A New Place to Call Home ...
Lately Maddy and I have been receiving a lot of messages asking us about how we felt moving from our hometown. Although I have just begun the process, I, along with Maddy, wanted to share a little bit about all the feels to having "a new place to call home."
For the last two years the idea had been thrown around between Javi and I because the cost of Miami has gone up so much. I had always been reluctant to move, but when an opportunity came up for Javi that was "too good", I couldn't say no. To be 100% honest, after Javi signed the papers and things became official, I cried for days. After I had Avery it was even worse. I would cry in the shower thinking about the fact that my parents, sister and nieces would be 4 hours away. The idea that Annemarie wouldn't see them every week killed me and I felt I was robbing Avery of something we are so blessed to have. You see, my family, my pod, are extremely close as I have expressed in previous posts. We do things constantly together and the idea of Avery not creating that bond and making that connection weekly kills me.
So what did Javi and I agree on? We agreed that we would try our new "home" for a couple of years and that we would drive down at least once a month and every special occasion we would come down for it. Many people have made comments to me that "I'll get over it" but they just don't get how close we all are. I guess it has to do with my oldest sister who passed away, but nonetheless, the plan is what we promised each other and Javi knows how important it is to me.
What we plan on doing once we officially move? Explore the city of Orlando that continues to grow and flourish. It is exciting to know that we'll be able to go to new places every weekend and hopefully have many visitors in our home to share the adventures with. Fun fact? We made sure to purchase a home that had a full guest room with a bathroom so anyone who wants to come up to visit has their space.
What I hope to gain in this process? I hope to strengthen my relationship with Javi and build new memories with the girls. Since we will only be able to depend on each other that will be so important for the move. I also hope to build new connections and friendships.
So all in all? The process has been difficult and full of mixed emotions. Lots of ups and downs, but I will say that the silver lining is that we will only be 45 minutes away by plane, our home will be beautiful with a big yard for the girls to play in and God willing, Annemarie will be attending a great school. I can assure you that when we do come down to Miami I will hug my family extra tight and enjoy every single moment! I look forward in sharing more in the next couple of months since we won’t be making the full move until June/July, when the house is finished.
The process of moving is never an easy one. Even if you are leaving a home you have known forever, for a new one close by. Memories stick for a lifetime. For us, the move was more than a few miles away. When Sofia was about 4 months, my husband decided it was time to look for job opportunities elsewhere. I supported him on this journey because I too felt it was time. We looked and looked, and after a few interviews, he found the dream job he had always hoped for. Unfortunately, the company wasn't based in Florida, it was in Atlanta, Georgia. My husband, unlike me, had lived in various places across the US over his lifetime, but this was my first time out of Miami.
I was all for it in the beginning. Excited about house hunting, the new possibilities, finally living somewhere new with seasons. So, my initial emotions were those of great joy and optimism, but as the day got closer for us to sign for our new house and the boxes grew and grew with our stuff, the feeling of fear and doubt crept in. My family and his were always supportive but we knew how much it hurt them to see their babies move away, especially since they were just establishing a relationship with Sofia. It was hard but we knew this was the time to do it.
I will never forget the day we packed the last box into the Uhaul and drove away. It was Mother's Day weekend, so we went to celebrate a last hurrah with our families and left the day after Mother's Day. It was a somber time, to say the least. We cried, our parents cried, our siblings, family, and friends all wished us well, but you could see it in their eyes that they worried what the future held for us. As did we!
I will share a funny story about our journey to Atlanta. You see, my husband and I had looked at a ton of homes. We drove up with our family and the baby, countless times. In hopes of finding the one we loved. As luck would have it, each one we fell in love with had a contract and back up. Then one day we found the one we were for sure about, but later realized it was a huge mistake and backed out of the contract just in time. Unfortunately, that left us without a home and not too much time left before we had to officially move. Luckily, God sent us an angel through our realtor, who to this day is still a good friend of ours. He searched and searched and finally, on one of the last trips up, my husband found our forever home. Funny enough, I only had seen it through Facetime, so when the day came to drive up to visit our new house, my husband was sweating bullets. He feared I would hate it when I saw it in person, but thankfully I loved it.
That first year was not easy. We had our family come with us to help us unpack and get situated, which was a lifesaver. But when they left we worried what would we do without the help of our parents, friends, and family? I think they thought the same thing because that first year we had visitors almost every month, which made the move seem easier, but every time they left we missed them again. To be honest I think these feelings were more mine than my husband's. He went to work every day and made some great relationships with his new co-workers, which have become like family over the years. But for me, I missed my friends, my co-workers, and my family. I was home alone with Sofia, not knowing where to go, who to talk to or what to do. So, one day, my sweet neighbor paid me a visit. She said to me, "Madelyn, you need to meet this young couple who has a daughter like Sofia, you'll for sure hit it off." She was right, we did and to this day, the girls are best friends and my neighbors are like family. It was through that neighbor that I meet my mom's group, found Sofia's school and our church community. It was a huge change for me but in a good way.
It's been three years since we left Florida behind and I cried my eyes out in the car. We still go down to Florida to visit, but Atlanta has become our home. Everyone asks me, "how did you do it?" "Do you regret the move?" I tell everyone the same thing. It's not an easy thing to do, to leave your friends, family and where you grew up behind. It was a risk, but it has made us stronger. We have seen things we would have never seen. Met people we would have never otherwise known, made friendships that will last a lifetime and best of all grew as a couple. So if you are planning on moving somewhere new, these are the tips I will leave you with.
1. The move needs to be something you and your spouse both want to do
2. It should help your family grow
3. It will not be easy but be strong, God won't give you more than what you can handle
4. Open yourself up to new opportunities, people and places
5. Never look back, there is a reason why you did this. It's not permanent, you can go back to your hometown again but don't regret this decision because it will make you a stronger person!