it there, and times where he seriously researched living in other places.
I spent the last 5 years in Cleveland and, even though we had some dear friends and lots of nice acquaintances through his old school… I really disliked Cleveland. It’s big, it’s so crammed full of people, it’s really liberal. I never found a niche there, always feeling a bit like a fish out of water. Sometimes I could go for many months without seeing a friend. I desperately missed Idaho, or even where I grew up in Montana.
As time went on and Ethan left teaching to try out a different field of work that could have gotten us to Idaho… he started to become less and less content in Cleveland as well.
Like I mentioned in my post about my love of the Latin Mass and journey to it… we really have great affection for the priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP), and wanted to go to a parish run by this group of priests who are so devout and, well, fatherly. These parishes tend to be super active with groups for both children and adults, lots of community, tons of spiritual benefits from the gorgeous Masses and excellent preaching, and all of the sacraments available in the Old Rite.
We have always said that with the parish as the center of our family’s world, we would make getting to an FSSP parish top priority, and it was time to make good on that.
We applied and applied to jobs back in Idaho where the FSSP parish we were married in is, but with a high cost of living, competitive job market, and statistically low wages (abysmal for teacher actually), even if we had gotten a job there, we likely would have been essentially poverty stricken.
So many of the FSSP parishes tend to be located in expensive places. Littleton Colorado, various locations in Florida, California… we felt like we just couldn’t find anything we could afford.
Nebraska, however, hit most of our criteria:
- A beautiful parish run by the FSSP, with a lively community (Oh, and the actual FSSP seminary and a group of associated nuns are both nearby!)
- Inexpensive flights to both of our families (and technically we could drive to mine if we want to in good weather. This will be a TREMENDOUS help as far as my mom easily coming when I am having a baby!)
- Better pay for teachers if Ethan goes back to his former career
- A lower cost of living
- Some wide open spaces and a much less congested area
- A family friendly, conservative area
Ethan applied at the Post Office, was hired at the end of his phone interview, and within weeks we had packed and moved to a state I’d never set foot in.
It was a whirlwind to arrange everything, pack, drive states away with two little girls, and unpack as best we could in time for Christmas and Ethan starting work.
This process has been hard. Despite not having a great support system in Ohio, going to a totally new place where we didn’t know a soul has been scary. Ethan’s hours are unpredictable and it’s been an exhausting job to start.
But it’s getting better. We’re slowly making friends. We’re enjoying a gorgeous church. Philomena says all of the time how much she loves living in Nebraska.
We are in the process of converting Ethan’s teaching license to our new state, and depending on what he wants to do, he can always leave the Post Office and go back to education.
I wonder sometimes if we will ever get back to Idaho, but I also have a lot of peace with where we are now. I have learned through our entire process of trying to move that took 10 months of disappointment, applications, interviews, a new career Ethan disliked, and all of the twists and turns that lead us here, that you never know where God will take you.