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 journey.
“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