We Have Some News To Share...

This may come as a surprise to many. 
We sure didn't see this in our plan a year ago, 
but things change and we are so excited to share our news with you! 
This post may not be what you think, so keep reading on...

So, it's not another baby.... so what could this exciting news be?!...

Shirts gifted from Cheerily - Emmalyn's Shirt - Madisyn's Shirt

Yes, it's true! We are moving (back) to CALIFORNIA!
Over the past year, we have done a lot of thinking, praying and planning. While the military sent us to Georgia almost 5 years ago, we always knew that this wouldn't be our forever home. But before we jump into our future plans, lets take a trip back down memory lane and recap all that has happened to bring us here, to this point:

We actually had always planned that once D was out of the military and we could settle down roots in the place of our choice, South Carolina would be home for us. A few months before ending his 10 year career with the marine corps, D began applying for jobs. We knew basically where we wanted to be, but were open to moving wherever the best opportunity lie. Applications were sent out to everywhere from South Carolina, North Carolina, New York, Tennessee and yes, even California. We were down to the wire, his EAS date approaching and no job in sight after dozens of applications sent. After 10 years serving our country, he received email after email rejecting his resume, explaining that he wasn't "qualified". Not one opportunity for an interview. To say transitioning out of the military is tough, that's just the tip of the iceberg!

So, there we were, on the verge of a huge life change and nothing set in stone. The amazing hard-working man that my husband is, he took 3 local jobs just to make it and provide what we needed to get by. He found a local opportunity working at UPS as a pre-load supervisor in the mornings from 3 am to 7 am then would leave that job and head to work as a sales manager at a local tire shop from 7:30 am to 7 pm. To top it off, any days off he had, he worked for a local landscape company. How he did it, I have no idea... But I have never met anyone else as hard working as this man of mine. After 7 months of working 17 hour days, 7 days a week, he knew something needed to change. He put in an application for our local county's police department. Working in law enforcement has always been a dream of his, and is honestly what he was made to do. After a long wait and screening process, he was accepted! He passed through the academy without a hitch and has now been a police officer for nearly a year. While he loves his job, we again always knew, this was not our forever home. We always knew at some point that we would move and likely have him transfer. Granted, we did not plan on that for at least a few years...

That brings us to now. You may be wanting answers to many questions, especially if you personally know me. So let me try to dive into the questions we had to ask ourselves and how we came to this decision for our family:

Q: Why California? Isn't the south more affordable?
A: Yes. Anywhere is cheaper than southern California (where we plan to live). But also, while the cost of living here is much cheaper than California, the housing market prices are rising, but the income and job opportunities are much less. This makes it very difficult financially. This was honestly one of the main deciding factors behind why we have decided to move. Of course everyone knows that a police officer's salary is extremely limited. We sat down and wrote out what our "live on money" is here, after all of our bills are paid, vs. what our "live on money" would be with D working for a police department in California. We took a hard look and questioned many of our friends who live back in California currently what realistic financial living expenses would look like. After all bills would be paid, our "live on money" would be double what it is currently based off of the salary he would bring home. That was a huge factor for us.

Q: What was the main deciding factor that made you want to move?
A: Does Mexican food count as a main deciding factor?... (Seriously though, give me all the burritos, tacos, salsa and guac.) In all honestly, this wasn't a decision that we just came to overnight. This decision has been talked about, prayed about, and planned out for almost a year. There is so much that has gone into making this decision, and it wasn't an easy one to come to, especially when you are basically deciding where you are going to live the majority of the rest of your life and raise your children. As I explained above, finances are obviously a main deciding factor, but that honestly wasn't the biggest one. For me, it was to be able to provide my girls with more family time. To have a support system. To have my children have a grandparent in their life day to day. Living military life, we don't get to choose where or how far away from family we live. We have to move at a moment's notice and start our whole lives over, likely in a place we have never been. For 6 years, I have been a solo parent. Every second and hour of the day, it is all me. I haven't has a husband who has come home at 6pm and is there to help me put the kids to bed, or to share the parenting duties with. I haven't had a parent to babysit my children for the weekend or give my husband and I a date night. And while these may sound like selfish reasons to want to live near family, I assure you, it's more than that.
After losing a parent, you really cherish the relationships you do have in life. The fact that I lost my Mother, but still have time on this earth left with my Dad, I want to spend as much of that time with him as I can. I want my children to have their Grandpa at their soccer games, dance recitals and school plays. I no longer want to have a long distance relationship with the only parent I have left. I don't want to look back one day and think "what memories could have been made?"

Q: Where in California do you plan to live?
A: Our target is Temecula, California. We feel that it is one of the best and more affordable family communities just north of San Diego county, with a great school district. Temecula is located inland about 45 min. from the coast in south Riverside county. We have always loved Temecula, and being located on the far side of Camp Pendleton, many of our military friends still live there, along with it being not too far of a drive from family. UPDATE: We have now also expanded our home search to San Marcos, which is located in north county San Diego, much closer to family and shorter commute times, but also within our price range.

Q: What will your husband do for work?
A: He is working on a lateral transfer to a police department near the area that we are planning to move to. Also, in his spare time he will be joining forces with me. Moving back to California allows us to dive back into our furniture building and explore other sources of income with our creative business ventures rather than just his law enforcement salary.

Q: Do you plan to work?
A: While the blog is and always will be my "work", being in California will allow me to branch out to do so much more and work towards the personal dreams I have always wanted to dive into. And again, having a support system in place to help with the kids will allow me a little more freedom to work outside of the house a few days a week, doing interior design work, photography, & all of the things my creative soul craves!

Q: Do you have a move date set?
A: As of now, our move date is set for mid-February 2019.

Q: Do you have any concerns about moving?
A: Of course. I have 3 pages of pros and cons that I made before coming to this decision. But overall, the pros outweighed the cons. 

(This one is for the ones that know me personally!)
Q: I thought you said you would NEVER come back?
A: I have had to eat my words, and never say never...

(This post is sponsored in collaboration with Homes.com)

I plan to take you all along with me for this entire journey! Each month, I plan to share updates as we approach closer to our move date, along with sharing tips on how to make a cross-country move easier (because after all, I should be an expert at this by now - I have moved a total of 9 times in my adult life!) and take you along with us as we search for our new rental home utilizing Homes.com and all of their website features to make finding a home (from across the country) a breeze! If you are planning your own move or are just in the search for a new home, whether renting or buying, their site is by far the easiest I have navigated, take a peek [HERE]

So, there it is... the secret we have been keeping is finally out! And while it isn't a baby (at least for right now), we are so excited for the future and what is to come for our family...

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