Guys, we leave California in 3 days. Another season of transition, adjustment, & hopefully not too much stress is quickly approaching. The process feels more real than ever as TMO is packing up the majority of our stuff literally as I type this. In a couple hours we’ll be left with only two car loads worth of stuff. Most of this past weekend was devoted to packing up what I could, & organizing as much as possible so that this move goes much more smoothly than our last one (i.e. we don’t leave ourselves with cars overflowing with unnecessary belongings). Doing so has helped eliminate more stress than I even realize. But with just a couple days left in California, I don’t want to let it slip all away. We’re planning on going surfing & enjoying some In-N-Out tomorrow to finish off our time here in style. As we transition to the next season of life, I’m making the efforts to embrace the things we’ve enjoyed here, but also look forward to the goodness that awaits us. I’m trying my best not the resent the things that I don’t care for here, or being negative about the cold weather we’re going to be moving to. So I thought I’d share the things that make me smile as I reminisce our time here on the Central coast, as well as the things that have got me itching to arrive in Minot.
Things I’m going to miss about California:
- The weather – Let’s be honest, warm sunny weather all the time is pretty fantastic. While my Midwest roots have brought up the unthinkable in me & have made me miss the rain & the seasons, I know that come winter time I am going to be aching for the sunshine & perfect, non-humid temperatures.
- The beach – Although we haven’t spent as much time at the beach as I thought we would (the central coast hosts a lot of weather in the 70s that makes it a bit cold for the beach sometimes), but I have thoroughly enjoyed having some so close to us. I like having the opportunity to (attempt) surfing nearby. I like the beach-town vibes that can be seen & felt in the shops & restaurants along the coast line.
- My job title (or lack thereof) – guys, it’s been a true blessing to have not had to work these past few months. I’ve been able to refocus & rejuvenate myself in many ways. I’ve made time for things that I haven’t had the time to do in ages. I’ve started on projects that I’ve been dreaming of for years. & I’m not even done with them yet. I’m just not quite ready to give up all this free time yet. Once we get settled in ND we think it wise for me to start looking for work again. Retirement at 23 just isn’t feasible. I think it’ll be great for me to get back to work, but being a stay at home wife has been better than I even hoped it would be.
- My tan – I think I’ve mentioned it multiple times here, but I FAILED at achieving my goal of becoming the most tan I have ever been while spending a summer (not working) in California. It seemed so sensible. & yet life stood in the way. While I have gained some color, I know that in a couple months I’m going to be shaking my head at myself. The tan that I have accumulated in the past 5 months is going to fade from me quickly. I can feel it. & I’m going to miss it dearly in the cold, pale winter months in North Dakota.
- The palm trees – If I had to pick a favorite tree, it would probably be a palm tree. It was always a dream of mine to have a palm tree in my backyard (yeah, I dream real big) & I’ve achieved that here in California. So I’m going to miss having those tall guys (& the short ones too) around.
- The adventures – Anytime you go somewhere new there are adventures around you because you’re not familiar with what’s there. But something about being in California makes it seem like the adventures are more attractive & more plentiful. We’ve had opportunities to go try new things & visit new places that are all thrilling & exciting. While North Dakota is going to bring new adventures of its own, there’s something about the things to do in California that are really appealing.
Things I’m looking forward to in North Dakota:
- Seasons – We’re moving back to the Midwest. Friends, I’m telling you, I really never thought I’d be that person that would wish for the seasons as I’m soaking in the sun & daily warm weather, but it’s happened. I’m dying for some caramel apple cider, but the weather around me just doesn’t make that seem real fitting. I want to wear the fall clothes that I spent the past year stocking up on, but the weather here makes that unreasonable. So, I’m looking forward to mixing it up. Now granted, in a short few months time we’ll be experiencing the terrible tundra & I’ll again be shaking my head at my current self, but right now I’m looking forward to something different. The same weather every single day really is nice, but it’s just not normal to my Midwest heart
- Permanency (well, sort of) – since being married last May, Adam will be moving to our fourth home. Yes, fourth. In a year and a half. That blows my mind, because I never moved in my whole life until I went to college. Oh how the military has changed that for me. Although we’ll only be in Minot for 3 years, that’s already 2 years more than we have spent anywhere so far. I’m looking forward to getting settled somewhere – to getting rooted in & not have to leave so suddenly. Which leads me to…
- New relationships – with Minot being a semi-permanent place for us for the next few years I’m looking forward to building new friendships with neighbors, co-workers, & whoever else there is to join the party. I’m excited to meet people that are ahead of me in stages of life, as well as ones that I can journey alongside of. I’m excited to learn from others, while also sharing my heart too.
- A New Home Church – Being in California so temporarily has made it difficult to really get plugged into a church. We’ve found somewhere to attend each week, but in the summer months the small groups don’t meet so opportunity to build relationships has been left to just Sunday mornings. & it’s been minimal. After coming from a church that we both deeply & passionately loved in Southern Illinois, we’re hoping to find a church that we can invest ourselves in as well as be invested in by.
- Closer proximity to home – Now it’s not like we’re living right next door to anyone, but we’re jumping from approximately 31 hours away from home, to 15. & 15 hours sounds a whole lot more reasonable to me. With how badly we’ve become homesick, it’s nice to know that visiting home will be a little more tangible now.
- New adventures – While California hosts many of the adventures I’ve been dreaming about all my life, North Dakota is going to present new opportunities as well. It’s a state I don’t know much about (& I’m finding that basically no one knows anything about it either). But I sense that we have the opportunity to get a little more outdoorsy in a state that isn’t crowded with cities & people. & it puts us in closer proximity to visit some other states we’ve never been to before. (Minnesota, I’m coming for ya!)
My heart & mind feel ready for this move. We’re tying up the loose ends of all the logistics & getting ready to go. We’re anxious to see how Boone handles the cross country move. He may not be a fan of being cooped up in a car all day for a few days straight, but we think he’s going to like having his own backyard in a state that isn’t so hot on his black fur. Until then, he’s not being very helpful in the packing process while he takes naps on my to-do lists. Lucky for him, he’s the cutest puppy on the planet & I don’t mind all that much 🙂