We moved, y’all. And moving our family across the country came with emotional collateral damage that none of us expected.
In December 2017, we moved our family form Houston to Northern Virginia. To say this was a huge move is an understatement. Aside from the distance we traveled, this was perhaps one of the hardest and most stressful decisions I have ever made (and I have made some big ones!). I’m a native Houstonian and Texas had been our home for 19 years.
So Why Virginia?
Well, I have been commuting from Houston to Virginia for over three years. It has been manageable, but when Chuck got a job in the D.C. Metro area in mid-2017, things got complicated. He had to travel every other week and I had to travel one week a month. It just wasn’t working. It wasn’t working for the kids, our marriage, our health, our sanity …
So, we knew we had to make a decision. Would we continue to live this transient life? Would one of us quit and stay home full time? Or should we just suck it up and move? We made pro and con lists. We had family meetings. We flipped a few coins. We made more pro and con lists. We looked at smaller houses in Houston and entertained downsizing. And the decision on moving our family really came down to missed opportunities.
Years ago, we passed on a military assignment to Spain for various reasons and we have regretted that decision ever since. We didn’t want this to be our next Spain. Moving seemed like the best choice after we weighed everything.
Now, I’m not going to lie, tons of tears were shed from all of us and from those close to us over this decision. We had from mid-year through December to process this change and I can assure you that I cried no less than once a day that entire time. Over the past couple of years, we had developed some strong friendships in Texas, my family was there and we were very comfortable. Ava had made amazing friends in the neighborhood and had been in that elementary school since kindergarten. We couldn’t go anywhere in town without running into someone we knew. We truly belonged there.
We Left a Lot of Memories
Packing up our big, beautiful house and moving our family across the country was hard. That house was perfect for us and we knew we would miss it dearly. We buried our sweet kitty Mo in the front bushes when he passed away in 2016. It was Evan’s first home and he started walking in that living room. Ava lost her first tooth there. She started kindergarten in the neighborhood elementary school and had almost every birthday party in the backyard since we moved in. The walls held a lot of history for the short time we lived there.
Now that we are in our new house, those people are still our friends. We keep in contact almost daily with all of them. And even though we have closed that door and opened a new one, it is still scary and it is hard. This new home is not a forever home and knowing that makes getting comfortable again difficult. We do have some friends here, but it isn’t the same. I’m hopeful it will be some day soon. And once this place thaws out and us Texans can finally go outside, we will be much happier, I think.
It’s an emotional time for us, but we are taking this emotionally and physically taxing leap and we think it is going to be good for us. After all, life is what you make it, right? If you are struggling with a big decision, make those lists, flip your coins and lean on those who support you. And welcome the change for what it is.
Read more about this decision and all of the craziness that 2017 brought our family in my 2017 wrap up post here.