Moving to Las Vegas – Our Story

moving to vegas 5.1

We have lived  in Las Vegas for almost a year now. Sometimes it feels like we’ve just moved and sometimes it feels like we’ve been here forever. I think that’s how it goes for a lot of life though. Time seems to fly and stand still at almost the same moment. What’s the saying? The days are long but the years are short. That seems to fit. The kids have gone through a whole school year, hubby has been at his job for almost 2 years, and I’m starting to find my way around without getting lost every time I get in the car. So how did we get here? In a city and state I never thought I would live in, leaving a house I never thought I would move from. I will try to make this story as short as possible and at the same time I hope to give enough detail so that some of you who might be going through the same thing won’t feel the eye of judgement upon you like I have at times.


We’ve lived in several states as a family and moved because we wanted to and thought of it as an adventure, but the last time we moved was back to Utah and while I thought we were probably going to stay put, I wasn’t sure of it until we moved into our last house. It felt permanent. Oh boy, was I wrong! Never say never, right?!

4th of July 2011 016

Hubby is a computer programmer and because of that we have been blessed with enough money to raise our large family. No, not a little large, very large. We have 8 kids. In Maryland we only had 3 and we were on the large side, in Florida we had 4 and that was pretty large, then we moved back to Utah and had a total of 8. Even for Utah that was large. Even with his profession and me working probably half of our married life we had years of struggles, but nothing compared to the last few years. Hubby lost his job many years ago, so we sold a lot of stuff, even our house and rented for a couple years. We even almost moved out of state again. He got another job after several months, it was close to our rental home and pretty perfect. After being at that job for a little over a year we were back on our feet and bought our “permanent home”.

Syracuse House

I won’t go into the details of the house. It wasn’t extravagant, but large enough to house my large family and we were very happy there. It was close to hubby’s work and in an area we wanted to live. The schools were good and my kids had a lot of friends. Heck, I had a lot of friends. I started this blog there. It felt good and where we were going to continue raising our family. And then that changed. Hubby was laid off of his perfect job. There were more months of unemployment. He had a side job and I was bringing in some money, but we were zooming through our savings fast. This is where you kind of learn who your friends are, there are awkward avoidances, pity looks, and even rumors. Hmmm, that was a weird time. Oh, don’t get me wrong there were also great friends and many blessings. But at times I felt like we had done some horrible thing by losing our job.

ammon and dad

So, yeah the money part. That was pretty much gone and we were sinking. We had food storage, so that was good, but there was no money for extras and kids cost money. There were school supplies, shoes, clothes, everyday necessities and such that needed to be bought and it was hard. We didn’t want to see this affect the kids but after so many months there was no getting around it. The lessons and extracurricular activities had to stop. That was probably the hardest for me… I cried (a lot). And then there was more gossip and pity and friendship and kindness. And sometimes kindness comes from the most unexpected places. People who don’t personally know you but whom you’ve actually had a relationship with for years. Like, hi how are you? Or thank you for your deposit is there anything else we can help you with? Or here’s some smarties for your little one, have a nice day! We had been members of America First Credit Union for years and were recognized when we walked in our local branch. Even when I was only there with change jar in hand trying to get it converted to “real money” from the change machine in the lobby, they were kind.

Dollar General kitchen organizing 18

Then came the time when we were at the “how are we even going to buy milk and bread” phase. Not a good phase! We made an appointment to go in and talk to a finance counselor at the Credit Union. Okay, this is where I have to put in, if you’re in trouble talk to people. Yeah, I know it’s hard and yeah, there might even be some judgements, but do those people really matter to you. No, not to me anymore. But we found some relief through the Credit Union and it gave me hope that we just might make it through this terrible time. Hubby found a job at 30 hours a week, not full time but it was such a relief to have a little money coming in. Within 3 months he was full time and we were in heaven. He was getting paid less but we were determined to cut back and make it work. The Credit Union continued to work with us to get caught up on our payments and we were finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.


Then hubby lost his job again. I won’t name names but this company wanted him to get them up to date and current on a particular project then they planned on laying him off. This was the plan all along and the only ones left out of the loop was us. At least during that time I had gotten the kids caught up on dentist and doctors appointments while we had insurance. It was a short lived joy and the blow was even harder this time. Hubby immediately started looking for work with no luck in our area. I had a sinking feeling and a pit in my stomach that things were only going to get worse. Luckily hubby found a job the next day but not close to home, not even in the same state. He continued looking for work in the area while also preparing to move on his own. I still don’t know if that was the right or wrong thing to do at the time but we were doing our best.

