Monday, February 19, 2018

We Moved (half way across the country)!

We had some unexpected changes just a few weeks into 2018....we found ourselves packing up and moving 2000 miles away to the Chicago area!

A little background: After graduating college and getting married in 2009, we packed up our things from Illinois and drove a big budget truck (pulling our car) to California to settle down and begin our life there. After a few years of living in CA, we decided that it was probably not where we wanted to settle and raise a family so we talked about eventually moving after Manny's brother graduated high school in 2016. Well life happened and we found ourselves still in CA after 2016 with plans to leave maybe 4 or so years later.  Since we began to talk about moving out of California someday, we have considered quite a few different places, but Illinois was never really one of them.

2017: I would like to say I have lived happily in California just loving life, but the reality is I complained A LOT!...just ask Manny. However, our last few years in California God was really working in my heart, and I was really starting to enjoy it and find the positives in a place where I saw a lot of negatives. I still wanted to move but felt content and ready to make the most of it. The last few years we found a church 2 miles down the street that we really loved, we made great friends, and we just enjoyed life in Southern CA. 

Now looking back on 2017 I am so thankful for my change of attitude and our making the most of southern CA life because we lived it up!...not even knowing that it was our last year there. We went to the beach a lot more, we got annual passes to Disneyland and spent a lot of time there (one of Manny's favorite childhood memories so he loved sharing it with our kids), we found fun local things to do, Manny did a lot of fun stuff with his brothers, we did a lot with friends, and my family visited so we did all the Disneyland/Beach/San Diego things with them too. 

2018: When the new year came Manny and I started talking about plans for 2018- our goals, vacations, and some other things we wanted to do this year. We also discussed living in California a few more years so Manny could gain more experience at work and then we would start to look elsewhere. We were content, comfortable, and settling in for a few more years.

Well surprise!....our plans were not God's plans and things quickly changed a few weeks later. There were some changes at Manny's work and his job ended in the middle of January, our lease was about to be up (we thankfully had not signed on for another year-although we had planned to), and God made it pretty evident that it was time to move. Manny and I looked at each other and said Chicago?! Most of my family live in Illinois, and since my parents and sister live in the Chicago area (close to where we went to college), we felt like it was the best place for us to go. 

 We were scared/excited/shocked/sad/happy and experienced just about every emotion. We were sad to tell Manny's family we were leaving (and sad to leave them), sad to leave our friends, and sad to leave a great church. BUT we were also excited!...excited to live by my family, excited to reconnect with friends back in IL, and excited for a new adventure!

We moved two weeks to the day we decided on Chicago, and God has been so faithful to us. Details came together better than we could have every imagined, we had support from all of our family and friends, and we felt such a peace about moving back to Illinois.

At the beginning of 2018, I had told Manny I was kind of bored and ready for an adventure. Well I  had no idea the adventure that God had planned for us a few weeks later.  It was a chaotic and crazy time filled with a lot of uncertainty, but in the midst of it all, Manny and I experienced such peace about moving our family. We also really put into practice trusting God's plan for our life. We rested in knowing that HE sees the big picture and is working in all the details. And HE is! One of my favorite texts we received during our transition was  "The Lord's way of growing us, His timing and direction in our lives is perfect." And it is so true! Even though these weren't our initial plans or timing, they were God's, and we have experienced more joy and excitement than we could have imagined.

So here we are now in the Chicago area. Our kids have turned from beach babes to snow bunnies. Manny is starting a new and challenging job that he is excited about. We are part of a great church, involved in a small group, making up for lost time with the fam bam, doing lots of fun cousin stuff, catching up with old friends, meeting new friends, and settling into life back in the Midwest! It's good to be home :)

1 comment:

  1. Wow Erin congrats! That is wonderful the move has gone so well! We lived in Chicago for 7 years and loved our time there! Best of luck to you.