Aside from announcing we are moving to Boulder, Colorado and found an apartment in Superior, I haven't given many details of our biggest (known) event of 2017.
We signed a contract for a town-home starting February 11, 2017. We have our apartment in Provo until February 20. Before the Holidays, Rich signed paperwork saying the movers (hired and paid for by NIST) would load up and the kids and I would fly to Denver by February 16th. Rich will drive our car out and miles will be reimbursed and the flights McKay, Macey and I take would also be paid for.
Ideally, we would have taken a house hunting trip months ago but the costs wouldn't be covered until Rich's defense paperwork was completed. Since his defense wasn't until December 7th, then it took until the 12th to be finalized and then NIST didn't receive the official ok from BYU until the week before Christmas and then with everyone being out of the office...it's been a long process. Last we heard, an optimistic date for a HH trip would be the first weekend in February, yes you read that right, less than two weeks before we move we can have a house hunting trip paid for, maybe. Good thing we didn't wait and signed for our apartment when we did!
I'm still a little nervous that we haven't stepped foot into our new home, but I console myself that even if the layout is a bummer, we scored a whole month of free rent and we were told that we will be the first tenants living in the unit renovated! That means new carpet, appliances, granite counter tops, paint + the works will be brand new! Plus, we have an attached garage that I can't stop dreaming about. Currently, we are in a middle unit and as I've looked to see if there is an end unit available to switch to I keep getting this feeling that the apartment we have signed for is the best one for us. It's so comforting to have that feeling of peace.
If you haven't gotten stressed out yet, here is the final kicker. Rich was called by his new boss about six weeks ago and was informed that Donald Trump may invoke a hiring freeze on Federal Employees when he takes office. And guess what working at NIST makes you? A Federal Employee. If this freeze takes effect before Rich is sworn in as a Federal Employee and if it applies to Post-Doctorates Rich will not be able to start work until its over, our move will not be paid for, no HH trip, and we will move to Superior, out of pocket, with no income while paying twice as much for rent as we do now. Staying in Provo until this potential freeze is over isn't an option because there are new tenants moving into our current apartment March 1 and to get out of our Superior lease is $3,000. So we would still move and hope the freeze is short lived.
In a perfect world, Rich would be sworn in as a Federal Employee before Trump takes office but that has to take place the pay period before his Inauguration which would be January 9th. We don't even think our lucky stars in Heaven can make that happen. Currently, we pray that the freeze either a.) won't happen b.) won't affect us, I mean Post-Docs are cheap labor! c.) won't be placed until Rich has been sworn in.
Remember when we found out Rich's proposal score was an unprecedented 91/100? There was no doubt in our mind that a Post-Doc offer would follow and we were thrilled. Thankfully an offer did follow and we couldn't have been more excited. Fast forward a few weeks and Rich met with Ken (new NIST boss) while at a SLC convention. During their conversation, Rich was told he originally didn't make the cut for a Post-Doc offer. The applicants that year were the highest scoring the committee had ever seen and there wasn't a spot for Rich. When Ken found this out he vouched/begged/pleaded/what have you, to get Rich on. And by some miracle it worked.
Remember further back to when Rich went to Portugal to present his Research in May? That was Rich's first introduction to Ken. Little did we know the connection they made across the globe, would be the deciding factor in our future.
Thinking about a hiring freeze and how it could truly damper our plans, I can't help but reflect on the many tender mercies we've received to get us this far. I know we are meant to be in Boulder, I know NIST is meant for Rich, I know down to the exact apartment we are meant to be there and I know whatever happens is meant to happen.