An update on our lives in Dallas, after living here for two and a half years. What we love, what we don’t love, how long we plan to stay, and more.
I cannot believe it, but we’ve lived in Dallas for two and a half years next month!
Where has the time gone? I can’t even believe it. Of course COVID has made everything move by at lightning speed, so that’s a year and a half right there.
But still, here we are two and a half years later and I wanted to give a little update on our lives in Dallas. What we love, what we don’t love, how long we plan to stay here, and more.
When we moved here in February of 2019, we moved into a rental home. We rented it for five months, thinking our home build would be done by then, but (of course) things were behind schedule.
Our landlord at the rental home didn’t let us stay for an extra month, so we were forced to move out, put all our things in storage, and move into a hotel for a month.
We moved into our home at the end of July 2019, and then began the year of house projects.
I’ve shared a bunch of home projects here on the blog…
- Our shared walk-in closet
- We converted our balcony into a home gym
- Our outdoor living space and backyard
- Our home office that Philip and I share now that he works from home
- The fun wallpaper mural map we put in our upstairs hallway
- Our home theater with wall paneling
- Our playroom with a DIY wallpaper mural
- Our transitional living room with a rainbow bookshelf (and more details on the rainbow bookshelf)
- Our upstairs loft homework room
- The colorful kids playroom
- Our kitchen and breakfast nook
- Sanny’s woodland themed bedroom
- Our laundry room with the stenciled walls
- Our neutral master bedroom
Some things we love about Texas
The people here REALLY are as kind as everyone says.
- People wave and say hello and small talk everywhere you go. When we’re at the grocery store, out for a run, at the dry cleaner, or the park, or anywhere, people go out of their way to be friendly and kind. I’ve gone back to California a few times since moving here and I’m always shocked at the stark difference in friendliness. I’ve tried hard to become one of those extra friendly people too, smiling and waving everywhere I go. It’s contagious.
There are all four seasons
- I didn’t realize how much I’d love this, but coming from California where it’s very steady all year round, I really enjoy having the different seasons. The seasons aren’t as dramatic as other places, and of course it’s very hot and humid in the summer, but we have gorgeous springs, cold but not usually snowy winters (except for the snowpocalypse of February 2021), and beautiful falls.
- We live in a neighborhood with a lot of trees down the middle of the street, and they turn beautiful vibrant colors in the fall, bloom in the spring, and turn lush green in the summer. It’s a gift to drive down our neighborhood streets everyday and see those beautiful trees.
Cost of living is lower
- Most places have a cheaper cost of living than California, let’s be honest. But truly it is significantly cheaper to live here, and we love having no state income tax!
Lots of families
- There are tons of smaller cities and areas surrounding Dallas that are very family friendly, with good schools, lots of young kids, plus lots of things to do. I won’t share our exact city for privacy’s sake, but any of the areas north of Dallas and in the Fort Worth area are worth checking out if you’re looking to move here.
Close access to a large airport
- We travel a lot, so it’s great living by a big airport. The airport itself is like a small city and not super fun to navigate, but it’s great to have so many flight options. We have lots of friends who work for American Airlines because Dallas is one of their major hubs, and we almost exclusively fly American now because there are so many flights out of DFW airport.
Some things we don’t love about Texas
So many bugs.
- Yep, everything really is bigger in Texas. The spiders in particular are huge. We live on a green belt, so we probably get more bugs than normal. We have lots of mosquitos, but we get our yard sprayed every month so thankfully we don’t have too much trouble with them. Although if we go to the park or for a hike, I’m always the one who comes home with mosquito bite souvenirs. They love me. We also get mud dauber wasps, which don’t seem to sting, but they build their little mud houses all over our house. I actually bought two of these sticky traps and it caught dozens of them in the summer when they were out in full force.
- Thankfully we’ve only seen one tiny snake in our garage, and other wild animal sightings are rare unless it’s dead on the side of the road.
The humidity mixed with the heat
- Of course everyone asks about the humidity. Yes, it’s very humid. But honestly we’re getting used to it! It’s pretty terrible to be outside in the middle of the summer with the heat and humidity, so we stay inside as much as we can. If it’s too hot and humid, the kids have indoor recess at school, and everything (as always in hot places) is super over air conditioned inside. So prepare to bring a sweater to the movie theater.
- There’s kind of a weird feeling of being landlocked here. We live in an area with a lot of lakes, but still it feels odd to have no mountains or water around anywhere. When you fly in, you see nothing but flat, flat land in every direction.
