Just over a year after I moved to Arizona from Washington I started training for my first marathon where I met Shane.  Just a few shorts months after dating Shane was staring to look for a new house and wanted my input in the hopes that sometime in the future I would want to make it my home as well.  This process went pretty much how every other big decision in our lives has gone.  4 months into our relationship, training for a marathon, working full time and raising a crazy (vizsla) puppy we were remodeling and moving into our house.  I figured if a 4 month old relationship could survive the stress of all that, we were golden....

I truly believed our Scottsdale home would be our forever home. We've shed tears of joy, tears of sadness. Raised puppies, started multiple business. Dinner parties and post race parties. Sunday Fundays and lazy hangovers. When my parents moved to Arizona for a few years, my mom lived with us for a few months while my dad closed up and sold the only other home I had known in Spokane. We've remodeled the pool adding a fun little table and stools for cocktails. The bathrooms were completely gutted a few years ago so I could have a nice walk in closet and get rid of the 1985 vanities. We ended up blowing our kitchen budget on the bathrooms then started with these grand ideas that we would tear down walls and build a huge great room so the project just kept getting pushed out.

I digress...  In 2009 we spent our first "summer" in CDA. This place was my summer playground growing up. My mom took me as a kid spending all day long on the beach and when I was old enough to drive my friends and I would do the same. We did our first Ironman CDA in 07, then back in 08. We found a realtor in 09 and started looking at properties knowing our dream was to own a summer home there. It took 2 more years of paying WAY too much money for our 4 month stays, looking at dozens and dozens of homes and when we sold our home in Mexico we took the plunge and bought our little summer bungalow. I was the first person to preview the home when it went on the market. Shane was still working in California, but we made an offer sight unseen (for him).  Another offer came in at the same time and we were asked for our best and final and we wrote a letter to describe how much this house meant to us.

We spent two summers in the house making it ours.  We bought it furnished, but we slowly started adding our own decor. Shane spent every day working on the yard, and last summer he and my dad busted their asses in the record summer heat building our new patio cover and backyard pavers. We rode our bikes weekly to our favorite sushi restaurant where we don't even have to tell them our order anymore. After Ironman this year we went on "social" sightseeing bike rides and I started to get this feeling in my heart that this could be home. Shane has always felt this way, but he also spent two years away from Arizona working in California while I grasped on tightly to my friends which became my saving grace and my family while he was gone.

I started obsessing on realtor.com and realizing that getting this lake view I've always dreamed of wasn't really out of reach...  As we sat on the floating restaurant for Shane's birthday last fall I am pretty sure I gave him the biggest surprise and present he could ask for.  I told him my revelation about being able to move our lives to CDA in the future.

We talked about a couple year plan to make the move. We would put a little time and money into our Scottsdale house to "update" the kitchen without the big renovation project so that we could enjoy it until we made the move. A fresh coat of paint and plenty of time to go through all the things you collect over 16 years of living in the same place. We started narrowing down the areas we would want to live in and the musts: massive lake view, 2 offices, yard for the dogs, a spare room for the bikes and trainers and a new treadmill, a guest suite for the BFFS.

Shortly after we returned for the summer we sat down over wine and told the BFFs.  It went about as planned. Tears and anger and denial. We didn't share our news with anyone else, because what was the point if it wasn't happening any time soon? We started the process for the kitchen which included a complete demo before we left for the holidays in CDA. We looked at about 10 homes to narrow down the search area, and in typical LaPan fashion we actually found "the one."

The house is about 20' from downtown on the opposite side of the lake (from downtown). The views go on for days and it has more room than we could ever need.

The asking price was reasonable, but the inside of the house was not. If I'm moving away from my home, my life, my friends I'm getting my dream house. A kitchen with all the space I need. A great room for entertaining. Nice, clean, fresh new look. We decided to take a change and throw out a crazy crazy low offer that would give us the budget to renovate. In a shocking twist, just days after we got back from the holidays we were under contract with a 90day closing for the new house. Shane flew up for the inspection, to get the downtown house ready to list and to meet with potential contractors. I stayed home trying to jump start the Ironman training and start the process of going through the house.

Our bungalow hit the market and had a cash offer just hours later and we've been busting our asses to get the Scottsdale house ready to list while trying to work and train at the same time. To say our stress levels and my OCD have reached their limits is quite the understatement. Tears have been shed, sleep has been missed, but I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Our house will hit the market mid next week, and our tentative plan is for Shane and the dogs to move to Idaho when the new home closes at the beginning of April, and I will stay in Arizona until the renovations and Ironman Santa Rosa are finished. There are a lot of unknowns and details to be hashed out (you know, like where will I live?!?!), but we're just taking it day by day and trying to hold our shit together.  One of us doing better than the other....

I know that soon the stress level and sadness of what we are leaving behind in Arizona will be over come with excitement and this new chapter in our lives will flourish with more adventure and happiness, but for now it's bitter sweet. I know that part of me is returning "home," but a big part of me is also leaving my home. The home I've made over the past 18 years where I've grown up, I've chosen a path in life, a job with a passion and friends that will never be replaced.

So rather than bask in the sadness of leaving, I'm trying to focus on the new memories to be made.  The many trips back for sunshine and laughter with my besties and thankful for all that the past 18 years in Arizona has brought to my life.

{if anyone knows of a north scottsdale casita available for rent, please let me know!}


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