Moving to Vegas

Hubby moved to Las Vegas and I stayed in Utah with the kids. I was basically a single mom most days and we saw hubby (and dad) for 2-3 days about every 3 weeks. It was hard and I hated it! We all did! The kids finished the school year while hubby continued looking for work back home. It just wasn’t happening. Sometimes things are out of our control. We don’t know why, we do our best, we try to make good decisions and things just happen. I tried not to complain, I tried to stay upbeat, I tried to put on a good face but I was drowning. And hubby wasn’t fairing much better, he was lonely and missed his family. None the less, we had decided to continue living apart and searching for work then 3 weeks before school was going to start, things changed. We needed to move, it was the right thing to do. There was so much to do in 3 short weeks: put the house up for sale, pack, clean, transfer schools (we had one in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary school), shots, cancel utilities, find a new place to live, pick new classes at school, have 2 yard sales, and on and on and on. It seemed like a never ending list and I really don’t remember sleeping much. I think hubby came home once during that time. There was so much to do that I didn’t have time to think. That was probably a good thing. I just did what needed to be done.

moving to Vegas 2.1

One of the other things we were really worried about was finances. It takes money to move. We did it as cheaply as possible and it was still in the thousands. We sold about half our house so we could fit everything in one truck and it still didn’t fit. We still had to go back a few weeks later with a smaller truck to get the remainder of our things. Hubby was making more money now but we had also been supporting 2 households so we were still really strapped. There was so much to do and so many adjustments to make. Those few weeks are such a blur. I worried about everything even things out of my control. Not a good place to be. At least the only thing we had to do at the Credit Union was go on line and change our address. I wish everything had been that simple.

moving to vegas 3.1

So where are we now? Things are getting better. We’re back on track and feeling more secure. I don’t feel like I’m under the eye of judgement anymore except for a few people that don’t really matter. It takes time to adjust and we’ve been through that time and are starting to feel like we’re home. The kids all had their best year in school, they’ve made good friends, and are in extra curricular activities. We love the area of Las Vegas we live in, the schools, and our church. There is so much to do here and we’ve loved exploring the area. As with anything else familiarity makes any adjustment easier. I’m happy to have most of the stores I’m used to shopping at close by, even familiar restaurants are a comfort, but one of the biggest comforts was being able to still be a member of America First Credit Union. They were there for us when we needed it, they made our life and situation easier, they understood that sometimes things are out of your control and it’s not your fault. They made us feel like they cared about us and genuinely wanted to help us get back to where we needed to be. Having someone in your corner when things are looking bleak makes all the difference in the world.

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Doreen Forbush August 7, 2014, 8:26 am

    I wanted to tell you how impressed I am with you and your family. My heart felt for you. My Son-in-law lost his job out of the blue and through no fault of his own. (Company moved all their customer Service operations to Mexico). As he’s been through the job search process there have been many who also have been supportive but some who have not (placing blame, making comments) and I have told my daughter that this is an opportunity to see peoples true colors and weed those negative people from her life. The worst part from my perspective has been the blow to his ego. Men (real Men) want to be the providers, that’s part of their identity. Thanks for sharing your story. We tend to keep our problems in the closet hidden from judging eyes but the truth is in sharing them many other take strength in know that they are not the only ones going through something. Thank you and may the window of heaven open to your family. Sincerely, Doreen

  • WendysHat August 7, 2014, 8:47 am

    That’s a beautiful story Leanne! You really find out who your true friends are when you go through a tough time of any type. It’s great the you had a credit union to back you up too. I’m happy that this tough time brought you to Las Vegas because I got to meet you and can call you my friend! Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Jeanine August 7, 2014, 9:00 am

    All I can say is that made me cry! I miss you so much -everytime I want to go to Hobby Lobby I start to call you 🙁 I can’t wait to see you in 2 1/2 weeks
    Love you lots!

  • Holly August 7, 2014, 9:07 am

    So glad I’ve met you Leanne and you’re so brave to tell your story. Hugs! Holly 🙂

  • Camille August 7, 2014, 9:08 am

    Well, I for one am happy that your family landed in Vegas! We went through a time of unemployment in our first years of marriage and it is not fun. It’s not fun to have to say no to dinner invitations, movies, and play dates because you don’t have the extra food to bring a snack. It is not fun and I’m sorry people were mean. But what a blessing to have such a great credit union so you didn’t have to add “lost our house” to the list of tough times! Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Amanda Jacobs August 7, 2014, 9:09 am

    Made me Cry! I love you mom (:

  • Kara August 7, 2014, 9:19 am

    America First came to our community a couple of years ago and have always been great to work with. I’m so glad they helped you through a difficult time. We are looking at the prospects of moving due to work and it is scary to think about leaving behind your comforts and going into the unknown. I’m so glad things have worked out for you in Las Vegas!

