Sea Change.

A sea change indeed, my faithful friends and followers. The absence has been long and hard and rocky and winding and wily and well, really, really l o n g. It seems that I had hopes of returning with a post and many pictures sometime in late August or early September with recollections of our beach vacation in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, where we frolicked seaside with family and friends. But now, at this time in late October, those warm summer memories seem just that--distant tales of long ago. Since then, our seas have been a'changin.

I try to keep my blog as drama free as possible--I rather spare the minute details of non-baby drama to avoid seeming petty or even boring. But this tale will be told in a shortened yet still somewhat full version, if nothing else than to explain why I have been gone so darn long.

It all began days before we were set to leave for our three week vacation visiting friends and family on the east coast this past August--the first week on the same little island where we were married (our families vacation there together every summer) and the remaining two weeks jumping back and forth between grandparents' houses.

The Sunday before the Thursday we were to set sail, we received an abrupt and very unexpected 30 day notice from the landowner of Milagro Ranch to vacate our home. I will spare these details because I may break into a rant that never fizzles--but long story short...her separation from her husband forced her to sell, she couldn't find a buyer so she leased to people who wanted her out a.s.a.p. This all meant that she needed to find a place for her and her daughter to live until they found another home--and it seems that our cozy little guest house that we had just so stupidly sunk way too much money, time and labor into seemed like just the place.

Dean returned to Malibu from the vacation early to pack and move us into storage while Noah and I remained behind in North Carolina to stay with family while all of the details worked themselves out. In the meantime, Dean stayed with friends in Malibu and went back to work.

Now backtrack a little to before we left for vacation...around the same time we received the e-mail from the landowner, we received an e-mail from the recording school that Dean attended in London, Ontario more than 10 years ago. It was inquiring whether he knew of anyone possibly interested in taking a teaching position that had recently become available at the school. E-mails about salary, benefits, immigration, etc. bounced back and forth for weeks while the job opportunity became more and more of an appealing option for us.

Over the phone, from North Carolina to Los Angeles, Dean and I schemed and plotted and planned. What if? Dean officially expressed interest and after a phone interview with the school's Directors went incredibly well, we decided to accept their offer to fly the whole family to London for 10 days worth of Canadian fun--further interviews, guest lectures, meetings, negotiations, sight seeing, house hunting, and more. So, after spending all of September on separate coasts, Noah and I met Dean in Canada on October 1st.

Now backtrack a little again...to when Dean was living with friends in Malibu and working while Noah and I were grandparent house hopping for all of September. Just days before flying to meet Dean in Canada, a little dip stick in a Durham, North Carolina Target bathroom revealed that we were pregnant--again!

So here we were--exhausted, homeless and nauseously pregnant--in London, Ontario wondering if leaving a job with Beck in Malibu to teach in the snowy neighbor to the north was really what the Dr. ordered. The 10 days passed like a whirlwind as we met people, saw places and determined if this was to be the next stop on our map.

The town was just okay; the people were super. What really sold us was all of the quality of life bonuses. At the end of our stay, we took the job.

Let me explain why. Dean has worked 12 hours a day 6-7 days a week for 10 years--that's right a decade--with a week, or maybe two, or this year the most ever maybe three weeks, of vacation hidden somewhere there in between. Before Noah it was hard, since Noah it is impossibly exhausting and plain and simply an unacceptable pace to keep with a growing family. Sure he's worked with and for the best of the best in the music industry, and the money is okay--but it's just that, okay. It's not living well in Los Angeles, or Malibu for that matter, on one salary, well. It's not, own a house, travel several times a year, send your kid to private school because the public ones are not an option, hire a nanny because Dad is never home and a second kid is coming kind of well.

This new job? The salary is great, the bonuses are even better...but the hours, they are still hard to swallow. Dad will be home for dinner for the first time in a decade--every night. Dean will work 9:00-5:00--WAIT--what's THAT?! Add on to that: 5 weeks of paid vacation, incredible public and private healthcare coverage with no out-of-our-pocket cost (I have already spoken with the midwife who will deliver our next baby at home in the water), affordable housing and coverage of all relocation and immigration/visa costs. How could we say no?!

After we signed on the dotted line, we returned to Los Angeles on October 10th homeless while we wait for immigration to clear and Dean to finish pending projects with Beck. We stayed with friends in Malibu for one week and are now staying with yet more friends (three families in one house--that's another post all together) in Pasadena...we just call it our cozy little commune. We will remain here until November the 13th when we will then move yet again back to our old neighborhood in Los Angeles with yet more friends. We will be house-sitting while they are in Japan.

If all goes well with immigration--and we should know by mid-November--we will move to London, Onatrio, Canada on December 1st. We are currently looking for a place to call home there for when we, and our stuff, arrives.

In the meantime it's a crazy, whirly twirly topsy turvy kind of purgatory that we are existing in. I am still absorbing it--especially the part about moving to a really cold place. There will be snow there when we arrive--lots and lots of it. How will a Los Angeles loving family from Southern California with no winter clothes and another baby on the way ever cope? That story has yet to be written.


Johanna said...

Oh my goodness- what an update!
Congratulations on baby number 2, how wonderful!
And as for the big move- I think it's amazing. Scary but amazing. Ontario is where I am from. I just lived in Hamilton (1.5 hrs from London) for the last 3 years-we loved it.
Let me know if you ever have any questions about Ontario or the area or other things. I can tell you of some resources (Early Years Centers are GREAT!) and other things.
Congrats and good luck and welcome to Canada!!!

Anonymous said...

My dear Joni so many good news all together!! Congratulations for the baby and for Dean's job! We are soooo happy for you!
A big hug from Italy! .. now that Dean has more vacations day you have to come visit us in Italy!! Betta

j o n i said...

Thanks Betta and Johanna--we'd LOVE to have either of you as visitors! Though London doesn't have the glamor of L.A....so we'll see who our friends REALLY are! ha ha!

And yes, Betta, we'll make it that way SOME day.



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