The Big Move

by Jenn (eating bender) on August 24, 2012

Nearly three and a half years since I made a lighthearted prediction, it’s actually coming true.

Less than two weeks from now, Bobby and I will be driving seven years of Chicago memories (four years at school in Evanston and three in the working world downtown) across the country. Why?


If you had told me back in, oh, July that we’d be scrambling to “relet” our lease and sell nearly every piece of furniture we own on Craigslist in a span of roughly two weeks in August, I would have laughed. The fact that this is happening has yet to officially hit me, but we couldn’t be more excited and I am so glad that I can finally share more of the details with all of you!

To make a long story short, Bobby was recently offered a new job with a company down in Tempe. Fortunately, the work I do gives me the flexibility to live anywhere, and so after a lot of discussion and more than a few celebratory cheers within the walls of our apartment, we decided to go for it. Arizona has always been on our radar as a place we wanted to live, and we feel so fortunate that we’ve been given the opportunity to turn that dream into a reality.

As you might be able to guess, the Benders are pretty excited about it, too. 😉

The kicker is that Bobby will be starting on September 10. Between our visit to San Diego and our upcoming trip to Minnesota, that leaves us with approximately one weekend and six remaining week days to sell, pack, sell, pack, sell, pack…in other words, we have a lot of work to do!

Luckily for us, we have a place to stay once we complete our road trip. We’ll be hanging out with the Benders for a couple of months while we get acquainted with the Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale area and begin scoping out a more permanent place to live. Our lives are about to get even busier, which seems impossible, but I know we can handle it.

I am so proud of Bobby and can’t wait to see what he’ll accomplish in his new role. It will be so nice to be near my parents and brother (who just started college on Tuesday!), my mom’s extended family, as well as Cara, Jim and the girls. This move symbolizes a new chapter in many ways and although it is very bittersweet to leave Chicago, a city I adore, I know this is not goodbye. There are too many great friends and memories here for that to be the case…not to mention the fact that we still have season tickets to the Northwestern football games. 😉 We’ll be back before we know it.

Until then, I’ll miss this view…

…but can’t wait until I can officially call this view “home.”

Cheers! And to anyone reading this in Arizona…I would love to connect with you once we get there. Send me an email at so we can arrange something!


1 Lauren August 24, 2012 at 7:06 am

Wow, how thrilling but scary at the same time! What a wonderful new chapter this will be for the two of you. Congratulations girl! :)

2 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:24 am

Thank you, Lauren! I think you captured it perfectly – thrilling and scary! :)

3 Karla August 24, 2012 at 7:30 am

Congratulations, Jenn and Bobby!!! So pumped for the exciting opportunities ahead for both of you. Best of luck with the packing!

And you worded it perfectly: “I know this is not goodbye.” :)
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4 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:25 am

Hurray! Thanks so much, Karla! :)

5 brandi August 24, 2012 at 7:37 am

congrats – that’s so exciting!!! i hope everything goes well in the next couple of weeks!

6 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:26 am

Thanks so much, Brandi – it’s going to be a whirlwind!

7 Molly August 24, 2012 at 8:13 am

I am SO jealous! So many people I love live in Tempe now. If it weren’t for the summer heat, I’d probably already be living there too :) Congrats and good luck on the big move! So happy for you both!

8 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:26 am

Thanks, Molly! Let me know the next time you’re in Arizona visiting friends. I’d love to meet up with you!

9 Caroline August 24, 2012 at 8:15 am

That’s so exciting!! Congrats! Good luck with the move and everything!
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10 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:27 am

Thank you, Caroline!!

11 elizabeth @ chronic venture August 24, 2012 at 9:19 am

Congrats on the move and good luck!!

12 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:32 am

Thanks so much, Elizabeth!!

13 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner August 24, 2012 at 9:42 am

What an exciting new journey! Good luck packin’ up and shippin’ out. :)
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14 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:33 am

Haha – thank you, Chelsea!! :)

15 Karyn Brianne August 24, 2012 at 10:03 am

Congrats, Jenn!!! This is awesome and I think that you will love Arizona.
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16 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:33 am

Thanks so much, Karyn! I think I will love it, too. I truly appreciate your support!

17 Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) August 24, 2012 at 10:17 am

Sooooo excited for u! And you’ll be closer tome in Palm Springs! You must visit there some time and therefore see meeeeeeeee!

18 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:34 am

Yes I will! I promise you it will happen – and you are welcome in AZ anytime, of course!

19 Kelly August 24, 2012 at 10:31 am

Congratulations! I hope the move goes as smoothly as these things can. I drove cross country back and forth from Chicago, so if you’d like to know what you HAVE to see on your trip, let me know!
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20 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:36 am

I would LOVE to hear more about things you saw during your cross-country drives. We’re debating a stop in Denver, but Kansas City (we have family there) and Albuquerque for sure. Did you ever end up there?

21 Kelly August 28, 2012 at 9:50 am

On the way out there, we drove through Denver and stayed one night in Vail. The food and sites in Denver were amazing. It also gave us a chance to see the arches in Utah and the Grand Canyon.
On the way back from Arizona, my sister and I had an epic road trip, passing through Hatch, NM, during the Hatch Chili Festival. We also stopped in Amarillo, Texas, which is where they have the old cars sticking out of the ground that you can spray paint. That was quite cool. We also went to Oklahoma for one night before passing through St. Louis to see the arch.
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22 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 10:01 am

This is fantastic information – thanks, Kelly! We were looking into Amarillo and Oklahoma, too. I had no idea Amarillo had old cars with spray paint and just looked it up online. So cool! It looks like we are just missing the Hatch Chile Festival by a couple of days. I truly appreciate you sharing this with me!

