From California to Texas: Two Years Later

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July 10th, 2006

The day I left California to become a Texan. A day I will never forget. Exactly two years later, this day is still fresh in my mind.

I woke up early to nurse Leah, who was six months old at the time. We slept at my Mom’s house, just me and the girls. The same house I lived in throughout high school. Many memories were under that roof.

Troy had departed the day before with our vehicles, which were stuffed to the brims. I got up at the sound of my Mom making coffee. She was getting ready to leave for work, so this was our goodbye.

We hugged each other for a long time, as tears flowed down my face.”I don’t want to move, Mom. I don’t wanna go.” I felt like I was five years old again. She attempted to reassure me that it would be alright, that she would visit soon.

I managed to pull myself together as she kissed her granddaughters goodbye. We waved as she pulled out of the driveway as long as we could. I desperately wished that she could have been the one taking us to the airport later that day.

My sisters took us out to breakfast at an old favorite. It was a typical morning at the beach, just beautiful. Driving through town, I tried to absorb the scenery as much as possible.

Just hours later, we drove to John Wayne airport. I would be flying by myself with 5 year old Sara and the baby. The amount of luggage was overwhelming. Diaper bag, 2 carry ons, purse, car seat, and four heavy suitcases. The stroller had accidentally gone with the movers, so I carried Leah in the sling.

My sisters stayed with me as long as they could in the security line. Sara was super excited about the move, so I tried to hide my pain as much as I could. When it was time to hug my sisters goodbye, I could hold back no longer. We stood together and sobbed, what a sight we were!

Sara was concerned. “What’s wrong, Mommy?” I don’t remember my exact words to her, but I am sure it was not a shining moment in my parenting history. The security process was a nightmare. By the time I got our shoes back on, and Leah back in the sling, I was actually sweating. I wish I could say a kind stranger offered to help me, but Californians just don’t do that.

As we waited to board the plane, I expected to hear the call for early boarding priority for those traveling with small children. It never came… apparently they don’t do that anymore. I lugged everything on the plane, Sara in tow, among silent strangers.

Once we were finally settled in our seats, my cell buzzed with a text message from my sister. “Miss u already. Love u!” All I could think about was surviving the next 3 hours while attempting to nurse my wiggly baby on the plane. I actually don’t remember much of the flight. I just remember looking out the window seeing the vastness of Texas below and thinking…”what the heck am I doing here?”

Thankfully, my husband was waiting at the airport when we arrived. I had never been so happy to see him. As we walked outside to the car, the 102 degree heat me like a wall. This was the first time I had ever felt a Texas summer afternoon.

The drive to my in-laws was bittersweet. Part of me was so relieved to be done traveling, but part of me was filled with dread. I really had no idea what to expect in the upcoming days and months.

Having lived in Orange County nearly all my life, Texas was a huge change. We lived with my in-laws for nine months, while hubby went to UT Arlington. Sara adjusted well to her new school, and I started a new job.

Since I kept my old cell phone number, I spoke to my family nearly every day. It was not until we moved into our own home last year that I actually felt like I lived here.

Today I reflect on the drastic changes over the course of those two years. I heard many curious “why did you move HERE?” comments from friendly Texans. Only now can I say that we moved here because it was God’s plan.  I tried to argue with God back then. Even bargain. I wanted to go back. But I am now content. This is my home.

Texas has given us so many incredible blessings. A church family we adore. A wonderful new job for Troy. Our own home with a backyard. Cherished friends and neighbors. The ability to become debt free!

I miss my family every day. I miss the beach. But I truly appreciate them more than ever before.

Leaving Orange County is probably the most frugal thing we have ever done. I did not know it at the time, but it actually marked the beginning of our frugal

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11


  1. One B.A.A.D Family says

    Well this post had me in tears! I can only imagine how difficult and terrifying that day must have been for you! I’m glad you are here though and glad that you have become such a positive impact on me and my family!

  2. Andrea says

    Oh, Alyssa – I love your story! It’s so neat how God does have the plan even when we aren’t at his feet seeking all the time. And, it sounds like His plan for you is already amazing – can you even fathom what the future will hold since He’s already been this good? Thanks for sharing :-)

    Andrea @ Mommy Snacks

  3. FrugalFelicia says

    I also was in tears. I understand far too well what you experienced. When my youngest was 2 months old we moved from WV to Indiana. I didn’t understand why, but was supportive of my husband in his new career. He was doing it for us. I was depressed for the first 6 months. It took a trip to Alabama at the end of the year to open my eyes to God’s plan for my life. We have since moved to Tennessee and are twice as close to family. I just hope to find a great church here (we never did find one we truly loved in Indiana). And I think that financially this was the best move. I miss my family also, and yet again I have left friends. But we must always remember that God never shuts one door without opening another.

  4. Alyssa @ KeepingTheKingdomFirst says

    I was in tears writing this. Reflecting on major change is good. It allows you see what God has been doing.

    Thank you for your encouraging words!

    Sorry about all the weird spacing! Me and Blogger are going to have some serious words.

  5. Anonymous says

    Glad to “see” a fellow Texan. My husband moved from California, and I moved from OKC to South Texas almost 10 years ago. We have also been very blessed by this move.


  6. April says

    I cant imagine how hard it was to leave the place where you grew up and your family. I say all the time that I would never live anywhere else other than Texas, I have never lived out of a 30 mile radius lol and niether have most of my family. I also think it is funny how on allot your post you use the word y’all, you have turned texan hahahaha!!!!!

  7. Diana says

    Not a good day for me that’s for sure. Worst day of my life so far. BUT, I am happy for you and your family and all that Texas has brought you. You said yourself that Texans take more vacations because housing is MUCH cheaper. Still waiting…
    Loving sister, Diana

  8. Alyssa @ KeepingTheKingdomFirst says

    Tara- I noticed most of the Texans I meet are not really Texans after all! :-)

    April- I even have been known to say “fixin”! LOL

    Diana- Don’t worry, we will be there in just a few short weeks. Can’t wait!

  9. tami says

    we moved here to texas from florida this past november. big change!!! but yuo are right- it was the most frugal thing we could have done! lol

  10. C Edwards says

    Great story and by the way, to solve the paragraph problem you might try to edit the HTML and insert a paragraph HTML tag each place you want a new paragraph.

    If that does not make sense, you can email me and I will explain.

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. McNeill Family says

    Wow, I saw the title in the sideboard. It was 2 years for me on June 16th. We came from Murrieta, CA. I lived in Southern California my WHOLE life and I probably miss the beach the most!!!Very different! This year I also finally feel like this is home. I do miss friends and family but our family visits us quite often and my mom does call every other day to talk to the kids. It was really hard to take her grandchildren so far away!!! We are in such a beautiful part of Texas and find new things to do all the time! I enjoy your frugal tips!!!

  12. Eileen says

    Wow, what a wonderful story. I came across your blog because I was looking for mommy bloggers who lived in Murrieta CA. We are currently living in San Diego, but considering moving to Murrieta to help us become and live debt free… but I’m having a hard time even thinking about leaving San Diego. We’ve also lived in OC and it was hard to leave OC for us too. California is just so darn expensive! My heart ached for you when nobody helped you at the airport! Your post was an inspiration to me- so honest and real. Thank you!

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