It’s Why I’m Here

This week, my sweet dad has been driving over an hour to my house every morning in order to stay with Bean during the day so that Chris and I don’t have to miss work to stay home with him.  My mom came down today, too, and so Bean had twice the fun with Nana AND Granddad.  And they’ve nursed him back to health.  He is a little cranky, but I think mostly that’s from being cooped up in the house for five days straight.  He hasn’t been running a fever and his chest is sounding much better, thanks to his nifty nebulizer.  He’ll probably still have a cough for a long time, but at least he’s feeling better and seems to be on the up and up.  We’re trying daycare tomorrow for the first time all week and I think Bean is really excited.  He kept saying, “Shhhoooool!  Shhhooool!” (School, School) over and over again.

This afternoon as I was on my way home from work, the weather was gorgeous.  It was warm and sunny and there were a few beautiful, puffy, white clouds in the bright blue sky.  One of my favorite songs came on the radio and so I rolled my windows down and sang at the top of my lungs.

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And then it hit me.

I wasn’t happy because of the sunshine or the song on the radio.  I wasn’t even happy because Bean was feeling better.  For the first time since we moved to Florida, I was happy because I was here. Because my sick son was home with his grandparents.  Because three nights this week I’ve gotten to see my parents and talk to them about how my day went.  Because it’s February and 75 degrees and beautiful outside.  Because our pool is warming up and we’ll be swimming soon.  Because the house I was driving home to is safe, cozy, and feels like home.  Because I love my job every day.  Because Chris comes home loving his job every day.

Next month, it will be one year since we moved to Florida.  One year.  That’s a long time.  A lot longer than I expected it to take before I understood why we were here.  The thing about our move was that before we left Connecticut, I had a list of reasons that I thought we were moving for.  To be closer to family being the top of the list.  But what I’m learning about life changes and life-altering decisions is that we very rarely go into them knowing what the reasoning is ahead of time.  And maybe that’s for the best.  If we knew everything we were supposed to learn before an experience, what would the point of that experience be?

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When we moved to Florida, I was so disappointed by everything that our move wasn’t.  It wasn’t what I pictured.  Nothing that happened to us was what I had planned.  It wasn’t home.  It wasn’t even familiar.  But I’m discovering that when you’re so busy trying to make a situation what you expect it to be, you miss out on what it really is.  And in the past year, what our situation has really been is a time of incredible growth, of incredible highs, and very dark lows.  As much as I loved our life in Connecticut, we didn’t have that range of emotion and experience in our life there.  And as happy as our marriage was in Connecticut, we have grown stronger, more confident, more secure, and more united in our marriage after what we’ve experienced here.

So, no.  Moving to Florida was not everything that I hoped it would be.  But that’s okay because what I was hoping for was the wrong thing.  I hoped for it to be a better version of our Connecticut life.  I hoped for it to be what we were doing and loving up there, only closer to our family.  But that expectation is selling our move and our family short because our move has been so much bigger than that.  It’s been a new place  and a new start at a new life.  Of course, then, it didn’t feel like home right away.  Of course, then, it didn’t feel familiar.  Because part of a move is creating a new home and a new sense of familiarity.

Today as I drove home, that’s the feeling that I had.  Familiarity.  I was going home to a life that we’ve created in the past year – not to the life we had when we married, not to the life we had when we lived in Connecticut.  I was going home to my life today.

And there was no where else I’d rather be.

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41 Thoughts to “It’s Why I’m Here”

  1. Alleluia! What a beautiful post and a wonderful perspective. Operation BWYP is a success! Thank you for sharing all you’ve experienced this year (it’s been a whole year?!). Your story buoys my faith, my hope, and my joy, too. Many continued blessings to your family!

  2. This post came at just the right time for me right now. The Bollingers have been here in PA for six months now. My freelance work has dried up. I’m soon to be a SAHM for a while. And over the last few weeks I have been asking me if we made a good decision by moving. I know in my heart and soul that we have–it is just that the transition is still hard on us right now.

    Thanks, Katie. Your post gives me hope.

  3. A whole year? It’s been an entire year? That doesn’t seem possible. Those of us who remain in snowy Connecticut are jealous of your windows-rolled-down singing in the middle of winter. Winter! There’s still a good patch of ice with my name on it in our driveway. Glad you’re finding your groove, Mama! All to be adjusted, of course, once Miss Gracie arrives. 🙂

  4. I can tell you that THAT is where I want to be! Snowy, cold (in the negatives here!) weather is making me want to pack up everything and move to Florida myself. Then my husband reminds me that he works outdoors and wouldn’t be able to handle the summers. Pssshhh….wimp. Meanie.

    But I’m glad you’re happy and feeling at home.

  5. WOW!!! “When you’re so busy trying to make a situation what you expect it to be, you miss out on what it really is.” That is so true and it’s something I struggle with all the time.

  6. what a great post. I’ve lived in IL for almost 7 years and yet I still don’t feel like I’m home. I guess I should suck it up and for the sake of my kiddo and kiddo on the way I need to accept that this is my home now and not be hoping to move back East anytime soon. Thanks for yet another great post.

  7. Change is so hard and scary sometimes but if we struggle through it we often find the amazing joy of a new adventure. I’m so glad you discovered your joy:) I bet it will even get better.

