Couple moves from Seattle to a new home in Milford
MILFORD — You can add the names of Nathan and Paige Stauffer to the city rolls when the next U.S. Census is released.
Transplants from Seattle, the Stauffers, along with soon-to-be-16-month-old daughter Callie, chose to live in Milford when they crossed the nation in February.
“I always wanted to be an CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist),” Nathan said. “CRNAs are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), who administer anesthesia and other medications. There are 100-plus schools that I was eligible for, but there were no local schools.
“We opened our search and I started looking at schools from all over the country. We whittled it down to 10. I applied at Fairfield University and four others. I got an interview, was accepted, and Fairfield U met all the requirements we were looking for.”
After checking off the school of his choice, the Stauffers, who will celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary in September, had to find a home.
“We went to Google maps, with an overview of Connecticut, then hit Craig’s List, Zulu and Realtors.com,” Nathan said. “We worked our way out from Fairfield to find the right price and right area. We got lucky when we expanded our search.”
They chose a home in the Gulf Beach area of Milford.
“Being by water is amazing,” Paige said. “We grew up in a port town, Marysville (Wash.). The similarities are comforting. I love Milford. It is quaint and pretty, just like our old town.”
“Meeting all our neighbors has been weirdly awesome,” Nathan said. “People in Washington like to stay indoors. Coming here, and the fact that we went to a barbecue and met all the neighbors in the first week, was amazing.”
“The running joke with our family is that we moved into a Stepford neighborhood,” Paige said. “Everyone is so nice, so kind, it is so great.”
The trip to Milford was challenging.
“The process of getting here was rough,” Paige said. “It was months and months in the planning, plus me being pregnant on top of that (due date April 18). Should we take a U-Haul? Or should we take two cars?”
Nathan ended up driving, while Paige and her sister, Deborah, flew out with Callie.
“We started moving in mid-February,” Nathan said. “First it took three weeks to get the Pod with all our stuff shipped here. Then I drove out with my friend Jared and my brother, Steven.
“Oh man, it was exhausting (not like a college road trip). We switched off driving two cars for four days. It was no fun. We woke up 5 a.m., took a quick shower, and then traveled to 11 at night. Plus, we were going against time (west to east) so we were losing an hour a day.
“We got in on Saturday, Feb. 29, at 6. We unloaded the Pod and I drove Steven to the airport the next morning at 5. Jared stayed through the following Wednesday. Deborah was here 10 days to help. I flew home with Jared so, I could go to work another week at the hospital. I’m now on paternity leave.”
Nathan’s path to Fairfield University took a steady hand.
“I received my associate of nursing from Everett Community College and then earned a bachelor of science and nursing degree at the University of Washington,” Nate said. “I worked for two years as a nurse in a critical care unit (Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash.). I was there for three and a half years before applying to Fairfield.”
Paige said: “I was working at Providence Hospital as a surgery tech and then switching over to the Everett Clinic, which is like your walk-in clinics, and was an administrator. With Callie, childcare costs are almost as much as you are going to be paid. The extra money wasn’t worth it.
“We decided to give Callie a little pal now, while Nate is going through school. I’m open to going back to work, maybe sometime next year. But, it would have to be a perfect storm.”
Lack of family brings an element of distress.
“Nate’s folks were going to come out and stay with us for three weeks with the baby,” Paige said. “My mom works as a personal trainer at a retirement home. She would like to fly here. But this whole thing ... . Right now we are doing FaceTime, sending pictures back and forth, showing what is happening.”
The Stauffers are anxious to share more about their new location with relatives.
“It’s frustrating that we can’t see more of Milford,” Paige said. “The city is cute. We are bummed because we want to walk the streets downtown and visit the shops. We’d like to explore our new town before the newborn arrives. But we are so happy to be here. It has been so lovely. The only negative has been not being able to get out.
“I will say that your guys’ pizza is phenomenal, way better then Washington State.”
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