Three years ago I had just left an awful job situation with a six-month transition plan in place (had funding for intensive language study, which also supported the career-planning/job searching period I needed). I was considering many different options, including doing my own start-up. We had moved to a new city and were pretty stressed out working out long-term housing and school options for our two kids. It was good to be out of the awful job situation though. Our nw was closing in on the 1mm mark -- the fact that investments were doing so well combined with the fact that we had a large cash stash was one of the main reasons I felt comfortable walking away from the old job with nothing definite in place to follow it up with.
Three years later I have a job I am much happier in -- great boss, great co-workers, much less stress. The kids are in schools we are happy with, too, and seem to be prospering there. We bought a condo at the low point in the market last year -- sunk a big hunk of our cash stash into that, and took on a substantial mortgage besides. But it paid off as values have almost doubled since we bought it. We could not buy or rent a similar place today for what we are paying. Net worth, including equity in the condo at current market prices, is now over 1.7mm. We continue to max retirement contributions and put substantial amounts in the kids college accounts, and still have some savings left on top of that. Still have a sizable cash stash in the event DH's job goes south (mine is pretty secure).
All in all it has been a rollercoaster three years, but mostly a fun and pleasant ride.