  • Abbie from Lovin' Our Chaos August 7, 2014, 9:50 am

    I can relate to your story on so many levels! Unemployment or ‘under’ employed is never easy. After a few years of similar situations, we too are finally finding our footing again. So happy you are here in Las Vegas though! Its been amazing getting to know you! And so glad to hear such great things about America First Credit Union!

  • Amy | The Happy Scraps August 7, 2014, 11:08 am

    Oh, Leanne! I had no idea just how hard the unemployment and living apart were for you. 🙁 I miss seeing you at things here in Utah, but I am glad that you are together as a family. I can’t believe it’s been a year since you moved. I’m happy for you that Vegas is feeling like home. Moving can be so hard.
    My sister used to work for AFCU, and she absolutely loved it! I’m pretty sure she wishes she still worked there. 🙂 It’s nice to know that there are financial institutions out there that are willing to help!

  • Lisa August 7, 2014, 11:28 am

    Wow 8 kids go you!!! I never knew that. I think that’s amazing I would love a huge family like that!!
    Your story is amazing. I thought that we were hard up sometimes. But I’m so glad yous are getting on better!! Such a feel good story!!

  • Maggie August 7, 2014, 1:32 pm

    Thanks so much for being so open and honest. That is sad that people basically shunned you when things got bad. We all need to remember extra kindness and love in times like that. I too worked at America First C.U. (as a previous commenter mentioned). I bank at the one here in North Las Vegas and I totally love it! They are a great company and it’s good to hear that you had such a great experience with them. Yay!!! Welcome to Nevada. Welcome to Southern Nevada Bloggers! I would love to meet you in person sometime soon.

  • Meegan August 7, 2014, 3:04 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing such a heart-felt post. You NEVER know what’s happening in someone’s life, do you? I am so happy you ended up in Vegas and have found new friends and support. I am also glad you had an institution to back you.
    Such a blessing.
    Make it a fabulous day, Leanne.

  • Jenny Layton August 7, 2014, 3:09 pm

    What an inspiring post! Thank you!

  • Christine August 7, 2014, 3:44 pm

    I want to thank you for sharing that heartfelt and humbling story with me. Here I am kind of feeling sorry for myself because I had my own son do something that really hurt my heart and I am wondering where I went wrong and look at what you are overcoming and you are upbeat and still strong! The feeling I am taking away from your message is….. things always get better and just keep going…..My little setback is one in a thousand journeys left to take.

    So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • Rebecca August 7, 2014, 8:42 pm

    I know how you feel! We went through a few years of this. Had to go to food pantries. Lost our house. It was miserable. And people acted like we did this on purpose! These supposed friends turned ugly. I learned a lot from what we went through, and feel I have a much more open heart to help people because of it. It sounds like you do to. You are so brave to share this all. Thank you! Hugs!

  • marissa | Rae Gun Ramblings August 7, 2014, 9:26 pm

    oh man Leanne I’m so glad things are better. I remember before you moved and just thinking how hard it would be to be separated and in charge of the kids all on your own. You are a rockstar

  • Kaysi @ Keeping it Simple August 7, 2014, 9:39 pm

    I’m so sorry that you had to go through all of that!! It’s so hard to hear about people’s struggles, especially you just admire and adore them like I adore you!! I’m glad that things are getting better and it is looking up for you!

  • Paula August 9, 2014, 11:03 am

    What a moving story! I almost cried…You’re doing great – If your husband, your kids & you are all happy, then to heck with the rest!!!

  • Jamie Kaufmann August 9, 2014, 3:18 pm

    Aw Leanne, you are such a gem for sharing your story. Wow, I had no idea things were so rocky for you. I’m SO glad you are on the other side now. My brother is in Las Vegas, with his wife and adorable daughter. If I ever get there to visit, I may look you up and give you a hug. You will always be one of my favorite creative minds. I don’t get to read blogs as much as I used to, but I’m always stopping to see what you are up to when you come across my screen on FB, Google+, etc. Your children probably learned so much from this experience, nothing is for naught. I will be praying that things stay up for you and that you can settle into your forever home sooner than later. 🙂 Hugs…Jamie

  • Holly @ Bits of Everything August 11, 2014, 10:36 am

    My family moved when I was 15 years old. It was so hard! Reading your story brought back a lot of memories. So glad it has worked out and you are doing good! Yay!

  • Laura July 15, 2015, 1:47 pm

    HI Leanne! Im finding this post a year late, but at the perfect time for me and my family. We have decided to move to Las Vegas. And the location we are looking at is Rhode Ranch off Durango. I would LOVE to be able chat with you about schools, the community and housing. If you have time, I know being a mom its hard to find extra time, please email me 🙂
    Soon to be Neighbors,

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