  8. Katie, I am so genuinely happy for you, Chris, and Bean. So glad that you can look back now with 20/20 vision and see through all the “junk” from before! Here’s hoping the next year in Florida is better than the first (in a robbery, jobless sense…)

  9. Catherine M.

    A year of mourning my loss of you guys up here! Enjoy every ounce of sunshine you have out there. I cannot wait for CT to thaw–frankly, even make it into the mid-40s–so I can get outside and walk with the baby. Miss you horribly. xoxoxoxo

  10. Welcome Home, girlfriend!

  11. Shelley

    I’m shocked that it’s been a year already. Welcome home! A great post today about being where you are.

  12. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous (post, photos, thoughts, everything). I am so happy for you!

  13. Jordan

    I feel like this is one of your first real posts in a long time. One where you weren’t forcing the words to be written. Welcome back, Katie! And what a good message!

  14. wow, a year already?? So happy you are happy in Florida. Gorgeous pictures by the way 🙂

  15. i cant believe its been a year. wow.

  16. Tressa

    This post made me tear up, cause I’m so thankful that NOW you have that feeling. The feeling of KNOWING why you guys decided to make the move. It’s been a year, it’s time for you to be happy and secure with the life you, Chris, Bean and Gracie have! I’m truly happy for you all Katie.

  17. Kristenina

    That’s wonderful to hear Katie. That feeling of belonging, and of having carved out something of your own, of freedom, independence, and unique happiness… it’s really what it’s all about. I’m so glad to hear that the sun is shining on you again. 🙂

  18. I’m so happy for you. The journey may be long, but you’re finally getting there. You all deserve to be happy. Thank you so much for sharing this moment, and all of those leading up to it, with us.

  19. I definitely envy your weather! I’m in south Georgia and we’ve only gotten up to 70 once (ONE AMAZING AMAZING DAY!) but that is alright b/c I need more time to figure out this weight loss plan so I can fit into a swimsuit without offending anyone, haha!

  20. thanks for this post. my family and I have just made a one way trip to Alaska for my husband’s job. We have been here for 2 days short of a month and I’m very much out of my element. We have no family here and 3 small children. Needless to say…I’ve been an emotional wreck. So this post gives me more hope that, I too, can wake up one day and be happy in my new life:) Thanks

  21. I moved to San Diego from Connecticut just over 5 years ago. It’s home to me now, but I know what you’re talking about. It took at least a year for me…probably longer, but then again, I didn’t know anyone when I moved out here. You hit a certain tipping point where your surroundings feel familiar and you have a critical mass of friends. One day you wake up and you’re home.

  22. I felt a little lump in my throat as I read this. I’m so happy that you’re happy. lol 🙂

  23. I am incredibly happy for you that you are starting to feel truly happy – yay! And incredibly jealous of your weather…it’s 1 degree out there this morning. That’s just not natural…

  24. Lisa

    I am so glad that you are in a place now where you can say that you are happy with your decision! Moving anywhere, no matter the distance can be incredibly hard and can take a long time to adjust to what becomes a new life but once you do adjust, you feel like you’ve been there forever!

  25. Great post, very well writtem! I moved to the US for my husband and slowly adjusting to life here, with ups and downs. I decided to give it 2 years before ‘officially’ making up my mind what I think about my life/our lives here. Great to hear you feel great after ‘just’ one! We want change to happen quickly, but life changes just don’t happen like that!

  26. How wonderful! I’m so glad you finally feel like this is home. Yay!

    And how nice that Bean is feeling better. Phew!

  27. I can’t believe it’s been a year–that means I’ve been a reader for over a year!! So glad you’re finding peace.

  28. As a Florida girl, relocated to CT, with a new baby, I am JEALOUS. I love this post. I miss my parents so much.

  29. Ginny

    I’m all choked up at work. This is one of your best post of all time. Love it. Love you. Love Beanie. Love Chris. Love Mom. Love Dad. Love Gracie Girl. Love Florida. Love us.

  30. Just the “75 degrees” part would convince me. 🙂

  31. i cannot believe it has already been a year… time flies! thanks for the reminder to just “be here” in the everyday moments. i’m so glad you’re having a great week!

  32. courtney

    Isn’t that completely happy feeling amazing. It isn’t from any one thing as much as it’s from knowing that through all the hardship and trouble you are exactly where you were and are meant to be. Yay for you!

  33. Bravo, Katie! I am so proud of you and the progress that you’ve made. Belt it out, Girl! And send some of that 75 degree weather over to Tallahassee.

  34. Great post Katie!! So glad you are happy and loving your life! As the Zac Brown Band sings, Life is good today!

  35. So happy for your happiness, Katie. Thanks, as always, for posting. I really appreciate reading about how you are handling everything.

  36. Sarah H.

    Awesome! I’m so happy for you Katie! For you to both have jobs you love everyday–such a blessing.

  37. Sarah H.

    Oh and P.S. I’m going to come down and live in your backyard because it’s WAY too cold here and I’m envious.

  38. Laura

    I am so happy to hear that you are blooming where you are planted. It sounds like things are pretty rosy right now! Enjoy this moment!

  39. Lordy do you have a way with words dear Katie.

    So much I needed to hear. So much insight I need to see.

    Thank you for your words!

    🙂

    Megan

  40. Michaela

    A Year! When on earth did that happen, imaginary friend? Always glad to know you guys are happy.

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