Less to do outside
- Because of the heat and the flat land, there’s less to do outside. In our area, we do have some “hiking” trails and we could kayak on the lake, but there aren’t places to easily rent, and the hot weather and excessive bugs make it less enjoyable to do these things for a big chunk of the year. But during the colder months, we definitely take advantage of being outside more.
Do we plan to stay here long term?
We moved here for Philip’s job promotion, and it’s possible that his job could move us again at some point. We don’t know for sure either way. But ideally we would love to stay here long term and let the boys do all of their school here until they move out.
The boys love it here. They love their schools, they have great friends, we have a nice, quiet neighborhood with wonderful neighbors, and we love our church community. We honestly are so happy and would love to stay here for her long haul.
Answer to some of your other questions
Have we started saying y’all?
- Ha! Nope. And I have no plans to start…
Do we like living so close to a big city? Or does it stress you out at times?
- We live about 35 minutes away from Dallas, so we don’t get the crazy traffic. We go into Dallas very rarely, honestly. I thought we’d go more often, but we have everything we need up here. We live in an area with tons of open green space, so it feels much quieter and calm. We love it.
Do our kids have to wear masks in school? Or is it optional?
- It is optional, but encouraged, in our area.
What do we set our inside temperature to?
- Right now when it’s between 95 and 100 degrees F outside, we have it set to 76 degrees inside.
Is it worth the heat?
- That depends! I’m a pretty low key person, so that kind of thing isn’t a deal breaker. But Philip and I both grew up in hot places (Las Vegas and Phoenix) so we’ve endured the heat. Humid heat is much different, but it’s all still hot.
Do you feel like that are a decent amount of LDS people in the area?
- We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and yes, there are lots of members in the area! But also lots of members of other faiths. Many other Christian denominations. We’ve met so many amazing people of all religious faiths through the kid’s school friends mostly, but also our city has a large congregation of our faith and there are lots of other congregations of our faith in the area.
Are the wards welcoming and friendly?
- Wards are what we call our church congregations. And yes! Ours has been extremely friendly and I’ve heard great things about others in the area.
Do you get hate from locals for moving there?
- MANY of people in this area are Texas transplants too, and many of those people came from California too. We understand how Texans feel protective of their state, and we try to be very respectful of that, but we’ve been met with nothing but kindness since moving here.
Do you hate Houston now? I’ve heard there’s such a rivalry!
- There may be a rivalry, but we like Houston! We stayed there for a day last year on our way to Galveston and loved it, and we plan to go back!
What was your process of adjusting/finding your way around once you moved in?
- At first, I felt like Philip drove everywhere when we went out as a family, so I actually had a hard time getting my bearings for a while. I think the easiest thing to do is drive and explore and go to different grocery stores or other stores in the surrounding area until you get a good lay of the land. Once I started doing that, I felt pretty confident with the area within a few months.
Is it busy in the city where you live? Or do you live in the suburbs?
- we’re in the suburbs! Our city is small and quiet — we don’t even have a stop light! We have big fields of cows across the freeway, and a big green belt behind our neighborhood. We have deer in there, and at night we can hear coyotes and wild pigs. But we also have towns with Target and Walmart and every other store you could think of in the neighboring towns, so we’re definitely not out in the country. It’s actually just perfect for us.
Do you ever get used to the insane drivers?
- Moving from California, I’d say the drivers here are excellent in comparison.
I saw you don’t run at certain times because of safety…is it not safe? Or is that just a precaution?
- Our area is actually very safe and very quiet. And I’m not running on trails – just through the neighborhoods. There are people constantly out walking their dogs and running and biking. But I don’t like to go by myself early in the mornings when it’s dark mostly because I’m freaked out about wild animals, and also just want to be smart. Running in the dark, no matter where I am, just feels a little scary.
Do you ever wish you could live outside of Dallas? Houston perhaps, or Austin?
- I really like both of those cities — we’ve visited both (and my sisters both lived in Austin for a few years). But I still would pick Dallas! It has that old charm and hospitality that just feels right for our family.
How did you deal with humidity and temperature change coming from California?
- I was nervous about this, but we moved in early February so the weather here was actually freezing when we arrived. We wore coats and boots for the next few months, which was an exciting change from California’s 70 degrees. Our first summer was actually a fairly mild one, and we lived in the hotel for the entire month of July, so we blasted the air conditioner to our heart’s content and spent a lot of time at the pool.
- My biggest advice is just to use deodorant, wear lightweight clothes, stay inside when you can, and don’t bother complaining about it because it doesn’t make it go away.
- We also got a membership to our local water park and spend a lot of weekends there, and also we are members of our local country club where the boys golf, and they have a pool we visit often. We plan to put a pool in our backyard next year too!
If you have other questions, feel free to leave a comment here or over on Instagram!
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