Farewell, Austin

I have some big news.

News that I've been hesitating to blog about because I'm in a bit of denial about it, but I think that once I type it, once I publish it, once it's out there as some kind of line in the sand that I'll start to let the reality of it all sink in:

We are moving.

Not just moving across town or to another city in Texas. We are moving to Atlanta, Georgia.

My heart just aches about this but at the same time, I know that it's a place where my family will flourish.

I have so much to say and I don't even know where to begin.

Chris grew up in and went to college in Atlanta. His entire family and an incredible group of his college friends are still there. We do every Christmas in Atlanta, and it makes me so happy to see Chris in Atlanta. He lights up there.

Despite this I have always said that I would never live in Atlanta, and once I moved to Austin, I said that I would never leave Austin. I love Austin so incredibly much. I've said this time and time again, but Austin is the only place that has ever felt like home to me. It seems like the city is full of people who never felt at home anywhere... until they came here. And that is endearing to me. I feel like I'm amongst a city full of kindred spirits.

We moved here so Chris could join a band and have a nice job in the tech industry, and I happened to find acceptance (and paid work!) in the acting community as well as recognition in the blogging and fashion circles. We found amazing friends and a church community and mentors that God used to change our lives and our marriage. I grew up here-- not literally, but emotionally, spiritually, and as a person, in general. We ran to this city with our arms stretched wide open and Austin embraced us in a fierce bear hug!

Allen's Boots (1 of 2)Eight years ago, I moved here not expecting to ever be a mom. I didn't think God had that in store for me, with my unstable career aspirations, rocky marriage, and health issues. But... (and I don't use this word lightly) in some kind of miracle those things changed. I, against all odds, became a mother. Three times!

After my grandma passed away in December, I began feeling a little untethered. My grandpa had passed away shortly after I got married, and with her passing, that was it: the death of the two people who had raised me. After Lucy was born in March, I came to really love the interaction my kids were able to have with their visiting grandparents. I was no longer satisfied with them having a Skype-based relationship and only seeing them a couple times a year.

I have a huge bank of childhood memories that are so precious to me because I grew up in the same town as my cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. I really want that for our kids. As I said, Chris grew up in Atlanta and his giant family is all there (Except for one brother, who we think will return eventually! Right, Dennis?!). I have family in Florida and my best friend lives in South Carolina, so a move east just makes sense.

I appreciate that Chris has never pressured me into moving to Atlanta. In fact, he never even brought it up because he knows that I'm one of Austin's biggest cheerleaders-- that my heart is beholden to this city and the people in it. My church is here, my blog is here, my kids were born here. Austin marches to the beat of its own drummer, and for the last eight years I've marched in time with it, at times even leading the parade!

Yet when it became clear to us that it was time for Chris to start looking for a new job, I quietly asked myself, "What if..."

What if he looked for work in Atlanta?
What if we considered a move?
What if our kids could be closer to family?
What if we could rekindle some of those Atlanta relationships?

So I told Chris to consider Atlanta in his job search. He was surprised because he had given up on the possibility that I would ever move, but it's kind of like me and motherhood. The timing felt ripe. I wasn't ready, but I was ready, if you know what I mean. If God was willing to do the hard work to pave a path and open doors, I was willing to walk the path and go through the doors.

Chris made a list of what I now call the dream job list scenario: what it would take for him to uproot our family and for him to leave his current job. That list seemed impossible, but after only a short while of looking, he found it. He's already begun work there, and we've been spending the last month or so readying our family and ourselves for the move.

I'm teary as I write this post. I wish I could pack everyone and everything I love about this city into a giant U-Haul and take it all with me to Atlanta. I dread having to look into Jude's little face and his best friend Bella's face to tell them that they won't see each other for a long, long time (or maybe ever?). I have hated telling my friends that I'm leaving. I feel like I've tied and knotted my heartstrings all over this city, and I hate this process of detangling myself from it all.

I never knew that it was possible to be so sad about something but at the same time so hopeful about something.

I leave later this week for a house hunting trip, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to blog until I return after the 4th of July (You know I'll still be Instagramming, though!). And truth be told, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with a blog called Adored Austin if I'm... you know... no longer living in Austin.

So as I ready my family for a move, I want to ready y'all for a move, too. Not now, but some time later this summer, this blog will move. It will be rebranded as something else, and my social media links and URL will all change, too. Try as I might, I can't take Austin with me to Atlanta, but I do hope that when I have to leave Adored Austin that I can take you all with me.

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