A few months ago Paul heard about an opportunity for a job promotion with his company covering the West region. The more he expressed interest and looked into it he found out that we would be able to live back in Santa Maria. This was a job title he had applied for before in the East region (where he currently works) but at the time they wanted him to relocate to Atlanta and since he didn't want to they moved on to another candidate. Paul was very excited about having an opportunity to finally get to try this new management position and was excited about being able to live back in California. Things were continuing to progress and they were putting together relocation packages for us. We started telling our family and breaking the news to friends and family in Ohio. I definitely wasn't as excited as Paul was about moving. Although the thought of being by family and friends again, not having long winters and being back at our old church were HUGE bonuses there were many great things here that we would have to leave. I was really sad about the kids leaving their wonderful preschool and leaving my sister and her kids. I also have loved all the great places we have been able to to travel since we have been here. We have loved being able to visit many places like Chicago, New York City, North and South Carolina and Tennessee. I was happy to be back in California but sad to be leaving the life we had created here in Ohio. I was however, very happy for Paul and his job promotion and wanted him to take the wonderful opportunity that had been offered to him.
Last month after the decisions were made Paul got a call from his boss letting him know that the East SE manager job was going to be open because the current manager was going to be taking another position in the company. This is the position we were moving to California for so basically he now has the option of moving into the new position with or without relocating. We were now really torn! Paul had a week to think it over and still felt like California was where he wanted to be. So we proceeded with our plans...
When we came out to California for Christmas our intent was to find a place to live and figure out what school Ella would be attending in the fall. We looked at a few homes while we were there and nothing really was working out. We would find a home we really liked but it would be out of our price range. If we found something in our price range it would be pretty small or just plain scary looking inside. We started thinking about purchasing a home instead of renting which then led to a whole bunch of other things we needed to start looking into. We weren't hearing the most positive things about the school either and we knew we had to stay in a certain area for Ella to attend the schools we wanted which then narrowed our home search down even more. We basically left California not really making any progress and being a little bit more unsettled about what the plan was. Another reason we needed to find a place was that we were planning to have another home birth in June when the baby arrives. I had met with some really nice midwives while we were there and I at least had that part figured out we just weren't sure where we would be having the baby. I was uneasy about moving out and just hoping a home became available that we liked. I was starting to worry that everything was "up in the air" we didn't really have anything nailed down and we were supposed to be moving back in a month and a half.
As we drove back to Ohio we started discussing the move and some of our hesitations. I was worried that things were too all over the place and trying to pack up and move with three little ones and another on the way while Paul was spending the month in California starting his new position as SE Manager was going to be very tough. Paul had also gotten a call on our drive back that he had lost some more guys in the West that he was going to have to replace. This basically meant his first few months as the new manager of the West were going to be spent in Omaha, Seattle, Phoenix, and Livermore. So we would not only be moving across country hoping to find a home but Paul would also pretty much be gone for a few months traveling. I had started looking online to get quotes for moving our cars out and was getting literally a call every 2 minutes from different auto moving companies giving me quotes. I started feeling even more overwhelmed! I first of all didn't realize there were so many auto moving companies and second of all I didn't realize there were tons of things you had to look into when you were selecting an auto mover. I talked to Paul on the phone while I was driving to meet with my Ohio midwives and I told him how overwhelmed I was by everything. He then told me that he had just gotten a call that the East manager position was open again. The candidate they had offered it to had declined it. So now we are faced yet again with the option to stay in Ohio. After my midwife appointment I was feeling even more sure that staying in Ohio seemed like the option we needed to take. We prayed about it and discussed it some more and both felt like God was calling us to stay. It just seemed with nothing working out and the continual bad news regarding Paul's new job territory that God was making our pathway clear.
So Paul made the call and the next day he was announced the new SE manager of the East. We have since been making hard calls to everybody letting them know the sad news. Even now it's still really hard! We really feel like our hearts are in two places! There were so many great perks to being back in California. We were excited about our kids being close to their grandparents and great grandparents! We were SO excited about being close to great friends again and being back at Grace Baptist. Along with that excitement though was the realization that we were leaving behind, great schools, a great affordable area to raise a family and leaving behind some great friends and family. Ultimately we had to do what we felt God was calling us to do. We also had to do what we felt was best for our family. This doesn't mean the door is permanently closed to California. If we feel like California is where God wants us to go then we know He will make it happen. We hate feeling like we have let people down though and hope people will understand why we made the decision we did and know it was extremely hard. Will we second guess our decision when it's single digits and there is a few feet of snow on the ground? Probably! Will it be hard to see beautiful pictures of the central coast and hear about the gorgeous weather when we haven't seen the sun in weeks? Definitely! Will it be hard for us during the holidays and during the kids’ birthdays with most of our family thousands of miles? It always is!
In conclusion for those in California: we’re sorry; we won’t be able to be with you more. For those in Ohio: we’re sorry; you’re stuck with us for the foreseeable future.