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My Husband and I recently moved to Washington state. We are from California and all of our family and friends live there too. We had a wonderful experience in SW Washington back in 2006-2009 but financial circumstances brought us back to Cali. We bought a starter home and had a baby. We were fortunate enough to sell that home and get into a nicer one and have another baby. But having a second baby made it harder for me to work and less income meant tougher times. We worked hard but it was hard on us. California (the bay area) is a hard place to live. It is expensive and the school system is not funded the way it should be. My Husband had to commute 2 hours each way to the Silicon Valley and work 6 days a week to keep us afloat. He really loved his job but the commute 6 days a week was taking a toll on ALL OF US. I needed his help, the kids needed his time and he needed more of us. It was time for a change...

Growing up for my Husband and Myself was tough. We both came from broken homes with Grandparents who stepped in and raised us. Having a normal dynamic family was what we dedicated our entire lives to. We just wanted that American Dream. Staying home with the kids was priority. I nannied with my first and was very fortunate to bring him with me and when the second was born I went to a very part-time after school schedule and it worked so beautifully but when the family I was with for 6 years moved 45 minutes away that part-time schedule became very difficult and we needed to figure something out.

Moving to Washington was always a goal since we left. Washington owned my heart but my head was in Cali with my family. It's amazing how the beauty of a place can own your heart and make you feel at peace. Washington was my peace. I was 22 when I moved and 24 when I moved back, it was really when I learned about my life and who I was. It is so difficult wanting to live in one place but all of the people you love are somewhere else. In my early 20's I felt like I really needed that family presence constantly. But, as I grew older and more confident and self aware and I became a Mother myself I knew that it was time for us to decide what our happiness is and to make it happen.

We want our kids to grow up being kids. The Bay Area is this rat race of who has what. Staying home is so difficult there because two incomes are needed just to get by. Having someone else raise our kids was never an option so after some serious thought we decided now was the time and we went for it.

In a 3 month time frame we went from wanting to move to actually being in Washington. It was so incredibly emotionally, physically and mentally draining and almost traumatizing in a way. This time I was taking my 2 kids away from the family that they loved so much and it was very difficult. Selling our house, packing it up and purchasing a home 800 miles away that I never even physically saw was scary! The last 2 weeks before our move my Husband had to work in Washington and I was left alone with the kids to care for them and finish packing. Our truck was too small and we couldn't fit everything on it. We had to decide what was actually important and what we cold do without, this brought on my first ever legit panic attack. Then my Husband lost the key to the moving truck and he was locked out. He had to wait to leave until the next morning. After he drove for 5 hours there was a snow storm and he had to turn around and come home and start all over again the next day. He finally made it 2 days behind schedule and 16 hours of driving a moving truck later. I had to fly alone with both of the kids. The morning we had to leave our old house and fly to Washington my Son locked himself in the bathroom and wouldn't come out. I had to hold him down just to dress him. He didn't want to leave his house, this broke me bad.

I had to leave food behind, so many things I planned to have packed up but couldn't do by myself. My wonderful family came and took care of it all for me. One of the darkest moments of my adult life was the last few days in my old house. It was empty and just me and the kids. We were tired, scared, confused, impatient and kind of just wishing it was a dream.

It has taken me until recently to recover from this. The kids recovered fast. We unpacked our new house in just a few days and after a month I had it decorated and it felt like home. Once all of the kids things were unpacked they felt normal again. It has taken me much longer.

I miss my friends terribly. I get lonely a lot but I am now occupying my time. I never had time in California. Working and Family kept me very very busy but now I am crafting again, baking and cooking. And now I am ... Back to Blogging.

I am me again and if feels so good to be back. I spent some time under a cloud that seemed as if it would never clear up and go away. Those days are so long and dark but I was tired of feeling that way and I decided I wasn't going to be sad anymore! I was ready to live each day to its fullest and do things that make me happy because if I am happy the entire household is happier.

Painting, crafting, baking, gardening... these things are my outlets. They bring me so much joy. So, from now on I am going to focus on sharing these wonderful things with my children and I hope that we can do them together.

I also want to bring all of you on this journey with us. I know how difficult life can be, this world is such a hard place to be sometimes and sometimes all it takes is the little things to keep us smiling and going.

The feeling when your seed sprouts and then the next year produces fruit. The feeling when the sign you hand painted is hung onto the wall in your house to bring you joy every time you walk past it. The all consuming love that fills your heart every year when you pull out the canvas hand prints you made for the Holiday's. The contentment of sitting at the table after working hard in the kitchen with your entire family and everyone enjoys that meal prepared by your hands filled with your love.

That is what I want to share with you. I want to bring our joy into your home and make it your happiness as well.

This is my creative outlet to hopefully bring some creativity and joy out in you.

~Sincerely,

Jenn