23 Kelly August 28, 2012 at 11:08 am

I’m happy to share. The place in Amarillo is called the Cadillac Ranch and it’s a bit out of town, just off the highway. It’s nearby places to stop for lunch, so it could be a good place to stretch your legs.
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24 Natalie @ will jog for food August 24, 2012 at 11:07 am

How exciting!!! We moved from Florida to California and had 1 weekend and about 10 days to pack and sell. We were so lucky one of my hubby’s interns bought almost all of our stuff. I know all of this is stressful, but it will get done sooner than you know and you will be SO happy :)
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25 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:37 am

That’s super lucky – I love it! Thank you so much, Natalie. I needed to hear that! :)

26 Shannon August 24, 2012 at 11:45 am

congrats!! good luck with all the craziness, and think that it might just be better getting it all done that fast 😉 yay more bender time!!
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27 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:37 am

I think you might be right, Shannon! I always work better under pressure. :) Thanks!!

28 Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) August 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm

congrats on the move!
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29 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:38 am

Thanks so much, Kelli!

30 Cara (Twinthusiast) August 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Enjoy the last days!
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31 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:38 am

Thanks, Cara!!

32 Megan (Braise The Roof) August 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Wow, you sure have a busy end of summer season!! I’m excited for you two and I’m sure your family is over the moon that you’ll be so close! :) Good luck with the move orchestrations!
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33 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:43 am

Thank you, Megan! I’m hoping to keep my head on straight. :)

34 Erica August 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Tempe is fantastic! SUCH a wonderful downtown and just beautiful. Ah! I could explode with excitement for you two :)
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35 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:44 am

Yay! Thank you, Erica! I know you’ve been a huge supporter of this for a while (even since I posted that I would live there some day three years ago). You rock. :)

36 Susan August 24, 2012 at 10:30 pm

A loss for Chicago is a win for Phoenix! Exciting times! Can’t wait to hear all about it next week. :)

37 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:45 am

Thanks, Susan! Can’t wait to see you and the Bear! :)

38 Chelsey August 25, 2012 at 5:44 am

Congrats! I’ve lived in Tempe for 6 years now and absolutely love it! There’s so much to do here it never gets old.

39 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:46 am

I’m so glad to hear that, Chelsey! I would love to grab coffee with you sometime once we’re settled in. If you’re interested, shoot me an email at! :)

40 jassy August 25, 2012 at 7:45 pm

congrats!!! i hope you will have lots of adventure in tempe! is it always hot in arizona?
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41 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:47 am

Thanks, Jassy! That’s a great question. :) It’s typically hottest there from June through August/September. It’s nice in the fall and then gets down to the 50s in the winter. Most of the year is pretty warm, though!

42 glidingcalm August 26, 2012 at 12:09 am

weeeeeeeeeeeeeee! So exciting, Jenn! Wishing you luck with the relocation! hope it is as pain-free as a move can be! and HURRAY! now I have an excuse to visit AZ! :) I loved it both times I visited!

many hugs and congrats to Bobby!
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43 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:48 am

Thank you, GC! We are so pumped and yes, fingers crossed that it is pain-free! You must come back to AZ sometime – you’ll always have a place to stay!

44 Brittany August 26, 2012 at 7:59 am

I couldn’t be more excited for you and Bobby. Congrats on his new job and best of luck getting everything squared away before the big move. I know you’ll be able to do it!!!

I’ve only been to Arizona once, when I was very young, so I’ll have to come visit sometime once you all are settled in. :)
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45 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:49 am

Thank you so much, Britt! You are welcome in Arizona ANYTIME. You will always have a place to stay! :)

46 Brittany August 28, 2012 at 10:35 am

Yay! Same goes for you and Richmond. :)
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47 BroccoliHut August 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Yay! So happy for you! Living near family is such a blessing :)

48 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:49 am

I couldn’t agree more, Caroline. Thanks so much! :)

49 Dr. Mark August 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Chicago is an awesome town. Given a choice between Miami, New York, LA, or Chicago, I pick Chicago every time. However, most people don’t miss the snow, and that is one awesome advantage :) Best of luck!
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50 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:50 am

I would definitely agree with that! Chicago rocks – we’ll miss it a lot! But we are excited for the warm winters. :) Thanks!

51 julie August 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm

this is so exciting that you’re moving! you and Bobby will have such an amazing time in AZ – better watch out for that heat! i guess its once extreme to another haha from the Chi-town winters to the AZ heat! can’t wait to see how everything goes! xox
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52 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 9:51 am

Eeeeeee! Thanks, Julie! It was a crazy whirlwind of a decision. We are definitely trading extreme winters for summers. Can’t wait. :) And my offer still stands even from all the way across the country…you are welcome anytime!

53 Debbie August 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Congratulations! You all will love your new home! Please keep updating your blog, I enjoy reading it!

54 Jenn (eating bender) September 19, 2012 at 12:39 am

Thanks, Debbie! I will definitely keep updating and appreciate the kind words. :)

55 melissa @ tryingtoheal September 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm

i cant wait to come and visit you in az! there is still so much of it i havent seen adn would love to! environmental road trip?!?!?! i will come visit a soon as i come back from peru!
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56 Marianne September 18, 2012 at 11:15 pm

As always, I’m horribly late to comment, but how exciting to be moving back to your home state. In fact, I guess you are already there.
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57 Jenn (eating bender) September 19, 2012 at 12:40 am

Thank you, Marianne! It is very exciting – it’s hard to believe we finally made the jump!

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