the city of angels

surprise! josh is going to ucla. absolutely, positively, the final decision is finally made. not ONCE (since we've made this decision a few times by now) but definitely for ALL. that's right, we're leaving utah on friday, august 21st, to arrive in our new home in los angeles on saturday the 22nd. (the photos are of ucla's campus, from march when josh went out to visit and interview at ucla...)
some of you are imagining we're heading to duke and north carolina next month. yes, that was plan A. then, ucla complicated things by offering josh a sweet scholarship. so we thought about it and decided that it was already a close decision before, now the scales tipped in favor of the west coast. then, to complicate things FURTHER, we thought we'd wait and see if duke would pony up. of course, neither of us thought they would. these mba programs have about 20% acceptance rates, and given that they still admit about 400 students a year...well, they obviously don't exactly need to pay people to get them to show up. and competition is fierce for any funding they do offer. so we just threw that in for entertainment's sake. lo and behold, duke came back with lots of $$! i should have known better than to underestimate my hard-working 4.0/780-on-the-GMAT/Goldman Sachs-loves-him smarty-pants. of course they're willing to pay to get him there! unfortunately, they were willing to pay almost exactly what ucla was (despite having no idea of his other offer). that put us back to square one. good thing is by now we have housing and schools for the kids set up in both places. we've been in touch with people in josh's program and their spouses and people from church. etc. so we would be set either way...

so why ucla? who knows! honestly, it's one of those decisions between two great things you just have to make. we have no doubt both places would have been awesome and love so many things about each of them. one thing we did learn is that josh can get in-state tuition in california. random, since for the past 12 years he's lived in hawaii, mongolia, and utah. but since he went to all four years of high school in orange county, CA and graduated from fountain valley high--he still qualifies. so that will still save us $15k over the 2 years. not exactly petty cash. other bonuses: relative proximity to family and friends; perfect weather; close to beach (josh is a major warm weather/beach nut and already has our 6 year old joshua convinced that he needs to learn to surf ASAP); another HUGE factor is that we think california may be a good place for us long term. lots of job opportunities for josh, lots of great phd programs for me, etc. so it simply makes sense to network and build contacts there. of course we're also aware of the high cost of living and the crazy congestion...but i'm planning on winning the lottery, so we're not going to worry about the first one too much. and the second, well, lots of people also means lots of opportunities. and from living in salt lake (granted, a tiny fraction of the size of LA) we've learned that it doesn't matter if you're in a city, in fact we LOVE it, as long as you have your neighborhood, a reasonable commute, and have some escape to the outdoors (and we'll be super close to the beach and pretty close to mountains--sweet!) so that's the call.
we'll be out in exactly 10 weeks folks. FINALLY! woohoo! come visit!
and here's a little of my hippie girl joni mitchell singing the praises of california: "it's too old and cold and settled in it's way here...oh but california...california!...i might have stayed on with him there, but my heart cried out for you california...oh california...will you take me as i am, strung out on another man...california i'm a-comin home"