I had no idea that this fantasy actually had a name: Middleton, Wisconsin. I'm serious. This place is perfect. The drivers are courteous, the traffic is light, the trees are big and beautiful, there are parks and lakes everywhere, and everyone is SO NICE!
We joined Fabio in Wisconsin at the Extended Stay America the first week of July for a marathon one week house-hunt. If we didn't find a house we loved that week, we'd have to sign a lease agreement and start the hunt again in 9 months. So we prayed, jumped in our realtor's car, and searched, and searched, and searched. We found ourselves comparing every one of the 20+ houses we saw to the third house from our first day. So we scheduled a second showing and knew it was our house. It was the place where we would raise our family for the foreseeable future. Once they accepted the offer, Jonathan and I went back to Utah to live with Nay Nay and Dap while Fabio slept in a colleague's basement for a month. We finally reunited in mid-August to sign the papers and on August 16, 2013 the house was ours. We drove up, opened the garage door (with a remote opener!!), and ran through every room in complete disbelief that we actually found (and now owned) our perfect home!
With 0.64 acres, five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a dishwasher, and cornfields for neighbors in three different directions, it could not be a bigger change from our little concrete-jungle-high-rise slice of heaven in Singapore. We even have our own well and septic. We are such city-slickers that we didn't even know that was a thing! The water is really yummy, though.
It is my perfect paradise, everything I had envisioned and hope for. I get dressed in our walk-in closet, and go down stairs to empty my dishwasher that has magical powers to wash off baked cheese and caked-on chili with the push of a button. Then I stand at my window at the kitchen sink--in a kitchen so beautiful I wouldn't have even dared to dream for--to see rolling hills of cornfields speckled with red barns and silos as the backdrop of Jonathan's treehouse and swing set. In August we enjoyed the tomatoes and peppers the last owners planted in our vegetable garden, and in September we watched our maple and oak trees tell us fall was coming in red, orange, and yellow. The ceilings are tall for Fabio, even in the basement, the carpet is soft, the water is hot in every faucet, the windows are big, the grass is soft, the neighborhood is quiet, the hallways are wide, and a family of bunnies lives under our deck.
I answer our front door to find three sweet little neighbor boys (10, 9, and 7) asking to play with Jonathan (almost every day). They teach him how to pedal on his "bike," how to throw and kick the ball, and most importantly, how to be a good sport. He loves his new friends, his bright-blue room, the sweet old golden retriever that lives across the street, and having plenty of space to run and run and run (inside or out, rain or shine). He calls the house "Mommy's house."
So while my dishes and laundry wash and dry themselves, Jon and I climb into our little SUV (it's own story for another day) to pick up a couple things at Costco (3 minutes away), then a few more at Target (5 minutes away), and then we grab some groceries at Metcalfe's (6 minutes away) that cost a fourth of what I'm used to paying and drive on home with the rest of the day ahead of us to play and unpack. And as we pull up to "Mommy's house," I can't help but feel the urge to pinch myself--because this is just way, way, way too close to what I've always dreamed of.
I am one blessed little girl.