Well, it's finally out there - we're moving across the country! I can't even believe I'm saying that since the furthest I've moved away from my hometown was about 30 minutes away.
I'm sure if you're here reading this post, you want to know the dirt, the deets, and everything in between. So here goes.
Justin and I have wanted to leave Cali since probably 2017/2018. We talked about it often but honestly just never found a place worth leaving California for; and to be honest, we're so spoiled here with the weather, the beaches, etc that it was a hard decision to leave. When we were in Hawaii in 2018, we went to a Luau and ironically met a couple from southern Tennessee. We'd thought about going to Tennessee (as well as pretty much any other state because at this point we didn't know what we wanted) but we had never taken the time to go check it out. After talking to this couple about Tennessee and asking them what felt like billions of questions, we felt a strong urge to make plans to check it out.
Fast-forward to 2020 (the year we were supposed to get married) and the world shuts down. We had been putting off visiting Tennessee due to the busyness of wedding planning, but now those plans were completely out of our grasp. We ended up moving our wedding date to the following year (2021) and thought Tennessee would be a good place to Honeymoon. Of course at this point, we weren't expecting to fall head over heels for it, but thought it'd be a fun place to check out. Little did we know that we would immediately feel like we were home.
The best way to describe how we felt was peace. We both felt so calm, so safe, and so happy to be there.
We honestly have never felt that feeling before and sometimes even question that feeling in our own hometown. So flying across the country to somewhere completely new to us and feeling that way was such a surreal feeling. We stayed for a week, visited the little hole-in-the-wall restaurants, checked out the schools for our future kids, visited different neighborhoods... All of the things you do when you've found your home. We loved every second of it + fell in love with everything we saw and everyone we met. It honestly was one of the best vacations we've ever been on.
On the flight home I remember how sad both of us were to leave, and the quietness of both of us when we landed back in Cali knowing that this just isn't our place anymore. Since that trip, our eyes have opened up to all of the things we DON'T want for our lives and the things that we do want that aren't here in California. The decision to leave our families + friends behind was, honestly, depressing. We went back and forth about this huge decision for MONTHS and kept finding ourselves in the same question of - what is the real reason we're staying in California and is that decision truly for US.
We got pregnant with our daughter the December following our wedding and I immediately had this massive anxiety about leaving our family + having her so far away from everyone. This was the WORST feeling in the world. I was so back and forth with wanting her to be close to her family but also knowing that we didn't want to raise her in California. We couldn't give her the life that we want to give her here.
Now listen, I'm a HUGE believer in signs and know that Jesus will show you where he wants you to go. To be honest, I prayed and prayed and knew he wanted us to go to Tennessee; but the constant pull on my heart to leave our family sucked. We decided to try and figure out a way to stay in California for a little longer than anticipated. We listed our house for sale, and looked into buying a bigger house for our growing family in a neighboring city that we liked (but it wasn't Tennessee). When I tell you that everything that could've gone wrong went wrong... It's like Jesus was giving me the slap in the face that I needed + was saying - "why are you not listening to me". In the midst of everything going wrong with the house-buying/house-selling process, I got a call from one of my best friends. She told me that her, her husband, and their daughter were making the sudden move to Tennessee within the next two weeks. Again - another Jesus moment, because he's sending someone I love there.
I remember sitting in my car on the phone with her just in awe. Mainly because I knew that we were supposed to go to Tennessee, and at this point I was fighting the inevitable. I walked into our house after getting off the phone with her and sat with Justin and told him about our phone call. It was right there and then that we got rid of all excuses (mainly me because Justin still wanted to leave Cali) to stay here. We both knew there was nothing here for us anymore, and at this point we were forcing our stay here in California.
When we finally said - "that's it, we're moving", I think that was the biggest weight lifted off of our shoulders. Since then, both of us talk about how excited we are to move almost on a daily basis. We can't wait to finally live the life we want to live + to give our daughter everything we want for her.
Realistically, we'll miss our family + friends so much. BUT. This next chapter of our lives is filled with so much excitement + anticipation and this next chapter of our lives should only be revolved around us and what we want for our growing family. We will be back to visit family + friends and can't wait to pick them up from the airport when they come to visit us.
We want to give a HUGE thank you to the family + friends that have shown us nothing but support and for understanding how excited we are about this next chapter.
See you soon, TN 🖤