I didn't get the chance to post this last week so I'm taking the time to do it now. Last Tuesday, April 26th, marked an important moment in time; for me and for the family. I didn't think it was a date of much significance, until it came creeping up. I'd never even realized it was a date imprinted on my brain, probably for life. I knew there was something "special" about that day but didn't figure out what until I was browsing through pictures on the computer.
April 26, 2010 -- the day we said 'Goodbye' to Portland and started our journey south.
I cannot believe it's been a year since we left; it certainly doesn't feel like it's been that long. Paxton was just barely rolling over; Phoenix was just learning to write his name and I still had some post-pregnancy boobs left...
Twelve months later: Paxton is running, climbing, sliding all over the place; Phoenix is learning to read and getting ready for Kindergarten in September; Jay "inherited" his dad's residential cleaning business and I'd say he's the happiest he's been in a long, long time. I, myself, have grown in unimaginable ways; I've tackled problems I'd usually just avoid; I've found myself truly embracing the saying, "Don't sweat the small stuff", mainly because there's lots of BIG stuff to sweat over LOL.
I didn't think I would enjoy myself as much as I do here in California. For one thing, the weather is beyond awesome; it's May 3rd and we've already had to use the A/C several times! Phoenix is already asking to go swimming at Gramma's and Paxton spends most days in a t-shirt and diaper! I've made a few friends; had a few play dates; learned my way around town enough to get almost anywhere I need to go. I started modifying our eating habits, weeding out the highly-processed garbage and adding organics, naturally sweetened, plain-ol'-better-for-you food.
We've got chickens! That's something that's so bizarre to me when I think about how long we were in Portland and the yard we had; it would have been PERFECT for chickens! We've made a lot of improvements to the house too; even though we just rent, we want our place to look nice and reflect "us". As soon as we moved in last year, we cut down the butterfly bushes on the side yard, thinned out the overgrown tree-bushes that line the back fence and tore out a hideous planter box next to the driveway (that caused a feud with our neighbors LOL)
We've celebrated our first Christmas here, we've all had our first California birthdays and celebrated our first Easter with all the family. My favorite part of this whole move is watching the boys with the family; seeing them play with their cousins, the reactions they have when they see their aunts & uncles and grandparents; having a 'community' to raise them in, is all I've ever wanted. I know my mother loves us to death and always will; it's just different down here because we are literally surrounded by love. It feels so good. So warm. So loving. It isn't always easy; I've never been part of a big family and finding my place is difficult but I would never change it. I feel like I've always belonged; I needed these people, needed to experience what it is to be part of a large family, needed the growth a move to somewhere new and unknown can create.
I'm excited for the next year, for all the joys it will bring and all the troubles we will overcome. We've become so much stronger this last year...the big move, and all that's come with it, has taught me how incredibly dependent I am on my little family (and big one too!); I would be lost without these three boys.
Absolutely. Completely. Totally. Entirely.