Relocating and Recalibrating

It’s been about a month and a half since we landed in California and, well, it’s been an adventure. I’ve been thinking about a lot of things (life, work, happiness, gratitude) in the time since we left Virginia and some days have been easier than others. It’s been a huge adjustment being out here, which is no surprise – that was known before we even moved. I knew that everything would be different – but I don’t think I quite realized what the magnitude of that difference would feel like.

Before living in Virginia, I had moved almost every year for about three years – from Wisconsin, to Alaska, to Minnesota, to Alaska, back to Minnesota, to DC, and finally Virginia. I could fit my life in my little Ford Escape and because I wasn’t really living in any one place for very long, I didn’t feel so much sadness at leaving it behind. But then I settled in Virginia, fell in love, got married – we made our little space there a home, and made good friends. We established a comfortable routine. It wasn’t “home” in the way that Alaska will always be, but it was a home for us. 

When we first discussed the possibility of PCS-ing, I was a little apprehensive. I knew it would mean big changes for me, and selfishly, I wasn’t sure that I was ready to give up my job and my independence to the Marine Corps. But, I knew that PCS-ing also meant greater opportunities for growth and advancement for Clay, which was something he likely wouldn’t have had if he stayed put. I was also excited about the idea of moving somewhere new, especially if that somewhere new was back to the Western US. California was the most likely place we could end up and in my head, that was probably the best option for me: close to some of my good friends, lots of job opportunities, lots of outdoor activities… it made sense.

I’m thrilled that we’re out here now – but I’d be lying if I said that it has been easy. I miss all of the things that were easy about Virginia. Making friends as an adult is HARD. I’m working from home for now, so I don’t get a ton of interaction with other people. I haven’t found a gym that’s a good fit yet. Things are just *that* much unfamiliar and I don’t have the self-confidence I’m used to feeling. I’m always thinking about the long-term and what that will look like for us and I’m really having to work hard on actively maintaining perspective in all things.

It would be really easy to let my fears and insecurities get really loud and drown out the opportunities. Some days, I just have to buckle down and focus on work (and there is a lot of that going on at the moment). Other days, I need to spend an hour or two in the gym – because in that space and time, I am in control of all of the variables. Which is more than I can say for life outside the gym sometimes.

I find myself leaning on my support system to help keep the anxious monsters quiet. I’m grateful for Clay – and I have to remind myself that he’s experiencing even more newness and unfamiliarity than I am as he settles into his new job and new leadership roles. Like I said, so much of this transition is about maintaining perspective.

I’m looking forward to feeling truly settled in, removing some of the uncertainty of life here, creating more stability, making new friends and connecting with old ones. I know things will even out over time and that I just have to worry about what I can control. It’s a process, but I can only take it one day at a time.

Big Life Update!

It’s official. We’re moving.

When Clay left for MOS school, we knew that the likelihood of us staying in the DMV was slim – we thought maybe there was a chance he could get assigned to Quantico, but we weren’t counting on it. Truthfully, though, we were excited about the opportunity to go somewhere new.

And now? We’ll be packing up our little home in Virginia and making our way across the country to Camp Pendleton in Southern California just in time to ring in 2019!
We have two months to get all of our things in order before we hit the road and our schedule is already packed. The next couple of months are full of fun and fitness and packing. Lots of packing. And then lots of driving.

The last time I moved cross-country, I had no furniture, one car, Alaska plates, and way less STUFF.

This is the first PCS for both of us, so there’s a pretty steep learning curve involved. I’ve moved myself across the country three times, but never on military orders (and all that goes with them) and never with a pet. Or with actual furniture for that matter. This time is definitely going to be a bit of an adventure.

My life has become focused on getting over one hurdle at a time. This week is work travel and once I get through that, it’s just two more weeks until Clay gets home, and then we’re taking it week by week, going over our lists, making new ones, checking things off.

Until Clay gets home, though, what I’m mostly doing is purging junk from our house and making LOTS of lists. It’s soothing. Keeps my brain from getting cluttered and helps me remember all the little random tasks that cross my mind when I’m trying to fall asleep at night – lists also help keep me out of the Panic Spiral. Most of the time anyways.

All I can say is thank goodness for FaceTime and regular calls with my PIC, because otherwise I’d be going a little nuts.

Boyfriend, husband. Same same.

Here’s to new adventures!!

Change Is Good. (And Scary.) (But Mostly Good.)

At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.


A big change is coming to my little family. After 13 years in our “starter” home we are planning a move. Naturally, because we are us, we’ve actually been talking about this move for years. Seriously, years.

Last summer my parents sold my childhood home (how DARE they?) and took up permanent residence down in sunny Florida (yep, that’s how they dared). However, before doing so they mentioned that they’d really love to snowbird with us, will miss our kids (maybe us too, I suppose), ectera, on and on and so forth… and it lit the fire under our butts. We took months prepping our home for sale.


Our sweet, cute, little home.

It’s where we came home to after our wedding. And had our first dog. And a few years later, brought our first baby home.


It’s where we’ve had many first days of school.


And an almost equal amount of last days of school.


I’ve learned how to cook here, in a heinous kitchen. And become an even better cook in a way better kitchen.



We learned about the trials and tribulations of home ownership in this home. We made questionable decorating choices (like painting our bedroom bright blue, for example) and then slightly better decorating choices along the way.


Our older son became a big brother in this house with the addition of our youngest son.


The boys became best friends here.




In this home I ran my first ever mile on my treadmill. Like, EVER. And many subsequent miles since.


I’ve been blessed by the amount of friends that have come to visit over the years and snuggle with me on my couch, whether it be for life celebrations, races they are running in the area, or just hanging out and going to the drive-in movies together.

We’ve had a lot of fun here. Some sad memories too, but mostly happy ones, filled with a lot of joy.





It’s been good to us these past 13 years. And change is hard. But we accepted an offer on our home after it had been on the market for just 2 weeks; there are new people who will live here in a few months and I hope it’s just as wonderful and memory-making for them.

We’re on the search for our new home at the moment and while it’s daunting, I’m remaining fairly zen about the entire process. I know that wherever we land it will be good, because we will be together.

What big moves have you made recently? How do you tap into your moment of zen?